Saturday, April 30, 2016

#477 Tom Phoebus

Pronounced Fee-Bus.....diminutive curveball specialist and hometown product of Baltimore.....Enjoyed limelight with several good campaigns in the late 60’s....started out going 2-1 with 1.27 ERA in 1966 call up...proceeded to racked up 14, 15, and then 14 win seasons respectively in years 1967-69....took a back seat in rotation during 1970 sharing the #5 spot with Jim Hardin....claimed a 5-5 win loss record....highlight of season was winning game 2 of WS.... came in relief his first and only WS appearance was also his last time in a Oriole uniform....traded to Padres for 1971 season...bittersweet for the Baltimore native....fared poorly in Yellow and Brown going 3-11 and was eventually  ushered out of rotation to mop up in lost games the last two months....Resurfaced as a Cub for 1972 to shore up their relief corp.... did a reasonable job with 6 saves...traded to Atlanta for an Hall of Fame Manager, Tony LaRussa....spent 1973 in AAA Richmond before retiring....was a draftsman in off season.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#478 5th Checklist

Second checklist profiled in this blog...those who follow know how I feel....Covers #526 Bob Bailey.....publish date 12/14/15.... to #656 Rudy May....publish date 10/29/14.....enjoy.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

#479 Don Shaw

1971 was his career year 7-2 win loss and 2.65 ERA....otherwise an inconsistent reliever for 5 seasons.... started in Mets organization who drafted him 35th in 1965....Never pitching regularly anywhere....wormed his way  to the 1967 Mets and held his own with a  2.98 ERA in 40 games....spent most of  1968 in minors, but only gave up one run in 12 innings for the Mets....offered up in expansion draft and picked by Montreal...Splitting time between minors and Montreal in inaugural year..... Played 1970 in the minors but what was noteable in that he was sold to Cards chain mid season...1971 see above.... 1972 poor start prompted a trade to Oakland..... one of the assembly of 47 players who played for the 1972 A’s....was roughed up there also and wasn’t on playoff roster however.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#480 Lee May

Hallmarks were power and strikeouts...With a large girth, overwhelmingly a 1st baseman by trade and fielded position well...paired with Johnny Bench, Tony Perez,  and Pete Rose (and some early help from Vada Pinson and Alex Johnson) he was a piece of the run making  cog of the that would eventually become the Big Red Machine...home run totals incrementally increased 2 in a Sept call up 1966, 12 in first full season 1967, 22 in 1968, and his career second best mark of 38 in 1969......accompanying 1969 mark was a career best 110 RBI’s....his 34 HRs was eclipsed by the career seasons by Bench, Toland, and Perez in the first incarnation of the Big Red Machine of 1970....Lee’s career home run mark of 39 in 1971 is followed by a blockbuster trade to the Astros who were desperate for power and a Bonne fide cleanup hitter....Lee did not fail averaging 27 home runs over three seasons despite the Astrodome’s rep... As an Astro was named to his third all star team....Trade to Baltimore in 1975 introduced him to the designated hitting and a return to year as an Oriole was 1976 when had 25 homers, 109 RBIs....played in Baltimore though 1980....picked up via free agency as a deep reserve by the Royals for 1981 and 82....hit .301 for the club....Not to confused with Lee Maye, longtime outfielder for Braves, Astros, Senators...354 career home runs by a man who confessed to always want to hit a home run....Brother to Carols May who played in a different way....together they combined for 444 dingers, sixth on the all time brothers act list.

Monday, April 18, 2016

#481 Billy Conigliaro

No surprise here....a legacy Red Sox fraternity by being brother and teammate to icon Tony Conigliaro....Unusual  and short career with times of great promise and a mysterious drop off.......worked way up farm system....had a tremendous fall call up in 1969 hitting 4 home runs with slugging pct. well above league average....High hopes for 1970...did not disappoint hit 18 home runs and drove in 58 with solid .270 BA....took over left field, allowing Yaz to take 1st....change came in 1971....put in Centerfield and brother Tony was traded to Angels....strange season occurred, hit .262 and was 7th AL doubles with 26...but only had 33 RBI’s...Traded to Brewers where he faultered in 1972...playing time was cut in half and BA dropped to .230....purchased by Oakland A’s in off season, mostly relegated to the bench...finished with 0 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, and .200 BA....balked at going to minors and retired from baseball.

