Monday, February 29, 2016

#503 Gary Peters


1963 After 4 seasons of White Sox call ups of no significance, Peter’s MLB career is on line....consider a run of the mill with inconsistent velocity.... relegated to middle relief essentially the kiss of death at the time, fills as a emergency starter and throws hard and gets the win.....fast forward puts it all together with 19 wins....Absconded with ROY and ERA honors....Wins 20 in his follow up season....subsequent campaigns not as productive in the win column but was able to take ERA crown again and lead the AL in several pitching categories  in 1966....1967 brought him 16 wins and All Star status...had lost year in 1968 going 4-13 as White Sox fortune fell with him....returned to double digits wins in 1969 but his ERA ballooned to 4.53 worst of his career.....trade to the offensive minded Red Sox buoyed his win loss record for 3 years....lost starter spot 1972 and summarily used a mop up situations in his last season.....as a Bostonian won 33 games with 25 losses ; 4.23 ERA....Another case of excellent hitter for a pitcher with a .222 average.....sometimes pinch hit, one time batted 7th in the lineup.

Friday, February 26, 2016

#504 Ed Spiezio

third baseman...beneficiary of expansion for a few years anyway.... from Joilet Illinois, Ed climbed up the Cardinal chain....assets were quick hands, positive attitude, strong work ethic, and some pop in his bat....got a call up from 1964.... Able to get a share of WS money that year...but never really caught on; the opportunity to replace an aging Ken Boyer was given to converted outfielder Mike Shannon...mostly rode the bench in 1967-68.....trade to expansion Padres gave him playing time...As a Padre hit .235 with 13 home runs first year out....On opening night had the first Padre hit and run with a solo home run....had his career year in 1970 hitting a healthy .285 and considerable improvement at OPS and slugging....regressed in 1971 between injuries and conflicts with the front office resulted in drop in power, playing time, and BA...woes continued into 1972 and was traded to White Sox to replace an injured Bill Melton...hit .238 which turned out be his career average....released in the post season....Son Scott exceeded his father baseball exploits,  playing for 12 years and on two World Series championship teams.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#505 Mike Marshall

An odyssey of a baseball journey wrapped in controversy...high highs, low lows....aloof...don’t ask him for an autograph, once  a friend called him the most difficult signature in the baseball...to others incredibly intelligent and revolutionary pitching philosophy....Start at the beginning, another mid 60’s product of the pitching rich Tigers....Did excellent work for Tigers in rookie season 1967....despite this was sent to minors for 1968...offered up in expansion draft and taken by Seattle....unwisely used as a starter going 3-10....In 1970 plays on 4 teams...Astros and OKC farm club,  traded to Expos for Don Bosch (steal) and works for Expos and their AAA club....pitches well enough for a second season responded with 23 saves and  the primary closer role...For next 3 years embarks on bullpen dominance...14 wins and 1.78 ERA 1972...another 14 wins and 31 saves and #2 in Cy Young voting in 1973...1974 trade to Dodgers enhanced career further by setting an appearance mark of 106 game which still stands and claiming the Cy Young...1975 was far less noteworthy and marked two lost years....Took to free agency and signed Twin 1978 who desperately need bullpen help ....revitalized and reestablished himself as a top reliever for 1978-79.....Most impressive was finishing 84 games in 1979 another MLB mark that stands....Finished up in 1981 with Mets, same year as  Mike Marshall the position player debuted.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

#506 Indians Rookie Stars

One player of note Dick Tidrow....briefly the two other guys....Terry Ley and James Moyer acquired from Yankees and Giants respectively...in 1972 both guys won 8 games for the Portland Beavers....Neither ever played for the big club....Best that can be said is Ley had a six game stint for the pinstripes in 1971....Moyer played in minors only....Dick Tidrow, on the other hand, in 1972 far exceeded expectations by soaring to #2 starter, garnering 14 wins and a 2.77 ERA....No love however from ROY voters with Carlton Fisk taking 100%....followed up with another 14 win season but lost some effectiveness....1975 took an early season jaunt to the Yankees, winning 11 in pinstripes....next three campaigns became what best can be described as a mixed relieving role some closing some middle inning work....1978 had short lived return to starter with so-so results....was still able to get work in three consecutive postseasons...bullpen misadventures in early 1979 turned the fireman into arsonist...traded and resurrected with the Cubs....started a nice string of 4 seasons leading the leading the NL in appearances 1980....getting work with 1983 White Sox allowed Dick to have one more playoff showing....wrapped things up in 1984 with 11 games for the Mets. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

