Saturday, April 30, 2011

#213 Jim Davenport

#213 Jim Davenport
One problem I've had as a collector is that I have a hard time narrowing my focus. As it is, I've got at least a dozen sets that I'm actively trying to complete. In addition, I generally grab up any vintage Topps that catches my eye. And of course, I want as many Orioles cards as I can get. But I really admire the creativity of some collectors. For instance, Matthew Glidden collects any and all Number Five cards. If I ever did that, I'd likely go for card #213. 13 is one of my favorite numbers, and my alma mater is located on Maryland's Route 213. But I probably have my hands full as it is!

Fun facts about Jim Davenport:

-Jim was born in Siluria, AL and attended Mississippi State University before signing with the Giants in 1955.

-He made the big league team as its starting third baseman in 1958, going 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and a run scored in his debut. His first career hit was a single off of Don Drysdale.

-Had a strong season in 1961, batting .278 with 12 home runs. He achieved career highs with 28 doubles and 65 RBI.

-Davenport was a key member of the 1962 Giants squad that took the National League pennant. In addition to winning the Gold Glove for his play at the hot corner, he earned an All-Star selection. He batted a personal-best .297 with 14 homers, 58 RBI, and 83 runs scored.

-Lost his starting gig with the emergence of Jim Ray Hart in 1964, but contributed in a bench role for the remainder of the decade.

-Jim hit his only walk-off home run on May 16, 1964, a two-out, two-run shot off of the Mets' Galen Cisco in the bottom of the 15th inning. The game lasted 4 hours, 12 minutes, or roughly as long as your average 9-inning Yankees vs. Red Sox game these days.

-San Francisco gave him his release in mid-July 1970, ending his playing career. In parts of 13 seasons, all with the Giants, he hit .258 with 77 home runs and 456 RBI.

-He became a minor-league manager in the Giants farm system, managing their AAA Phoenix club from 1971-1973. He joined the Padres' major league staff in 1974, and returned to the Giants as a big league coach in 1976. Later, he would also coach for the Phillies and Giants.

-Jim was named the manager of the Giants before the 1985 season. However, the club replaced him in September with Roger Craig. He had a grisly 56-88 record in his only shot at helming a big league team.

-Davenport is back with the Giants, currently in a front office role. He had an interim stint as manager back at Phoenix in 1995, and skippered the Fresno Grizzlies in 1998. His son Gary was drafted by San Francisco in 1981, and has been a coach in the organization for many years. Gary is now the San Jose hitting coach.
#213 Jim Davenport (back)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#193 Gaylord Perry

#193 Gaylord Perry
Unsurprising baseball fact: Gaylord Perry is the only major leaguer in history with "Gaylord" as a first or last name. Gale Staley, who played seven games for the 1925 Cubs, was born George Gaylord Staley. I'm guessing that Perry didn't get teased much, since he stood 6'4" and weighed over 200 pounds!

Fun facts about Gaylord Perry:

-A native of Williamston, NC, Gaylord signed with the Giants in 1958.

-His older brother Jim was also a successful pitcher, as previously mentioned. His lifetime record of 215-174 would be dwarfed by the accomplishments of his younger sibling.

-Perry was 23 when he debuted with the Giants in April 1962. He pitched sparingly, going 3-1 with a 5.23 ERA in 43 innings. One of his three wins was a complete game four-hitter, as San Francisco downed the Pirates 4-1 on April 30.

-He was a first-time All-Star in 1966, sporting a 21-8 record and a 2.99 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He also had 201 strikeouts, topping 200 for the first of eight times. However, he was overshadowed by teammate Juan Marichal (25-6, 2.23 ERA, 222K, 0.86 WHIP).

-Gaylord led the N.L. in wins in 1970, going 23-13 with a 3.20 ERA. He also topped the Senior Circuit with 5 shutouts, 41 games started, and 328.2 innings. Still, he finished a distant second to Bob Gibson in Cy Young voting.

-Was traded to the Indians for "Sudden" Sam McDowell prior to the 1972 season. Popular opinion had the Giants getting the best of the trade, as McDowell was four years younger than the 33-year-old Perry. Of course hindsight shows that Sam declined rapidly, whereas Perry remained effective for another decade. He also won the Cy Young in his first season in Cleveland, going 24-16 with a 1.92 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and a league-leading 29 complete games for a bad team (72-84 overall).

-From Cleveland he was dealt to Texas in mid-1975, and he anchored the Rangers staff for two and a half years before being given away to San Diego for spotty reliever Dave Tomlin and cash. Now pushing 40, Perry won his second Cy Young with a 21-6 record and a 2.73 ERA. It was the third time he led his league in wins.

-Split the 1980 season between the Rangers and Yankees, and planned to retire after a mediocre 1981 season in Atlanta (8-9, 3.94 ERA). However, the players' strike left him three wins short of 300, so he caught on win the Mariners and notched the big three-double-oh on May 6, 1982 with a complete-game 7-3 decision over the Yankees. Though he was infamous for his supposed use of the spitball, he was only ejected for doctoring the ball once: August 23, 1982. So either he was very good at cheating, or he was a psychological mastermind. Maybe both.

-Gaylord finally hung up his spikes at the conclusion of the 1983 season, when he was 44 years old. He had a lifetime record of 314-265 with 303 complete games, 53 shutouts, and a 3.11 ERA. He was a five-time All-Star, and ranks 16th all-time in wins and 17th in shutouts. His total of 3,534 strikeouts is eighth-best.

-He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, his third year of eligibility. He has appeared in some old-timer's games, and famously wears a jersey depicting the wordmarks of all eight of his big league teams.
#193 Gaylord Perry (back)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#150 Brooks Robinson

Brooksie! It's hard to beat back-to-back Hall of Fame contemporaries with Baltimore ties who played their entire 20-plus year careers in one city.

Fun facts about Brooks Robinson:

-Brooks was born in Little Rock, AR and signed with the Orioles in 1955.

-He hit .331 with a .489 slugging percentage for the Class B York (PA) White Roses to earn a September callup to the majors in his first pro season. He's fond of telling the story of his debut on September 17, 1955. Getting the start at third base, the 18-year-old went 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 3-1 win over the Senators. He called home and bragged to his parents that he didn't know why the O's hadn't promoted him sooner. He then proceeded to go 0-for-18 with 10 strikeouts for the remainder of the season!

