Sunday, April 04, 2010

#227 Bobby Klaus

#227 Bobby Klaus
So much for our respite from the hatless. I have several cards of Bobby's brother Billy, a former Oriole. Those suave good looks run in the family, let me tell you.

Fun facts about Bobby Klaus:

-A native of Spring Grove, IL, Bobby attended the University of Illinois before signing with Cincinnati in 1959.

-He finally reached the big leagues in his sixth pro season but struggled, managing just 17 hits in 93 at-bats with the Reds for a .183 average.

-The Mets purchased his contract in July 1964 and the second half of his rookie season was less rocky. Receiving more regular playing time all around the infield, he hit .244 in 56 games with New York to bring his cumulative average to .225.

-Bobby's saving grace as a hitter was his ability to draw a walk. In 1965, he walked almost as often as he struck out (45 BB/49 K) to eke out a .302 on-base percentage despite hitting only .191.

-His moment in the sun was a walk-off home run on April 15, 1965, as he took Claude Raymond deep in the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat the Astros 5-4.

-The following February, he was traded to the Phillies. He spent all of the next three seasons at AAA San Diego, where he had previously played in 1962-1963 (it was a Reds affiliate back then). Ironically, he was then drafted by the new National League franchise in...San Diego, but flipped to the Pirates months later. An unsuccessful 1969 season with Pittsburgh's AAA Columbus club spelled the end of his baseball career at age 31.

-In two seasons in the majors, Bobby hit .208 with a .297 on-base percentage, six home runs, and 29 RBI.

-He was beaten by the best: in 87 at-bats against future Hall of Famers, Bobby scraped out 14 hits (.161 AVG).

-As previously mentioned, his older brother was Billy Klaus, an infielder for the Braves, Red Sox, Orioles, Senators, and Phillies (1952-1963). He was the runner-up to Herb Score in Rookie of the Year balloting in 1955.
#227 Bobby Klaus (back)


  1. this card has always bugged me, couldn't they either crop it a little better so he doesn't look like he is still on the reds? or maybe even find a better picture? oh, wait, this is topps in the 1960's with no competition, they had no motivation to make good baseball cards... /rant

  2. Topps took another tack on some of the '66 Angels cards, when they were morphing from L.A. to "California" Angels. Instead of hatless, they took pix from the side so you get the hat but can't see the insignia. Jimmy Piersall and Albie Pearson are two of them.

  3. Max - See, but, it was good that Topps had that monopoly. Otherwise the kiddies would've been confused by all the different cards at the least that's what today's Topps executives and MLB properties flaks would have you choke down. Ugh.

    Doug - Then there's the up-the-nostrils angles in 1972 Topps.