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Milton (Barboza) Ramirez was born on April 2, 1950, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1969 (.299, 3 HR, 24 RBI).
Milt played short (59 games) and third (1 game) for the Cardinals for 62 games in 1970, but spent the whole season with the club. He batted .190 in 79 at bats. In 1971, he only appeared in 4 games batting .273 with 11 at bats and had 4 games at short. The rest of his year was in the minors. On Nov. 28, 1972, he was traded with Skip Jutze to Houston for Ray Busse and Bob Fenwick, but he never played for the Astros.
He got his last shot in MLB in 1979 for the Oakland A's when he was an utility infielder for them in 28 games. He hit .161 with 62 at bats. In his career, he played 94 major league games and had a batting average of .184, OBP of .248 and .230 slugging %. His fielding % was .920 with games played at short, second and third..
As a minor leaguer, he played from 1968-1969 and 1971-1981 for 15 clubs and had three years with averages near or over .300. He was in "AAA" for five seasons.
Milt lives in Mayaguez.
William Thrace Ramsey ("Square Jaw") was born on October 20, 1920, in Osceola, AR. [His tombstone lists his birth date as February 20, 1920 as does his obit]. He played for the Superior Blues in 1940 (.270, 1 HR, 70 RBI). Bill attended the University of Florida.
Bill played outfield for the Boston Braves during the 1945 season. The right hander was in 78 games for 137 at bats hitting .292 with a .326 OBP and .372 slugging %. He had 12 RBI and hit one home run. His fielding % was .963 and he was 5 for 29 as a pinch hitter.
In the minors, he played from 1939-1944 and 1946-1952 for 22 teams. He hit over .300 for three of them and played at class "AAA" for eight years.
Ramsey lived in Memphis for many years and died there at Kirby
Pines Manor on Jan. 4, 2008. He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in
Earl Wellington Rapp was born in Corunna, MI, on May 20, 1921. He played for the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1940 (.316, 6 HR, 42 RBI).
What Earl lacked in playing time in the majors, he made up for with number of teams played for. On April 28, 1949, he made his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers drawing a walk in his only plate appearance as a pinch hitter. Later in the season, he played 19 games for the Chicago White Sox batting .259 in 54 at bats as an outfielder.
In 1951, he played 13 games for the New York Giants as a lefty pinch hitter going 1 for 13 with 2 walks and on Sept. 1, was claimed from waivers by the Browns.. He played in 26 games for them batting .327 with 98 at bats. Earl stayed with the Browns for 30 games in 1952 (.143) and then was traded to Washington on June 10 for Fred Marsh. With the Senators he batted .284 in 46 games and 67 at bats. He led the league in pinch hitting that year going 10 for 54, but, that was the end of his big league time.
In 135 major league games, he batted .262 in 279 at bats with a .325 OBP and .369 slugging %. He was 12 for 71 as a pinch hitter and had a fielding % of .973 in 55 outfield appearances.
In the minor leagues from 1940-1942,1946-1951, 1953-1957 and 1959, he played on 20 clubs hitting near or over .300 for 13 years. He played class "AAA" for 12 years and had a .313 career minor league batting average and 203 home runs in 1,869 games. Rapp led the Interstate League in stolen bases with 19 in 1942 and the PCL in RBI with 133 in 1955. He had 20 or more home runs in four seasons including 1953-1955 for San Diego. A September 1949 article in "TSN" said that Rapp was "less than talkative."
On September 17, tragedy almost when Rapp, former Northern-Leaguer player/manager Dutch Dorman and four other Hagerstown players were hurt when their station wagon overturned after a tire blew out. The accident occurred near Lancaster, Pa, but luckily all six players suffered no more then lacerations and brush burns.
On September 28, 1942, Earl entered the U.S. Army in Baltimore. He initially served near Huntsville, AL, then trained with the 83rd Chemical (Motorized) Battalion at Camp Gordon in Augusta, GA. While there, he played baseball, basketball, football, track, boxing and table tennis.
Late in 1943, Rapp left for Europe where he served 556 days as a sergeant. In early 1945, he earned the Silver Star for his part in the battle of the Colmar Pocket which was a three-week battle where Allied forces overwhelmed the German Nineteenth Army in bitter cold winter fighting over terrain that offered practically no cover for attacking forces. Rapp's platoon of 48 men had been cutoff near the French town of Riquewihr. The lieutenant in charge ordered them to dig fox holes and stay low until early dawn in order to make a break for their own lines. However, almost immediately a German sniper killed the lieutenant with a bullet through his temple. Sergeant Rapp was then in command.
"The only way we had a chance was to jump out of our holes, one man at a time, run like mad for ten yards, then hit the ground before the SS sharpshooters got the range," he told "The Sporting News" on August 28, 1946. One-by-one the young American soldiers made a run for safety as his mates gave them covering fire. "Strange what thoughts run through your mind when you're hugging the ground and just waiting for the hour. I thought about baseball, and how hard I'd work and go all-out if I ever had the opportunity to go to spring training again."
The last one to leave his foxhole was Rapp. No one was left to cover him. "I never ran so hard in my life. You never know how hard you can run until your life is at stake. I thought that night that I'd never play baseball again … and that's what I thought mostly about… I said 'Rapper, if you ever get through this, you'll play baseball like you never played it … hustle … and fight every pitcher … and learn to hit lefthanders.'" Only seven men in Earl's command made it back to safety.
In addition to the Silver Star, Rapp also earned the Purple Heart when he was wounded in the tendons behind the knee, which would hamper his running ability and affect his baseball career.
He coached in the minors in 1958 and was a scout for Houston from 1960 to 1977. From 1978-82, he scouted for the Royals and from 1983-87, was with the Expos. He completed his scouting duties for the Reds from 1988-89 when he retired after undergoing heart surgery. However, the rest of his life he worked as a consultant for the Blue Jays.
Earl Rapp was inducted in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame in 2004 and died on February 13, 1992, in Swedesboro, NJ. Burial was buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery there.
Robert Joyce Raudman ("Shorty") was born on March 14, 1942, in Erie, PA. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1962 (.285, 15 HR, 57 RBI) and 1964 (.246, 3, 20).
Bob had two eight-game trials in the majors for the Chicago Cubs. In September 1966, he had 29 at bats and hit .241. In 1967, he was at the plate officially 26 times and batted .154. On Apr. 25, he was traded with cash to Cleveland for Dick Radatz and on Nov. 21 he was sent to Cincinnati with George Culver and Fred Winfield for Tommy Harper. He never played for either the Indians nor the Reds.
The left handed hitter had a life-time .200 batting mark with a .228 OBP and .236 slugging % in his 16 MLB games. He had 3 errors in 27 chances defensively (.889) as an outfielder.
He was listed as 5'9.5" and played from 1961-1968 in the minor leagues for 12 clubs and had four years at class "AAA".
In the 1980s, Bob was a cross-country motorcycle racer who finished as high as third place in the national championships in the 500 c.c. class race in 1967. He has lived in Granada Hills, CA., Cave Creek, AZ, and now Tetonia, ID.
Glenn Vincent Redmon was born in Detroit on January 11, 1948. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1969 (.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI). Glenn attended Michigan University. During spring training in 1973, he and Chuck Hartenstein were traded to the Giants for Skip Pitlock.
Glenn played 7 games for the 1974 San Francisco Giants in his only big league season. He batted .235 with 17 at bats and had a .278 OBP and .412 slugging % (3 of his 4 hits were doubles). He played at second base in 4 games making one error in 22 chances (.955).
As a minor leaguer from 1969-1976, he played for nine teams hitting over .300 for two of them. He spent four years at the "AAA" level.
Glenn lives in Riverview, FL, and is currently a teacher and a
coach at Providence Christian School where he has been for over 20
years. He has coached varsity baseball, men's varsity basketball,
woman's basketball and is the school's athletic Director. In
addition, Glenn teaches History, Bible, and Physical Education
classes. Prior to his years at PCS, he was a teacher and coach at
other christian schools since retiring as a professional player.
Richard Benjamin Reese was born in Leipsic, OH, on September 29, 1941. He played for the Bismarck-Mandan Pards in 1963 (.283, 14 HR, 56 RBI).
Rich came up to the Minnesota Twins in 1964 for 10 games going 0 for 7 at the plate. In 1965 and 1966 he appeared in 14 and 3 games respectively hitting 2 for 7 and 0 for 2 as a first baseman, outfielder and pinch hitter.
In 1967 he stayed full-time with the Twins and was an important part of the team through the 1972 season. During those years, he played in 95, 126, 132, 153, 120 and 132 games batting .248, .259, .322, .261, .219 and .218 as their regular first baseman with occasional turns in the outfield. In 1967, he led the league in pinch hits with 13 in 41 attempts. In 1969, he appeared in the ALCS for 3 games going 2 for 12 and in the 1970 ALCS, Rich was 1 for 7 in 2 games. On Nov. 30, 1972, he was sold to Detroit.
He started his last MLB year of 1973 with the Tigers playing in 59 games, but hit only.137. The season ended back with the Twins for 22 games and 23 at bats as he hit .174. In his career of 10 years, 866 games and 2,020 at bats, he batted .253 with a .314 OBP and .384 slugging percentage. His fielding average was an excellent .992 and he was 44 for 174 as a pinch hitter.
On August 3, 1969, he hit a pinch-hit grand slam to beat Baltimore and break Dave McNally's 17-game winning streak. He also hit pinch-hit slams on June 7, 1970, and July 9, 1972, to set a career MLB record.
According to those that knew, Reese was known as a playboy, but he was a slick-fielder who hit to all fields with occasional power. In the minors from 1962-1966, he played for six teams hitting over .300 for three of them.
Rich became a Sr. Vice President of Sales for the Jim Beam
Distilling company while he lived in Northbrook, IL. He retired as
the CEO of the company in 2003 and "wintered" at Desert
Mountain near Scottsdale, AZ. However, he spent his summers near
Baudette, MN, at his Lake of the Woods property and plays golf near
Brainerd. In the fall of 2007, he was scheduled to have knee
replacement surgery. His current address is Carefree, AZ.
