Monday, May 27, 2019

Final Card: Ramon Webster

This is Ramon Webster's 3rd and final Topps baseball card (#618). He did not have as much playing time with the Athletics as I had expected before writing this.

Ramon was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1963. After 4 seasons in the minors he made his major-league debut in April 1967.

There were no Athletics' first basemen included in the 1967 Topps set, except for the two featured on Athletics' Rookies Stars cards (Webster and Randy Schwartz). Schwartz had cups of coffee in September 1965 and 1966, but was never heard from again. Webster had no prior major-league experience until appearing in April 1967.

The Athletics began the '67 season with Webster alternating at first base with Danny Cater. In June they reacquired Ken Harrelson (who was their 1st-sacker for much of 1965-66) from the Senators. When manager Al Dark was canned in late-August, Harrelson soon followed, and Webster had the position to himself for the rest of the season.

Ramon started 49 games in the first half of 1968, but played the 2nd half of the season in triple-A, only returning to Oakland in September.

He faded further in 1969, only starting 9 games while most of his 64 games were pinch-hitting appearances. He also played in the minors for most of May.

During Spring Training in 1970 he was traded to the Padres for shortstop Roberto Pena. After playing 95 games for the Padres in 1970, bizarre things started happening. He was sold back to the Athletics in October 1970, only to be repurchased by San Diego in April 1971, who then returned him to Oakland 3 weeks later.

The following month he was acquired by the Cubs, and played in 16 games (all but 1 as a pinch-hitter), the last coming on 8/21/71.

Webster played for the Athletics' AAA team from 1972-75, and in Mexico during 1976. After not playing for 2 years, he played briefly for Panama in the Inter-American League in 1979.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Final Card: Dan Schneider

What's this? The Topps airbrusher missed a spot on this Astros' cap!

No, by late-summer 1969, Topps had resolved their differences with the Astros, or Monsanto, or whomever that caused them to identify the Astros as "Houston" on all the 1968 and 1969 cards, and airbrush the '68 and most '69 cards into oblivion. All the late-1969 cards show the player in their full uniform, but I guess they kept the “Houston” label for continuity.

Not only is this a high-numbered card (#656), but his 1967 card was also in the high-numbered series.

I have been meaning to post Dan Schneider's card for about a year now, but there was always someone else cutting in line for one reason or another.

Schneider was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in June 1962, fresh off being named to the College All-American Team while playing for the University of Arizona. He started his pro career in triple-A, and by the following season was with the Braves, pitching 30 games beginning in mid-May.

He spent most of 1964 in the minors, but did pitch in 13 games for the Braves, mostly in June and September. (He also appeared in a 14th game as a pinch-runner.)

After playing all of 1965 in the minors, Dan found his way back to the Braves (now in Atlanta) for 14 games in June and July 1966. After the '66 season he was traded to the Astros with pitcher Tom Dukes and 2nd baseman Lee Bales for a trio of minor-leaguers.

Dan appeared in 54 games out of the Astros' bullpen in 1967, leading the staff in appearances.

Surprisingly, he spent all of the following season in the minors. Injury rehab? I don't think so – he pitched in 48 games. Oddly enough, he played for the Pirates' AAA Columbus team, and must have been on loan because he was back with the Astros for part of 1969.

Schneider only pitched 6 games for Houston in 1969, the last on April 27th. Sporting a 13.50 ERA by that time, he was quickly sent down to the minors, and at some point was traded to the Cardinals.

He never made it back to the majors after that season, retiring after 1970.