Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#26 Wayne Terwilliger





Wayne Terwilliger  Kansas City Athletics


Career: He's the epitome of a baseball 'lifer'. He broke into pro ball in 1948 and had his major league debut in 1949 with the Cubs. Never a big hitter he got through nine seasons with multiple teams using his versatility and hustle. Following his playing days he managed and coached at nearly every level of baseball until he finally quit in 2010 after 62 seasons on the diamond. His Fort Worth Cats won the independent Central Baseball League title in 2005. He was 80 years old. Only Connie Mack had previously managed at that age.

In 1960: He was about at the end of his playing days. He made two appearances for the Athletics before being 'traded' to the Yankees. It was one of those Yankee-A's trades that happened quite frequently in those days. He spent the rest of the season playing for the Yanks' AAA team as an insurance policy.

Off The Charts: From his very own website..."In 2005, Twig became the second man ever to manage at age 80, led the Ft. Worth Cats to a league championship, posted a franchise record for wins, was Manager of the Year, got an earring, and published his autobiography."  Check below for a shot of his book. It has some nice reviews on Amazon.

The Card: I always like pink cards but this pink/green/yellow/white combo? Meh. Bonus point awarded for the classic A's logo.





Tuesday, October 9, 2018

#25 Roy Sievers



Roy Sievers  Washington Senators

Career: Sievers was the 1949 AL ROY and went on to an excellent career that spanned 17 years and five clubs. His best seasons came in athe mid-50s to early 60s run with the Senators and White Sox where he made four All-Star squads and three times finished in the Top 10 of MVP voting. His Baseball Reference Similarity Scores list him with hitters like Edwin Encarnacion, Boog Powell, Rocky Colavito, and Greg Luzinski...good hitters probably a notch or so below Hall of Fame levels.

In 1960: Sievers was traded to the White Sox on April 4 for Earl Battey and Don Mincher,  went on to contribute to the Twins rise to title contenders in the mid-60s.  He took over at first base for the aging Earl Torgeson and had another fine season. He had 28 homers, 91 RBIs to go along with a .295 average and  .930 OPS.

Off The Charts: Roy Sievers died in 2017 at the age of 90. There is a very nice obit/tribute that can be found here.

From Baseball Reference Bullpen....
Sievers appeared as the swinging double for actor Tab Hunter in distance shots in the 1958 movie Damn Yankees. Hunter's character, Joe Hardy, was left-handed, so the right-handed Sievers was outfitted with a mirror-image Nats uniform and the film was reversed in production.

The Card: Obviously this is a first series card and the trade to the Sox was done after it was on store shelves so he's a Nat here. The yellow/red/black combo is one of them more attractive ones Topps used.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

#24 Dick Gray



Dick Gray  St. Louis Cardinals

Career: He was highly touted as he worked his way up the overstocked Dodgers' chain and finally broke through when the club moved west. He was sidetracked by injuries early in the 1958 season and never really recovered his hitting prowess. He never played a full season in the majors finishing with a .239 average and six homers. Four of those homers came in the first nine games ever played by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 1960: He had five at-bats for the Cardinals before he was traded to the Pirates in May in a deal that sent Julian Javier to St. Louis. The Pirates kept him at AAA for the season where he struggled at the plate hitting .255.  He never returned to the majors.

Off The Chart: Baseball Reference tells us that... 


From the time the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, CA in 1958 until Ron Cey took hold of the third base position for a decade starting in 1973, over three dozen different players where used at the hot corner. But the very first one in that 1958 season was 27-year-old rookie Dick Gray, who arrived in the majors after his big year with St. Paul in 1957.

And from Wikipedia...

Gray was the regular third baseman for the Dodgers in their opening series against the San Francisco Giants at Seals Stadium. On April 16, 1958, in the second game of the series, the Dodgers crushed the Giants, 13–1. In the second inning of that game, Gray belted a two-run homer off Ramón Monzant, to become the first player to hit a home run in Los Angeles Dodgers history.

The Card: Plenty of pink in this first series so far. This is my original copy of this card but I have since upgraded it (along with a few dozen others) thanks to the vintage bins at the local hotel show.

Friday, October 5, 2018

#23 Eddie Fisher




Eddie Fisher  San Francisco Giants

Career: The knuckleballing reliever pitched for six teams over a 15-year major league career. 1965 was his best season by far as he had 15 wins and 24 saves to go along with his 0.94 WHIP. He finished fourth in the MVP balloting that season (for a White Sox team that ended up second in the AL). That effort earned him a trade to the Orioles the following June. Like everyone else in the '66 Orioles bullpen (except Moe Drabowsky) he earned a ring without breaking a sweat.

