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Henry Louis Aaron was born on Feb. 5, 1934 in Mobile, AL, and is the best player ever to play in the Northern League. He played 87 games with the Eau Clare Bears in 1952 hitting .336 with 61 RBI and 9 home runs (please see his section in "Tales from the League's dugouts"). Also that year, he played in the Negro Leagues.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Henry Aaron combined exceptional natural physical ability and lightning-quick reflexes with a professorial study of opposing pitchers to break the immortal Babe Ruth's 'unbreakable' record of 714 home runs. In fact, he surpassed Ruth's total by 41." [But, of course, his record has now been passed by Barry Bonds - with an asterisk].
"His consistently excellent performance and his longevity added up to <other> still-standing records of 2,297 RBIs, 1,477 extra base hits and 6,856 total bases. He ranks second to Ty Cobb in lifetime runs scored, tied with Ruth's 2,174, and in runs produced. He placed third in lifetime hits. Aaron averaged 33 homers per year, hit more than 20 home runs in 20 consecutive years, and scored more than 100 runs 15 times, including a record 13 consecutive seasons. Not surprisingly, he played 21 consecutive All-Star games. For his career he batted .305 and slugged .555."
"Aaron became vice president of the Braves and a leading spokesman for better opportunities for African-Americans in baseball. He sponsors the Hank Aaron Scholarship Program, and serves on the boards of foundations involved with cystic fibrosis, cancer, leukemia, sicklecell anemia, the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The last player from the Negro Leagues to play in the white majors, he left a legacy much greater than his remarkable statistics on the field."
The following are excerpts from "The Ballplayers":
"Aaron was normally not an excitable sort. One observer remarked that Aaron seemed to be looking for a place to set down when he approached the batter's box. Robin Roberts, who gave up Aaron's first home run, remarked that Aaron was the only batter he knew that 'could fall asleep between pitches and still wake up in time to hit the next one.'...
"Aaron was able to become the all-time home run champ by sustaining a relatively unspectacular but remarkably consistent career. He was never hurt badly enough to be out of the lineup for an extended period of time. He was not a particularly aggressive baserunner, so his legs suffered little wear and tear. He controlled his weight throughout his career. His remarkable physical condition allowed him to average33 HR a year, hitting between 24 and 45 HR for 19 straight years. He drove in 100 runs 15 times, including a record 13 seasons in a row. He was an All Star in each of the 23 seasons he played . Sometimes lost among the home run hullaballoo are Aaron's two batting titles and four Gold Gloves for his play in right field. He was consistent and dangerous and he quickly gained the respect he was to enjoy through his entire career. Early in his career, the Braves played the Dodgers with Jackie Robinson at third. Aaron twice faked bunts, but Robinson didn't budge. After the game, Aaron asked him why he didn't move in. Robinson told him, 'We'll give you first base anytime you want it.'
"Aaron had an understated style that could make him look lazy. He wasn't. He didn't play high school ball in Mobile, Alabama, which somehow hatched the strange story that he batted crosshanded early in his career. He played semi-pro ball when he was 15, and was a shortstop for two seasons with the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro leagues. In May 1952, the Braves paid $7,500 for Aaron, who spent the next season and a half tearing up three different minor and winter leagues. He desegregated the Braves in 1954 after Bobby Thomson broke a leg in spring training to open a spot... Aaron won his first batting title in 1956, his third MLB season. He came close to the Triple Crown for following year with league bests of 44 homers and 132 RBI, but he finished third in the batting race behind Stan Musial and Willie Mays. Aaron blamed an ankle injury (he twisted it when he stepped on a bottle thrown onto the field) for slowing him up at bat. One of those 1957 homers is reputedly Aaron's favorite: the homer that clinched the 1957 NL pennant. For his efforts that season, he won his only MVP award. In the Braves World Series win over the Yankees, he batted .393 with three more homers and seven RBI.
"In 1959, Aaron won his second batting title with a .355 average and led the league in slugging with a .636 average. In that year's All-Star game, he singled in the tying run in the eighth inning, then scored the eventual winner on May's triple. In 1963, he again threatened to win the Triple Crown. He led the league with 44 HR and 130 RBI, but again finished third in the batting race with a .319 average... He won HR titles in 1966, when he also won his final RBI crown and in 1967, the Braves' first two seasons in Atlanta. The Braves won a wild NL Western Division race in 1969, but lost in the LCS in three games to the Mets, despite an Aaron homer in each game, seven RBI and a .357 average...
"...In 1971, he had a career-high .669 slugging average and
slammed 47 HR...At the age of 39 in 1973, he cracked 40, the most HR
ever for a player his age, ending the season one homer off the [all
time] record...And Aaron didn't leave people in suspense for long,
hitting a 3-1 pitch off Jack Billingham in his second at bat on
Opening Day ...On April 8...he leaned into 1-0 fastball from
Dodger lefty Al Downing. He hit the ball with his weight on his front
foot, as was his custom, on a slow arc into the left-field
bullpen...As he jogged around the bases, easily and emotionlessly
with his head town, he was congratulated by Dodger infielders. He was
met at home plate by a small mob, including his mother..." -
He played with the Milwaukee Braves from 1954 through 1965, Atlanta Braves from 1966 through 1974 and the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975 and 1976.
His seasons from 1955 through 1973 are simply unmatched. He was a Braves full time outfielder playing in more then 150 games per year from 1955-1963 and 1965-68. Only in 1964 (145 games), 1969 (147) and 1971-73 (139, 129 and 120) did he play under that mark. His batting averages, during those years were over .300 with the exception of 1960 (.292), 1966 (.279), 1968 (.287), 1970 (.298) and 1972 (.265). He led the league in hits in 1956 and 1959; doubles in 1955-56, 1961, and 1965; home runs in 1957, 1963, 1966-67; RBI in 1967, 1960, 1963 and 1966; batting average in 1956 and 1959; slugging % in 1959, 1963, 1967 and 1971.
Hank's march to the all-time home run record is marked by the consistency mentioned above. During the years of 1965 through 1974 his home run totals were 27, 26, 44, 30, 39, 40, 34, 45, 44, 24, 32, 44, 39, 29, 44, 38, 47, 34, 40 and 20. There were no Mark McGwire/Barry Bonds-like 70 or even 50 home run seasons, just year-after-year consistency with no performance enhancing drug use. During his career he also stole 240 bases out of 313 attempts and had a life-time .980 fielding average.
Aaron's standings on the All-Time individual records [through 2006] are: Most games played - 3,298 (3rd); Most career at bats - 12,364 (2nd); Most career at bats by a right hander (1st); Most career plate appearances - 13,940 (3rd); Most career plate appearances by a right hander (1st); Most career hits - 3,771 (3rd); Most career hits by right hander (1st); Youngest players to reach 2,000 hits - 30 yrs, 5 mo, 7 days (4th); Most career singles - 2,294 (11th); Most career singles by right hander (4th); Most career doubles - 624 (10th); Most career doubles by right hander (4th); Highest batting average by right hander - .305 (44th); Highest slugging ave. - .555 (25th); Highest slugging ave. by right hander (13th); Highest OPS - .929 (38th); Highest OPS by right hander (18th); Most career RBI - 2,297 (1st); Most career runs - 2,174 (3rd); Most career runs by right hander (2nd); Most career extra base hits - 1,477 (1st); Most career total bases - 6,856 (1st); Most GIDP - 328 (2nd); Most strikeouts - 1,383 (44th); Most walks - 1,402 (23rd); Most walks by right hander (9th); Most IBB - 293 (2nd); Most season hitting .300 or better - 14 (10th); Most seasons with at least 100 runs scored - 15 (1st); Most seasons with at least 100 RBI - 11 (6th); Most seasons with at least 100 hits - 21 (4th); Most seasons with at least 150 hits - 17 (4th); Most seasons with at least 100 singles - 14 (14th); Most career home runs - 755 (1st); Best strikout to home run ration - 1.83 (10th); Most extra inning home runs - 14 (5th); Most career grand slams - 16 (8th); Most games with multiple home runs - 62 (6th); Most seasons with .300 ave, 30 Hrs, 100 RBI - 7 (7th); Batters with 300 home runs and .300 ave. (1st); Most consecutive seasons with 30+ home runs - 7 (17th); Most consecutive seasons with 20+ home runs - 20 (1st); Most hits in a season by right hander - 223 (24th); Highest slugging ave in season by right hander - .669 in 1971 (28th); Most extra base hits in a season - 92 in 1959 (45th); Most total bases in a season - 400 in 1959 (29th); 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season - 1963 (4th); 40 home runs and 200 hits in a season - 1963 (19th); Most home runs by right fielder in a season - 44 in 1963 and 1969 (12th); Most season with 40+ home runs - 8 (2nd); Most seasons with 30+ home runs - 15 (1st); Most seasons with 20+ home runs - 20 (1st); Most home runs after age 40 - 42 (8th); Most RBI in first 10 seasons - 1,121 (5th); Highest % of games played in a 10-year period - .9764 (24th); Most career games by an outfielder - 2,760 (5th); Most career putouts by an outfielder - 5, 539 (8th); Most years spent with one franchise - 21 (8th); Most winning games played in from 1957-2006 - 1,489 (11th) and Most losing games played in - 1,374 (11th).
Henry lived in Atlanta and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. He was a Braves' vice president and director of player development from October 1976 to December 1989. At that time, Aaron became a senior vice president and is currently on the Braves' board of directors. In addition, he owns Hank Aaron BMW, a Toyota dealership in the Atlanta area.and is the vice president of business development for The Airport Network
When the Braves were sold from Time Warner to Liberty Media in May 2007, it was announced that he would play an increased role with the team. He said that, in the new role, he wanted to increase the number of blacks in baseball by promoting the game to the young. "Somehow, we lose them between the ages of 6 to 12," he said. "But baseball is something that has longevity. If Bo Jackson would have played only baseball, he would've played a lot longer." Aaron will also work with Major League Baseball to form programs that will encourage the influx of minorities into baseball.
Henry passed away in Atlanta on January 22, 2021. Burial was at
the Southview Cemeteary in Atlanta.
Tommie Lee Aaron was born on Aug. 5, 1939 in Mobile, AL. He was the brother of Hank Aaron and played with the Eau Clare Braves in 1958 (.274, 3 HR, 33 RBI) and 1959 (.256, 26, 80).
He reached the majors in 1962 (141 games - .231 ave.) with the
Braves and stayed with them in 1963 (72 g), 1965 (8 g) and 1968
through 1971 (98, 49, 44 and 25g) and an outfielder and first
baseman. Throughout the years, Tommie also made 14 stops in the minor
leagues ending his pro playing career after the 1973 season. His MLB
lifetime marks were .229 ave., .293 OBP, 13 HR and 94 RBI.
He worked his entire career in the Braves organization as a player, major league coach (1979-83) and minor league manager (1973-78). Tommie died from leukemia at the Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta on Aug 16, 1984. He is buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Mobile, AL.
Florian Frederick Ackley was born on Apr. 10, 1937 in Hayward, WI and graduated from high school there in 1954. He played with the Superior Blues in 1955 (no record) and the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1958 (5-14. 3.50 ERA).
In 1963 and 1964 he pitched 5 games for the Chicago White Sox. In
19 innings, he allowed 17 hits and 11 walks while striking out 17.
His ERA was 4.19 and he had a OAV of .239. On November 24, 1964, he
was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals, but never appeared in one of
their major league games.
From 1954-67 he played with 17 minor league teams. He had 2 seasons with ERAs under 3.00 and had 4 seasons with 12 or more wins.
After retiring from baseball, Fritz owned and operated the
Chip-A-Flo Lodge on the Chippewa Flowage (WI) for 13 years, then he
became a liquor salesman for Saratoga Liquor near Hayward (WI) and a
salesman for North Country Business products. He also helped organize
the Hayward Hawks baseball team and for many years played for them.
He died on May 22, 2002, at the St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth,
MN and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward.
Henry John Aguirre was born on Jan. 31, 1931 in Azusa, CA. He played with the Duluth Dukes in 1951 (0-3, 12.50).
Hank played for the Cleveland Indians from 1955-1957 (4, 16, 10 g). On February 18, 1958, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers with Jim Hegan for Hal Woodeshick and JW Porter. With the Tigers from 1958-67 he pitched generally 30-40 games per year with ERAs from 2.21 to 3.82. He was on the 1962 AL All-Star team and led the league in ERA (2.21) and OAV (.205).
On April 3, 1968, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Fred Moulder and cash. With the Dodgers in 1968 he was in 25 g with a 0.69 ERA. ). His last big league years were with the Chicago Cubs in 1969-70 (41 - 2.60 ERA and 17 g -4.50 ERA).
Of his 447 career games, he started 149 with 44 complete games and
9 shut outs. The left-hander's career mark was 75-72 with a 3.25 ERA
in 1,375 innings. Aguirre was a terrible hitter batting under .040 in
7 seasons and had a carrier .085 average. He was as adept at
delivering one-liners as screwballs during his playing years.
From 1951-57 and 1959, he played on 8 minor league teams. In 2 of those seasons, his ERAs were under 3.00 and in 4 years he had 10 or more wins.
After baseball, he owned and operated Mexican Industries of
Detroit, a multi-million dollar auto parts manufacturing company from
1979 until 1994. It was the largest Hispanic business in Michigan. He
also did some cable TV announcing. Hank died from prostate cancer at
his home on Sept. 5, 1994 and is buried at the San Gabriel Mission
Cemetery in San Gabriel, CA.
Santo Alcala was born Dec. 23, 1952 at San Pedro de Macoris in the
Dominican Republic. He played with the Sioux Falls Packers in 1971
(0-2, 5.37 ERA)
The 6'5" Alcala first played MLB for the Cincinnati Reds in 1976 for 30 games including 21 starts. He gave up 131 hits and 67 walks in 132 innings with an ERA of 4.70 and an 11-4 record. That turned out to be his career year as his win-loss record was over-dependant on the Reds' offense. In 1977, he only appeared in 7 Reds' games before being traded to the Montreal Expos on May 21 for Shane Rawley and Angel Torres. With the Expos he played in 31 games with a 4.69 ERA. On March 23, 1978, he was sold to the Seattle Mariners, but was returned to Montreal before the start of the season.
In 68 career games, he started 33 games, had 3 complete games, one shut out and pitched 117 innings allowing 126 hits and 54 walks with 73 strikeouts. He career record was 14-11 and a 4.76 ERA. He also played on 15 minor league teams from 1971-84.with 4 seasons of ERAs under 3.00.
Santo lives in San Pedro de Macoris and is currently (at least for
the 2006 season) the pitching coach for the Angels' rookie team in
the Dominican League.
Hugh Alexander was born in Buffalo, MO, on July 10, 1917. He played for Fargo-Moorhead in 1936 (.348, 28, 102).
The 1937 season was the fast, strong outfielder's last year in pro ball. He played 79 games for Springfield in the Middle Atlantic League and the Cleveland Indians. With the Tribe, he played in 7 games and batted 11 times. He had one hit and struck out 5 times. Hugh was 0 for 3 as a pinch hitter. In that next off season, while working at an Oklahoma oil well, his left hand was severed. in an accident
The Indians asked him to become a major league scout and he continued in that line 61 years for the Indians (14 yrs), White Sox (4 yrs), Dodgers (15 years) and Phillies (at least 10 yrs and was named chief scout in 1979) and the Cubs where in 1987 he was made a special player consultant. Alexander signed Allie Reynolds, Dale Mitchell, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Bill Russell. He died on November 25, 2000, in Oklahoma City and is buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Seminole, OK.
There is more on Hugh on the page "More Tales from the
Robert Gray Allen was born on Oct. 23, 1937 in Tatum, TX. He played on the Fargo-Moorhead team in 1957 (12-9, 3.72).
Bob was with the Cleveland Indians from1961-63 (48 games - 3.75 ERA, 30 - 5.87 and 43 - 4.66) and 1966-67 (36 - 4.21 and 47- 2.98 with 5 saves). His record was 0-5. On December 14, 1963, he was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates but never played a game with them.
In 204 relief appearances, the left hander pitched 274 innings, giving up 288 hits and 132 walks. He struck out 199 and had a career ERA of 4.11 and OAV of .270.
In the minor leagues during the 1956-60, 1962, 1964-65, 1968-72 seasons he played on 16 teams. In 2 of those seasons his ERA was near or under 3.00.
Bob became a construction worker and lives in Tatum, TX.
Leonard Eugene Alley was born in Richmond, VA on July 10, 1940. He played with the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1960 (.280, 14 HR, 78 RBI, 24 doubles in 115 g). He was named the league's MVP and picked up the nick name "Alley Oop". .
Alley's father died in an automobile accident when Gene was an
infant which left their mother to raise four children. Thankfully, a
railroad pension allowed his mother to avoid having to work outside
the home. He was a good baseball and basketball player in high school
and loved to fish. He said later "In the summertime, fishing is
what I liked to do. I hardly ever played baseball - one or two games
with the American Legion team, maybe. I guess I was just a Southern
boy in the summertime."
After high school in 1958, he was offered a contract by Philadelphia but took too long to make up his mind and they withdrew it. Alley was also offered a partial scholarship to play basketball at the University of Richmond, but finances did not allow him to accetpt, so he worked in his uncle's foundry making aluminum molds and later storm windows and doors.
The following winter, Alley signed as an infielder with Pittsburgh scout Russell Rouse. In 1959, he was at Dubuque (Midwest) where he hit .287 with 15 homers, 24 doubles, 67 RBI, and 98 runs scored in 120 games. Pain in his right arm forced a move to the outfield where he remained for three years. In 1960, Alley played most of the year at Grand Forks. He also played six games for Burlington (Iowa) hitting .083 and four games for Columbus (International) where he hit .357.
In 1961, the Pirates moved him to second base at Asheville (South Atlantic) where he hit .263 with 14 homers, 61 RBI, 23 doubles, and 86 runs scored in 135 games. For 1962, Alley split time between Columbus and Asheville, hitting a combined .262 with 12 homers. With his arm fully healed, in 1963, he played mainly at AAA Columbus at shortstop. He hit .244 with 19 homers and 61 RBI for them in 146 games and earned a September call-up to the Pirates.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical
"Gene Alley arrived in Pittsburgh in 1963 with a reputation as a sensational fielder and an excellent hitter. However, he never quite lived up to the rave reviews, before injuries abbreviated his once promising career.
"Never a slugger, the soft-spoken Alley was a good hit and run man and an excellent bunter. His best year was 1966, when he hit .299, won a Gold Glove, and, with second baseman Bill Mazeroski, helped the Pirates log a National League record 215 double plays. The next two years Alley was selected to the All-Star Game, but a shoulder injury suffered in August 1967, combined with knee problems and a broken left hand, affected both his fielding and his hitting.
"He never was quite able to match either his hitting or
fielding success, although he remained with the Pirates through 1973.
He appeared in the 1971 World Series against Baltimore and started
all five games of the 1972 Championship Series against Cincinnati
although he went hitless against the Reds"
Alley came to the Pirates in 1963 playing in 17 games for a .216 average and played at all infield positions except first base. In 1964, he continued as a utility man appearing in 81 games and hitting .211. With manager Harry Walker's help, he then became a productive hitter. During his full-time playing years (1965-72), Gene batted .252, .299, .287, .245, .246, .244, .227 and .248 in 153, 147, 152, 133, 82, 121, 114 and 119 games. He finished in 1972 for 76 games (.203). He played short in the 1967 All Star game with a sore arm that bothered him the rest of his career. He explained; "...One day in Cincinnati in 1967, I was shagging balls during batting practice in the outfield. I caught one and threw it in and felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. I got another one and threw it and it was the same thing. The pain just wouldn't go away. It stayed like that for a while." He also played in the 1968 All Star game and in the 1971 World Series won by the Pirates.
"I wasn't the greatest hitter," Alley admitted. "When Harry Walker took over the Pirates, he worked with me a lot on trying to hit the ball to right field and waiting on the pitch. We worked on the hit-and-run and he liked to get the runners over a lot. So, I did bunt a lot and sacrificed." Walker, in a 1967 "Sport" article, said this about him: "Alley's got good baseball instincts. He's got a good head. He backs up plays well, he goes to his spots well. He does everything well -- he's complete. He was the best hit-and-run man on the club, a good bunter, one of the better base runners."
In 11 MLB seasons, Gene hit .254 with 55 home runs, 342 RBI and a .292 OBP. He had a life-time .970 fielding mark with 977 games at short, 130 at second and 31 at third. Alley won gold gloves in 1966 and 1967 and also had knee problems in his later years. Gene also played with 8 minor league teams from 1959-63. He is 11th all time (through 2006) in double plays turned by a shortstop.
While a player, Alley worked in the off-season with Nagels - a company that produced printing plates for industrial packaging used with items such as wrappers, containers, boxes, toys, and in-store cardboard displays. Gene became a sales representative for the company and stayed with them until 2002 when he retired. He now spends his time playing golf or hanging out with his buddies - particularly old teammates. He lives in Glen Allen, VA.
[For a more complete biography, please see
Mateo Rojas Alou was born on Dec. 22, 1938 at Haina in the Dominican Republic. He played with the 1958 St. Cloud Rox (.321, 4, 52)
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Matty Alou was the middle of the three Alou brothers. Although he didn't possess the power of elder brother Felipe or receive the initial publicity of younger brother Jesus, he was statistically the best hitter, and he was the Alou to capture a major league batting title, with .342 in 1966.
"To say Alou was not a textbook hitter would be an
understatement. 'He violates most of the principles I teach, but
somehow he manages to get on base,' Ted Williams once commented. His
hitting style called to mind such individuals as Luke Appling, Richie
Ashburn, Johnny Pesky, and Ferris Fain - players with virtually no
power who managed to slap-hit their way to a .300 average year after
"As a minor league player, Alou was considered better as a fielder than as a hitter, displaying an exceptional arm and twice leading the league in assists. Brought up to the Giants for four games at the close of the 1960 season, he was largely a part-time player for the next three years there and was platooned after that. On May 15, 1961, he and Felipe achieved the rare feat of brothers homering in the same game when they connected against Cubs Joe Schaffernoth and Dick Ellsworth, respectively.
"Alou's biggest moment as a Giant came in 1962. His pinch hit leadoff bunt single in the final game of the three game playoff against the Dodgers ignited a four run rally that gave San Francisco its first National League pennant. He continued his clutch hitting in the World Series against the Yankees with a .333 average. San Francisco lost in seven games.
"Prior to the 1966 season, Alou was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he came under the tutelage of manager 'Harry the Hat' Walker, an expert on hitting. Walker persuaded him to exchange his 34-ounce bat for a 38-ounce model. He ordered him to choke up, wait on the pitch and hit more to left field. The results were dramatic. Finally playing full time, Alou responded with a league leading .342 mark. The following two years he was virtually as successful, hitting .338 and .332. Then, in 1969, he hit .331 while setting a major league record (since broken) with 698 at bats; he also paced the NL with 231 hits and 41 doubles.
"Following the 1970 season Alou was then traded to St. Louis
with pitcher George Brunet for pitcher Nelson Briles and outfielder
Vic Davalillo. After recording .315 and .314 seasons for the
Cardinals, he was dispatched on June 7, 1972 via waivers to Charlie
Finley's Oakland A's. Little more than a spare part for Oakland in
1972, he did see action in all seven games of that fall's World
Series. He played for three teams in his last two years before going
to Japan in 1974. After playing there for three seasons he managed
Cuidad Trujillo in the Dominican Winter League."
Matty was a career .307 hitter in his 15 seasons and hit over .300 in 8 and over .290 three more times. In the minors, he played from 1957-1960 and 1963 for 5 teams and hit over .300 for 3 of those clubs. He also played three seasons in Japan.
In the all time record book (through 2006), Alou is: 6th in most at bats in one season (698 in 1969); 36th in plate appearances in a season (746 in 1969); 31st in most hits in a season (231 in 1969); 15th in singles in a season (183 in 1969) snf 3rd in Batters with 200 hits and less then a .300 batting average (.297 in 1970).
He scouted for Montreal; in 1994 he managed in the Dominion Summer
League; in June 2007 the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of
Fame inducted Alou into their Hall of Fame and he was honored with a
Hispanic Heritage Pioneer Award in 2008 at game in Houston.
He died on Nov. 3, 2011, in Santo Domingo where he had lived
for many years. The cause was complications related to diabetes. Alou
had been ill for several years with a variety of health issues.
Roy Maxwell Alvis was born on Feb. 2, 1938 in Jasper, TX. He
played with the Minot Mallards in 1960 (.343, 10, 76).
Max played for the Cleveland Indians from 1962 through 1969 and was their starting third baseman from 1963-68 playing in 158, 107 (sidelined due to illness), 159, 157, 161 and 131 games. His batting averages during his starting years were ..274, .252, .247, .245, .256, .223. In 66 games, he hit .225 in 1969. He appeared in the 1965 and 1967 All-Star games and was named "Indians' Man of the Year" in 1963 and 1967.
After being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers with Russ Snyder for Ray Foster, Frank Coggins and cash on April 4, 1970, he hit .183 in 62 games. The 1970 season was his last.
His life-time batting average, in 1,013 games and 3,629 at bats, was .247 with 111 home runs and 373 RBI. a .304 OBP and .390 slugging %. He hit 20 or more home runs three times and more then 15 in two other seasons. His fielding percentage was .956. He also played on four minor league teams in four years (1959-1962) hitting at or over .300 in 3 seasons..
Alvis is 14th on the list of all time (through 2006)
lowest stolen base % in a season (23.1% in 1967 - 3 for 13).
His career was shortened with an attack of spinal meningitis in 1964 and he never fully regained his strength. Alvis entered the insurance business and eventually became the executive vice president of the First National Bank in Jasper, TX and still lives there.
Arnold Rivola Anderson was born in Lawton, IA on June 19, 1912. He played for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Aberdeen Pheasants during the 1946 season (combined 12-13, 3.63 ERA).
Red made appearances during 3 seasons with the Washington
Senators. In 1937, he was in 2 games (11 inn, 11 h, 11 w, 3 so, 6.75
ERA), in 1940 he was in 2 more games as a starter (14 inn, 12 h, 5 w,
3 so, 3.86 ERA) and in 1941 for 32 games (112 inn, 127 h, 53 w, 34
so, 4.18 ERA). He also pitched for 7 minor league teams over 7 years
(1936-1940, 1942 and 1946). He had two years with ERAs under 3.00 and
one 20-game wins season.
Red served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. After baseball, he was a foreman for the Concrete Pipe Machinery Company in Sioux City, IA. He died on Aug 7, 1972, after a six month illness. He is buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Sioux City.
Joaquin Andujor was born in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic on Dec. 21, 1952. He pitched for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1971 (4-7, 6.36).
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Joaquin Andujar gave new meaning to the work "temperamental" in the 1980's. He was a brilliant pitcher at times, but those times were as off and on as his famous temper. He summed up baseball, and his career, best in Sports Illustrated in 1987: 'there is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is 'You never know'.
"...[in 1976] he joined the Astros where he showed flashes of brilliance and periods of remarkable inconsistency. In his five full seasons with Houston, he was twice named to the All Star Game, but he still managed only one winning record and never recorded an ERA under 3.41.
"In June 1981,...[he] was traded to the Cardinals...[and] his career took off. He finished that season 6-1 with St. Louis, went 15-10 in 1982 and then won all three of his post season starts, including game 7 of the World Series. In 1984, he led the league in victories, shutouts and innings pitched.
"In 1985 he again won 20 games but Andujar became completely unhinged in game 7 of that year's World Series... [When] Andujar twice exploded over ball calls by home plate umpire Don Denkinger...<he> was ejected and ultimately suspended. After the Series, ...<he was traded to Oakland> , but was never the same. He finished back with the Astros in 1988."
In 13 MLB seasons, this record was 127-118 with a 3.58 ERA and a
OAV of .250. Andujar is 9th on the list of pitchers with
the most errors in a season (8 in 1977). He also played on six minor
league teams from 1971-75. Then, he and six other players were
suspended for the 1986 season for admitting during the Pittsburgh
drug trials that they had abused cocaine. The suspensions were
reduced to anti-drug donations and community service.
In 1989 he played in the Senior League and was invited to the Expos' Spring training camp, but he did not make the team. Andúújar started a trucking business in his home country of the Dominican Republic. He was active in youth baseball programs in his home country and had been generous in hurricane relief. He lived in San Pedro De Macoris and died there on September 8, 2015, after a long fight with diabetes. Burial was at the Municipal Cemetery.
Norman Stanley Angelini was born in San Francisco on Sept. 24, 1947. He played on the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1969 (5-3, 3.00). Norm attended Washington State.
The left hander appeared in all of his 28 MLB games, all in relief, with the Kansas City Royals in 1972-73. In 20 innings, he gave up 15 hits and 19 walks. He struck out 19, had an ERA of 2.70 and a OAV of .224. On September 4, 1975, he was obtained by the Atlanta Braves with Al Autry and Bruce Del Canton for Ray Sadecki and cash. However, he never played a game for the Braves.
In the spring of 1981, he pitched in exhibitions for the Montreal Expos, but was sent to Denver where he had good year. He was expecting to be called up when Expos' manager Dick Williams was fired and was replaced by Jim Fanning and the call up never happened. Later in the season, it was again expected that he would to join the team, however, the 1981 MLB strike started. Norm remained in Denver and was not recalled when the season resumed nor in September. He retired that winter.
For 13 years, he played for minor league teams. Twice his ERA was under 2.00 and he was at the "AAA" level for nine seasons.
He lived in Aurora, CO, and died there from cancer on December 21,
Jose Raimundo ("Flaco" meaning "Thin") Arcia was born on Aug. 22, 1943, in Havana Cuba. He played with the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1963 as a pitcher (3-4, 2.75).
After preforming as a professional for 3 years as a pitcher, he converted to an infielder/outfielder in 1965. He was the Cubs utility player in 1968 and hit .190 in 59 games and 84 at bats. Jose played 5 positions for the Padres in 1969 batting .215 in 120 games and played 4 positions for them in 1970 hitting .223 in 114 games. For his MLB career, he played short for 111 games, second in 98, outfield in 28, third in 18 and first for one game. He had 15 stops in his minor league career which spanned 1962 through 1976.
Jose became a scout for the Royals, managed in Florida State
League during the 1982 season and lives in Miami.
Morris Arnovich was born in Superior, WI on Nov. 16, 1910. He played for the Superior Blues in 1933 (.331, 14 HR) and 1934 (.374, 21). In 1934, he hit three consecutive home runs for his home team which he always considered his biggest thrill.
His father, Charles, owned a chain of gasoline stations in the Superior area. While in high school, his play was admired by future hall-of-famer, Dave Bancroft, who encouraged him to play hard and in the outfield as opposed to shortstop. Morrie attended Superior State Teachers College but left to play pro baseball before he graduated. He starred in baseball and basketball while at Superior and had the nickname of "Snooker" there as he was a very good pocket billiards player.
The Phillies signed him in 1935 and he played at Hazleton of the New York-Penn League, where he batted .305, but more then anything, his hustle attracted notice. He led the league in total bases and tied for the lead in home runs with 19.
Morrie played with the Phillies from 1936 to 1940 (was a regular outfielder during 1937-39 - .290, .275, .324). In 1937, his hustle in spring training won him a starting job in the outfield. On opening day in Boston, he homered to win the game for the Phils, 2-1. Later in the season, he had seven straight hits. His 1939 season was his best as he was leading the league in hitting at about .400 through June. His altered batting stance, a new type of bat and hard work were given credit for his performance. Reportedly, the president of the Phillies said Arnovich was untouchable in trade discussions. As August came and went, he wore down and he finished at the .324 mark. Morrie was originally left off the All-Star team that year, but after many fans complained, he was added to the All-Star roster. He made a name for himself in those Phillies' years.
After hitting .199 in 39 games for Philadelphia in 1940, Arnovich was traded to the Reds on June 15 for Jimmy Rizzo where he batted .284 in 62 games. He also had one plate appearance as a pinch hitter in the World Series, but went hitless. On December 10, he was sold for $25,000 to the Giants with whom he played 85 games in 1941 (.208).
During 1941, he was classified "1B" (deferred) by his local draft board due to the fact that he was missing a pair of occluding molars. Later he denied that his classification had come by way of an appeal. Morrie did have upper and lower partial plates to replace teeth knocked out during basketball games which did not stand in the way of his being accepted by the U.S. Army when he enlisted in 1942. While in Tacoma, WA, during the war, he managed and played for the Army team at Fort Lewis. He also was an Army postal clerk in New Guinea during his 1942-45 military tenure. . Arnovich returned for only one game in 1946 (0-for-3) with the Giants and then retired. His career batting average was .287 in 2,013 at bats, he had 261 RBI and a OBP of .350. Arnovich played in the minors for 8 seasons including 3 as a player-manager after WWII.
After leaving the majors, Morrie was a manager in the Cubs' farm system at Selma (AL), Hutchinson (KS) and Decatur (IL). He then returned to Superior where he was a co-owner of a sporting goods and jewelry store, a baseball scout and basketball coach at a Catholic high school. He was apparently in good health when he died from a coronary occlusion at home in Superior on July 20, 1959. He is buried at the Hebrew Cemetery in Superior.
For a more complete biography, please see
Orie Edgar Arntzen was born on Oct. 18, 1909, in Beverly, IL. He pitched for the Duluth Dukes in 1951 (12-3, 3.25) as a player-manager (partial year, 7th place).
A career minor leaguer, he played for the Philadelphia A's in 1943. In 32 games (20 starts) for 164 innings he allowed 172 hits, 69 w, 66 so and had a 4.22 ERA. Except for that one year and two "inactive" ones (1934, 1945), he played minor league ball from 1931 to 1952 for 20 teams. He had 15 or more victories in 6 seasons and ERAs under 3.00 for 5 years. Orie was the 1949 Minor League player of the year. In his minor league career, he pitched in 459 games, 2,543 innings for a 198-112 record and 3.05 ERA.
After baseball, he worked for the Iowa Manufacturing Company. He died after a brief illness on Jan. 28, 1970, and was buried in the Cedar Memorial Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Albert Autry Jr. was born in Modesto, CA on Feb. 29, 1952. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1969 (0-5, 9.00) striking out 40 in 30 innings, but gave up 43 hits and 28 walks. Autry said about his 1969 year: "I was awesome. My velocity was intimidating. I threw hard, in the mid to upper nineties. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the ball over the plate."
His only MLB appearance was a start for the Atlanta Braves on September 15, 1976. He lasted 5 innings allowing 4 hits,3 walks and struck out 3 with a 5.40 ERA and got the win. During his pro career of 1970-1978, he played on 13 minor league teams. He had 2 seasons with ERAs under 3.00.
Autry was the senior vice president of advertising at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., worked for a beer distributor and then for the Modesto Bee selling retail advertising. Later he became their advertising manager and lived in Medesto. He now is the senior vice president of advertising at The Sacramento Bee where he directs the sales department
Robert Michael Bailor was born on July 10, 1951, in Connellsville, PA. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1971 (.340, 2 HR, 50 RBI) and won the league batting championship. .
Bob played for the Orioles for 1975-76, Toronto from 1977-1980 and was traded to the New York Mets on Dec. 12, 1980, for Roy Lee Jackson and played for them from 1981-83. He was sent to the Dodgers on Dec. 8, 1983 with Carlos Diaz for Sid Fernandez and Ross Jones and performed with them from 1984-85. While a major leaguer, he played four different positions in over 100 games (OF, SS, 2b and 3b).
"Buzz" had his career year with the Blue Jays in 1977 with a .310 batting ave. in 122 games (55 at SS, 63 at OF and 7 as DH). He continued as a semi-regular throughout the 70's and finished in 1985 with a lifetime average of .265 in 881 games in 2,819 ab's. In 1985 he appeared in two NLCS games with the Dodgers at third base (1 ab, 0 h). Bob was the last former Pheasants player to appear in a MLB game in 1985.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Bob Bailor was an aggressive competitor whose all out style of play left him injured too often to be an everyday player. Although he was a free swinging hitter, he was tough to strike out and his speed on the base paths was his main weapon. After demoting him in the spring of 1975, Baltimore skipper, Earl Weaver said, 'His ticket to the major leagues is his wheels'.
