Saturday, July 21, 2012

1969 Topps Decals

Here are some of my 1969 Topps decals, that were inserted in several series during the year. It looks like I mounted AL players on one side of the page, and NL players on the other side.

I have another several dozen decals that back in the day I mounted each on half of a 3x5 card (and even made a checklist card!), but I didn't realize that I had this large card of decals until unpacking stuff after my recent move. Here's some more old stuff I found recently.

I haven't determined yet if I have a complete set of the decals from among this large group and all the individual cards. (Nor can I remember why I left gaps between certain decals here.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Final Card: Bill Short

This is the final card for Bill Short (#259). He had a card each year from 1960-62, then again from 1967-69. In 6 cards, he was featured on 5 teams. That's a journeyman!

Bill pitched in 6 seasons between 1960 and 1969, mostly a few games here and there, except for his 34-game stint with the Mets in 1968. Short (no relation to Chris Short, or to Dale Long, for that matter) was signed by the Yankees in 1955, and pitched in the minor leagues every season from 1955 to 1967.

For his first 7 seasons, he was the property of the Yankees, and was on the farm the entire time except for making 10 starts for New York in 1960. After the 1961 season, the Orioles selected him in the Rule 5 draft, but he only played 5 games for Baltimore in 1962, and 6 games in 1966. In-between, it was 5 more seasons pitching in triple-A (on top of his final 3 seasons in the Yankees chain stuck in triple-A).

In mid-August 1966, the Red Sox purchased his contract and kept him on the big club, where he made 8 relief appearances for the next month and a half. He was sold to the Pirates in the off-season, and found himself back in the minors for most of 1967, save for 6 games with Pittsburgh.

For the 2nd straight off-season, Bill's contract was sold - this time to the Mets. Short found himself in the majors for the entire 1968 season (the only year that would occur). He worked 34 games out of the bullpen for the Mets as their #10 pitcher on a 10-man staff, but at least he stayed out of the minors.

It wasn't enough to keep him in New York though, as in December he went to the Reds in the Rule 5 draft. After 4 relief appearances, Bill and his 15.43 ERA were sent down to Indianapolis, where he spent the remainder of the 1969 season before retiring from baseball.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Grant Jackson (#174)

[I was going to feature Johnny Callison here today, but I can't find his card on my computer. That's ok, this card has a red, white & blue look to it.]

Grant Jackson began his career with 4 full seasons in Philly, before moving on to the Orioles, Pirates, and others.

Jackson was signed by the Phillies in 1961, and was a starting pitcher for 5 seasons (1962-66) in the minors. He pitched in 6 games for the Phillies in September 1965, and 2 games in 1966 before making the majors to stay at the start of the 1967 season.

During his true rookie season of 1967, Grant was the only lefty in a bullpen headed up by veterans Turk Farrell and Dick Hall. Jackson made 43 appearances (including 4 starts), striking out 83 batters in 84 innings. His role was the same in 1968. Although his record was 1-6, his ERA was below 3.00. Jackson was a switch-hitter, with 3 hits in 10 at-bats in 1968.

In 1969, veteran ace Chris Short missed all but 2 games with a back injury. Jackson slid into Short's spot in the starting rotation and became the workhorse of the staff, pitching 253 innings and collecting 180 strikeouts while compiling a 14-18 record and a 3.34 ERA. He was also selected to his only all-star game that season.

Jackson remained in the Phillies' starting rotation in 1970, but had an off-year. Short had returned from injury, the team re-acquired Jim Bunning, and Rick Wise emerged as the #1 starter, leaving Jackson at #4. His record fell to 5-15 while his ERA ballooned to 5.25. After the season he was traded to the Orioles for outfield prospect Roger Freed.

Grant worked out of the O's bullpen for 5 1/2 seasons, and appeared in the post-season in '71, '73, and '74. In June 1976 he was part of a 10-player trade, going to the Yankees with catcher Elrod Hendricks and pitchers Doyle Alexander, Ken Holtzman, and Jimmy Freeman for catcher Rick Dempsey and pitchers Scott McGregor, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, and Dave Pagan.

Jackson remained with the Yankees only for that season, but pitched in three games in the post-season. In November 1976 he was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft, who traded him to the Pirates a month later for shortstop Craig Reynolds.

Jackson spent the next 5 seasons in the Pirates' bullpen, and faced his old Orioles team in the 1979 World Series.

In September 1981, he joined the Expos during their playoff push, but was shipped out to the Royals in January. Jackson was released by Kansas City in July 1982, and was picked up by the Pirates on September 8th. He pitched his last game that day, and was released following the season.