Saturday, August 26, 2017

Final Card - Wally Moon

Here is the final card for outfielder Wally Moon (#247). Wally played for 12 seasons (1954-65), the first 5 with the Cardinals and the last 7 with the Dodgers.

Moon played in the minors from 1950-53, then made his debut with the Cardinals in April 1954. Wally hit .304 in 151 games as a rookie, winning the Rookie of the Year award that season.

Moon was an every-day player for the Cards in his 1st 4 seasons. Initially the center fielder, he moved to 1st base for the 2nd half of 1955 and the 1st half of 1956, before finishing the ’56 season as the team’s right fielder (swapping positions with Stan Musial). Wally was named to his first All-Star team in 1957.

In 1958, his playing time decreased when rookie Curt Flood took over the center field job, leaving everyone else to compete for time at the corners. After the ’58 season Moon was traded to the Dodgers for outfielder Gino Cimoli.

Wally was the Dodgers’ regular left fielder from 1959-61, batting .302, .299, and .328 in those seasons. He made the All-Star team again in ’59 and won a Gold Glove in 1960.

Moon was relegated to backup status in his last 4 years with Los Angeles. With Tommy Davis, Willie Davis, and Frank Howard in the outfield, there was not much playing time left for Wally. He filled in at the corner outfield spots and at first base occasionally, and in 1962 did find increased playing time at the corners, although the Dodgers still used the same 3 starting outfielders through the 1964 season.

Frank Howard was traded away prior to the ’65 season, but that just opened a spot at 1B for young Wes Parker (with Ron Fairly moving to right field). By this time, Moon’s career was coming to an end, only appearing in 53 games in his final season.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Final Card - Duke Carmel

Like Jim Duffalo, Duke Carmel (#261) had a much shorter career than I realized. (I thought he was similar to Bob Cerv.)

Carmel played minor-league ball in the Cardinals' organization from 1955 until he was traded to the Dodgers in June 1960. In September 1959, he appeared in 10 games for the Cards.

Between June 1960 and the start of the 1962 season, Duke went back-and-forth between the Cardinals and Dodgers FOUR TIMES, and then to the Cleveland Indians! A year later, Cleveland returned him to the Cardinals. (He wasn’t so much a baseball player as he was a professional traveler.)

Not sure why this card says "Duke is a long ball threat" when he only hit 4 homers in 104 games 2 years earlier, and wasn't even in the majors in 1964! 

Carmel got his first extended major-league time in 1963, with the Cardinals. He played 57 games during the first 4 months of the season, then was traded to the Mets at the end of July and played 47 games over the rest of the season.

After playing the entire 1964 season in the minors, Duke was selected by the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft. (By the way, why does he even have a card in the 1965 set?) After 6 games with the Yanks, he was returned to the Mets and spent the rest of 1965 and all of 1966-67 in the minors before retiring.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Final Card - Jim Duffalo

Here is the final card for pitcher Jim Duffalo. I was surprised to see that he had such a short career. I did not follow baseball before 1967, but for some reason I had always assumed his career was similar to that of guys like Bill Stafford, Bob Duliba, or Wes Stock. (In hindsight, I have no basis for that assumption.)

Anyway, Duffalo pitched in the minors for the Pirates (1955-58) and Giants (1958-60) before making his major-league debut in April 1961. He was with the Giants for the first 2 months (relieving in 20 games), then spent the summer back in AAA, until he was recalled in September, making 4 starts in the final month.

Jim pitched mostly out of the Giants’ bullpen from 1962-1964. Although with the team for the entire 1962 season, he did not play in the World Series.

He began the ’65 season with the Giants (2 games), but was traded to the Reds in early May for pitcher Bill Henry. He pitched 22 games for the Reds, and another 20 games in the minors.

From 1966 to 1972 he bounced around in the minor leagues with the Reds, Dodgers, Astros, Giants, and Cubs.