"...Bailor was the first player selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1977 expansion draft. Toronto manager Roy Hartsfield moved him to the outfield hoping that he could avoid the kinds of injuries he'd suffered as a shortstop... [he] became a fan favorite who provided some of their first exciting moments...He was named the Blue Jays' Player of the Year in 1977 and 1978.
"The nagging injuries that cost him a handful of games in his
first two seasons caught up with Bailor in 1979, as he struggled at
the plate and lost his starting job. By 1980 he was used primarily as
a utility infielder adding three appearances as a mop up pitcher.
Traded to the Mets before the 1981 season, Bailor appeared to have
won the starting shortstop job before the strike interrupted the
season. When the strike ended, so did Bailor's return to the starting
lineup. Over the next few years, he was a key member of the New
York's bench - playing four positions, pinch hitting and stealing 38
bases in 44 attempts. [he] was traded to the Dodgers before the start
of the 1984 season [and] his role in L.A. was greatly reduced... he
retired after two seasons with the Dodgers."
Bob was a minor league manager from 1987-91 in the Blue Jays organization (three times for their "AAA" teams). He returned to Toronto as a coach when they won the 1992 and 1993 World Series. He continued as their first base coach through 1995. Currently, Bailor is out of baseball and lives in Clearwater, Fla. He spends much time outdoors fishing and hunting.
Herbert Loren Bain was born in Staples, MN on July 4, 1922. He played for the Eau Claire Bears in 1941 (15-8, 3.06).
In 1943 he pitched 3 games in relief for the New York Giants. Loren totaled 8 innings allowing 10 hits and 4 walks. He struck out one, had a 7.88 ERA and a .323 OAV. His 8 minor league seasons included two with the Minneapolis Millers (1943-44).
For 25 years he was a bottler for Coca-Cola in Minneapolis and he retired to Chetek, WI in 1978. On Nov. 26, 1996, he died at the Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake, WI and was cremated.
David Lee Bakenhaster was born on March 5, 1945, in Columbus, OH. He pitched for the 1963-64 Winnipeg Goldeyes (4.50 – 12g and 5.36 – 9 g).
Bakenhaster got his only MLB chances in 1964 for the Cardinals when he appeared in two games as a relief pitcher going 3 innings allowing 9 hits and one walk. He struck out none and had a 6.00 ERA with a .474 OAV and .500 OOB.
In the minors he pitched from 1963-67 and 1969-70 for ten teams in 196 games with an 3.49 ERA and a 48-51 record. A writer in Winnipeg claimed that Bakenhaster was rushed through the minors because he was given a sizable bonus by the Cards when he signed.
When he quit as a baseball player in 1970, he was offered the MLB bullpen coach position for the Cardinals, but he declined. He then worked for 34 years in a Columbus warehouse which helped supply Nabisco Brands to the public. He lived in Galena, OH, and died there on July 30, 2014, from cancer. Burial was at Jersey Universalist Cemetery, Pataskala, OH.
Jack Edward Baldshun was born in Greenville, OH on Oct. 16, 1936. He played with the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1957 (10-15, 3.32). Jack attended Miami University (OH).
Baldschun, a right handed relief pitcher, played for the Phillies
from 1961-65 [saved 59 games] when he was traded on Dec. 6, 1965, to
the Orioles for Jackie Brandt and Darold Knowles who in turn traded
him to the Reds on Dec. 9 with Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson. He was
with Cincinnati from 1966-67 and the Padres from 1969-70. In 1961, he
pitched in more games then any other pitcher in the league (65) and
followed that up, over the next 4 years, by appearing in 67, 65, 71
and 65 games. He also pitched in 61 games in 1969. During his 5
Phillies years, his ERAs were 3.88, 2.96, 2.30,3.12 and 3.82. He led
the league in relief wins with 12 in 1962 and won both ends of a
double header on April 14 of that year.
Over his 9 MLB seasons, the red-haired screwballer completed 704 innings allowing 687 hits and 298 walks with 555 strikeouts and an 3.70 ERA. He also was a minor league pitcher over 12 seasons for 12 teams. He had 2 minor league seasons with ERAs under 3.00 including one under 2.00.
Former relief pitcher Johnny Klippstein said of Jack: "Jack Baldschun...had one of the best screwballs I ever saw." Ed Roebuck who pitched with him on the Phillies remembered: "Baldschun was an excellent relief pitcher whose out pitch was the screwball. I saw him go 3-0 on a hitter with the bases loaded and none out and get out of it. He was amazing. But he always went deep in the count, and this really upset <Gene> Mauch. Gene just wanted pitchers to go after the hitter 1-2-3 and if he hit, he hit it."
Jack joined his brother in a carpentry business and then became a
salesman for a lumber dealer supplier in Green Bay, WI. Baldschun
continued to live there until his death on June 6, 2023, from
leukemia. His burial was at Woodlawn in Green Bay.
Anthony Fred Balsamo was born in Brooklyn, NY on Nov. 21, 1937. He pitched with the St. Cloud Rox in 1960 (8-11, 3.46.) after attending Fordham University.
Balsamo was invited to and played on the Cubs' Arizona
Instructional League team in October 1961. His performance there led
to his being invited to 1962 Spring Training as a "non-roster"
invitee by the Cubs' so-called "College of Coaches". He
pitched well enough that spring to be added to the Cubs' 40-man
roster on April 3.
Tony stayed with the Cubs until early July [when the Cubs recalled pitcher Al Lary] with all of his appearances coming in relief. He appeared in 18 games (29 innings), gave up 34 hits and 20 walks while striking out 27 with a 6.44 ERA. Tony also pitched in 4 minor league seasons for 5 teams, but never higher then the Texas League. He retired from baseball after the '62 season. .
He became the co-owner of Lenny's Clam Bar and Restaurant in
Rockville Centre, NY. He now lives in Bay Shore, NY.
George Edward Banks was born on Sept. 24, 1938, in Pacolet Mills,
SC. He played with the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1959 (..242, 17 HR, 68
George's major league appearances came during the 1962-66 seasons. He was with the Twins from 1962-64 and was traded to the Indians on June 15, 1964, with Lee Stange for Mudcat Grant. Banks stayed with the Indians through 1966. He never appeared in more then 63 games in one season as an outfielder/third baseman. In 106 games, over those seasons, he batting .219 with 201 at bats (7 for 43 as a pinch hitter). George had 9 home runs, 6 doubles and 2 triples while striking out 59 times.
He also played 11 minor league seasons for 13 clubs including 1961
when he led the Eastern League in home runs and RBI and in 1965 when
he was the Pacific Coast League All Star third baseman.
He was employed with the Kohler Company, before he became disabled with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). George died on March 1, 1985, in Sparanburg, SC and is buried in Memorial Gardens, Pacolet Mills, SC.
Stephen David Barber was born on Feb. 22, 1939, in Takoma Park, MD. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1958 (1-7, 6.21).
Early on, Barber was known as something of a problem child. He was hard on himself, argued with managers and threw wild pitches and tantrums on the mound. In the spring of 1959, he left the Orioles spring minor league training site and went home to Takoma Park to work as an electrician. The cause was money and interest. He thought the O's were giving him too little of both. "It was a long trip home, but it gave me a chance to think more clearly and decide just what I wanted to do." he recalled in a "TSN" interview in June 1960. "I asked myself what I really wanted to do. That was easy - play ball. So when I got home, I called Harry Dalton, the Orioles' assistant farm director, and told him I was coming back."
Barber had wanted to work with coach Hal Newhouser, but he had so many duties in the camp that "..he never really had the time to give me. And I knew that I needed the help. I wanted to get ahead in baseball and not just kick around in D ball." He got the help he needed that year, but it was at Pensacola by manager Lou Fitzgerald. "Fitz really got me squared away. I respected the man and knew that the things he was doing for me were in my best interests. I felt that in Fitz I had not only a manager, but a friend I could rely on.
"My attitude was bad. I used to storm all over the mound when something went wrong. I remember that Fitz had to fine me $25 for talking back to him. But I remember, too, that I felt bad about it and went in and apologized." But Fitzgerald was tough. He once told Barber that he was going to keep him in a game for nine innings and wouldn't take him out, even if he walked 500 batters. Steve remembered: "In the third inning, I walked the bases loaded and Fitz came out to the mound. He said, 'Okay, Steve, you got 497 to go.' I settled down and started throwing strikes. I believe we won the game 2 to 1 in ten innings." Under Fitzgerald, he pitched 2 no-hitters, one of which he lost, and four 2-hitters, three of which were defeats. However, he struck out 179 in 170 innings. The manager kept the Orioles appraised of his progress and told them that he was working hard. That was enough for them to give him a chance for a 1960 roster spot.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical
"Flame throwing lefthander Steve Barber was the first 20-game winner for the modern Baltimore Orioles <1963>, but he's best known for losing, despite combing with Stu Miller to pitch, a no-hitter.
"As a rookie in 1960, Barbers' fastball clocked as 95.5 mph, the third fastest mark then on record, trailing only legendary fireballer Walter Johnson and Bob Feller. But more then just the speed, opposing batters remember the movement on his fastball. He never developed an effective breaking ball or a change up, but his fastball was rarely straight. Out of a stylish windup featuring a pause with his leg cocked, Barber's fastball darted all around the strike zone and often out of it, leaving hitters guessing and uncomfortable in the batter's box. Barber could also throw a memorable sinker. 'It felt like you were hitting a ball made of iron,' Elrod Hendricks recalled. 'Your hands would remember it the next day. And if you hit it early in the season on a cold day, you'd remember it all year.'
"As a rookie, Barber led the AL with 113 walks, a harbinger of the control problems that, along with arm trouble, would plague his 15 year career. The next year he tied Camilo Pascual for the league lead with eight shutouts going 18-12. After spending part of 1962 on the disabled list, he recorded a 20-13 mark in 1963 and was named to his first All Star team.
"In 1966 he was having his best season - he had been selected for his second All Star squad - when arm trouble [elbow tendinitis] shelved him in August and kept him from appearing in Baltimore's World Series sweep of the Dodgers.
"In his first start of the 1967 season, Barber appeared to
have come all the way back. He held the Angels hitless until Jim
Fregosi doubled with one out in the ninth, giving Barber his second
one-hitter. Two starts later, Barber faced the Detroit Tigers in the
opener of a Sunday doubleheader at Baltimore.
"Through eight innings he held the Tigers hitless while issuing seven walks and hitting a batter. The Orioles made several spectacular plays in the field, perhaps the best by Barber when he stopped Jim Northrup's line drive through the box with his left hip and recovered to throw him out at first base. The Orioles scratched out a run in the bottom of the 8thwithout a hit on three walks (one to Barber) and Luis Aparicio's sac fly. Barber issued a pair of walks to start the ninth, and Earl Wilson sacrificed the runners over. Willie Horton fouled out to the catcher for the second out and Barber got ahead of Mickey Stanley 1-2.
"Catcher Larry Haney called for a slider, but Barber shook him off for a change up. The delivery bounced well in front of the plate, hit Haney on his chest protector and rolled about 20 feet toward the first base dugout.
"Dick Tracewski, the pinch runner on third, remembers, 'We were looking for a wild pitch because he was so wild. He was usually borderline wild, but on this day he was very wild.' Tracewski slid home, beating Haney's throw to Barber and the score was tied.
"Barber walked Stanley for his 10th free pass of
the game, one short of the AL record for a nine-inning contest, and
Stu Miller relieved. Shortstop Aparicio raced to his left to flag it
down, but rookie second baseman, Mark Belanger, who would win eight
Gold Gloves at short, dropped Aparicio's throw. A second Tigers run
crossed the plate on the play, and they held on for the 2-1 win.
Barber had thrown 144 pitches in the first combined nine-innings no
hit loss in major league history. 'If you can't get the ball over the
plate, you don't deserve to win,' he said afterwards.
"Barber won only two of his next 10 decisions and the Orioles traded him to the Yankees in July. In the next seven years he played with six different clubs going 26-31." Brooks Robinson said of Steve: "Barber could throw up to 95 mph but I thought of him as a sinkerball pitcher. He had below-average control."
The fastballer played for 15 years on 7 teams (Baltimore 1960-67, New York Yankees 1967-68, Seattle Pilots 1969, Chicago Cubs 1970, Atlanta Braves 1970-72, California Angels 1972-73 and the San Francisco Giants 1974), with a lifetime record of 121-106, 3.36 ERA in 466 games and was on 2 All Star teams. He struck out 1,309 in 1,998 innings and walked 950, pitched 21 shutouts in 272 starts. He became a relief pitcher over his last 5 seasons as problems with his arm and pitching mechanics limited his success. Steve also pitched in 7 minor league seasons.
Barber was involved in two multi-players deals. On July 5, 1967,
he was traded to the Yankees by Baltimore for Ray Barker, Chet Trail,
Joe Brady and cash. Lastly, on October 22, 1973, he went to the
Brewers with Clyde Wright, Ken Berry, Art Kusnyer and cash from
California for Ellie Rodriguez, Skip Lockwood, Gary Ryerson, Ollie
Brown and Joe Lahoud. He was named to the Baltimore Orioles
In the 1980's he owned a car care center in Las Vegas and lived in Henderson, NV. Barber died in a Henderson hospital on Feb. 4, 2007, due to complications of pneumonia. He had become ill one week prior.
Eduardo Bauta was born on Jan. 6, 1935, in Florida Camaguey, Cuba. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1957 (4-3, 3.03).
On May 28, 1960, Bauta was traded by the Pirates to the Cardinals with Julian Javier for Vinegar Bend Mizell and Dick Gray. By July he was pitching for St. Louis and appeared in 9 games that season with a 6.32 ERA mainly due to 11 walks in 16 innings. In 1961, he got into 13 games with an excellent 1.40 ERA as he allowed 12 hits and 5 walks in 19 innings.
In 1962, he pitched in 20 games with a 5.01 ERA. Finally, in 1963, he stayed a complete year in the majors. In 38 games with the Cards, he allowed 77 hits and 30 walks in 72 innings for a 4.27 ERA. On August 5, Ed was then traded to the Mets for Ken MacKenzie where he had 9 appearances and 19 innings with a 5.21 ERA. He finished his MLB career in 1964, for the Mets, with 8 games compiling a 5.40 ERA. In the first game ever played in Shea Stadium (April 17, 1964), he was charged with the loss.
In his MLB career, he made 97 relief appearances. In 149 innings he allowed 148 hits and 70 walks while striking out 89 with an ERA of 4.35 and a OAV of .263.
He played minor league baseball from 1956-61, 1964-65 and 1967-74
for 20 teams with the last 6 years being in the Mexican League. In 6
minor league seasons, his ERA was under 2.00 and in 11 seasons,
Bauta's ERA was at or lower then 3.00. With Portland in 1961, he was
their relief ace winning 9 out 10 decisions and was recognized as the
PCL's top reliever that year.
He lived in Daytona Beach, FL after baseball and died on July 6, 2022, (the 62nd anniversary of his MLB debut) at the Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, N.J. No cause of death was immediately available, however, his family suggested donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Melvin Brian Behney was born in Newark, NJ, on Sept. 2, 1947. He played with the Sioux Falls Packers in 1968 (9-3, 2.05). Mel attended Michigan State where he was first team All Big Ten in his senior year.
His only MLB experience came late in the 1970 season for the Reds when Mel appeared in 5 games with one start. He completed 10 innings allowing 15 hits and 8 walks. He struck out 2 with a 4.50 ERA. Behney was traded by the Reds on March 27, 1973 to Boston for Phil Gagliano and Andy Kosco but never played a game for the Red Sox.
He also played in the minor leagues from 1968-73 for 6 teams of
which 4 were in AAA and had 2 years with ERAs under 3.00..
He lived in Longmont, CO, and it is now believed, since 2009, that he resides in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where he is a manager at First American Commercial Real Estate Services.
Mark Henry Belanger was born in Pittsfield, MA, on June 8, 1944.
He played with the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1964 (.226, 4 HR, 28
The following is from Baseball-The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"An eight time Gold Glove winner at shortstop, Mark "Blade" Belanger teamed with Brooks Robinson at third base to give the Earl Weaver-era Baltimore Orioles the best fielding left side of the infield in American League history. When Bobby Grich joined them as second baseman in 1973, the Orioles may have had the best fielding infield trio ever, as each player won Gold Gloves from 1973 to 1975.
"Rex Barney, a teammate of Pee Wee Reese's who watched great shortstops for decades called Belanger 'as good with the glove as anyone,' a common assessment of Belanger. The Baltimore star gained the acclaim using a tiny glove and almost never leaving his feet or deviating from his classic overhand throwing motion. His smoothness masked great speed, hands and instincts and he had the ability to make the extraordinarily difficult seem mundane.
"Belanger replaced future hall of famer Luis Aparicio as the Orioles shortstop in 1968 and was as miserable at the plate as he was marvelous with the glove. Fortunately, the Orioles had enough power to carry Belanger's glove. He added an element of speed that came in handy when Baltimore's power hitting declined and they ran to division titles in 1973 and 1974. Although he had a knack for hitting some of the most feared pitchers of his time, notable Nolan Ryan and Ron Guidry, his .228 career average ranks 18th from the bottom among major leaguers with 2500 or more at bats.
"Belanger's best year at the plate was 1969, when he hit .287 - with a career high 50 RBIs and 76 runs scored - and cut his strikeout total from the 114 of his first full season to 54. The Orioles cruised to the AL East title, and Belanger won his first Gold Glove.
"Belanger's regular season production never reached his 1969 level again. He did, however, hit .333 in the playoff sweep of the Twins, including three hits and three runs scored as the leadoff batter in game 2. In the World Series, Belanger was mired in a 1 for 15 slump when he singled in the tying run in the second inning of game 5 off reliever Wayne Granger. The Orioles went on to win the game and the worlds championship.
"In 1971 Belanger won his second Gold Glove, but failed to hit a homer in 500 at bats. He repeated the homeless season two years later, when he began a string of six straight Gold Glove winning seasons. In 1976, he overcame his hitting deficits - batting .270 for the second best season of his career - to earn his lone selection to the All Star game."
Mark played with Baltimore from 1965-81 and, after signing with the Dodgers as a free agent, played 54 games with them in 1982. His lifetime fielding mark was .9768 for 18 seasons. That is the best average of any AL shortstop in history and only .0028 off the MLB record. Belanger rarely fielded a ball one-handed or sidearmed a throw, but he moved around short with sure-handed ease and grace.
He was an minor league All Star in 1964, 1965 and 1966. He also played minor league ball in 1962 and was in the military in 1963.
Mark later joined the Major League Baseball Players Association as a special assistant to Don Fehr. His life was cut short by his life long cigarette habit as he died at age 54 from lung cancer in New York City. He is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery at Pittsfield,. MA.
Robert Belinsky was born on Dec. 7, 1936, in New York City. He
pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1958 (10-14, 2.24) and 1959
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia.
"A sometimes effective pitcher, Bo Belinsky was also an occasional television actor, the hurler of a much ballyhooed no-hitter, a pool shark, an escort of numerous starlets and the husband of first a Playboy Playmate of the Year and later an heiress. Belinsky descended upon an unsuspicious baseball world like a bombshell in 1962. Plucked by the L.A. Angels from the Orioles system in the 1961 expansion draft, the veteran minor leaguer was not good enough to make the team that first year. In 1962, however, he began to make up for lost time. He was off to a 2-0 start when, on the night of May 1, 1962, he joined pitching's elite circle: he threw a no-hitter. Many pitchers had done it before and many have done it since, but only Belinsky seemed t know how to exploit it properly-although he later claimed, 'It actually cost me money. I had to buy drinks for everyone. It was like making a hole in one.'
"Belinsky knew how to work the media, 'These guys don't want the truth,' he said later. 'That wasn't as good a story as something I could make up. So I went along with them. When they asked about [women], I built it up. When they asked about pool, I made out to be the best player that ever picked up a cue When they asked about my contract, I made it sound like I wouldn't sign under any conditions unless [Gene] Autry begged me personally.'
"After the no-hitter Belinsky lost six of seven decisions. He finished the 1962 season at 10-11 <3.56 ERA> but kept the publicity up anyway. He appeared on such popular TV shows as 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside Six and Dakota, as his record fell and his ERA rose. Traded to Philadelphia in 1965, he blasted that city's notorious fans: 'Philadelphia fans would boo funerals, an Easter egg hunt, a parade of armless war vets and the Liberty Bell.' Demoted to the Pacific Coast League's Hawaii Islanders after a season with Houston, Belinsky pitched another no-hitter on August 18, 1968. When no one showed an interest in bringing him back to the majors, he charged that there was a conspiracy to 'blackball' him."
Bo had his best year for the Angels in 1964 as in 23 games (22 starts) he pitched 135 innings and allowed 120 hits and 49 walks for a 2.86 ERA. On December 4, 1964, he was traded to the Phillies for Casten Shockley and Rudy May. His last complete MLB year was with the Astros in 1967 when he started 18 games and relieved in 9 more for 115 innings. He gave up 112 hits and 54 walks.
He pitched in 8 MLB seaons with a record of 28-51, 4.10 ERA on 5 teams (Angels 1962-64, Phillies 1965-66, Astros 1967, Pirates 1969 and Reds 1970). He had 476 strike outs and 333 walks in 146 games and competed 666 innings allowing 603 hits. In the minors from 1956-61, 1963, 1966-70 for 16 teams, he had 7 seasons with ERAs at or under 3.00. Belinsky had 6 years in AAA.
Bo became a drug and alcohol abuse counselor in Hawaii. He wrote
the book "Bo" and worked in customer relations for an
automotive company in Las Vegas for 10 years before his death, ruled
a heart attack but related to cancer, on Nov. 23, 2001. He was buried
at Davis Memorial Park in Las Vegas.
Vernon Adair Benson was born on Sept 19, 1924, in Grantite Quarry, NC. He played for and managed the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1956 (.258, 7 HR, 48 RBI) and 1957 (.223, 6 HR, 35 RBI). Vern attended Catawba College (NC).
Vern played with the Phillies in 1943 for 2 games before going into the military (serving in Europe) for the 1944-45 seasons. He returned to the Phillies for 7 games in 1946. It then took him 5 years to return to the majors as he played with the Cardinals part time from 1951-53. In his 55 MLB games, he batted .202 with 5 doubles and one home run. He was a left handed hitter who played third base and in the outfield and was 2 for 11 as a pinch hitter.
He was scheduled to be the Cardinals’ starter at third for the 1952 season and was trying to earn that job when he broke his leg sliding into second base during an exhibition game in Sarasota, Fl, that spring. It was August before he could play again.
Vern played in the minor leagues from 1946-59 for 19 clubs hitting over .300 in 2 seasons and was at class AAA for 11 seasons. Vern continued in baseball as a minor league manager from 1956-61 and major league coach (Cardinals 1961-64, Yankees 1965-66, Reds 1966-69, Cardinals again 1970-75, Braves 1976-77 and Giants in 1980). Benson managed the Braves for 2 games in 1977 (1-1) and was a AAA manager in 1978-79. From 1986-91, he was a scout for the Cardinals.
Vern lived in Granite Quarry throughout his life. He died in
nearby Salisbury, NC, on January 20, 2014, and was buried at the
Rowan Memorial Park in Salisbury.
Frank Louis Bertaina was born on April, 14, 1944 in San Francisco and played on the 1962 Aberdeen Pheasants (13-10, 3.40).
The left hander was nicknamed "Toys in the attic" by Oriole team mate Moe Drabowsky for his flaky behavior. He started 4 games for the Orioles in 1964 with the first being a one-hitter and pitched with them, off and on, until early in the 1967 season. Frank pitched in 29 games for the Birds, during those years, with 16 starts. In 1966, in 16 appearances, he pitched 63 innings with 52 hits, 36 walks and 19 walks and had an ERA of 3.13. On May 29, 1967, after pitching in 5 games for the O's he was traded to the Washington Senators with Mike Epstein for Pete Richert where he was in 18 games (17 starts) with an ERA of 2.92 in 95 innings.
In 1968, he started 23 times and relieved in 4 for the Senators with an ERA of 4.66. As a reliever and part time starter in 1969 (14 games, 5 starts), his ERA ballooned to 6.56 and he was traded back to the Orioles on June 16 for Paul Campbell and had 3 relief appearances for them. On August 14, 1970, he was sold to the Cardinals where he pitched in 8 games (3.16) which ended his MLB career. .
In 99 pitched games over 7 seasons, Frank's ERA was 3.84. He walked 214 and gave up 399 hits in 413 total innings and opponents hit .257 off him. He also pitched for 9 minor league teams from 1962-66 and 1969-71 and had 2 seasons with ERAs under 3.00. Bertaina had experience in AAA over 6 seasons.
After baseball, he operated a travel bureau leading hunting trips
to Africa and lived in Santa Rosa, CA. He also lived in Key West, FL.
In his final years, he was a fishing expert while founding and
co-owning "Fishing International" operated in Santa Rosa
and "Lava Creek Lodge" in Fall River Mills, CA. Bertaina
died on March 3, 2010, after a heart attack.
Lawrence Joseph Bettencourt was born in Newark, CA on September 22, 1905. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1941 (.366, 10 HR, 74 RBI) and won the batting championship as their player-manager (64-48, 2nd place).
Larry appeared in the Northern League long after he had played in the majors. His first MLB games were in 1928 for the St. Louis Browns (he signed with them for $6,000) where he appeared in 67 games with an average of .283 as a third baseman, outfielder and a catcher (for one game). His next major league sightings were in 1931 and 1932 for the Browns when he played in 74 and 27 games respectively in the outfield and third base. Larry's averages were .257 and .133 in those years.
In 168 MLB games and 395 at bats, he hit .258 with an OBP of .360, 8 home runs and 53 RBI. He had 4 minor league seasons of hitting over .300 and led the Texas League in home runs and RBI in 1930 (43, 135) and the Eastern League in RBI in 1938 (118). His last minor league games were with the Minneapolis Millers in 1944. In his minor league career, he played in 1,390 games with a batting average of .296.
Larry played football for St. Mary's College, was an All-American
in 1927 as a center and was inducted into the College Football Hall
of Fame. In 1927 he scored 12 touchdowns on interceptions, recovered
fumbles and blocked punts. He also played professional football in
1932-1933 for the Green Bay Packers. After his baseball career, Larry
lived in New Orleans for 40 years and died there due to a heart
attack on September 16, 1978. He is buried at the Lake Lawn Mausoleum
in New Orleans.
James Douglas Bird was born on March 5, 1950, in Corona, CA. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1969 (3.45 ERA, 6-2). Signed by former Northern League manager, Spider Jorgenson, who told him that signing with an expansionteam (The Royals) made more sense then college. But, going from Hollywood and the surf scene to the Canadian prairies and long bus rides took some adjusting, but he won six and lost two as a starter for Winnipeg in 1969.
Doug was a successful right handed reliever and occasional starter for 11 years. From 1973-78 he was with the Kansas City Royals appearing in 54, 55, 51, 39, 53 and 40 games respectively and had 20 saves in '73 and 14 in '77 (with an 11-4 record). Only in 1976 was he use primarily as a starter by them. Except for 1978, his ERAs were in the high twos to mid threes. Bird appeared in 6 ALCS games for the Royals in 1976-78 with 8 innings pitched (10h, 0 w, 3 so, 2.35 ERA). On April 3, 1979, he was moved to the Phillies for Todd Cruz where he only appeared in 32 games with a 5.16 ERA. Doug had a lively fastball, a nasty slider and a palm ball. Over a three-span with the Phils, Columbus (IL) and the Yankees, he had an 18-game winning streak.
He made a comeback in 1980-81 with the Yankees with ERAs of 2.68 and 2.70. Traded to the Cubs on June 12, 1981, with Mike Griffin and $400,000 for Rick Reuschel, the Cubs started him in 12 games with a decent 3.58 ERA. He continued as a starter in 1982 for the Northsiders, but his ERA increased to 5.14. The Cubs made Bird a starter again, however, in his last start in '82, he tried to score from second on a hit and collided with the catcher, flipped up in the air and came down on my right shoulder.
That winter they traded Doug to the Red Sox (Dec. 10, 1982, for Chuck Rainey). "The shoulder didn't feel right. I had some good days, some bad. They talked about an operation, but I was 33. There would be a year of rehab. It wasn't worth it to me. So I quit" Bird stated later. In 1983, he appeared in 22 games with a 6.65 ERA.
Doug was a dependable pitcher, who appears to have been on the DL only once. He pitched in 432 games over 11 seasons and his career ERA was 3.99 with an OVA of .272. Bird only walked 296 men in 1,213 innings while striking out 680 and allowing 1,273 hits.
Later Bird attended Mesa Community College (AZ) and Mt. San
Antonio College. After baseball, Bird operated a few businesses and
has been active in youth programs for the recreation department of
Cape Coral, FL, where he resides.
William Carroll Black was born in St. Louis on July 9, 1932. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1950 (3.80, 3-3).
Bud is not to be confused with the more-famous Bud Black who played in the majors from 1981 through 1995. Also known as Bill, our Bud Black had 3 short tours of duty with the Tigers in 1952, 1955 and 1956 after he was traded to them by the Browns on August 12, 1952 in the Vic Wertz deal. He appeared in only 2, 3 and 5 games in those years. His first start in 1952 was a shutout.
Five of the right hander's 10 games were as a starter. In 32 total innings, he gave up 36 hits, 18 walks, 4.22 ERA and a OAV of .283. In 1950-52 and 1955-60 he was with 12 minor league teams. He served his country in the military in 1953 and 1954.
Bud entered the brick contracting business in St. Louis and died
there on October 2, 2005.
Rea Bertrum Blaemire was born on February 8, 1911, in Gary, IN. He played for the 1946 Grand Forks Chiefs (.353, 2 HR, 21 RBI).
In September 1941, Blaemire played in his only two major league games for the New York Giants. As a right handed catcher he appeared in 2 games and had 5 at bats. He had 2 hits, both singles and did not walk or strike out. Defensively, he was perfect with a 1.000 fielding average.
He played on ten minor league teams from 1935-1943 including two years in the American Association (1942 at Columbus and 1943 at St. Paul where he hit .301). Rae hit over .300 in 4 seasons. His year at Grand Forks was his last professional season.
Blaemire became an executive in the Eastern Illinois Baseball
League and was president from 1962-1965. He also was a partner in the
Blaemire-Saddoris Implement Company and later worked for the Hannagan
Implement Company and Reigel Motors until his retirement in 1975. His
death came on December 23, 1975, at the Burnham City Hospital in
Steven Lawrence Blateric was born on March 20, 1944, in Denver. The right hander played with the Sioux Falls Packers in 1967 (2.65, 9-5). Blateric graduated from the University of Denver.
Steve had short trials with 3 MLB teams. In 1971, he pitched 2 games for the Reds (2 inn, 5 h, 2 w, 0 so, 13.50). On September 16, 1972, he was sold to the Yankees where he pitched one game (4 inn, 2 h, 0 w, 0.00). He returned to the Reds thereafter and, on December 12, 1973, was traded to the Indians for Roger Freed.. He did not pitch for Cleveland, but, in 1975, appeared in 2 games for the Angels (4 inn, 9 h, 0 w, 1 so, 6.23).
In his 5 career big league games, all in relief, he totaled 11 innings with 16 hits and only 2 walks allowed with a 5.73 ERA and .333 OAV.
His minor league record was another thing altogether. He was with 19 different minor league teams over 13 seasons. His ERA was under 2.00 with 4 of the teams and under 3.00 with 5 more.
Blateric was the head coach at Sonoma State U. from 1980-85 and
now lives in Denver.
John Lewis Blatnik was born on March 10, 1921, in Bridgeport, OH. He played with the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1940 hitting .289 with 10 home runs and 67 RBI.
He was born to Slovenian immigrants and lived in a small community
then known as Goosetown near Bridgeport. Frank, his father, a stern
man, was an atheist and socialist. His mother, however, practiced
Christianity and had all of her children baptized. Johnny shared a
room with his two brothers in a small house that was heated by a
single coal stove, which also served as the family cooking stove.
Fresh water had to be carried from the outside, which also was the
location of the family's outhouse.
Blatnik excelled on his sports teams at Bridgeport High School [which later produced Phil and Joe Niekro, basketball star John Havlicek, football star Bill Jobko and Olympic wrestling champion Bobby Douglas]. He was a standout on their basketball team, and one year led them to the state tournament. During his high school summers, Blatnik starred for the Bridgeport National Bank junior baseball team where Johnny caught the eye of Cleveland Indians' scouts, who had him work out for the clubs' front office. After he graduated in 1939, he was signed by Bill Bradley to an Indians' contract and was sent to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where he played first base and batted .302 during a brief time there.
In 1940, as mentioned above, he playing third base for Fargo-Moorhead and was named the Northern League's best player at that position. In 1941, he went to Charleston (Class C - Middle Atlantic League) and hit .247 with 4 homers and 38 RBI. There he was converted to the outfield because, as he joked, managers grew tired of watching him field everything off his chest. The move probably helped him hit 327 in 1942 for Charleston when they won the Middle Atlantic League title.
Before he could go to spring training with the Indians in 1943, he
was inducted into the Army in September 1942, and after basic
training at Fort Hayes Army Air Base, Blatnik joined a military
baseball team. Though stats were not officially kept, Blatnik
remembered hitting about .406. Soon after, pressures from military
leaders resulted in his transfer to Warner Robins Army Air Base in
Georgia where he became part of a motorcycle company assigned to
guard troops and equipment as they traveled out of town. "They
gave me a gun, a badge and a nightstick," Blatnik said. "I
never used the gun, but you wouldn't like how I used that nightstick.
We had to set up our camp in the middle of a swamp, nothing but
snakes and stuff. You would come in, and there would be a big snake
lying right in the middle of your bed."
In addition, Johnny starred on the unit's baseball club (he recalls a .356 average). From there, he was transferred to Maxwell Field in Miami, Florida, then to flight officers school in Amarillo, Texas, and finally to Furman University to learn flying. He also played baseball, basketball and football. Despite his lack of gridiron experience (his parents never wanted him to play) he did well enough to be offered eight college scholarships. Before being discharged in 1945, Blatnik got his first taste of big-league pitching as he faced Bob Feller, who was playing for a Navy team. "He struck me out, and I never even saw one," John recalled.
Despite missing three prime years, Blatnik never wondered what might have been. He knew others gave up far more than just baseball in service to their country. "A lot of guys left their families, and their babies were born while they were overseas," his wife, Gladys, once said. "They never complained, not one person did. You respected being a citizen of this country."
After the war, Blatnik had to re-establish himself in the minor leagues. He was assigned to Harrisburg, PA, in 1946 [Class B Interstate League]. Johnny earned all-star recognition while leading the league with 189 hits and was among the league leaders with a .336 batting average, 19 homers and 108 runs batted in. The team finished second in the regular season, but beat Allentown and Wilmington to win the post-season playoffs. Despite that excellent season, Blatnik was left unprotected by Cleveland during the winter and the Phillies picked him up sending him to Wilkes-Barre [Class A Eastern League] for 1947. He helped them into the post-season playoffs against Utica, hitting .334 with 10 homers and 91 RBI. He competed all season for the batting crown with Joe Tipton and Richie Ashburn (both of Utica). Tipton, a catcher, hit .375 to win, Ashburn finished second and Blatnik third. Utica also defeated Wilkes-Barre in the opening round of the playoffs before going on to win the Eastern League championship.
Blatnik finally made the Phillies roster in 1948 as a reserve outfielder. Ashburn was in center field, Del Ennis was in right and Harry "The Hat" Walker in left. Blatnik took over in left after Walker caught the flu early in the season. As a starter, Johnny got his first hit off of Reds' pitcher Johnny Vander Meer. Later he went 6-for-8 in a doubleheader in Cincinnati and was 4-for-4 the next day in Pittsburgh. His early-season batting average was .444 as he led the National League. Blatnik credited his hitting success to a spring training talk he had with Ted Williams when Ted corrected a flaw in Blatnik's stance. However, he slumped toward the end of the season after suffering sunstroke one afternoon at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field. He still finished with a respectable .260 batting average with 6 homers and 45 RBI. His team-leading 27 doubles ranked ninth in the National League and his eight triples were eighth in the league. During the year, someone nicknamed him "Chief," though Blatnik never knew why.