Harold Patrick Reiser was born on March 17, 1919, in St. Louis. He played for the Superior Blues in 1938 (.302, 18 HR, 59 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"A batting champion in his first full season, Pete Reiser is one of baseball's great unfinished symphonies. Reckless play extinguished a star who experts say ranked among the very greatest in the game. 'He had everything but luck.' Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher said. Durocher rated Willie Mays the greatest ballplayer he ever saw, adding, 'Willie was, but Reiser could have been.'
"'Reiser out-hustled anyone,' Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese said. 'I don't know if he totally lacked peripheral vision or what, but when that ball was hit he had just one thing in his mind, catching it.' After one 1947 crash into Ebbets Field's concrete wall, Reiser was given his last rites. Sportswriter Red Smith counted 11 times Reiser was carried off the field. Warning tracks and padded fences came about because of Reiser's mishaps.
"Under 6 feet and 185 pounds, Harold Patrick "Pete" Reiser combined surprising extra-base power with blinding speed. In the Dodgers organization, 'Reiser speed,' like a Koufax fastball remains a standard by which prospects are judged. Reiser ran a 100-yard dash in 9.8 seconds - wearing a baseball uniform and spikes. A St. Louis native, Reiser originally signed with the Cardinals. With Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspicious of the Cardinals' stockpile of talent, St. Louis general manager Branch Rickey asked Dodgers counterpart Larry MacPhail to shelter the prospect temporarily. However, after Reiser banged out 14 straight hits in spring training, Brooklyn couldn't let him go. 'Pistol Pete' joined the Dodgers in July 1940, playing primarily at third base.
"In 1944 Reiser became Brooklyn's center fielder and a member of the majors' only all-.300 hitting outfield with Dixie Walker and Ducky Medwick. Besides winning the batting crown by 24 points at .343, Reiser led the circuit in triples, runs and slugging, tied for the doubles lead and started in center field for the National League All Stars. He accomplished all of this despite two serious beanings and a head-first slam into the Ebbets Field wall. The Dodgers won their first pennant in 21 years and faced the Yankees in the World Series. Reiser was 0 for 9 with a walk until doubling to lead off the seventh inning of a scoreless Game 3, but the Dodgers failed to score him and lost 2-1. In Game 4 Reiser's two-run homer in the fifth inning gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead, but the Yankees rallied for four in the ninth after Mickey Owens missed a potential game-ending strike three. In Game 5 Reiser tripled in the first innings but was stranded and knocked in the Dodgers' only run with a third-inning fly to right, as the Yankees won the game, 3-1, and the Series.
"On July 2, 1942, in St. Louis, Reiser suffered one of his worse injuries. In the 12th inning of a scoreless tie, Reiser chased Enos Slaughter's shot to the center-field fence. Flying at full speed, Reiser caught the ball, hit the concrete wall and the ball trickled out of his glove. Reiser instinctively threw to Reese, but Slaughter scored the winning run just ahead of the relay. Reiser, who remembered nothing after making the throw, collapsed in the clubhouse and was rushed to the hospital. He had a concussion and separated left shoulder. The Dodgers had a double-digit lead in the pennant race, and Reiser admitted his play appeared foolhardy, but contended, 'You slow up a half step, and it's the beginning of your last ballgame.'
"Reiser came back to start in the All-Star Game four day later, but was plagued by dizzy spells for the rest of this life. 'They never asked me if I could, they only asked me if I would,' Reiser said of playing hurt. The Dodgers lost their lead and Reiser's average fell from .383 to .310 after the was injured. But Reiser never changed his approach. He separated his right shoulder diving over a hedge and landing in a ditch making a catch playing for an Army team in 1943. (During his three years in the military, Reiser met Jackie Robinson at Fort Riley, KS, and would become a staunch supporter when Robinson integrated the majors.)
"Back with the Dodgers in 1946, Reiser won his second league stolen base crown with 34, including seven steals of home, and was named to his final All-Star team. Late in the season, while attempting to make a diving catch, Reiser dislocated his left shoulder, broke his left ankle and tore muscles in his left leg. His near-fatal collision with the Ebbets Field wall in 1947 reduced his playing time to 110 games, but he batted .309 and stole 14 bases, second in the league to teammate Robinson, as the Dodgers won the pennant and met the Yankees in the World Series again. In Game 1 Reiser's first-inning hustle - reaching second when Robinson got trapped on his grounder to the mound - set up the Dodgers' first run, and his sixth-inning infield hit led to their second tally. However, Brooklyn lost the game 5-3. Game 2 at Yankee Stadium was a nightmare for Reiser. Suffering from vertigo, he misplayed four balls in the Yankees' 10-3 win. Reiser was in the starting lineup for Game 3, was removed for a pinch hitter in the second inning and did not start another Series game.
"At only 28 years old, he never played regularly again. After he saw part-time duty in 1948, the Dodgers traded him to the Boston Braves for another fading outfielder, Mike McCormick. After two years in Boston, Reiser spent 1951 with the Pirates and 1952 with the Cleveland Indians..."
With the Dodgers from 1940-1942 and 1946-1948, Reiser played in 58, 137, 125, 122, 110 and 64 games batting .293, .343, .310, .277, .309 and .236. He was also chosen for the 1946 All Star game. He occasionally played third base during those years. On Dec. 15, 1948, he was traded to the Boston Braves for Mike McCormick.
In his seasons of 1949-1950 with the Braves, he was in 84 and 53 games hitting .271 and .205 with pinch hitting tallies of 4 for 10 and 3 for 24. In 1951, he was in 74 games for the Pirates batting .271 with a 11 for 33 mark as a pinch hitter. His final season of 1952 was with the Indians (34 games, .136 - 1 for 15 as a PH).
In his 10-year career, he played in 861 games and had 2,682 at bats with a .295 batting average, .380 OBP and .450 slugging %. He drove in 368 runs, had a .979 fielding percentage including 59 games at third and 5 at short and was 32 for 122 as a pinch hitter. In the minor leagues from 1937-1940, he played on five teams. He also played in a game in 1955 when he was managing in class D ball.
Pete was a minor league manager in 1955-1959 and 1965, a major
league coach with the Dodgers (1960-1964), Cubs (1966-1969), Angels
(1970-1971 and Cubs again (1972-1974). He did not manage in 1965
because of a heart attack. Later he became a major league scout. His
death came on October 25, 1981, at the Eisenhower Hospital in Rancho
Mirage, CA, caused by respiratory failure after many years of
smoking. He was buried at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City,
Kenneth Leo Retzer was born on April 30, 1934, in Wood River, IL. The played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1955 (.302, 3 HR, 68 RBI). After seven years in the minors, the Cleveland Indians considered him a poor hitting prospect and he was sold to Washington in 1961.
Ken caught for the Senators from 1961-1964. His first appearances came in September 1961 when the left handed hitter played in 16 games and went 18 for 53 at the plate (.340). He was in a catcher platoon with Bob Schmidt in 1962 playing in 109 games with a .285 average. His 1963 season was much the same as he appeared in 95 games, but his average fell to .242. In 1964 he was in only 17 games (.094 in 32 at bats) after starting the season poorly and spent most of his year at "AAA". On Oct. 15, he was traded to Minnesota for Joe McCabe and on Jan. 4, 1967, he was dealt from Houston with Lee Maye to Cleveland for Jim Landis, Doc Edwards and Jim Weaver. Retzer never played for the Twins, Astros or the Indians.
Retzer played a role in the Twins' 1965 American League championship. When catchers Earl Battey and Jerry Zimmerman held out for higher salary, owner Calvin Griffith called Retzer his bargaining chip. Trading for Retzer, who performed admirably throughout spring training, convinced the other two catchers to finally sign contracts. Unfortunately for Ken, he was cut from the team a day before the season began.
In his MLB career, he was in 237 games and had 690 at bats with a .264 batting average, .318 OBP and .367 slugging %. His fielding average was .983 and he was 6 for 30 as a pinch hitter. Because of his record, he was known as a defensive catcher.
In the minor leagues from 1954-1961 and 1964-1967, he played for 13 teams hitting over .300 in two seasons and playing at the "AAA" level for seven years.
Ken was in the military in 1957 and became an assistant manager
and racquetball instructor at the Alton Nautilus and Fitness Center
in Alton, IL. He lives in Edwardsville, IL.
Rickey Eugene Reuschel ("Big Daddy") was born in Quincy, IL, on May 16, 1949. He pitched for the Huron Cubs in 1970 (9-2, 3.53 ERA). Rick attended Western Illinois University and was the last former Northern League player to appear in a major league game.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Although he looked more like someone pitching at the annual Fourth of July picnic than a major league hurler, Rick Reuschel was one of baseball's more effective pitchers for nearly 20 years. An intense competitor, Reuschel could hit and field well despite his 6'3", 235 lb frame. He could even run - the climax of the 1986 Pirates highlight film showed Reuschel scoring a winning run from second base with a thunderous slide at home. His large body didn't interfere with his pitching. The key to Rickey Eugene Reuschel's long-term success was an extraordinary economy of movement. Throwing effortlessly with almost no windup, Reuschel relied on superb control. He never walked more than 76 batters in a season even though he routinely pitched for then 200 innings. Bob Brenly, Reuschel's catcher toward the end of his career, said, 'He doesn't get anybody out. They get themselves out.'
"Reuschel won 10 games in 1972, his first season with the Cubs, and didn't fall below that total for the next eight years. He was christened, 'Big Daddy' by teammate Mike Krulow early in his career, but he was actually the little brother of teammate Paul Reuschel. In August 1975 Rick and Paul became the first brothers to pitch a major league shutout together. A month later Rick was the starter and loser in the most lopsided shutout defeat in history. In that 22-0 whitewash by the Pirates, Bucs second baseman Rennie Stennett became the only major leaguer in the 20th century to go 7-for-7 in a nine inning game. Reuschel retired only one batter in the first inning, allowing eight earned runs.
