Thursday, March 31, 2016

#487 Detroit Tigers Team Card

Name most associated with the Franchise; Ty Cobb....and then Hank Greenberg and Al Kaline....who between the two hold almost all the batting records on the back of the card.....only mark changed is Ian Kinsler taking the #1 spot for at bats in 2014.....Pitching records are more subjective:  BR gives John Hiller 1.44 ERA the team best mark although this was in a closer role. which covered only 125 innings.....Joe Coleman now has the highest number of walks...per usual games appeared  in record has been surpassed by multiple others....Other team marks abeit recent to 1972 still stand...McClain’s 31 wins....Lolich’s 308 strikeouts....Since 1972 Tigers have high highs and low lows....won World Series in 1984...two more World Series appearences...lost 100 games and over five times...only happened once before 1972.

Monday, March 28, 2016

#488 Mike Nagy

maybe, with considerably less fanfare, the Mark Fydrich of late 1960’s ...From Class A ball to a one season Red Sox wonder in his rookie year...12-2 record....AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year....stingy with home runs by keeping the the ball low....never achieved those heights again...Some elbow issues and the irregularity  of serving  in the military seemed throw off his pitching style and confidence....ERA ballooned in 1970 and even worst in 1971....pitched two innings for the Red Sox in 1972....Next three season played in Texas, St. Louis , and Houston’s farm systems,  getting isolated work for the for the last two big clubs ....did eventually play in Mexico but eventually retired  became a real estate agent....big guy at 6’3” from the Bronx...Hungarian heritage...also married a woman with same last name....has a SABR profile despite short career.

Friday, March 25, 2016

#489 Expos Rookie Stars

Two players of non distinction but some MLB niche...Terry Humphreys... drafted in Montreal first year and hit well in four tiers of minor league ball....  back up backstop for 8 .211 BA indicates hitting kept him from regular work....not uncommon story for 2nd or 3rd string catchers.... starting in 1971 took in parts of five seasons in Quebec....only when he escaped from the Expos did he hit above .200....Career Expo average was .185...BA of .244 was a major offensive upsurge with Detroit Tigers in 1975...wasn’t tested much with this figure coming out of 41 at Bats....kept the hitting streak going  (for Terry anyway) with .245 mark when he traveled to Angel svia Houston for 1976....achieved semi-regular status in 1977 but his already skimpy BA dropped nearly 20 points....became a 2nd stringer with the arrival of Brian Downing 1978 to the Big hit out of 17 At Bats  spelled the end his playing career in 1979....

Keith Lampard....In all estimation a AAA+ hitter....interesting in that he one of a very few MLB players born in the UK....MLB experience was over as of 1970....grew up in the Portland Or area...a fixture for several years at Houston’s Oklahoma City AAA affiliate....hit .337 there in 1971....Even after the 1972 Expos Rule 5 draft transaction...Returned to Astros just before season....Eventually went to St Louis and Philly systems for the last two years of his career.

Monday, March 21, 2016

#490 Dave McNally

Formidable opponent unless you are cheering for him....Original Ace of the juggernaught Orioles staff of four 20 games winners a feat that most likely will never be seen a again....One of the greatest athletes to come out Montana Big Sky Country....Sad childhood lost father in WW2 at age 3.....became a regular with the big club in 1963 mixed results at progress in next two seasons where he chips 11 then 13 wins in 1965 and 1966 respectively....won his first of 7 post season games in the 1966 WS....1967 was a lost year at 7-7.... found his grove in 1968 going 22-8 and sub 2.0 ERA....started a dominant phase...proceeded to 20, 24, and 21 games in the years 1969-1971....Finished 4th, 2nd, then 4th in AL Cy Young voting at the same time....had best AL win % nothing over powering just pitching guile and cunning and three season were solid but less spectacular than others winning an average of 15 games a season.....After 1974, wanted to be traded to rejuvenate his career.....however the end came quickly after he was traded to Montreal for the 1975 season...After a 3-0 start lost effectiveness....retired from game June 9th 1975.....Not interested in returning to the game but nevertheless was one of first players to be granted  free agency...sold cars in Billings MT instead....Died in 2002 after long bouts with cancer.

Friday, March 18, 2016

#498-491 Boyhood Photos of the Stars...

A nostalgic collection of photos with a short biography in back citing their boyhood going to last amateur body of work prior to going pro  .... estimated age of players in photo is 10-12 years of age taken maybe during the years 1950-1959....Player previously profiled are Bob Bailey, Brooks Robinson, Willie Horton, and Lou be profiled in the future are Bill Melton, Jim Perry, and Mel Stottlemyre....Bud Harrelson’s dance card is already taken on the other 1972 card of the writing of this post all players are still living....Onward.

