Saturday, November 29, 2008

#97 Pedro Gonzalez

Pedro Gonzalez by you.
Utility player Pedro Gonzalez is in an abnormally deep crouch. It's probably for the best that we can't see his hands; this is a family blog. You may also notice that there's a chunk of paper missing from the back of the card down below. This is a common affliction for cards of a certain vintage. Back in the day, Ultra-Pro sheets and toploaders were unheard of. This poor card was probably pasted into a scrapbook somewhere, and then painfully extracted at a later date.

Pedro Gonzalez was one of the first major leaguers to hail from the Dominican Republic. He signed with the Yankees in 1958, at age 21. He was a strong hitter at every stop in the minor leagues, including an Eastern League-leading .327 average at Binghamton in 1960. After batting .307 at Richmond in 1963, he finally got the call to New York. Pedro struggled, hitting .192 in 14 games.

1964 proved to be Pedro's best season with the bat in the majors, as he batted .277. Splitting time at five positions, he committed only three errors in 66 games. He appeared in only one game in that Fall's World Series, popping out in his only at-bat. The following year, he appeared in seven games in pinstripes before being traded to the Indians for first baseman Ray Barker. He hit .254 overall with five home runs and 39 RBI. Cleveland used him almost exclusively at second base in his three years with the club; though he was slick defensively, he had little power and his average dipped to the .230 neighborhood in 1966-1967. The following season, he transitioned to managing in the Mexican League. He later spent a dozen years at the helm of the Braves' rookie-level Gulf Coast League team.

Fun fact: An Internet search turns up an incident in September 1965 as Gonzalez' lasting place in baseball. Incensed by two straight brushback pitches from Tigers pitcher Larry Sherry, Pedro charged toward the mound with his bat and took a few swings. He apparently hit Sherry on the arm before things were broken up. American League President Joe Cronin fined Pedro $500 and suspended him for the remainder of the season.
Pedro Gonzalez (back) by you.

5 comments:

  1. you should have told me the pedro gonzalez you had was so sad - i could have upgraded it slightly. not that condition matters, as you can tell by the cards i have sent you.

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  2. Reminds me a bit of Bert Campaneris with his charge the mound routine.

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  3. Max - In general, I figured I'd worry about getting the set as close to complete as possible before I started looking to upgrade. No worries.

    Rick - Didn't Campy actually toss his bat at Lerrin LaGrow?

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  4. I have this card available in a whole lot better condition than this, would love to share pictures if you're interested

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  5. Actually I have a huge collection of cards, most boxed and in mint condition. Don't have a lot of 60's....I have some 70's, a lo of 80's and 90's

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