-After injuries, offensive struggles, and a few returns to the minor leagues, Brooks finally enjoyed a measure of success in 1960. He batted .294 with 27 doubles, 9 triples, 14 home runs and 88 RBI. He led the Orioles in doubles, triples, and batting average, as well as runs scored (74). That year he made the first couple of his 18 career All-Star appearances, and won the first of his record 16 Gold Gloves for his extraordinary play at third base.

-His best single-season performance came in 1964, when he set career highs with a .317 average, .368 on-base percentage, .521 slugging percentage, 145 OPS+, 28 home runs, and an American League-best 118 RBI. He breezed by Mickey Mantle in MVP voting, becoming the first Oriole to win the honor.

-Over the years, Robinson participated in nine postseason series with the Birds, accumulating a .303 average in 39 games. He totaled 17 runs scored, 8 doubles, 5 home runs, and 22 RBI. One of those homers came off of Don Drysdale in Game 1 of the 1966 World Series, and gave the O's a 3-0 lead in a game they won 5-2.

-Brooksie's 1970 postseason gets its own bullet point. He went 7-for-12 (.583) with a couple doubles and a pair of RBI in Baltimore's 3-game ALCS sweep over the Twins. For an encore, he was named MVP of the World Series. He was 9-for-21 (.429) with 5 runs scored, 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 6 RBI, and frustrated the Reds with a number of acrobatic plays at the hot corner. He earned the nickname "Hoover" for his glovework, and prompted Johnny Bench to quip, "If we had known he wanted a new car that bad, we'd have chipped in and bought him one".

-He set a big league record (tied by Carl Yastrzemski) by playing his entire 23-year career with one team. Though his bat faltered in his last few seasons, he gave Oriole fans one last thrill with a pinch-hit, walk-off three-run homer off of Cleveland's Dave LaRoche on April 19, 1977. It was his first walk-off home run in five years, and the final four-bagger of his career.

-Brooks retired in August 1977 with a .267 career average, 482 doubles, 268 home runs, and 1,357 RBI. He is still the career leader at third base in games played, putouts, total zone runs, assists, and range factor per nine innings. Of course, he also holds a record for grounding into triple plays, having managed the regrettable feat four times.

-The Orioles retired his #5 at the end of the 1977 season, and he and Frank Robinson are the charter members of the Orioles Hall of Fame. He was a first-ballot inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.

-Robinson has stayed active. He spent several years as a color analyst on Orioles' TV broadcasts, and is currently the president of the MLB Players Alumni Association, which promotes interaction between retired players and fans as well as assisting former major leaguers financially and legally. He is also an investor in Opening Day Partners, which owns four independent minor league clubs in the Atlantic League. One of those teams, the York Revolution, named a plaza at the entrance to their stadium in his honor. There is also a statue there depicting Brooks as a member of the York White Roses.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

#130 Al Kaline

#130 Al Kaline
See? I promised big names this week, and I was true to my word, though we'll call Commish Bob's tongue-in-cheek guess of Frank Bertaina close but no cigar. Al Kaline is the only Baseball Hall of Famer (that I know of) who has a pH value higher than 7.3. Correct me if I'm wrong, baseball/chemistry nerds.

Fun facts about Al Kaline:

-A native of Baltimore, MD, Al went from Southern High School to the major leagues as a $35,000 bonus baby.

-As an 18-year-old rookie in 1953, he appeared in 30 games as a late-inning replacement, collecting 7 hits in 28 at-bats (.250) with 9 runs scored, a home run, and a pair of RBI.

-Kaline was Detroit's starting right fielder in a sophomore, but took a quantum leap the following season at age 20 (1955). He batted .340 to become the youngest player to win a batting title, beating out fellow Tiger great Ty Cobb by a single day. He also paced the A.L. with 200 hits and 321 total bases. He led his team with 121 runs scored, 8 triples, 27 home runs, 82 walks, and a .421 OBP and .546 SLG. His 102 RBI ranked second on the club to Ray Boone. The young slugger made the first of 15 All-Star teams, and was narrowly edged out by Yogi Berra for MVP honors.

-That 1955 campaign started with a bang, as he went 4-for-5 with 3 homers and 6 RBI in a 16-0 romp over the A's on April 17. It was Detroit's sixth game of the year.

-He never did win an MVP, though he was a top-ten finisher nine times. Another second-place finish came in 1963, when he batted .312/.375/.514 with 27 homers and 101 RBI. The numbers show that there were no standout candidates that year, but Elston Howard benefited from putting up a .287/.342/.528 line with 28 home runs and 85 RBI while catching 132 games for the American League Champion Yankees. He won the award in a rout.

-His greatest virtue as an outfielder was his strong and accurate throwing arm, which helped him collect 10 Gold Gloves in his career.

-When the Tigers finally reached the World Series in 1968, Al was 33, but he didn't show his age. The veteran batted .379 (11-for-29) with 2 home runs and 8 RBI to help deliver the Motor City's first baseball championship since 1945. A two-run single off of Nelson Briles in the seventh inning of Game 5 gave the Tigers the lead for good.

-Even in his late thirties, Kaline remained near the league-average in production. He was able to play 147 games in his farewell season of 1974 while DHing full-time, batting .262 with 65 walks, 13 home runs, and 64 RBI. He collected his 3,000th career hit off of Baltimore's Dave McNally in a road game on September 24, a fourth-inning double. Even though he didn't accomplish the feat in front of a home crowd, he was at least able to do it in his home town.

-He spent his entire 22-year career with the Tigers, batting .297 with 498 doubles, 399 home runs, and 1,583 RBI.

-Al had his #6 retired by the Tigers in 1980, the same year in which he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a first-year honoree. He has remained a part of the Detroit organization ever since, serving as a color commentator on TV broadcasts until 2002. He's been a front office consultant and an instructor since then.
#130 Al Kaline (back)

Monday, April 25, 2011

#54 Joe Gibbon

#54 Joe Gibbon
Before we get down to brass tacks, I'd like to apologize to Joe Gibbon. I just looked over the list of upcoming posts on this blog, and Ol' Joe is about to be overshadowed in a big way. Have I tantalized you? Stay tuned!

Fun facts about Joe Gibbon:

-Joe was born in Hickory, MS and attended the University of Mississippi, where the 6'4" youngster was an All-American basketball player. The Pirates signed him in 1957.