"Despite that devastating outing, he routinely started 35 to 38 games a year, averaging 14 wins for the less than awe-inspiring Cubbies. In 1977 he led Chicago to its only .500 season during that era. He finished 20-10 and recorded four shutouts. Swapped to the Yanks during the 1981 strike season, he won four games down the stretch to help them gain a share of the American League East.
"A rotator-cuff tear put Reuschel on the shelf for the 1982 season and his return from surgery was slow. He had two so-so years with the Cubs. The Pirates, desperate for pitching help of any kind, signed him as a free agent. Reuschel returned to form in grand style, compiling a 14-8 record accompanied by a 2.27 ERA that earned him Comeback Player of the Year honors. He was responsible for nearly 25 percent of the lowly Bucs' victory total. The Pirates sent him to San Francisco late in 1987 in a move designed to cut their payroll, and Reuschel once again had a chance to pitch for a team in contention. He came through, putting together a 5-3 record that helped the Giants win a divisional championship. His combined Pirate-Giants stats that year included league-leading efforts in complete games and shutouts. He also won his second Gold Glove.
"Remarkably, he had his two best seasons in the next two years, at the ages of 39 and 40. In 36 starts in 1988 he won 19 games. In 1989 he went 17-8 and started for the National League in the All-Star game. He did not earn a decision in that game but he surrendered a massive home run by Bo Jackson to lead off the game for the American League. Reuschel helped pitch the Giants to the pennant, earning the win in the clinching game in the Championship Series against his former Cubs teammates. In the World Series he surrendered a three-run homer by Oakland's Terry Steinbach and took the loss in Game 2. Reuschel pitched parts of two more years with San Francisco before finally calling it quits at age 42."
In his first stint with the Cubs of from 1972-1980, Reuschel appeared in 21, 36, 41, 38, 38, 39, 35, 36 and 38 games for 129, 237, 241, 234, 260, 252, 243, 239 and 257 innings with ERAs of 2.93, 3.00, 4.30, 3.73, 3.46, 2.79, 3.41, 3.62 and 3.40. He played in the 1977 All Star game. In 1981, he made 13 starts for them pitching 86 innings compiling a 3.47 ERA. On June 12, he was traded to the Yankees for Doug Bird, Mike Griffin and $400,000. During the remainder of the year he was in 12 games with a 2.67 ERA.
Back to the Cubs in 1983-1984, he was in 4 and 19 games for 3.92 and 5.17 ERAs. On Feb. 28, 1985, he signed as a free agent with Pittsburgh and pitched for the Pirates in 1985-1987, in 31, 35 and 25 games completing 194, 216 and 177 innings with 2.27, 3.96 and 2.75 ERA.s. On Aug 12, 1987, he was traded to San Francisco for Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin and finished the year with the Giants in 9 games and a 4.32 ERA. Rick's last MLB seasons were from 1988-1991 with San Francisco in 36, 32, 15 and 4 games and 245, 208, 87 and 11 innings for 3.12, 2.94, 3.93 and 4.22 ERAs.
Rick played in the 1987 and 1989 All Star games. In 19 seasons, 557 games and 3,548 innings, he gave up 3,588 hits, 935 walks and struck out 2,015 with an ERA of 3.37, OAV of .264 and a 214-191 record .with 102 complete games.
As a minor leaguer from 1970-1972, 1983 and 1985, he pitched for six teams.
Rick lives in Renfrew, PA.
Kenneth Lee Reynolds was born on January 4, 1947, in Trevose, PA. He pitched for the Huron Phillies in 1966 (9-4, 3.35 ERA). Ken attended New Mexico Highlands University.
The left hander first arrived in the majors in September 1970 for the Phillies appearing in 4 games with 2 scoreless innings. In 1971, he became a full-time starter with 25 in 35 appearances. He pitched 162 innings allowing 163 hits and 82 walks while striking out 81 for a 4.49 ERA. In 1972, he made 23 starts and relived in 10 more for 154 innings and a 4.26 ERA. On Nov. 30, 1972, he was traded to Minnesota with Ken Sanders and Joe Lis for Cesar Tovar.
On Mar. 27, 1973, he was sent to Milwaukee for Mike Ferraro. Nearly all of his 1973 season was spent at "AAA", but he did get into 2 games for the Brewers with a 7.36 ERA in 7 innings. He finished his MLB career in 1975-1976 with brief stints of 10 and 19 games for the Cardinals [purchased in Oct. 1973 from Milwaukee] and Padres [obtain in a three-player trade on Apr. 8, 1976] finishing 17 and 32 innings with 1.59 and 6.40 ERAs. On Mar 21, 1977, he was sold to Toronto, but never played for them.
Reynolds was the epitome of a good "AAA" pitcher who never did very well in the majors, He pitched in six major league seasons for 103 games and 376 innings allowing 370 hits and 196 walks with 197 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.46 and OAV of 4.46. His record was 7-29.
In the minor leagues from 1966-1970 and 1973-1979, he pitched for 14 clubs. He was also a low minor league pitching coach from 1987-89.
Ken lives in Marlborough, MA, and now teaches "project
adventure" (part of the physical education department) at their
public high school.
Elmer Ray Riddle was born in Columbus, GA, on July 31, 1914. He pitched for the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1936 (14-16, 4.25 ERA). He was the brother of seven-year MLB catcher Johnny Riddle.
Johnny, who was 10 years older then Elmer, helped mentor him throughout his teenage years. While Elmer was in high school, their father died and Johnny provided money so his younger brother could finish school. During those years, Elmer was an auto mechanic on Saturdays and amateur baseball pitcher when ever he had free time. In 1935, Elmer got a full time job as a machinist, but still pitched in semi-pro leagues. In 1936, Johnny convinced him to live in Sarasota, FL, with him so he could coach him. "Johnny got me to lift my left leg higher when I threw, the idea being to get more of my body and weight into the delivery. It wasn't long before I was throwing much faster and Johnny told me one day, 'I'll see if I can get you a tryout with Indianapolis, if you want me to do it.'"
Elmer agreed and he was invited to spring training with the Indiana team by manager Wade Killefer. Johnny was also on the club. The younger Riddle was wild, but showed enough promise, with a fine curve, that they signed and sent him to Wausau where he struck out 183 in 237 innings, but walked 139. In 1937, he had a 16-6 record at class B Charlotte and was called up to Indianapolis in August where he was 2-2 and had his troublesome tonsils removed.
His 1938 season was also spent at Indianapolis under manager Ray Schalk where he worked in relief. In 1939 he was in the lower minors at Chattanooga, Durham and Birmingham before being called back up to the AAA Indians after pitching three shutouts for the Alabama club.
On October 1, 1939, Elmer made his debut in a major league uniform pitching 2 scoreless innings in a game for the Cincinnati Reds. He beat his brother to the majors by a full season. In 1940, he appeared in 15 games (one start) for 34 innings allowing 30 hits and 17 walks for a 1.87 ERA. In the '40 World Series, Elmer pitched one scoreless inning getting the Tigers' Hank Greenberg to foul out, got a third strike past Rudy York and struck out Bruce Campbell. After the season, he admitted: "I couldn't do Cincinnati much good, because there were such fellows as Walters, Derringer, Moore, Thompson and Beggs around. [coach Jimmie] Wilson did an awful lot for me and I can't thank him too much. He not only helped my fast ball, but curve and control, as well."
In 1941, he led the National League in ERA (2.24) and win/loss % going 19-4 (.826) in 33 games including 22 starts for 217 innings giving up 180 hits and 59 walks with 80 strike outs.
In 1942, he was in 29 games with 19 starts and 158 innings completing a 3.89 ERA. In 1943, he led the league in wins with a 21-11 record in 36 games (33 starts) and 260 innings compiling a 2.63 ERA. Due to a shoulder injury, he was limited to 4 games in 1944 (27 inn, 2-2, 4.05 ERA).
During spring training of 1945, Riddle informed the Reds' manager, Bill McKechnie, that he planned to stay in Columbus and continue working as a recreational director, however, he returned before the end of the year and pitched in 12 games (30 inn, 8.19 ERA).. In March 1946, at his request, the Reds placed him on the voluntarily retired list. It is assumed that those two occurrences of leaving the Reds were connected to his shoulder injury. He came back to the Reds in 1947 pitching in 16 games including 3 starts for 30 innings with a 8.31 ERA. Riddle later admitted that he was no good as a reliever because it took him a long time to warm up and he disliked the cold.
After the end of the '47 season, he asked to be traded. On Dec. 10, he was sold for the waiver price to Pittsburgh. After a winter of doing exercises for his shoulder and the Pirates being patient with him in spring training, he was selected for the 1948 All Star game while appearing in 28 games (27 starts) for 191 innings and a 3.49 ERA. His MLB career ended with 16 games, including 12 starts, for the Bucs in 1949 (74 innings, 5.33 ERA).
Riddle, who was an excellent fielder, played 102 errorless games. In a career shortened by injury, he appeared in 190 games and 1,023 innings giving up 974 hits and 458 walks while striking out 342 for a 3.40 ERA, a 65-52 record and .252 OAV.
Elmer was a scout for the A's for a short time and, by 1959, a salesman for the United Oil Company for whom he worked until retirement. He died at the St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, GA, on May 14, 1984, and was buried at Parkhill Cemetery in Columbus.
[Please see a much more complete bio at SABR.org written by Nancy
David Leonard Roberts was born on June 30, 1933, in Panama City, Panama. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1953 (.269, 15 HR, 88 RBI) and the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1954 (.297, 33, 114).
Dave came up to the expansion Houston Colt 45s in September 1962 for 16 games as a left handed batting outfielder/first baseman and hit .245 with 53 at bats. He was back with them in 1964 for 61 games (4 for 22 as a pinch hitter) batting .184. His MLB career ended in 1966 with 14 games and a .125 average for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Sept. 12, he was sold to the Orioles, but never played for them.