Friday, April 15, 2016

#482 Joe Hoerner

Joe was an above average reliever in first 6 full years in the majors....appeared in 14 seasons....started out with Colt of career started in St Louis...was the bird’s  #1 reliever from the start 1966-1969...appeared in 206 games, saving 59 of them, with a stingy 2.10....only road bump was a less than stellar World Series record....traded to the Phillies in the Curt Flood trade....didn’t miss a beat with the new club....made all star team 1970..... although saves were down from his Cardinal days....after two seasons in Philly was traded early into the 1972 season even though Joe had an excellent start...Possible theory is that Joe just didn’t have enough work to do...Very few games to save...either the Phillies were behind or Steve Carlton was pitching a complete game....Trade did nobody any favors...the two retreads traded for Joe went 0-10 in Philly uniform....The trade did nothing for Joe either who never seen the same afterwards.... ERA tripled in last half of season.... bounced along next few season Atlanta, Kansas City, Philadelphia (again closest to a return to effectiveness) Texas and Cincinnati....died in farm accident 1996.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#483 Ken Saurez

Career backup catcher...trouble hitting with consistency in MLB...Signed as a free agent out of Florida State University 1965...excellent hitting college benefit of college experience made it to the Big Leagues 1966 with KC A’s....never a real regular in either minor or major leagues....most games in any given season was 98....1967 and 1968 was used very little by A’s and Indians organization 143 at bats total.... split time between minors and majors 1969....played in  minors exclusively 1970, and sparingly used Indian reserve 1971....1972 trade to Texas brought another season of MiLB and MLB split....1973 shared starting catcher position with a struggling Dick Billing...did not play afterwards but was still traded to other organizations in 1974.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

#484 Lum Harris

Understudy and Aide-de-Camp to baseball man Paul Richards... player to coach in minors, paired up in Baltimore, Lum followed Paul to the fledgling Colt .45 and then Atlanta Braves 1972 was entering his last season with Atlanta...alienating with some players as too close to Richards...first manager of an indoor team with Astros 1965....highlight of career was 1969 season when his stars were mostly healthy... were the NL West division winners... let go by Braves and spelled the end of relationship with Richards...Swore off baseball and Returned to farming until he died a player, was a pitcher on second division Philadelphia A’s teams....ate a lot of innings but was frequently on the losing end of the decision....once lost 21 games in season for the A's.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#485 Phil Regan

Bore the brunt of Cubs relieving duties for 1971....That year as a team, the Cubbies saved 13 games one more than the Yankees...Phil had 6 saves which was good for being tied with 36th spot...a case of elder abuse.... Had his start in Detroit 1960....worked his way to respectability with a 15-9 record in 1963...but after 2 poor seasons shipped to LA....Instantly blossomed  with a memorable 14-1 record and All Star status....may have got votes for Cy Young if not for a teammate named Koufax....1967 Sandy wasn’t there and the Dodger's and Phil’s fortunes declined... trade to Cubs in 1968 represented a comeback.... 1969 he was top Cub reliever with strong veteram supporting cast of Ted Abernathy and Hank Auguire effect in set up roles....fortunes changed in 1970 with Auguire faltering and Abernathy inexplicably traded away (where did the Cubs need another aging and light hitting infielder in Phil Gagliano)....Burden of work fell to Phil and a host of untested others and effectiveness as whole suffered....released after 1972 season when he split work with Cubs and cross town White playing long time coach (until 2020) and one time MLB manager with Baltimore (1995).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

#486 John Lowenstein

Interesting and answer to Lt. Joker of the movie Full Metal Jacket...16 year career...high hopes out of the minors...endeared himself to AAA Whicta manager and eventual Indian skipper Ken Aspromonte with versatility and power and clutch hitting....although John’s ability to play multiple was helpful but bat did not meet expectations in 8 years with the season by the lake was 1973 hitting a .292 in 305 at more playing in 1974 and stole 36 bases but BA dropped by fifty points....returned to utility role for next 3 Indian campaigns...One interesting side light of those year was the start of an Apathy Fan Club....after some off the cuff remarks about such clubs...After 1976 season was traded to Toronto Blue Jays...spent several month on the Jay’s off season roster then traded back to Indians....seamless on the his career stats....Final traded in 1978 for good to Texas...Another mediocre season and he offered up on waviers....Baltimore rolled the dice picking him up for a 20K....Hit a minor jackpot for 6 platoon role mostly with Gary Roenicki improved dramatically nice at the 1982 and 1983 found the pop in his bat predicted for him since his AAA days....Combined with Gary accounted for 45 home runs in 1982....Incredibly efficient effort coupled with .320 BA ....despite a shinning WS performance lost playing time in 1984 and decline in production ensued....left the field in 1985 to the broadcast American Leaguer.

Here's another depiction of John....