-He spent three seasons in the minors, going 16-9 with a 2.60 ERA at AAA Indianapolis in 1959 to earn a spot in the big leagues the following year.

-Gibbon earned wins in each of his first two big league games: April 17 and April 23, 1960. He totaled five scoreless innings of relief in the two contests. Overall he went 4-2 with a 4.03 ERA for the World Champs. He also allowed three runs in three innings of relief in the World Series.

-Starting a career-high 29 games in his sophomore season, Joe went 13-10, one win shy of Bob Friend's team lead. He had a tidy 3.32 ERA and led the Pirates with 3 shutouts. He ranked sixth in the N.L. in ERA and WHIP (1.23), third in shutouts, and tenth in strikeouts (145).

-The southpaw was at his best on September 26, 1961, blanking the Dodgers on one hit and three walks and striking out seven. A Bob Aspromonte pinch single to lead off the sixth inning spoiled the no-hit bid, but Gibbon promptly picked off the runner.

-He sported a sub-4.00 ERA in four consecutive seasons, including a hard-luck 1962 in which he had a 5-12 record.

-Joe was traded to the Giants along with Ozzie Virgil for Matty Alou after the 1965 season, and soon became a relief specialist. In 1968 he allowed only 7 earned runs in 40 innings for a 1.58 ERA.

-He totaled 11 saves each in the 1969 and 1971 seasons. He split the former between the Giants and Pirates, pitching to a 1.93 ERA in 35 games after his return to Pittsburgh. The latter season was spent with the Reds.

-Cincinnati and Houston both released Gibbon over the course of the 1972 season, bringing his career to an abrupt halt. In parts of 13 seasons he was 61-65 with a 3.52 ERA and 32 saves.

-His cousin was Don Castle, the Senators' 1st-round draft pick in 1968. Don peaked in 1973, when he hit .325 with 31 doubles and 88 RBI at AAA Spokane to earn a cup of coffee with the Rangers.
#54 Joe Gibbon (back)

Friday, April 22, 2011

#52 Ed Roebuck

#52 Ed Roebuck
I couldn't tell from pictures of his other cards if Ed Roebuck actually had red hair, but it looks like it on this one. I hereby dub him "The Ginger Fog".

Fun facts about Ed Roebuck:

-A native of East Millsboro, PA, Ed was a teenager when he signed with the Dodgers in 1949.

-He made Brooklyn's Opening Day roster in 1955 after totaling 45 wins in three seasons at AAA Montreal. As a 23-year-old rookie he appeared in 47 games with mixed results, going 5-6 with a 4.71 ERA and leading the club with 12 saves.

-Roebuck pitched in back-to-back World Series in 1955 and 1956, totaling 6.1 innings with a single run allowed on a pair of hits. He struck out five and did not surrender a walk.

-1957 was a fine year for the righty: he went 8-2 with 8 saves and a 2.71 ERA and allowed 70 hits in 96.1 innings.

-Won both ends of a July 31, 1957 doubleheader against the Cubs, totaling three scoreless innings of relief. He was also the last Brooklyn Dodger pitcher to win a game, earning the decision in the team's penultimate game of the season.

-Rebounded from a shoulder injury that robbed him of his 1959 season. Healthy again in 1960, Ed went 8-3 with 8 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 58 games out of the Los Angeles bullpen.

-Was traded to the Senators and then the Phillies in consecutive seasons. In 1964, he went 5-3 with 12 saves and a 2.21 ERA in 60 relief appearances for the Phils.

-His major league career ended when the Phillies released him in the summer of 1966, but he pitched with the minor league club in San Diego for another year and a half. In parts of 11 big league seasons he was 52-31 with 62 saves and a 3.35 ERA.

-Roebuck had a reputation as a powerful and skillful fungo hitter, often clearing the fences at various National League ballparks.
-Ed served as a scout for several major league teams, including the Dodgers, Phillies, Braves, Reds, Pirates, and Red Sox; he retired in 2004.
#52 Ed Roebuck (back)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#50 Juan Marichal

#50 Juan Marichal
Well lookie here! It's our first solo Hall of Famer since Yaz cropped up a few weeks ago. Juan Marichal is showing off his best yearbook smile.

Fun facts about Juan Marichal:

-Juan was born in Laguna Verde, Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic. The Giants signed him at age 19 in 1957.

-He made his big league debut in the summer of 1960, earning three consecutive complete game victories to begin his career. This included a 1-hit, 12-strikeout domination of the Phillies in his first game on July 19.

-He made the All-Star Game for the first of eight consecutive seasons (and nine total) in 1962, when he went 18-11 with a 3.36 ERA and 18 complete games. Juan baffled hitters with his delivery, which began with a trademark sky-high leg kick. He started Game Four of the World Series and shut out the Yankees for four innings before being relieved by Bobby Bolin with a 2-0 lead; the Giants won the game 7-3.

-Marichal truly became an elite pitcher in 1963, when he went 25-8 with a 2.41 ERA, 18 complete games, and a career-high 248 strikeouts. He also no-hit Houston on June 15. Despite his league-leading wins total, he lost out to Sandy Koufax in the Cy Young voting, and never would win the award despite two more 25-win seasons. In 1966, Koufax bested him again; in 1968, it was Bob Gibson who had the superlative numbers.

-He gained infamy in a game against the Dodgers on August 22, 1965. After brushing back opposing leadoff hitter Maury Wills twice, the pitcher batted against Sandy Koufax in the bottom of the third inning. L.A. catcher Johnny Roseboro began buzzing his return throws to the mound dangerously close to Marichal's head. The two began arguing, and when Roseboro stood up and removed his mask and helmet to escalate the confrontation, Marichal began clubbing the unprotected catcher in the head with his bat. This touched off a 15-minute bench-clearing brawl. The pitcher was ejected, fined a then-record $1,750, and suspended for nine days. Roseboro, who was escorted to the clubhouse by Willie Mays, required 14 stitches to close a head wound but was able to return to the field a few days later. The victim filed a lawsuit against his attacker, and they eventually settled out of court for $7,000. Years later, the pair reconciled and became good friends.

-He had several standout seasons, but the best may have been 1966: 25-6 (his fourth straight 20-win season), 2.23 ERA, 25 complete games, and league-best numbers in WHIP (0.86), hits per nine innings (6.7), walks per nine (1.1), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.17!).

-On September 21, 1966, he hit a walkoff home run off of Pittsburgh's Roy Face, breaking a 5-5 tie with one out in the bottom of the ninth. It was one of four career homers for Juan.