Monday, March 14, 2016

#499 Vicente Romo

Interesting.... 7 seasons in major is just a portion of his career when compared to 15 years in Mexican addition two full years in Cleveland chain....adds up to  a 24 year professional career....Played in native Mexico at age 19 in 1962...after 3 seasons tried his hand with Cleveland’s AAA club in Portland 1965....Returned to Mexico where he won 17 games in season another try with AAA Portland is a floundering effort but stays in the States....Picked up Dodgers in Rule 5 draft and makes his MLB debut with them April 1968....pitches one game one inning....sent back to Cleveland and after a stint in the minors becomes a regular in the pen....Rookie season turned out to be his best with a nifty 1.62 ERA and 12 saves....dealt to Boston early 1969....takes the role of spot starter and 2nd reliever next to Sparky Lyle... wins 7 games for the Red Sox in remaider of 1969 and 1970....Traded to White Sox for 1971....ERA improves to 3.35 over two seasons and fashions a 4-7 record....Traded to Padres for another two year stop....7-8 4.08 ERA.....Returns to Mexico....after 7 ¼  seasons south of the border he is purchased by the Dodgers, his debut club....gets in 15 games in 1982 and returns to Mexico for 4 more line W-L 32-33, 54 saves, 3.36 ERA.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

#500 Joe Torre

"The man"  of 1971....Best hitter of the year and MVP honors...Dominated and had career bests in several categories.....A 366 BA and 137 RBIs.....this upgrade in performance is attributed to losing 30 pounds of weight a year earlier for his conversion to 3rd base....Brooklyn born....Started out in the Milwaukee Braves organization in 1960 his path paved by older brother Frank....tore the cover off the ball in class C Eau Claire, prompting a hit in two At Bats with a last game call up by the Milwaukee....Took a major jump to AAA in 1961 with no problems...hit  a sizzling .342 in 111  At Bats paving his way to permanent call up....started two part time seasons....entered stardom in fourth year hitting .321 and driving in 109 runs....was 5th in 1964 MVP voting too....followed the team to Atlanta for 1966....put up career home run mark of 36....looked like the sky was the limit in Fulton County Stadium bandbox....faltered in next two seasons hitting nearly 40 point less than his first year in Atlanta ....Traded to Cards where he got progressively better in first 3 seasons....follow up seasons 1972-74 were good but paled in comparison to first three in a Cards uniform....Traded to NY Mets where he finished his playing days in a platoon role, but started journey as hometown NY icon....Started as mid season manager for Mets in 1977....losing record for 5 seasons but learned....(get more talent)...fortunes turned  by taking over the Braves and leading them to the post season 1982....Hired by the Cards, he managed every franchise he played for....Glory as a skipper arrives in 1996 when hired by the Yankees....wins 4 WS out of 5....Manages in NY for 12 years.... Finished up managing the assigned to commissioners office....HOF via veteran’s committee....56 years in baseball at the major league level....Despite great World Series managerial record never played in a post season game. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

#501 Pete Hamm

Tried to catch on with the big club in was not to be....substandard performance spanning two seasons....did not play in MLB after this card came out.....After being drafted ran up the ladder of Twins farm clubs at the time....St Cloud, Auburn, Orlando, Charlotte, Evansville....Called up late summer 1970....roughed up early but was able to cut ERA to 5.50 level....1971 started good with a win and heartbreaking no decision effect in 1-0 loss to Clyde Wright and the Angels....roughed in all of his next outings in the next month and a half....sent down to minors...resurfaced in Sept and able to get one more win and not much else....Purchased by White Sox for 1972 but ended up in the  Reds AA club at Three Rivers Quebec and won 17 games.

Friday, March 4, 2016

#502 Jackie Hernandez

Career shortstop with 1480 at bats....sad part as hitter just a step above the Mario Mendoza line.....Fielding not so great either leading all AL position players in errors 1969...for similar player profiled see Hector Torrez #666....started with Indians farm system....released (bad sign) and signed by Angels 1965...was able to get two call ups with a BA of .103 in 1965 and 66....was included as a player to be named later (bad sign) in Dean Chance deal with the Twins....spent most of 1967 in AAA hitting .269....In 1968 was given an opportunity at shortstop to replace the spot vacated by the failing Zoilo improvement for the Twins....flopped in MLB hitting .176 and returned to the minors....1969 with the addition of Leo Cardinez was exposed to expansion draft by Twins....picked 43rd by KC Royals (bad sign)...despite this got regular work 145 games and 501 at bats....playing time halved in 1970 resulted in a few point improvement in BA.231 from .222....traded to Pittsburgh in off season....participated in 3 years as a reserve hitting .205 near his career avg of .208 (FYI Gary Peters hit 14 points hight)....MLB days ended in 1973....played one year of minors then two more years in the Mexican League.