In 1949, Blatnik was on the Phillies' bench behind Bill "Swish"
Nicholson, a slugger who had joined the team after 10 seasons with
the Chicago Cubs where he had led the league in both homers and RBI
during the 1943 and 1944 seasons. After seeing limited playing time,
Johnny was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs [International League]
where he hit .294 with 15 home runs and 80 RBI. That warranted a
late-season call-up. For the year, Blatnik hit just 1-for-8 in 6
games, but did appear on his only baseball card that year with the
Bowman company. Unfortunately, his name was incorrectly spelled
"B-L-A-T-N-I-C-K" [please see picture above].
Sadly, John had just a few chances with the Phillies' magical 1950 "Whiz Kids" appearing in only 4 games in the first month of the season. On April 27, with his average at .250, he was traded to the Cardinals for pitcher Ken Johnson. After batting only .150 in 7 games, Blatnik played his last major league game on May 14 before being sent to Houston [Texas League] where he hit .252, 9 home runs and 42 RBI. John made 138 appearances in his major league career with an average of .253 including a 6 for 22 record as a pinch hitter.
In 1951, with Rochester [IL], he did well (.271, 11, 60) and helped the Red Wings make the post-season playoffs, where they fell to Syracuse. Johnny split the 1952 season between Rochester and Syracuse [IL] as combined he hit .274 with 17 homers and 66 RBI.
He stayed with a poor Syracuse team in 1953, and was quite solid at the plate (.266, 18, 76). Syracuse was better in 1954, but Blatnik tailed off batting .247 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI. The season ended well as the Chiefs took the post-season title, beating Toronto and Montreal 4 games to 3 in the playoffs. John ended his pro career over the next two seasons in the IL, hitting .308, 4, 14 in 1955 with Syracuse and .306, 0, 2 with Buffalo in 1956. He then retired as a player.
Blatnik and his family purchased a home on the Blaine-Chermont Road in Lansing, Ohio, and he took a job as the Deputy Director of Workers Compensation for the State of Ohio. He also began officiating high school, college and semi-pro football, high school basketball and high school and college baseball. Johnny remembered shutting up an irate fan complaining about his balls and strikes calls by joking "if I could still see, I'd still be playing pro ball".
During that time, John and the mayor of neighboring Martins Ferry, Ohio, together started "Colt and PONY" League baseball in the Ohio Valley. Blatnik also served as director of several tournaments in the area, but never took any expense money, preferring that all funds be spent on the kids. During his working years, Johnny also was a pro baseball scout and an actuary for Gates-McDonald and Company.
The Blatniks eventually settled into a laid-back life along their rural road, watching the occasional ball game, going fishing or taking in a minor-league hockey game in Wheeling, WV. That all changed on November 22, 1997, when Johnny suffered a stroke. While being hospitalized, he had set-backs from pneumonia, a blood clot and a bad reaction to antibiotics. Thankfully, 9 months later, he was able to threw out a ceremonial first pitch at the annual Holloway, Ohio, Old Timers baseball festival. At that time, it was announced that Blatnik had been selected as the organization's "Man of the Year".
In December 1998, the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame honored Blatnik by inducting him as a member. "He's done so much for baseball as a player and as a person outside of the game," it was said of Blatnik. "You always need friends to help out and promote the game. He was always there to help the game." In July 2000, the Belmont County Commission voted to erect a sign to honor John on the road where he and his family had lived for decades
Over the next few years, Blatnik suffered another series of
strokes and his health continued to decline. He died on January 21,
2004, at his home along the road which bears his name. He was buried
in Holly Memorial Gardens in Pleasant Grove, Ohio.
Bobby Donald Bolin was born in Hickory Grove, SC on January 29, 1939. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1958 with an ERA of 4.22 and a record of 10-8.
Bob reached the majors in 1961 with the Giants and stayed with them for 9 seasons first as a reliever and then as a starter. The hard throwing sidearm right hander was used often playing over 40 games in 3 seasons and over 30 games in the other 6. His ERAs were generally ranging in the low threes. In 1965, he record was 14-6 and in 1966, he started in 34 games and relieved in 2 for 224 innings with an ERA of 2.89 and a OAV of .211. That year he tied a record by striking out the first 5 batters to start a game. During a game in 1968, he pitched shut out ball for 11 innings. In 1962, he appeared in 2 games of the World Series going 2 2/3 innings allowing 4 hits, 2 walks while striking out 2 with a 6.75 ERA.
On December 12, 1969, he was traded to the Seattle Pilots for Steve Whitaker and Dick Simpson. The Pilots became the Brewers in 1970 and he pitched 32 games for them (he was the winning pitcher in their first victory) and then was sold to the Red Sox on September 10 for whom he appeared in 6 more games. He stayed with the Sox for his last 3 MLB seasons of 1971-73. In those years, he was used exclusively as a reliever in 52, 21 and 39 games with ERA's of 4.26, 2.93 and 2.70.
Over 13 seasons, the sidearmer was a steady performer with a career ERA of 3.40 in 495 games and 1,576 innings with 40 saves. He allowed only 1,364 hits and walked 597 with 1,175 strikeouts and a .231 OAV. His win/loss record was 88-75.
In the minors, he pitched two no-hitters during his tour of 6
cities over 5 seasons (1957-60 and 1972).
Bob owned a farm near Six Mile, SC and still lives in Easley, SC, where his neighbor is Al Dark. Bolin is a board member for the Alvin Dark Foundation, which supports Christian ministries, and he enjoys golf. He began playing at the age of 20 and now plays about twice a month on courses around the country.
William Gordon Bonham was born in Glendale, CA on October 1, 1948, and played with the Huron Cubs in 1970 (3.00, 3-3). Bill attended the Los Angeles Valley College and UCLA where he was on their 1969 College World Series Champs.
The next year he made the Chicago Cubs roster and played with them for 7 years (1971-77). Bill began as a reliever, but was converted to a starter midway through 1973. He had a heavy burden from 1974-1977 completing 242, 229, 196 and 214 innings. His ERA's during the Cub years were 4.65, 3.12, 3.02, 3.86, 4.71, 4.27 and 4.36. His 22 losses in 1974 tied for the league lead despite his 7.07 strikeouts-per-nine-innings was the third best in the NL. During his Cubs' years, he was plagued with wildness.
The right hander moved to the Reds on October 31, 1977, for Woodie Fryman and Bill Caudill. He pitched the 1978 season for Cincinnati and stayed with them the rest of his major league career which ended after the 1980 campaign. He was a starter during his first 2 years (23 and 29 starts) and had ERA's of 3.53 and 3.79 (11-5 and 9-7 records) . The 1980 season was cut short with only 4 games (all starts) due to a shoulder injury. His shoulder problem also ended his MLB career.
There were some unfortunate records that Bill set or met: At the start of a game on 8-5-75, he allowed 7 straight hits and during the 1974 season, he tied a record for most balks of 8. However, he did strike out 4 batters in a game on July 31, 1974 which set a positive record.
Over 10 MLB seasons, he appeared in 300 games and finished 1,487 innings allowing 1,512 hits and 636 walks with 985 strike outs, an ERA of 4.01 and OAV of .266.
Bill played for 6 minor league teams from 1970-72 and 1980-82 and
lives in Solvang, CA.
Lute Joseph Boone was born on May 6, 1890, in Pittsburgh. He was a minor league player from 1911-1913, 1916-1930 and 1933-1935, a major leaguer from 1913-1916 and 1918 and a minor league manager from 1933-1936. He broke in with McKeespost in 1911 and the next spring had a trial with the Phillies who sent him to Lancaster. Then he played for Steubenville and Dallas before becoming a major leaguer.
Lute came up with the Yankees in September 1913 for 6 games going 4 for 12 as a shortstop. From 1914-1916 he played in 106, 130 and 46 games with them batting .222, .204 and .185. During those years, he also played at second and third. In late 1916 he was sent to Richmond and in 1917 went to Toledo and remained there off-and-on through 1918.
His MLB career ended in 1918 for the Pirates in 27 games with a .198 average. In his 5-year and 315-game career, he batted .209 with a .282 OBP and .261 slugging %. His fielding average was .964 with 214 games at second, 53 at short, 38 at third and one in the outfield. Boone's good fielding couldn't make up for his poor hitting.
He played 15 years in AAA with 7 years at St. Paul and 3 at Columbus. St. Paul had sold him to Brooklyn in 1921, but he did not get another chance in the majors because of an injury. His career minor league batting average was .278 in 1,982 games. As a player-manager at Crookston in 1933-1934, he hit .387, .287 and .241 in 48, 77 and 11 games.
Lute's minor league managerial record all took place in the Northern League. In 1933-1935 he managed Crookston(48-48, 5th; 62-58, 3rd; 45-65, 7th) and in 1936 Wausau (61-59, 4th). In addition to playing and managing, he was the league's president from mid-1933 through 1934.
He died on July 29, 1982, in Pittsburgh
Raymod Otis Boone was born in San Diego on July 27, 1923. He played with the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1942 hitting .306 with four home runs and forty-one RBI.
The Indians signed him out of high school as a catcher for a $500
bonus and his first year was with Wausau. He then went into the Navy
and played for the San Diego Naval Training Station team. In 1947
Boone went to spring training as a catcher (he had never played any
other position) and was sent to Oklahoma City to share the backstop
duties. However, the team had problems with the shortstop position
and manager Pat Ankenman asked Ray to take a shot at it until they
could obtain another shortstop. They never did and Boone finished the
year at that position. In 1948 spring training with Cleveland,
manager Lou Bourdreau and his coaches had him try both catching and
infield play and let him make up his mind. He choose infielder.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Ray Boone essentially had three careers, playing shortstop for five years with the Cleveland Indians, serving primarily as a third baseman for the Detroit Tigers for four years and then finishing off his career as a first baseman. Boone was batting .355 as a third baseman for Oklahoma City in the Texas League when he was called up to fill in for Cleveland shortstop-manager Lou Boudreau when Boudreau was injured. Boone was so good that Boudreau moved himself to third upon returning in the lineup.
"Boone was traded to Detroit in June 1953 and his career really took off. He finished the year with 26 home runs - and his 114 RBIs almost doubled his previous high. In 1954 he was selected for his first All Star Game; in 1955 he tied for the AL lead with 116 RBIs; and in 1956 he went to his second All Star Game. Despite his success, Boone was traded to Chicago <White Sox> during the 1958 season and then finished out his career with brief stints in Kansas City, Milwaukee and Boston <Red Sox>.
"Boone was one of many players who hated to fly, when air travel in the majors was relatively new. On one occasion the Tigers were flying to Kansas City for a weekend series when one of the four engines on their plane conked out. The plane made an emergency landing at Chicago O'Hare Airport and the Tigers were put on another aircraft. On Sunday the Tigers were scheduled to fly out of KC. At the airport Boone pulled a piece of crumpled paper out of this pocket, scanned it quickly and then glanced at the plane they were about to board: he'd written down the number of the plane that the Tigers had been forced to abandon in Chicago and this was the same plane. 'See you later, guys.' he said, as he headed for the train station.
"Boone's son Bob was later a catcher in the major leagues.
Bob became a manager at the end of his 19-year playing career. The
Boones became a three-generation major league family in 1993 when
Boone's grandson, second baseman Bret, joined the Seattle Mariners
[and later when another grandson Aaron joined the Reds]. All three
generations played in a World Series and were named to an All-Star
Over 13 seasons, Bob played in 1,373 games batting .275 with a OBP of .363. He hit 151 home runs and drove in 737 runs and played over 100 games in nine seasons. Jim Fridley who played with him on the Indians said: "Ray Boone was an ideal, cheerful teammate. Ray would become a fine third baseman, but he wasn't mobile enough to play short and couldn't turn the double play..."
Boone had a powerful throwing arm, but bad knees and ankles limited his range. He led AL shortstops in errors in 1951 and when he was traded to the Tigers in 1953 he moved to the less-demanding third base. Ray was known as a line-drive hitter who could handle curveballs. He also played on 5 minor league teams in 1942 and 1946-48 and served in the Navy from 1943 through 1945.
Ray became a major league scout and helped the Red Sox sign Gary Allenson, Marty Barrett, Tim Blackwell, Sam Horn, Dave Morehead, Tony Muser, Erik Plantenberg, Phil Plantier, Todd Pratt, Chuck Rainey, Kevin Romine, and Curt Schilling. He lived in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
On October 17, 2004, after being hospitalized for six months with
complications following intestinal surgery, he died in San Diego.
Frank Bernard Bork was born on July 30, 1940 in Buffalo, NY. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1961 (4.81, 7-10).
Frank's taste of the majors came with the Pirates for 33 games in 1964. He was used in relief 31 times completing 42 innings allowing 51 hits and 11 walks. His ERA was 4.07 and he had a OAV of .295 while striking out 31. He won his first major league start.
The left hander also pitched for 10 minor league teams from 1960 through 1967. His best year was in 1962 for Kinston in the Carolina League where he went 19-7 with a 2.00 ERA.
Frank became a manufacturer's representative for domestic items
and home furnishings in Columbus, OH. He now is the president of
Sunrise Sales Group (textiles) which is located in the Columbus. Bork
lives in Dublin, OH.
Donald John Bosch was born in San Francisco on July 15, 1942, and he played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1962 (.256, 7 hr, 43 rbi).
Don was up and down between the majors and AAA during the 1966-68 seasons and was a major leaguer for only one complete year - 1969. With the Pirates in 1966, the switch hitter only played in 3 games. On Dec. 6, 1966, he was traded to the Mets with Don Cardwell for Dennis Ribant and Gary Kolb. With the them in 1967 and 1968, he was in 44 and 50 games as an outfielder and pinch hitter. The switch hitter hit .140 and .171 with the New Yorkers and was 1 for 12 as a pinch hitter.
On October 16, 1968 he was sold to the Expos where he completed his stay in the majors with the Expos in 1969 for 49 games with a .179 average while going 2 for 15 as a pinch hitter. Bosch scored the very first run in a Major League regular season game in Canada.
In his 4-year MLB career, he played in 146 games and hit .164 with an OBP of .218. Known as a fielding wizard in the minor leagues, he made only 4 errors in 190 major league chances. Sportswriter Maury Allen once described him as an "ulcer ridden, gray haired, twenty-five year old". Don only hit 4 MLB homers, but when he hit 2 off of Mike McCormick and Juan Marichal during a series in 1968, he became the first Mets' player to hit home runs from both sides of the plate.
In 10 minor league seasons, he played for 11 teams including one when he hit over .300.
Don became a land developer in Napa, CA, and lives in Fort
David Wilson Boswell was born on January 20, 1945, in Aberdeen, MD. He played with the Bismarck-Mandan Pards in 1964 (4.24 ERA, 7-11).
Dave made it all the way to the Minnesota Twins in 1964 when he made 4 starts at 19 years of age. He pitched 23 innings, allowing 21 hits and walked 12 while striking out 25 with an ERA of 4.24 and OAV of .236. This led to a 6-year stay on the Twins with all but one (1965) being in their starting rotation. In 1965, he pitched 106 innings with a 3.40 ERA; in 1966, 169 innings with a 3.14 ERA; 1967, 222 innings/3.27 ERA; 1968, 190 innings/3.32 ERA; 1969, 256 innings/3.23 ERA and 20 wins. In 1967, he struck out 204.
Dave relived Jim Kaat in game 5 of the 1965 World Series and pitched 2 2/3 innings allowing 3 hits and 2 walks with a 3.38 ERA. In 1969, he started the second game of the ALCS and lasted 10 2/3 innings giving up one run in a heart breaking 11 inning loss to the Orioles.
His fight with manager Billy Martin in 1969 led to Billy's dismissal by owner Calvin Griffith and the heavy workload that year may have helped cause a back injury which reduced his innings pitched to 68 in 18 games for the 1970 season (6.42 ERA).
1971, the right hander played with the Tigers (3 games) and the Orioles (15) as a reliever. His ERA for the year was 4.66 and it was his last MLB year - at age 26. In his 8-year big league career, Dave pitched in 205 games (151 starts) for 1,065 innings allowing only 858 hits, 481 walks with a 3.52 ERA and .219 OAV. He struck out 882.
Dave only played for 3 minor league teams in 1964 and 1971. After baseball, he went to work for the National Brewing Company in Baltimore. He also worked at fantasy baseball camps and, throughout most of his life, made his home in in Joppa, MD. Boswell died on June 11, 2012, from a heart attack in Baltimore. He had assorted health issues in his final years.
Second baseman Frank Quilici roomed with for five seasons with the Twins. He was interviewed for the "St. Paul Pioneer Press": "They put me [Quilici] in with him to see if I could straighten him out, and after about two years, they thought I was going his way,"...Quilici said rooming with Boswell "was the most fun I've ever had in baseball. That character was a lot of fun, on and off the field."
In August 1969, the Boswell-Martin fight happened even though the two were "best friends," Quilici said. "Bozzie took his licks that time, but if he hadn't been a little bit under the weather, I think he would have knocked the hell out of Billy," Quilici said. "He was strong." It was known that Boswell often carried a .357 Magnum pistol, which he would use to shoot snakes during spring training in Florida. "He used to say, 'Don't ever worry about anybody coming in the room,' " Quilici said.
Quilici recalled rooming with Boswell in Boston on a hot, humid evening. "I woke up in the middle of the night, and he scared the living daylights out of me because he had put his mattress from the bed halfway out the window, and he was sleeping on it," Quilici said.. Boswell was also known as a tremendous competitor. "He would do anything to win a ballgame," Quilici said. "On the field, you loved playing behind him because you knew he was taking care of his guys. If anybody (opposing pitcher) threw at somebody or something like that, well, there was going to be a response, believe me. He wasn't afraid to get it done."
Quilici often told Boswell to get batters to hit the ball to him
at second base, until the Twins faced Mickey Mantle in one game. "We
played the Yankees, and Mickey hit me two shots, and the second one
must have hit 15 parts of my body," Quilici said. "After I
got up, I yelled, 'Boz, strike that SOB out!' " Boswell didn't
really have a formal education, but he was extremely smart, Quilici
said. "I always said that if he had gotten a formal education,
he would have got a Ph.D.," Quilici said. "He had a mind
like a trap."
Robert Allen Botz was born in Milwaukee on April 28, 1935, and played for the 1955 Eau Claire Bears (4.06 ERA, 13-3).
After 8 minor league seasons, Bob made it to the majors with the Los Angeles Angels in 1962. Used exclusively as a reliever he appeared in 35 games and completed 63 innings allowing 71 hits and 11 walks while striking out 24 with a 3.43 ERA. The right hander's OVA was .285. It was his only major league experience.
In 10 minor league years, he played with 13 teams. In three of those years, his ERA was under 3.00.
Bob ran a carpet cleaning company called Botz' Rug Doctors of
Metro Milwaukee. He formerly lived in Burke, SD, and now resides in
El Paso, TX..
Patrick Daniel Bourque was born in Worcester, Mass. on March 23, 1947. He played for the Huron Cubs in 1969 hitting .281 with five home runs and 34 RBI. Bourque was caption of his high school baseball team and graduated from Holy Cross.
Pat came up with the Cubs for 14 games in 1971 and was used as a first baseman and pinch hitter. The left hander hit .189 in 37 at bats. He also divided the 1972 and 1973 seasons between AAA and the Cubs batting .259 and .209. On August 29, 1973, he was dealt to the A's for Gonzalo Marquez where he hit .190 in 23 games. In 1973, for both teams, he was 4 for 20 as a pinch hitter and played first in 43 games and DH in 15 more. For the A's in the ALCS that year, he was 0 for 1 with one walk. In the World Series, Pat was 1 for 2 and played first base in 2 games
In 1974, he ended his MLB action by playing in 73 games for the A's (.229) and then was traded to the Twins on Aug. 19 for Jim Holt and played 23 games for the Twins (.219). For the year he was 7 for 35 as a pinch hitter. On October 23, 1974, he was traded back to the A's for Dan Ford and Denny Myers. Bourque did not play another big league game.
In parts of 4 MLB seasons, Pat hit .215 in 201 games with 405 at bats. He had 17 doubles, 2 triples and 12 HR. His OBP was .316 with a slugging percentage of .358.
Pat also played with 11 minor league teams from 1969-78 hitting over .300 in 5 of those years. He led the American Association in base on balls in 1972 and was the league's MVP that year. He also was the Topps Player of the Month for the Texas League in May 1971.
He now lives in Flagstaff, AZ.
Ernest Ferrell Bowman was born on July 28, 1935, in Johnson City, TN. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1956 (.241, 3, 41) and 1957 (.275, 4, 52). Ernie attended East Tenn. State University.
In 1961, Ernie divided time between AAA and the Giants playing 38 games in the majors. Used as a utility infielder, he batted .211. In 1962 and 1963, he stayed with the Giants for the complete seasons continuing his role as their utility player. In 1962 he hit .190, but played errorless defense with 52 chances.
In 1963 his average dropped to .184 and he committed 8 errors in 179 chances. Over those 3 years, he played short in 62 games, second for 56 and third for 30. His MLB career average was only .190 with a OBA of .202 and Ernie's only home run was hit off of Al Jackson in the Polo Grounds to win a game 2-1 over the Mets. On December 3, 1963, he was traded to Milwaukee in the Felipe Alou deal but never saw service with the Braves.
In the minors, Ernie played with 14 teams from 1956-61 and 1964-69. He never hit higher then .289 as a professional.
Ernie became a park and recreation department employee in Johnson
City where he still lives.
Cloyd Victor Boyer was born on September 1, 1927, in Doval Township, Jasper County, MO. He is the older brother of long-time major leaguers Ken and Clete Boyer. Cloyd played for the 1947 Duluth Dukes (2.45 ERA, 16-9).
He was a unanimous Northern League All-Star, took a no-hitter into the 9th inning against Sioux Falls and had one of the league’s best ERAs at 2.45. The Northern League teams traveled by bus most of the time, but when the team took a charter flight from Duluth to Aberdeen, Boyer stayed behind and rode with the umpires. The reason was that he’d never been in an airplane and didn’t want to start.
He reached the majors in 1949 when he pitched 4 games for the Cardinals. He stayed with them the complete year in 1950 starting 14 games and reliving in 22 with an ERA of 3.52 for 120 innings. In 1951, Cloyd was in AAA and the majors appearing in 19 games for the Cards (63 innings, 5.26 ERA). In 1952, he was back with the Red Birds for the whole year appearing in 23 games (14 starts) with a 4.24 ERA in 110 innings. His win-loss percentages were exactly .500 in those seasons.
He made his last appearances in the big leagues with the Kansas City A's in 1955, where in 30 games and 98 innings, he had an ERA of 6.22. In 2 full and 3 partial MLB seasons, Cloyd pitched in 112 games for 395 innings allowing 393 hits and 218 walks. He struck out 198 and had a .262 OAV. His MLB years ended because of a sore arm.
In 14 minor league seasons (1945-49, 1951, 1953-61) he performed for 17 teams with ERAs under 4.00 in 4 seasons. Boyer served in the United States Navy in 1945-46.
Cloyd continued in baseball as a minor league manager (1962-63 and
1968) and a MLB coach serving with the Yankees in 1975 and 1977, the
Braves 1978-81 and the Kansas City Royals in 1982-83. Boyer was a
minor league manager in 1986 and 1988-89 and a scout for the Yankees
(1964-1974). In retirement he lived in Jasper MO and enjoyed
gardening, hunting, fishing, cutting wood and refereeing high school
basketball. Boyer passed away on September 20, 2021, in Carthage, MO.
Burial was at the Friends Cemetery in Parcell, MO.
Harvey Alfred Branch was born on Feb. 8, 1939, in Memphis. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1960 (3.73 ERA, 8-7) and attended Alabama State University. .
On September 1, 1962, Branch was traded from the Cubs to the Cardinals for Paul Toth. In that month, he got into only one major league game. On September 18, he started and lasted 5 innings allowing 5 hits, 5 walks, 5 runs with an ERA of 5.40 in a loss.
His minor career lasted 8 years with 12 minor league teams (1958-65) and in two of those seasons, he pitched with ERAs under 3.00.
Harvey became a co-owner of a Firestone dealership in Memphis and
still live there.
John Paul Braun was born in Madison, WI on December 26, 1939. He played with the Eau Claire Braves in 1961 (4.30 ERA, 2-7). John said this about 1961: "I was good (at Cedar Rapids), but early in the season, I pulled a rib cage and was sent down to Eau Claire. It was a disaster. It was a bad season. It was not a good team and I had an attitude problem."
John played one major league game on October 2, 1964, for the Milwaukee Braves. He was used as a reliever in the top of the fourth and pitched 2 innings, gave up 2 hits, one walk and no runs. He struck out one (Roberto Clemente).
At the beginning of spring training in 1965, John injured his pitching arm. The doctors told him he had nerve damage and to rest the arm. That didn't work, neither did pitching in a warm climate or cortisone shots. He then had an operation which transplanted a nerve which ended his pitching career.
From 1960-61 and 1963-65, John also played for 7 minor league teams and his ERA was under 3.00 in 3 of those seasons. He was in the military in 1962.
After baseball, he worked as a salesman for a wholesale liquor
distributor in WI for 29 years. In 1994, he and his family moved to
California where John was employed at a business consulting firm. He
formerly lived in Carlsbad and on June 10, 2011, died in Oceanside,
CA. His remains were cremated.
Alan Healey Brice was born on October 1, 1937, in New York City. He pitched for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1957 (no record) and 1958 (5.63 ERA, 7-7).
Alan only made 3 appearances in a major league uniform. In September 1961, he relieved in 3 games for the White Sox. He totaled 3 innings allowing 4 hits, 3 walks and no runs. He struck out 3.
In 9 minor league seasons (1956-64) the right hander played on 15 teams. In 3 of those seasons, he had ERAs under 3.00.
After baseball, Brice was employed with the Public Defenders' Office as the Chief Investigator for the 12th Judicial Circuit which includes Manatee, Sarasota, and Desoto Counties. In 2003, he retired after 38 years. He was also the owner of Brice Detective Agency for over 30 years. He died on July 30, 2106, in Bradenton, FL, from, it is believed cancer. His remains were cremated.
Harry James Bright was born in Kansas City, MO on September 22, 1929. He played for the Sioux Falls Canaries in 1950 (.256, 1 HR, 15 RBI).
Harry's major league debut came in August 1958 with the Pirates. He played 15 games for them at third and as a pinch hitter (1 for 4) for a batting average of .250. In 1959 and 1960 he was up and down between the Pirates and AAA but played in the majors for 40 and 4 games hitting .250 (7 for 31 as a pinch hitter) in '59 and .000 (0 for 4) in '60. On December 16, 1960, he was traded to the expansion Washington Senators with Bennie Daniels and RC Stevens for Bobby Shantz.
For the Senators in 1961 and 1962, Harry had his best years playing at third (41 games), first (99), catcher (11) and second (1). His batting averages those years were .240 and .273 in 185 combined games. In 1962, he clubbed 17 home runs. On Nov. 24, 1962, he was dispatched to the Reds for Rogelio Alvarez.
He was with the Reds for only one game in 1963 before he was traded to the Yankees on April 21 where he played in 60 more hitting .236 with 7 home runs. He was 2 for 12 as a pinch hitter that year and played first and third. In the World Series, he pinch hit twice striking out both times. One of those times was against Sandy Koufax who, with that strike out, established a new World Series record of 15 strikeouts in a game.
In 1964, he was only in the majors for 4 games (with the Yankees) and he ended his MLB career in 1965 for the Cubs when he was used in 27 games as a pinch hitter (7 for 25). Over 8 years, Harry batted .255 in 336 MLB games and 839 at bats. His OBP was .311, Bright had a slugging percentage of .416 and he was used at first, third, catcher, second and in the outfield.
A long-term minor leaguer, he played during the 1946-47, 1949-58, 1960, 1964-69 and 1971 seasons for 25 teams. In 7 of those years, Harry hit over .300.
He stayed in baseball as a minor league manager in 1952
[player-manager] and 1967-68 for the Cubs system; 1969 for the
Royals; 1970-74 and '76 for the A's; 1975 with the Brewers and 1985
in the Braves organization. He managed at the "AAA" level
for two seasons. Bright was also a major league scout for the Expos.
He died from a stroke on March 13, 2000, in Sacramento, CA.
Louis Clark Brock was born in El Dorado, Ark on June 18, 1939. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1961 (.361, 14 HR, 82 RBI) and won the league's batting crown after being signed out of Southern University for $30,000. For stories of his year with St. Cloud, please see "Tales from the League's Dugouts" in this web site.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"As much as any other player, Brock revolutionized the art of base stealing. He stole 938 bases in 1245 attempts. He broke Maury Wills' single season record and Ty Cobb's career mark and transformed the stolen base into an offensive weapon to be used at every opportunity. 'Say you've got to exist between 68 and 72 degrees,' Brock once said. 'If I turn it up to 85, you're going to feel it. I turn up the thermostat of the game.'
Once Lou arrived with the Cardinals, Manager Johnny Keane told him
that his approach to the game had to change. " 'To play
regularly on this club,' he informed Brock, 'you have to steal bases.
You go anytime, go anywhere and if anybody asks you about it, you
tell them where to go.' Brock did just that. Running the bases was
not painless for Brock. 'Stealing is not an easy thing to do.' he
explained. 'You get yourself bruised and beat up in ways the public
just doesn't understand. I've had guys tag me so hard that I've seen
stars. I'll call time and get my head cleared but it takes something
out of you.'
"From 1967 through 1974 he led the NL in stolen bases in all but one season and he was named to four All-Star Games. He also began a string of eight consecutive seasons in which he hit better than .295. In 1974 Brock stole a major league record 118 bases, eclipsing Maury Wills' mark of 104 set in 1962. He accomplished the feat despite suffering a severe hand injury in late July that kept him in pain for six weeks. Compounding Brock's difficulties was the brutal heat of a Busch Stadium summer. 'I don't think Wills could have stolen as many bases,' said Brock, 'if he had to play his home games in an area as hot as it is in the Midwest.'
"Brock tied and broke Wills' record on September 10, 1974, when he twice stole second base against Philadelphia. The tying steal came in the first inning. The new record was recorded in the seventh. Both times he reached base on a single and stole second with an 0-1 count on teammate Ron Hunt. Despite the wear and tear, Brock hit .306, the 10thbest average in the NL and was named The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year.
"Brock would go on to break Ty Cobb's lifetime stolen base record on August 29, 1977, when he recorded number 893. Two years later the became the 14thmajor leaguer to record 3,000 hits. When Brock retired, the only active player with more hits was Pete Rose. 'People think of me as a base stealer,' said Brock in 1977, 'but the thing that keeps me in the major leagues is my ability to hit.' Although his stolen baseball records had since been broken by Rickey Henderson, the trophy awarded to each year's NL stolen base leader is named the Lou Brock Award. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985, his first year of eligibility."
Lou had 19 seasons in the majors (3+ with the Cubs and the rest with the Cards). In 2,616 games his batting average was .293, his OBP was .344, he hit 486 doubles, 141 triples, 149 home runs and drove in 900 runners.
After retirement as a player, Lou has taught players in the Cardinals' organization as a special instructor coach. He was also the owner of Brocworld Enterprises Inc in St. Louis, a manufacturer of novelty baseball-themed items. He also prospered in other businesses in the St. Louis area such as a florist in St. Louis and as a director on the board of YTB International (now ZamZoo). In his later years, Lou lived in Saint Charles, MO.
Both Lou and his wife, Jackie, were ordained ministers who worked to promote education of the youth. In 2005-2006, Brock was involved with in a charity that helped refurbish youth baseball fields. Brock's left leg was amputated below the knee in October 2015 because of an infection related to diabetes.
Brock announced in April 2017, that he was diagnosed with a cancer of the blood. In July, Brock and his wife said they had received word from his doctors that his cancer had gone into remission. He said at the time: "We got reports that it was 25% gone, then 50%, then 75% gone...The doctors were absolute. [Cancer] is not there." However, Brock died at the age of 81 on September 6, 2020 in St. Louis.
Robert Brooks was born on November 1, 1945, in Los Angeles, CA. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1965 (.294, 8HR, 46 RBI). Bobby attended Los Angeles Harbor College.
Bobby never spent a complete year in the major leagues. With Oakland in 1969, 1970 and 1972, he played in 29, 7 and 15 games as an outfielder/pinch hitter. His batting averages were .241, .333 and .179 and he was 2 for 11 as a right handed pinch hitter.
In 1973, he finished his MLB career with 4 games with the Angels when he was 1 for 7 (0 for 3 in pinch hitting). In 55 games over those 4 seasons, he hit .231 with 5 home runs and 29 RBIs. His OBP was .364 and he had a .378 slugging percentage.
Over 11 minor league seasons (1965-75), he played for 10 teams and hit over 20 home runs during 3 of those seasons.
Bobby was confined to a wheel chair for many years due to multiple
sclerosis and died at his home in Harbor City, CA, on October 11,
1994, due to a heart attack. He was buried at the Inglewood Park
Cemetery in Inglewood, CA.
William James Brown was born in Cresline, OH on May 2, 1939. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1960 (.293, 10, 68 and 30 sb's).
At the age of 17, a judge sentenced him to a Ohio State Reformatory for 10 to 25 years. He thought his life was over. "I did a little of this and a little of that...stealing, some strong-arming and burglary," he has admitted. "I was a dumb kid and I don't blame anybody but myself for what happened to me. It was my fault, I realize that now. Nobody led me down that path. It was something I'll always regret."
"If I hadn't gotten into trouble before my senior year in high school, I probably would have gone to Purdue or Ohio State on a football scholarship," he said. "I played some baseball in high school, but football was my favorite game and my best one." At the reformatory, he met the athletic director by the name of Chuck Yarman who asked him to play on the institution's baseball team. In 1958, as a catcher, he hit .313 with six or seven home runs. Yarman then made a proposal: "He told me, 'Gates, I don't think it's ever been done before, but you have enough ability to go from here into professional baseball. I can help if you'll help yourself'. He said he could get some major league scouts in to see me. At first, I didn't believe him. I was bitter and thought he was just talking. But the next spring when we started to play again, sure enough, there came scouts from the Tigers, Indians and White Sox. They came back every Saturday."
At the request of the scouts he switched to the outfield to make better use of his running speed. He hit very well the next season and was offered $7,000 by the Tigers and Indians to sign. Yarman told him: "he could help me get an early parole as long as I had a job, and playing minor league baseball was a job."
"The reason I chose the Tigers was because they had no black players at the time. I knew if I was as good as I thought I was, my chances of getting to the big leagues would be better in Detroit." Gates got his parole and played the 1960 season for the Duluth-Superior Dukes. In 1961 he led the Carolina League (class A) with a .324 average and hit 17 home runs with 75 RBI. In 1962, at AAA Denver, he hit .300
After a partial season with the Tigers in 1963 (55 games, .268), Gates was a perennial Tiger from 1964 through 1975. His claim to fame was as a pinch hitter - at the time, the best in American League history (he had limited defensive skills). He hit 107 safeties as a PH in his career which scattered the old record of 81 by Fatty Fothergill. Until the DH rule in 1973, most of Gates appearances from 1963-72 was as a left handed pinch hitter. The only exception was in 1964 when he played 123 games and only 34 of them were as a PH. During those years, his average was over .300 twice, in the .270s once, in the .260s once, the .250s once, the .230s once, the .220s once, the .200s once and the 180s once.
As the Tigers' full time DH in 1973, he hit .236. In 1974, 53 of his 73 games were as a PH as he led the league that year, in that department, and hit .242 overall. In 1975, he ended his MLB career by appearing in all 47 of his games as a pinch hitter (6 for 35)..
In 13 seasons, Gates had a batting average of .257 and a OBP of .333. In 1,051 games and 2,262 at bats, he hit 84 home runs and drove in 322 runners. Well into the 1990's, he still ranked in the top ten of all-time top pinch hitters. He also played on 5 minor league teams from 1960-63 hitting .300 or over twice and in the .290s once.
He once explained his nickname: "When I was five years old, I used to hang out at the gate of the family farm. My mother started calling me Gates."
He was a Tigers scout from 1976-78 and their batting coach from 1978 through 1984. In 1985, Gates went into sales and became the owner of G.B. Plastics in Detroit in 1991 which soon went out of business due to the illegal tax reporting by it's former owners. In the late 1990s, Brown was accused by the IRS of underestimating his income from 1992-97. He was a coach at Tiger Fantasy Camp in Lakeland, FL, and managed in the Senior Professional Baseball League in the early 1990s.
