Tuesday, August 6, 2019

#106 Billy Gardner

Billy Gardner  Baltimore Orioles

Career: Gardner played 19 seasons in the bigs, five as a regular and four of those with the Orioles thru the late 1950s. He had a career .237 average and his best season came in 1957 when he led the AL with 36 doubles (as well as in at-bats and plate appearances). He played with two Series-winning clubs, the Giants in 1954 (his rookie year) and the 1961 Yankees. He did not appear in the '54 Series but he made the box score in the '61 Series with one AB. 

He later spent five seasons managing the Twins and a short stint as a replacement for Dick Howser in Kansas City when Howser had to undergo cancer treatment.

In 1960: He was traded to the Senators early in April and hit .257  with a career-high 56 RBIs in what would be his last season as a regular.

Off The Charts: His son, Billy Gardner Jr, has been involved in baseball as well and is, at last look, working as the roving coordinator for the Nationals.

The Card: There's that yellow, orange, black and white pattern again. Looks as good with the Orioles as it does with the Pirates.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

#105 Larry Sherry

Larry Sherry  Los Angeles Dodgers

Career: Larry Sherry came up thru the Dodgers' chain as a starting pitcher but was converted to relief when he made the majors and became a front line player in 1959. His older brother Norn was a catcher with the Dodgers for much of Larry's tenure. Larry pitched in four of the six World Series games in '59 as the Dodgers beat the White Sox. He allowed only one earned run in his 12+ innings and recorded two saves and two wins. Needless to say, he was named Series MVP. After six years with the Dodgers, he was dealt to the Tigers where he continued his role as stopper. He finished his career with the Astros and a brief stop with the Angels in 1968. He was a pitching coach and minor league manager after his playing days.

In 1960: Coming off his sterling Series showing Sherry had one of his better seasons, winning 14 games and garnering some MVP votes.

Off The Charts: On May 7, 1960, Norm Sherry hit a home run to give Larry a win over Philadelphia.

The Card: Yellow, pink, black, and white looks better than it sounds as a card color combo. I get a Wrigley vibe from the bit of background in this shot. I wouldn't bet on it though.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

#104 Dick Schofield

Dick Schofield  Pittsburgh Pirates

Career: Known as 'Ducky' he played 19 years for seven clubs. He spent most of his career as a utility infielder but was the regular shortstop for the Pirates and Giants from 1963 thru 1965. He was a part of two NL championship teams, the Pirates in 1960 and the Cards in 1964. His son, also 'Dick' played for 14 years in the majors and his grandson, Jason Werth, played for 15. All three of them were with the Dodgers at some point in their career.

In 1960: Schofield had a career-high .333 average over 65 games and 102 at-bats. He also hit .333 in the '60 Series by getting a hit in three trips. His tally was a pinch single in the second game.

Off The Charts: The Schofield/Werth family is one of five to have three generations play in the majors. The others are the Bells, Boones, Colemans, and Hairstons. John Schofield, Ducky's father, played minor league ball through the 1930s.

The Card: I really like the color combo here. It complements the Pirates' colors.

Friday, August 2, 2019

#103 Dick Farrell

Dick Farrell  Philadelphia Phillies

Career: Turk Farrell was a four-time NL All-Star who pitched for 13 seasons, mostly in Philadelphia and Houston. He spent part of the 1961 season with the Dodgers. Of his nearly 600 appearances 134 were starts, mostly coming with the Colt 45s/Astros. He had a reputaion as a 'hard living' guy. He moved to England after he retired to work on an offshore rig. At 43 he was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver.

In 1960: He won 10 games and had 11 saves for the Phils and racked up a very fine 2.70 ERA.

Off The Charts: In 1962 Farrell became one of eight pitchers selected to the All-Star squad while going on to 20 losses in the same season

The Card: Red seats, pinstripes...it's Connie Mack Stadium. That appears to be #28 behind Farrell which would be Curt Simmons.  I wondered why a vet wouldn't get a 'Season's Highlights' list but checking his stats shows that 1959 was an off-year for him after pitching pretty well in 1957-58. He did get what appears to be a Jack Davis cartoon though.

#102 Kent Hadley

Kent Hadley  New York Yankees

Career: Hadley was originally signed by the Tigers and was dealt to Kansas City in 1957. In 1959 he was the Athletics primary first baseman and hit .253 with 11 homers. He was then traded to the Yankees in the deal that brought Roger Maris to the Bronx. Hadley spent a season in NY, a year in the White Sox chain and then headed to Japan to continue his career.

