Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#638 Ken Wright

A marginal pitcher who never established himself as a starter or reliever…alternated years as a reliever then as a reliever/starter…five year player who spent most of his time, four seasons, in KC…started in Red Sox organization a year before the amateur draft…came to KC in rule 5 draft …last professional season he started with the Yankees along with Lou Pinella in trade for Lindsay McDaniel…had a month stint in NYC then traded …Played the last part of 1974 at AAA Sacremento in a converted football stadium resulting in all offense scenario…had 10.05 ERA on team with a 6.70 ERA… finished mlb career with  11-15 W-L record and a 4.53 ERA

Saturday, December 27, 2014

#639 J. C. Martin

Long time Chicago crosstown reserve catcher now in backstop by committee that was the northside in 1971…Career is more defined by a would be WS sacrifice bunt as a New York Met, instrumental in winning game 4…the throw to first by Pete Richert hit Martin in the back and the ball ambled away allowing Rod Gaspar to score the winning run…never was an offensive weapon…a career .222 batting and career highs in home runs and RBIs were 5 and 31 respectively…Started in 1959 with White Sox…Platooned with other catchers of the time on the Southside...From the Mets he was traded to Cubs for Randy Bobb in a catcher for catcher transaction…1970 used very little as backup to Randy Hundley and then Jack Hiatt after Hundley went on the DL…Garnered more playing in 1971 as Hundley continues to be out…One of six catchers on the club…that year hit .264 which was best among backstops with more than 20 at bats…ended career in 1972 with a .240 mark.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

#640 Joe Coleman

Second generation of a three generation baseball family…started in the Senator organization and lost far more games than he won…Nevertheless impressive in two and one game call ups in sucessive years…Became a Nat regular in 1967 with a 8-9 record…He was involved in more decisions but lost more than he won… 12-17in 1968…12-13 in1969...Career appeared to be sinking by going 8-12…traded to Tigers in a transaction that would have profound impact on both teams…Blossomed under Billy Martin as was not the case with Ted Williams…won 63 games over three season in Tigertown…Got a all star nod in 1972…Won 23 games in 1973…then won 24 games in next two years but lost effectiveness each year…ERA ballooned to 5.55 in 1975…stayed in Detroit for 1976 but not improve stats…Shipped mid season to Cubs who turned him to a reliever…Became a journeyman spot starter/reliever for the next two seasons for four team…workload becoming increasingly sporadic, …as a batter hit .102 in regular season but went 1-2 in only post season at bats.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#641 Mike Lum

full name: Michael Ken-Wai Lum…significant player: the first American of Japanese Ancestry to reach majors…followed by Bob Fenwick…Mostly a reserve but was able to appear in more than a 100 games a year in 9 of his 15 seasons…far and away best season was 1973 he put up 16 home runs, 82 RBIs, and .294 average…current holds Hawaiian record for games played… no longer hold the Hawaiian record for home runs but is second for now…records will most eclipsed in the next few years…Adopted as a baby by Chinese couple…was Braves mainstay appearing in their uniform for 12 seasons…Took a three year detour with the Reds and finished his MLB career with Cubs...A baseball lifer and he continues to coach.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#642 Dennis Riddleberger

Participated of the last official completed game at RFK stadium for over 30 years…short career but had adequate numbers for Senators and then Indians 1970-1972…worked middle to late relief, never starting a game…finished 33 games but saved only one…1971 went 3-1 for Senators, 1972 had an inverse 1-3 record for the Indians…Career line 4-4 W-L and niffy 2.77 ERA…a brief stint at AAA Oklahoma City in 1973 indicates he probably suffered arm problems….drafted and started in Pittsburgh organization…trade to Senators provided him with first MLB time in Sept 1970.