In his later years, he suffered from diabetes and a bad heart. He had part of a foot amputated and had a heart attack prior to his death on September 27, 2013, at a nursing home in Detroit. He never left that city after leaving active baseball life.
Isaac Brown was born in Memphis on April 13, 1942. He played with the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1962 (.232, 5 HR , 43 RBI) and 1963 (.244, 9 , 59).
In 1969 and 1974, Ike spent 2 partial years with the Tigers. He played 79 games (.229) in 1969 and was used in the outfield and all infield positions. In his last year of 1974, he only made 2 appearances (0 for 2). His first major league hit was a home run in Yankee Stadium.
In between (1970-1973), he was the epitome of a utility player, playing about 50 games per year at every position except pitcher and catcher. However, his batting average was better then most players of that type, as he hit .287, .255, .250 and .289 during those years. He was also used as a pinch hitter often (a career 15 for 71). His lifetime MLB batting average was .256 with a OBP of .366 and slugging percentage of .410. In 280 games and 536 at bats, he hit 20 home runs and had 65 RBI.
He was a member of the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League and played on 8 minor league teams from 1964-69 and 1974. According to roommate Gates Brown, Ike would wake up every morning saying, "It's a beautiful day" whether it was or not. Ike was considered to be the last player from the Negro Leagues to make it to majors.
After retirement as a player, Ike umpired high school and college baseball games in the Memphis area. He died on May 17, 2001, in Memphis from cancer and was buried at New Park Cemetery there.
Leon Brown was born on November 16, 1948 [corrected in 2012], in Sacramento, CA. He played with the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1968 hitting .267 with 3 home runs and 68 RBI. Leon attended Sacramento State.
A long-time minor leaguer, Leon never gave up trying to reach the
majors and it took him nearly 10 years to do so. In 1976, he played
in 64 games for the Mets with a .214 average, .257 OBP and .257
slugging %. He played errorless defense in the outfield (49 chances)
in 43 games and was 1 for 7 as a pinch hitter. On Dec. 9, 1976, he
was traded to St. Louis with Brock Pemberton for Ed Kurpiel but never
played a game with the Cards.
Also, from 1967 through the 1980 seasons, he performed on 17 minor league teams hitting over .300 five times and in the ,290s two other seasons.
Leon lives in Tempe, AZ.
Calvin Duane Browning was born on March 16, 1938, in Burns Flat, OK. He played with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1957 with an ERA of only 2.09 and a 8-6 record. His performance earned him some appearances, late in the season, at AAA Rochester (IL). Cal attended Oklahoma State.
In the winter of 1957-1958, Browning pitched in the Colombian Winter League for Indios. Based on his good performance there, he was invited to the Cardinals advance spring training in February 1958 and was assigned to AAA Rochester. After a fast 13-5 start there, he finished by losing his last seven and had a 3.54 ERA for the season. He pitched well in the 1958 International League All Star game facing six men, struck out three and did not allow a hit. The year, Browning was named the league's best pitching prospect and led the circuit in strikeouts (171) even though he was sidelined several weeks with a hip ailment. In the winter of 1958-1959, he served a six-mouth hitch in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Because he was not discharged until April 1959, he missed the Cards' spring training.
In '59, he spent time with Sal Maglie who corrected a leg motion which upset his rhythm and he again started well at Rochester again being named to the International League's All Star team. On August 17, he strained his left shoulder muscle and ended the season at 13-11 with a 4.89 ERA. He was assigned to the instruction league in Florida in October and played in the 1959-1960 Dominican and Puerto Rican winter leagues.
Browning started the 1960 season at Rochester, but was called up in June. On June 12, Cal was a reliever for the Cardinals in his only major league game. His first major league pitch to Don Hoak, of the Pirates, ended up a 3-run homer. All told, he pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing 5 hits and one walk. The outcome: an ERA of 40.50. Within a week, he was back with Rochester [when the Cards brought up Bob Gibson] where he finished their season at 5-9, 3.59. However, in September, he was recalled to St. Louis but never got into a game. On October 12, 1960, he was traded to the Angels [through Toronto] with Leon Wagner, Ellis Burton and cash for Al Cicotte.
In May 1961, Toronto (IL) sent Browning to Houston of the A.A. where he had a 1-0, 2.88 record. In mid-June, he returned to Toronto where he compiled a 5-6 mark with a 3.46 ERA. All of Cal's 1962 year was also spent at Toronto (7-3, 2.95) and he started the 1963 season there also (0-1, 3.86). In mid-June, he was optioned to Portland of the PCL where he completed his pro career at 2-5, 3.95. His meteoric raise from class "C" to "AAA" only netted him one MLB game and six AAA ones before he decided to call it quits.
Cal became the owner of Elks Supply Company which is a group of
lumber yards based in Clinton, OK. He now lives in Ruidoso, NM.
Bruce Ellsworth Brubaker was born in Harrisburg, PA, on December
29, 1941. He played for the Eau Claire Braves in 1960 (4.50 ERA,
In 1967 and 1970, Bruce pitched one game each season for the Dodgers and the Brewers. On April 15, 1967, he was the reliever in a game for the Dodgers and went 1 1/3 innings allowing 3 hits including a home run and he struck out one. His ERA was 20.25.
In 1970, the right hander relieved for the Brewers going 2 innings where he allowed 2 hits including a home run and walked one. His ERA that time was 9.00.
From 1959-72 he was a minor league player with 16 different teams. For 7 of those teams, his ERA was under 4.00 and 9 of those seasons were in AAA. In 1962, he struck out 14 or more batters in games 5 times and in 1964, he led the International League in ERA and victories. Brubaker was named the 2nd best pitcher in the IL for '64 - just behind Mel Stottlemyre.
Bruce became the sales manager for Paul Miller Ford in Lexington,
KY, and now owns Champion Ford/Lincoln/Mazda in Owensboro, KY, (where
he lives) and a Ford dealership in Rockport, IN. On May 14, 2010,
Brubaker was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Arlo Adolph Brunsberg was born on August 15, 1940, in Fertile, MN. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1964 (.237, 9 HR, 46 RBI). Arlo graduated from Concordia College (MN) and received his master's degree at Bowling Green State University.
He had a short two game stay with the Tigers in September 1966 appearing at the plate 3 times with one hit - a double off Catfish Hunter. He made 4 put outs, without an error, while catching in 2 games.
His minor league career lasted from 1962 through the 1970 seasons. He played with 11 teams and hit over .300 in 2 seasons. He had a reputation as an excellent defensive catcher. In 1965 for Montgomery (Southern) he hit 17 home runs, 16 doubles and 51 RBI in 334 at bats with a .281 average.
From 1971-73, he was the head baseball coach at North Dakota
University. In 1974, he became a high school Physical Education
instructor and baseball coach in Blaine, MN, and stayed for 30 years
retiring in 2003. He now lives in Coon Rapids, MN.
William Haron Bruton was born on November 9, 1925, in Panola, AL, and played with the Eau Claire Bears in 1950 winning the league's Rookie of the Year Award with his .288 average, 5 home runs and 58 RBI.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"In the era of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider, Milwaukee's Bill Bruton was still considered one of the finest fielding center fielders in the major leagues. He was also a threat offensively as he led NL in stolen bases for each of his first three seasons and twice paced the circuit in triples.
"Bruton had his baseball career put on hold by a tour of duty in the army. After his discharge, he played semipro ball in the Wilmington, DE, area before signing with the Negro League Philadelphia Stars. Before actually playing for them, however, he was released and hooked up with a Midwestern barnstorming squad. It was while Bruton played with that club that Braves' scout Johnny Ogden signed him to a pro contract.
"Bruton became an immediate starter with Milwaukee and was
part of the team when it won pennants in 1957 and 1958, although
those were not his best playing years. A knee injury in 1957 led to
surgery and a long stint on the disabled list. 'I didn't even go (to
the 1957 World Series) and had kind of an empty feeling about it, but
later on I was proud to wear the World Series ring, even though I
wasn't there,' he recalled.
"After leading the National League in runs and triples in 1960, Bruton was traded to Detroit. There he hit a career-high 17 homes in 1961 and knocked in 74 runs in 1962. In May 1964 Bruton announced he would retire at season's end. 'I felt I could have played a couple of more years, but I would have been platooned and I didn't want to sit around and waste my time.'
"During the off seasons in Milwaukee, Bruton worked in the sports promotion department of Miller Brewing. After being traded to Detroit he spent 23 years with the Chrysler Corporation before retiring in January 1988. Bruton's father-in-law was Hall of Famer Judy Johnson."
Over his 12 seasons, Bill hit .273 with a OBP of .329. In 1,610 games and 6,056 at bats, he hit 102 triples, 94 home runs and had 545 RBI. He did get to play in all 7 games of the 1958 World Series going 7 for 17 with 5 walks. The trade that brought him from the Braves to the Tigers included Terry Fox, Dick Brown and Chuck Cottier to Milwaukee for Frank Bolling and Neil Chrisley.
Bill made these comments comparing baseball during his playing days to that of recent years: "We played a different style of baseball in the fifties. We only stole bases when it meant something for the team, not just for personal gain. When I went to the Tigers in 1961, I discovered that the American League ran even less than we did...The American League would find guys on first base and they'd wait to be driven in from there. In my day, when you got to the big leagues, you were a major leaguer. Now it seems like the players hardly stay in the minors more than two years. We played a sounder game fundamentally. I played aggressively and conscientiously. I was intent on achieving perfection."
He also played in 2 minor league seasons (1950-51). Bruton served
in the Army during World War II and with Chrysler he worked in
advertising, promotion, customer service, financing and owned an auto
dealership. Even though Bill always maintained a trim frame, he
suffered a heart attack while driving on December 5, 1995, and died
when his car hit a power pole near his home in Marshallton, DE. He is
buried at the Gracelawn Memorial Park in New Castle, DE.
Stephen Robert Brye was born in Alameda, CA on February 4, 1949. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1967 (.311, 13, 46). Steve attended Merritt College.
Steve was a part time major leaguer in 1970-71. Coming up to the Minnesota Twins in September 1970 after leading the Southern Association in hitting, he played in 9 games that month getting 2 hits in 11 at bats and walking twice. In 1971, he was in 28 games hitting .224 while playing outfield.
From 1972 through 1976, he was generally a back-up or platoon outfielder and occasional pinch hitter for the Twins. He played in 100 (.241), 92 (.263), 135 (.283), 86 (.252) and 87 (.264) games during those years. On March 21, 1977, he was sold to the Brewers and played 94 games for them (.249) and in 1978, 66 games (.235) for the Pirates. He continued in the back-up outfielder role during those last 2 seasons. On Feb. 7, 1979, he signed a free agent contract with San Diego but never played for them.
Over his 9 MLB years, his batting average was .258 with a OBP of .311 and a slugging % of .365. He was in 697 games and played outfield in 623 of them with only 12 errors in his career and he was 17 for 75 as a pinch hitter. In 1967-71 and 1979, Steve played on 7 minor league teams hitting over .300 in 5 of those seasons.
Steve formerly lived in Danville and is now employed by a shipping
company in Oakland, CA. He currently resides in Walnut Creek, CA.
Cyril Owen Buker was born on February 5, 1918, in Greenwood, WI. He played for the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1940. Cy attended the University of Wisconsin.
Cy pitched his only year in the majors in 1945. For the Dodgers, he relieved in 38 games and started 4 more with a decent 3.30 ERA. In 87 innings, he gave up 90 hits and 45 walks with 48 strikeouts. His OAV was .268.
From 1940-44, 1946-48 and 1951-52, he played for 12 minor league teams. He served briefly in the U S Army, but was released due to an asthmatic condition. In 1946, a home plate collision injury occurred which bothered his the test of his baseball years.
After his baseball career was over, he taught in Sturgeon Bay, Shullsburg, Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Greenwood, Whitehall, Loyal, Black River Falls and Rib Lake. He also owned the Parkway Bar, in Greenwood, for a few years.and coached high school basketball, football and baseball at Loyal and Greenwood until he retired in 1970. Thereafter, he restored classic automobiles (through his body repair and painting business) and was inducted into Wisconsin's high school football and baseball coaches halls-of-fame and the Central Wisconsin Baseball Hall-of-Fame.
On October 11, 2011, he died in Greenwood at the Marshfield Care
Alonza Benjamin Bumbrey [later changed to "Bumbry"] was born in Fredericksburg, VA on April 21, 1947. Al played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1971 (.336, 6 HR, 53 RBI) after being discharged from military service in Viet Nam with a Bronze Star for bravery. Lt. Bumbry was a platoon leader in '69 and '70 and one of only six major leaguers to serve in the war. Al also attended Virginia State.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Al Bumbry...was a very fast, good hitter and distinguished defensive outfielder... Bumbry made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1972. Although he played in only 110 games his rookie year of 1973, he hit .337 and smacked 11 triples to share the major league lead with Rod Carew. The effort, on an Orioles team that won it's division, earned him the American League Rookie of the Year Award.
"Bumbry stayed in Baltimore's outfield until 1984. He served as the team's regular lead off hitter, missing only part of the 1978 campaign because of injury. Although he never won a Gold Glove, his disciplined style of play ensured that he committed few errors. His speed made him a consistent base stealing threat. He was solid at the plate, hitting above .300 four times. With Bumbry in the outfield , the Orioles won four division crowns, two pennants and a World Series. Although he never seemed to be able to hit much in any of Baltimore's post season outings, Bumbry was undeniable an essential element in the club's continued success. He made his only All-Star appearance in 1980.
"He moved to San Diego in 1985, leaving as Baltimore's all-time base stealer with 252 career swipes. His experience and leadership failed to provide the cohesion the Padres required to repeat as Nations League champs. Bumbry retired after the 1985 season"
In 14 years and 1,496 games (5,053 at bats), Al hit .281 with an OBP of .345. He stole 254 bases, hit 52 triples and 54 home runs while batting in 402 runs. He led the league in triples in 1973 with 11. In eleven ALCS games, he hit .156 and in 11 World Series games, his batting average was .125. He left the Orioles via a free agent signing with San Diego on March 28, 1985.
He did appear with 4 minor league teams in the years 1969 and 1971-72. He hit over .330 in 3 of those 4 years.
Al was a major league coach with at the Red Sox (1988-93), Orioles
(1995) and Indians (1998, 2002). Since 2005, Bumbry has conducted a
baseball camp for ages 5-15 at Carrol Manor (MD) and in 2007 was a
coach in the Orioles farm system. He also is an occasional instructor
at Ripken Academy in Aberdeen, MD. His son, Steve, plays baseball for
Virginia Tech and Al resides in Lutherville, MD.
Peter Willis Burnside was born in Evanston, IL, on July 2, 1930, and he played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1949 (13.50, 0-1) and 1950 (10.07, 2-6). He is a Dartmouth graduate.
Burnside spent a year attending Dartmouth University but elected to sign with the Minneapolis Millers in the summer of 1949. The Millers, part of the New York Giants organization, assigned him to the St. Cloud Rox of the Class-C Northern League. The 19-year-old possessed a good fastball and a sharp-breaking curveball, but control was a concern. In his only start for the Rox in ’49, he walked 8 batters in 1-2/3 innings and forced in 3 runs before he was pulled. The Giants sent him back to Chicago to have a doctor examine his sore back, and he didn’t pitch further that year.
It took about 10 years for Pete to get established as a major league pitcher. His first appearances came in September 1955 for the New York Giants. In 2 starts, he completed 12 2/3 innings allowing 10 hits and 9 walks with an ERA of 2.84. It took another 2 years before he had another audition. In 1957, again pitching for the Giants, he started 9 games and relieved in one for a 8.80 ERA in 30 2/3 innings where he allowed 47 hits and 13 walks. He struck out 18 and allowed 5 home runs.
The lefty had more chances in 1958 for the Giants appearing as a reliever in 5 games and starting another. This time his performance was better, but not great. In 10 2/3 innings, he gave up 20 hits and walked 5 while striking out 4. Three home runs were hit off of Pete.
He was sold to Detroit on Oct. 5, 1958, and got in the groove during the 1959 season. He relieved in 30 games for 62 innings giving up 55 hits and 25 walks. His ERA was 3.77 and he struck out 49 with a OAV of .237. In 1960, he played in the same number of games, but started 15. In 113 innings, he gave up 122 hits and 50 walks for a 4.28 ERA and .277 OAV.
In 1961, he moved to the expansion Washington Senators appearing in 33 games including 16 as a starter. His performance was much the same as the past year as he again totaled 113 innings and gave up 106 hits and 51 walks with a 4.53 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Opponents hit .251 off of him.
In 1962, he made more starts for the Senators (20) and appeared in more games (40). Finishing 149 innings, he allowed 152 hits and 51 walks. Pete struck out 74 and had an ERA of 4.45 with a .263 OAV. On Dec. 5, 1962, he was traded to Baltimore with Bob Johnson for Barry Shetrone, Marv Breeding and Art Quirk, but only appeared in 6 games for the Orioles in 1963 allowing 11 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings. He then returned to the Senators where he rapped up his pro career appearing in relief 37 times and making one start. In 67 innings, he gave up 84 hits and 24 walks while striking out 23 for a 6.15 ERA and .308 OAV.
In 8 MLB years, Pete pitched in 196 games and 567 innings allowing 607 hits and 230 walks while striking out 303. His career ERA was 4.81 and his OAV was .275.
From 1949-1952 and 1954-58, he played with 12 minor league teams. In 3 of those seasons, his ERA was under 3.00. Pete served in the military in 1953 and played for two seasons in Japan.
He llived in Wilmette, IL, where he died on August 26, 2022.
William Edwin Burwell was born on March 27, 1898, in Jarbalo, KS. He appeared with the Crookston Pirates in 1938 (3.91, 1-3) as their player-manager (69-47, 3rd place).
Bill, who pitched with a permanently curled finger, first appeared in the majors for the Browns in 1920 and 1921. In 1920, used as a reliever in 31 games and a starter in two, he pitched 133 innings giving up 133 hits and 42 walks with a 3.65 ERA, .303 OAV and got 42 strike outs. Returning in 1921, he again appeared in 33 games completed 84 innings allowing 102 hits, 29 walks, an ERA of 5.12, OVA of .309 and he struck out 17.
In took him 7 years (all in the American Association where he pitched over 200 innings each year and had 3 years with over 300 innings) to return to the majors with the Pirates in 1928. He only got into 4 games to end his MLB career. In 20 2/3 innings, he gave up 18 hits and walked 8 for a 5.23 ERA. For Burwell's 3 MLB seasons, he appeared in 70 games and 218 innings, gave up 253 hits and 79 walks while striking out 49 with a career ERA of 4.37 and OAV of .299.
After leaving the majors, he continued in baseball as a minor league pitcher in the American Association from 1929-1934 and 1937. His minor league record was 239-206 in 590 games and 3,877 innings. He allowed 4,309 hits and 854 walks with 1,006 strikeouts and a 3.70 ERA. He managed in the minors in 1934, 1937-1938, 1940-1943, 1945-1946, 1949-1950 and 1955. That included 6 years in the American Association. He was also a coach for the Minneapolis Millers in 1936.
Burwell was a World War I veteran who lived in Daytona Beach, FL
for 35 years. He coached in the majors for the Red Sox (1944), the
Pirates (1947-48, 1952-1954 and 1958-62) and, in later years, he was
a scout and consultant for the Pirates. Bill died at his home in
Daytona Beach on June 11, 1973, and was buried at the Bellevue Memory
Gardens in Daytona Beach.
Wilburn Rue Butland was born in Terre Haute, IN, on March 22, 1918. He pitched for the Eau Claire Bears in 1937 (4.18, 11-6) and the Crookston Pirates in 1938 (19-6).
Bill never had a chance for a long-term MLB career mainly because he served for 3 years in World War II (1943-45). In 1940, he made 3 starts for the Red Sox completing 21 innings giving up 27 hits and 10 walks with 5 strike outs and an ERA of 5.57.
In 1942, he spent his only complete year in the majors appearing in 23 games (10 as a starter) and 111 innings allowing only 85 hits and 33 walks with a good 2.51 ERA and .206 OAV. He struck out 46.
After World War II, Bill appeared in 5 games for the 1946 Red Sox (16 innings, 23 h, 13 w) with a bad 11.02 ERA. He finished his MLB career in 1947, for the Sox, by relieving in one game for 2 innings while giving up 3 hits.
In 32 games over 4 seasons, Bill finished 150 innings and gave up 138 hits and 56 walks. His ERA was 3.88 and OAV was .240. He also pitched in the minors from 1936-41 and 1946-50 for 14 teams. He never regained in pre-war effectiveness.
He was a machine operator for Ethel Visqueen and retired from
Commercial Solvents Corporation as a pipe fitter. Bill was a life
time Terre Haute resident who died at Union Hospital on September 19,
1997. He is buried at Roselawn Memorial Park in Terre Haute.
William Franklin Butler was born in Hyattsville, MD, on March 12, 1947. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1965 (1.64 ERA, 1-0).
Bill reached the majors with the expansion Kansas City Royals in 1969 with 29 starts and 5 relief appearances. He pitched 193 innings and allowed 174 hits and 91 walks for a 3.90 ERA and .240 OAV. He pitched a one-hitter over the Indians and was named to the Topps Rookie All-Star Team. Butler led the Royals' staff in shutouts and strikeouts. Because of arm problems, that was his last complete season in MLB until 1975. Bill injured his arm in 1970 and had an ulna nerve transplant in his elbow, but was never the same as he often pitched in pain.
In 1970 and 1971, he split the season between the Royals and their AAA farm team. In 1970, he got 25 MLB starts (140 inn, 117 h, 87 w, 3.77 ERA, .229 OAV, 75 so). In 1971, he was in only 14 games (six starts) for 44 innings allowing 45 hits and 18 walks for a decent 3.45 ERA.
On July 11, 1972, Butler was sold to the Indians. He had 6 appearances for them in 1972 as in 11 innings, he gave up 9 hits and 10 walks for a very good 1.54 ERA. But, apparently, his lack of control and arm problems were holding him back His next chance came in 1974 with the Twins. He made 26 appearances (12 starts) and allowed 91 hits and 56 walks in 98 innings for a 4.10 ERA.
As mentioned above, 1975 was a full season in the majors, but it was a so-so one with the Twins as he made 8 starts and was used as a reliever 15 times. In 81 innings, he gave up 100 hits and 35 walks for a 5.95 ERA. That ended his MLB service time until 1977 when he appeared in 6 games (4 starts) with a 6.86 ERA. They were his last MLB appearances.
In 7 seasons, he played in 134 MLB games, pitched 591 innings, gave up 555 hits and 312 walks while striking out 408. His career ERA was 4.21 and he had an OAV of .250.
In minor league seasons from 1965-68, 1970-74 and 1976-78, Bill played with 15 different teams. His ERA was under 3.00 in 5 of those seasons. In 1967 he threw 6 shutouts in the Carolina League.
Bill became a salesman for Southland Company. He lives in Berkeley
Joseph Clifford Caffie was born on Ramer, AL, on February 14, 1931. He played for the Duluth Dukes in 1951 (.309, 4 HR, 52 RB) and 1952 (.342, 10, 48) winning the batting championship in '52. In his home town high school, Caffie was a four-sport star in high school, playing football, baseball, track and boxing.
"Rabbit" never had a complete MLB season, put did get into partial ones in 1956 and 1957 for the Indians. In 12 games in 1956, he hit .342 with 38 at bats and in 1957, he got into 32 games and hit .270 with 89 at bats. Two good trials, but why not more? His career OBP for 44 MLB games was .343, he hit 3 home runs and had 11 RBI. His batting average was .291.
He played in the Negro Leagues in 1950 and the minor leagues for the 1951 through 1961 seasons and batted over .300 in 7 of those years. He also had a career .291 average in the minors and was known as a free swinger for all of his baseball years. Caffie won the batting championship in the International League in 1956.
"I have seen a lot of fast ones, but Caffie is the fastest, and that includes guys like Sam Jethroe" - Luke Easter
"What does a fellow have to do to make it up here?" - Joe Caffie in spring 1957, after having hit .342 at the major league level in 1956 and having had a good spring in 1957 but still getting sent down to the minors.
Caffie's range and fielding percentage in the outfield were certainly decent, and with his hitting one would have thought that another team would have wanted to pick him up. Unfortunately, it never happened and he spent most of his baseball years as a minor league star.
After baseball, Joe worked for 37 years with Thomas Steel. On
August 1, 2011, he died in his home, of many years, in Warren,
Ronald Thomas Campbell was born on April 5, 1940, in Chattanooga, TN. He played at St. Cloud in 1961 where he hit .264 with 2 home runs and 49 RBI. Ron attended Tennessee Wesleyan College.
Ron played parts of 3 major league seasons with the Cubs Brought up in September 1964, he played regularly at second base. In 26 games, he hit .272 with one home run and 10 RBI. He only got into 2 games in 1965 when he was 0 for 2 as a pinch hitter.
He was back with the Cubs in 1966, but only appeared in 24 games (60 at bats) and hit .217 in his last major league trial. On Jan. 15, 1969, he was traded to Pittsburgh with Chuck Hartenstein for Manny Jimenez but the slick fielder never saw duty with the Pirates.
In 52 career MLB games, Ron's batting average was .247 with a OBP of .280. He also played short and third for the Cubs.
From 1960-1970, he played with 11 minor league teams. He hit over .300 in 2 of those seasons. In 1963, for Amarillo (Texas League), he had a game where he collected 9 RBI.
After baseball, he worked for the Country Skillet Catfish Company
in Isola, MS. He now lives in Cleveland, TN.
Steven Norman Carlton was born on December 22, 1944, in Miami, FL. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1964 (3.36, 4-4). Steve attended Miami-Dade College.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"With his devastating slider, Steve "Lefty" Carlton struck out more batters than any other southpaw in history, won more games than any left hander except Warren Spahn and collected four NL Cy Young Awards - even after he'd alienated the writers on the election committee... [F]rom the time scouts first told him he didn't throw hard enough to be a major, leaguer, Carlton battled to improve his strength...<and> helped revolutionize baseball's approach to conditioning.
"After 19 class AAA starts he come to the majors to stay in late 1966 and took a regular place in the Redbirds rotation. He was second in wins, ERA and innings pitched for the pennant-winning 1967 Cardinals, beginning a string of 18 straight seasons with double-figure wins, 161 or more strikeouts and at least 190 innings... Carlton earned a start in game 5 of the 1967 World Series, allowing only one unearned run but was eventually tagged with the loss . In the 1968 Series Carlton made a pair of relief appearances in the Cards' seven-game Series loss to Detroit.
"In 1969, his first year using the [slider] pitch, his ERA dropped by 0.82, his strikeout total jumped by 48 compared to 1968 in roughly the same number of innings and his win total climbed from 13 to 17... Carlton held out because of a contract dispute and missed spring training in 1970, then lost 19 games. He turned around and won 20 in 1971, the first of six 20-win seasons, then held out again for a raise to $60,000. The Cardinals wouldn't budge from $55,000 and traded Carlton to Philadelphia for pitcher Rick Wise on February 25, 1972. The trade may have inspired revenge in Carlton: from then on he beat the Cardinals handily, compiling a 38-14 mark against his old club.
"In 1972 Carlton became the fifth pitcher ever to win 20 games for a last place team collecting 27 fo the Phillies 59 victories, a record 45.6 percent. Carlton's 27-10 record included a 15 game winning streak, eight shutouts and 30 complete games which was the highest completion total since the 1940's. He won the pitching Triple Crown, leading the NL in wins, ERA and strikeouts with 310., becoming the second NL pitcher to top 300. His 346 1/3 innings were the most by a National Leaguer since 1953. He was the unanimous choice for the Cy Young Award and finished fifth in MVP voting. His 27 wins were the 12th most by any lefty since Hal Newhouser's first MVP year, 1944.
"Carlton followed with 20 losses in 1973, and after two more mediocre seasons he returned to Cy Young form, thanks in part to his work with [fitness guru Gus] Hoefling and his reunion with Tim McCarver... The Carlton-McCarver partnership worked. In 1976 and 1977, Carlton had a pair of 20-win seasons, and the Phillies won back-to-back NL East crowns their first titles of any kind since 1950. Carlton started the 1976 playoff opener against Cincinnati but lost 6-3, beginning the Reds' post season sweep. Carlton's league-leading 23 victories in 1977 brought his second Cy Young Award and he faced Dodgers southpaw and Cy Young runner-up Tommy John in the playoff opener at LA. Carlton took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh. But two walks and a single loaded the bases, and with two out, Ron Cey fouled off three 3-2 pitches before slugging a game-typing grand slam to knock Carlton from the game. The Dodgers eliminated the Phillies in game 4 as John outdueled Carlton.
"In 1978, the year Carlton completely stopped talking to the media because of some items in the Philadelphia newspapers, his record fell to 16-13 but the Phils won a third straight NL East title to earn a rematch against the Dodgers. He started game 3 of the playoffs and went the distance on an eight-hitter beating Don Sutton 9-4. Carlton, a .201 career hitter who finished in the top ten in hits and RBI among 20th-Century pitchers, knocked in four runs with a three-run homer and an RBI singe in the Phils only win in the playoffs.
"Carlton won 24 games in 1980 earning his third Cy Young Award and Philadelphia returned to post season play. He won the playoff opener over the Houston Astros but left game 4 trailing 2-0, in the sixth. The Phillies went on to win in ten innings and took game 5 - the fourth straight extra inning contest on the NLCS - to face the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. He started game 2 but was not credited with the win. However, he went seven innings in the game 6 clincher as the Phillies won their first ever world championship.
"The Phillies got back into postseason play in 1981 but after a fine regular season, Carlton lost both division playoff starts to the Montreal Expos an they bounced the Phillies. In 1982 Carlton had his final great year leading the league with 23 wins and topping the circuit in complete games, shutouts, innings and strikeouts. He was also chosen for his 10th All-Star Game and collected his fourth Cy Young Award. At age 38 Carlton fell to 15-16 in 1983 for the Phils...Nevertheless the collected his fifth NL innings and strikeouts crowns and his 300thvictory...
"Going on 40, Carlton worked less but more effectively in 1984... In 1985 Carlton suffered his first serious injury, a strained left rotator cuff and was on the disabled list for more then two months. He came back in 1986 but the Phillies tried to get him to retire after his 16 starts resulted in an ERA over 6.00. Carlton refused to leave and broke his public silence to explain he reasons and thank his supporters. The Phillies released him in late June. He struggled with the Giants, White Sox, Indians and Twins before finally retiring in May 1988.
"At the end of his career, Carlton ranked second in strikeouts to only Nolan Ryan. In 1989 the Phillies retired Carlton's number 32, reestablishing the warm relationship between the franchise, the fans and the greatest pitcher in the team's history, the owner of virtually every Phillies pitching mark. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994, his first year of eligibility."
After his active baseball years, it was rumored that Steve had
some financial setbacks. He has also been involved in a variety of
business ventures. His web site - carlton32.com - includes a listings
of his up-coming personal appearances. Steve lives in secluded
Camilo Carreon was born in Colton, CA, on August 6, 1937. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1956 (.261, 0, 1) and 1957 (.262, 4, 47).
Cam reached the major league level for one game in September 1959 for the White Sox. He batted once without success and caught part of the game. In 1960, he returned for a short stay of 8 games where he was 4 for 17 at the plate and played defensively as a catcher in 7 games.
In 1961 he begin a string of 4 complete MLB seasons with the White Sox. He was the backup to Sherm Lollar the first year hitting .271 in 78 games. Lollar was injured part of 1962 and Cam became the regular catcher batting .256 (.329 OBP) in 106 games. In 1963, Cam shared the catching duties with J.C. Martin playing in 101 games with a .274 batting average (.333 OBP) and tied Yogi Berra for the best fielding average among AL catchers. A shoulder injury hampered him in 1964 as he only appeared in 37 games (.274) in his last season with the Sox. The rap on Cam, during his White Sox years, was that he had speed and good defensive skills, but was unable to take control of a ballgame.
Carreon went to the Indians on Jan. 20, 1965 with Rocky Colavito for Tommy John, Tommie Agree and John Romano [Kansas City also had a part in the deal] and appeared in only 19 games for them (.231) and spent the rest of the year at AAA. His 1966 season was in the Orioles organization playing at AAA with only 4 games for Baltimore (.222). That year was his last taste of the majors. In 8 seasons, he hit .264 with a OBP of .331, 11 home runs, 114 RBI in 986 at bats and 354 games. Camilo played in the minors from 1956-60,1965-67 and 1969 with 11 teams. In 3 seasons, he hit over .300.
He was a U.S. Army veteran and became an employee of the Tucson,
AZ, city parks and recreation department. Cam was also a
groundskeeper at the El Rio Golf Course there. He died on September
2, 1987, from cirrhosis of the liver after being in a coma for 8
days. Carreon is buried at the Hermosa Cemetery in Colton, CA. His
son, Mark, played 9 MLB seasons.
Thomas Michael Carroll was born on November 5, 1952, at Utica, NY. He played for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1970 and had a 2.83 ERA/4-5 record.
Tom never completed a full season in the majors. His debut came in July 1974 for the Reds as he appeared in 16 games including 13 as a starter. In 78 innings, he allowed 68 hits and 44 walks with a 3.68 ERA. In 1975, he was used in 12 games (7 as a starter) with 47 innings pitched in his last MLB appearances. He gave up 52 hits and 26 walks for a 4.98 ERA. Needless to say, his high walk totals hurt him. Carroll was traded to the Pirates on Nov. 6, 1976 for Jim Sadowski but never played for them.
In 28 games, in 1974-1975, he pitched 125 innings and allowed 120 hits and 70 walks with 51 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.16 and OAV of .252.
Tom also played in the minors from 1970 through 1977 for 9 teams. He reached 18 wins in class A and 15 in AAA. His ERA was near or under 3.00 in three of those seasons.
Tom lived in Waterford, VA, and now lives in Hamilton.
Ricardo Adolfo Jacobo Carty was born in San Pedro De Macoris, D.R., on September 1, 1939. He played for the Eau Claire Braves in 1961 (.298, 11, 39.)
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Originally a boxer, he switched to baseball, became a catcher, and was so impressive that 10 clubs signed him - not scouted, but signed. Because Carty hadn't actually accepted money from any of the 10 teams, National Association president George Trautman ruled that Carty could go with whomever he wanted. He chose the Braves, hung up his catcher's gear and became an outfielder.
"After two at bats with the Braves at the end of the 1963 season, Carty went to spring training with the big club in 1964. He struggled initially, but on the advise from hitting coach Dixie Walker began waiting on pitches 'until the last second'. As a result Carty enjoyed a freshman year that he felt should have earned him Rookie of the Year honors over Dick Allen. That year Carty hit .330 with 28 doubles, four triples, 22 homers and 88 RBIs in 455 at bats for the highest scoring team in the league. Allen, meanwhile, hit .318 with 38 doubles, a league leading 13 triples, 29 homers and 91 RBIs in 632 at bats. Allen, however, committed an embarrassing 41 errors at third base.
"In 1965 Carty suffered chronic back problems and missed half the season. A specially designed shoe helped to correct the situation, and he hit .326 the following year as a regular player. In 1967, however, Carty missed 18 games with an injured shoulder after a base line collision with Ron Hunt. He hit only .255. Once, during spring training in 1968, Carty jokingly pretended that he didn't fell well. The team physician, taking Carty seriously, found that the ballplayer had a slight fever and that his appetite was abnormal. As it turned out, Carty was in the early stages of tuberculosis and missed the entire season. He came back as strong as ever in 1969 - except for his shoulder, which he dislocated seven times. Atlanta won the NL West in the first year of division play and Carty hit .342 in 104 games, driving in 58 runs in only 304 at bats.
"Carty avoided mishap in 1970 and won the NL batting crown with a whopping .366 average, 25 homers and 101 RBIs in only 478 at bats. That winter while playing in the Dominican Winter League, Carty collided with Matty Alou and fractured his kneecap. He missed all of 1971. To compound matters, his newly opened Atlanta restaurant, the "Rico Carty Open Pit Barbecue," burned down and the better part of Carty's losses were not covered by fire insurance. As if Carty hadn't endured enough misfortune, he was stopped and attacked by Atlanta police officers in August 1971 while driving his Dominican brother-in-law home. The officers kept beating and kicking him until they realized who he was. Fortunately, fears that Carty's vision might be damaged were unfounded.