He played for six seasons for the Nankai Hawks and was a well respected player, the first American to be voted into a Japanese League All Star Game.
In 1960: He spent all but the final month of the season with the Yanks and played in 55 games, mostly as a pinch hitter and late-inning replacement at first base. He hit .203 with 4 homers. He was sent to the minors late in August when Casey Stengel decided he wanted a veteran bat off the bench (Dale Long of the Giants) and was not with the club for the Series that season.

Off The Charts: Wikipedia sez...Hadley became the first foreigner to homer in his first at-bat in Japan. For the Nankai Hawks, Kent went deep off of Junichi Nakajima on May 1, 1962, in Heiwadai Stadium.

The Card: He's pitched as an Athletic since Topps didn't have time to scrub his logos. They did add the traded line to his highlights and there's that terrific cartoon

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

#101 Bob Miller

Bob Miller  St. Louis Cardinals

Career: Miller pitched for 10 different big league teams over 17 seasons. He began his career with his hometown Cardinals in 1957 and finished up with the Mets in 1974. He had previously been a member of the inaugural Mets club in 1962. Along the way, he pitched in World Series' with the Dodgers in 1965/66 and in 1971 with the Pirates. He won two rings. His career record was 69-81 with a very respectable 3.37 ERA in almost 700 games, almost 100 of them being starts. He was the NL's busiest pitcher in 1964 having 74 appearances. 

In 1960: He pitched in only 15 games for the Cardinals and three minor league games. I'm assuming he was hurt during the season but I can't find any record of that.

Off The Charts: During that 1962 Mets' season, one of his roommates was Bob G. Miller, another bonus baby pitcher who played from 1953 through 1962 for the Tigers, Reds, and Mets. I'd imagine Casey Stengel had fun with that. This Bob Miller's name at birth was Robert Lane Gemeinweiser. A third Bob Miller, also a pitcher, was with the Phillies in the late 40s through 1958. Their careers overlapped but for various reasons, it seems the three were not all active at the same time.

The Card: Seals Stadium always provides a nice backdrop. I was a Rawlings guy when I was playing baseball and I always like seeing big leaguers who were also.

If you are scoring at home Topps threw a curve in 1959 by airbrushing the long-time Phils' Miller into Cardinal gear ....here is the 1958 card of Bob Miller of the Phillies.

Then in 1959, they issued this card for that same Bob Miller as a Cardinal. Technically he was a Cardinal after coming over in a conditional trade in February. But he was returned to the Phils in April and never appeared in a regular game for St. Louis (or anyone else for that matter) in '59. Back with the Phils he did some minor league work and moved on to a Dodger farm club and then was out of the game.

This had me scratching my head for a bit until I figured out the comings and goings of the Miller Boys. So it seems that this post's Bob Miller was indeed teammates of both the other Bob Millers during his career if we count Spring Training of 1959. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

#100 Nellie Fox

Nellie Fox  Chicago White Sox

Career: Hall of Famer Fox was a 12 time All-Star with the White Sox. He sandwiched 14 outstanding seasons on the South Side between some time with the Philadelphia A's and a season and change with the Astros. Known as an outstanding bunter, he led the AL in sacrifice hits twice and was in the Top Ten 15 times. He rarely fanned and is fifth all-time in most AB per K.

In 1960: Coming off his MVP season of '59 his numbers fell slightly but he led the league in triples, won a Gold Glove, and made the All-Star squad. This is the last 'good' hitting year of his career.

Off The Charts: Wikipedia tells an interesting tale of how he began his major league career..."Fox at age 16 in 1944, thought that he had a good chance to sign on with a professional baseball team due to player shortages from World War II. His mother wrote a letter on her son's behalf to Connie Mack the owner/manager of the Philadelphia Athletics which enabled him to attend an open tryout that spring for the Athletics in Frederick, Maryland. Fox caught the attention of Mack who signed him to a professional contract."

The Card: Not sure how I've missed this thru the years but the White Sox unis, with the red-trimmed numbers and logos, sort of parallel the red-railed Comiskey Park seats. It's a neat little detail that I have to believe was intentional. That could be a Jack Davis cartoon although I wouldn't put money on it. Noting Fox' MVP award day is a nice touch.