In his 91 games and 194 at bats, he batted .196 including a 7 for 35 record as a PH. His OBP was .284 and his slugging % was .278. Defensively, his fielding % was .983 with 42 games at first and 16 in the outfield.
In the minors, he played from 1952-1966 for 20 teams hitting over .300 in seven seasons. He spent eight years at class "AAA" leading the American Association in doubles with 38 in 1962 and the PCL in home runs with 38 in 1965 (he was also the PCL MVP that year]. In his minor league career, he batted .282 in 1,903 games with 244 home runs. From 1967-1973, he played in Japan hitting 20 or more home runs six times including 40 in 1968. In 814 games there, he hit .275 with 183 home runs. [Of all professional baseball players whose careers began in 1952 only Hank Aaron had a longer career.]
After his retirement from baseball, Dave was the supervisor for
the National Foundation of Emotionally Handicapped Children and lived
in Northridge, CA. He now resides in Keller, TX. In 1999, his
autobiography "Baseball Odyssey" was published.
Daryl Berdene Robertson was born in Cripple Creek, CO, on January 5, 1936. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1956 (.266, 14 HR, 71 RBI). He was originally signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. On March 31, 1961, he was part of the deal that sent him along with Andre Rodgers to the Cubs for Moe Drabowsky and Seth Morehead.
Daryl only had 9 MLB games for the Chicago Cubs in 1962 playing at short for 6 games and third for one other game. The right hander had 19 official plate appearances with 2 hits (.105), a .190 OBP and .105 slugging %. With a glove, he handled 22 chances without an error. On June 5, he was traded to St. Louis with Bobby Gene Smith for Don Landrum and Alex Grammas, but never played for the Cardinals.
As a minor leaguer from 1954-1962, he played on 14 teams with one year in class "AAA". He was a hard hitting shortstop who hit 14 homers for Muskogee in 1955, 16 for Topeka in 1957 and 11 for Yakima where he also hit .315 with 24 doubles, 7 triples and 76 RBI.
Daryl became a Lieutenant in the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office while living in Midvale, UT, and worked for them for 30 years. He was inducted into the Utah Fast Pitch Softball Hall of Fame in July of 1997. He died in Salt Lake City on July 31, 2018.
Alfred James Robertson was born on January 29, 1928, in Chicago. He caught for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1949 (.248, 5 HR, 19 RBI). Robertson was a former football and basketball player at Bradley University. His father coached Bradley teams in football, basketball and baseball for 30 years. The university field house is named for the senor Mr. Robertson.
Jim ran a baseball class for kids in Peoria, IL, when he was only 12 years old. As an adult, he was a tumbling instructor who easily performed cartwheels and back flips.
On Dec. 16, 1953, Roberson was traded from the Yankees to the A's in the ten-player Vic Power deal. He was the back-up catcher for Philadelphia in 1954 appearing in 63 games with 147 at bats hitting .184. He traveled with the franchise to Kansas City in 1955, but only played in 6 games with an average of .250 (2 for 8).
In his career, the right hander played in 69 games with a .187 average, .300 OBP and .239 slugging % with a .975 fielding %. He was 1 for 11 as a pinch hitter.
In the minors from 1949-1956, he played on nine teams with three seasons in "AAA". He hit .288 for three seasons.
Jim entered the real estate business and was the owner of a mobile
home park in Peoria. He also lived in Las Vegas and Bellevue, WA. He
died on October 15, 2015, in the Seattle area (either Redmond or
Kirkland). Cremation followed his death.
William Henry Robinson was born on June 26, 1943, in McKeesport, PA. He played on the Eau Claire Braves in 1963 (.143, 0 HR, 3 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"The New York Yankees hoped that Bill Robinson would become the next Mickey Mantle when they acquired the outfielder from the Atlanta Braves in 1967. They were disappointed. He neither hit for power nor average in his three years with the Yankees. He was sent down to the minors where he toiled for two more seasons before a trade brought him to Philadelphia for another chance in the majors.
"In his second year with the Phillies he looked poised to be a star, hitting .288 with 25 home runs, but Robinson regressed the following season and in April 1975 was traded to Pittsburgh where for a time he again flourished. In 1977 he had his career year, posting 26 homers and 104 RBIs with a .304 average. In 1975 and 1979 Robinson helped the Bucs to the postseason. In a three-day period in 1977 Robinson hit two grand slams. His productivity began to decline, however, and in June 1982 he was returned to the Phillies where he played his final two seasons..."
Bill first played for the Braves in 1966 for 6 games and 11 at bats getting 3 hits (..273). On Nov. 29, 1966, he was traded to the Yankees with Chi Chi Olivo for Clete Boyer. With the New Yorkers from 1967-1969, he played in 116, 107 and 87 games batting .196, .240 and .171 with slugging averages of .281, .380 and .279. On Dec. 3, 1970, he was traded to the White Sox for Barry Moore and on Dec. 3, 1971, he went to Philadelphia for Jerry Rodriguez.
On the Phillies from 1972-1974, Bill appeared in 82, 124 and 100 games hitting .239, .288 and .236. On Apr. 5, 1975, the right hander moved to the Pirates via a trade for Wayne Simpson and stayed with them from 1975-1982, playing in 92, 122, 137, 136, 148, 100, 39 (leg injury in '81) and 31 games batting .280, .303, .304, .246, .264, .287, .216 and .239. Manager Chuck Tanner called him his "super-regular in the outfield, at first base and at third base. He hit 24 homers when Pittsburgh became World Champions.
On June 15, 1982, he was traded to Philadelphia for Wayne Nordhagen. In the rest of the season for the Phillies he was in 35 games with a .261 average. He hit 21 or more home runs in three of those seasons and appeared in the 1975 and 1979 NLCS going 0 for 5 cumulatively. In the 1979 World Series, he was 5 for 19 (.263).
Bill's MLB career ended in 1983, for the Phillies, in 10 games when he hit .143. Life-time he batted .258 in 16 years, 1,472 games and 4,364 at bats with a.303 OBP and .438 slugging %. His fielding average was .979 including 201 games at first and 103 at third and he was 40 for 222 as a pinch hitter.
As a minor leaguer from 1961-1966 and 1970-1972, he played on 10 clubs hitting over .300 for 5 of them. He had 5 seasons in class "AAA".
He served as a Phillies and Yankees minor league batting instructor and was a Mets major league coach from 1984-1989. In February 1988, he managed the Caracas Lions to the Caribbean world championship. Bill was a baseball analyst for ESPN in 1990-91. Also, Robinson was the batting coach for the Florida Marlins in 2004 and from 2006-2007 a minor league hitting coordinator for the Dodgers.
Robertson lived in Sewell, NJ, and died from an apparent heart attack although the exact cause is unknown (it was known that he had diabetes).on July 29, 2007, in a hotel room in Las Vegas. He had been working with players from the Dodgers' "AAA" affiliate there. Burial was at the Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hurffville, New Jersey.
When Bill was a batting instructor, he was very reluctant to impose a particular technique on major leaguers. "A good hitting instructor is able to mold his teachings to the individual," he once said. "If a guy stands on his head, you perfect that."
Thomas James Robson was born on January 15, 1946, in Rochester, NY. He played 29 games for the 1967 Mankato Mets hitting .414 in 111 at bats with 8 home runs and 31 RBI.
He played catcher in little league at Rochester and later lived in Clifton Springs, NY. When he was in eighth grade, his family moved to Phoenix. There he played first base for two years at Camelback High and then went to Phoenix Junior College where he was part of their National Junior College Championship team of 1965. Thereafter, Robson received a baseball scholarship at Utah State where he also played and graduated. In addition, Tom played in South Dakota's Basin League in 1966 for Valentine, NE. He was signed by the Mets, became Expos' property prior to the 1970 season and was in the Reds' organization beginning in 1971. By 1973, he was Texas' property.
Robson, a right handed first baseman, had two short trials with the Rangers in 1974 and 1975. His first appearance for Texas was on Sept. 14, 1974, and he got into 6 more games the rest of the month with 13 at bats. He got 3 hits for a .231 average and drove in 2 runs. His OBP was .412 as he walked 4 times. In 1975, he was in 17 games and hit .200 in 35 at bats. He had 2 RBI, an OBP of .222 and was 2 for 8 as a pinch hitter. During those years, he played first base in 6 games (handled 42 chances without error) and was DH in 9 more.
From 1967-1975, he played on 13 minor league teams with two years in the "AAA" Pacific Coast League where he hit .322 and .320. Tom had two other years when he batted over .300.
Robson was a minor league manager from 1979-81 and was a major league coach with Texas from 1985-1992, the New York Mets from 1997-2000 [hitting coach] and 2002 (he was an assistant to the Mets' GM in 2001). In 2003, he was the Reds hitting coach. During the 1995 and 2003-05 seasons, he was a hitting coach in Japan.
He wrote a book which was published in January 2003 by Human
Kinetics entitled "The Hitting Edge". Tom lives in Tempe,
Lesley Henry Rock (name at birth was "Schwarzrock") was born in Springfield, MN, on August 19, 1912. He played in the minors under the name of "Schwarzrock" including the Northern League in 1934 for Crookston (.295) and with Crookston, Duluth and Grand Forks in 1935 (.316). From 1936-1938 and 1940 he played pro ball using the name "Rock".
In September 1936, he made his only two major league appearances for the White Sox at first base with one at bat. He did not get a hit, but did drive in a run. Les had no fielding chances at first.
During his minor league days, he played for nine teams. During
WWII, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and retired in 1972 after
eight years as custodian at U. of California - Davis. He died on
September 9, 1991, in Davis, CA, at the Driftwood Convalescent
Hospital from acute bronchitis and cardiovascular heart disease.
Kenneth Andre Ian Rodgers ("Andy") was born on December 2, 1934, in Nassau, Bahamas. He played with the St. Cloud Rox in 1955 (.387, 28 HR, 111 RBI). He won the league batting championship that year.