"True to form, he came back in 1972, although not as strong as before, hitting .277 in 86 games. He failed to get along with manager Eddie Mathews and was traded to Texas right after the season. In Texas he was injured again, and again he didn't see eye-to-eye with his manager, in this case Whitey Herzog. Carty was sold to the Cubs in August and a month later was shipped off to Oakland...<They> released him in December and Carty played with Cordoba of the Mexican League in 1974, batting .354. On August 17, 1974, he made it back to the majors with Cleveland and revived his career. As the Tribe's DH he batted .363 in 33 games that season and then .308 and .310 in the next two seasons. In March 1978 he was traded to Toronto who dealt him back to Oakland in August. He returned to the Blue Jays that October on waivers and his last year was 1979, when he hit .256 as a 40-year-old.
"'I never gave up when things were bad.' Carty said. ' Not one moment. I think that's what helped me. My positive thinking.'"
In 1,651 games over 15 MLB seasons, Rico batted .299 with an OBP of .372. He had 204 home runs and 890 RBI in 1,651 at bats. Rico played in the outfield for 807 games, was the DH for 650, at first for 59, caught in 17 and was at third for one game. In the minors from 1960-63 and 1974, he played for 6 teams and hit near or over .300 with 4 of them.
After baseball, Rico has been associated with the Dominican League
and has an honorary rank of general in the Dominican Army. He still
lives in San Pedro De Macoris.
Paulino (Ortiz) Casanova was born in Colon Matanzas, Cuba, on
December 21, 1941. He played a few games with Minot in 1960 (10 g,
0-for-6). In 1961, he played for the Indianapolis Clowns, a team
which formerly was in the Negro Leagues.
Paul came up with the Washington Senators in September 1965 for 5 games as a 6'5" catcher. He was 4 for 13 at the plate. For the next 6 seasons he caught 83 to 141 games for the team. In 1966, he hit .254 in 121 games and was declared the Senators only untouchable player by their GM as he was named "TSN" AL All-Star catcher. In his MLB All-Star year of 1967, Paul batted .248 in 141 games. Defensively, Casanova was rangy, with cat-like instincts and a rifle arm.
In 1968, his average tumbled to .196 for 96 games and in 1969, it improved slightly to .216 in 124 games. However, he did have a strong arm and was a fine defensive catcher. Finishing his Senators years in 1970-71, he appeared in 104 and 91 games respectively and batted .229 and .203. On Dec. 2, 1971, he was dispatched to the Braves for Hal King.
With the Braves as their back up catcher in 1972-74, he played in 49, 82 and 42 games hitting .206, .216 and .202. Over those 10 MLB seasons, Paul played in 859 games with a batting average of .225 and OBP of .254. He hit 50 home runs, 252 RBI and led AL catchers in double plays three times. On June 12, 1967, he caught all 22 innings and drove in the winning run of the longest night game in AL history to that point.
In the minors from 1960, 1962-66 and 1968, he played on 7 teams. Known as colorful and fun-loving, Paul also had a reputation as a big spender and once filed for bankruptcy. Enjoying the luxuries of life, Casanova had a fondness for water beds reportedly having one each in his bedroom, dining room and a mini one in the bathroom. In the 80's, Paul operated a Disco in Caracas, Venezuela called the "Baseball Disco". He formerly lived in Hephzibah and Woodstock, GA, and Carol City, FL.
In his later years, "Paul's Backyard" is Casanova's professional baseball academy resided literally in his backyard. The adjoining building and surrounding area served as part museum and part training center. There were hundreds of baseballs, batting cages, video cameras and soft-toss stations mixed in with photos that paid homage to the greats of both Latin and American baseball. Autographed and historical photos hung throughout the entire area, creating a virtual museum with the focus being on Cuban legends who represented Casanova and co-operator's Jackie Hernandez's home country. See "paulsbackyard.net" for more information.
Casanova died due to cardiorespiratory complications on August 12, 2017, in Miami.
Vincent Charles Castino was born on October 11, 1917, in Willisville, IL. He played with the Eau Claire Bears in 1937 (.318, 1, 20), 1938 (.255, 1, 44) and 1939. He also played with Grand Forks in 1939 (combined .307, 4, 46) and Fargo-Moorhead in 1951 (.263, 4, 34).
Vince was used as a back up catcher from 1943 through the 1945 seasons for the White Sox [he was not in a military draft because of his 4F status]. He played in 33, 29 and 26 games during those seasons and batted .228, .231 and .222. In '43, he was one of only four AL players to hit grand slams. His MLB career encompassed 88 games and 215 at bats. He hit .228 with 2 home runs and 23 RBI. His fielding average was .976.
On October 14, 1945, Castino participated in Huron, South Dakota's "Baseball Pheastival" which combined baseball with pheasant hunting. After reaching their limit of birds, current and former players played a ballgame won by a team managed by Paul Waner over won led by Ted McGrew. Other stars who played included: Phil Cavaretta, Jeff Heath, Bob Swift, Dizzy Trout, Paul Derringer, Mort Cooper, Andy Pafko, Bill Nicholson, Allie Reynolds and others. Gate receipts went to a fund for youth baseball in the city. The day before the game, Kiki Cuyler, McGrew and Tom Greenwade conducted an all-day baseball clinic for young players.
In minor league baseball for the years 1936-43 and 1946-51, Vince played with 23 teams hitting over .300 for 2 of them. Castino's AAA stops were at St. Paul (AA) in 1943, Toledo (AA) in 1946-47 and Sacramento (PCL) in 1948 and 1950.
He worked for 13 years as the circulation manager for the
Sacramento Bee. Vince died in Sacramento, CA, at the Sutter Memorial
Hospital on March 6, 1967, of lung cancer. He is buried at the St.
Mary's Cemetery in Sacramento.
Orlando Manuel(Penne) Cepeda was born in Ponce, P.R., on September 17, 1937. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1956 (.355, 26, 112) and won the Northern League triple crown that year.
Cepeda's father was Pedro Cepeda who was a prodigious home run hitter and hailed as the Babe Ruth of Puerto Rico before his death in 1955. In a May 1957 interview published in "The Sporting News" Orlando said: "My daddy great home run hitter. He take me to baseball games when little boy." His manager that year at Minneapolis, Red Davis, related: "If he ever learns the strike zone, he will be murder up there. He's tough enough now." That year he was converted to a first baseman having played third and outfield for St. Cloud. His early experiences at first earned him the nickname "feets". "But now that he's playing the position (first) every day, he's getting better," Davis said. "He's got some rough edges yet, but considering his lack of experience, he is doing exceptionally well."
At the time, Orlando thought there was not much difference between the pitching in the American Association and the Northern League except "no one throw slider in Northern."
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Before Cepeda was through as a ballplayer he would compile an impressive record: 379 homers, 1,365 RBIs, and a .297 lifetime average. But after he was through playing he would have a record of a different sort - a prison record stemming from his 1975 conviction for importing marijuana. The first record earned him admission into the Hall of Fame; the second kept him out until 1999."
"In his mid-teens, Orlando was asked to join one of the region's <in P.R.> top amateur teams and helped lead the club to the Commonwealth championship. During and exhibition against a Dominican team featuring Julian Javier and Jesus Alou, New York Giants scout Pedro Zorilla spotted the 17-year-old Cepeda and signed him for $500... Cepeda quickly tore through the Giants' farm system... He came to San Francisco in 1958, where manager Bill Rigney described him as 'the best young right handed power hitter he'd seen.' In 1962 he helped lead the Giants to a playoff win against the Dodgers for the franchise's first pennant in San Francisco.
"In 1963 Cepeda skipped playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League to concentrate on getting into shape. While weightlifting, he dropped an 80-pound weight on the...knee he'd injured as a teenager. Afraid to tell manager Alvin Dark about his problem, he played the next two seasons despite serious damage. Accused of malingering, Cepeda opted for surgery in 1965, but the rehabilitation process ruined his season. In May 1966 the Giants, who now preferred Willie McCovey as their first baseman, dealt Cepeda to the Cardinals for pitcher Ray Sadecki. 'I even had been hoping it would happen, but it hurt,' Cepeda said.
"St. Louis was happy to have him and rescinded a pay cut Cepeda had taken before leaving San Francisco. The next year Cepeda led the NL with 111 RBIs and helped send the Cards to the World Series and a world championship. He was the unanimous selection as Most Valuable Player.. Even though the Cards brought home another pennant in 1968, Cepeda slumped to .248 and was traded after the season to Atlanta for catcher-first baseman Joe Torre. The Braves won the NL West in 1969, but in mid 1972 a rapidly declining Cepeda went to the A's for cash and Denny McLain (then at Birmingham in the Southern League). He played just three games for Oakland and was released, but had his last hurrah with the Red Sox as a DH in 1973, hitting 20 homers for the 12th time in his career.
"His playing career ended with the 1974 Royals. A year later federal agents found 160 pounds of marijuana in the truck of his car at the San Juan airport. He served a ten month sentence at Florida's Elgin Air Force Base. 'The isolation, the disgrace, the feelings of numbness, they were horrible.' he recalled. After rehabilitation, Cepeda coached for the White Sox in 1980. He later served as a Giants Community Representative. Cepeda was elected to the Hall of Fame in March 1999."
In his 17 MLB years, Orlando was selected to 7 All Star Games. He appeared in the 1969 NLCS for the Braves going 5 for 11 in 3 games. In the 1962 World Series, he was 3 for 19 with the Giants. In the 1967 and 1968 Series' he was 3 for 29 and 7 for 28 with 2 homers. He played in 2,124 career MLB games and had a OBP of .353 with ten seasons batting over .300. In 1961, he led the National League in home runs (46) and RBI (142). In the minors he played for 4 teams from 1955-57 and hit over .300 with 3 of them.
Cepeda has been a community liaison for the Giants speaking to at-risk children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. In early May 2007, he was arrested after a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over for speeding and found a controlled substance, hypodermic needle and marijuana. The prosecutor allowed Orlando to plead no contest to a simple marijuana misdemeanor. Apparently, Cepeda's alleged inability to determine the difference between the "controlled substance" (which was a cocaine bindle) and methamphetamine bolstered the argument that the "other" drug was not Orlando's.
Four books have been written about Cepeda: "My Ups and Downs
in Baseball" by Orlando Cepeda with Charles Einstein. Putnam
(1968 and 2000); "High and Inside: Orlando Cepeda's Story"
by Orlando Cepeda with Mary Kelly. Hardwood Press (1984); "Baby
Bull: From Hardball to Hard Time and Back" by Orlando Cepeda
with Herb Fagen. Taylor Trade Publishing (1998); and "The
Orlando Cepeda Story" by Bruce Markusen. Pinata Books (2001).
Orlando lives in Fairfield, CA.
Buford Billy Champion was born in Shelby, NC, on September 18, 1947. He played for the Huron Phillies in 1965 (1.20, 7-3). He won the ERA crown that year.
After a 15-5, 2.03 ERA year in the International League in 1968, Bill came up in June 1969 [at the time, he record was 7-1, 1.66 ERA] with Philadelphia and appeared in 23 games including 20 as a starter. In 116 innings, he allowed 130 hits and 63 walks with a 5.01 ERA and 70 strikeouts. He split 1970 with the Phillies and teams in AA and AAA. In only 7 games and 14 innings, his ERA was 9.00 for the Phillies.
In 1971, the 6'4" redhead settled in for what would become several complete years in the majors. He pitched in 37 games in '71 with only 9 as a starter and totaled 108 innings allowing 100 hits and 48 walks and an ERA of 4.39. In 1972, Bill started in more games (22) and relieved in 8 additional for 132 innings giving up 155 hits and 54 walks with an ERA of 5.09. On Oct. 31, 1972 he was traded to the Brewers in the Don Money deal. Prior to that trade, Champion he had considered retiring
In 1973, he appeared in 37 games with Milwaukee (11 as a starter) and 136 innings allowing 139 hits and 62 walks. His ERA was a good 3.70. Originally a fastball-slider thrower, he added four more pitches with the Brewers.
In '74 he had another good year with an ERA of 3.62 in 31 games with 23 starts, 161 innings, 11-4 record (168 hits, 49 walks, 60 strikeouts). In 1975, Bill's ERA ballooned to 5.89 due to an elbow injury in August. In 27 games he finished 110 innings with 125 hits and 55 walks. The 1976 season was his last in the majors when he played in only 10 games for the Brewers with an ERA of 7.03. His bad elbow forced his retirement.
In his eight MLB seasons, he appeared in 202 games and completed 804 innings allowing 873 hits and 354 walks and a 4.69 ERA. He struck out 360 and his OAV was .282. In the minors, he played for 9 teams from 1965-70 and 1976-77 and he had 3 seasons with ERAs under 3.00. Bill was well known for his balk-like pick off move.
Bill became a major league scout for the Cubs from 1984-88 and
then for other teams. He was a minor league pitching coach from 1994
and 1996 (Rockies), 2000-02 (Braves) and 2003 (Brewers). In 2010, he
was the pitching coach for Taiwan's Uni-President Lions.
addition, he worked for Major League Baseball International
Development in China for several years retiring in 2015.
Champion lived in Inman, SC, and died in Shelby, NC, on January 17,
2017. Cremation followed.
Darrel Lee Chaney was born on March 9, 1948, in Hammond, IN. He played for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1966 (.206, 3, 14). Darrel graduated from the Columbia School of Broadcasting.
After leading the Southern League in home runs in 1968, Chaney spent his first full MLB season with the Reds in 1969 as their shortstop in 93 games with an batting average of .191 and a OBP of .278. In 1970, Darrel was their utility infielder playing at short, second and third for 57 games hitting .232 with a .263 OBP. He appeared in 3 games of the World Series at shortstop and was 0 for 1 at the plate.
In 1971, he split the season between the Reds and AAA Indianapolis. He only appeared in 10 MLB games batting .125 and played 3 infield positions. That year was his last as a minor leaguer. In 1972 his average improved to .250 as he was in 83 games for the Reds and had a OBP of .347. In the NLCS he was in all 5 games at shortstop going 3 for 14 and in the World Series he was in 4 games (0 for 7 with 2 walks).
During the 1973 season, his games played increased to 105, but his average decreased to .181 with a .268 OBP. Again, used mainly at short he appeared in all 5 NLCS games going 0 for 9 with 3 walks. In 1974, he played in 117 games with a .200 average and in his last season with the Reds (1975), Darrel performed in 71 games with a .219 average. That year he appeared in 2 games of the World Series as a pinch hitter (0 for 2). During his 7 Reds' years, manager Sparky Anderson said "There's a whole bunch of clubs in the majors on which he could play regularly."
On Dec. 12, 1975, he was traded to Atlanta for Mike Lum and, in 1976, Chaney became the starting shortstop for the
Braves appearing in 153 games and having his career year hitting .252 with a OBP of .327, however he did lead the league's shortstops in errors with 37. A foot injury during the 1977 season limited him to 74 games and a .201 average. The switch hitter never got back on track completing his MLB career with the Braves in 1978 and 1979 hitting .224 in 89 games and .162 in 63.
In his 11 MLB seasons, he appeared in 915 games with an average of .217, an OBP of .297 and he hit 14 home runs and had 190 RBI with his 2,113 at bats. In the minors from 1966-68 and 1971, he played for 4 teams. In 1968, he hit 23 home runs for Asheville.
In the early 1980s, Darrel spent time broadcasting Braves games
and from 1989-2002 worked for National Relocation Management and
Consulting Firm (now a part of Sirva Relocation) in Atlanta. He is
currently the Chairman of the Board of the Major League Alumni
Marketing (MLAM) and the director of community relations for a sales
and marketing at a retail services organization (Prime Retail
Services). He lives in Sautee Nacoochee, GA.
Glenn Justice Chapman was born on January 21, 1906, in Cambridge
City, IN. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1946 (.280, 1, 8)
as their playing manager.
Glenn had his only MLB experience in 1934 while playing for the Dodgers in 67 games as an outfielder/second baseman. In 93 at bats, he got 26 hits (,280) with 5 doubles, 1 homer and 10 RBI. He struck out 19 times and had an OBP of .330.
He played in the minors at least during the years of 1930 through 1946 with at least 21 teams and 14 combined years in all three class AAA leagues. He hit over .300 with 9 of the minor league teams for whom he played.
Glenn was a minor league manager for at least part of one season.
He died on November 5, 1988, at the Reid Memorial Hospital in
Richmond, IN, and is buried at the Lutheran Cemetery in Pershing,
Leonard Church was born in Chicago on March 21, 1942. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1963 (.4.67 ERA, 4-11).
Len reached the majors in late August 1966 and appeared in 4 games as a reliever for the Cubs. In 6 innings, he allowed 10 hits and 7 walks, striking out 3 with a 7.50 ERA and .400 OAV. He did not get another chance. Church once said: "My greatest thrill was pitching against Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente and getting them both out."
He also played from 1963-71 with 10 minor league teams and spent 5 years in AAA. He had 3 years with ERAs under 3.00 including one where his ERA was under 1.00.
Len became the assistant golf pro at Canyon Creek Country Club in
Richardson, TX. He died on April 22, 1988, in Richardson and was
buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. .
"Otie" or "Otey" Clark
William Otis Clark was born on May 22, 1915, in Boscobel, WI. He played for the Eau Claire Bears in 1941 with a 3.76 ERA and a 14-6 record.
In April 1945, Otey made the majors pitching in 12 games for the Red Sox including 9 starts. Pitching 82 innings, he allowed 86 hits and 19 walks striking out 20 with a 3.07 ERA and .268 OAV. A good performance in his only MLB trial.
Otey also played on 13 minor league teams from 1940-50. With 2 of those teams, his ERA was under 3.00 and he had double digit wins with 8 clubs.
He became went into sales for the local (Boscobel) J.C. Penney
store and later a Buick dealer. Clark died at the age of 95 on Oct.
20, 2010, in Boscobel and was buried at the Boscobel Cemetery.
Horace Meredith Clarke was born in Frederiksted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands on June 2, 1939. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1960 (.307, 2, 40).
Clarke was the youngest of six children. His dad played cricket
and saw his first curveball from a Navy sailor but decided he "was
too old to learn a new game." He also played the violin, and his
son inherited the musical abilities. "I don't know whether
baseball gained or music lost," said Horace in 1969.
At that time, there were no little leagues baseball teams on St. Croix, so Horace's introduction to the game came from softball. In his early teens, he remembers seeing teams from Navy ships playing hardball against the locals at Frederiksted's Paul E. Joseph Stadium. "As kids we formed teams and played wherever we could, usually on Saturdays. If the older players were using the ballpark, we were relegated to a small area by the ocean." Since "almost all of us were right-handed. And since we were strong enough to hit the ball into the water, we switched sides at the plate, and everybody batted left-handed, so we wouldn't lose the ball."
Horace joined the Braves, a local team in the St. Croix Baseball League, made up mainly of teenagers with some adults. He played there for five years and also representing Christiansted High School in inter-island school meets against St. Thomas (which featured Elrod Hendricks).
Clarke remembered attending a 1957 tryout camp where Pittsburgh superscout Howie Haak signed his fellow Frederiksted native, Elmo Plaskett. As he noted in 1999, though, "it just wasn't my time yet." But, in January 1958, he turned pro at the age of 17 when Yankees scout José "Pepe" Seda signed him.
He made his pro debut in 1958 with Kearney (Nebraska State League)
and it took the whole season to adjust to night games and other
things. Horace batted just .225 in 187 at-bats, with 2 homers and 20
RBIs. However, he showed off his most valuable attribute of speed by
stealing 27 bases.
Clarke's marks then picked up to 5 homers, 58 RBI and .292 average for St. Petersburg (Florida State) with 34 steals in 1959. In 1960, in the Northern League, he swiped 22 bases, made the league's All-Star team at shortstop and moved up to Single-A Binghamton for a game at the end of that year. Staying there in 1961, he led the Eastern League with 40 steals (3-38-.278).
As it did for so many players, the Puerto Rican Winter League greatly helped Horace's development. Naturally, hitting against pitchers such as Bob Gibson, Earl Wilson, and Denny McLain really sharpened his skills. Clarke began his winter ball career in the winter of 1959-60 with the San Juan Senadores as a backup to Jerry Adair and local favorite Ronnie Samford. "It was the winter of 1960 when I began to fool around as a switch-hitter in Puerto Rico. I did pretty well with it, so I kept doing it in Binghamton...and have been switching ever since." He hit .247 over his first three seasons with the team.
Horace roomed for a couple of winters at the San Juan YMCA with Ellie Hendricks. Although, because of their separate schedules, they were rarely around at the same time, they still became close. Hendricks recalled that Clarke, "who hardly said anything," played vibraphone and xylophone. During the 1962-63 season, at Elmo Plaskett's urging, the Ponce Leones traded for Horace.
Clarke also benefitted from the Puerto Rican culture. He had grown
up hearing a lot of Spanish on St. Croix, but had never picked up
more than a few words. But like Plaskett, McBean, and Joe
Christopher, he met his wife in Puerto Rico, and so he had a very
good reason to learn their language. Horace and Hilda Robles
eventually got married in October 1966.
Back in the states, Clarke continued his steady progression in the minors, hitting .300 with 9 home runs, 50 RBI, and 17 stolen bases for AA Amarillo in 1962. Promoted to AAA Richmond the next year, his totals dipped to 4, 26,.249, with only 6 steals. However, he lifted that to 5, 44, .299 in 1964 and also his stolen base total rebounded to 20. After starting the year at Toledo in 1965, he broke in with the Yankees that May as a utility infielder. He singled off Dave Morehead in his debut at Fenway Park on May 13, pinch-hitting for Hal Reniff.
With the Yanks in 1965, he played in 51 games at all 3 infield positions batting .259 with a .298 OBP. In 1966, he started a string of 9 straight complete MLB seasons by hitting .266 in 96 games.
Beginning in 1967 and lasting through 1973, Horace was the starting second baseman for the Yankees. He never played less then 143 games nor had less then 547 at bats. Known as a very good gloveman (led the AL second baseman in assists from 1967-72 and putouts from 1968-1971), he hit well for a middle infielder of that era. During those years he hit between .241 and .285 and had OBPs in the low .300s. A pesky hitter, in 1970, he broke up three no-hitters in the 9thinning thus ending bids by Joe Niekro, Sonny Siebert and Jim Rooker.
However, there was a big rap on him in the field. Even though he wore a helmet, Horace would not turn a double play with runners barreling in. Nobody ever took him out with a slide, but he held on to the ball after leaping. Several members of the Yankees staff, "who lived and died on ground balls. . .confronted their teammate. 'It was a sore subject with him,' says [reliever Jack] Aker, 'and he became upset.'" Sportswriter Dick Young, also took Horace to task for this shortcoming.
In 1974, he left the Yanks after playing 24 games (.234) by being sold to San Diego and played out the year, his last, with the Padres (.189).
Over his 10 MLB seasons, he played in 1,272 games and had 4,813 official at bats. His career average was .256 with a OBP of .210. He hit 27 homers, 150 doubles, 23 triples, 304 RBI and 151 stolen bases. He struck out 362 times and played for the Yankees during the time when they did not make a post season appearance. A teammate, Roy White, once described him as: "A 100% player. He wanted to play every day." Horace was known as a quiet, private gentleman whose greatest assists were durability and consistency.
Clarke's two sons each played in the minors. Jeff Clarke (2B/SS)
signed as a free agent with the Royals in 1991. After two years of A
ball, he was sidelined by injuries, but was considered as a
replacement player by Kansas City in the strike year of 1995. Jason
(J.D.) Clarke, also a middle infielder, enjoyed a successful college
career at St. Thomas University (Miami, FL) as he was named Florida
Sun Conference Player of the Year in 1998. The Cubs signed him as a
free agent on the recommendation of scout Sandy Alomar, Sr., and J.D.
played 1999 and part of 2000 at the A level.
After his playing career was over, Horace returned home to St. Croix and teamed with Elmo Plaskett as a government-paid instructor in the local baseball programs. They reported to Valmy Thomas, who'd risen to Deputy Commissioner in the Recreation department. It was hard, hot work, but they did it for the love of baseball and their desire to see young people do well. Their star pupils were Jerry Browne and Midre Cummings.
For several years in the early '80s, Horace was an associate scout with the Kansas City Royals after a meeting at a tournament in Panama. "It's now a fancy name for a bird dog. You can make a reference or recommend, but you're very limited in signing a player." Clarke had thought about getting back into the majors as a coach, but found that attending minor-league camp with the Royals was satisfying enough because the youngsters would listen to his advice. He was also interested in new training methods.
Horace took early retirement from the government in 1997. Since that time, the Virgin Islands has not produced major leaguers like they had in the past and while there are many reasons like basketball, immigration, politics, television, it was the absence of Clarke and Plaskett (who died in 1998) that has made a difference at the grassroots level.
In his late 60s, Clarke underwent several operations for his
heart, hip and knee, but did not have an excess pound on his body. As
last reported, he still enjoys the quiet life in St Croix
(Frederiksted) and doesn't even have a phone [phones are available to
him]. He likes to rise early and practice playing vibes several times
a week as a member of a local jazz combo. He has also gone back, over
the years, to Yankee Stadium for several Old Timers' Games, most
recently in 2005. When asked after the 2002 game why he didn't play,
he joked: "It's time to give way to another generation!"
On September 5, 2007, the Yankees invited Horace for a special on-field appearance as part of a co-promotion with the Virgin Islands government to boost tourism in the islands.
Donn Alvin Clendenon was born in Neosho, MO, on July 15, 1935. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1958 (.265, 10 home runs, 70 RBI). Donn attended Morehouse College.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Donn Clendenon was a college-educated athlete whose talents earned him professional offers in basketball, football and baseball. After joining the Pirates in 1961, Clendenon developed a powerful stroke that peaked with 28 home runs and 98 RBIs in 1966. He also fanned frequently, setting a short-lived record for season whiffs with 163 in 1968. As a fielder he was smooth and fast and he led the league in double plays five times.
"Selected by Montreal in the 1969 expansion draft, the first baseman was swapped to Houston that January for Rusty Staub. Clendenon refused to report, officially retired, and threw baseball into a quandary. The rules seemed to indicate that the deal was void, but rookie Commissioner Bowie Kuhn decided he 'had the broad power to override the rules and do what is best for the game.' Kuhn ordered that the two teams restructure the deal. Clendenon then "unretired" and was dealt to the Mets in June. Platooning with Ed Kranepool, Clendenon hit 12 home runs in 200 at bats and helped spark the Mets' stretch drive for the pennant. In the 1969 World Series against the Orioles, he homered to give the Mets the lead in games 2 and 4 - both ultimate victories - and his two-run shot in the last of the sixth inning of game 5 brought the Mets to within one run. They tied the game later that inning and went on to win the game and the Series. Clendenon was named Most Valuable Player of the Series."
Donn came up with Pittsburgh in 1961 playing in 9 games (.314) and in 1962, he was in 80 games for the Pirates hitting .302. From 1963 through 1968, he played in no less then 131 games for the Bucs hitting in the mid to high .200s as their first-string first baseman. In 1966 he hit 28 home runs and drove in 98 runs and hit .299. He led NL first basemen in errors three times, but he also paced them three times in putouts and assists.
For the Expos in 1969, he hit .240 and then he finished the year with the World Champion Mets (.252). In 1970-71, he played in 121 and 88 games with New York hitting .288 and .247. He finished his MLB career in St. Louis appearing in 61 games for the Cardinals (.191) as a first baseman/pinch hitter.
In 12 MLB seasons, Donn hit .274 with 4,648 at bats in 1,362 games. His OBP was .331 as he hit 159 home runs with 682 RBI. Donn was used as a pinch hitter 137 times (25 hits). In the minors, he played with 8 clubs from 1957-62 and hit over .300 for 4 of them.
Bud Harrison, his teammate on the '69 Mets once said of him: "When we got him, we became a different team. We never had a three-run homer type of guy. He was always humble, never cocky. We were still young kids in that era. He was a veteran that came in and made us better. When you threw him into the mix with the rest of us, we became a dangerous force. He was the MVP - a very dangerous player. Another former teammate, Steve Blass, said: "The one thing I remember was hearing that he could have been a pro in three different sports - baseball, football and basketball. He was that gifted of an athlete. He was a prototypical first baseman. He was big with a big reach and gave you a big target."
Clendenon's business resume: Mellon Bank and Trust, management trainee, 1961-62; Allegheny County detective, 1962-64; U.S. Steel, management trainee, 1964; Scripto Pen Company, labor relations/personnel, 1967-71; Donn Clendenon's nightclub and restaurant, owner, 1968-71; General Electric, personnel consultant, 1971-72 and Mead Corporation, personnel consultant, 1972-78. In 1978, he received his law degree from the Duquesne School of Law.
His law resume: Bostick, Gerren & Clendenon, law partner, 1978-80; Dap Inc., director of personnel, 1978-80; Western International Contractors Inc., president & CEO, 1980-85; Chicago Economic Development, president & CEO, 1985-86; Anderson, Carlson, Carter & Hay, attorney, 1986-87. A ten-month addiction to cocaine and a 1987 arrest for possession nearly ended his law practice. In the summer of 1987 he moved to Sioux Falls, SD, where he got straight and worked at Keystone-Carroll Treatment Center, Sioux Falls, SD, counselor, 1987-92 and Clendenon, Henney & Hoy, law partner, 1992-2005.
In interviews, he reflected that he most enjoyed working to help
young people. On September 17, 2005, after a long battle with
leukemia, he died in Sioux Falls.
Tony Lee Cloninger was born in Lincoln County, N.C. on August 13, 1940. He pitched for the Eau Claire Braves in 1958 (5.91 ERA, 2-2). Cloninger was raised on a North Carolina farm and signed for $100,000 by Milwaukee.
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"From 1964 through 1966 Tony Cloninger was the top starter on the Braves' staff notching 19, 24, and 14 victories. Although Cloninger was a tough, uncompromising hurler, his major claim to fame came with his bat during a two-week period in June and July 1966, the Braves first year in Atlanta. On July 3 he hit two grand slam homers and added a single to drive in another run for a total of nine RBIs. No National Leaguer, pitcher or otherwise, had ever hit two grand slams in a game before (it has since been matched).
"Two weeks earlier Cloninger had also slugged two homers in a game, giving him 18 RBIs in four games. The power surge was as remarkable as it was unexpected: Cloninger finished a life-time .192 hitter. Beyond the two hot games, he hit only seven other homers and drove in 39 other runs in 12 seasons. He later coached for the Yankees and Red Sox. In 2003 Cloninger was diagnosed with bladder cancer."
Tony started his MLB career in 1961 with 19 appearances with the Milwaukee Braves including 10 as a starter. He completed 84 innings, allowed 84 hits and 33 walks with a 5.25 ERA. The next year he begin a 10-year run on major league rosters. In 1962 and 1963, he was splitting time as a reliever and a starter pitching in 24 and 41 games respectively with ERAs of 4.30 and 3.78.
In 1964, 1965 and 1966 he started in 38, 40 and 39 games with only 7 relief appearances. His inning totals were 242, 279 and 257 with ERAs of 3.56, 3.29 and 4.12. During the 1967 campaign he had a shoulder muscle pull and eye problems caused by a virus which limited his starts to 16 and his ERA escalated to 5.17. That ended his effectiveness as far as the Braves were concerned as he only pitched in 8 games (1 start) for them in 1968 (4.26 ERA) before they traded him to Cincinnati on June 11 with Woody Woodward and Clay Carroll for Milt Pappas, Ted Davison and Bob Johnson.
The Reds had him start 17 games the rest of the year and he finished with a 4.04 ERA allowing 81 hits and 48 walks in 91 innings. In 1969, he returned to full duty as a starter with 34. He completed 189 innings giving up 184 hits and 103 walks with a 5.03 ERA and 103 strike outs. Perhaps the high walk total caused the Reds to use him more often in relief in 1970. In 148 innings he gave up 136 hits and 78 walks with an improved 3.83 ERA. He made one start in the NLCS going 5 innings (7 h, 4 w, 3.60 ERA) in a no-decision. In the World Series, he was in 2 games (one as a starter) and completed 7 1/3 innings allowing 10 hits and 5 walks for a 7.36 ERA and an 0-1 record.
As a reliever in 20 of his 28 games in 1971, Tony's ERA remained a good 3.88. However, he went to the Cardinals on March 24, 1972, for Julian Javier and finished his MLB career with a 5.19 ERA in 17 relief appearances.
In his career, he pitched in 352 MLB games and completed 1,767 innings allowing 1,643 hits and 798 walks with 1,120 strikeouts. His ERA was 4.07 with a OAV of .247. In minor league play from 1958-61 and in 1972, he pitched for 8 teams.
Tony ran a horse breeding ranch in Iron Station, NC, after he was
an active player. He was a Yankees bullpen or pitching coach from
1992-2001. In 2002-03, he was the pitching coach for the Red Sox
before he underwent successful treatment for cancer. From 2003 to
2016 he was a player development consultant for the Red Sox. Tony had
lived in Kings Mountain, NC, and later Denver, NC. Cloninger died on
July 24, 2018, in Denver, and was buried there at the Untied
Richard Allen Coggins was born in December 7, 1950, in Indianapolis, IN. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1968 with a .292 average, 2 home runs and 22 RBI.
Rich first appeared in a MLB uniform for the Orioles in August 1972 when he played 16 games with 39 at bats with 13 hits. In 1973, he became a Earl Weaver platooning success story hitting a career high .319 as the left handed part of the platoon puzzle. In the ALCS he batted 9 times and had 4 hits. That year he was the runner-up in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting.
The system did not work as well in 1974, as Rich's average dropped to .243. He made 11 official trips to the plate in the ALCS all without success. He was traded to the Expos On Dec. 4, 1974, with Dave McNally and Bill Kirkpatrick for Ken Singleton and Mike Torrez, but in the spring of 1975 he developed a thyroid condition and they only used him in 13 games (.270) that year before selling him to the Yankees on June 20 where he appeared in 51 games with a .224 average.
Playing in only 7 games for the Yanks in 1976 (.250), he then was traded to the White Sox for Carlos May on May 18 for whom he played 32 games and had a .156 average. On July 14, he was sent to the Phillies for Wayne Nordhagen but never played for Philadelphia. That was the end of his MLB career. A career that started with a .319 average ended with one about one-half of that. Most certainly, Rich's typhoid problems shorted his career.
In 5 years, Rich played in 342 games and had 1,083 at bats with an average of .265 and OBP of .314. He hit 12 home runs and 90 RBI with a .361 slugging %. In the minors in 1968-72 and in 1976, he played with 9 teams batting over .290 three times.
Rich's last known address was in Irvine, CA. An
internet search in early 2011 did not turn up word one about his
activities after leaving baseball.
Harry Wayne Comer was born on February 3, 1944, in Shenandoah, VA. He appeared with the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1964 (.276, 6, 29).
He arrived in the major leagues with a September 1967 call-up playing in 4 games for Detroit and had 3 at bats with one hit. Known as "The 25th Man" on the 1968 Tigers team, he split the season between AAA and the Tigers, Wayne was in 48 MLB games with a .125 average (2 for 18 as a pinch hitter, but 1-for-1 in the World Series). He played with the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969 for 147 games batting .245 with a OBP of .356 and 15 home runs.
The Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970, where Wayne got into 13 games with 17 at bats and a .059 average. Then he went to the Senators for the rest of the season where he had a more reasonable average of .233 in 77 games. He was only 3-for-26 as a pinch hitter that year.
It was back to the Tigers in 1972 for 27 games and a .111 average where he was used primarily as a outfield defensive replacement. That was the end of his MLB run. In 5 seasons, he appeared in 316 games with 687 official at bats hitting .229 with a .333 OBP, 16 home runs and 67 RBI. In the minors he played during the seasons of 1962-68 and 1971-74 with 11 clubs.
Comer had off-season jobs during his playing career working in a
grocery store and then he purchased a men's haberdashery. After
leaving baseball, he was a salesman for sporting goods and eventually
became a teacher and a baseball coach. He continues to live in his
hometown of Shenandoah, VA.
Michael Lynn Compton was born on June 15, 1944, in Stamford, TX. He played with the Huron Phillies in 1965 (.244, 5 HR, 18 RBI). Mike attended Sul Ross State University.