Monday, December 15, 2014

#643 Russ Gibson

Boston local (Fall River, MA), minor league veteran makes Red Sox…debuted at age 27…was back up or platoon catcher for majority of career…rookie season was 1967 just in time for the Red Sox’s ascendency to the WS…had the dubious distinction of being the best hitting catcher on the squad with a .203 average…Red Sox won anyway despite the offensive abyss that was the catcher position…stuck around Boston for next two seasons…high water mark was 1969 when he hit .251 in 287 Abs…sent to Giants for cash…Achieved 2nd catcher status but was buried behind Dick Dietz career year…1971 lost more playing to Dietz and rookie Fran Healy…had minimal work in 1972 splitting time between AAA Phoenix and Giants…Passed away in 2008

Friday, December 12, 2014

#644 Bernie Allen

exceptionally good college football player…a second baseman by trade…signed by the Twins out of Purdue University…First pro season hit .246 in AA…Twins took a chance for the 1962 season…responded with a solid .269 and showed some pop with 14 home runs…second in ROY voting…turned out to a career season…production declined in subsequent year…spent most of 1965 in AAA Denver missing out on the Twins World Series run…returned to big club for 1966 as a part timer…Traded to Senators for 1967 so the Twins could make room for up and coming Rod Carew…debut year was unsuccessful hitting .193…Nats stayed with Bernie and he was able to upgrade to a .241 average over next three seasons and mostly being the regular starter…1971 brought a split of work @ 2nd or 3rd base sharing time with a multitude of others…hit .266 in his final year with the franchise…Traded to Yankees for 1972…had his second best slugging years but poor on base pct resulted in loss of playing time…production diminished further in 1973 splitting time with NYY and Montreal Expos…released at the end of the season...despite sentence in back of card never did manage a team at any level.


Monday, December 8, 2014

#645 Jim Maloney

Nice run as Cinncy’s number one starter in the 1960s…pictured at the twilight of his career…in his prime a hard thrower nearly on the scale of Gibson, Veale, Koufax…also wild being in the top 10 of walks most years running and first in wild pitches twice…author of two no hitters…first in 1965 with a ten inning outing against the Cubs….then again in 1969 his last effective year…after three season of spot starting, Jim came into prominence in 1963 with a 23 win season…good follow up season with 15-10 record in 1965…repeated 20 game winner status in 1966 and had career best ERA…solid seasons followed with an excellent win loss record…early in 1970 season (and career) came to abrupt halt via Achilles Heal tear…injury occurred while legging out a hit to the shortstop…out for 5 months and had meek comeback attempt in September…a trade to the Angels brought some promise of the comeback but it was not to be…Picked by Cards for 1972 but wound up in AAA Phoenix…pitched reasonably well but was released early in the season…finished with 134 wins all with the Reds verse 81 losses. 


Friday, December 5, 2014

#646 Chico Salmon

Panamanian pinch hitter and jack of all trades…master of none, and sometimes detrimental when taking the field…eccentric and superstitious…shuffled through several farm systems before a nice debut in 1964 with Cleveland…hit .307 and had 17 doubles in a part time gig…never came close to matching that figure…Salmon did achieve “regular” status in 1966 getting in 126 games…results were OK but unremarkable…diminished playing time followed… Was put on the expansion block and picked by Seattle Pilots…Just prior to the initiation of play was traded to Orioles…played in a substitute role for rest of career…First season with hit .297 in 91 at bats…production generally declined thereafter…hit .179 in 1971....Last season was 1972, ending his career going 1 for 16...Got a hit in only World Series at bat; 1970.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

#647 Bob Moose

Like Clemente four year earlier a Pirate who died too young...on his 29th birthday October 9, 1976 from an auto accident…for five years a solid 3rd-4th starter for Pittsburgh Pirate…Became a Pirate regular in 1968….his record is unspectacular at 8-12 but a had career best ERA of 2.74 …Breakout season was 1969 when he achieved the highest NL win pct of .824 or 14-3….Also had a no hit game against eventual World champions NY Mets in the heat of the pennant race…Following 4 seasons, Bob’s win total ranged from 11 to 13 with 3 post season appearances…Career hit a wall in 1974 to go 1-5 with 7.57 ERA….Bob had difficulty coming back in 1975 splitting time between Pittsburgh and two month stint in AAA…Return to majors in September and gained some respectability two strong starts…Final season 1976 Bob turned regular closer and led the Bucs in saves.