-In 1968, he went 26-9, setting a career high and leading the N.L. in wins. He also paced the senior circuit with 30 complete games, 325.2 innings pitched, and a 4.74-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 2.41 ERA was nothing to sneeze at either.

-Retired after stints with the Red Sox in 1974 and Dodgers in 1975. In parts of 16 seasons he was 243-142 with a 2.89 ERA, 244 complete games, 52 shutouts, 2,303 strikeouts, and a 1.10 WHIP (18th-lowest all-time). He was the winningest Latin American pitcher in major league history until Dennis Martinez surpassed him in 1998.

-Juan was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. That same year, he began scouting for the Athletics. In 1996, Dominican President Leonel Fernandez named him to the cabinet as Minister of Sports.
#50 Juan Marichal (back)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#46 Bob Lee

#46 Bob Lee

1. The photographer was really intent on capturing Bob Lee's chest hair.
2. Bob wears/wore a Rawlings glove.
3. I'm a big fan of the "Los Angeles" road jersey. I think all teams should wear their city name on the grays, and I was thrilled when my Orioles went back to "Baltimore" on their away threads a few years ago.
4. Bob Lee's name is a nonsense adverb.

Fun facts about Bob Lee:

-A native of Ottumwa, IA, Bob signed with the Pirates in 1956, several months before his 19th birthday.

-His progress through the minors was slow; he didn't reach A-ball until 1960, his fifth pro season.

-In 1963, he spent much of the year with the New York-Penn League (Class A) Batavia Pirates, going 20-2 with a 1.70 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Late that summer, Pittsburgh dealt him to the Angels.

-Known as either "Moose" or "Horse" due to his 6'3", 230-pound frame, Bob broke camp with the Angels in 1964. The 26-year-old rookie had a great year out of the L.A. bullpen, going 6-5 with a 1.51 ERA and a team-leading 19 saves. He also struck out 111 batters in 137 innings.

-Though he made his mark in relief, he started five games for Los Angeles in his first big league season. The first start was an April 25, 1964 gem against Cleveland; he allowed one run and struck out eight in ten innings but did not earn a decision as the Indians won in the eleventh. His first career win came in his next start, as he one-hit the Senators for seven innings in a 5-1 Angels victory. However, Lee totaled 9.2 innings over his next 3 starts while allowing 11 runs, convincing the team to keep him in the 'pen.

-He was the Halos' lone All-Star in 1965, when he vultured 9 wins in relief to go along with 23 saves and a 1.92 ERA.

-Though his 2.74 ERA and 16 saves were both the best marks on the team for the third year running, Lee's strikeout rate dropped precipitously in 1966 (4.1 K/9 IP). It would prove to be his last effective season.

-He split the 1967 season between the Dodgers and Reds, compiling a 4.55 ERA in 31 appearances and saving only 2 games.

-The end of the road came in 1968, when he walked more batters than he fanned and put up a 5.15 ERA in 44 games for Cincinnati. In 5 seasons, he was 25-23 with a 2.71 ERA and 63 saves.

-Lee later opened a barber shop near Anaheim Stadium, home to the Angels.
#46 Bob Lee (back)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#34 Cal Koonce

#34 Cal Koonce
Not only can you make out the #34 on the back of Cal Koonce's jersey, but that's also the card number! I might be the only one who thinks that's neat, but it's my blog, so nyah.

Fun facts about Cal Koonce:

-Cal was born in Fayetteville, NC and attended nearby Campbell College (later to become a university). He signed with the Cubs in 1961.

-He was just 21 when he made Chicago's Opening Day roster in 1962. He allowed only one run in a complete game victory in his first start on April 22 vs. the Cardinals. The rookie pitched around nine St. Louis hits and four walks, with a bases-loaded walk to Stan Musial spoiling the shutout with two outs in the ninth inning.

-Koonce finished second on the staff in wins, going 10-10 with a 3.97 ERA despite 84 strikeouts and 86 walks.

-His next full big league season was 1965, when he started 23 games and relieved in 15 others for the Cubs. His record was 7-9 with a 3.69 ERA and a career-high 88 strikeouts.

-Beginning with the 1966 campaign, Cal was used primarily in relief. After being acquired by the Mets in mid-1967, he pitched his best ball, putting up a 2.80 ERA in 45 innings for the remainder of that season. The following year, he went 6-4 with a 2.42 ERA and his 11 saves were two less than Ron Taylor's team-leading total.

-Despite spending the entire 1969 season with the Mets, he had a down year, with a 4.99 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. New York did not call upon him once in the postseason en route to their first World Series win.

-Cal was dealt to Boston during the 1970 campaign, and retired after the Red Sox released him in August 1971. In parts of 10 seasons he was 47-49 with a 3.78 ERA and 24 saves.

-His younger brother Don was a minor league relief pitcher in the Mets, Braves, and Tigers organizations (1968-1974). Despite a 2.63 career ERA and a good deal of success at AAA, he never did reach the majors.

-He was inducted into the Campbell Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. Other honorees include Gaylord and Jim Perry, as well as Koonce's other brother Charles.

-Cal returned to Campbell University as head baseball coach from 1980-1986. He went on to become the first general manager of the South Atlantic League's Fayetteville Generals, who were a single-A affiliate of the Tigers from 1987-1996. Cal spent the last few years of his life battling lymphoma before succumbing to the disease in 1993 at age 52.
#34 Cal Koonce (back)

Monday, April 18, 2011

#33 Jackie Brandt

#33 Jackie Brandt
Alright! Seems like a while since I've posted one of my Orioles. This is one of three O's in the batch that allowed me to complete the team set. In searching for information about Jackie Brandt, I found this great cover photo from the April 10, 1961 issue of Sports Illustrated. I love the Internet.

Fun facts about Jackie Brandt:

-A native of Omaha, NE, Jackie signed with the Cardinals at age 18 in 1953.

-He breezed through the St. Louis farm system in three years, making the major league roster in the spring of 1956 after hitting .305 with 62 extra-base hits at AAA Rochester. He held his own in limited playing time, batting .286 for the first two months of the season. Frank Lane, the notoriously deal-happy Cards' GM, traded him to the Giants that June as part of a nine-player deal. Given a larger opportunity to play, he hit .299 with 11 home runs in 98 games with San Francisco.