Rodgers was an outstanding cricket player before becoming a baseball player. "I played cricket from the time I was 14," Andre said in an interview with "The Sporting News" in 1956. "We have no baseball in the Bahamas. It was an English colony and cricket is the big sport. I played softball and basketball, too, but I prefer cricket." He had never played regular baseball when he received a tryout with the Giants in 1954. "A gentleman in a furniture store in Nassau saw me play softball. He thought that I played well enough for a chance with the Giants and he wrote a letter for me and that's how I got my chance." However, he had to pay his own way to the tryout camp in Florida.
Andre was nervous and lonely when he reported to the Giants' camp in 1954 and found the pitching there extraordinarily difficult to hit as first. "In softball, all I ever saw in the Bahamas was a straight fast ball," he said. "I hit .510 the last year I played for Penny Bankers and we won the league championship. But I had never seen a curve and I could not hit it." That season he had little trouble fielding his position and learned how to hit curves well enough to be signed by Olen in the Pony League and then had the fantastic 1955 season at St. Cloud. He said the way he learned to hit curve balls was to let the fast balls go by just so he could look at curves.
In 1956 he also admitted to needing additional work on his defense. "I have some trouble going into the hole and I'm working on making the double-play relay. We saw very few double plays in softball. You have more time in hardball to field the ball because it is hit sharper and the baselines are longer. We used to charge every ball in the Bahamas."
Andre was up and down between the Giants and the minors from 1957-1959 playing in 32, 22 and 71 games for the big club hitting .244, .206 and .250 as a back-up shortstop. In 1960-1961, he was the Giants and the Cubs [obtained by the Braves on Oct. 31, 1960, for Al Dark and then traded to the Cubs with Daryl Robertson for Moe Drabowsky and Seth Morehead] the utility infielder/outfielder playing nearly all positions except pitcher in 81 and 73 games batting .244 and .266.
From 1962-1964, he was the Cubs' starting shortstop, replacing Ernie Banks, appearing in 138, 150 and 129 games with batting averages of .278, .229 and .239. On Dec. 9, 1964, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Roberto Pena and cash. He finished his MLB career as a utility player with the Pirates from 1965-1967 playing in 75, 36 and 47 games batting .287, .194 and .230. In 1966, his playing time was limited because of a leg injury.
A good low-ball hitter and graceful fielder, Andre played in 854 MLB games over 11 years with a career batting average of .249, OBP of.331 and .365 slugging %. He was 28 for 111 as a pinch hitter and his fielding % was .956.
In the minors from 1954-1959 and 1968, he played with seven teams hitting over .300 for two of them. He was at the "AAA" level for four seasons.
Andre returned to Nassau and lived out the rest of this life. He had been admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on three separate occasions in 2004 suffering from severe respiratory problems, but the extent of his illness was generally unknown. What is known is that he had a rare disease which caused poor circulation of blood to his right leg which forced it's amputation on his last visit to the hospital. He died at home, in his sleep, on December 13, 2004, and burial was at the Christ Church Cathedral Cemetery in Nassau.
Joseph Anthony Rogalski was born in Ashland, WI, on July 16, 1915. He played for the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1936 (17-9, 3.57 ERA).
Joe's MLB career consisted of 2 games pitched for the Detroit Tigers in September 1938. He lasted 7 innings giving up 12 hits, no walks and struck out 2. His ERA was 2.57.
As a minor leaguer, he pitched from 1936-1940. The right hander spent three years at class "AAA".
Joe served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WW II. After
baseball, he worked at the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company in
Kalamazoo, MI. He died from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) on November
20, 1951, in Ashland. His burial was at the Duquesne Cemetery in
Duquesne, PA. He was only 39 years old.
Octavio Victor (Rivas) Rojas was born on March 6, 1939, in Havana, Cuba. He played for the Wausau Lumberjacks in 1957 (.262, 4 HR, 49 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Although Cooke Rojas played all nine positions in his career, plus designated hitter, he was an All-Star five times as a second baseman. Phillies fans voted him the team's best second baseman in a 1969 contest. A pitcher's best friend, Rojas kept runners off the bases with diving grabs and gutsy throws in double-play situations. He earned his reputation for courage and preached determination: 'No matter how down you are or how tired you are, you gotta go out and play to win. That's the tag you want to get - the tag of a winner.'
"...Rojas' parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he chose baseball. He started with West Palm Beach in the Florida State League in 1956. He also spent time in the minors with Savannah, Havana and Jersey City. In November 1962 the Reds traded Rojas to Philadelphia. He immediately established himself as a defensive whiz and a fan favorite. In 1965 Rojas was selected to the All-Star team. He led the National League in putouts in 1967 and in 1968 led the league second basemen in fielding percentage and double plays. Sent to St. Louis in the infamous Curt Flood deal in October 1969, Rojas was shuffled off to Kansas City a year later. Rojas enjoyed a tremendous resurgence with the young Royals. He led the American League in fielding in both 1971 and 1974. He represented the Royals in each All-Star game from 1971 to 1974 and stayed with the club long enough to play a part on the first two division winners in team history in 1976 and 1977.."
Cookie came up to the Cincinnati Reds in 1962 getting into 39 games with an average of .221 and playing at second base. On Nov. 27, 1962, he was traded to Philadelphia for Jim Owens. He then was with the Phillies from 1963-1969 for 64, 109, 142, 156, 147, 152 and 110 games with batting averages of .221, .291, .303, .268, .259, .232 and .228. On Oct. 7, 1969, he was traded to St. Louis in the Curt Flood deal.
He was with the Cardinals for part of the 1970 season batting .106 in 23 games. On June 13, he was traded to Kansas City for Fred Rico with whom he hit .260 in 98 games. The rest of his MLB career of 1971-1977, was spent with the Royals for 115, 137, 139, 144, 120, 63 and 64 games with averages of .300, .261, .276, .271, .254, .242 and .250. In the 1976 and 1977 ALCS games, he was 3 for 9 and 1 for 4.
In his 16-year career, he played in 1,822 games hitting .263 with a .309 OBP and .337 slugging %. His life-time fielding mark was .984 and he was 27 for 136 as a pinch hitter. On mid-1990s life-time fielding leader charts, he had the 9th best fielding % for second basemen.
In the minors from 1956-1962 he played on seven teams with four years spent at class "AAA".
Cookie was a major league coach for the Cubs (1978-1981), Marlins
(1993-1996), Mets (1997-2000) and Blue Jays (2001-02). He managed the
1988 California Angels (75-79, 4th) and one game for the
1996 Marlins (1-0). He also was a scout and special assistant for 10
years with the Cubs, an advance scout for the Angels and is currently
a Spanish language baseball announcer for the Marlins. In addition,
Rojas serves as a member of the board of the Baseball Assistance Team
(BAT). He lives in Miami.
James Phillip Rooker was born in Lakeview, OR, on September 23, 1942. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1963 (.272, 19 HR, 78 RBI) and 1964 (.227, 10, 40). He also pitched for the '64 Dukes (3-4, 5.29 ERA).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Jim Rooker began his baseball career as an outfielder. It was not until 1964 at Duluth-Superior in the Northern League that he started pitching - and not until 1968 that he reached the majors. The Tigers, who had signed Rooker in 1960, returned him to the minors after just two games. In September they sold him to the Yankees and was allowed to be selected by the Kansas City Royals in the October's American League expansion draft. Rooker got a chance to pitch in Kansas City, but had little support; in fact, he often had to provide his own. On July 7, 1969, Rooker became the first Royal to homer twice in a single game. On June 17, 1970, he collected five RBIs in one game. His pitching record improved from 4-16 as a rookie to 10-15 in 1970, yet he was soon spending more and more time at Omaha in the American Association. In October 1972 he was sent to Pittsburgh in exchange for reliever Gene Garber.
"Rooker thrived in the National League. Each year from 1973 through 1977 he earned victories in double digits, including a career-high 15 in 1976. He then played a key role in Pittsburgh's 1979 World Series victory. When Bruce Kison was knocked out of the box in the first inning of Game 1, Rooker entered and held Baltimore scoreless through the fourth inning. The Orioles won the game, but Rooker's performance earned him the Game 5 start. With the Pirates on the verge of elimination, Rooker allowed just one run in five innings. Pittsburgh rallied to win the game and the Bucs won the next two games to take the world championship..."
Jim came up to the majors in the summer of 1968 with 2 relief appearances for the Detroit Tigers. In 5 innings he gave up 4 hits and 1 walk for a 3.86 ERA. On Sept. 30, 1968, he was sold to the Yankees but never played for them. Then with Kansas City from 1969-1972, the left hander appeared in 28, 38, 20 and 18 games (mostly starts) for 158, 204, 54 and 72 innings with 3.75, 3.54, 5.33 and 4.38 ERAs. On Oct. 25, 1972, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Gene Garber. With the Pirates from 1973-1980, he pitched in 41, 33, 28, 30, 30, 28, 19 and 4 games (all but 26 were starts) completing 170, 263, 197, 199, 204, 163, 104 and 18 innings with ERAs of 2.85, 2.78, 2.97, 3.35, 3.08, 4.24, 4.60 and 3.50.
Rooker was known for his willingness to speak his mind. His career spanned 13 years, 319 games and 1,810 innings as he allowed 1,694 hits and 703 walks while striking out 976 with an ERA of 3.46 and OAV of .249. His batting average was .201 and he had a 103-109 record..
As a minor leaguer from 1960-1972, he was with 17 clubs with ERAs under 3.00 for four teams and he spent five seasons in "AAA".
Jim was a Pirates' broadcaster from 1981 through the 1993 season and twice ran for political office (the Pennsylvania legislature and the U.S. Congress, losing both times). He also trains dogs and operates a Pittsburgh restaurant.