In 1960: After a mid-season 1959 debut with the Giants that proved rather bumpy after a first appearance win, Fisher spent the season as a starter in Tacoma for the Giants' AAA club. He got into three games after a September call-up.

WikiFacts: He shares a name with the 1950's singer/actor and serial 'celeb marrying' Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher's dad.

The Card: Love the pink on the front. I wish I had a dollar for every vintage Topps card back cartoon that showed a 'pirate' walking the plank.  As for the picture on the front...my guess is Wrigley Field.

Monday, October 1, 2018

#21 Dutch Dotterer




Dutch Dotterer  Cincinnati Reds

Career: Dutch had a long climb through the Reds organization that included a two-year detour for military service. He had a couple of brief stretches with the big club in '57-'58 and settled in as the backup in 1959. That was the only year he was in the majors wire-to-wire. He was traded to the Athletics after the 1960 season but was taken by the Senators in the Expansion Draft a few months later. He got into a few games for the Nats in '61 before he finished his playing days in AAA in 1962.

In 1960: His game logs show he opened the season in a platoon with Ed Bailey but was hitting .228 when he was sent back to the minors in July. His numbers in AAA for the rest of that season were pretty good and probably are what sparked the senators to pick him in the draft.

WikiFacts: Apparently Dutch was something of a Renaissance man!  And his family had some serious athletic skills...this is from his Wikipedia page:
His father, Dutch Dotterer, Sr., was a longtime scout with Cincinnati, the Cleveland Indians, and New York Yankees. His brother, Tom, an infielder, played minor league baseball in the Cincinnati organization.

Also, his son, Mike, graduated from Stanford University, where he is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame in both football and baseball. Mike was drafted by the New York Yankees (1979, 1983), the Oakland Athletics (1982) and in the NFL by the Los Angeles Raiders (1983), where he was a member of the 1984 Super Bowl Championship Team.

The back of the card mentions that he once caught a ball dropped from a helicopter. His page from the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame mentions it as well. Not much about it online but this site quotes a book entitled Redleg Journal:

(Reds General Manager) “Gabe Paul offered $25 to each Reds and Giants catcher who would attempt to catch the balls dropped from the helicopter; and an additional $100 for each ball caught. Only Landrith and Dotterer–a Reds farm hand on leave from the Navy–volunteered.
 The Card: Nothing extra special about this one but it bears mentioning that his 1959 card is awesome. And his 1961 card actually has a photo of his brother.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

#20 Roy Face




Roy Face  Pittsburgh Pirates

Career: After an impressive four season minor league stint he debuted in 1953 and was hit pretty hard. After a year back in the minors he returned in 1955. He transitioned into a relief specialist and became one of the best over the next decade and a half. He was a three-time All-Star and led the NL in saves three times.

In 1960: He was coming off a sterling '59 season which saw him go 18-1(!) out of the Bucs' bullpen. In 1960 he had 24 saves and a WHIP of 1.06 as the Pirates won the NL pennant and defeated the Yankees in that memorable World Series. Law had three saves in that October classic.

WikiFacts: "He achieved his success almost exclusively with the forkball, which he had learned from Yankees reliever Joe Page."

The Card: As a kid, impressed by numbers on the back of baseball cards, I was in awe of Roy Face's 18 win season in 1959. So while I don't collect Face at all I do appreciate his cards. This one, with its pink element, is no exception. BTW.....Roy is giving someone a righteous side-eye, yes?

Monday, September 24, 2018

#19 Felix Mantilla




Felix Mantilla   Milwaukee Braves

Career: SABR says the key word in describing Felix Mantilla is versatility. In 11 seasons, 6 with the Braves, he played everywhere except pitcher and catcher. He was a member of the '57-'58 Braves and won a ring. He was also a member of the 'Original Mets' club in 1962 and so in the course of four years, he saw the sublime and the ridiculous in the game. He finished his career with the Red Sox and Astros. He made his only All-Star squad with Boston in 1965 as the starting second baseman.

In 1960: Mantilla hit .257, his best in a full season with the Braves, while playing in 63 games. He split time in those between second and short with some outfield time as well.

WikiFacts: Even decades after his days with the Braves, Mantilla is doing good things for young people in the Milwaukee community and in his native Puerto Rico.

The Card: While I prefer the backs that have 'Seasons Highlights' there is nothing much I don't like about this one. It features one of the better color combos and Mantilla looks happy. Why shouldn't he be wearing the wonderful Braves' cap and uni?