Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#665 Chris Short

The once great mainstay of the Phillies staff during the 1960’s…somewhat flaky and quirky…but this can be overlooked as he won 20, 19, 18, and 17 games in separate seasons in city of Brotherly Love…two time all star....interspersed however were campaigns shortened by injury or double digit losses…saw it all with the Phils, starting in lowly years of 1960 and 61 to their ascendency peaking at the pinnacle 92-60 mark of in the heartbreaking year of 1964…that year Short and fellow ace Jim Bunning were over stretched with starting assignments in the last 12 games…Phils lost out on the World Series birth which wouldn’t occur until 16 years later…After missing nearly the whole of 1969, Chris was never the same winning 16 and losing 30 in 1970 and 71…Phillies fortunes went south as well with four consecutive losing seasons…The 1972 card represented the end of the line…Used sparingly in 1972 (23 innings 1-1 record), Chris later surfaced with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1973…won three games and lost five and released thereafter…died in 1991 after a brain aneurism.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

#666 Hector Torres

Just like Ray Newman, identified Cub who did not play anymore with them…at this time a journeyman infielder who mostly rode the bench when not sent to the minors…Could not hit major league pitching to justify a regular gig…Come to think of it couldn’t manage minor league pitching either as evidenced by .225 career mark…Big opportunity came with Houston in 1968 as the Astro had to switch-a-ro positions because of a season ending injury to Joe Morgan …played in 128 games, got 441 at bats, but hit a unsubstantial .223… never had another chance for that much playing time… spent next two seasons shuttling between the Stro’s bench and AAA Oklahoma City…acquired by the Cubs for 1971…stayed with the Cubbies all season but was utilized even less, making 58 at bats, 7 less than when he was with the Astros in 1970…1972:  Surfaced with the Expos in the Hal Breeden deal…insignificant production as evidenced by a .155 BA…1973: back to Houston and an .091 mark (hard to believe BA almost dropped by one half from his Expo time…Mercy rule was declared for 1974 and Hector played the San Diego “we’ll resurrect anyone’s career” system…Had 7 Hrs, 47 RBIs, .259 for AAA Hawaii representing his best pro hitting figures in 9 years…Took the momentum to big club in 1975 and responded with his best MLB season, continuing to hit .259 as the Padres finally escaped the NL West basement…couldn’t repeat his modest feat in 1976 as Hector hit under .200…Included in various trades and surfaced with the expansion  Blue Jays in 1977…results were fair but Jays suffered greatly from expansion’s birthing pains…spent a brief AAA stint in 1978 before giving up playing…has managed and coached in minor since then...Finished with .216 MLB career average.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

#667 Ray Newman

Short lived time in the majors…3-3 record over 63 innings with Cubs and Brewers…played above expectations for a marginal journeyman with a 2.97 ERA…Started in Detroit organization prior to the 1964 season…transfer to the Cubs chain for 1965…Slowly worked his way up the organization…Typical of players at the time, Ray had a two year absence presumably a stint in the military in 1967 and 68…Returned to playing in 1969 with San Antonio…Gained more effectiveness in 1970 jumping from Texas league to AAA Tacoma…Fast start in 1971 prompted a call to Wrigleyville…had a 3.52 ERA with 2 saves…best game was 5 innings of no hit ball against Expos…Went to Milwaukee for 1972 but spent majority of season in Evansville…1973 followed up with a 2-1 record, his last in the majors…traded to Detroit but stayed in Evansville for the next two seasons.