-Brandt missed 1957 and most of the 1958 season thanks to military duty. He hit .270 with a dozen home runs as the Giants' left fielder in 1959 and won a Gold Glove.

-He found himself in new environs again in 1960 following a trade to Baltimore. He would be an everyday player for five of his six seasons as an Oriole, and enjoyed a career year in 1961: .297 AVG, .371 OBP, 93 R, 16 HR, 72 RBI. He was selected to the All-Star Games that summer.

-Jackie set personal bests with 29 doubles, 19 homers, and 75 RBI in 1962.

-His teammates called him "Flakey". Popular anecdotes abound: once in New York he claims to have convinced some of his pals to take an hourlong cab ride to an ice cream parlor so he could get a more exotic flavor than the standard hotel fare. Once he got there, he couldn't decide, so he got vanilla. Other examples can be found in this article.

-As his production dipped around age 30, the O's replaced Brandt with the younger Paul Blair. Jackie finished his big league career with short stints in Philadelphia and Houston in 1966-1967. In parts of 11 big league seasons he hit .262 with 112 home runs and 485 RBI.

-He dabbled in the Astros' minor league system through the 1970 season, even pitching in a few games. From 1971-1974 he was a minor league manager for Houston and San Diego.

-After his baseball career ended, he returned home to Omaha and became a driver for UPS.

-Jackie claimed in an interview that he once played 36 holes of golf with some friends who were visiting from out-of-town, and proceeded to go 7-for-8 in a doubleheader that same evening (2 2B, 2 HR, 3 1B)! This sounds like a case for the Baseball-Reference game logs. I checked his home run log to see which home runs came in doubleheaders. He hit a homer in each end of a doubleheader on August 7, 1960, but went "only" 4-for-11. Likewise, there was a two-homer game in the nightcap of an April 22, 1961 twinbill against the Yankees, but overall he was 4-for-8 on that day. An August 8, 1961 two-fer against the A's looks promising: 2-for-2 with a pair of longballs and a pair of walks in the second game. The first brings us a 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and a sac fly. Overall: 4-for-5, but he reached base 7 times in 9 trips with 4 runs scored and 4 RBI. These are the only three occasions in which he had two homers in a doubleheader. If the story has any merit, the August 8 games against Kansas City would be our best match.
#33 Jackie Brandt (back)

Friday, April 15, 2011

#29 Felix Mantilla

#29 Felix Mantilla
Hmm, not much to say about this photo of "El Gato". It does call attention to the thin red piping on the Red Sox' jersey sleeves, which is a nice understated touch.

Fun facts about Felix Mantilla:

-Felix is a native of Isabella, Puerto Rico. He signed with the Braves as an 18-year-old in 1952.

-He made his major league debut in June 1956, and hit .283 in 53 at-bats spanning 35 games.

-He appeared in four games in the 1957 World Series and went 0-for-10 with a walk. Still, the Braves bested the Yankees in seven games.

-Mantilla hit only seven home runs in 1958, but two of them came off of a young Sandy Koufax.

-On May 26, 1959, he "broke up" Harvey Haddix's perfect game in the 13th inning, leading off with a ground ball that third baseman Don Hoak threw away. He scored the winning run three batters later on Joe Adcock's home run, which was subsequently ruled a double when fellow baserunner Hank Aaron misjudged the situation and allowed Adcock to pass him on the bases.

-After six and a half underwhelming seasons as a backup in Milwaukee, he was taken by the Mets in the expansion draft. In 1962, he got the majority of the new club's starts at third base and hit .275 (trailing only Richie Ashburn for the team lead) with 11 home runs and 59 RBI. Only Frank Thomas drove in more runs for New York.

-Felix was traded to Boston in 1963, and grew to enjoy playing in Fenway Park. In 1964 he hit a career-high 30 home runs, batted .289, and slugged .553. (His career total entering the season was just 35 HR). He paced the Red Sox with a 144 OPS+ while playing six positions, primarily second base and left field.

-He received his only All-Star selection in 1964, when his home run total dropped to 18 but he achieved personal bests of 92 RBI (tops on the BoSox) and a .374 on-base percentage.

-Mantilla was dealt to the Astros for the 1966 season, but struggled in a part-time role, hitting .219 with 6 home runs in 151 at-bats. He was released that November and signed with the Cubs, who released him before he ever took the field for them.

-In parts of 11 seasons, he hit .261 with 89 home runs and 330 RBI.
#29 Felix Mantilla (back)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

#6 NL RBI Leaders: Ken Boyer, Ron Santo, and Willie Mays

#6 NL RBI Leaders: Ken Boyer, Ron Santo, and Willie Mays
Here comes another heapin' helpin' of cards from our old buddy Max! We'll kick things off with the first National League leaders card that I received in my quest to complete this set. Even as things stand today, I have all of the American League leaders but I'm missing out on three NL cards.

This one celebrates the top RBI men of the senior circuit, led by 1964 MVP Ken Boyer of the World Champion Cardinals. He spent most of the season in the cleanup spot and did just that, driving in a personal-best 119 runs. Interestingly enough, it was the only time he ever led the league in any offensive category. He had some help from the talented hitters who reached base in front of him. He drove in Curt Flood 26 times and Lou Brock 24 times to account for 42% of his RBI.

Next we have the too-recently-departed Ron Santo, always an RBI crown bridesmaid. His 114 RBI in 1964 were his second-best total, behind his 123 driven in in 1969. The third baseman was in the midst of eight consecutive top-ten finishes in this category, peaking at #2 on three different occasions. He did pace the NL in this particular season with 13 triples, 86 walks, and a .398 on-base percentage. Santo was the #4 hitter in 160 of his 161 games in '64, and plated himself 30 times and Billy Williams 27 times.

The Say Hey Kid was the second runner-up in '64 with 111 RBI. Incredibly, this was the fifth-highest single-season total for Willie, and he never topped the NL in this category. His career high came in 1962, when his 141 ranked second to Tommie Davis' 153! As a consolation prize, Mays took home four home run crowns, which includes his league-high total of 47 in 1964. He spent most of the year in the three-hole for the Giants, and shared his largesse: aside from the 47 times he drove himself in, his most frequent collaborator was Harvey Kuenn (17 times).

A glance at the expanded leader board on the back shows that just six men total topped 100 RBI in the National League in 1964, with the others being Joe Torre, Johnny Callison, and Bill White. Everyone with 46 or more runs batted in made the cut, allowing lesser lights like Clay Dalrymple and Gene Oliver to take their bows.

