Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#421 Twins Rookie Stars: Gary Dotter and Jay Ward

#421 Twins Rookie Stars: Gary Dotter and Jay Ward
MORE Twins rookies? What is this madness?

Fun facts about Gary Dotter:

-Gary was born in St. Louis, MO and signed with the hometown Cardinals in 1960. He was 17 at the time.

-After his first pro season, he was claimed by the Twins in the minor league draft.

-The youngster went 14-8 with a 3.08 ERA at Class B Wilson in 1961.

-Dotter got a September callup from the Twins and was the fourth-youngest player in the American League in 1961. He was hit hard (6 ER in 4 IP) in a mop-up relief appearance in his debut, but turned in a couple of scoreless innings in his second try.

-He returned to the minors for the next two years and had strong numbers at Class A Charlotte (9-13, 2.95 ERA) and AAA Dallas-Fort Worth (9-7, 3.58).

-In another cup of coffee with Minnesota in September 1963, he added two more scoreless innings of relief to his resume.

-The Twins summoned him for the third and final time in September 1964, and he appeared in three more games, allowing a single run in four and one-third innings pitched.

-In parts of three big league seasons he did not factor in any decisions. His lifetime ERA was 5.11 in 12.1 total innings, and he walked 7 batters and struck out 10.

-Gary continued to pitch in the minors through 1967, finishing with a 55-40 record and a 3.33 ERA in parts of seven seasons.

Fun facts about Jay Ward:

-A native of Brookfield, MO, Jay signed with the Yankees at age 17 in 1956.

-Much like Dotter, Ward changed teams via the first-year minor league draft, going from the Yankee organization to the Athletics.

-After jumping from Class C to AA in 1959, he showed decent power; in three different seasons he achieved a personal best of 22 home runs. However, he did not hit for high averages and didn't walk frequently in most years.

-He continued moving, via a 1961 trade to the Dodgers and another swap in 1962 to the Twins.

-Minnesota promoted Jay to the majors in May 1963. He was apparently overmatched, as a two-run double on May 10 was his only hit in 15 at-bats that year.

-He performed a bit better in a September 1964 trial, batting .226 (7-for-31) with a .351 on-base percentage. But most of that production came in his first two games, when he reached base six times in eight trips to the plate against the Orioles.

-Ward spent the 1966 season in Japan playing for the Chunichi Dragons.

-He returned to the U.S. in 1967 and played out the string with a five-year tour of AAA ballparks. In parts of 15 minor league seasons he batted .259 with 241 home runs and 741 RBI.

-Jay did have a final glimpse of the bigs in May 1970, when he appeared in six games and went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks for the Reds.

-In parts of three big league seasons he batted .163 with a .293 on-base percentage and 4 RBI.
#421 Twins Rookie Stars: Gary Dotter and Jay Ward (back)


  1. I have to admit I'm not familiar with the last two cards/players. I grew up in Minnesota and live in Milwaukee and read anything I can get my hands on about the Twins and Milwaukee Braves history.

    I remember Gary Kolb's cousin Danny better for his time with the Brewers.

  2. It's nice that these two guys got big league cards considering that their major league careers were so brief. I always wonder if players like this are bitter that they didn't get more of an opportunity or just glad that they can say they played in the majors.

  3. Anon - I had no knowledge of these guys either. Of course, they had very short careers.

    Marc - I'm sure it varies from player to player. It's even more interesting to consider those rare players who are called up to the majors but don't play in any games. Cory Morris was one such guy; I wrote about him on my Orioles blog.