Sunday, December 26, 2021

#75 Bert Campaneris

The newly relocated Oakland Athletics’ fortunes turned around on signing and keeping this vanguard of the middle years before the KC A’s were known to give away talent to the Yankees with little in return and suffered mightily....The speedy and quick, Cuban born import becomes the first building block of the A’s 70’s mini-dynasty.....after a short tour of the A’s farm system, Bert debuts on July 22, 1964....hits two home runs in his first game....Establishes himself at short in 1965 taking the first of four consecutive stolen base crowns, six for his career.....also brought notoriety to him and the A’s by playing all 9 positions in a late season contest 1968.....consistent at the plate, BA averaging a range of .290 to .250 for a majority of his 19 years....once led the AL in triples, later on hits....One oddity was going yard 22 times in 1970 whereas he never reached double figures at any other time.....added talent to the “Swingin A’s” Campaneris collected 3 World Pennants 72-74.....After 13 years of loyal service to Charlie O Finley’s crew opts for free agency.....Texas takes the bait and pays out....solid season in 1977 despite a 50% reduction in stolen bases....stumbles badly in 1978 BA dropping significantly....another poor start in 1979 Bert is flipped to the Angels....relegated to reserve role through but stays through 1981....continues his playing days in Mexican League circa bold and surprising move accepts assignment to AAA Columbus in 1983....hits well and earns a call up to the Yankees....responds in kind with a career best .322 BA utilizing 46 hits in 143 at bats....excellent exit portal....Has become somewhat overlooked as a premiere AL shortstop for a good portion the 1960’s and 1970’s....2021 lives in Scottsdale AZ, and remains active baseball alumni activities.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

#76 Don Carrithers

Secondary journeyman middle reliever who eked out eight MLB seasons.... was able to get the call up to Candlestick Park based on great first half in AAA Phoenix in 1970.....Giants were going with youth at the time to varied success.....Don had difficulty with the big league hitters.....His resume as a SF Giant included two split seasons and two whole season....a stop gap member staff with an ERA 5+....traded to Montreal in 1974....His stint in Quebec were similar to SF....assigned to AAA early on, called up....In the subsequent 2 ½ years was able to lower his ERA to a more acceptable 3.76....although once again a firm role the pitching corps eluded him....a 5th starter at best mostly passed over to mop up or middle inning work.... Most notoriety was his last season....Recently acquired by the Twins for 1977, was involved in a car accident with a wrong way driver in Bloomington MN....While it was nonfatal both Don’s and Mike Pazik’s pitching careers were curtailed....Don was able to make an return to the staff later in the year albeit unsuccessful....their injuries already compromised a marginal staff.....released by the Twins resurfaced at his old haunts in Phoenix for a couple of year of PCL action.....liked to race stock cars in the off season.

Monday, December 13, 2021

#77 Ron Theobald

The General....named so by a coach who thought he looked like Napoleon Bonaparte ....Topps Rookie at 2nd....small ball player with hustle and desire making up for shortcomings...took over for a slumping Ted Kubiak in 1971....drew a respectable .276 BA on an offensively challenged squad....solid season did not carry as a sophomore with a 56 point drop in BA and no stolen bases.....Final stats lines and playing time about identical for both his MLB seasons....bounced around organizations in the minors....Started in Cubs system, then moving to the Twins and Senators system....rookie at age 27....did not return for the 1973 edition of the Brewers....the organization feeling was that rookie Pedro Garcia was ready.....let go, spent his last professional year at AAA Phoenix.....failed to his raise BA and subsequently out of team the Brewers....and was invited to closing of County Stadium....died on April 15, 2015 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