Monday, September 22, 2014

#668 Rangers Team Card

An unusual circumstance…only team card that actually moved to another city…so on closer viewing the uniform says Senators…The name was old but the franchise was new playing only 12 season in DC as an 1961 AL expansion team…The establishment of the team was in response to the original Senator's franchise’s move to Minnesota…Baseball feared antitrust action from the US legislature…Must of been quite the identity crisis....the Senators were the lesser team compared to its expansion brother the LA Angels…First year lost 100 games and was last in attendance…Senators’ woes continue with three more seasons of 100+ losses…1965 team escapes the 100 loss mark but remain near the bottom of the standings…futility continues until 1969 when the achives a 86-76 mark, the only winning season in the nation’s capital…with the Oriole’s dominance the strong still only resulted in 4th place and 23 games out of first…a significant decline occurred in 1970 with 92 losses + last place finish…more losses in 1971 as owner Bob Short made the move to the greener pastures of Texas…Total Senator record 740-1032….Texas since then has made two world series but has loss both…THE RECORDS:  HITTING almost all marks list has been eclipsed many times over…Chuck Hinton triples mark is now second best all time…Frank Howard’s 48 HR is now third..PITCHING:  one record still remains but it is not a good one…Denny McClain still holds the losses mark with 22...Interesting note:  Baseball reference recognizes  Darrell Knowles’ 1969 record of 9-3 as the best win pct, Topps does not, showing Dick Bosman’s 14-5 mark which is 9th best…Franchise W-L record in Texas and Washington are decidedly both under .500.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

#669 Willie Crawford

A debate; underrated outfielder or a disappointment…maybe some both however still played 14 years with a couple solid but unspectacular seasons…great speed but didn’t steal a lot of bases and struggled to gain regular status…1964: broke in with the Dodger at an incredibly young age; 18 years and one month…for the next four year alternated cups of coffee while climbing up the Dodger chain…Despite appearing in only 52 regular season games most as a defensive outfielder, Willie was on the 1965 WS series roster…got a hit in two at bats…Started to stay with the regular club in next three years…results were OK but nothing special…First move towards a toward regular work was 1971 were he hit .281…after a return to the mediocre in1972 he was able to hit .295 for 1973 and 74 and gathering 14 and 11 Hrs respectively….Dodger abandoned the can’t miss project and the traded to Cardinals for 1976 …responded by career best .304 in 120 games…despite the good numbers, acquired by Houston where he did not meet expectations…traded to the horrific, post free agency Oakland A’s mid season…was not able to hit his weight…granted free agency and tried to latch on with LA for 1978 but could not make the spring training cut…Died in 2004 in Los Angeles.


Monday, September 15, 2014

#670 Ken Holtzman

Winningest Jewish pitcher of all time beating Sandy Koufax by nine games…Like Sandy also was known for multiple no hitters (2 in Ken’s case)…selected by the Cubs in the first 1965 draft…had a quick ascendency to majors debuting that same year…Became a regular starter for 1966…had a losing 11-16 record but his win pct, was better than the club’s record…next year was unbeatable with a 9-0 record in 12 starts, missing most of the mid season…comes into own in 1969-70 victorious in 17 games each season even more impressive that many starts were only on weekends…1971 was a huge let down, triumphant in only 9 games but gets second no hitter…Trade to Oakland results in his golden age resulting in  77 wins over 4 seasons…won 21 games in 1973...got  3 world series rings in that time span…Did well in post season....In 1976 he involved in two blockbuster swaps, A’s to Orioles, Orioles to Yankees…Demoted to 4th-5th starter in NY and did not appear in the post season…used sparingly from then on..Returns to Cubs for 1978-79 going 6-12 to finish MLB career…Has coached in Israel...Ferris Buehler look-a-like.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

#671 Don Clendenon

Renascence man…So well known as the 1969 WS hero and MVP but he was much more…almost Forrest Gumpian…born in Atlanta to well educated middle class family…Father had two PhDs but died when he was a baby…Stepfather was Negro League veteran so he had expert coaching and exposure to all legendary players of the day…went to Morehouse College where he had a big brother connection to Dr. Martin Luther King…worked his way through the Pirates chain breaking in mid way 1962…became known as a home run hitter but never established huge numbers… had an off field incident in Houston in 1965 which laid the groundwork for future events…however he maintained a strong .291 batting average for his first five years as fixture in the Bucs line up…had off years in 1967 and 68 with BA dropping by almost 40 points…left out for the expansion draft and selected by Montreal for 1969…then things start to happen…Montreal enticed by prospect of Rusty Staub, trade Don to the Astros…Don, based on past and present refuses the assignment and stays with Montreal…with relatively slow start, Don is traded to Mets…platoons 1st base with Ed Kranepool…misses the NLCS playoff but came back with vengeance in the WS hitting 3 crucial home runs and taking MVP honors…Took over as a regular next year when Kranepool faltered badly…1970:  last good season with 22 hrs, 97 RBIs…1971:  Lost playing time with most offensive numbers cut in half…dealt to St. Louis for 1972 as part of a veteran’s movement, poor start doomed fate and was cut mid season…After baseball became a lawyer…died in 2005.