#507 Fred Gladding


Tale of Two Cities....Two team bullpen specialist spending almost equal time between Detroit and then Houston....Started in Detroit 1961, traded to Astros 1968 and stayed until 1973... stingy situational pitcher for the Tigers with 2.70 ERA, .....didn't look good during first season in Texas was a bona fided flop with arm troubles and very little work....bounced back nicely,  a saves leader with Astros with 76 over 6 seasons.....29 of them came in 1969 when he led the NL in that category...the drawback of that and 1970 was an elevated ERA....was able to cut it nearly in half for 1971-72....wore glasses when he played...finished with winning record of 48-34....Was notoriously bad with a bat in hand....one hit in 63 At Bats.... that's a .016 BA.....no walks eithers...had 5 sacrifices and according to his 1973 card brought in the winning run...should have hung out with Terry Forester and Ken Brett...RIP 2015

Saturday, February 13, 2016

#508 Elrod Hendricks

Platooning backstop....most famous play in career was getting a favorable call on a play at the plate in 1970 World Series...The umpire was way out of position....Baltimore fixture having played for the team on three separate occasions....MLB debut in 1968....Best years were his early years 1969-1971.....Averages about 300 At Bats, 11 home runs and 40RBI in that time....not a star but good compliment to a powerful team....bottom drops out in 1972 couldn’t hit and took a mid season trip to the Cubs....Returned to Orioles for 1973....more a 3rd stringer than a platoon as before....struggled to hit above .200...second exile from Baltimore when he was included in 9 player trade with NYY....found little playing behind Thurmond Munson....Took free agency and returned to Orioles for a handful of games 1978-79....put up great offensive number in the Mexican league 1967 prior to major league experience.....Passed away 2005.




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#509 Don McMahon

The Giant’s  journeyman reliever who sometimes got better with age.... career high win total of 10 in 1971 working on  a trade spanning from 1957 to 1974...Man in the Lindy McDaniel mode....off setting his 1971 win total was his career second worst 4.03 ERA....Extremely well travel...Resume include his origin as a Milwaukee Brave....debuted  in 1957 with a strong 1.57 ERA....named to all star team in sophomore season but finished up with a rather pedestrian 3.68 ERA, a figure well above his career average....better season in 1959 when he lead NL in appearances and lowered ERA by a run per 9 inning game.....career had ups and downs eventually became a Colt .45, Cleveland Indian, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tiger before finishing up with SF....Don gave fair effort to all clubs with no ERA over 3.35 for any team....Post season includes WS appearances in 1957, 1958, and 1968 and a NLCS 1971.....Released by resigned by Giants twice after 1972.....Oldest player in baseball 1973-74.....Released for good in 1974.....Died young at age 57.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#510 Ted Williams


Possibly the greatest hitter ever but can he manage?....the answer, after first year success, not so much....Started managing 1969 cold having been away since his last playing season in 1960....1969 Senators surprised many with a huge improvement of 21 games...standing out were career seasons from Del Unser, Ed Brinkman, Ed Stoud, Dick Bosman along with a prime year from Frank Howard....however team stumbled in 1970 and a gap between Ted and the players developed....things got worse in 1971 with bad trades and questionable acquisitions....Joe Foy? Don Wert?... Curt Flood after sitting out 1970?....Denny McClain after being suspended most of 1970....Brutal 1971 season ending with 96 losses and the announcement of a move to Texas....Went west with team but it got worse....100 loses, team .217 BA...only bright spot was pitching improved slightly..... Ted had seen enough and bowed out of his 5th year of contract....was replaced by Whitey Herzog....As a player his stats are sometime to behold....fun facts are 145 RBI's rookie season....Historic .406 mark of 1941....2 MVPs....all star every year he played (other than 1952 when got 10 at bats before serving in Korea)....ending his career with a .316 BA and a home run in last at bat....plus the wonderment of what he would done had he 1.  entered the big leagues out of PCL San Diego;  2.  played the 3 years during World War 2;  3.  Got 900 more at bats in year 1952-53....A career average of .344....Wow.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

#511 Tony Taylor

Long time Philadelphia regular brought to Detroit to share duties with Dick McAuliffe...still had skills and speed….in the years 1955 to 1972 a consistent yet quiet performer, unknown to American League circles....Originally signed by the Cubs organization....After two seasons and some change, shipped to Philly....Regular for 12 seasons.... Photogenic with a winning smile....unfortunately this was with losing Phillie clubs...saw a 23 game losing streak and the 1964 collapse....by exiting the 1972 Phillies he left a possibly one of the worst teams ever save for Steve Carlton 27-10 record....Tiger trade brought him to an aging yet contending team....was able to get in post season for the only time 1972....Let go by Tigers after 1973 returned to Phillies for three more seasons.....Standout year was 1974 when he hit .321...Career .261 average in 7689 at bats,