Monday, January 29, 2018
Freckled, red haired righty whose career was over shadowed by his premature death by leukemia a little over two years past his last game....Jim’s story starts in California....worked his way up the Angels chain....debut in 1965.....gained playing and turned in a fine 12-8 record with league best 6 shutouts 1967....next two year plagued by no run support losing 13 more games than winning....the trade to the Reds was the chance to rectify that....in the first edition of the Big Red Machine had his highest win total going 14-8....incredibly fast start going 10-3 with the pinnacle being a 5-4 win over the Dodgers on national television.... next decision pitched the first game at new Riverfront Stadium but was hit hard.....record of 1971 was an unimpressive at 8-11 as the Big Red Machine became the Big Dead Machine.....but his ERA improved....the Reds rebounded in 1972 and Jim pitched to quiet 9-8 mark making more middle relief.... 1973 found his pitches with less velocity....traded to White Sox where things did not get better....Jim entertained the invite to return but family and fledgling ham business resulted in his early retirement....tragically struck ill a year later....passed away 12/23/75.
Friday, January 26, 2018
Storied franchise....winners beyond compare in all major professional sports..... but conversely the most hated team too...like them or not the list of accolades go on and on....The issue for the Yankees is not WS wins (as it stands now 27)....it’s achieving dynasty status; when a team is in the largest, richest, media capital of the world one would not expect less....quality is measured by repeated winning; back to back WS wins three times....repeat champions three times....three, four, five consecutive wins strings achieved once....established 1901 in the American League in the guise of the Baltimore Orioles...two years there and team moved to NYC having side skirted the efforts of the NL Giants to be NY....Ironically shared the Polo Grounds with Giants until the advent of Yankee Stadium....Once establishing residency in the Bronx the franchise flourishes.... Rarely has the franchise fared poorly; only 4 last place finishes in 115 seasons....The 1972 squad was somewhere in the middle...a team rebounding from a poor to very mediocre at best late 60's....The early 1970's introduced Thurman Munson, a desperately needed backstop and relief in Sparky Lyle... then George Steinbrener came into the picture....improvement would be soon in the form of new established free agency....with deep pockets mistakes were easily dismissed...while others suffered substantially....as for the back side record they remain mostly intact identical to legends that made them....Don Mattingly has taken over the team’s mark for hits and doubles as of 1986.....pitching the mark for games and win % has been overtaken many times over...Ron Giudry’s strikeout mark 248 in 1978 is now the franchise’s top spot....volumes can be and have been spoken about the aggregate.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Landed in a crevasse in baseball history…an obscure MLB outfielder whose inconsistencies limited opportunities….failed to break into the Cardinals outfield with fair to poor numbers…traded mid1971 to San Padres….a capital gain hits .271 for the remainder of the season and .300 for 1972…degraded to .237 in 1973 and future remained in questions….picked up on waivers by Cleveland just before the start of 74 season…results peaked at mediocracy with a spiral downward and limited playing time…hit .212 with and .133 in next two years in very sparse at bats…reached the of MLB work….enter the Nippon League….imported with sibling Leon Lee they started in 1978 was amazing run of 11 seasons….hit for power; averaging 25 home runs, and average; a .320 mark….one of great ganjins (foreign born player in the Japanese baseball) of all time….despite over a decade his career a bit too short for Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame….should have joined the Japanese league earlier.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Long time farm hand pitcher finally given a chance in the show....product of Southern Illinois University....started pro ball in 1960 but did not make the show until 1969.....was the number one fireman in the Tiger’s 1970 and #3 in the AL with 27 saves….a team mark at the time….an inflated 4.13 ERA did suggest room for improvement….Timmerman sticks around in 1971 but loses closer role to Fred Scherman….pressed into starter 1972….put together an 8-10 record and acceptable 2.87 ERA…split 1973 with Detroit and Cleveland, downgraded to spot starter occasional reliever with ERA decidedly higher….result 9-8….logged in 4 games for the Tribe 1974 as he was relegated to Detroit and Philadelphia minor league teams.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
