Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mike Hershberger (#655)

Mike Hershberger was a starting outfielder for the White Sox and Athletics through most of the 1960s. On Opening Day 1968, Mike lost his starting job to Reggie Jackson, and would be a backup for his final 4 seasons.

Hershberger was signed by the White Sox in 1959, and after 3 seasons in the minors was called up to the Sox in September 1961.

In 1962 Mike started 106 games as a rookie, mostly in right field. He shared the starting job there with Floyd Robinson, who was the starter in 1961. (Robinson played mostly left field in ’62, replacing the departed Minnie Minoso.)

In ’63 and ‘64 he was one of the Sox’ top 3 outfielders in terms of starts and playing time, but since he split his time between center and right fields, shows him as a non-starter.

In January 1965 he was traded to Kansas city in a 3-team, 8-player trade, and was the Athletics’ starting right fielder for the next 3 seasons, rarely playing the other 2 spots in those years.

Reggie Jackson joined the Athletics during the 1967 season, and was installed as the starting right fielder at the start of the 1968 season, relegating Hershberger to spot-start duty for a few dozen games in right and left field.

With Rick Monday and Jackson established in center and right fields, and Rule 5 pickup Tommie Reynolds starting half the games in left field, there was even less playing time for Mike in 1969 than in the previous year.

The following January he was traded to the Brewers (with pitchers Lew Krausse and Ken Sanders, and catcher Phil Roof) for 1st baseman Don Mincher and infielder Ron Clark. Mike lasted only 1 season in Milwaukee, filling the dubious role of 7th outfielder.

He was released after the 1970 season, and hooked on with the White Sox for 1971. He played more in his final season than he had since 1968, starting 25% of the games in center field behind Jay Johnstone.

Hershberger passed away in 2012 at age 72.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Final Card: Larry Miller

Here is the final card (#323) for Larry Miller, who I just discovered a few days ago to be the oldest living player (at age 79) having a card from 1966-70 not yet appearing on one of my blogs.

He is also "Back on Topps' Radar", with his first card since the 1965 set. (Miller spent most of '66 and all of 1967-68 in the minors.)

Miller was signed by the Dodgers in 1959, and played in their organization for 3 ½ seasons (plus a 2-year break for military service) before making his major-league debut in 1964. He pitched in 16 games over the second half of the season. He was 4-8 in 14 starts.

After the season he was traded to the Mets for OF-1B Dick Smith. Miller split the 1965 season between the Mets and their AAA team in Buffalo.

Larry was back in AAA for the 1966 season, followed by 4 late- September appearances for the Mets.

He was in triple-A for all of 1967-69, and was traded to the Giants' organization in mid-1967. Since his last big-league game was in 1966, I'm wondering "Why does he have a card?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 12/17/1936

Recently I started a new series called "Born on the Same Day", featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. The scope of this exercise is those players (or managers) who have cards in the 1965-1970 sets (because that's what I dooze). Ideally, I should also have their cards. 

In researching this, I found 51 pairs and 2 trios. In a few pairs both are stars, some pairs have 1 star, and other pairs are just 2 guys named Joe. In a few cases, these players were also teammates. 

I am going to post these in chronological order, and distribute them across my 1966-1970 blogs depending on which cards I have for who. The series began on my 1968 blog

This is post #8 in the series, and the first on the 1969 blog: Jerry Adair and Roland Sheldon - both born on 12/17/1936.

Jerry Adair played for the Orioles, White Sox, Red Sox, and Royals from 1958 to 1970, and was the Orioles' regular 2nd baseman from 1961-65.

Rollie Sheldon went 11-5 as a rookie for the 1961 Yankees. He played for New York until midway through 1965, then made stops with the Athletics and Red Sox. He was in the Seattle Pilots' training camp in 1969 but did not make the team.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wait, What?

Congratulations to Paul, David, and Cubs fans everywhere!

"The Giants Cubs win the pennant Series!"
"The Giants Cubs win the pennant Series!"
"The Giants Cubs win the pennant Series!"
"The Giants Cubs win the pennant Series!"

