Saturday, June 3, 2017

Ex-players with cards

Awhile back, I posted the players having 1967 cards whose MLB career was already over before that season, either through retirement or a return to the minor leagues.

Here are the 10 players in the 1969 set who did not play in the majors after 1968:

Signed by the Cardinals in 1958, Dick Hughes labored in the minors for many years before finally making the Cardinals' squad in 1967 at age 29. After 2 seasons (and 2 World Series), his career was over.

Dave Adlesh kicked around in the Astros' chain from 1963-68, while also playing some games with Houston every season. Traded to the Cardinals in the Fall of 1968, he was subsequently traded to the Braves (March '69) and Angels (April '69) but played all of 1969 and 1970 in the minors before retiring.

Lee Elia was a farmhand for the Phillies (1959-64), White Sox (1965-67), and Cubs (1967-69), whose MLB career consisted of 80 games for the ChiSox in '66 and 15 games for the Cubs in '68.

Rollie Sheldon pitched for the Yankees from 1961-64 and Yankees-West (Kansas City Athletics) from 1965-66, but played all of 1967 to 1970 in the minors.

Dave Nicholson was a starting outfielder for the White Sox in 1963-64. He then bounced to the Astros ('66) and Braves ('67), but played most of '67 and all of 1968-69 in the minors.

Jon Warden's only major-league experience was 28 games in relief for the Tigers in 1968. Selected by the Royals in the expansion draft, he played 1969-71 in the minors.

Jesse Gonder played for the Mets from 1963-65, and was their #1 catcher in 1964. He was with the Pirates in 1966-67, his last major-league appearance coming in June 1967. He retired after 2 more seasons in the minors.

Minnie Rojas was a Giants' farmhand in the early 1960s, then played in Mexico from 1964-65. After 3 seasons with the Angels (1966-68) he returned to the Mexican League.

Wayne Causey was a starting infielder for the Kansas City Athletics from 1961-65, and the White Sox from 1966-67. He split the 1968 season between the White Sox, Angels, and Braves.

Saving the best for last!

This may be Topps' first intentional "career-capper" card. Mickey Mantle retired during spring training in 1969. Since this was a late-series card, there was time to add a footnote to the back of his card. Nice that they didn't replace this card with that of another current player.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dal Maxvill (#320)

Dal Maxvill was a shortstop for 14 seasons, primarily the Cardinals starting SS from 1962-72. He appeared in 3 World Series with the Cardinals (’64, ’67, ’68) and 1 with the Athletics (’74). He also played in the ALCS in ’72 and ’74.

Maxvill was signed by the Cardinals in 1960, and played 2 ½ seasons in the minors before making his major-league debut in June 1962. He alternated with incumbent starter Julio Gotay for a while, then became the primary shortstop in the season’s closing months.

Before the 1963 season, the Cardinals acquired veteran shortstop Dick Groat from the Pirates. Groat started 157 games in ’63, while Maxvill only managed 51 at-bats in 53 games as the backup. He started 5 games at short and 4 at 2nd base.

Dal returned to the minors for most of 1964, but was back in the majors for good to start the 1965 season. With Groat established at shortstop, Maxvill actually played more at 2nd base in ’65, but started very few games at either keystone position.

Good news for Maxvill in 1966! Groat was traded to the Phillies in the off-season, opening up a starting position. Dal was the Cardinals’ regular shortstop from April 1966 until the end of August 1972. He also won a Gold Glove in 1968.

Maxvill was traded to the Oakland Athletics at the end of August 1972, just in time to make their post-season roster. He had 8 at-bats in 5 games against the Tigers in the ALCS.

Dal began the 1973 season with the A’s, but was sold to the Pirates in July, then started 73 of the final 80 games for the Bucs at SS. The following April he was released, and picked up by the A’s a month later. He played 60 games in ’74 and 20 games in ’75 as the backup to Bert Campaneris.

After his playing career, he was a coach for the A’s, Cardinals, Mets, and Braves. He was also the Cardinals’ GM from 1985-1993.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Born on the Same Day - 2/25/1940

Another installment in my "Born on the Same Day" series, featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. 

This is post #14 in the series: Ron Santo and Danny Cater - both born on 2/25/1940.

Ron Santo was the Cubs' regular 3rd baseman from 1960 to 1973. Along the way, he finished 4th in ROY voting, was an All-Star in 9 of his final 11 seasons with the Cubs, won 4 Gold Gloves, led the NL in walks 4 times and triples once, topped 30 homers 4 times, and 100 RBI 4 times.

He played his final season (1974) for the White Sox, dividing his time between DH and backing up 2B and 3B.

Danny Cater began his career with the Phillies in 1964 as a part-time left fielder and pinch-hitter. He was a regular for the next 6 seasons with the White Sox (1965-66), Athletics (1966-69), and Yankees (1970). In 1971 Cater divided his time between 1B and 3B for the Yankees, backing up John Ellis and Jerry Kenney.

He moved on to the Red Sox for 3 more seasons, before wrapping up with the Cardinals in 1975. Cater's last significant playing time came in 1972, when he started 82 games at 1st base (essentially whenever Carl Yastrzemski moved out to left field). That role would be filled by youngster Cecil Cooper beginning in 1973.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Final Card: Jim Weaver

Here is the final card for Angels' pitcher Jim Weaver (#134). The Angels had a lot of young pitchers come up in 1967, but unlike Clyde Wright, Marty Pattin, Tom Burgmeier, and Rickey Clark (all ultimately with longer careers than Weaver), Topps managed to include Weaver in a card set prior to 1969. He shared an Angels' Rookies card in the 1968 set.

Weaver was signed by the Indians in 1958, and pitched in their minor-league system from 1958-66 (missing the '62 and '63 seasons while in military service).

In 1967 he was traded twice, first to the Astros in January (with catcher Doc Edwards and outfielder Jim Landis) for outfielder Lee Maye and catcher Ken Retzer. After 24 starts for Houston's AAA team, in August he was sent to the Angels for shortstop Hector Torres. Weaver made his major-league debut with the Angels in August 1967. He appeared in 13 games (2 starts).

Jim split the 1968 season between the Angels and their AAA team. He pitched in 14 games (all in relief), the last coming on June 29th. That was his last game in the bigs.

The back of his card indicates he was assigned to the minors in November 1968, where he would play the entire 1969 season. He also played for a double-A team in 1970 before retiring.