No more Rich or Richie, forever more Dick….enters a new phase of his career as the most feared hitter in the AL verses one of most feared hitter in the NL….his story begins in two points on the map in Pennsylvania, first the small town of Wampum where he grows up, second the city of Philadelphia, where he is the firebrand hitting juggernaut of the Phillies circa 1964….averaged 29 home runs and an excellent .300 BA over 6 full campaigns...tumultuous times, an alienation of management flavored by holdouts, incidents, disappearances, and suspensions....the stormy relationship ended with a trade to St Louis for Curt Flood who refused to sign....hit well for Cardinal despite missing nearly 40 games....then flipped to the Dodgers for 1971....Dodger Stadium eroded power numbers but Allen impresses with his work ethic a start to erasing his malcontent image....never the less Allen is moved for the third time in as many years....As a White sox and Chuck Tanner who was a family friend....result a triumph....was MVP leading in home runs and RBIs....continued his tear at start of 1973 but an injury cut short his year and the White Sox hopes...rebounded in 74, taking the home run crown.....but makes an unusual retirement announcement nearing the end of the year....but doesn't fill out the paperwork and continues to be a property of the White Sox albeit not edible to play until May .....traded to Atlanta but nixed the idea....traded to team of origin, Phillies, contributes but is greatly limited by no spring training... his second Phillie incarnation was pocked with controversy as it had been before....wore out is welcome and was picked up personnel desperate Oakland A for 1977 and a small portion of 1978....after years of estrangement eventually returns to baseball....Brothers Hank and Ron also made the majors.....once hit two inside the park home runs in one game.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
HOF career with a trademark handlebar mustache...one of the early great releivers...wasn’t always so....started as promising hurler who was not settled on a role....Mostly relief in ’69, part time starter in ’70....after a handful of starts 1971, started full time bullpen beginning a historic run....solidify his status as the #1 A’s closer in 72 reaching over 20 saves for the first time....took on the burden of Oakland’s first WS.....saves two games in the A's victory.....improves further in 1973 but his saves are eclipsed by John Hiller’s outstanding season....consistent top tier work over the next years but also growing discontent with the Finley ownership....Did not talk to Finley for last two A’s seasons....Was part of a midseason fire sale to the Red Sox tin 1976 that was nullified by the baseball commissioner....Rollie wore the Red Sox uniform but never played....Once out of contract took the highest bidder the SD Padres....Proceeded to lead NL in saves for two years....faltered a bit in 1979.....was traded to St Louis in after 1980 only to be immediately turned to Milwaukee....embarked one of most perfect relief season in 1981....28 saves and 1.04 ERA in a strike shortened season....Brewers were able to make post season for first time....performance result Cy Young award....Fingers and the Brewers were able to take the AL east outright in 1982....Rollie’s season is strong with 29 saves one more than his Cy Young year but suffers a shoulder injury that knocks him out of playoffs and subsequent 1983 season....Rollie comes back with but the Brewers in 1984 but their winning ways were grossly eroded rendering his sub 2.00 ERA and 23 saves inconsequential....nothing left in the tank in 1985 with a +5.00 ERA ushered his release....HOF class of 1992
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Three times Mincher was view to a franchise’s last days in a given location….and this might be record that no one keeps nor will be broken….the Forest Gump of franchise moves…it all started in 1960 and Mincher is called up and plays in the last game of the original frachise….Traveling with the franchise to Minnesota, Mincher gradually garners playing time and improves reaching 17 home runs and a .258 BA in 1963….hits over 20 homers the next two seasons….a drop in power in 1966 and the Twins jettisons him to the Angels for essentially getting the arm of Dean Chance…As an Angel, Mincher puts together his best over all season buoyed by .273 BA….another off campaign in 1968 and Mincher is exposed to the expansion draft….taken in first round, Mincher rebounds to lead the first year squad in their only year in Seattle….Mincher is traded to the A’s as Pilots metamorphosed into the Brewers….He continues to hit with power out homering teammates Reggie Jackson and Sal Bando….Don starts 1971 in Oakland but is traded to the second edition of the Senators who continue to have the same struggles as the first….A puzzling trade where the Nats surrender a better reliever and younger first baseman, Mike Epstein….Nevertheless, Don put together is highest average .291 of career….On again, on the field for Senator’s last game which was forfeit (although the books show Senators 7, NYY 5)….Starts 1972 in Texas….traded back to Oakland midseason…play little and hits poorly….still makes post season roster….in last official at bat in WS game 3 gets a critical hit for a 3-2 Oakland victory....stayed in baseball eventually becoming the commissioner of the AA Southern League.