He lived in Library, PA, until 2007 when he moved to Jacksonville,
FL, and has begun a new career writing children literature. He has
written three books that combine reading and baseball for young
children. The books are titled "Paul the Baseball", "Matt
The Batt", and "Kitt the Mitt", and were published in
Santiago Rosario ("Rosie") was born on July 25, 1939, in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. He played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1963 (.325, 6 HR, 44 RBI) and 1964 (.333, 0, 2).
The left handed batting first baseman/outfielder played 81 games for the 1965 Kansas City A's batting .235 with 85 at bats (11 for 46 as a pinch hitter). His OBP was .293 and his slugging percentage .341. He was a .991 fielder.
In the minor leagues from 1960-1971 and 1973-1976, he played on 19 teams hitting near or over .300 for seven seasons. He had three years at "AAA". He did not play part of 1966 because of a suspension caused by an incident in Vancouver when he hit Seattle catcher Merritt Ranew over the head with a bat.
After baseball, Rosario lived in Ponce, PR. Later he resided in
Guayanilla, PR, where he died on September 6, 2013.
John Edward Ruberto was born on January 2, 1946, on Staten Island. He caught for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1964 (.292, 3 HR, 11 RBI). On May 22, 1969, the Cardinals traded him to San Diego with John Sipin for Bill Davis and Jerry DaVanon.
Ruberto was a catcher with the expansion San Diego Padres for 19 games in 1969. He was 3 for 21 (.143) at the plate, but played errorless defense with 44 chances. He only had one more MLB chance - 2 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 1972 (0 for 3). His career average was .125 with a .192 OBP, .125 slugging % and 1.000 fielding mark.
As a minor leaguer from 1964-1976, he played with 18 clubs with seven seasons at the "AAA" level.
Sonny was a minor league manager in 1970, at the age of 24, and a
major league coach with the Cardinals in 1977-1978. From 1979-81 he
managed in the lower minors again in the Cardinals organization. He
worked as a radio commentator, an operator of a photography studio, a
school photographer and territory manager for the National School
Studios from in Indianapolis. Ruberto later lived in St. Louis and
died of cancer in Ave Maria, FL, on March 24, 2014. Cremation
Ernest William Rudolph was born in Black River Falls, WI, on February 13, 1909. He pitched for the 1937 Crookston Pirates (11-10, 2.24 ERA) and the 1941 Eau Claire Bears (1-2).
Ernie's last professional appearances came in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945 for 7 games. He finished 9 innings giving up 12 hits and 7 walks while striking out 3 for a 5.19 ERA and .333 OAV.
Records show that Rudolph was in the minors from 1937, 1941, 1943-1945, playing for five teams with three seasons at class "AAA". Rudolph played his first full season in pro baseball at age 28, but then did not pitch again for nearly four years, wound up in Class E, didn't pitch a second full season until he was 35 and made his major league debut at 36.
The rest of the story: He was released after a few games at Eau Claire in 1935 because he, according to Rudolph, "was thought him too small." Apparently he wasn't in organized ball in 1936 and then was signed by the "AAA"Columbus club in '37 and was shipped to Springfield, Mo., and then to Crookston. A stomach ailment, which caused him to be "4-F" during WWII, kept him from playing pro baseball for the next four years, but he did pitch in semi-pro leagues around Black River Falls and in Michigan.
After his '41 with the Bears, he pitched for the semi-pro St. Joseph (Mich.) Autos. in 1942. Information then indicates that he started the 1943 season with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association and wound up in Class "E" (Twin Ports League). In 1944, he was with the St. Paul Saints and the Dodgers bought his contract at the end of August 1944. Apparently, Ernie needed some convincing to go to Brooklyn. According to news reports, Ernie wanted part of the money the Dodgers had sent to the Saints, but, eventually, decided to report to them without the additional funds.
In 1946, he was a scout for the Dodgers. In 1948, Ernie starting scouting for the Browns where he helped sign Ryne Duren and, in 1959, he moved to the Braves (that job ended in 1961). By 1969, he scouted for the Angels. Also, during those years, Rudolph was a car salesman for the Silvernail Chevrolet dealership in Black River Falls and worked as a counselor at the Black River Youth Camp. Ernie died on January 13, 2003, in Black River Falls and burial was there at Riverside Cemetery.
You may read a much more complete bio by J.G. Preston available
Wilfred Patrick Dolan Ryan was born on March 15, 1898, in Worcester, Mass. He pitched briefly for the 1941 and 1942 Eau Claire Bears as their player/manager. Rosy attended Holy Cross.
Rosy's first two MLB trials were brief. With the 1919 and 1920 New York Giants, he appeared in 4 and 3 games for 20 and 15 innings with ERAs of 3.10 and 1.76. Ryan, who threw a legal spitball before they were outlawed, was not given an exemption because he had not pitched enough games in 1919. He was then forced to develop a curveball.
From 1921-1924, he pitched full time for them in 36, 46, 45 (led the league in appearances) and 37 games completing 147, 192, 173 and 125 innings for 3.73, 3.01 (led league), 3.49 and 4.26 ERAs. He appeared in the 1922, 1923 and 1924 World Series in 1, 3 and 2 games in relief completing 2, 9 and 6 innings with ERAs of 0.00, 0.96 and 3.18. Manager John McGraw was one of the first to rely heavily on relief pitching and Ryan was one of his bullpen aces acting as the team's long man. He holds the record for most World Series relief wins with three as he had one each in 1922, 1923 and 1924. Also, in 1924, he became only the second pitcher to hit a Series home run.
On Apr. 17, 1925, Ryan was traded to the Boston Braves for Tim McNamera. With the Braves in 1925-1926, he was in 37 and 7 games for 123 and 19 innings compiling 6.31 and 7.58 ERAs. In 1928, he appeared in 3 games (16.50 ERA) for the Yankees and in 1933, the right hander ended his career with 30 games for the Dodgers (61 inn, 4.55 ERA). Rosy was the first National League pitcher to hit a home run in a World Series game.
In his career, he pitched in 248 games for 881 innings giving up 941 hits and 278 walks with 315 strike outs, a 4.14 ERA and .277 OAV. His record was 52-47. From 1930-1932 and 1934-1936 he pitched at class "AAA" including a 22-13 year at Minneapolis in 1932.
After his playing career he was a minor league manager (1941-1942
and 1944-1945) , coach and executive (for many years was the GM for
Giants "AAA" clubs). He died, due to cancer, at the
Scottsdale Memorial Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ, on December 10, 1980.
His burial was at the St. John's Cemetery in Worcester.
Raymond Michael Sadecki was born in Kansas City, KS, on December 26, 1940. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1958 (9-7, 3.34 ERA).
When Sadecki was seven years old, he was pitching for a little league team in the 9-11 age bracket in Kansas City. When he reached high school, his parents had visitors almost daily. "It's about to drive us nuts," his mother once said. "...I hope my next baby (15 years younger) learns to play the violin instead of baseball."
In 1958 Sadecki graduated from Ward High School in Kansas City and had pitched brilliantly for Ward and Milgram of the amateur Ban Johnson League (managed by former Yankee farmhand Alex Zych). This made the left handed pitcher one of the most coveted by major league scouts. He averaged 2 strike outs each inning pitched in high school, once struck out 21 in a 7-inning game and had 4 no-hitters in 1958 for the two teams. Not surprisedly, he was signed for about $50,000 by Cardinals' scout Runt Marr.
On July 21, 1958 he was sent to Winnipeg and his 1959 season was spent at Omaha in "AAA" where, in May, he pitched a one-hitter. In 1960, he started his year at Rochester and was called up to St. Louis in June. Sadecki wore special thick-lens glasses because of his extreme near sightedness. He failed a test for a driver's license while in high school, but it was not a handicap when he was pitching.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"...Sadecki's promise earned him a large signing bonus from the Cardinals in the late 1950s. He rose to the top of the St. Louis pitching staff by 1964, his fifth year with the team. For his 20-win performance that season he was given the honor of starting Game 1 of the World Series over teammate Bob Gibson, who had won only 19 games. He faced aging "Chairman of the Board" Whitey Ford, but Sadecki got the first of his club's four World Series wins.
"In 1965 Sadecki had a terrible year, but so did the entire St. Louis club. From a world champions the previous season the club dropped to seventh place. As St. Louis players were sent elsewhere, Ray Sadecki was exchanged for a gem of a San Francisco first baseman named Orlando Cepeda. With the struggling Giants, Sadecki struggled too, but he also had some of his best seasons. One such year was 1968 - although he won only 12 and lost 18, he finished the season with more than 200 strikeouts, a 2.91 ERA and six shutouts. When his ERA climbed to 4.23 the next year, he was sent to the Mets.
"Sadecki came to the Mets in 1970 as a fifth man in a four-man rotation, but his arm was tiring. By 1973 he was almost completely converted into a middle reliever, and with additional rest his ERA was down into a respectable range for the third year in a row. His efforts helped the Mets to the National League crown and in the World Series he recorded a save. Oakland knocked off New York in seven games. In 1975 he went back to St. Louis and then floated around both leagues, playing for the Braves, the Royals, the Brewers and the Mets again. He retired after the 1977 season with 135 big league wins."
Ray pitched for the Cardinals from 1960-1966 in 26, 31, 22, 36, 37, 36 and 5 games, including 26, 31, 17, 28, 32, 28 and 3 starts for 157, 223, 102, 193, 220, 173 and 24 innings with ERAs of 3.78, 3.72, 5.54, 4.10, 3.68, 5.21 and 2.22. The rest of the 1966 season was with the Giants [obtained on May 8 for Orlando Cepeda] for 26 games, 105 innings and a 5.40 ERA.
The left hander also pitched the 1967-1969 seasons with the Giants appearing in 35, 38 and 29 games for 188, 254 and 138 innings compiling 2.78, 2.91 and 4.23 ERAs. On Dec. 12, 1969, he was traded to the Mets with Dave Marshall for Bob Heise and Jim Gosger. His Mets' years were from 1970-1974 in 139, 163, 76 and 117 innings for 3.89, 2.92, 3.09 and 3.39 ERAs. On Oct. 13, 1974, he was traded with Tom Moore to St. Louis for Joe Torre.