*Special note:  I did not skip #672 Archie Reynolds.  He's there but does not show on the links in other sites (Dave Marshall still shows up).  Not sure how to correct.  If anyone wants to see it here is the link
Poor Archie, one final indignity of an 0-8 career.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#672 Archie Reynolds

Big League side burns, but that’s about it…Eight career decisions, eight career losses, no wins…a predecessor to Terry Felton's all time 0-16 career record… started career as a Cubbie…five year player, only in big clubs for  very short spurts losing at least one game in every one of his seasons…last major league player with the name Archie…had good seasons in the AAA minor leagues but did not translate to major league success…was member of the 1970 Hawaiian Islander team which is considered one of the best AAA squads ever…followed up with 13-7 season in Salt Lake City, an Angel farm club at the time…Last big league club was Milwaukee in 1972…spent most of year in AAA Evansville…returned to the Triplets for the next season but loss effectiveness did him in…hung up spikes in 1974 in a short comeback with Hawaii.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

#673 Dave Marshall

Career long, a reserve outfielder…handsome chap…but otherwise non exemplary career…Was named to Topps 1969 all rookie team…and 1969 card showed the trophy…started in Angels farm system when they were the Los Angeles Angels, not California…Debuted with San Francisco…Two seasons later shipped to NY Mets where his numbers increased…hit well against his old teammates with .344 mark…Traded to San Diego where he started the 1973 season as a pinch hitter…Had 49 at bats hitting a fair .286 with a seven game hitting streak…got a hit in his last major league at bat…hit best when playing rightfield.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#674 John Kennedy

Coincidence in thy name…Born on May 29th, 1941 on his more famous namesake  24th birthday…Both were fixtures of Washington DC in1962-3…to add to the identity sharing, the baseball John got personal mail forwarded from the White House as a case of mistaken addresses…A career reserve infielder mostly playing 3rd base…Only season as a regular was 1964 and had his best cumulative batting marks…Was traded to LA for the next season and was a bust….mostly relegated to the bench John hit .171 in 1965 then slightly improving to .201 in 1966…Traded in the off season to Yankees while the Dodgers were going to try fill the 3rd base abyss with others…Yankees had no better fortune with Mr. Kennedy hitting a paltry .191…After a year in the minors, Kennedy is sold to Seattle Pilots…exploits are written in Ball Four (he was not amused)....tags along east to become a Brewer…Despite s a decent start sent to the minor for 6 weeks…Resurfaces to the major league with the Red Sox…A custom fit for the rouge hose given his Irish name and red hair…logged in a .245 avg. in 785 AB’s over 4 years…1971 represented a career batting high water mark at .274 and slugging...done playing in 1974 after short stints with Sox then AAA Pawtucket. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

#675 Pat Jarvis

A starter whose status as a 1st  to 4th starter in Atlanta Braves’ staff depended on the fortunes of Phil Niekro, Ron Reed, or George Stone…started in Cubs and Tiger’s farm system…traded to Milwaukee Braves organization…star rose in 1966 in the wake of Atlanta exodus from Milwaukee…impressive late season debut with a 6-2 record and 2.61 ERA in 62 innings…won as many games as a call up as he did in the minors.. Followed up nicely with a 15-10 season in 1967…could have a strong contention for ROY but exceeded rookie criteria in 1966…Maintained high marks with a 16-12 mark in 1968 season possibly his career best…wins tied for 8th best with good company: Seaver, Gaylord Perry, and Bill Hands ….faltered slightly in 1969 given a 13-11 season but ERA almost ballooned by 2 runs a game…started the 3rd game in first ever NLCS but was hit hard…bounced back in 1970 leading the Braves in wins with 16 but the team fell 10 games below .500…next two seasons performance lagged with a combined 17-21 mark and identical 4.10 ERAs…Traded to Montreal for 1973 for Curt Morton…Trade was a plus for the Braves for Morton produced 3 strong years…Pat, plagued by arm trouble, finished with 2-1 record to finish an 85 win career.