Mike had his only season in MLB in 1970 as the back up catcher to Tim McCarver with the Phillies. He played in 47 games hitting .164 in 110 at bats with one home run and 7 RBI. His OBP was .240.
In the minor leagues, he played from 1965-69 and 1970-73 for 9 teams. Five of those years were spent in AAA. He hit .330 in 1968 and led all Northern League catchers, in '65, with a .997 fielding percentage (made only one error in 366 chances)..
He managed in the Phillies' organization from 1976-79 and for the
Reds in 1980. In recent years, he has been the Phillies minor league
catching coordinator and then the minor league field coordinator. He
has also developed a ball retrieving tool ("The Ball Hawg")
designed to speed up the baseball retrieval process [a plastic tube
which allows one to pick up as many as 20 baseballs and pour them
into a container]. Mike lives in Tampa, FL.
Clinton Astor Conatser was born in Los Angeles on July 24, 1921. He played in 10 games with the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1939 (303, 0, 3) and in 1940 (.236, 4, 26).
From the SABR Bio-project, Clint was quoted: "I believe the hardest transition is going from high school to professional ball," Conatser said of those days. "Instead of playing 10 or 12 games a year, you're playing every day. You have to play sick, and you're just a kid. You're staying in fleabag motels, getting $2 for meal money, and eating in grease joints. You play doubleheaders on holidays in one town, keep your uniform on, and go on to the next town. If you have a long trip, you try to sleep -- and those were old, old buses that shook an awful lot. I remember in the Northern League, we went from Fargo to Warsaw, an all-night trip, and we slept sitting up. It was tough, but when you're a kid it's fun. You're playing ball."
Also in '39, he played for Logan [Mount.State] in 60 games batting .241 with 35 RBI and 37 games at Johnstown [Penn. State] (.283). In addition to playing for the Twins in 1940, he also appeared in 54 games for Flint [Mich. State] where he hit .327 with 44 RBI. His 1941 season was spent at Charleston, WV [Mid Atlantic] as he hit .248 in 74 games with 35 RBI. During this time, his contract was owned by the Indians. He serviced his country in the military from 1942 through 1945.
After the war, Conatser moved to the Tigers' organization and had a good year at Dallas [Texas] in 1946, where in 131 games, he batted .283 with 70 RBI. In 1947, for Buffalo [IL], he hit .279 with 8 home runs, before GM Paul Richards returned his contract to Detroit in July. Dallas immediately made a claim for him, but Tigers' GM Billy Evans sent him to Seattle [PCL]. The Rainiers only used him against left handers and he hit .298 with 5 homers in 54 games. After the season, he was again returned to the Detroit organization and they sold him to Buffalo [IL]. In November 1947, the Boston Braves drafted Conatser from Buffalo.
Clint made the Braves roster in 1948 when they let Danny Litwhiler go. "TSN" stated that Conatser had the best throwing arm of any Braves' outfielder that year and had good power and speed. He platooned with Jeff Heath in left field staying the complete year with the Boston Braves in 1948 getting into 90 games batting .277 with a OBP of .370. He appeared in the outfield in 76 games and was used as a pinch hitter 11 times with one hit.
A season highlight for him was on August 22. The Braves were in the pennant race and were facing the Dodgers who were ahead 3-2 in the 8th inning with one on. The pitcher, Erv Palica, was behind in the count 3-and-1 and threw a fast ball down the heart of the plate. Conatser homered to left to give the Braves a 4 to 3 victory and a NL lead which they did not relinquish the rest of the season. On September 29, Jeff Heath broke his ankle and Clint became a starting outfielder. In the 8th inning, on October 1, after having already made 7 putouts, he raced to catch a drive from Pee Wee Reese and dove to make a great catch. "TSN" thought he should not have risked injury since the Braves, at that point, had already clinched the NL pennant.
In the World Series, he appeared in 2 games and was 0 for 4 with one RBI (0 for 1 as a pinch hitter). His RBI came in the 8th inning of game 6, when he pinch hit with one out, bases loaded and the Braves trailing 4-1. Cleveland brought in knuckle baller Gene Bearden whose first two pitches were wide. The next pitch, a knuckler, was over the plate and Conatser hit a long drive to center which was caught by Thurman Tucker, and the runner on third tagged and scored to make it 4-2. The next batter, Phil Masi, doubled to make it 4-3, but the Indians held on to win the game and the Series.
During Spring Training 1949, Clint was competing against five others for outfield duty, but he was the only right handed hitter [there were two switch hitters]. He started the season platooning with Marv Richert in left field, but wound up splitting 1949 between AAA [Milwaukee] and the Braves, getting into 53 MLB games with an average of .263 and an OBP of .325. That was the extent of his ride in the majors. In 143 games and 376 at bats, he hit a decent .271 average with an OBP of .352. He slugged 6 home runs with 39 RBI and had a slugging % of .375. He was 4 for 21 as a pinch hitter.
In 1950, Conatser spent the year at St. Paul [A.A.] (250, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and Hollywood [PCL] where he hit .231 with 7 homers and 27 RBI. In December, ending a working agreement with the Dodgers, Hollywood obtained outright title to Clint. With the Stars in '51, he again hit .231 and homered 9 times with 42 RBI. In October, Conatser played with Bob Lemon's "All Stars" in exhibition games at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field. Also on the team were Chuck Connors, Rocky Bridges and Tommy Thompson.
Clint ended his pro career with Portland (PCL) in 1952 by hitting .268 with 8 home runs and 38 RBI. All told, as a minor leaguer, he played with 14 teams. He had 3 seasons hitting .298 or better.
In the SABR bio, Conatser explained his life after baseball: "My father made me learn a trade when I was 14 -- sheet metal. I took shop 14 hours a day for two years. I didn't learn much, but it was all I knew how to do. He had an air conditioning business, so I got into it too. The years I played in Hollywood really opened the doors for me. That was in '52, when all the building out here [in Los Angeles] was just getting started. I was very, very lucky. I met people that ended up getting me business all over the country. I think people believe that ballplayers are basically honest, and I think that carries over after you retire. You learn to speak to people, and it helps you become a successful salesman."
As his air conditioning business prospered, he also spent more
than 30 years buying and breeding race horses -- sometimes partnering
with the old Brave, Joe Adcock, who raised Clint's mares on his
Louisiana farm. Clint died in Laguna Hills, CA, on August 23, 2019,
and was buried at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego.
Arnaldo Juan Contreras was born in Tampa , FL, on September 19, 1951. He pitched with the Sioux Falls Packers in 1969 (4.24 ERA, 5-1) and in 1971 (4.66, 2-4).
He was only in one partial MLB season. In May 1980, he was brought up to pitch for the White Sox where he made 8 relief appearances completing 13 2/3 innings allowing 18 hits and 7 walks. He struck out 8 and had an ERA of 5.93 with a OAV of .333.
From 1969 through 1982, he played in the minor leagues with 11 teams. He was in AAA for 7 years and had 6 seasons with ERAs of 3.58 or less.
Nardi became a long time (1991 - ) baseball coach reaching the
majors in 1995 for the Yankees. He also has coached with the Seattle
(1997-98) and the White Sox (1998-2002). In 2004, he was the pitching
coach for the Princeton Devil Rays of the Appalachian League (class A
- short season). From 2005-07 he was an organization pitching
consultant with the Yankees and is now their minor league pitching
coordinator. He lives in Lutz, FL.
Herbert Leroy Conyers was born on January 8, 1921, in Cowgill, MO. He played on the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1942 (.362, 7 HR, 79 RBI). He won the Northern League batting crown that year. Herb graduated from and earned his masters degree from Central Missouri State University. He was a four-year basketball player for them from 1938-1942 and was the second leading scorer on their MIAA championship team of 1941-42 earning first team recognition. He also played football for two years and competed in track one year during his college career.
Herb had his only taste of the majors in 1950 with the Cleveland Indians when he played in 7 games with 9 at bats and 3 hits. The left handed batter hit one home run, walked once, was 2 for 4 as a pinch hitter and played first base in one game.
In the minors, he played on 14 teams from 1941-42 and 1946-52. He hit over .300 in 7 seasons, winning the batting crown in 4 leagues (Northern, Interstate, Central and Texas) and was at AAA for 4 years. In his 9 career minor league seasons, he batted .315 in 1,146 games.
Herb served in World War II from 1943-45 as a Army Air Corps
navigator (he flew over 50 bomber missions in the Pacific). He taught
mathematics and coached baseball and basketball teams at Collinwood
High School in Cleveland, OH, for 12 years. He died on September 16,
1964, from cancer at the Glenville Hospital in Cleveland and is
buried at the Knollwood Cemetery in Mayfield, OH.
Raymond Clifford Cook was born on August 20, 1936, in Dallas, TX. He played for the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1956 (.282, 20 HR, 86 RBI) and 1957 (.231, 11, 33).
Cliff was up and down between AAA and the majors from 1959 through 1963. His first MLB experience came in September 1959 with 9 games for the Reds. He hit .381 in 21 at bats. In 1960, he played in more games, at the major league level, then in any year. In 54 games, he batted .208 as a third baseman/outfielder with a OBP of .248 in 149 at bats.
In 1961, he was in only 4 games for the Reds (0 for 5) and in 1962, he saw action in only 6 games (0 for 6) before he was traded to the Mets on May 7 with Bob Miller for Don Zimmer. With New York he appeared in 40 games with a .232 average and .277 OBP. He was 4 for 14 as a pinch hitter that year.
He ended his MLB stay with 50 games for the Mets in 1963 hitting only .142 with a OBP of .229 and was 4 for 19 as a pinch hitter. In 163 career MLB games, Cliff hit .201 with 7 home runs and 35 RBI. His OBP was .255 and his slugging % was .312. Cook suffered chronic back problems that would cut his playing time and hindered his quality of play throughout his career.
In the minors from 1955-64, he played with 12 teams. He had three 100+ RBI seasons, had 6 years with 19+ home runs (included 3 with over 30) and hit over .300 four times. Cook was the MVP of the American Association in 1961.
Cliff became the manager of Oshman's Sporting Goods Store in Fort
Worth. He lives in Arlington, TX.
Eugene Louis Corbett was born in Winona, MN, on October 25, 1913. He played for the Winnipeg Maroons in 1933 (.327, 18 HR), 1934 (.330, 6) and 1935 (.335, 19, 126 RBI). He led the league in home runs in 1933 and in RBI in 1935.
Gene played 3 partial MLB seasons in 1936, 1937 and 1938 for the Phillies. He came up in September 1936 and played in 6 games hitting .143 with 21 at bats. He was the second former Northern Leaguer to appear in a major league game with a September 19 debut (Bill Zuber appeared in a game on September 16). In 1937, he had 12 at bats in 7 games and got 4 hits. Finally, in 1938 he was in 24 games and had 75 at bats , but only 6 hits (.080). He played first, second and third bases those years with 37 total games and a career batting average of .120 and OBP of .181. He had 2 home runs and 10 RBI with 14 strikeouts in 108 at bats.
As a minor league player from 1933-52, he was with 21 teams. He led the International League in doubles in 1940 and batting average in 1941. Gene hit over .300 in 8 seasons and had double digit home runs in 4. In 2,126 minor league games, he hit .285.
He continued with baseball as a minor league manager in the lower minors from 1947 through 1952 (never higher then class "B") for the Cardinals and was a co-founder of the original PONY League in Salisbury, MD, and an active supporter of youth sports activities at all levels throughout the region. Corbett was elected to the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame and operated a sporting goods store on Main Street, which later evolved into the trophy business which he ran until his retirement in 2003. An active fisherman all his life, he was still catching crappie into his 90s.
He died at age 95 on Jan. 28, 2009, in Salisbury. Cremation
John Wesley Covington was born on March 27, 1932, in Laurinburg, NC. He played for the Eau Claire Bears in 1952 (.330, 24 HR, 99 RBI). Please see some of Wes' comments about his year in the Northern League in "Tales from the League's Dugouts."
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Covington was a platoon player with a good bat and suspect
glove, but he made critical circus catches off the Yankees in the
1957 World Series. With the score 1-1 in the second inning of game 2
his backhand grab of a Bobby Schantz liner ended the inning and saved
a run. In the fourth inning of game 5 he snagged Gil MacDougald's fly
while bouncing off the left-field fence. The next two Yankees,
reached base but didn't score, preserving Lew Burdette's 1-0
"He hit 45 home runs for the Braves in their pennant- winning seasons of 1957-58, but when his hitting fell off he was waived. From 1961 through 1966, he played for four different teams with his longest spell as a Phillies."
Wes arrived with the Braves in April 1956 and hit .283 in 75 games including 31 as a left-handed pinch hitter (he had 10 hits). His 1957 season was split between AAA and the Braves, but he did get into 96 MLB games with a .284 average and 21 home runs. He played in all 7 games of the World Series going 5 for 24 with 2 walks.
In 1958 he begin a streak of 9 full MLB seasons. That year he hit .330 with 24 HR's in 90 games and again played in all 7 World Series games going 7 for 26 with 2 walks. In 1959, he was in 95 games batting .279 with 7 homers. The 1960 season was his last complete year with the Braves as he appeared in 95 games (22 as a pinch hitter - with 5 hits) compiling a .249 average with ten homers. Pitcher Bob Buhl, who played with him on the Braves, recalled this about Wes: "He'd mouth off as if he were mad at someone, but he wasn't. We used to tease him. He'd always get on the bus wearing a fancy hat. And we'd take it when he wasn't looking and burn it. He was a good natured guy and we all liked him. However, he'd have to hit .400 to help a club because he wasn't that good in left field."
He started the 1961 season with the Braves going 4 for 21 in 9 games. Then, May 10, he went to the White Sox on waivers where he appeared in 22 games for a .288 average. On June 10 he was traded to the Kansas City A's with Bob Shaw, Gerry Staley and Stan Johnson for Ray Herbert, Don Larsen, Andy Carey and AL Pilarcik for whom he hit only .159 in 17 games. He finished his Year of the Suitcase being sent to the Phillies on July 2 for Bobby Del Greco and appeared in 57 games and a .303 average. For the year, he was in 105 games with a .270 (6 for 28 as a pinch hitter).
Wes then settled in with the Phillies for 4 years where he played from 101 to 129 games each year. During the 1962-65 seasons, he hit .283, .303, .280 and .247 with 9, 17, 13 and 15 home runs. On Jan. 10, 1966, he was traded to the Cubs for Dong Clemons, when he was 1 for 11 in nine games. He then signed with the Dodgers (4 for 33 in 37 games). In 1966 he was 4 for 34 as a pinch hitter. His last MLB game was in the World Series, for the Dodgers, when he was used as a pinch hitter and struck out.
He played 1,075 games in his MLB career, had 2,978 at bats (260 as a pinch hitter - 57 hits) and compiled a .279 average with a .339 OPB and .466 slugging %. He hit 131 home runs and drove in 499 runs. Wes had a reputation for taking a long time between pitches during his at bats and he had an unorthodox batting stance.
As a minor leaguer from 1952-53, 1955 and in 1957, he played with 5 teams. He hit over .300 in 2 of those seasons. Wes served his country in the military in 1954.
After his baseball career, Covington moved to western Canada and operated a sporting goods business. Later he became the advertising manager for the "Edmonton Sun" newspaper, a position he held for nearly 20 years. When the Edmonton Trappers joined the Pacific Coast League in the early 1980s, Covington returned to baseball as a promotions consultant and special ambassador for the club. Wes died of cancer on July 4, 2011, in Edmonton, AB, Canada, and was cremated.
Billy Rolland Cowan was born in Calhoun City, MS, on August 28, 1938. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1961 (.296, 18 HR, 83 RBI). Bill attended Utah University.
Billy reached the majors with the Cubs in September 1963. In 14 games, he hit .250 with 36 at bats. Cowan's first major league home run was a dramatic 9th inning blow that gave the Cubs a 2-1 win. He was with them the whole season of 1964 playing in a career high 139 games as a right-handed outfielder with an average of .241 and OBP of .269. He hit 19 home runs and drove in 50 runs, On Jan. 15, 1965, he was traded to the Mets for George Altman.
For the Mets in 1965 he was in 82 games and batted only .179 before going to the Braves for 19 games and a .180 average (2 for 20 that season as a pinch hitter). On Apr. 28, 1966, he was sold to the Cubs for whom he did not play for in '66. He did not return to the majors until 1967 when he split the season between AAA and the Phillies with whom he was in 34 games with a .153 average.
Billy got another chance in 1969 with half the season with the Yankees (sold on July 26) and the other half with the Angels. It seemed a tale of two cities as he batted .167 with the Yanks, but .304 with the Halos. Most of his appearances were as a pinch hitter going 9 for 33 that year.
He stuck with the Angels for the 1970 and 1971 seasons as a utility outfielder/first/third baseman. In '70, for 68 games, he hit a decent .276 going 11 for 39 as a pinch hitter and in '71, Billy again batted .276 in 74 games (8 for 34 as a PH). His MLB career ended in 1972 with 3 pinch hitting attempts for the Angels.
In 8 seasons, Billy played in 493 MLB games and batted .236 with an OBP of .269 and a slugging % of .387. He hit 40 home runs and had 125 RBI while compiling a 33 for 142 record as a pinch hitter and played all of the infield positions in addition to the outfield.
In the minors from 1958-59, 1961-63 and 1965-68, he played for 13 teams. Bill hit over .300 for 4 of those teams and 18 or more home runs 5 times. He was the Minor League Player of the Year in 1963 as he led the PCL in RBI.
Cowan entered the real estate business as a real estate consultant
and owned and operated, at one time, apartments in several Southwest
states and CA. He lives in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.
Larry Eugene Cox was born in Bluffton, OH, on September 11, 1947. He played with the Huron Phillies in 1966 (.219, 0 HR, 15 RBI) and 1968 (3.33 ERA, 1-2 as a pitcher).
Larry caught one game for the Phillies on April 18, 1973, for his first taste of MLB. He did not make a plate appearance that day. Up and down in 1974 and 1975, he played in 30 and 11 games batting .170 and .200. On Oct. 24, 1975 he was traded to the Twins for Sergio Ferrer, but never played for them. On Oct. 22, 1976, he as sold to the Mariners and spent the complete 1977 season with them as their backup catcher appearing in 35 games with an average of .247 and OBP of .346. On Oct. 25, 1977, he was despatched to the Cubs for Steve Hamrick and he again was a backup in 1978 getting into 59 games with a .281 average and .346 OBP.
He returned to Seattle on March 20, 1979, via a trade for Luis Delgato and in 1979 and 1980, he became their first string catcher playing in 100 and 105 games with batting averages of .215 and .202. His 1980 fielding percentage of .993 led all AL catchers. Traded again on Dec. 12, 1980, to Texas in the Rick Honeycutt deal, he was limited to only 5 games in 1981 backing up Jim Sundberg (was 3 for 13 at the plate). In 1982 he spent most of the year in the minors and ended his MLB career with 2 games for the Cubs (0 for 4 at the plate).
In 9 MLB seasons, Larry appeared in 348 games batting .221 with a .282 OBP and .315 slugging %. His career fielding % was .983 and he hit 12 homers with 70 RBI.
In minor league seasons from 1966-76, 1982, he played with 17 teams. He performed as a pitcher for two seasons.
Larry managed in the minors from 1983-87 in the Cubs organization
(three years in "AAA") and was their bullpen coach in
1988-89. On February 19, 1990, he unexpectedly died from a heart
attack while playing racquetball in Bellefontaine, OH. He is buried
at the Gethsemane Cemetery in Lima, OH.
Peter Joel Craig was born on July 10, 1940, in LaSalle, Ontario, Canada. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1963 (2.51 ERA, 7-5). Pete attended the University of Detroit - Mercy.
Pete had 3 short trials with the Washington Senators in 1964, 1965 and 1966. In September 1964, he appeared in 2 games with one start for 1 2/3 innings allowing 8 hits and 4 walks for a 48.60 ERA. In 1965, he started 3 games with 14 total innings giving up 18 hits and 8 walks with a 8.16 ERA. Finally, in 1966, he relieved in one game for 2 innings allowing 2 hits and 1 walk and a 4.50 ERA.
With only those 3 short stays, his career ERA was 11.50 in 18 innings (28 h, 13 w, 3 so) for a OAV of .368. Pete's minor league career was also short as he played from 1963 through 1967 for 6 teams having three 14 game winning seasons (2 in AAA). With 3 minor league teams, his ERA was near or under 3.00.
He became the manager of the Raleigh, NC, operation of Southern
Office Furniture Distributors, Corp. Pete still lives in
Gerald Allen Cram was born in Los Angeles on December 9, 1947, and he played for the 1967 St. Cloud Rox (2.70 ERA, 6-2).
Jerry never spent much time in a major league uniform but the time he did have was spread over 7 years. In September 1969, he started 2 games and relieved in 3 others for the expansion Kansas City Royals. With 16 2/3 innings, he allowed 15 hits and 6 walks for a 3.24 ERA. His second chance did not come until 1974 with the Mets when he got into 10 games as a reliever with an excellent 1.61 ERA in 22 innings. But, in 1975, he was only in 4 games completing 5 innings or a 5.40 ERA. Back to the Royals in 1976, he was only in 4 games with a 6.23 ERA.
In 4 MLB seasons, Jerry appeared in 23 games totaling 48 innings (52 h, 13 w, 22 so) for a 2.98 ERA and .281 OAV. In the minors from 1967-81, he played for 17 teams. Twelve of those years were spent in AAA. He had ERAs near or under 3.00 with 9 teams.
Jerry stayed in baseball as a pitching coach in the Kansas City
Royals minor league system from 1988-97 (at least). From 1998-2000 he
was a pitching instructor in the Rockies' organization and since
2001, Jerry has been a lower minor league pitching coach for the
Giants. He formerly lived in Las Flores, CA, and now resides in Lake
Glenn Martin Crawford was born in North Branch, MI, on December, 2, 1913. He played with the Duluth Dukes in 1940 (.264, 4 HR, 65 RBI) and 1941 (..326, 9, 26).
He came up with the Cardinals in April 1945 and played in 4 games as a pinch hitter. Glenn then was traded to the Phillies on May 8 with John Antonelli for Buster Adams and for the rest of the season appeared in 82 games for them in the outfield, at shortstop and second base. He hit .295 with 302 at bats. But, he was only given one more at bat by the Phillies in 1946.
In 87 MLB games, over 3 seasons, Glenn batted .291, had a OBP of .369, hit 2 home runs and had 24 RBI. In the minors from 1939-42 and 1944-51, he played with 13 teams. He hit over .300 four times.
He lived in North Branch his whole life and died on January 2,
1972, at General Hospital in Saginaw, MI. He was buried in North
Branch at the Greenwood Cemetery.
Rufus ("Jake") Crawford was born on March 20, 1928, in Campbell, MO. He played with the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1951 batting .302 with 23 home runs and 111 RBI. Jake led the league in home runs and RBI that year.
He was promoted to the St. Louis Browns in September 1952 and saw action in 7 games with 11 at bats and 2 hits (1 double and 1 walk). He was 1 for 4 as a pinch hitter and played in the outfield for three games. That was his only MLB experience. On October 27, he was traded to Detroit for Neil Berry, Cliff Mapes and $25,000, but never played for the Tigers.
Jake also played in the minors from 1949 thru 1957 for 12 teams. He hit 18 or more home runs 4 times and batted .288 or better in 3 seasons.
Crawford served in the U S Air Force and, after baseball, worked
for the Fort Worth Police Department from which he retired. He lived
in Ft. Worth, Clifton and Hurst, TX. Crawford died on October 21,
2008, in Fort Worth and was buried at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery there.
Jerry Stephen Crider was born on Sept. 2, 1941 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In Sioux Falls, between the ages of 3-5 he put on exhibitions in hitting a baseball at state fairs and semi-pro baseball tourneys. He pitched on three state champion American Legion teams (1957-59) and was an all-state lineman in football as a junior and senior. In 1961, Crider pitched and batted Humboldt to its only state amateur baseball title and a berth in the national tourney. Jerry graduated from Washington High School.
In 1962, the right handed pitcher split his first professional season with Wytheville of the class "D" Appalachian League where he was 2-1 with an ERA of 4.03 and Bismarck-Mandan of the class "C" Northern League (14.40 ERA) in the Minnesota Twins' organization.
For the season of 1963, Jerry was with the last place Erie Sailors of the class "A" NY-PA League. He had an ERA of 4.26 and a 10-14 record. Even with that decent record, Crider remained in class "A" for 1964 with Wilson of the Carolina League (no record) and Orlando of the Florida State League where he pitched very well with a 2.17 ERA and a 10-7 record for that last place team.
He was at Wilson in 1965 where his record for the next to last team was 3-3 with an ERA of 3.19. In 1966, Jerry moved up two organizational steps. First with Charlotte (sixth place), he was 6-8, 3.16 and then with the AAA Denver Bears (fourth place of six) he was1-1 with a 6.63 ERA.
Beginning in 1967, he began a 2 ½ years stay with the Bears. In '67 he compiled a 13-14, 3.61 record for the Cal Ermer led and next-to-last team. For 1968, his ERA was 3.86 with a 18-10 record for the fourth (of six) place Denver team. He tied for the lead in wins, in the PCL, that year.
Jerry's 1969 season began with the Bears (2-0, 5.17), but on May 21 he had his debut in a Twins uniform. He was the tenth most used pitcher on the team for the season. In 20 relief appearances and one start, he pitched 29 innings, allowing 31 hits and 15 walks. He struck out 16 and had an ERA of 4.71 and one victory. Teams hit .284 off of him. His most embarrassing baseball moments probably came at Yankee Stadium that year when manager Billy Martin called for Bob Miller from the bullpen, but Jerry was chauffeured in by mistake. After a meeting with the umpires and both managers, Jerry was driven back to the pen.
The White Sox picked him up for the 1970 season. The junkballer spent part of his year with Tucson of the Pacific Coast League where he had a 2.00 ERA and a 3-0 record and the rest of the year was with Chicago. Appearing in 32 games, his ERA was 4.45 for 91 innings giving up 101 hits and 34 walks. His record was 4-7, including 8 starts, and his OBA was .288. The White Sox were dead last in the Western Division and Jerry ranked about number eight on their pitching depth chart.
He moved to the San Diego organization for 1971 where he pitched for the Hawaii Islanders (third place of four in division) of the AAA PCL. Jerry was 9-4 with a 3.29 ERA. In 1972, he began the year with the Islanders and finished with the San Francisco Giants' farm team in Phoenix. His combined PCL record that year was 4-6 with a 4.62 ERA.
The 1973 year was his last professionally as he played again for Phoenix with a record of 7-6 and an ERA of 4.46. He retired after that season.
In 1974 and moved to Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, and went into the freshwater bass fishing resort business (owned "Jerry Crider's Hunting and Fishing Resort"). He was a hunting (mostly doves and ducks) and fishing guide there for 17 years until retiring in 1991. He helped film over 13 programs on hunting and fishing for Bill Dance, Rowland Martin and the American Sportsman show, among others. He was instrumental in finding and naming the Goulds turkey as the fifth North American species of turkey.
He lived in Sonora, Mexico, for a number of years and in the summer of 2007, it was reported that Crider suffered from heart problems and lived in Phoenix. He died there on April 4, 2008, from a heart attack. Jerry is a member of the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.
Herbert Bryan Crompton was born on November 7, 1911, in Taylor Ridge, IL. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1934 (.332, 10 HR) and 1935 (.314, 6 HR, 38 RBI).
In April 1937, Herb first played for a major league team - the Washington Senators. In 2 games he batted 3 times and had 1 hit. His next and last MLB games were in 1945 for the Yankees where he appeared in 36 games with 99 at bats, 19 hits, 12 RBI, an average of .192 and OBP of .208. He had 3 doubles, was 1 for 3 as a pinch hitter and caught 33 games.
In the minors from 1934-50 and 1952, he was with 22 teams. He had 3 seasons when he hit over .300 and had 4 years in AAA.
He continued in baseball as a minor league manager from 1948-50
for the White Sox in classes "B" and "A". And he
managed in 1952 for a class "C" Senators farm team. During
those years, he was also occasionally scouting. In 1953, he began
working at the mixed-car warehouse for John Deere and Company. Herb
died on August 5, 1963, from a heart attack at the Public Hospital in
Moline, IL, after being ill for 18 months. He was buried at the
Memorial Park Cemetery in Rock Island, IL.
Perry Gilmore Currin was born in Washington, DC, on September 27, 1928. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1949 (.272, 3 HR, 58 RBI).
At the age of 18, Perry played his only MLB games for the Browns in 1947. He was in 3 games, had 2 at bats with no hits and one walk. He played shortstop in one game and was 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter.
The left handed batter only played minor league ball in 1947-51 for 5 teams. He lived in San Antonio where he was a Eucharistic minister at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown San Antonio. Currin enjoyed golf and died in San Antonio on Jan. 17, 2011, from heart failure.
[In the book "Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI" (Turner Publishing), there is a picture of a 1960 "Washington FBI " baseball team which includes one Perry Currin.]
William Garland Dailey was born in Arlington, TX, on May 13, 1935. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1954 (3.26 ERA, 1-2).
Bill first made the majors in 1961 with the Indians for 12 relief appearances. In 19 innings, he allowed 16 hits and 6 walks while striking out 7 with an ERA of 0.95 and OAV of .232. He split 1962 between AAA and Cleveland pitching in 27 games for the big club with an ERA of 3.59.
In 1963 the sidearmer played his only complete MLB season. On April 8 he was sold by Cleveland to the Minnesota Twins and had a great year working in relief for 66 games and 109 innings allowing 80 hits and 19 walks with an ERA of 1.99. He struck out 72, had 21 saves and a .208 OAV. By 1964, he could not lift his arm without pain (rotor cuff injury) and the right hander only played in 14 games for the Twins in his last MLB year. In 15 innings, he allowed 23 hits and 17 walks for a 8.22 ERA.
After consulting with several doctors in 1964, Dailey determined that it was unlikely that he could ever pitch again, with or without surgery and quit baseball a year short of a major league pension.
His MLB career totals were 119 games (all in relief), 186 innings, 162 hits allowed, 59 walks, 109 strikeouts, ERA of 2.76 and OAV of .241. In the minors, Bill played from 1953-62 and 1964 for 15 teams. He had three seasons with ERAs under 3.00.
He became a hardware sales representative living in Pulaski, VA.
He now lives in Dublin, VA.
Harold Jack Daniels ("Sour Mash Jack") was born on December 21, 1927 in Chester, PA. He played for the Eau Claire Bears in 1947 (.274, 6, 23). Daniels was a three sports star in high school, earning 4 letters in baseball, 3 in basketball and one in football. In 1951 with Hartford in the Eastern League, he had 114 walks with led the league.
Jack made the Boston Braves out of spring training in 1952 and stayed with the team all year. As a left-handed hitting outfielder, he played in 106 games and batted officially 219 times. He had 41 hits for a .187 average, OBP of .249 and a slugging % of .230 as he had 5 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs with 14 RBI. Daniels played in the outfield 87 times with a .977 fielding %. He was 2 for 17 as a pinch hitter. Jack did not appear in the majors again.
He played in the minor leagues for 14 years on 15 teams. Jack was in AAA for 5 years and hit 34 home runs for Atlanta (Southern) in 1956 and had 3 other years when he slammed over 15 homers. He was known as a good defensive outfielder with a good arm and speed.
Daniels has lived in Evansville, IN, for, at least, the past 30
Michael Lynn Davison was born in Galesburg, IL, on August 4, 1945. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1964 with an ERA of 3.19 and a 11-4 record. Mike attended Augsburg College (MN). In the Fall of 1964 he was a rule V draft pick by the Giants.
After three years in the military (1966-68), Mike reached the majors in 1969 for the Giants with a relief appearance on October 1. He finished 2 innings, with 2 hits allowed, no walks, 2 strikeouts and a 4.50 ERA. In 1970, he returned pitching in 31 games and 36 innings allowing 46 hits, 22 walks and a 6.50 ERA. His OAV was .324 and he struck out 21. He did not return to the majors.
In the minor leagues, he played from 1964-65 and 1969-71. In 4 of those years, his ERA was under 3.00.
Mike entered the insurance business in Hutchinson, MN, and lived
there for many years where “he enjoyed playing baseball,
fishing, hunting, playing cards and spending time with his family,
grandchildren and friends”. Death came on May 11, 2013, at the
Glencoe Regional Health Center in Glencoe, MN. His remains were
James Harry Dean was born in Rockmart, GA, on May 12, 1915. He pitched for the 1941 Fargo-Moorhead Twins (no record) and the 1942 Superior Blues (0-1). Harry attended Oglethorpe University.
Dean started his pro career in 1939 with a bang pitching at Sanford (Flor. State) for a 21-4 record and 2..32 ERA. He moved up to Charlotte in 1940 (Piedmott) where he had a 12-13 mark and an ERA of 3.96.
In 1941 he made the Washington Senators major league team out of spring training and appeared in his first game on May 12. The right hander pitched in only one more game that season which closed out his major league career. Dean pitched 2 innings in 2 games allowing 2 hits and 3 walks. He did not strike out anyone and had an ERA of 4.50.
The same year he had his taste of MLB, he played in the Northern League (see above) and also pitched at Greenville (So. Altl) posting a 11-16, 3.56 record. In 1942, he again appeared in a few games in the Northern League and then ended his pro appearances in 1946 for Carrollton (Georg-Alab) with a 1-0 record. Presumably, he serviced his country in some fashion during the war years.
After his active pro baseball years, he worked in Dalton, GA, for
a textile company and played and refereed various local sporting
events. Dean died after an extended illness in a hospital in Dalton
on June 1, 1960, and was buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in
Arturo Marcelino (Simon) DeFreites was born on April 26, 1953, in San Pedro De Macoris, DR. He played for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1971 (.245, 4 HR, 30 RBI).
Art made the majors in September 1978 with 9 games for the Reds. In 19 at bats he collected 4 hits (1 double, 1 home run). He was 1 for 2 as a pinch hitter and appeared in the field at first base in 6 games. In 1979, the Reds played him in 23 games including 17 as a pinch hitter (3 hits). His average was .206. That was the end of his MLB chances.
In 32 career MLB games and 53 at bats, Art hit .208 with a .222 OBP and .321 slugging %. He had 3 doubles and one home run with 6 RBI. In the minors from at least 1970-1985, he played with 18 teams. Art had 3 seasons with an average over .300 and two with more then 20 home runs including 1978 when he hit 32 in AAA. He spent a total of 7 seasons in AAA.
He still lives in San Pedro De Macoris.
Miguel Angel (Piloto) delaHoz was born on October 2, 1938, in Havana, Cuba. He played for the Minot Mallards in 1958 (.315, 6 HR, 62 RBI).
Mike first appeared in a major league uniform in July 1960 for the Cleveland Indians. That year, they used him at short and third in 49 games as he hit .256 with a .300 OBP and 6 home runs.. In 1961, he got into 61 games as a utility infielder with an average of .260, an OBP of .297.with 10 doubles and 3 home runs.
The 1962 season was spent mostly at AAA as he was in 12 games for the Indians and was 1 for 12 at the plate. In 1963, he spent his complete year in the majors playing in 67 games as the utility infielder/outfielder. Mike hit .267 with 5 homers, 10 doubles and 25 RBI. On April 1, 1964, he was treaded to Milwaukee for Chico Salmon and spent the 1964 through 1967 seasons with the Braves as their main utility man/pinch hitter. He performed in 78, 81, 71 and 74 games for them with averages of .291, .256, .218 and .203.
He returned to the majors for his last MLB game in 1969, with the Reds, as a pinch hitter. Over his 9 major league seasons, Mike played in 494 games and had 1,114 at bats with a .251 average, .292 OBP and a .365 slugging %. He had 42 doubles, 5 triples, 25 home runs and 115 RBI. As a pinch hitter, he was 36 for 198.
As a minor leaguer in 1958-60, 1962 and 1968-70, he played with 10 teams. He had 4 years with averages over .300.
Mike entered the real estate business in Miami, FL, where he died
on May 28, 2023. Burial was at Woodlawn Park North.
James Henry Delsing was born in Rudolph, WI, on November 13, 1925. He played for the 1946 Eau Claire Bears where he hit .377 with 7 home runs, 11 doubles, 11 triples and 61 RBI in 65 games. Jim was on the Northern League All Star team.