#6 NL RBI Leaders: Ken Boyer, Ron Santo, and Willie Mays (back)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#567 Tommie Aaron

#567 Tommie Aaron
Tommie Aaron (another player who shares my birthday) is the last card in the batch I've been posting from Ed. Thanks again, Ed! Oh, and if you have any doubts about the laziness of Topps in the late 1960s, please note that they used the exact same photo for his 1963 and 1969 cards. That's pretty weak sauce.

Fun facts about Tommie Aaron:

-A native of Mobile, AL, Tommie was 18 when he signed with the Braves in 1958.

-You may know his older brother Hank, who hit 755 home runs in the major leagues and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We'll get to him later.

-Tommie joined Hank on the big league club in 1962, playing in a career-high 141 games and playing first base and left field. He hit .231 with 20 doubles, 8 home runs, and 38 RBI.

-In a game against the Phillies on August 4, 1962, he came to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded. The score was tied 3-3, and he slugged a walkoff grand slam off of Jack Baldschun. One of the baserunners that he drove in was his brother.

-Aaron seems to have been tabbed as a "AAAA" player, spending at least half of each season from 1963-1967 in the minors, and returning to AAA (and eventually AA) from 1971-1973. He made the most of it, though, hitting 147 homers in parts of 12 minor league seasons with a .285 average.

-In 1967, he won the International League MVP with a .309 average, 11 home runs, and 56 RBI. Richmond later named their team MVP award in his honor.

-Tommie returned to the Braves in 1968, serving as a part-time player through the 1971 season. His pinch-hit appearance in Game 2 of the 1969 NLCS made the Aarons the first pair of brothers to team up in a League Championship Series.

-In parts of 7 big league seasons, he batted .229 with 13 home runs and 94 RBI. Naturally, he and Hank hold the record for the most total home runs by a pair of brothers, with 768 between them. Eddie (504) and Rich Murray (4) are the only other duo containing a member of the 500 HR club.

-After his retirement, he managed the AA Savannah Braves (1973-1976) and AAA Richmond Braves (1977-1978). After his 1978 club won the International League championship, he served on the big league team's coaching staff for six seasons under Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.

-Tommie died of leukemia at age 45 in 1984. He was posthumously inducted into the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.
#567 Tommie Aaron (back)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

#331 Dodgers Rookie Stars: Al Ferrara and John Purdin

#331 Dodgers Rookies: Al Ferrara and John Purdin
Whoa. Is that a creepy portrait of John Purdin or what? It's like one of those paintings where the eyes follow you. It seems like even Al Ferrara is getting the willies.

Fun facts about Al Ferrara:

-Al "The Bull" Ferrara was born in Brooklyn, and played high school ball with Joe Torre and Joe Pepitone. He signed with the Dodgers in 1959.

-He once played piano at Carnegie Hall.

-He hit .321 and slugging .548 at AAA Spokane in 1963, earning a late summer callup to the majors at age 23. He struggled, compiling a .159 average and driving in a single run in 44 at-bats.

-On May 15, 1965, Ferrara spoiled a Dick Ellsworth no-hit bid with an eighth-inning pinch three-run homer. The Dodgers would beat the Cubs 3-1.

-Al was a valuable pinch hitter and occasional outfielder for the Dodgers in 1966, hitting .270 with 5 home runs and 23 RBI in 115 at-bats. He delivered a pinch single off of Dave McNally in his only World Series at-bat, representing the tying run in the ninth inning of Game Four. He would be stranded at second base as the Orioles completed the sweep.

-He started 87 games for L.A. in 1967, batting .277 with a team-leading 16 home runs, a personal best. He was selected as the Dodgers' player of the year.

-After a broken ankle limited Ferrara to two games in 1968, he was claimed by the Padres in the expansion draft. As San Diego's first starting left fielder, he carried a .260 average with 14 home runs and a career-high 56 RBI and paced the club with 22 doubles and a .349 on-base percentage.

-1970 was another productive year for Al, as he compiled a .277 average, 13 home runs, and 51 RBI.

-He split the 1971 season between the Padres and Reds and retired after collecting only 8 hits in 50 at-bats (.160). In parts of 8 seasons he hit .259 with 51 home runs and 198 RBI.

-He appeared on several TV shows, including Gilligan's Island, Batman, and Match Game '74.

Fun facts about John Purdin:

-John was born in Lynx, OH. The Dodgers discovered him while he was serving in the military, and they signed him at age 21 in 1964.

-He had a rapid ascent, going 14-3 with a 1.91 ERA and pitching a no-hitter at Class A Salisbury to earn a promotion to AAA Spokane. After two strong games there, he was summoned to the majors.

-Purdin tossed two scoreless innings of relief in his debut, and made his first start on September 30, 1964. He blanked the Cubs that day, allowing just two singles and one walk.

-His second time around didn't go so smoothly. In 11 games in 1965, the righty put up a 6.75 ERA. He allowed 8 home runs in just 22 innings, accounting for 13 of the 17 earned runs he yielded!

-John did not return to the majors until 1968, when he had a 3.07 ERA as a reliever for the Dodgers with 2 wins, 3 losses, and 2 saves.

-He last pitched in the majors with Los Angeles in 1969, compiling a .606 ERA in 9 games. He spent the next three seasons at AAA Spokane and Hawaii before walking away from the game.

-In parts of 4 seasons, Purdin was 6-4 with a 3.90 ERA.

-He batted only 16 times in the majors, but collected 4 hits (.250).

-John died in Charleston, SC, in March 2010 at age 67.
#331 Dodgers Rookies: Al Ferrara and John Purdin (back)

Monday, April 11, 2011

#238 Joe Moeller

To the best of my knowledge, Joe is not related to any of the other ex-major-league Moellers: Chad, Danny, Dennis, or Ron. Baseball Reference tells me that none of the five Moellers are related to one another. How do you like that?

Fun facts about Joe Moeller:

-Joe was born in Blue Island, IL and attended high school in California before signing with the Dodgers in 1960.

-He won 20 games in his first pro season with a 2.39 cumulative ERA, jumping from Class C Reno to Class A Greenville to AAA Spokane.

-Moeller became the youngest starting pitcher in L.A. Dodgers history when he made his first start at age 19 (plus two months) on April 18, 1962.