Monday, January 8, 2018
Journeyman reliever who had some degree of effectiveness for the Giants, Cardinals, and Brewers...in that order....Linzy’s intro into bullpen was a unexpected path….was and considered himself a starter in the minors…..starts in his first game in Giant uniform….next game was stretching arm in Giants pen during a vicious blowout….pressed into service and branded as a relief from then on….Frank starts to make his mark in 1965….very effective in mopping up games tallying 20 saves…got consideration for ROY….continues a nice stretch collecting 16, 17, and 12 saves in successive years ending the 1968 with an 2.15 ERA for his career so far ….1969 results in an elevated ERA but takes away 14 wins a career high….less effective in 1970 and needed to turn around to his norm…take talents to Milwaukee in 1972 and 1973 registering 25 saves in all….Frank’s major league time ends in 1974 with sporadic appearances for the Phillies.
Friday, January 5, 2018
Consistent hitter but did not fully break into regular status...Freshman year decent with a .254 BA and a Topps Rookie award...pressed into infield apprenticeship most at third so an aging Harmon Killebrew could take first....ambitious endeavor given he had only played class A ball and missed huge stretches of time to military service....Raised BA by 30 points in 1972 a mark reached and once exceeded in his years with the Twins....despite having one of the best on base percentages in AL was unhappy in Minnesota due to lack of playing time....coming off a BA of .302 signed a one year contract with the stipulation that he would be offered in the expansion draft....responded with career best 11 home run 61 RBI....looked at being picked by Seattle as a new career....reality was he hit underwhelming .236....hopes for a full comeback never materialized next year and traded to Royals....starts career as a bench player; sub outfielder and pinch hitter for 7 more seasons.....stops include Kansas City, Toronto, and 5 years in St Louis ending 1985.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Known for his 1969 World Series performance…specifically game 3… Hit a towering home run to lead off the Met’s half of the first….then more importantly later in the game catches Elrod Hendrick’s and Paul Blair’s blast with 2 on and bases loaded respectively….a legend is born out of the 5-0 win….Solid career but subject to highs and lows….An Indian prospect had three call ups….got traded to the hitting weak White Sox.....instant offense, in a mid sixties sort of way....hit 22 home runs 86 RBIs and .273 BA far and away the best figure on the team...steals 44 bases....takes ROY and Gold Glove makes All Star....next year not as strong but still was the ChiSox leading hitter....things get more dismal in 1968 with a .217 BA after trade to Mets...Phoenix like resurgence in 1969 as Mets contend after an existence of incompetence...found his home run stroke hitting 26 and lead the team in hitting stats....Retakes the Gold Grove a year similar to his rookie season....Season heroics plant him as NY Met royality....hits .285 next two years although injuries took their toll particularly in 1971....production take a big hit in 1972 BA drops by 50 point...jettison by Mets in trade to Houston...no second rebound languished at .220...released prior to 74 season.....Died young in 2001
Monday, January 1, 2018
Lefthander from Central Minnesota quietly played for 17 years….sometimes as the closer sometimes in middle relief….worked his way up the Angel’s chain and got a September call up 1968….gets regular work via the expansion draft and first edition of the Kansas City Royals…his servitude to the Royals is mixed….one half of an excellent duo with Ted Abernathy….accounted for 17 of the team’s 44 saves to go along with a 1.74 ERA…posted a 6-2 record in 1972 with a decidedly inflated ERA….spent most of 1973 in minors….floundering was acquired by his home state team the Twin….regained regular MLB work….once again paired up with another reliever (this time Bill Campbell) made for a formidable tandem going 25-6….took to free agency for the Red Sox.. seemed to have an ability to win games (including a 7-0 and 3-0 marks) and known as a good fielder.