#78 Steve Arlin

“Stevie wants to be a Dentist”....Apparently to the extent it affected his baseball development..... Once focused on the mound showed flashes of brilliance in a Padre uniform but the team’s run support was often at issue....Could have sued his teammates for nonsupport......or in the Dentist jargon; malpractice....Developed in the collegiate ranks as a  Ohio State Buckeye star....Turned Philadelphia farmhand taken by Padres in expansion draft....minor leagues development was hindered by missing spring trainings taken over by his education pursuits....a situation that did not change until several seasons in his career....spent most of 1969 in the International League team in Columbus (the Pirate AAA club) by in large to complete his Dentistry education at OSU....Despite a poor season is called up late in Padres inaugural year....A case of a member of the 1968 AAA San Diego Padres playing for the 1969 MLB expansion squad....Arlin and infielder Roberto Pena shared this to experience the culture shock of going to a team 6 games above .500 to one that was 58 below....Stays in minor for majority of 1970......In 1971 Arlin is aided by spring training and lands into the starting rotation....End result was 9-19 W-L record but his 3.48 ERA was respectable....His specialty shutouts accounting of 4 of the team’s 9....part of the reason the third year Friars had one of the best pitching staffs in the league despite having the most losses....Arlin wins 10 in 1972 and possesses a 3.80 ERA but is tagged with two more losses than the year before....Led NL in losses two consecutive years....1973 Steve leads the Friars with 11 positive decisions and cuts down his losses to 14....but a ballooning 5.10 ERA spelled the end of his prime.....his 1974 start was a disaster, a single win compared to seven to Cleveland fared little better....Final season line 3 wins 12 losses....Returned Dentistry bypassing further organized baseball....Passes on in 2016.....Grandson of the first radio broadcaster in baseball history.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

#79 Red Sox Rookie Stars,

Highly coveted card with HOF Fisk in addition to longtime star Ceil Cooper....

Mike Garman quietly appeared in 9 MLB seasons for a total of 303 games all but 8 in relief....6 starts took place during multiple call ups for the Red Sox....otherwise his Boston time was transitory walking away with a 2-2 record....better times lay ahead after being acquired by St. two years relieved 130 games winning and losing 10 decisions....despite this solid work took routes to Cubs, Dodgers.  and Expos....shut out the opposition in 5 WS innings.... from Idaho....not exactly a baseball breeding ground. 

Carlton Fisk....“Pudge”, a more complimentary version of his early childhood nickname “Pudgy”..... now the term is a brand of honor for backstops.....New England’s pride and joy....born in Vermont, HS in New Hampshire, drafted and starred for Red Sox....HOF inductee second year on ballot....11 time all star....drafted  fourth in the 1967 draft....minor league development was decidedly uneven especially at upper asset hit well in a MLB call up 1971....Took the baseball world by storm receiver Boston had as any long time fan could remember....most home runs (22) by a Red Sox backstop at the time....Led the American League in Triples with 9 (only time he led in an offensive category)....took home the Golden Glove (also only time in career) and most notably Rookie of the Year....once quoted in a self deprecating manner “I don’t know what I’m doing right”....more importantly Fisk never stopped doing right....sophomore effort was strong albeit BA dipped....Sorely missed a good chunk of 1974 as Red Sox continued to fall short in the AL east....while the injury bug continued into 1975, but when healthy hit .332 to catapult the Sox to the WS....his stay fair gesture in walk off home run in game 6 remains a baseball iconic moment.....Stays in Bean town up to the 1980 season....Hesitancy by the Red Sox during contract negotiations resulted in being a Free agent for 1981.... signs with the White Sox.....Once again a cog to transforms the team into a contender....While the south siders fortunes waned, Fisk weathers on with full time status thru 1991...once tagged out two Yankees on one play in 1985....relegated to DH and backup for 1992 and 1993.....Logged in 13 years in Chi town compared to 11 in Boston..... Has incredible legacy of leadership, hustle, work ethic..... Played 2226 games behind the plate, once the MLB record, now held by namesake Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.  

Ceil Cooper   “Cooooop” to the Milwaukee faithful where his career fully blossomed...a case of good seasons with Red Sox but utilization was limited and did not start until 1974....1977 trade to Milwaukee was a steal for the Brew Crew....cost of the transaction were veterans George Scott and Bernie Carbo, both on the back sides of their years....initial year as a Brewer, hits .300......first of six consecutive seasons of reaching .300 or better....Improves over time using a batting stance similar to Rod Carew’s....Cooper displays more power....His .352 BA in 1980 would have taken the BA crown in most years but finished a distant second to George Brett’s .390.....Twice led the AL in RBIs....Gradually lost numbers over time but was able to make all star team for the 5th time at age 35....other accolades include  two golden glove and three of the newly minted Sliver Slugger awards starting in its initial year of 1980 to 1982...departed playing in 1987 while still a platoon player.