Delsing grew up on his father's dairy farm where his parents raised him and his sister. In Rudolph he graduated from the public school system and learned to play baseball although not for the school. In the early 1940s, he also starred as a guard in basketball, where his speed and good ball handing made him a standout. His baseball education started in 1942 playing semipro at Stevens Point, WI, for the Moland Truckers (Wisconsin Valley League). He recalled playing against several teenagers including Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch of Wausau, who became a star for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams. Delsing impressed scout Eddie Kotel, who offered him a contract in 1942 with professional Green Bay club (Wisconsin State League). After finishing his junior year, Jim played the second half of the season for them.
"I played shortstop in 1942 for Green Bay," Delsing
recalled. "They thought I was a shortstop, because that's what I
was playing in semipro. The only reason I played shortstop for
Stevens Point was because nobody else could handle it. But I made a
lot of errors. I either kicked the ball away, or I threw it away. I
think I made more errors throwing than I did any other way, and it
was a tough learning experience. I think I hit .249 and fielded about
.249!" [actually .867]. He hit .249, 12 doubles, four triples,
and three home runs, with 30 RBI. In June 1943, after graduating from
Rudolph High, Delsing played for Lockport (PONY) where he played
third base and the outfield for 86 games batting .312, with 15
doubles, five triples, and eight homers, and 69 RBI. But, his
fielding was still erratic and he was shifted to the outfield where
he eventually became an excellent defensive outfielder. Delsing hit
Milwaukee (Amer. Assoc.) purchased his contract for 1944. He remembered making the club, but he got his draft notice and joined the Army in April 1944. He was in the 95th Evacuation Hospital of the Army Medical Corps. After being in Europe more than a year, he returned to the States in late 1945.
In 1946, Delsing was at spring training with the Brewers, but the team had so many outfielders that he asked to be farmed out. He was sent to Eau Claire where he trailed league batting champ Ken Staples by only five points. It was Delsing's best average in organized baseball and he was called up by Milwaukee where he hit nearly as well at .319 in 40 games with five doubles, two triples, and 20 RBI. [He also made the American Association's. All Star team]. His stellar play caught the notice of the White Sox who took him to spring training in 1947, but they farmed him out the Hollywood (PCL) where he hit.316 and was on the league's All Star team.
Jim reached the majors with 20 games for the White Sox in 1948 and batted .190 spending most of the year back at Hollywood (.333 in 122 games). On Dec. 14, 1948, he was traded to the Yankees for Steve Sauchock and split the 1949 season between AAA and New York (9 games going 7 for 20 -.350). The 1950 season began a streak of 7 straight years where Jim stayed in a major league uniform for a whole season. That year he started with the Yankees (12 games, 4 for 12) and was traded to the Browns on June 15 in a 7-player deal and played 69 games for with an average of .263 and an OBP of .328. He was 8 for 24 as a left handed pinch hitter that year.
In 1951, he was a starter in the outfield for the Browns and played in 131 games hitting .249 and a .338 OBP. He hit 8 homers and had 45 RBI. On August 19 of that year, Delsing became part of one of the more colorful tales of baseball when the Browns met Detroit in a doubleheader at Sportsman's Park. The Browns owner Bill Veeck had signed midget Eddie Gaedel to play in the second game. After Tigers pitcher Bob "Sugar" Cain walked Gaedel on four pitches, Browns manager Zack Taylor sent Delsing in to pinch run and he played the rest of the game. Delsing once said: "It was just a three-ring circus, with a couple of rings missing."
He continued to start for the Browns in 1952 as in 93 games, he
hit .255. But, he was then traded to the Tigers on August 14 in the
Vic Wertz deal where he played in 33 games and batted .274. Jim then
started for 3 years with Tigers. In 1953 for 138 games he hit .288,
in 1954 it was .248 in 122 games and he led all AL outfielders in
fielding percentage. In 1955 he batted .248 in 122 games.
His 1956 season begin with the Tigers as in 10 games he was 0 for 10, but then he was sent to the White Sox on May 5 in a 5-player trade where he played in 55 games and hit .122 with a .294 OBP. Jim was 3 for 21 as a pinch hitter. On Dec. 6, 1958 he was traded to Washington in the Eddie Yost deal, but did not play for the Senators partly because of a back injury. He did not return to the majors until 1960 when he ended his career with 16 games for the Kansas City A's batting .250.
For 10 seasons, Jim played in 822 games with 2,461 at bats. He hit .255 with a .340 OBP and a .366 slugging percentage. He hit 40 home runs, drove in 286 runners and had a life-time .989 fielding percentage. Also, he was 28 for 107 as a pinch hitter. "He was just a good all-around ballplayer," said former Browns and Washington Senators star Roy Sievers. "Jim was a very good outfielder."
"Why they [fans] remember that [the Gaedel incident] than anything, I don't know," said former teammate Don Lenhardt. "Jim was a good teammate to have on your ballclub. He was a very good fielder and a good ballplayer. I've known him for over 50 years, and we became very good friends."
In the minors from 1942-43, 1946-49 and 1957-60 he played with 13 teams. He had 6 seasons hitting over .300.
During his baseball off-seasons, Jim was a carpenter. After baseball, he worked for more than 30 years as an advertising salesman with the "St. Louis Review" which is the Catholic archdiocese's newspaper and retired from them in 1991. He was active in numerous Catholic charities, including the St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Nicholas food pantry and Ascension Altar Society. Jim lived in Chesterfield, MO for many years and died at his home there on May 4, 2006, from complications of cancer. Delsing donated his body to Washington University Medical School. [Jim's son, also named "Jim", was on the PGA's tournament tour.]
[For a much more complete biography, please see:
William Lester DeMars was born on August 26, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY. He was the player-manager for the Aberdeen Pheasants during most of the 1958 season (.258, 4 HR, 30 RBI). Please see more about that season on the page "The 1958 Aberdeen Pheasants".
Billy first made the majors in 1948 where he was the A's utility infielder for 18 games hitting .172 with a .294 OBP. On December 13, 1949, he was traded to the Browns with Ray Coleman, Frank Gustine, Ray Ippolito and $100,000 for Bob Dillinger and Paul Lehner. In 1950, he was with the Browns for the whole year hitting a decent .247 with a OBP of .330 in 54 games. His MLB career came to an end in 1951 when he appeared in one game for the Browns.
In 3 seasons, Billy batted .237 with 211 at bats in 80 games. He did not hit a major league home run, but drove in 28 runs. His OBP was .326.
In the minors from 1943, 1946-47, 1949 and 1951-60, he played with 17 clubs and was best known for his defense. From 1958-60 he was a player/manager.
Billy was in WWII serving from 1944-45 and stayed in baseball as a minor league manager (1959-62 and 1966-68) and a major league coach for 19 years. His coaching assignments were with the Phillies (1969-81), the Expos (1982-84) and the Reds (1985-87). A talented batting coach long before the advent of videotape and other technological boosts, DeMars had a fan in Pete Rose. They worked together in Philadelphia, Montreal and Cincinnati. DeMars recently said: "Baseball was my lifetime, 58 years. Every job has its ups and downs, but I still can't see me doing anything else. It was a great ride."
Throughout his retirement, he lived in Clearwater, FL. That is
where he died on December 10, 2020, and was buried at the Bay Pines
Cemetery in Bay Pines, FL.
Donald Ray Dennis was born in Uniontown, KS, on March 3, 1942. He pitched for the 1962 Winnipeg Goldeyes (4.47, 10-7). Don attended Emporia State University.
In 1965, he had a 1.47 ERA at Jacksonville and was brought up in June by Cardinals. In his first game, he came in from the bullpen to protect a lead in the 9th inning and allowed a home run to tie the score. Bill White homered in the next Cardinal at bat which gave Dennis the win. He did not allow a run in his next 9 appearances. For the season, he was with the them for 41 games in relief (55 innings) giving up 47 hits and 16 walks for an excellent 2.29 ERA and a 2-3 record as he was named the Cardinals' Rookie of the Year. The right hander returned in 1966 for 38 games, but his ERA increased to 4.98 and he was traded on Dec. 14, 1966, with Walt Williams to the White Sox for John Romano and Lee White. He did not appear in one Sox game and his major league chances ended. .
In 79 MLB games, the 6'2" fastballer pitched 115 innings allowing 120 hits and 33 walks. His ERA was 3.69, he struck out 54 and had a OAV of .272. In the minor leagues from 1962-65 and 1967-69, Don played with 8 teams. He had 3 seasons with ERAs under 3.00 including one under 2.00.
Don became an employee of the National Guard and lived in
Uniontown. He died on March 22, 2007, in Ft. Scott, KS, from
complications of cancer and was buried at Uniontown Cemetery. He was
the father of Wichita State University director of baseball
operations, Shane Dennis.
James Michael Derrick was born in Columbia, SC, on September 19, 1943. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1962 (.306, 11 HR, 73 RBI). Mr.. He was a four sports letterman at Brookland-Cayce High School
Mike played in 24 games with 33 at bats for the 1970 Boston Red Sox with an average of .212. The lefty was used as a pinch hitter going 2 for 21 and had 2 games in the outfield and one at first base. His OBP was .212 and he had a slugging % of .242. That was Derrick's only major league ride.
As a minor leaguer from 1962-1972, he played for twelve clubs with seven seasons at class AAA.
Derrick retired from Cayce Welding and Ornamental Iron in SC and
coached American Legion Baseball to two State Championships. He was
also an avid golfer. Mike died on Jan. 14, 2009, in Lexington, SC,
after living in West Columbia Cayce, SC, for some time. Burial was at
the Woodridge Memorial Park in Lexington.
James Edward Dickson was born on April 20, 1938, in Portland, OR. He played with the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1959 (3.46, 7-7) and 1960 (4.65, 5-6).
Jim reached the majors with the Houston Colt 45's in 1963 appearing in relief 13 times for a 6.14 ERA. On Jan. 20, 1964, he was traded to the Reds with Wally Wolf for Eddie Kasko. Most of the next year (1964) was spent at AAA, but he did pitch in 4 games for Cincinnati with a 7.20 ERA.
The 1965 season was his only complete year in the majors. For the Kansas City A's he made 68 relief appearances throwing 85 innings and allowing 68 hits and 47 walks. He struck out 54 and had a 3.47 ERA with a .220 OAV in his career year. His games pitched total set a record for AL rookies. Back with the A's part time in 1966, the hard throwing right hander got into 24 games including his only MLB start. His ERA was 5.35 with a .264 OAV.
Over his 4 MLB seasons, Jim pitched in 109 games and 142 innings and gave up 135 hits and 77 walks with 86 strikeouts for a 4.36 ERA and .254 OAV.
With 16 minor league teams from 1958-64 and 1966-1970, Jim had 3 years with ERAs near or below 3.00 and he pitched in AAA for 9 years. He had the lowest ERA in the Three-I League in 1961 (3.02).
Jim became a driver's education instructor in Astoria, OR, and now
lives in Warrenton, OR.
Jack Edward DiLauro was born on May 3, 1943, in Akron, OH. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1964 (2.81, 14-8). Jack was three times All City and All District in high school and, as a senior, an All City and All District end in football. Also he had the third best ERA in the Ohio Conference in 1962.
Jack first pitched in the majors for the Mets in May 1969. In 23 games, including 4 starts, he finished 64 innings allowing 50 hits and 18 walks with a 2.40 ERA. That good performance was rewarded with a full player's share of the World Series proceeds. The left hander moved to the Houston Astros for the 1970 season and was with them the whole year appearing in 42 games with 34 inning allowing 34 hits and 17 walks for a 4.28 ERA.
In only 2 seasons, he completed 97 innings in 65 games giving up 84 hits and 35 walks. He struck out 50 and had an OAV of .232 and ERA of 3.05.
In the minors from 1963-69 and 1971-72, Jack was with 11 teams. He
had 4 years with ERAs under 3.00 and pitched in AAA for 7 seasons.
DiLauro was a Carolina League All Star in 1965.
After retirement, DiLauro returned to Akron and joined the Koenig Sporting Goods Company eventually becoming district manager of the 31-store chain. He also continued to pitch in the Greater Akron AA League leading the Easton Sports Pride to two league championships. When he retired in 1975, Jack became the AA League President for two years. He now lives in Malvern, OH.
Patrick Edward Dobson was born in Depew, NY, on February 12, 1942. He pitched for Duluth-Superior in 1962 (4 g, 0-2, 19.80 ERA).
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Righthander Pat Dobson's finest season came in 1971 when he was one of four 20-game winners on Earl Weaver's Baltimore Orioles staff. The only other team in modern history to produce four 20-game winners was the 1920 White Sox.
"Weaver helped Dobson by simplifying the pitcher's repertoire. Ray Miller, an Orioles minor leaguer at the time and a future pitching coach recalled, 'Dobson joined us with four or five pitches which [he] threw from two or three different windups. Earl would ask why [he] needed all those pitches and windups. Didn't [he] have a couple of pitches that worked well? He wants pitchers to simplify things.'
"Originally signed by Detroit for a $35,000 bonus, Dobson had a losing record in his first five seasons in the majors. In 1971, his first season with the Orioles, Dobson went 20-8 with a 2.80 ERA. Dave McNally, Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar also won at least 20 for the Birds. At one point during the season Dobson won 12 consecutive games. He appeared in three games of the 1971 World Series against Pittsburgh, but did not receive a decision.
"Dobson was an All-Star in 1972, and although he reduced his ERA to 2.65, he lost a league-leading 18 games. In 1972 he was traded to Atlanta. He went on to win 19 games for the Yankees in 1974 and 16 games for the Indians in 1976."
Dobson came up to the Detroit Tigers in May 1967 and pitched in 28 games (49 innings) including one start. He had a good 2.92 ERA with a .216 OOB. He stayed with the Tigers during the 1968 and 1969 seasons appearing in 47 and 49 games with 10 and 9 starts for 125 and 105 innings. His ERAs were 2.66 and 3.60 and he had OOBs of .200 and .253. He completed 4 2/3 innings in the '68 Series with a 3.86 ERA as he allowed 5 hits and one walk. On Dec. 4, 1969, he was traded to San Diego with Dave Campbell for Joe Niekro.
With the 1970 Padres he became a starter for 34 games and also relieved in 6 more for 251 innings. His ERA was 3.76, he had a 14-15 record and a .265 OBB. On Dec. 1, 1970, Dobson was traded to Baltimore with Tom Dukes for Tom Phoebus, Al Severinsen, Fred Beene and Enzo Hernandez. In 1971-1972, for the Orioles, he pitched in 38 games each season and completed 282 and 268 innings for 2.90 and 2.65 ERAs and 20-8 and 16-18 records. In the 1971 World Series, he was in 3 games (1 start) for 6 2/3 innings allowing 13 hits and 4 walks while striking out 6 for a 4.05 ERA. On Nov. 30, 1972, he was traded to Atlanta with Roric Harrison, Davey Johnson and John Oates for Earl Williams and Taylor Duncan. .
He had a short stay with the Braves as, after 12 games (57 innings, 3-7, 4.99) [June 7] he was traded to the New York Yankees for four players where he pitched 22 more games that season with a 9-8 record, 4.17 ERA in 142 innings. Dobson stayed with the Yankees for 1974 and 1975 appearing in 39 and 33 games for 281 and 208 innings for 3.07 and 4.07 ERAs with 19-15 and 11-14 records. On Nov. 22, 1975, he was dispatched to Cleveland for Oscar Gamble.
For the Indians in 1975-1976, he pitched in 33 and 35 games for 207 and 217 innings with ERAs of 4.07 and 3.48 posting 11-14 and 16-12 records. After 11 major league seasons, he had pitched in 414 games including 279 starts for 2,120 innings allowing 2,043 hits and 665 walks. Dobson struck out 1,301, had a 3.54 career ERA, a .255 OOB and a 122-129 record.
In the minors from 1960-1967, he pitched for 13 teams having an under 2.00 ERA three times. He also pitched a few innings in the low minors (Inter.-Amer.) in 1979. Pat spent four years at AAA. Dobson spent five years as a Minor League pitching instructor.
He was the pitching coach for the Brewers (1982-1984), Padres (1988-1990) and Royals (1991). Dobson managed of the Fort Myers Sun Sox in the Senior League in 1989 and 1990. The Senior League was a winter league set in Florida for players 35 and older. There were eight teams in two divisions. Pat''s team finished second and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The league folded halfway through its second season.
Dobson joined the Colorado Rockies expansion team as an advance scout in December 1992, serving in that capacity until 1995. Pat was the pitching coach for the Orioles in 1996 and was an advance scout with the San Francisco Giants in 1997, eventually becoming a special assistant to General Manager Brian Sabean. He was one of Giants' top talent evaluators. In 1998, Dobson was elected to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1997, he joined the Giants as an advance scout and was a special assistant to their GM until his death from leukemia on November 22, 2006, near San Diego, CA. He had been residing in El Cajon, CA.. [After felling ill for two weeks, he went to a hospital for tests and was given the diagnosis. One night after checking in to the hospital, he died.]
After his death Brian Sabean said: "We've all become so close through the years and we're going to miss him dearly...I want to express our condolences. I can't put into words the impact Pat had on the Giants over the years."
"He had a great curveball," Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Dobson's teammate with the Orioles, told the Associated Press. "He was a real gamer, a real competitor. He didn't give in to anybody."
The Orioles' Mike Flanagan was quoted: "The sudden death of Pat Dobson deeply saddens me and the entire Orioles organization. Pat had his best seasons as a player in an Orioles uniform and will be fondly remembered by Orioles fans.
"I got to know Dobber well when he returned to our organization as pitching coach in 1996 and will never forget the fun times we had, talking baseball and telling stories, before and after games."
"I've been in this game for 40 years," said Dave Campbell, Dobson's former roommate with the San Diego Padres, and he was undoubtedly the funniest man in the game."
Arthur James Doll was born in Chicago, on May 7, 1913, and pitched for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1949 with a 3.43 ERA and a 4-7 record. He also was a position player batting .264 with 1 home run and 8 RBI.
Art first arrived to the majors as a catcher in 1935 for the Boston Braves and he played in 3 games going 1 for 10 at the plate. Then he had two very short stints in the majors as a pitcher - both for the Braves. In September 1936, he pitched in his first game, a start, and lasted through the eighth inning giving up 11 hits and 2 walks for a reasonable 3.38 ERA. In his last 3 appearances, in 1938, he completed 4 relief innings allowing 4 hits and 3 walks for a 2.24 ERA.
In only 4 MLB games, he was in 12 innings allowing 15 hits, 5 walks and a 3.00 ERA. He struck out 3 and had a .333 OAV. He was 2 for 13 as a batter. In the minors, he was also used as a position player and pitcher. From 1934-49, he played for 18 teams. Art had one year with an ERA under 3.00 and he hit over .300 for 2 seasons. In 1938, he won 17 games.
He retired from the Southeastern Construction Company of Hammond,
IN, and later worked at a Payless Auto Store in Calumet City, IL. He
died on April 28, 1978, in Calumet City and was buried at the Holy
Cross Cemetery there.
Sylvester Urban Donnelly was born on January 21, 1914, in Olivia, MN. He pitched for the Superior Blues in 1935 (15-15) and the Duluth Dukes in 1936 (5.09 ERA, 11-19)
Blix was first with a major league team in May 1944 and he stayed in the bigs for 7 straight years. For the Cardinals in '44, he pitched in 27 games (4 starts) and 76 innings allowing 61 hits, 34 walks, an ERA of 2.12 and OAV of .218. He was in 2 World Series games relieving for 6 innings and giving up 2 hits, 1 walk and struck out 9 for a 0.00 ERA. He entered game 2 in the 8th inning and pitched 4 scoreless innings, striking out 7 and got the win when the Cardinals scored in the 11th.
In 1945, he was in 31 games for the Cards with 23 starts and a 3.52 ERA in 166 innings. In his last Cardinal appearances, for 13 games in 1946, his ERA was 3.95. On July 6, he was sold to the Phillies where he pitched 12 games including 8 as a starter with a 2.95 ERA.
The right hander then pitched for the Phillies for 4 years (1947-50). Used as a starter and reliever for the first 3, he was in 38, 26 and 23 games with ERAs of 2.98, 3.69 and 5.06. He had 14 complete games in 39 starts during those years. In 1950, Blix only played in 14 games with one start finishing with a 4.29 ERA. At age 36 he was rather old to perform on the "Whiz Kids", so he and another aged pitcher, Ken Heintzelman, were known as the "Fizz Kids". His last chances came in 1951 with the Boston Braves who picked him up for the waiver price on April 16. He appeared 6 times for 7 innings and an ERA of 7.36.
In his 8-year MLB career, he pitched in 190 games (60 % were in relief) for 692 innings allowing 659 hits and 306 walks with an ERA of 3.49. He struck out 296 and had a .257 OAV.
In the minors from 1936-43 and 1951-52, he played with 14 teams. In 4 seasons, he had ERAs under 3.00 and had 15 or more wins over 6 seasons.
After baseball, Donnelly operated a anhydrous ammonia business in
Oliva. He died at Renville County Hospital there on June 20, 1976,
and is buried at the St. Aloysius Catholic Church Cemetery in Oliva.
James Thomas Donohue (“Bones”) was born on October 31, 1938, in St. Louis. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1957 (4.34 ERA, 7-7).
Jim's MLB experience came with 3 teams - all in 2 years. On June 15, 1960, he was traded by the Cardinals to the Dodgers for John Glenn, but never played for their major league team. Drafted by the Tigers in 1961 he appeared in 14 games with them as a reliever with a 3.54 ERA. On June 7, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Jerry Casale where he finished the year with 38 games, including 7 as a starter, and a 4.31 ERA. He totaled 6 saves in his rookie year.
His 1962 season began with the Angels where he pitched quite well (12 games, 24 innings, 3.70 ERA). Then, on May 29, he was sent to the Twins for Don Lee with whom he appeared in 6 games for a 6.97 ERA. In his 2 MLB seasons, he was in 70 games and finished 155 innings allowing 152 hits and 82 walks for a 4.29 ERA and .259 opponent's batting average.
In the minor leagues from 1956-60 and 1962-64, he was with 14 clubs. He had 4 seasons with ERAs under 3.00.
Jim became a manufacturer's representative with Hillerich and Bradsby (producer of the Louisville Slugger). He lived in St. Louis and died there on September 9, 2017. His remains were cremated.
Ronald Ray Dunn was born on January 24, 1950, in Oklahoma City. He played with the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1968 (.239, 3 HR, 24 RBI). In 1973, he was obtained by the Cubs organization.
"The Sporting News" had an article about him in their July 27, 1974, edition. The following are excerpts: "There's something about Ron Dunn that sets him apart from the average professional baseball player. It isn't talent; at best Dunn's talents are just a shade above average It is something to do with priorities, the things that Dunn considers important. Baseball, of course, is important to the...24-year-old third baseman. Like other minor leaguers, he hopes to go to the top. Few work harder at the game than does Dunn. He'll take batting practice as long as there is someone around to throw it.
"But he doesn't seem to consider baseball as life-and-death matter. He plays the game on a day-to-day basis, as if he is paid by the game rather than by the season. He's reckless almost to a fault. This is his seventh season in the minor leagues, but he never has criticized the parent organization for not giving him a chance in the big leagues. He lets umpires do their job. He never has accused an official scorer of taking food out of his mouth. Baseball is his career, but it's not his life. Other things are just as important, maybe even more important. For one thing, he believes everyone should have the same opportunities he has had.
"'I was a pretty ornery kid," explaned Dunn, who grew up in Fresno, Calif, "I was always getting into scraps at school. I would come home dirty, with my clothes torn. But my dad (Matt) was always there to help me out. We spent a lot of time together, hunting and fishing. I don't know where I would have been without him." When Dunn came to Wichita this season , he joined an organization called Big brothers of Sedgwick County. Big brother's "adopt" little boys without fathers. Dunn's little brother is 11...
"'I've never hit .300. Maybe I never will. But if I can do the job at third and keep driving in runs, somebody may eventually notice me." Signed by Baltimore in 1968, Dunn was noticed by the Cubs organization in 1972. Early last season, he was purchased from Baltimore's Asheville (Southern) club and sent to Midland (Texas). In 95 games at Midland, he drove in 58 runs and batted .281. Last season, he led Texas League third basemen in assists, hit 15 home runs, drove in 74 and was named to the all-star team.
"But unlike most of his teammates, Dunn never has been protected by being placed on the Cubs' winter roster. Third base has never been a problem position in Chicago. Ron Santo played there for 14 seasons and rookie Bill Madlock now has the job. "I never think about who's ahead of me. I guess I think about playing in the big leagues, but I never say much about it. I'll just wait and see what happens," he said. Baseball is important to Dunn, but it isn't his whole life."
Ron played parts of two MLB seasons with the Cubs. In September 1974, he played second and third in 23 games and hit .294 with 2 homers and 15 RBI. He returned for part of 1975 for 32 games but only batted .159 in 44 at bats.
In his short big league career, he appeared in 55 games with 112 at bats, 10 doubles, 3 HR and a .241 average. He drove in 21 runs and had a .346 OBP and .411 slugging %. Dunn was 3 for 18 as a pinch hitter. Dunn's bad knees were his major drawback to a long-term career.
In the minors from 1968-76, he played with 11 teams - 3 in AAA. He hit 15 or more home runs 3 times. Dunn had 17 at Wichita in 1974.
Ron guided the San Jose team in the Men's Senior Baseball League
(MSBL) through ten seasons. He also played as he had great hitting
streaks in the league's playoffs. He lives in San Jose, CA.
Donald Eugene Eddy was born in Mason City, IA, on October 25, 1946. He played with the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1968 (3.60 ERA, 1-1).
Don had parts of two seasons in the majors with a September 1970 debut. In 7 games that year for the White Sox, he pitched 12 innings allowing 10 hits and 6 walks and his ERA was 2.31. The lefty returned to the Sox for most of the 1971 season appearing in 22 games with 23 innings, 19 hits and 19 walks and a 2.38 ERA.
Even with those good ERA numbers, his MLB career was over. In 29 major league games and 34 innings, he allowed 25 walks and 29 hits. With that many base runners (1.57 WHIP), his ERA of 2.36 appears to be due to some luck and a good defense behind him . He struck out 23 and had a OAV of .236. He hit a double in his only major league at bat.
In the minor leagues from 1966, 1968-73, he played for 8 teams. In 3 seasons his ERAs were at or below 2.00. In 1967-68, he was in the military.
After baseball, he worked for an auto parts distributor and then, for 28 years, was involved in automobile sales. He retired in 2012 and for many years enjoyed golf and participated in MLBPPA events in Des Moines. He lived in Rockwell, IA, and died there from pancreatic cancer on October 10, 2013. Burial was at the Rockwell Cemetery in Rockwell.
David Louis Eilers was born on December 3, 1936, in Oldenburg, TX. He pitched for the Eau Claire Braves in 1962 (3.68 ERA, 11-9).
Dave never spent a full season in the major leagues but did make 81 appearances over 4 seasons. In July 1964, he first pitched for the Milwaukee Braves in 6 games and 8 innings with an ERA of 4.70. In 1965, he again appeared in 6 games for the Braves with an ERA of 12.27, but was sold to the New York Mets on Aug. 15 where he was in another 11 games with a more reasonable 4.00 ERA.
In 1968, Dave pitched in 23 games for the Mets for 35 innings and gave up 39 hits and only 7 walks with a 4.67 ERA. He allowed 7 homers and struck out 14 with a OAV of .287. His MLB finale was in 1967 for the Astros where he appeared in a career high 35 games giving up 68 hits and 17 walks in 59 innings. His ERA was a career best 3.94.
During his MLB career, Dave pitched 123 innings in relief with 146 hits and 29 walks allowed. His ERA was 4.45 with 52 strike outs and a OAV of .297.
In the minors from 1959-69, he performed with 12 teams. He had 3 seasons with ERAs under 2.00 and spent 6 years in AAA. In 1964, in the International League, he made 18-straight relief appearances without allowing a run. His win-loss record from 1963-65 was 33-7.
Dave became a creamery transport driver for Bluefell Creameries in
Brenham, TX, where he still lives.
James Russell Ellis was born in Tulare, CA, on March 25, 1945, and pitched for the St. Cloud Rox in 1964 (4.40, 4-6).
Jim only got two shorts trials in a major league uniform. In August 1967, he came up with the Reds and pitched in 8 games including one start. In 17 innings, he allowed 20 hits and 9 walks for a 3.24 ERA. On Apr. 23, 1968, he was traded from the Cubs to the Dodgers with Ted Savage for Jim Hickman and Phil Regan, however, he never played for the Dodgers. After being sold to the Cardinals In 1969, he was in 2 games for them completing 5 innings for a 1.69 ERA. On Oct. 20, 1970, he was traded to the Brewers in a 5-player deal, but never was in a game for them.
The lefty's record was decent. In 10 MLB games (2 starts) and 22 innings, he gave up 27 hits and 12 walks with 8 strikeouts and a 2.86 RBI. His OAV was .314. His first big league at-bat was notable because he hit a double off an opposing pitcher Jim Bunning.
As a minor leaguer from 1963-71, he pitched with 9 teams. In 3 of those seasons, his ERA was at or below 3.00 and he was in class AAA for 5 years. During a 1965 game with Quincy, in the Midwest League, Jim pitched a one-hitter while belting a single, double and three home runs. That year he struck out 214 in only 168 innings.
Ellis became a row-crop farmer in Tulare where he still lives.
Donald Ray Elston was born on April 6, 1929, in Campbellstown, OH. He pitched with the Sioux Falls Canaries in 1951 (4.36, 7-8) and 1952 (1.85, 18-6). His ERA in 1952 was the best in the league.
Don became a very dependable relief pitcher for the Cubs in the late 50's to mid 60's. His first MLB appearances came in September 1953 for the Cubs with 2 games and 5 innings for a 14.40 ERA. He had to wait 4 more years for a return engagement as he pitched one game for the Dodgers in 1957 (obtained in a trade on May 23 for Jackie Collum and Vito Valentinetti) and then went back to the Cubs for 39 games including 14 starts. In 144 innings he allowed 139 hits and 55 walks while striking out 102 for a 3.56 ERA.
In 1958 and 1959 the hard-thrower led all NL pitchers in appearances with 69 [was a Cubs record] and 65 while posting ERAs of 2.88 and 3.32. Each year he pitched 97 innings and struck out 84 and 82 batters respectively. He played in the 1959 All-Star game. From 1960 through 1964 he continued to spell "r-e-l-i-e-f" for the Cubs appearing in 60, 58, 57, 51 and 48 games with 127, 93, 66, 70, 54 innings. His ERAs during those years were 3.40, 5.59, 2.44, 2.83 and 5.30.
Over his 9 MLB seasons, he pitched in 450 games for 756 innings giving up 702 hits, 327 walks and striking out 519 with 63 saves. His career ERA was 3.69 and he had an OAV of .251 and 63 saves. He once said: "The most important asset of a reliever is his temperament. I wasn't too crazy about the term 'ice water in his veins,'but that is a good description."
Jerome Holtzman (the hall-of-fame writer) said: " [In 1959] The Cubs had two relief pitchers: right-hander Don Elston and left-hander Bill Henry. They were constantly protecting leads and no one even knew about it. The year (1959) Elroy Face was 18-1 he blew 10 leads... But they had such a good-hitting team they came back in the last inning and won the game for him. Elston and Henry were terrific."
He played in the minor leagues from 1948-56 and 1965 for 10 teams. As a starter, he had 14 or more victories in 5 seasons and had 4 seasons with ERAs near or below 3.00.
Don managed in the 1966 Cubs class "A" team and then
became a regional sales manager for Danly Die Set (a tool and die
maker) in Chicago. On January 2, 1995, he died at an Evanston (IL)
Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was cremated.
Albert Paul Epperly was born on May 7, 1918, at Glidden, IA. He pitched for the Eau Claire Bears in 1936 (4.40 ERA, 13-8).
Al had two short stints in the major leagues 13 years apart. Coming up for the first time in April 1938 he pitched in 9 games including 4 starts with the Cubs. In 27 innings, he gave up 28 hits and 15 walks while striking out 10 and compiling a 3.67 ERA. It was not until 1950 that Al got his second and, as it turned out, his last chance. With the Dodgers for 5 appearances, he pitched 9 innings allowing 14 hits and 5 walks for a 5.00 ERA.
In the 2 MLB seasons, he was in 14 games (4 starts) and finished 36 innings with 42 hits allowed and 20 walks. He struck out 13 and had a career 4.00 ERA with a .294 OAV.
Epperly pitched in the minors from 1936-43 and 1946-54 for 21 teams. He had three years with ERAs under 3.00 and had six seasons with 13 or more wins.
Al was in military service in 1944 and 1945. After baseball, he
worked at the Scott County (IA) Sheriff's office in Davenport for 30
years and, in 2002, he was named to the Iowa Baseball Hall of Fame.
He died on April 14, 2003, in McFarland, WI, and was buried at
Davenport Memorial Park, Davenport, IA
Andrew Auguste Etchebarren was born in Whittier, CA, on June 20, 1943. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1961(.224, 3 HR, 5 RBI) and 1963 (.225, 11, 48).
In between those two years in the Northern League, Andy had a 2 game taste of the majors in September 1962 batting 2 for 6 and committing 1 error in 8 chances for the Orioles. He had another short 5 game stint in 1965 (1 for 5).
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Andy Etchebarren was a talented defensive catcher who, despite mediocre hitting, became an integral part of Earl Weaver's championship Baltimore Orioles in the late 1960's and early 1970s. Breaking in with the Orioles in 1966 he hit 11 home runs, collected 50 RBIs and proved sufficiently adept at handling the fine Orioles pitching staff (and opposing base runners) to be named to the American League All-Star team. The O's won their first World Series at the conclusion of that 1966 season. [Andy became the regular catcher when Dick Brown retired after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he played every inning of the World Series.]
"The next year Etchebarren was again an All-Star although his hitting dropped to .215. Weaver began platooning him with catcher Ellie Hendricks. Neither was a strong hitter and they were almost equally matched in other respects, too. Between them they helped the Orioles become American League champions in 1969, 1970, and 1971, and world champions in 1970.
"In 1972 the club kept Etchebarren and traded away Hendricks to the White Sox, but the Orioles failed to win their division and the next year Hendricks rejoined Etchebarren in their dual role. The O's went to the playoffs again in 1973 and 1974. Never as an Orioles' duo did Ethchebarren and Hendricks both hit above .270 in the same season, but somehow their platoon worked well. Traded [Sold on June 15, 1975] to the California Angels in 1975, Etchebarren served as their regular catcher in 1976."
After one more year with the Angels in 1977 as a part time player, Andy was sold to Brewers on Dec. 15, 1977, for a short 4-game trial in 1978 and the end of the line. He had played for 15 years in 948 games. His career fielding average was .987, he hit .235 with a .308 OBP. In 12 ALCS games, he fielded 1.000 and was 8 for 38 (1 home run) as a hitter. In 9 World Series games, Andy had one error in 66 chances, but was 2 for 27 at the plate with 4 walks. In the minors he played from 1961-64 for 5 teams.
After his MLB career, he brought a racquetball club in Hacienda Heights. But, after three years, he again got involved with professional baseball by serving as a coach and manager. He was a major league coach for the Angels (1977), Brewers (1985-91) and Orioles (1996-97). In 2000, he managed Bowie of the Eastern League and in 2001 and 2002 he managed Rochester of the International League. Andy served as the Orioles' Roving Catching Instructor to their minor league system for 2003 and 2004 and was the manager of the short-season Class "A" Aberdeen (MD) Ironbirds in 2005-2007. He then became bench coach for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League.
In 2008, he was a bench coach at York in the independent Atlantic
League and then from 2009-12 their manager. After retiring from
managing, he will be a special adviser to the owners of the York
club. In recent years he has lived in Nokomis, FL, and Chino Hills,
CA. Death came on August 23, 2019, in Santee, SC. Burial was at the
Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights, CA.
William James Fanning was born in Chicago on September 14, 1927. He played for the 1961 Eau Claire Braves as their player/manager (.237, 1 HR, 15 RBI) and managed only in 1962. Jim attended Buena Vista College (IA).
