Sunday, June 20, 2021
Final Card: Jose Vidal
I've got 7 more cards to post before I can wrap up the "Final Cards" for the 1969 set (something I did way back in 2012 for the 1966, 1967, and 1968 sets), so let's get to it.
Jose Vidal (#322) had a very short major-league career: a few dozen games for the Indians from 1966-68, and 18 games for the Seattle Pilots in 1969.
Vidal was signed by the Giants in 1958 (I learned something new today) and after one minor-league season was dealt to the Pirates. He spent 5 seasons in Class B, C, and D ball before advancing to Class A in 1963. Primarily an outfielder, Jose also played some 3rd base in '59 and '63.
The Indians purchased his contract in September 1963, and moved him up to double-A the following season. He saw his most extensive playing time in 1965 and 1966, playing over 100 games each season for the Tribe’s AAA team in Portland.
Although he hit well in the minors (40/162/.340 in 1963), he led his league’s outfielders in errors 3 times.
He made his major-league debut with 17 games in September 1966. Initially used as a pinch-hitter, he also started 10 of the final 12 games, mostly in right field.
Jose split his time in '67 and '68 between the Indians and Portland. Although only playing 16 and 37 games for Cleveland in those seasons, he must have been with the team for much of the time because after 100+ games in AAA for the previous 2 seasons, he only played 69 and 44 games in the minors.
In early-September 1968, the expansion Pilots purchased his contract from the Indians. (This was a month before the expansion draft.) Vidal played only 18 games for the Pilots in 1969 (all in the first 4 weeks of the season), mostly as a pinch-hitter. On May 19th he was traded to the Yankees for outfielder Dick Simpson, but spent the rest of the year with the Yankees' AAA team in Syracuse.
Jose played all of 1970 with Syracuse, and part of 1971 with the Tigers' AAA team in Toledo. He finished out that season in Japan, then played over 100 games per season in Mexico from 1972-75.
Vidal passed away in 2011 at age 70.