Thursday, December 29, 2016

Final Card - Ted Wills

Here is the final card for Ted Wills (#488). I wonder why he even had a card in this set, since his last action was in 1962. His only MLB experience after 1962 was 15 games in the first 2 months of 1965, but that was with the White Sox, not the Reds.

Wills was signed by the Red Sox in 1955, and after winning 15 games in 3 seasons (’55, ’56, ’58), he made his major-league debut with Boston in late-May 1959. He pitched in 9 games (8 starts) through the middle of July that season.

Ted split the ’60 and ’61 seasons between the Red Sox and their AAA team. He pitched in 15 and 17 games for the Sox those years, all in relief.

Wills only appeared in 1 game for the BoSox in 1962, pitching in 1 game. Because he gave up 1 earned run but got no outs (thus zero innings), his record shows an ERA of "infinity". He was traded to the Reds in early May, and appeared in 26 games for Cincinnati. 1962 was his only season NOT in the minors.

Wills spent the next 2 years playing for the Reds’ AAA team. After appearing briefly with the White Sox in early, he pitched the remainder of that season for the Indians’ and Cardinals’ AAA teams.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Final Card - Billy Moran

Billy Moran (#562) had a 7-year career from 1958-65, with most of his playing time coming as the Los Angeles Angels’ regular 2nd baseman during their first few years.

Moran was signed by the Indians in 1952, and played 3 seasons in the low minors, including Spartanburg, SC and Reading, PA. (Hmm… beginning in the mid-1960s, these 2 teams became Phillies’ affiliates.) 

After missing the ’55 and ’56 seasons while in military service, he resumed his career in 1957 with the AAA San Diego Padres (also a Phillies’ outpost in the mid-1960s!)

Moran played the entire 1958 season with the Indians, starting 52 games at 2nd base and 21 at the hot corner. He was back in triple-A for most of 1959 and all of 1960.

After the 1960 season, he was purchased by the Toronto Maple Leafs, an independent AAA team in the International League. Billy had played for Toronto in 1960 when it was an Indians’ affiliate, but Toronto became unaffiliated in ’61, and retained Moran by buying his contract from the Indians.

The following June, the Leafs traded him to the expansion Angels, where he replaced incumbent Ken Aspromonte as the 2nd baseman.

Moran was the Angels’ regular 2nd baseman in ’62 and ’63, starting 159 and 150 games in those 2 seasons. He was also selected to the All-Star team in 1962.

Billy lost the starting 2nd base job to Bobby Knoop in 1964, and in June he was returned to the Indians in a 3-team deal. The Indians sent 2nd baseman Jerry Kindall to the Twins, while the Twins sent 1st baseman Vic Power and outfielder Lenny Green to the Angels. The Angels also sent INF-OF Frank Kostro to the Twins.

Moran was a backup for the Indians in his final 2 seasons. He started 32 games at 3rd base (behind Max Alvis) in 1964, and played mostly in AAA in 1965 – only getting 22 at-bats in 24 games in 1965.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Final Card - Frank Baumann

This is the final card for 11-year veteran Frank Baumann (#161). He played 5 years with the Red Sox and 5 years with the White Sox, then wrapped up his career playing for the Cubs in the first month of the ’65 season.

Baumann (BOW-man) was signed by the Red Sox in 1952, and after 2 seasons in the minors, he missed all of ’54 and part of ’55 while in military service. Upon his return he was assigned to the parent club in July and pitched in 7 games over the 2nd half of the season.

From 1956 to 1958, Frank played mostly in the minors, but also pitched for the Red Sox each season. His only full season with Boston was 1959, appearing in 26 games but with an ERA over 4.

In November 1959 he was traded to the ChiSox for backup 1st baseman Ron Jackson. Baumann’s best season was 1960, when he pitched in 47 games (starting 20) and compiled a 13-6 record along with an AL-leading 2.67 ERA.

Baumann never duplicated his 1960 success. He lost 13 games the following season and saw his ERA balloon to 5.61. His career continued to go downhill from there.

Frank was traded to the Cubs after the 1964 season for journeyman backup catcher Jimmie Schaffer. He pitched in 4 games (4 innings total) during the first 4 weeks of the season, then spent the rest of 1965 with the Cubs’ AAA team before retiring.