Monday, December 17, 2018

Final Card - Dick Smith

Here is the final card for baseball short-timer Dick Smith (#579). Smith's last major-league game was on May 2, 1965. After 10 games, he was sent down (as this late-series card tells us on the back).

Smith was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957, and he played for 6 seasons in their farm system before he was acquired by the Mets in October 1962.

He played most of the next 2 seasons with the Mets' AAA team in Buffalo, but did play in a few dozen games for New York each season.

The Dodgers reacquired him after the 1964 season for pitcher Larry Miller, but as said above, he only played 10 games before returning to the bushes.

After 2 seasons at triple-A Spokane, the Dodgers traded him to the Twins in April 1967 for pitcher Jerry Fosnow (recently seen on this blog). Smith played a full season for the Twins' AAA Denver team in 1967, and 53 games for the Senators' AA team before retiring.

 He passed away in 2012 at age 72.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Final Card - Gus Triandos

Here is the final card for long-time catcher Gus Triandos (#248). He was the Orioles' #1 catcher from 1956-1962, but to a then-youngster like me he was just the guy who came over from the Tigers with Jim Bunning before the 1964 season. I'm sure CommishBob has some Gus Triandos stories to tell!

Triandos was signed by the Yankees way back in 1948, and after 4 seasons in the minors and a year in the service, Gus made his big-league debut in August 1953 for the Yankees.

After the 1954 season, Triandos was part of a SEVENTEEN PLAYER trade with the Orioles. That deal included pitchers Don Larsen and Bob Turley going to New York.

Triandos was Baltimore's 1st baseman in 1955, then was the starting catcher for the next seven seasons. He made the All-Star team from 1957 to 1959, and in 1958 hit a career-high 30 home runs.

After the 1962 season he was traded to the Tigers with outfielder Whitey Herzog for catcher Dick Brown. Gus started 90 games for the Tigers in 1963 (Bill Freehan's rookie season), then was traded to the Phillies (with Jim Bunning) after the season for outfielder Don Demeter and pitcher Jack Hamilton.

Gus spent 1 1/2 seasons as the Phillies' backup catcher, then was sold to the Astros in June 1965.  By late-August he was released, ending his 13 year career.

Triandos passed away in 2013 at age 82.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Final Card - Jerry Fosnow

This may be the only time this has ever happened on my blogs, but today is Jerry's birthday! (Completely coincidental, as I didn't realize this until I checked for some career history. And, I just made it by 1 minute!) Happy 78th, Jerry!

Not only is this Jerry's final card, but it's also his rookie card (#529).

Fosnow signed with the Indians in 1959, and was dealt to the Twins before the 1962 season.

Jerry made his major-league debut in June 1964, pitching 7 games as a rookie.

The following season he appeared in 29 games, but none after mid-July. He was sent down to the minors, never to return.

Fosnow continued pitching in the Twins' system through the 1966 season, and for the Dodgers' AAA team in 1967 before retiring.

SABR biography

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Final Card - Ron Locke

Here’s Mets’ short-timer Ron Locke (#511). By the time this card came out, Locke’s major-league career was already over.

Ron pitched in the Mets’ farm system from 1963 to 1970, save for the 1966 season when he pitched briefly in the Phillies’ and Reds’ organizations.

His only major-league playing time came in 1964, when he pitched 25 games for the Mets. (Even that season, he was in the minors for the month of July before returning to New York for the final 2 months.)

This is his 2nd of two Topps cards (having also appeared in the 1964 set on a Mets Rookie Stars card).

Monday, May 28, 2018

Final Card - Sterling Slaughter

Here is the 2nd and final card for Cubs’ pitcher Sterling Slaughter. He previously appeared on a Cubs Rookies card in the 1964 set.

After pitching for Arizona State University, Slaughter was signed by the Cubs in 1963. He played only 1 season in the minors, then made the Cubs’ squad in 1964, pitching 20 games (including 6 starts).