He was back with the Cardinals for 8 games and 11 innings in 1975 and on May 28 was sent to Atlanta with Elias Sosa for Ron Reed and Wayne Nordhagen. He finished the year with the Braves (66 innings in 25 games, 4.21 ERA) and the Royals [obtained June 30 with cash for 3 players] (5 g, 3 inn, 3.00). He started 1976 with K.C. (3 g, 5 inn, 0.00 ERA) and then went to the Brewers for 37 innings in 36 games with a 4.34 ERA. His MLB career ended in 1977 when he appeared in 4 games with the Mets (3 inn, 6.00 ERA).
In a long 18-year career, Ray pitched in 563 games finishing 2,501 innings giving up 2,456 hits, 922 walks and struck out 1,614. His ERA was 3.78 with a .258 OAV. On mid-1990s career pitching leader charts, Ray was 130th in games pitched and 99th in strikeouts.
In the minor leagues, he pitched from 1958-1960 and 1962 for four teams with three of them being at the class "AAA" level.
From 1977-90 Sadecki was a salesman of light fixtures, ceiling fans and other items for an office products company while living in Kansas City, MO. He was a minor league pitching coach with the Cubs from 1990 to 1993 and was a roving instructor for the Giants in 1994. He died on November 7, 2014, in Mesa, AZ, due to complications of blood cancer.
[See an interview with Ray at: Seamheads.com ]
Michael George Sadek was born in Minneapolis on May 30, 1946. He caught for the St. Cloud Rox in 1967 (.232, 0 HR, 17 RBI). He attended and played baseball for the University of Minnesota.
Mike was up and down between the San Francisco Giants and "AAA" during the seasons of 1973 and 1975 for 39 and 42 games with batting averages of .167 and .236. He stayed with the team full-time from 1976-1981 as their back-up catcher in 55, 61, 40, 63, 64 and 19 games hitting .204, .230, .239, .238, .252 and .167.
Sadek's entire big league career was spent as the Giants' second or third-string catcher. He did have a fine arm. In his career 383 games and 813 at bats, he batted .226 with a .319 OBP and .292 slugging percentage. He was 6 for 16 as a pinch hitter and had a fielding % of .985 with 356 games at catcher and one in the outfield.
The right hander played in the minors from 1967-1975 for nine teams with five seasons at class "AAA".
Mike was employed in the Giants' organization for 28 years before
retiring as their Community Relations Director in the late 1990s. He
had lived in Livermore, CA and now resides in Mountain Ranch, CA.
Robert Sadowski was born on February 19, 1938, in Pittsburgh. He played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1958 (2-2, 4.63 ERA) and 1959 (15-5, 2.63). From May 17 to May 20, the Goldeyes’ staff tied a league record by pitching three consecutive shutouts and Sadowski contributed the middle shutout with an eight-hit game vs Eau Claire. He also made that year's all-star team. Bob had two older brothers, Ted (a MLB pitcher from 1960-1962) and Eddie (big league catcher in 1960-63 and 1966) who preceded him in the majors.
On June 15, 1963, he was traded by St. Louis to Milwaukee with Gene Oliver for Lew Burdette. Bob arrived with the Milwaukee Braves in June 1963 and stayed with the team through the 1965 season. He pitched in 19, 51 and 34 games including 18, 18 and 13 starting assignments for 117, 167 and 123 innings compiling 2.62, 4.10 and 4.32 ERAs. On April 20, 1964 he tied a major league record after being struck out 5 times in a 9-inning game. On Dec. 15, 1965, he was dealt with Dan Osinski to Boston for Lee Thomas, Arnold Early and Jay Ritchie.
His MLB career ended in 1966 with the Boston Red Sox with 11 games and 33 innings for a 5.40 ERA. In his career 115 games and 440 innings, he gave up 416 hits and 130 walks while striking out 257 to compile a 3.87 ERA and .250 OAV. His record was 20-27.
In minor league ball, the right hander pitched from 1958-1963 and 1966-1967 for 10 teams with ERAs at or lower then 3.00 for four of them. He played at the "AAA" level for five seasons. A sore arm ended his carrier.
Bob became a sales rep for C.F.S. - Continental Foods while living in Chamblee, GA (a suburb of Altanta). Later he lived in Sharpsburg, GA, and he died in Newnan, GA, on August 5, 2018.
Please see the complete SABR bio at:
Thomas Judson Saffell was born in Etowah, TN, on July 26, 1921. He played briefly for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1962 (.500, 0 HR, 2 RBI) as their player/manager. After graduating from high school in 1940, he enrolled at Maryville College, but hurt his knee playing football, so he did not play baseball.
Tom, a speedy outfielder who was often a lead off hitter, had three partial MLB seasons and one complete one. In 1949-1951, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates as a left handed hitting outfielder in 73, 67 and 49 games batting .322, .203 and .200 with 205, 182 and 65 at bats. He was 6 for 18, 4 for 21 and 3 for 24 as a pinch hitter during those years.
His one complete big league season came in 1955 with 73 games for the Pirates (.168) and 9 games for the Kansas City A's [obtained on Sept. 14 for the waiver price] (.216). On Apr. 16, 1956, he was traded to Brooklyn with Lee Wheat and cash for Tim Thompson, but he never played for the Dodgers.
In his career, he was in 271 games with 602 at bats, a batting average of .238, OBP of .307 and a .296 slugging %. His fielding % in 169 outfield games was .980 and he was 17 for 80 as a pinch hitter.
In the minors, he played from 1941 (played until re-injuring his knee), 1946-1954 and 1956-1959 as a player and 1962-1964 (as a player/manager) for 19 teams hitting over .300 in four seasons. He batted .286 in 1,576 minor league contests, including seven seasons of Triple-A ball with Indianapolis (4) and Hollywood (3) of the Pacific Coast League.
Safell once said: "I was a line-drive hitter. I could get on base. I could push the ball, drag the ball. I got a lot of bases on balls." He produced good seasons with Hollywood in 1952 and 1953, batting .273 both seasons. In 1953, when the Stars won a second straight PCL pennant, Tom played 170 games, hit a career-best 13 homers, and drove in 61 runs at lead off. In 1954, when the San Diego Padres beat Hollywood in a playoff, Tom hit .279 with 8 home runs and 58 RBI. He also stole a career-high 48 bases. "Tommy was a real good hitter," recalled Russ Peters, a 10-year big league infielder. "He'd always get his bat on the ball. He was a real good contact hitter."
Tom was in the military from 1943-1945. "I signed up for the Army Air Corps in late '42 and I joined them in 1943. I went in and trained, got my wings, flew some missions over Europe, and got out in 1946." The whole story was that he was an ace pilot during World War II, as he flew 61 missions over Europe in a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter. He was never wounded or shot down.
Saffell was a minor league manager in 1961-62, 1965 and 1969-72 and a scout for part of 1961. While managing Reno (Calf. League) in 1964, he was suspended for 30 days and fined $250 when he refused to field his team as a protest against poor umpiring. In 1973, he was scheduled to go to the Mexican League, but the Pirates did not renew his contract.
Out of baseball (1973) for the first time since World War II, Tom worked at a number of jobs in Sarasota, including painting, selling cars, and bar-tending at the beach. In 1978, he was asked if he wanted the job as president of the Gulf Coast League. He accepted and operated the league until 2009. In 1980, he also took over the Florida Instructional League and, in the middle of the '80s, the major league extended spring training program.
In 1999, during the 98th annual winter baseball meetings at
Anaheim, Saffell's 50 years in the game were recognized when he was
selected "The King of Baseball," an annual award handed out
since 1951 by minor league baseball. "Having gone through
baseball but never getting to be a major league manager like I wanted
to," remarked Saffell "it gives me a great amount of
satisfaction to think people recognize my contribution to baseball."
In retirement he lived in Sarasota, FL, where he died on September
10, 2012, from pneumonia while recovering from surgery for a broken
hip which was sustained in a fall. Saffell was buried in the Green
Hill Cemetery in Etowah, TN.
A more complete biography is available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org/ .
Amado Ruperto Samuel ("Sammy") was born on December 6, 1938, in San Pedro De Macoris, D. R. He played for the Eau Claire Braves in 1958 (.273, 3 HR, 14 RBI). "I remember hitting a home run in my first professional at bat with Eau Claire," Samuel told Sports Illustrated in 1987. "Didn't hit too many after that." He was a solid hitter, but committed a whopping 22 errors and got shipped east to the Class "D" after 38 games. .
A former MLB umpire turned scout, Ted McGrew, ran a three-day tryout camp in San Pedro late in 1957. He recalled three years later: "This Samuel got off his bike and asked if he could get in the game...He said he worked in a sugar mill. Well, I got him in for three innings, and the first time up he drove the ball to the centerfield fence. It was like a bullet. I asked him how much he wanted to sign." [he got $300 from the Braves.]
Amado was with the Milwaukee Braves the complete 1962 season as their utility infielder. He played in 76 games and had 209 at bats with a .206 average. Samuel understood English better than he spoke it so had a few problems getting adjusted. Starting Braves' shortstop Roy McMillan always tried to help him out, and Samuel shared a house with a handful of teammates. Nearly everybody called him "Sammy." "Maybe they had trouble saying Amado," he said.
In 1963, he played in 15 more Braves' games with a .176 average. On Oct. 15, 1963, he was sold to the New York Mets and he spent a partial 1964 season with the Mets as he was in 53 games hitting .232. He tried to keep playing after the '64 season in Winter ball, but realized he needed knee surgery and returned to the United States. He admits now that he was never the same after the procedure.
In his MLB career, he played 144 games with a .215 average, .251 OBP and .288 slugging %. His fielding % was .942 as he played 77 games at short, 35 at second and 20 at third.
As a minor leaguer, he played on 12 clubs from 1958-1961 and 1963-1967 with batting averages over .300 for two teams. He was at the class "AAA" level for six seasons.
