Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#602 Dave Bristol

The first ever Milwaukee Brewer manager (excluding the 1900 Milwaukee Brewers) but not the franchise first manager….A career minor league player started as player coach….Moved up thru the Cincinnati chain getting the nod for the Reds in mid season 1966…Never had a losing season for the Reds with his stint ending in 1969….Never had a winning season afterwards….Did have strange situations…. hired by the Seattle Pilots prior to 1970 spring training….Played spring training as the Pilots but on route to the regular season  team trucks drivers got the word and turned east to Milwaukee….Record on the back of card tells the story....Dave would be fired 30 games into the 1972 season....Eventually traveled to the floundering Atlanta Braves and new owner Ted Turner…first year finished last with 92 loses….After a 8-21 start, Ted declared himself skipper and put Dave on assignment…Ted lost his one game and drew the ire of the Commissioner…Dave was reinstated and Braves were a marginally better…still lost 100 games….In 1979, was a late season replacement for San Francisco Giants…was retained for 1980 and dismissed after a 75-86 record.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

#603 Jim Ray

AKA Ray Gun….One of simplest names ever in baseball….Second “Jim Ray” in this blog the first being Jim Ray Hart.... This Jim Ray played primarily a middle reliever who able gain 43 wins versus 30 losses….when paired against the other Jim Ray, Mr Hart went 0-3 in six plate appearences but was able to drive in two runs…. far and away best season was 1971 when he went 10-4 and 2.12 ERA….downside of that all but 14 of his 47 appearance were in Astro losses....all other seasons were mixed…Even though ERA nearly doubled in 1972 had 8 saves....25 saves in 308 appearances….hard throwing was able to strike out 115 in 115 innings in 1969…finished with a short stint for the 1974 edition of the Detroit Tigers....strong career W-L record at 43-30.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#604 6th Series Checklist

it’s I checklist, I never used them, never cared for them...Enjoy...I will post Jim Ray on Saturday.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

#605 Nelson Briles

Solid Career and by all accounts a Renaissance man….Moonlighted as musician in off season…Could be over powering at times matching fellow teammate Bob Gibson….Broke  into MLB during 1965 season as mop up man…. Was hard luck spot starter/reliever pitcher in 1966 going 4-15…kept up the same role but turned his W-L around to 14-5 in 1967 and best NL win Pct.…A cog in the Cardinals 18 game improvement for 1967….was able to get a start, complete game, and win in first WS game vs Bosox….1968 was Briles’ best season falling a game short of 20 wins….His WS series starts were less than stellar however going 0-2…won 15 games in 1969….1970 hit a stumbling block and was a lost season where he could not get untracked…despite this backtrack, Briles was highly positive of a comeback…Just before 1971 was traded to Pittsburgh….In a spot starter role was able to sustain a moderate comeback…caped off season with his other WS win propelling the Bucs upset win of the MLB crown….became a fixture in the starting rotation winning 14 the following two years…A trade to KC was a letdown with a plus 4.00 ERA….had a moderate comeback with the 1976 Texas squad winning 11….Finished career with one season in Texas and then one in Baltimore....….sadly he died while playing in annual Pirates alumni golf tournament

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#606 Luis Melendez

Reserve Puerto Rican outfielder….Had trouble breaking into a starting position in the Cardinal outfield….Career started at same time as fellow Puerto Rican Jose Cruz….Cruz had a significantly more illustrious career….Had trouble with consistency and limited power….Needed 252 AB to get first home run…Finished with 9 home runs for a career….  Best season was with the 1973 Cardinals squad and had 341 at bats. 18 doubles, 2 HR, 35 RBI,  and .267 avg.....Traded to Padres mid 1976….gave the Padres 122 at bats and a .238 average....Drove in 122 run and finished with .248 career average, 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

#607 Frank Duffy

At the time, SF/Reds farmhand on the verge of 2503 Abs with tribe…his career is defined by the two significant trades he was involved in… First, the Frank was on the wrong end of a one to one trade for George Foster…Although it a few seasons to play out, Foster eventually  hit 244 home runs for Cincinnati and the only player in the 70’s to hit over 50 in a season…Frank had five singles for SF....After his microscopic return for the Giants, Duffy was included in Gaylord Perry/Sam McDowell trade…another loser for the Giants… after the trade Frank became the regular Indians shortstop…showed some power but overall a sub-par hitter hitting .233….drove in 145 of his career 240 career RBIs  in his prime years of 1973-1975…good fielder twice lead shortstop in fielding %....finished playing days with Boston….Career stretched from 1970 to 1979.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#608 Mike Corkins

Possibly his best game as a pro was overshadowed by a historic performance; Tom Seaver’s  19 strikeout performance on April 22, 1970….An original Padre drafted from Giants farm system in the 31st round....had less professional experience than most of his expansion peers and only saw some September action in 1969….started and ended 1970 with big club with a short stint in AAA sandwiched between…1971 saw more time in Hawaii AAA club with a September call up with no decisions….1972 and 1973 he was a regular serving as a spot starter and situational reliever for the Padres…In that time span played in 94 games, winning 11 and lost 17 ….Eventually lost playing time and was released in 1974....as the back of the card reads, a fair hitter for a pitcher, would hit 4 more in his next two years for SD.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

#609 Tom Grieve

A true Texas Ranger spending all but one year in last 48 with the franchise…. After playing days he intertwined with Rangers in various roles peaking by spending 10 years as the GM and last 21 years as their color analyst.... a first round pick by the Washington in 1966…6th pick overall….showed good power in AAA at the start of 1970.... a mid season call up resulted in a  short stint in 1970….like Mike Ferraro, or pitchers Paul Doyle or Dick Woodson, another ballplayer relegated exclusively to the minors in 1971…After making the 1st year edition of the Rangers stayed up in the show for 7 more season…Most seasons he was reserve but was able to find regular work around 1975-76….they were his most productive seasons hitting .276 in 1975 and hit 20 home runs, with 81 RBIs….numbers declined the following year and was traded to Mets and then the Cardinals in 1978 and 1979 respectively…Tried a short comeback with Texas’ AAA farm club 1979. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#610 Bill Stoneman

Let’s get out of the way….it’s really odd how things happen to some teams and not to others….Bill Stoneman making his 6th career start and playing for the infant Montreal Expos hurls a no hitter in the franchise’s 9th game….Fellow expansion team San Diego has yet to do it…Milwaukee Brewers have only done it once….Born near Chicago and worked his way up with brief stays in the Cubs farm system but not much of chance with the big club…An expansion draft pick….His first season was filled incredible ups and downs….Followed his no hitter with a shutout and had a total of 5 for 1969….led the Expos in both wins and losses…wildness seems to be the problem too for he led the NL in walks and Hit batsmen…1970 was an off year going 7-15 and overshadowed by the ROY Carl Morton…Came back strong with a 17 win season in 1971….still led NL in walks…1972 was in some ways improvement with his only all star appearance, his lowest ERA, and diminished walks but his 12-14 was rather ordinary…All star game was interesting in that he was one three s with a blown save opportunity….Bottom dropped out in 1973 with a doubled ERA…sold to Angel for 1974 fared no better going 1-8.