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.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Final Card - Bill Pleis

This is the final card for Bill Pleis (#122), at age 80 the oldest living player from the 1965-70 period that I have not yet featured on any of my blogs. Because this is his last card, and I didn’t collect cards prior to 1966 until recently, I didn’t know anything about him.

Pleis had a 6-year career (1961-66), all with the Twins. He was primarily a reliever, only making 10 starts among his 190 games.

Bill began his pro career in 1956, pitching for the unaffiliated Orlando Seratomas in the class-D Florida State League. By mid-August, he was acquired by the Washington Senators, and spent the next 4 seasons working his way up the ladder in their organization.


Although he never played for the Senators, following the team’s move to Minnesota prior to the 1961 season he made the team out of spring training. Pleis pitched most of ’61 and half of ’62 with the Twins, and was the team’s top lefthander in the bullpen as a rookie. In 1961 he won the first Twins’ home game in their new location.

Bill played fulltime with the Twins from 1963 to 1965, and led the team in games pitched (47) in 1964.

By 1966, his time with the Twins was winding down. He had been edged out of a job by newcomers Dave Boswell, Jim Merritt, and Pete Cimino, all at least 5 years younger than Pleis. Bill spent most of the season with triple-A Denver, and only pitched 8 games for the Twins in his last major-league season, all during the second half.

Pleis pitched 44 games for the Senators’ AAA team in 1967 and 23 games for the Red Sox’ AAA team in 1968 before retiring.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Final Card - Wayne Schurr

This is Wayne Schurr's final card (#149). His only other card is a late-series National League Rookie Stars card in the 1964 set.

So far on this blog, I have only been posting players whose final card is in the 1965 set. Wayne is the first player posted here whose major-league debut was in 1964.


Schurr was signed by the Giants in 1959 and made his way to the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft after the 1963 season. His only major-league action came in 1964, when he appeared in 26 games in relief during the first half of the season.

By late-July '64 he was back in the minors, where he stayed through the 1966 season. (Normally, Rule 5 players are returned to their original team if their new team doesn't keep them on the roster the entire year, but I guess the Giants didn't want him back.)

After the 1966 season, he and catcher Chris Krug were traded to the Angels for ex-Colt .45s outfielder Mike White (who will be featured on this blog 3 posts from now), but Schurr did not play after 1966.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Final Card - Frank Bolling

At age 85, Frank Bolling is the oldest living player from the 1965-70 time period that I have not yet blogged about.

This is Frank’s final card (#269), even though he continued to be the Braves’ starting 2nd baseman for part of the 1966 season (a job he held since the start of the 1961 season).


Bolling was signed by the Tigers in June 1951. He played in the minors for the rest of that season, and all of 1952-53.

He made his major-league debut in April 1954, taking over the starting 2nd base job that was manned in ’53 by Johnny Pesky and others.

After missing 1 year (1955) in military service, Bolling returned to the Tigers as their regular 2nd baseman for the next 5 seasons, and had more than 640 plate appearances in 2 of those seasons. Frank also won a Gold Glove award in 1958.

In December 1960, Bolling and outfielder Neil Chrisley were traded to the Milwaukee Braves for pitcher Terry Fox, catcher Dick Brown, 2nd baseman Chuck Cottier, and center fielder Bill Bruton.

Frank matched his season-high home run total with 15 in 1961, and was an All-Star in his first 2 seasons with the Braves. He was the regular 2nd baseman through the 1965 season, starting 141 games in his final season as a regular.

In 1966 he only started 57 games, since shortstop Woody Woodward was splitting his time between shortstop and 2nd base, and the Braves were also working rookie Felix Millan into the lineup.

Bolling’s last game was on 9/15/1966, and he was released after the season, ending his 12-year career. In 12 seasons he played 12,983 innings, and all at 2nd base!

Frank’s brother Milt was an infielder for the Red Sox in the 1950s.