Sunday, March 29, 2020

Richie Scheinblum (#479)

I’m really not happy with the quality of scans from my scanner in the past week or two. Many images are showing streaks, and this one has a rainbow-effect. 

This is Richie Scheinblum’s first solo card. In 1968 he shared one of the many Lou Piniella rookie stars cards.  He was mostly a bench player, but in 1972 he was the Royals’ everyday right fielder, collecting 520 plate appearances and making the All-Star team. The following season he faded back to his bench role.

Scheinblum was signed by the Indians in 1964. He played in the minors for 5 seasons, although making his big-league debut with 4 games in September 1965 and a dozen or so games in '67 and '68.

Richie made the Indians on a full-time basis in 1969.  He was the opening day right fielder, but his good fortune hit the skids when the Tribe acquired Ken Harrelson from the Red Sox on April 19th. Scheinblum still managed to play 102 games, including 36 starts at the corner outfield spots, but was mostly used as a pinch-hitter.

Scheinblum spent all of 1970 in the minors, and was sold to the Senators after the season. He began the 1971 season with the Senators, but by mid-May was returned to the minors for the rest of the year. He was subsequently sold to the Royals.

1972 was his career year. After Bob Oliver was traded away in early-May, Richie was installed as the regular right fielder and hit .300 with 66 RBI over 134 games, while making his only All-Star team.

After the '72 season he was traded to the Reds (with pitcher Roger Nelson) for outfielder Hal McRae and pitcher Wayne Simpson. By mid-June the Reds flipped him to the Angels for a pair of minor-leaguers, and Richie’s career was now officially in suitcase mode. Still, he hit .307 in 283 at-bats.

The Angels traded him back to the Royals in April 1974, and in August he was sold to the Cardinals.  He played a total of 46 games among his three teams in ’74.

Scheinblum played the next two seasons in Japan, before retiring.

One wonders how his career would have gone, had the Royals not traded him after the 1972 season.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Ron Reed (#177)

This is Ron Reed’s first solo card. He appeared on a Braves Rookies card in the 1968 set.

Reed had a 19-year career (1966-84), mostly for the Braves and Phillies. He was a starting pitcher until his trade to the Phillies before the 1976 season.

Reed was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1965, and was also drafted by the NBA’s Detroit Pistons in 1965. He played basketball for 2 seasons while in the minors, then made his major-league debut with the Braves in September 1966. He pitched in 2 games that month, and 3 more in September 1967.

Ron made the All-Star team in his rookie season (1968). That’s a little surprising because his record by the end of June was just 8-4, he was the 3rd-best pitcher on the Braves’ staff, and the Braves were already represented by Hank Aaron and Felipe Alou. Digging deeper, I found that he struck out 10 batters in a game on 6/25, so maybe that sealed his All-Star berth.

Reed was the Braves’ #2 starter (behind Phil Niekro) for most of the next 4 or 5 seasons.

In May 1975 he was traded to the Cardinals for pitchers Ray Sadecki and Elias Sosa. After the season he was traded to the Phillies for under-performing spare outfielder Mike Anderson. What a steal for the Phillies!

Ron was the Phillies’ setup man in the bullpen (behind Tug McGraw) for the next 7 seasons. In 1979 he won 13 games, his first double-figure win season since his days as a starter.

As McGraw’s career began to fade in 1982, Reed was the top man in the bullpen, collecting 14 saves in 57 appearances. The following season he returned to the setup role when the Phillies acquired Al Holland.

Reed pitched in 21 post-season games for the Phillies between 1976 and 1983.

In the 83-84 off-season he was traded to the White Sox for pitcher Jerry Koosman, Reed pitched 1 season with Chicago, and was released the following spring.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Tom Dukes (#223)

Tom Dukes had a 6-year career (1967-72) with the Astros, Padres, Orioles, and Angels. He had baseball cards in 1968 (Astros Rookies), 1969, and 1971. Most of his playing time came in ’68 (Astros) and ’70 (Padres).

Tom was signed by the Yankees in 1962, and by mid-1965 was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for pitcher Bobby Tiefenauer. After the 1966 season he was traded to the Astros with pitcher Dan Schneider and 2nd baseman Lee Bales for 3 minor-leaguers.

Tom made his major-league debut with the Astros in August 1967, and pitched 17 games in relief that season.

In 1968, despite spending all of May in the minors he pitched in 43 games for the Astros (all in relief) and was 8th among Astros pitchers in innings pitched.

Dukes was selected by the Padres in the expansion draft. Although he initially made the team in 1969, his ERA was 13.50 after just one appearance so he spent most of the year in double-A before returning to the Padres in September.

He fared much better in 1970, pitching 53 games (all in relief) for San Diego.

After the season he accompanied pitcher Pat Dobson to the Orioles in exchange for pitcher Tom Phoebus and 3 others. Dukes appeared in 28 games for the Orioles in 1971, and pitched in games 3 and 5 of the World Series.

In late-May 1972 he was traded to the Angels, and although he pitched in 7 games for California, he spent most of his final season with the Orioles’ and Angels’ AAA teams.