For some reason, he also pitched 14 games in the Arizona Instructional League that year, but never made it back to the majors. This card (unintentionally) includes his complete major-league stats.

Sterling pitched for the Cubs’ AA and AAA teams from 1965-1967 before hanging up his glove.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bob Meyer (#219)

Here is the first solo card for pitcher Bob Meyer. Signed by the Yankees in 1960, Bob appeared on a Yankees Rookies card in the 1964 set, then after playing for 3 teams in his rookie season, we find him with his own card as an Athletic.

Unfortunately for Bob, 1964 was to be his last season in the majors until resurfacing in 1969 with the expansion Pilots. This did not go unnoticed by Topps, who left him out of the 1966-1969 sets. He had baseball cards in 1970 (Pilots) and 1971 (Brewers).

After laboring on the Athletics' farm for 4 1/2 seasons, Meyer was traded to the Pilots in August 1969 for pitcher Fred Talbot.

Bob began 1970 with the Brewers, pitching in 10 games (all in relief), the last coming on May 20th. Maybe he was injured, because he doesn't have any minor-league playing time that season.

Meyer was released in March 1971, ending his brief career. He pitched in 38 games over 3 seasons, but in actuality his 1969 and 1970 seasons lasted about 1 month each.

Even with such a short career, there were some highlights:

 - His first strikeout victim was Carl Yastrzemski.

 - In September 1964 he pitched a 1-hitter against the Orioles, but lost 1-0 when a runner scored on a sacrifice fly.

 - For the Pilots, he pitched the first 9 innings of a game against the Yankees, giving up only 1 run in a game the Pilots eventually won in the 13th inning.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Final Card - Mike White

This is the final card for Mike White (#31). It's also one of the few 1965 cards that shows the ".45s" logo on the cap.

1965 was the first season the team was named "Astros", and Topps wasn't up to speed at the start of the season. The Astros' cards in the first few series all have "Houston" on the pennant and either capless or airbrushed photos. This is one of the few (also Turk Farrell and Walt Bond) that escaped the airbrusher.

White was signed by the Indians in 1959, and played 2 seasons in their organization as a 3rd baseman before he was released in December 1960.

The expansion Angels signed him in April 1961, and after 1 season with their double-A team, he was drafted by the Colt .45s in the minor-league draft.

White only played 3 seasons for Houston. His debut came with 3 games in a September 1963 call-up, then 89 games during 1964. His final major-league action was 8 games in 1965, the last coming on May 5th.

After that it was back to the bush leagues, with the Astros ('65), Angels ('66), and Cubs ('67-'69) before retiring.

Mike's father Jo-Jo White played for the Tigers in the 1930s.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bob Sadowski (#156)

Unlike most of the players I have posted on this 1965 blog, this is not the final card for Bob Sadowski. His last card came in the 1966 set, but that is one of the 8 final cards I am missing from that set, so this card will have to do.

He is one of two players named Bob Sadowski who played in the early 1960s. (The other was an infielder, who passed away last year.)

Sadowski was signed by the Cardinals in 1958. In June 1963 he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves (along with catcher Gene Oliver) for pitcher Lou Burdette. 4 days later, Bob made his major-league debut.

Bob pitched in 104 games for the Braves over the next 2 ½ seasons, spending all of ’64 and ’65 with Milwaukee. In 1965 he started the final home game for the Braves in Milwaukee.

After the 1965 season, he was traded to the Red Sox with pitcher Dan Osinski for 1st baseman Lee Thomas and pitchers Arnold Earley and Jay Ritchie. Sadowski only pitched 11 games for the Sox during the first half of 1966, then he was sent down to triple-A for the 2nd half.

He wrapped up his career in 1967 with the Braves’ double-A team.

Bob’s brother Ed was a catcher for the Red Sox (1960), Angels (1961-63) and Braves (1966). Another brother (Ted) pitched for the Senators/Twins from 1960-62.