Saturday, June 27, 2015

#164 Cincinnati Reds, #219 Fred Hutchinson and #459 Reds' Coaches

In 1960: With the 'McCarthy Era' over the 'Red Legs' returned to being just the 'Reds' in 1960. But they were still a year away from their 1961 NL pennant run. The '60 Reds finished 6th, twenty games under .500 and 28 games behind the first place Pirates.

Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson formed a pretty serious 1-2 punch in the batting order and they ranked among the leaders in numerous hitting categories. Pitching was a problem. Bob Purkey won 17 for this mediocre club and the Jim Brosnan/Bill Henry duo had a good year out of the bullpen but the rest of the staff was sub-par.

The Card: Soft and dirty, not a good combo for a team or a team card. The 2nd Series checklist graces the reverse and except for the Yaz rookie there isn't a lot of 'star power' there.

Manager Card: Fred Hutchinson

Career: From my post on this card at Five Tool Collector..."Hutch" as he was called began his baseball life as a sensational 19 year old pitcher with the PCL Raniers in his hometown of Seattle. He won 25 games that first season and was named as Minor League Player of the Year by the Sporting News. After that his contract was purchased by the Detroit Tigers and Hutch got a pair of brief looks at the majors and he had another fine minor league season in 1941. But the Uncle Sam called and he spent four full years in the U.S. Navy.

Once back in civilian life in 1946  Hutch ran off a string of major league seasons with the Tigers that saw him rank near the top of several pitching categories. He went 87-57 between 1946 and 1951. He faded quickly as an effective pitcher but not as a leader and the Tigers named him manager in mid 1952 and he continued as a playing manager through '53. He managed another season before he was let go and he returned to Seattle to manage the Raniers to a 95 win season.

He was hired to manage the Cardinals and held that spot through 1958. He again managed the Raniers for a season before the Reds hired him to finish out the 1959 season. In 1961 he led the Reds to the national League pennant and a World Series match-up against the Yankees. The Yanks won it in five games. Hutch remained at the helm of the Reds until 1964. It was during that season the he was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his head and neck. He left the club in July, returned for a week or so and then left for good, too ill to work. He died that winter.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was founded by his brother Dr. Bill Hutchinson and is now one of the top facilities of it's kind. You can read more about Hutch on these two pages on the facilities' excellent site..... this page is an excellent bio of the late manager and this page discusses the Hutch Award given each year by MLB..

The Card: This is one of the better conditioned of the managers subset in my collection. As always, the cartoons make the card.

Coaches Card: The card back itself gives nice little bios of each of the three coaches. Of the three I was unfamiliar with Reggie Otero. Here is an entry with a short write up about him on the Cuba Beisbol blog.

The Card: Floating coaches heads!!

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