Thursday, January 20, 2011

#571 Ozzie Virgil

#571 Ossie Virgil
I believe that the Commish commented on yesterday's post suggesting that this was "Hatless guys with oily hair week" on the blog. Lo and behold, it's another bare-headed wonder! Remember, I'm just posting these cards in the order I received them.

Fun facts about Ozzie Virgil:

-Ozzie was born in Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic. He honed his baseball skills while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps (1950-1952) and signed with the Giants in 1953.

-When he debuted with the Giants late in the 1956 season, he became the first Dominican native to play in the majors. He paved the way for future stars such as Juan Marichal, Sammy Sosa, and Pedro Martinez.

-In 1957, Virgil played in a career-high 96 games, spending time at four positions: third base, shortstop, and the outfield corners. He batted .235 with 4 home runs and 24 RBI.

-He became the first dark-skinned player in Tigers history when he joined the club via trade in 1958. On June 17 of that season, he went 5-for-5 with a double and a run scored in his first-ever game at Detroit's Briggs Stadium.

-Ozzie spent more time in the minors than the majors, totaling 1491 games in parts of 13 minor league seasons with a .285 average.

-He briefly played for the Athletics (11 games in 1961), Orioles (a single game in 1962), and Pirates (39 games in 1965) before finishing his career back with the Giants in 1966. He appeared in a single game with San Francisco in 1969, when he was on the coaching staff.

-In parts of nine big league seasons, Virgil batted .231 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI.

-His son Ozzie Jr. was a catcher for the Phillies, Braves, and Blue Jays (1980-1990). He was a two-time National League All-Star.

-From 1969 through 1988, Virgil coached for the Giants, Expos, Padres, and Mariners. The last 13 years of his time as an MLB coach were all spent under Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams. In 1996, he managed the Giants' Class A Bellingham farm team for 38 games.

-In 2006, his native province opened the Osvaldo Virgil National Airport, offering domestic flights to and from other Dominican cities.
#571 Ossie Virgil (back)


  1. Never seen his name with two s's in it before. Cool card quirk.

  2. Devon - As we all know, Topps made its own judgments about spelling or shortening player names.