Sunday, July 28, 2013

Final Card: Fred Whitfield

This is the final card for first baseman Fred Whitfield (#518). Fred was best known as the Indians' 1st baseman from 1963-67, but also played for several other teams.

Whitfield was signed by the Cardinals in 1956, but didn't begin playing until 1958. In his 4 full seasons in the minors (1958-61) he hit 99 home runs.

Fred began the 1962 season in the minors, then made his major-league debut with the Cardinals in late May. He appeared in 73 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter, although he did start 30 games at 1B (to Bill White's 132 starts), After the season he was traded to the Indians for (future Astros' and Mets') pitcher Ron Taylor.

During his first 2 seasons in Cleveland, Whitfield shared the first base job with Joe Adcock (1963) and Bob Chance (1964). He was the regular first baseman in '65, '66, and the first part of 1967. After the Tribe acquired young Tony Horton from Boston on June 4th, Whitfield and Horton shared the post for several weeks, but by late July Fred was relegated to the bench.

He and pitcher George Culver were dealt to the Reds after the season for outfielder Tommy Harper. Fred spent the next 2 seasons as a pinch-hitter and occasional 1st baseman for the Reds, then was released after the 1969 season.

The Expos signed him just before the 1970 season, but he played most of the season at triple-A Winnipeg, only playing 4 games for the Expos.

Whitfield passed away in January 2013 at age 75.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fred had a few good HR seasons!