Sunday, October 23, 2016

1969 Stamp Albums

Five years ago, I blogged about my Topps 1969 stamp collection here and here. It was on my 1968 blog because at the time, this 1969 blog was run by someone else.

In those posts, I wondered:

"I have 76 of these stamps from various teams, mostly Phillies, Pirates, Cubs, Twins, and Athletics. I wonder why out of 76 stamps, I have none from the Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Cardinals, Expos, Astros, or Reds?" 


"It's weird that I have no stamps from the 2-time NL champion Cardinals, nor the Yankees, Reds, Dodgers, Braves, Red Sox, Orioles, Angels, Astros, Expos, Royals, or Pilots." 

Well, a few months ago I learned why that was. I found 12 of the stamp albums that were issued with the stamps. Apparently for those teams, I had pasted all my stamps into the team albums, so they were not with the glassine envelopes where I kept all my non-album stamps all these years.

Each album has 8 pages (including front and back covers), with 2 stamps per inside page for a total of 10 stamps (page 2 is a Table of Contents page). The back cover has an area containing all 10 autographs.

So, to the 76 stamps already accounted for in previous posts, I have 75 more stamps in these albums, for a total of 151 stamps. I now also know that there are 10 stamps per team, for a total set size of 240.

At some later time, I will scan and post the insides of these albums.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

1969 Custom Cards

A few years ago, John Hogan at the "Cards That Never Were" blog made a batch of custom baseball and football cards for me at my request.  I noticed that John did not include these images on his own blog, so I am posting them here so they can be appreciated by all. These are cards where the player was either missing, traded during the season, or just to upgrade a player from a Rookie Stars card to a solo card.

You may have already seen the 1967, 1968, and 1971 football cards or the 1966, 1967, and 1968 baseball cards he made for me on the blogs for those sets.

Tony Horton played for the Red Sox from 1964-67, and for the Indians from 1967-70. Topps never made a card for Horton, despite the fact that he was the Indian's regular first baseman and top slugger from mid-1967 until his retirement in August 1970.

After 5 minor-league seasons, Dave Watkins finally made the majors as the Phillies' backup catcher. It was to be his final pro season.

Lowell Palmer and Al Raffo debuted with the Phillies in 1969. "Shades" Palmer pitched for the Phils from 1969-71, and also with the Cardinals ('72) and Padres ('74). Raffo led the team in saves, but never played in the majors after '69, and never had a Topps card.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ron Hansen (#566)

Ron Hansen was the White Sox’ starting shortstop from 1963 to 1967. After spending the first 4 months of 1968 with the Senators, he returned to the Pale Hose in August, this time as a utility infielder. 
(I was intending to post his 1966 card instead, but this photo was more interesting, though the card depicts him as a utility player.)

Hansen was signed by the Orioles in 1956. He played in the minors from 1956-59 (missing the ‘57 season because of sciatica).

Ron took over the Orioles’ starting shortstop job on Opening Day 1960, starting 149 games and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. He also made his only All-Star team that season. He was Baltimore’s starting shortstop the following season also, but missed much of the 1962 season while in military service.

In January 1963, Hansen was traded to the White Sox (along with pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, 3rd baseman Pete Ward, and outfielder Dave Nicholson) for shortstop Luis Aparicio and outfielder Al Smith. Hansen replaced Aparicio in the Sox’ lineup, manning the SS position from 1963 to 1967 (although he missed all but the first 4 weeks of the 1966 season due to back surgery).

The White Sox re-acquired Aparicio from the Orioles after the 1967 season, so Hansen was dealt to the Washington Senators in February 1968 (with pitchers Dennis Higgins and Steve Jones) for pitchers Bob Priddy and Buster Narum, and infielder Tim Cullen.

After starting 77 of the first 101 games for the Nats, Ron was returned to the White Sox in exchange for Cullen. The trade occurred just TWO WEEKS after Hansen pulled off the first unassisted triple play in 41 years! (Thanks for nuttin’)

With Aparicio still on board, Hansen was relegated to utility infielder status with the Sox for the remainder of 1968 and all of 1969, occasional starting games at 2nd base or 3rd base.

