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.

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