Monday, March 02, 2009

#562 Billy Moran

MORAN.jpg #562 Billy Moran picture by brotz13
If you were to glance at this card, you might confuse it with Dick Howser's card, which I posted two months ago. Same team, same pose, same venue (Yankee Stadium), although Howser was a little closer to third base and zoomed out a bit. Plus, Billy Moran is grimacing into the lens of the camera, whereas his teammate was glancing off to the left.

Fun facts about Billy Moran:

-Signed with the Indians as an 18-year-old in 1952.

-After hitting .277 and .285 in his first two pro seasons, time in the military and subsequent offensive struggles stalled his ascent.

-Spent all of his rookie 1958 campaign with Cleveland, but was not able to earn a regular job with an anemic .226/.262/.280 AVG/OBP/SLG.

-Picked up by the expansion Angels in June 1961; hit .260 in 54 games that year.

-Finally became an everyday second baseman with Los Angeles in 1962, and was an All-Star to boot! Hit .282 with 90 runs, 17 home runs and 74 RBI, and led the league in assists and total chances per game at his position.

-His two-run, twelfth-inning home run gave the Angels an Opening Day win over Kansas City on April 19, 1962.

-Again led A.L. second basemen in assists and total chances per game (and putouts to boot) in 1963, and hit a career-high 29 doubles.

-Battered former Yankee pitcher Ralph Terry for 19 hits in 41 at-bats (.463), including three doubles and two home runs.

-In the midst of a drop in production the following season, Billy was traded back to Cleveland and finished the season with only one home run and 21 RBI. His career ended after two dozen at bats in 1965, and his career batting average was .263.

-He currently lives in Charlotte County, FL.
MORANB.jpg #562 Billy Moran (back) picture by brotz13

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