Jim was a back up catcher for one complete major league season and made appearances during 3 other seasons. In September 1954 he played in 11 games for the Cubs going 7 for 38. In 1955, he was in only 5 games with them with no hits in 5 at bats and in 1956, he had only one MLB appearance going 1 for 4 at the plate. The season of 1957 was the highlight of his career as he was with the Cubs for the whole season. In 47 games, he batted .180 in 89 at bats (1 for 12 as a pinch hitter). He made 3 errors in 155 chances. He returned to the minors after that year.
In 64 MLB games, Jim hit .170 in 141 at bats with a .209 OBP. In
the minors from 1950-56 and 1958-61, he played with 20 teams. He hit
over .300 in 3 seasons.
Jim managed in the minors from 1958-63 (Phillies, A's and Braves systems). He was a special assignment scout for the Braves in 1963-64 and their assistant general manager from 1964-67. He became a major league coach (Braves 1967) and was director of the Major League Scouting Bureau in 1968. From 1969 through 1973 he was the general manager of the Montreal Expos, their vice president and GM in 1974-75 and vice president of player development from 1976-81. His major league managerial record is as follows: Expos 1981: 16-11; Expos 1982: 86-76 (3rd) and Expos: 1984 14-16. Fanning was known for his s calm and professional managerial style.
After leaving managing, he returned to Montreal's front office and
was a broadcaster, for the team, in 1987-88. Later he was a scout for
the Rockies and then became an assistant general manager and
ambassador to amateur "baseball/Canada" for the Blue Jays.
He was elected to the Canadian Hall-of-Fame in 2000. In his later
years he lived in Dorchester, ON, Canada and died at a London,
Ontario resistance on April 25, 2015.
Harry Michael Fanok was born on May 11, 1940, in Whippany, NJ. He played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1959 (.211, 14 RBI) and 1960 (.204, 2 HR, 9 RBI and 4.09 ERA, 14-11).
In his SABR bio, Fanok recalled his playing days in the Northern
League: "...when I was demoted to the Winnipeg team, I started
to open some eyes with my arm. I was pitching on a regular rotation,
and was enjoying the transformation from a position player, although
I still loved to swing a bat. I can recall having a couple of wins
real quick like. I was gaining confidence. Well, I think I opened the
first game of the season on the road at Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This
was the Milwaukee Braves team of the Northern League. I didn't do too
good. I was gone after five innings. Not good!
"Now I had time to think where I went wrong. And anyone that knew me, knew that I was not a happy camper unless I was winning. My second game was in Duluth. That was the Tigers team. I recall Ray Oyler and Gates Brown. Anyway, I pitched the second game of a doubleheader. I went seven innings and fanned 14. Life was good again! When we got to Winnipeg, I started the opener. I don't recall the results of the game, but the pre-game action, I do. They had Chuck Connors (The Rifleman) having batting practice. I did the throwing to him. That was sort of neat.
"The season was rolling on, and I was getting a lot of decisions. I think it was Grand Forks when my folks drove all the way up from Jersey to see me play. This was the Pirates team. This was the year that the movie called 'Psycho' came out. And, in these small towns, there was not a hell of a lot to do during the afternoons other than playing pool, or go to the movies. Well, this one day, we all went to see 'Psycho'. My brother Bob went with us also, as he came up with my folks too. Anyway, I remember there wasn't hardly anyone in the building but us ballplayers -- probably a dozen of us. So, when the show started, we were all spread out about three or four seats apart. But, when the show started to get a little hairy, we started to sit closer to one another. At that time, 'Psycho' was a scary flick.
"After the game that evening, I was told that I was being
sent up to Tulsa. So, my folks seen me for one game and then had to
say good-bye. So, I get to Tulsa, pitch one inning for Vern Benson's
team, and was told I was being sent back to the PEG. Something to do
with paperwork, is what they told me. It wasn't finished in time.
Unreal! I'm back in the Peg, and my folks are gone. Well, it was
business as usual now. I was pitching pretty well, and the team was
winning. We make the playoffs and win the Northern League
championship. Not bad! I ended up 14 and 11 that year [with a 4.19
"I also recall a game where Gil Carter almost took my head off with a liner. I think that was the hardest hit anybody had off me. Also, the batting championship came down to the last day. Joe Torre of Eau Claire beat out Max Alvis of Minot, by one or two points. Also, for winning the championship that year, we received pewter mugs all engraved. I still have mine!
"So I flew back home. I stayed there for about a week, got in
my car, and was headed back to the PEG. Only this time, I had my
shotgun. Three days later, I was staying at one of my teammate's
house. Bill Carpenter, who was a crafty pitcher. Also, I had met a
girl there in Winnipeg during the season, and that was another reason
I went back.
"Well, one evening after a date with my girlfriend, I returned home to the Carpenters. My area was in their basement. There was a note on my bed saying that our bus driver during the regular season, said that the geese were flying and the place was marked on a map. It had to be midnight at least. Anyway, I got all my hunting gear and the map and started out for the geese. It turned out to be about a hundred miles outside of Winnipeg. I finally found the place where Charlie the bus driver had parked his bus. It was an old wooden building. But, no Charlie. So it was getting late and the first light was coming fast. So, I got back in my car, and traveled the dirt roads while checking the skies as I drove. No geese, but I did find some of the best duck hunting I ever had. So I came back with ducks. That I still remember. They probably have a McDonald's there by now."
Harry started his pro career as a position player and then switched to pitching. He had two quick stays with the Cardinals which made up his MLB experiences. In April 1963, he debuted and pitched in 12 games for St. Louis with 26 innings allowing 24 hits and 21 walks. He struck out 25 and had a 5.26 ERA. His last year of 1964 was shorter as he only appeared in 4 games with 8 innings and a 5.40 ERA. A torn rotator cuff short-circuited his career.
In 16 MLB career games (all in relief) he finished 33 innings, walked 24, struck out 35 with 29 hits, an ERA of 5.40 and OAV of only .238. His nickname of "The Flame Thrower" tells the story. He was 2 for 6 as a hitter.
Fanok recalled a game in 1963: "We were playing the Dodgers at home in St. Louis [May 9]. I'm out of control and walking guys left and right...I could not throw a strike. It all started when Kenny Boyer called time. He marches to the mound to talk to me, and hopefully, settle me down. By this time, Julian Javier, Dick Groat, and Bill White are also there. First, Kenny tells me to bend my back. Javier says I'm not following through. Groat says I'm not picking up my target, or something. Meanwhile, Bill White is listening to all of this and, I'm sure, getting pissed off by now as he barks out -- 'Don't confuse the m****rf****r! Just throw the goddamn ball!' Well, coming from Bill, who normally speaks the King's English, that loosened me up a bit. Junior Gilliam ended the game with a long fly out to right field [and ironically, Harry was credited with his only major-league save]."
He recalled all of the details of the night he hurt his arm and
the aftermath: "All I remember is that the dumping of the
fastball down in the zone that night had gotten me many Ks: 8 in a
row. The fans were with me that night too. Standing O's! Then the
rains came. I think we had about a half hour delay. It was typical
Atlanta weather that night also. HOT! So I didn't bother to go down
to the pen to re-warm up. Like I said, it was not a long delay at
all. So I went out to the mound to warm up. I figured it would take
10 pitches or so.
"The very first toss I took fell out of my hand. It landed about 20 feet away from me. I recall an electric shock from my shoulder area down to my right thumb. When I went over to retrieve the ball that had fallen out of my hand, I couldn't pick it up. My hand was NUMB! No feeling! So I looked into our dugout where Harry (The Hat) Walker was watching closely. I motioned to him to come on out. I told him the story, and headed for the training room and extinction.
" [I was sent] to St. Louis for the Cards' doctors to check me out. They gave me all kinds of tests with whatever technology they had at that time. They never took me to a hospital though. They just used the machines that they had in the clubhouse. I guess that was the extent of it in '63. They sort of did not know what was wrong with me or what injury did occur. They just told me to lay off throwing for a while and gradually get back to it.
"I don't recall pitching too much after the injury. I know they sent me back down to the Instructional League after the season ended. I threw in games down there, but I know I didn't have it. John Keane came down there to watch me on the sidelines, I recall. I could still throw hard, but with pain and much less control. They asked me how the arm was, and I would say it's okay. There would be no pain in the beginning of a warmup, then something strange would take place. I developed a HITCH! Either my brain would not let me throw free and easy, or the injury was actually the physical culprit. At any rate, I had to get from mild throwing to some serious heat. That was the problem. That was a bridge that I was unable to cross. When I did, occasionally, the ball flew hard, but with pain. Now I had to get used to throwing with pain. It got worse the longer I threw."
Former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan was quoted regarding Fanok: "He threw the ball as hard as anybody I ever saw. There's no one today throwing the ball as hard, even [Joel] Zumaya with the Tigers. You heard me -- no one."
In the minors from 1959-65 and in 1967 he played for 15 teams. His ERA was under 3.00 once and he had 14 or more wins twice. In 1962 he led the International League in strikeouts with 191 in 184 innings and pitched a victory for Atlanta to beat Louisville in the seventh game of the Junior World Series that year.
Fanok lives in Chardon, OH, in the northeast corner of the state. He retired from his longtime job as a tool and die maker in 2005 and, in his late 60s, enjoyed hobbies he has pursued for decades, duck hunting and photography, along with Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. His SABR biographer states that he remains fit and vigorous -- by any standard. In addition to tending his yard and gardens, Fanok collects and splits all his own firewood.
Fanok recalled his days after retiring from baseball: "...we packed up and moved in with my first wife's folks, and I started working as a tool and die apprentice -- $1.85 per hour and 50 hours per week. We made jigs and fixtures for various companies. I worked on all machines and learned how to operate them fairly well. I done this kind of work until I retired in '05. We always worked overtime. That was the only way you could get by in this trade. I always was non-union and always worked for the smaller job shops. Many three- and four-man shops. The largest was the last one that I worked at -- Master Tool in Fairport, Ohio. I think we had about 50 men and women at one time. In between my first shop and Master Tool, I probably worked in 30 shops -- maybe more. When the hours would be cut from a decent 50 or 60, I would wait a couple of weeks to see if things picked up. If not, I was gone to another shop.
"I pursued the music thing on a whim for a while. Just like
the mink thing [raising minks]. After the second divorce, one band
that played in this one particular joint I went to asked me if I
could sing or play a guitar. One thing led to another, and before
long, I was performing with them at all the other bars and clubs
where they worked. I even did a gig at Ohio's oldest county fair. I
don't remember what year it was, but I know I was around 46 years
old. It was fun. But, most of all, I had to do it. So I guess I got
all the stuff out of my system. It's just like being on the mound.
All by yourself, really. You're singing, and they are watching, and
you're hoping not to forget the words to the songs. I think I still
have a couple of posters I had made up."
Marvin Wilfred Felderman was born in Bellevue, IA, on December 20, 1915. He caught for the Duluth Dukes in 1937 (.262, 11 HR, 42 RBI) and 1938 (.277, 11, 59).
Marv played in only 3 MLB games in April 1942 for the Cubs. He had 6 official at bats, with 1 hit and 1 walk. He struck out 4 times and donned catching gear in 2 games for 10 chances without an error.
As a minor league player from 1936-42, 1946-48 and 1951 he was with 10 teams twice hitting over .300.
Felderman entered military service in 1943 and was stationed with the Navy at Great Lakes throughout that year. In 1944, he served in Hawaii and was stationed at Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station where he regularly played baseball. He also played in the 1945 Navy World Series in Hawaii. Marv died on August 6, 2000, in Riverside, CA. Cremation followed and he was interred Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside CA.
John Frederick Felske was born on May 30, 1942, in Chicago. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1962 for a few games and in 1963 (.250, 12 HR, 58 RBI). John attended the University of Illinois.
John made the majors in July 1968 for 4 games with the Cubs batting 2 times without a hit and he played defensively as a catcher in 3 games. It was not until 1972 that he returned to the majors - this time with the Brewers - for 37 games. He hit only .138 in 80 at bats with a OBP of .216 and caught in 23 games and played first base in 8 more.
His last taste of the majors was in 1973 for 7 games as a catcher and 6 as a first baseman as he was only 3 for 22 at the plate. In his MLB career, he played in 54 games and batted .135 with a .204 OBP.
In the minors from 1962-72 for 14 teams, he hit over .300 once (in AAA) and had 6 total seasons in AAA. He led league catchers in double plays in 1962 (FL State), 1964 (Texas), 1971 (AA) and tied in 1966 (Texas).
John continued in baseball as a minor league manager from 1974-79 for the Brewers organization (three years in class "AAA") and 1982-1983 (Phillies - one year for their "AAA" team). A major league coach with the Blue Jays (1980-81) and the Phillies (1984). He managed the Phillies in 1985 (75-87, 5th), 1986 (86-75, 2nd) and in 1987 (29-32). The internet provides no information regarding Felske's life after leaving managing. He lives in Spring Grove, IL.
Mike Schmidt was quoted as follows: "Communication with John
was a problem. He is too sensitive. If someone made a suggestion,
he'd blow his stack."
Michael Gary Joseph Fiore was born in Brooklyn, NY, on October 11, 1944. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1964 where he hit .283 with 23 home runs and 73 RBI. [He was originally signed by the Mets, but was taken by the Orioles in the first-year draft.
Mike, a former Yankees bat boy, came up to the majors with the Orioles in September 1968 for 6 games with a .059 average in 17 at bats. He walked 4 times and played first in 5 games and in the outfield for one. The Orioles lost him to the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft before the 1969 season. He was given a full trial that year by the Royals as he appeared in 107 games hitting .274 with 12 home runs, 14 doubles and a .421 OBP. He returned to them in 1970, but only got into 25 games (.181) before he was traded to the Red Sox for Tom Matchik. With the Sox he was in 41 games and batted .140. Many of the lefty's plate appearances that year was as a pinch hitter (5 for 26).
He stayed the whole 1971 season with the Red Sox hitting .177 in 51 games (8 for 33 as a pinch hitter). Mike moved on to the Cardinals on Mar. 20, 1972, via a trade for Bob Burda and played 17 games (.100) and then, on June 20, to the Padres for Rafael Robles where he was in 7 more games (.0 for 6) before they returned him to the Cards on July 3. He was 1 for 16 as a pinch hitter that year which became his MLB swan song.
Over 5 seasons, Mike had appeared in 254 games with 80 of them being as a pinch hitter (18 hits). His career average was .227 with a OBP of .370. He had 13 home runs and 50 RBI with a slugging % of .333. His fielding average was .988 with 151 games at first and 17 in the outfield. He was known as an excellent fielder, with a good eye at the plate and had surprising power.
In minor league baseball from 1963-68 and 1972-78, he played for 15 teams. He twice hit over .300 and played AAA baseball for 9 seasons hitting 15 or more home runs 3 times. One night in 1968, he hit 3 consecutive homers off Dick Radatz for Rochester (NY). After the first one, Mike asked Steve Demeter (an opposition player) if Radatz would throw at him in his next at bat. Steve answered "No", but in Mike's next plate appearance, Radatz threw the ball over Mike's head. After the game, Dick came to the Rochester club house and asked Mike "What are you doing here?"
Mike became an employee with the Malverne, NY, maintenance
department. He still lives there.
Henry William Fischer ("Bulldog") was born in Yonkers, NY, on January 11, 1940. He played for the Eau Claire Braves in 1959 (6.72, 1-2). Fischer attended Seton Hall.
In 1957, he played baseball in Yonkers leading his team to the city crown by pitching three no-hitters. That year he won an award given annually to the Yonkers' outstanding high school athlete. In his late teens, Fischer pitched two years for the Connie Mack Eastern Championship team, which put together an unbeaten string of 35 games and also pitched for an American Legion baseball team that advanced to the national finals in 1957. He majored in physical education at Seton Hall University and, before the 1959 season, was signed by John "Honey" Russell, his basketball coach who also was a baseball scout.
Fischer came up to the Bigs on April 1962 and pitched in 29 games for the Braves that year. He completed 37 innings allowing 43 hits and 20 walks. His ERA was 5.30 and he had a .291 OAV. The next three years, he had seasons similar to his first. In 1963, he was in 31 games (6 starts) with a 4.96 ERA and, in 1964, he was in 37 games, but became a full time starter with 28 and had a 4.01 ERA with 168 innings. For 1965, he was in 31 games including 19 starts for a 3.89 ERA.
He completed his tour of duty with the Braves in 1966 appearing in 14 games with them (8 starts) with still a decent 3.91 ERA. They traded him on June 15 to the Reds for Joey Jay where he had 11 appearances including 9 starts for a 6.63 ERA. On Aug.15, he was sent to the Red Sox for Dick Stigman and Rollie Sheldon where he spent the rest of the year - 6 games (5 starts) with a good 2.90 ERA.
His MLB career ended with the Sox in 1967 with 9 games including 2 starts with a very good 2.36 ERA in 27 innings. That year he spent time on the DL with a sore arm and was eventually sent to AAA because of a loss of arm strength. The Red Sox released him after the season. Prior to the 1968 year, he re-signed with the Braves and made their AAA team's roster, but faced another stint on the DL before he could play. Instead, he retired. at age 28.
Hank had a good, but short, major league stay over 6 seasons. He appeared in 168 games with 547 innings allowing 587 hits and 174 walks. His OAV was .275 with an ERA of 4.23 and 369 strike outs. Fischer had a hard fastball, solid curve and an excellent slider.
In the minors from 1959-63 and 1967, he pitched for 7 teams. In 2 years his ERAs were under 3.00 and he played 4 years in AAA.
Hank entered the restaurant business in West Palm Beach, FL. He
formerly lived in Navarre, FL, Hiawassee, GA, and now resides in
Thomas Gene Fisher was born on April 4, 1942, in Cleveland. He pitched with the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1964 (3.18 ERA, 15-6) leading the league with 16 complete games.
Tom only appeared in 2 MLB games. In September 1967 relief appearances, he pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out one with a .182 OAV and 0.00 ERA. On April 30, 1969, he was traded to the Seattle Pilots with Jon O'Donoghue and Lloyd Fourroux for Gerry Schoen and Mike Ferraro, but he never played for them.
He played minor league ball from 1962-70 for 13 teams. In three seasons his ERAs were under 3.00 and he played for four years in AAA. In 1966, he led the Eastern League in five statistical categories including an ERA of 1.88. Fisher led the International League with five shutouts in 1967.
Tom lived in Indianapolis and Cleveland, OH. Fisher died on November 21, 2016, in Avon, IN. His remains were cremated and given to family.
John Francis Fitzgerald was born in Brooklyn on September 15, 1933. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1953 (3.64 ERA 8-8) and 1954 (4.29, 10-5). On July 1, 1953, he struck out 14, including the last three batters in the ninth inning on nine pitches, in a 7-2 win over the Fargo Twins. On July 10, he struck out nine, but walked eight allowing only three hits in a complete game victory of Sioux Falls. On July 28, John struck out a season-high 16 batters win over Grand Forks Chiefs.On September 28, 1958, only two weeks out of the Army, John made his only appearance in a major league uniform. He was matched against the St. Louis Cardinals on the final day of the 1958 season. It was his first appearance in organized baseball since 1956 and it was against 13-game winner Sam Jones. Fitzgerald struck out the side in the second inning and allowed only one run on one hit - a home run by St. Louis RF Joe Cunningham - in three innings, before he is relieved by Dom Zanni (who got the victory). John walked one and struck out three. His ERA was 3.00 and he had an OAV of .111.
In minor league baseball from 1953-56 and 1959-60 he pitched with 11 teams. His ERA was at or below 3.00 in 2 of those seasons and he played in AAA for 2 years. He finished 38-41 in 123 appearances. Fitzgerald's best season was as a 21-year-old in 1955, when he was 14-7 with a 2.87 ERA and a league-high 233 strikeouts for the Danville Leafs and is named to the 1955 Carolina (D) League All-Star team. However, he also set a league record with 164 walks. Following his single major league appearance, Fitzgerald is hindered by various injuries including a sore arm, and pitched only two more seasons in the minor leagues (1959-60) before leaving organized baseball at the age of 26.
[The Sporting News reported on March 11, 1959: "In San Francisco's 10-5 exhibition game victory over the Chicago Cubs, Fitzgerald, after no-hitting the Cubs in the fifth inning, felt "a shock to his elbow on a fast ball and retires (for the game)." and on Aug. 21: "Now with the Corpus Christi Giants (AA Texas League), Fitzgerald is on the team's injured list. The big lefthander has been bothered by a sore arm for several weeks." and finally on June 3, 1960: "In the final decision of his professional baseball career, a sore-armed Fitzgerald is knocked out of the box in the third inning as Lancaster narrows Springfield's Eastern League lead to three games when the visiting Red Roses post a 6-1 victory … Fitzgerald lasts only 2 1/3 innings."
Fitzgerald has lived in Patchogue, NY, and now resides in Spring Lake, NJ.
[It was incorrectly reported as having died in the book "Aaron
Gerald Eugene Fosnow was born in Deshler, OH, on September 21, 1940. He pitched for the Minot Mallards in 1960 (3.92, 13-9).
Jerry had one short and one longer stay in the majors, but never a full year. In June 1964, he pitched for the Minnesota Twins in 7 games and 11 innings giving up 13 hits and 8 walks with 9 strikeouts. His ERA was 10.97 with a .302 OAV. In 1965 he was used in relief for 29 games allowing 33 hits and 25 walks for a 4.44 ERA.
In 36 MLB games (all in relief), he completed 57 innings, walked 33, allowed 46 hits and struck out 44 for a 5.65 ERA and .215 OAV.
In the minors from 1959-67 the lefty pitched for 11 teams. He had 3 seasons with ERAs under 3.00, played 4 years in AAA and was known for his good moving fastball.
Jerry became a regional sales manager for Gulf Oil in Orlando. He lives in Debary, FL.
Charles Francis Fox ("Irish") was born in New York City on October 7, 1921. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1956 all as their player/manager.
As a player, Charlie caught 3 games in September 1942 for the New York Giants. He had 7 official trips to the plate and got 3 hits and walked once. In the minors, he played from 1942, 1946-56 for 12 teams mostly as a player/manager. As a manager, he started at the Giants class "D" level and worked up to AAA. He also was a Giants' scout from 1957-63 and their "AAA" manager in 1964 and 1969-70.
Fox was a major league hitting coach for the Giants (1965-68) and managed in seven MLB seasons: The Giants in 1970 (67-53, 4th), 1971 (90-72, 1st), 1972 (69-86, 5th), 1973 (88-74, 3rd) and 1974 (34-42); The Expos in 1976 (12-22) [he was also the Expos' GM in 1977-78] and the Cubs in 1983 (17-22). He was the 1971 National League Manager of the Year. In 1989, Fox was the bench coach for the Yankees and, in later years, was a scout for the Astros in 1990-93. He was known as a traditionalist and had a fiery temper.
Fox was in the U.S. Navy from 1942-45. Charlie died on February
16, 2004, due to complications of pneumonia in Stanford, CA. He was
buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, CA.
John Patsy Francona was born in Aliquippa, PA, on November 4, 1933. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1953 (.325, 6 HR, 79 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"A contact-hitting outfielder, Tito Francona came up with the Baltimore Orioles in 1956, was shipped to the White Sox and then the Tigers in 1958 and finally landed as everyday role with the Cleveland Indians in 1959. With regular playing time he began to hit regularly and even showed some home run power. [He platooned with Jimmy Piersall in the outfield and Vic Power at first.]
"In 1959 Francona batted .363 in 399 at bats and posted an exceptional .566 slugging percentage [he did not qualify for the batting crown]. He led the AL in doubles the following year, hitting .292. In 1961 he hit .301 and was named to the AL All-Star team. In 1965 the Tribe sent him to the St. Louis Cardinals.
"The Cards used Francona as a backup in the outfield and at first base. Although his numbers weren't exceptional, he provided solid play and decent fielding. He remained one of the top utility men in baseball for the remainder of the decade, playing for the Phillies, the Braves, the A's and the Brewers before retiring after the 1970 season. His son, Terry Francona, played for the Expos, Cubs, Reds, Indians and Brewers during the 1980's..." and then became a major league manager.
His initial call-up in April 1956 resulted in 139 games played for the Orioles for a .258 average. In 1957, he was in 97 games for the O's (.233) and played in AAA. On Dec. 3, 1957, he was traded to the White Sox with Ray Moore and Billy Goodman for Jack Harshman, Larry Doby, RussHeman and Jim Marshall. Beginning in 1958 Tito played 13 consecutive years in the majors.
The 1958 season was spent with the White Sox (41g - .258) and then, on June 15 he was sent to the Tigers with Bill Fischer for Ray Boone and Bob Shaw (45g - .246.). On March 21, 1959, he was traded to Cleveland for Larry Doby. In 1959-64 he had his career years with the Indians including the .363 year in 1959 (he was not eligible for the batting crown because of insufficient at bats) and his All-Star year of 1961. In those 6 years, Tito played in 122, 147, 155, 158, 142 and 111 games.
On Dec. 15, 1964, he was sold to the Cardinals and in 1965-66 playing in 81 and 83 games he hit .259 and .212. On April 10, 1967, he was sold to the Phillies (27 g - .205) and then, on June 12, sent for cash to the Braves (82 g - .248). In 1968 he was with the Braves for the whole year for 122 games hitting .286. He started 1969 with the same club (51 g - .295) and then was sold on August 22 to the A's where he played 32 games batting .341. He began the 1970 season with the A's and was used in 32 g (.242) before being traded on June 11 to the Brewers for Steve Hovley for whom he was in 52 games (.231). He led the majors in pinch hitting that year (his last) going 15 for 64.
Tito never got a chance to play in a post season, but had 15 good years in MLB. He played in 1,719 games with a career average of .272 having hit better then .270 for 6 years. Francona had an OBP of .346, a slugging percentage of .403 and he hit 224 doubles, 34 triples and 125 home runs. He was 81 for 365 as a pinch hitter (listed as number 28 for all time in 1996). As a minor leaguer, he only played from 1952-53 and 1957 for 3 teams.
Tito was in the military in 1954-55 and became the Beaver County (PA) recreation director in New Brighton, PA, where he lived until his death. In 1992, his Aberdeen-native wife, Roberta, died from cancer. [He had two children with her – including Terry.] In 1992 and 2001, he had open heart surgeries and both knees were replaced in 2005. He died at home in New Brighton on February 13, 2018, and was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in New Brighton.
Indians Senior VP of Public Affairs Bob Dibiasio said after his death: "For a generation of Cleveland fans, Tito was one of the all-time favorites to wear an Indians uniform. It was certainly a joy the past five years watching Tito and Terry be together around the ballpark. He will be missed.”
Roger Vernon Freed was born on June 2, 1946, in Los Angeles. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1966 (.266, 13 HR, 58 RBI) and 1967 (.303, 13, 46). He led the league in homers and RBI in 1966 and tied for the lead in home runs in 1967. Freed attended Mount San Antonio College.
Roger first made the majors with the Orioles in September 1970 playing in 4 games and hitting .154. On Dec. 16, 1970 he was traded to Philadelphia for Grant Jackson, Jim Hutto and Sam Parrilla. His next 2 seasons were spent in Philadelphia when he played 118 games in 1971 batting .221 with 6 home runs and 73 games in 1972 with an average of .225 with 6 homers. On Nov. 30, 1972, he was sent to Cleveland with Oscar Gamble for Del Unser and Terry Wedgewood. He never played for the Indians and they sent him to Cincinatti on Dec. 12, 1973, for Steve Blateric.
The year of 1974 was nearly all in AAA, but he did get into 6 games with the Reds going 2 for 6 with 1 home run. He didn't make a return engagement until 1976 for the Expos in 8 games hitting .200 with 15 at bats. The last major league club he played for was the Cardinals in the 1977, 1978 and 1979 seasons. Roger played in 49, 52 and 34 games those years hitting .398, .239 and .258. Many of his appearances, during that time, were as a pinch hitter - 9 for 23, 11 for 29 and 6 for 27.
In eight MLB seasons, he played in 344 games and had 717 at bats.
His career average was .245 with a .337 OBP. He hit 22 home runs, had
109 RBI and appeared in the outfield for 166 games and at first for
41 more. He was 35 for 131 as a pinch hitter.
A long-time minor leaguer (1966-70, 1973-76 and 1979-80) he played on 13 teams. He hit 19 or more home runs in seven seasons, hit over .300 for three seasons and spent six years at AAA. In 1970 he led the International League in RBI with 130 and was the league's MVP. In 1976, Freed was the American Association leader in home runs (42 - which also led all minor leaguers) and RBI (102) and also received the MVP award for the American Association. Roger played 1,219 minor league games, batted .280 with 244 home runs and 846 RBI.
Roger managed the Cardinals class "A" team in 1981 and
in the Mexican League in 1985. In December 1994, Roger was
hospitalized, in Chino, CA, with a ruptured appendix. Three weeks
later, on January 9, 1995, he died from a heart attack.
William Ashley Freehan was born in Detroit on November 29, 1941. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1961 (.343, 7 HR, 26 RBI).
The following is from Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia:
"Bill Freehan was the catcher many other American League receivers measured themselves against during the late 1960's. An 11-time All Star, he shares the highest lifetime fielding percentage of any catcher in history, .993, with Elston Howard. Freehan was responsible for handing what developed into an outstanding Detroit pitching staff that included Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich.
"In 1961 the Tigers gave William Ashley Freehan a $100,000 signing bonus. 'My deal with my dad was, I didn't see a dime of my bonus until I got my degree,' Freehan said. The catcher went to the University of Michigan during the off-season and graduated in 1966. 'Now I tell parents, to make that same deal with their kid.'
"Far from a natural, the 20-year-old backstop led the American Association in passed balls in 1962. When Freehan came to the majors to stay in 1963, Hall of Famer Rick Farrell worked with him on defense and made him an ace catcher. Freehan was the consummate team player. A righthanded hitter, he played through leg injuries and back trouble and in 1968 set a new league record by getting hit by pitches 24 times. That year the Tigers won the pennant by 12 games as McLain won 31 games and Freehan contributed 25 home runs.
"In the World Series it was Lolich who excelled beating the Cardinals three times. In Game 5, Freehan, despite hitting only .083 for the Series, made a key play at the plate during the fifth inning when Lou Brock tried to score from second on Julian Javier's single to left. Willie Horton threw in to Freehan. Brock came in standing up to try to jar the ball loose, but umpire Doug Harvey signaled him out. The Tigers won that game and the next to even the Series. Then, in Game 7, they defeated Bob Gibson to become world champions. Freehan caught Tim McCarver's foul pop to end the game.
"Freehan's controversial book, "Behind the Mask", records the events of the 1968 season. In it he alleges Tigers manager Mayo Smith allowed Denny McLain special privileges, which may have contributed to decisions to fire Smith and trade McLain. Freehan later served as baseball coach at the University of Michigan [1989-95]."
For 15 seasons (1961, 1963-76) Bill played for his home town team, the Tigers. He played 100 or more games in 13 of those seasons. His All-Star game years were from 1964 through1973 and 1975. In 1,774 games, he had a career batting average of .262 with a .342 OBP and .412 slugging %. He had 3 seasons with 20 or more home runs and 3 more with 15 to 20. In addition to catching (5 Gold Gloves), he played at first base in 157 games. Freehan was known to crowd the plate as, in 1968, he was hit by pitches 24 times which was then a league record - including 3 times in one game on August 16.
When he retired, he held the MLB career marks for most chances, most putouts and the highest fielding average for a catcher. He had a very short 2 year minor league career (1961-62) when he played for 3 teams.
Besides his U. of Michigan coaching experiences, Bill became a
partner with Hank Aguirre in Mexican Industries and was a Mariners
broadcasters (1979-80) and Tigers' broadcaster (1984-85). Freehan has
also served as the president of Freehan-Bocci & Company, an
automobile manufacturer's representative agency he founded in
suburban Detroit in 1974, where he worked with former teammate Jim
Northrup. From 2002-04, he was the Tigers' organizational catching
instructor. After retirement, he lived in Bloomfield Hills, MI [a
Detroit suburb] and in October 2018, he was placed in hospice care at
his home suffering from dementia. He died from the decease on August
19, 2021. His remains were cremated and interred at St. Hugo of the
Hills in Bloomfield Hills.
Franklin Ray Funk was born on August 30, 1935, in Washington, DC. He played in 1955 (3.34, 18-7) and 1956 (2.68, 10-6) with the St. Cloud Rox. He led the league in victories in '55.
Frank spend two complete years in the majors and parts of two others. In September 1960, he appeared with the Indians in 9 games with 32 innings allowing 27 hits and 9 walks. He had an ERA of 1.99. That good performance allowed a whole season with the Tribe in 1961 when he appeared in a career high 56 games and 92 innings as he gave up 79 hits and 31 walks for a 3.31 ERA. He was the Indians' ace reliever that year with a 11-11 record and 11 saves.
In 1962, he was with the Indians and their AAA ball club. In 47 MLB games, he walked 32 in 81 innings and allowed 62 hits and a 3.24 ERA. On Nov. 27, 1963, he was traded with Ty Cline and Don Dillard to Milwaukee for Joe Adcock and Jack Curtis. His last season, in 1963 with the Braves, was also good with 25 appearances and 44 innings with a 2.68 ERA.
In 4 seasons, he was in 137 MLB games finishing 248 innings allowing 210 hits and 85 walks while striking out 150. His career ERA was 3.01 and he had a OAV of .233. As a minor leaguer, he played from 1954-60, 1962 and 1964-67 for 19 teams. He had ERAs under 3.00 in 5 of those seasons. On July 27, 1955, and June 16, 1960, he pitched 7-inning perfect no-hit games for St. Cloud and Toronto.
Frank was a minor league manager from 1969-73, 1985, 1991 at the class A level and 1986-87 at "AAA". He was a minor league pitching instructor for the Giants (1975, 1977-78), Phillies (1979-80), Mariners (1982) and Rockies (1992-95). Funk was a major league coach with the Giants in 1976, and major league coach with the Mariners (1980-81 and 1983-84), the Royals (1988-90) and the Rockies (1996-98.) Frank lives in Gold Canyon, AZ.
"The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball" - second edition
The Professional Baseball Player Database - 4.0
"The Minor League Register", edited by Lloyd Johnson, pub: Baseball America
"Total Baseball" - sixth edition, pub: Total Sports
"The Baseball Encyclopedia" - tenth edition, pub: MacMillan
"Aaron to Zuverink" by Rich Marazzi and Len Fiorito, pub: Stein and Day
"Aaron to Zipfel" by Rich Marazzi and Len Fiorito, pub: Avon
"The Baseball Autograph Collector's Handbook" - Number 14 (2007) by Jack Smalling, pub: Baseball America
"Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia", pub: Sport Classic Books
"The Baseball Necrology" by Bill Lee, pub: McFarland $ Company
"The Sports Encyclopedia - Baseball" - 2002 ed, by David S. Neft, Richard M. Cohen and Michael L. Neft, pub:St. Martin's Griffin
"Once Around the Bases" by Richard Tellis, pub: Triumph Books
"Yesterday's Heroes" by Marty Appel, pub: Morrow
"The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues" by James A. Riley, pub: Carroll & Graf
"We Played the Game" edited by Danny Peary, pub: Hyperion
"Baseball Gave Gates Brown New Outlook and New Life" by Russell Schneider; printed in March 1994 "Baseball Digest"
"The St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"The Baseball Autograph Collector's Handbook" - Number 13 by Jack Smalling [ http://www.baseballaddresses.com ]
"Baseball In Eau Claire" by Jason Christopherson; pub: Arcadia
"Morrie Arnovich" by Ralph Berger (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org/)
"Gene Alley" by Todd Newville (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org/)
"Jim Delsing" by Jim Sargent (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org/)
"Johnny Blatnik" by John Wickline (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org/)
"The SABR Baseball List and Record Book" (2007); pub: Scribner
"Baseball Memories 1930-1939" by Marc Okkonen; pub:Sterling Pub.
"The Ballplayers", edited by Mike Shatzkin; published by Arbor House
"Horace Clarke" by Rory Costello (available at:
"Hank Fischer" by Mike Richard (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org/)
2000 Cups of Coffee 1900-1949 by Marc Okkonen-unpublished
[available for download on SABR members-only web
Various educational and business oriented websites
" The Original San Francisco Giants: The Giants of '58" by Steve Bitker (Sports Publishing Inc., 2001)