-Despite being sent down in July with a 6-5 record, a 5.25 ERA, and 58 walks and 46 strikeouts in 85.2 innings, he did have a couple bright moments. His first big league win was a complete game effort on April 23 in which he topped the Braves 5-2.

-Joe started a career-high 24 games in 1964, a season that was bookended by full seasons at AAA Spokane in 1963 and 1965. He cut down his walk total to 31 in 145.1 innings, but still had a forgettable 7-13 record and 4.21 ERA.

-His best big league season was 1966, when he went 2-4 with a 2.52 ERA while working chiefly as a reliever. He relieved Don Drysdale in the third inning of that year's World Series opener, allowing one run in two innings.

-After abbrievated stints with Los Angeles in the three preceding seasons, Moeller appeared in 31 games in 1970, starting 19 of those. He went 7-9 with a 3.92 ERA overall, but allowed just a pair of earned runs in 21.2 innings of relief (0.83 ERA) and saved four games out of the bullpen.

-Tossed his only career shutout on June 24, 1970, six-hitting the Braves in a 7-0 Dodger win.

-Joe was only 28 when he last pitched in the majors in 1971. He hung on in the minors for two more seasons before retiring. In parts of 8 major league seasons, he was 26-36 with a 4.01 ERA.

-He has been an advance scout for the Marlins since 2002.

Friday, April 08, 2011

#36 Bobby Wine

#36 Bobby Wine
Here we see shortstop Bobby Wine showing off his fastball grip. For all of his success as a hitter, maybe he should've tried pitching.

Fun facts about Bobby Wine:

-A native of New York City, Bobby signed with the Phillies as a teen in 1957.

-He debuted with the Phils in September 1960, days after turning 21. He had spent the season at AAA Buffalo, hitting .269 with 28 doubles.

-Bobby's first full season in the bigs was 1962, when he hit a career-high .244 with 4 home runs and 25 RBI. Impressively, his home runs came against Stan Williams, Don Drysdale, Juan Marichal, and Harvey Haddix.

-He won his only career Gold Glove for his play at shortstop in 1963, but was regarded as a strong-armed infielder.

-Back problems hounded Wine throughout his career, costing him the majority of the 1966 and 1968 seasons.

-He was drafted by the Expos prior to their inaugural 1969 season and spent the next three years as the club's primary shortstop. In 1970, he appeared in 159 games and set a record (since broken) by turning 137 double plays.

-Bobby lost his starting job to Tim Foli in 1972 and collected only 18 plate appearances before Montreal released him at midseason. In parts of 12 seasons, he batted .215 with 30 home runs and 268 RBI.

-He got into coaching, spending several years with the Phillies (1972-1983), Braves (1985, 1988-1990), and Mets (1993-1996). After Eddie Haas' firing in August 1985, Wine served as Atlanta's interim manager. The club finished with a 16-25 record in his brief tenure.

-He still works for the Braves as a major league advance scout and was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

-His son Robbie was a catcher who played 23 games for the Astros (1986-1987). He is currently the head baseball coach at Penn State University.
#36 Bobby Wine (back)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

#19 Gates Brown

#19 Gates Brown
Oops, I forgot about Gates Brown when I was talking about my more well-loved 1965 Topps cards. This one is practically bisected! Should you be curious, "Gates" was born William James Brown, and is the only major leaguer to go by Gates.

Fun facts about Gates Brown:

-Gates was born in Crestline, OH and signed with the Tigers at age 20 in 1960.

-Though he wasn't considered a complete enough player to be an everyday starter, he established his credentials as a pinch hitter by homering in his first career at bat on June 19, 1963. He took Boston's Bob Heffner deep in the fifth inning while batting for pitcher Don Mossi.

-Brown started 101 games in left field in 1964, by far his highest total in any season. He hit .272 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI, and even stole 11 bases.

-He excelled in emergency duty in 1968, hitting .370 (34-for-92) with 15 extra-base hits, a .442 on-base percentage, and a .685 slugging percentage. In 48 pinch-hit appearances, he was 18-for-40 (.450) with 5 doubles, a triple, 3 home runs, 7 RBI, and 8 walks (.542 OBP, .850 SLG!). This was the third-best single-season average for a pinch hitter (35+ AB), and he played a significant role in Detroit's championship season.

-The most memorable anecdote of Gates' career came from a 1968 game. He wasn't in the starting lineup, so he slipped away to the clubhouse and returned with a couple of hot dogs covered in condiments. Before he could tuck in, manager Mayo Smith ordered him to pinch hit. Having no time to destroy the evidence, Brown stuffed the hot dogs into his jersey and went to bat hoping for once that he wouldn't get a hit. Sure enough, he found a gap between two outfielders and had to dive headfirst into second base to beat the throw. Supposedly he stood up with telltale ketchup and mustard stains - as well as bits of frank and bun - all over his uniform. The opposing fielders doubled over with laughter, and Smith fined his player $100.

-In a standout 1971 season, the pinch hitter and left fielder batted .338 (66-for-195) with 11 home runs and 29 RBI. He started 55 games and subbed in 31 times.

-Gates played in Detroit for all 13 of his big league seasons, retiring in 1975 with a .257 average, 84 home runs, and 322 RBI. His 16 pinch-hit home runs and 107 base hits as a pinch hitter are both American League records.

-Of his 16 pinch homers, 3 were walkoff shots. His solo shot off of Boston's Lee Stange ended a 14-inning affair on August 11, 1968.

-Brown served as the Tigers' hitting coach from 1978 through the championship season of 1984. In 1989, he managed the Orlando Juice of the Senior Professional Baseball League. For several years, he has been a coach at the Tiger Fantasy Camp in Lakeland, FL.
#19 Gates Brown (back)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

#17 Johnny Romano

#17 Johnny Romano
Here's Johnny! Romano, that is, the catcher with a lounge singer name. This card introduces a batch of '65s from partner in crime Ed. I would recommend trading with Ed if you get the chance; his want list is up at OBC.

Fun facts about Johnny Romano:

-Johnny was born in Hoboken, NJ. He signed with the White Sox in 1954.

-After clouting 98 home runs in three-plus minor league seasons, he debuted with Chicago in September 1958 at age 24.

-Despite posting an .875 OPS in 53 games as a rookie, Romano was dealt to the Indians in December 1959 as part of a seven-player deal in which the White Sox reacquired 34-year-old Minnie Minoso. The South Siders also gave up a young Norm Cash in the short-sighted deal.