Ron was sold to the Yankees in February 1970, and was a role player with them for 2 seasons, getting his release in February 1972. He caught on with the Royals in early April, but was released in late-June, having only played in 16 games during the first 3 months of the season.

After his playing career, Hansen was a coach, minor-league manager, and scout.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Aurelio Rodriguez (#653)

Here is the rookie card for Angels’ 3rd baseman Aurelio Rodriguez. More accurately, it is the rookie card for Angels’ batboy Leonard Garcia, as Topps committed their biggest blunder since featuring Ken Hubbs (the Cubs’ former 2nd baseman who had been deceased for 2 years) on Dick Ellsworth’s 1966 card.

Blogger/custom-card-maker John from the "Cards That Never Were" blog has done what Topps failed to correct, with not only a card picturing the original A-Rod, but also the same card below with the batboy’s name.

This Angels’ post is going to break up the string of Pirates cards on my sidebar which I recently noticed, and which was entirely coincidental. (I thought about making a Pirates post to my 1970 blog before this new 1969 post, but then it wouldn’t have been all coincidental.)

Rodriguez began his professional career in the Mexican League in 1965, and was purchased by the Angels in 1966. He made his major-league debut at age 19 with the Angels in September 1967.

In 1968, incumbent 3rd baseman Paul Schaal started 56 of the first 58 games at 3rd (1 start by Rodriguez), but was beaned on June 13th and missed the rest of the season. Aurelio started 61 of the final 104 games at the hot corner, himself missing the entire month of August.

Schaal was lost to the Royals in the expansion draft, so Rodriguez became the team’s full-time 3rd baseman until late April 1970, when he and outfielder Rick Reichart were traded to the Senators for 3rd baseman Ken McMullen.

After the 1970 season, he was flipped to the Tigers in an 8-player trade, with shortstop Ed Brinkman and pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan accompanying him to Detroit in exchange for pitchers Denny McLain and Norm McRae, 3rd baseman Don Wert, and outfielder Elliot Maddox. A-Rod was the Tigers’ regular 3rd-sacker for the next 9 seasons, winning his only Gold Glove in 1976. (Hmm… I’m somewhat surprised to learn today that he was never on an All-Star team.)

He spent the last 4 seasons of his career (1980-83) bouncing around to the Padres, Yankees, Blue Jays (never playing for Toronto), White Sox, Orioles, and back to the White Sox. He was primarily a bench player in those years, with his only significant playing time coming with the White Sox in 1982.

Rodriguez was granted free agency after the 1983 season, but there were no takers. He returned to the Mexican Leagues as a player from 1984-85, and as a manager from 1985-99.

Like the only other two major league players named Aurelio, Rodriguez was killed in a car accident. He was struck by a car while walking the streets of Detroit in 2000, at age 52.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bob Moose (#409)

Here is Bob Moose on his first solo card (having appeared on a Pirates Rookies card in the 1968 set).

Moose was signed by the Pirates in 1965, and pitched in the minors for 3 seasons before making his major-league debut for the Pirates with 2 games in September 1967.

Bob joined the staff at the start of 1968, splitting his appearances between starting and relieving for his first two seasons with the Bucs. The Pirates had moved on from long-time starters Bob Friend and Vern Law in recent years, and would soon say goodbye to Tommie Sisk and Al McBean, before settling on a younger rotation of Steve Blass, Dock Ellis, Moose, and the not-so-young Bob Veale.

Moose compiled a 14-3 record in 1969 (leading the league with a .824 winning percentage. He also notched a 2.91 ERA and no-hit the eventual World Champion Mets that season.

Bob was primarily a starter from 1970-73, collecting 11, 11, 13, and 12 wins over that time. He pitched in the NLCS in ’70, ’71, and ’72, and pitched in 3 games in the 1971 World Series (although with no decisions).

In 1974 he was limited to 7 games due to a blood clot that required surgery and the removal of a rib.

Moose played full seasons in ’75 and ’76, but was almost exclusively a reliever during those years. He led the team with 10 saves in 53 games in 1976.

Moose was killed in a car accident one week after the end of the 1976 season (on his 29th birthday).