-Tabbed as the primary catcher in Cleveland, he hit .272 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI in 1960.

-1961 was Johnny's breakout year, with 21 home runs and 80 RBI, as well as career highs in doubles (29) and AVG/OBP/SLG (.299/.377/.483). He was an All-Star for the first time.

-He repeated as an All-Star in 1962, and led the Tribe with personal bests of 25 homers and 81 RBI.

-His only two walkoff home runs came in the same week. A two-out, two-run shot off of Kansas City's Diego Segui on May 16, 1962 erased a 9-8 deficit in the ninth inning. Five days later, he again stepped to the plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth. This time, his three-run shot against Baltimore's Billy Hoeft broke a 7-7 tie.

-A broken finger incurred in a home-plate collision cut into his production and playing time in 1963, but he rebounded to have three more effective years as a regular with the Indians and the White Sox. Chicago reacquired him in 1965, and this time Cleveland paid a great price. Romano, Tommie Agee, and Tommy John all went from the Indians to the ChiSox in a three-team deal that saw Rocky Colavito jump from the A's to the Indians.

-He hit two home runs in the same game nine different times over the course of his career.

-He retired after hitting an anemic .121 in 25 games as Tim McCarver's backup with the 1967 Cardinals. In parts of 10 seasons, Johnny hit .255 with a .354 on base percentage, 129 home runs, and 417 RBI.
#17 Johnny Romano (back)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

#27 Dick Bertell

#27 Dick Bertell
Just to clarify, this is catcher Dick Bertell, not 1930s and 1940s shortstop Dick Bartell, a.k.a. "Rowdy Richard". In fact, this Dick looks quite pleasant and unassuming.

Fun facts about Dick Bertell:

-A native of Oak Park, IL, Dick attended Iowa State University before signing with the Cubs in 1957.

-In his fourth pro season, he received a September callup to Chicago. He debuted on September 22, 1960, driving in a run on a sacrifice fly in his first trip to the plate.

-In 1961, he split catching duties with Sammy Taylor and hit .273 with 33 RBI in 92 games. He also threw out 43.5% of attempted base stealers.

-On August 26, 1961, he led off the ninth inning with a game-tying home run against Pittsburgh fireman Roy Face, sparking a five-run rally that ensured a 7-3 Cubs road win.

-Dick batted a career-high .302 in 1962 while sharing the load behind the plate with Cuno Barragan and Moe Thacker (yes, I just wanted an excuse to drop the names of Cuno Barragan and Moe Thacker).

-He led the National League with a 60.8% caught stealing percentage in 1963, gunning down 45 of 74 would-be thieves!

-Bertell was traded to the Giants during the 1965 season and played sparingly behind starting catcher Tom Haller. He spent all of 1966 at AAA Phoenix.

-He was traded back to the Cubs in April 1967, but played in only two games before returning to the minors. Chicago released him a month later, ending his playing career.

-In parts of 7 seasons, Dick batted .250 with 10 home runs and 112 RBI. He had a 47.6% caught stealing rate for his career.

-He passed away at age 64 in 1999.
#27 Dick Bertell (back)

Monday, April 04, 2011

#26 Bobby Knoop

#26 Bobby Knoop
Here are the fruits of a short and sweet trade with MattR of A Giant Blog and Project Baseball 1976. He sent me Bobby Knoop and #27 Dick Bertell (to be posted tomorrow) as well as a couple of 1967 Topps Orioles that I needed. In return, I cobbled together some various and sundry Giants cards from his want list. Thanks Matt!

I always thought that Bobby Knoop's name was pretty odd. I assumed it was pronounced "Nupe" (rhymes with loop) on account of the double-o. But analysts and announcers seem to pronounce it "Nopp" (rhymes with cop). Oh well.

Fun facts about Bobby Knoop:

-Bobby was born in Sioux City, IA but attended high school in Montebello, CA before signing with the Braves in 1956.

-He was stuck in the minors for eight years before the Angels claimed him in the Rule 5 draft, ensuring him a spot on the major league roster in 1964. Though he batted just .216 with a .289 on-base percentage, 7 home runs, and 38 RBI, he saw action in all 162 games as a 25-year-old rookie.

-Knoop achieved personal bests in 1965 with a .269 average and 24 doubles.

-His most productive season was 1966, when he socked 17 home runs, drove in a team-high 72 runs, and led the American League with 11 triples. He was named to his only All-Star team.

-Bobby was a gifted defensive second baseman, nicknamed "Nureyev" by sportswriters who compared his dexterity and grace to the Russian ballet dancer. He partnered with shortstop Jim Fregosi to give the Angels a successful double-play combo and won three straight Gold Gloves (1966-1968).

-He was traded to the White Sox in May 1969 when his offense began to slip. However, he remained a top defender during his two seasons in Chicago.

-Though he hit just seven home runs in 1969, two came in a May 30 loss to the Senators.

-Knoop finished his career with the Royals, where he backed up Cookie Rojas in 1971-1972. In parts of 9 big league seasons he batted .236 with 56 home runs and 331 RBI.

-Loved to face: Camilo Pascual (.415/.442/.683 in 43 plate appearances). Hated to face: Steve Barber (.065/.137/.065 in 51 PA).

-He spent nearly a quarter-century coaching for the White Sox, Angels, and Blue Jays. Today he is an assistant coach at Seton Catholic High in Arizona.
#26 Bobby Knoop (back)

Friday, April 01, 2011

#508 Checklist 7th Series

#508 Checklist 7th Series
So we end another shipment from Max with...a checklist? Seems like an anti-climax. Oh well, I appreciate the breather, anyway. Thanks Max!

This checklist corresponds to the 7th and final series of 1965 Topps. It encompasses cards #507-598, meaning that there's no hundred-level hero number. #550 goes to young Yankee star Mel Stottlemyre. The other big names here are Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, and Boog Powell (said the biased Orioles fan). Not quite as star-heavy as the other series...Topps seems to have front-loaded the set. Of course, if we check the cards that are simply labeled as "Rookies" we'll find a few more familiar faces: Catfish Hunter, Tug McGraw, and Tony Perez are lurking there. Believe it or don't, I have 84 of the 92 cards featured on this checklist! That's 91.3%, slightly less than my overall set completion of 95.3%. It won't be long now!

#508 Checklist 7th Series (back)