In 1968, he got a job repairing refrigerators at the General
Electric plant in Louisville and stayed there until he retired. He
continues to live in Louisville.
John Howard [some references say "Doward"] Sanford was born on June 23, 1917, in Chatham, VA. He played a few games with the 1953 Eau Claire Bears. Jack attended the University of Richmond.
His major league appearances came long before his duty in Eau Claire. After beginning his pro career in 1939, he made the majors with the Senators in 1940 for 34 games at first base with a .197 average (122 at bats). He also was in 3 games in 1941 going 2-for-5. After military service, he finished his MLB time back with Washington in 1946 in 10 games and 26 at bats (.231).
In his three career big league years, he played 47 games and had 153 ab's with a .209 average. The right hander played 41 games at first with a .989 fielding average and was 1-for-5 as a pinch hitter.
Sanford played for 18 minor league teams in 1939-1941 and 1946-1955 including one year at "AAA" in Los Angeles. He hit over .300 in four seasons. He managed at the class "B" level in 1955.
He lettered in football, baseball, basketball and track at the University of Richmond and was in the Air Force from 1942-1946 serving mainly as a baseball player and coach. Following his playing career, Sanford earned a masters degree and Ph.D. In 1956-1966, Sanford was a professor and chairman of the Health and Physical Education Department at Elon College. He also coached their baseball team to a 184-110 record. From 1966-1984, he worked for Boston College and was their baseball coach in 1973 and 1981-1984 when he retired.
Sanford died on Jan. 4, 2005, in Greensboro, NC, from cardiac and respiratory arrest. Burial was at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Wilson, NC.
James Patrick Scanlon was born on September 23, 1952, in Minneapolis. He played for the 1970 Watertown Expos (.275, 4 HR, 26 RBI).
The left handed infielder's first MLB games were in September 1974 for Montreal. He played in 2 games and had 4 at bats with one hit. He was with the team for parts of the 1975 and 1976 seasons for 60 and 11 games batting .183 and .185 and was used mostly as a third baseman. On Nov. 6, 1976, he was traded to St. Louis with Steve Dunning and Tony Scott for Bill Grief, Angel Torres and Sam Mejias.
On May 17, 1977, he went back to the Padres with John D'Acquiosto for Butch Metzger. His career ended with 47 games for them in 1977 where he hit .190.
In his 120 games, he batted .187 in 219 at bats with a .288 OBP and .283 slugging %. He was 6 for 52 as a pinch hitter and had a .938 fielding percentage with 47 games at third, 15 at second, 2 at first and one in the outfield.
Pat played in the minor leagues from 1970-1980 for 16 clubs and hit over .300 for four of them. He played at class "AAA" for 8 seasons.
Pat lives in Richfield, MN, which is a suburb of the Twin Cities.
In early 2006, he purchased the "Starting Gate Saloon" in
St. Paul which is a gathering place for sports fans - particularly
those of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jimmie Ronald Schaffer was born in Limeport, PA, on April 5, 1936. He caught for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1958 (.309, 19 HR, 87 RBI).
Jimmie's debut was with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1961 when he split the season between them and their class AAA affiliate. In 68 games, he batted .255 as a back-up catcher. He was with the team full-time in 1962 for 70 games for a .242 average. On Oct.17, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in the Larry Jackson deal.
With the Cubs from 1963-1964, again as a catching back-up, he played in 57 and 54 games hitting .239 (with 7 home runs) and .205. He was hampered in 1964 by a broken hand. On Dec. 1, 1964, he was sent to the White Sox for Frank Baumann. For the Sox in '65, he played in 17 games (.194) before being traded on July 8 to the Mets for Frank Lary. With the Mets he was in 24 games for a .135 average. On Feb. 22, 1966, he was traded to Philadelphia with Wayne Graham and Bob Klaus for Dick Stuart.
Jim was back in the minors for most of the 1966 and 1967 seasons, but did get into 8 and 2 games with the Phillies batting .133 and .000 (0 for 2). His MLB career came to a close in 1968 with 4 games for the Reds (..167). He was 4 for 23 as a pinch hitter and defensively, his fielding average was .989 in 278 games played at catcher.
Spread over 8 seasons, he played in 304 MLB games batting .223 with a .286 OBP and .340 slugging %. As a minor leaguer from 1955-1961 and 1965-1970, he played with 13 teams hitting over .300 for three of them. He played at the "AAA" level for seven years.
Jimmie stayed in baseball as a minor league manager from
1971-1977, 1979 and 1989 (as high as "AA") and a major
league coach for the Rangers (1978) and the Royals (1980-1988). He
now lives in Coopersburg, PA.
Howard Henry Schultz ("Stretch") was born in St. Paul on July 3, 1922. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1941 (.277, 7 HR, 60 RBI) and 1942 (.289, 12, 66).
The 6'6" Howie played 45 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943 as a first baseman batting .269. The right hander stayed with the Bums from 1944-1946 for 138, 39 and 90 games hitting .255, .239 and .253. He was reported to be a fan favorite in Brooklyn. However, after 2 games with them in 1947, he was sold to the Phillies for $50,000 on May 10 where he started at first base for 114 games with a .223 average. He was a Phillie for only 6 games in 1948 (.077) before he went to the Reds for 36 games and a .167 average. That was his last MLB year.
As a minor leaguer, he played from 1941-1943 and 1945 for six teams hitting over .300 for two of them. He played at class "AAA" for three years.
Howie also played professional basketball for six seasons with the Anderson Packers, Fort Wayne Pistons and Minneapolis Lakers. After he retired from professional baseball, he played for some Minnesota "town" baseball teams during the 1950's. During that time, he also became a high school and university (Hamline U. in St. Paul) instructor while coaching basketball and baseball at those schools. He lived in Stillwater, MN, and, after fighting cancer for four months, died in Chaska on Oct. 30, 2009. Burial was at Sunset Cemetery in Minneapolis. .
A more complete biography is available at:
Ralph Richard Schwamb was born on August 6, 1926, in Lancaster, CA. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1947 (5-0, 1.62 RA).
The year after Blackie played for Aberdeen, he pitched in 12 games for the St. Louis Browns including 5 starts. He finished 32 innings allowing 44 hits and 21 walks while striking out 7. His ERA was 8.53 and he had a OAV of .331.
He also pitched in the minors in 1948 at "AAA".
Many scouts expected him to become one the best pitchers in the early 1950's. Before the 1949 season, Blackie was involved in a killing in California (he had ties to West Coast gangsters who led him to the world of crime) and was sentenced to long terms at San Quentin and Folsom Penitentiaries. He became an underground baseball legend, pitching his prison teams to championships and frequent exhibitions against professional prospects and major league competition. He was eventually paroled and pitched briefly at "AAA" Hawaii in 1961. After that failed comeback, he had various manual labor jobs.
He died from lung cancer in Los Angeles on December 21, 1989, and
was cremated. In the spring of 2005, a book on his life was published
("Wrong Side of the Wall" by Eric Stone; pub: Lyons Press).
A book reviewer in "Sports Weekly" described it as
"possibly one of the most disturbing baseball biographies ever
Anthony Scott was born in Cincinnati on September 18, 1951. He played for the Watertown Expos in 1970 (.251, 10 HR, 46 RBI).
Tony had two short trials with Montreal of 11 and 19 games in 1973 and 1974 hitting 0 for 1 and 2 for 7. He apparently was used for outfield defensive purposes. In 1975 he stuck with the team for the complete season appearing in 92 games with a .182 average in 143 at bats. On Nov. 6, 1976, he was traded to St. Louis with Steve Dunning and Pat Scanlon for Bill Greif, Angel Torres and Sam Mejias.
Speedy and reliable, he got back to the majors with the Cardinals in 1977 for 95 games and a vastly improved batting average of .291. He was 13 for 23 as a base stealer. Tony stayed with the Cards from 1978-1980 for 96, 153 and 143 games hitting .228, .259 and .251 and getting 5, 37 and 22 stolen bases. He led the National League in outfielder's fielding % in 1980 with a .997 mark as he committed only one error. .
The switch hitter started the 1981 season in St. Louis (45 g, .227, 10 steals), but finished in Houston [obtained June 7 for Joaquin Andujar] for 55 games, a .293 average and 8 steals. In the 1981 NLCS, he played all 5 games going 3 for 20. Tony was also with the Astros in 1982-1983 for 132 and 80 games with batting averages of .239 and .226. He stole 18 bases in '82 and was 5 for 27 as a pinch hitter in '83.
Tony finished his MLB career in 1984 with 25 games (.190) for Houston and 45 for the Expos (.254). In an 11-year career, he played in 991 games for a .249 average, .300 OBP and .327 slugging %. He was 29 for 136 as a PH, had an excellent life-time .986 fielding mark and was 125 for 194 in stolen bases. .
In the minor leagues from 1969-1974 and 1976, he played for nine clubs with two seasons in "AAA".
Scott was a minor league hitting coach in 1990-92, 1995 and 2000
and a roving minor league instructor for the Phillies in '96. He was
a major league coach in 2001-03 for the Phillies. He lives in
Donald Laverne Secrist was born on February 26, 1944, in Seattle. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1963 (7-0, 1.96). On Dec. 5, 1968,he was traded by the Reds to the White Sox with Don Pavletich for Jack Fisher.
Don had two stints with the Chicago White Sox. In 1969, he relieved in 19 games finishing 40 innings with a 6.07 ERA. The next season he appeared in 9 games for 15 innings for a 5.52 ERA.
The left hander's MLB career lasted 28 games and 55 innings as he gave up 54 hits and 26 walks while striking out 32. His ERA was 5.93 and he had a .256 OAV.
In the minors, he played from 1963-1971 for 12 teams with three seasons of ERAs under 3.00. He was at the class "AAA" level for six seasons. On June 19, 1966, he came within one out of pitching a complete double header (two complete games in one day). He won the first game 3-0 and was ahead 4-2 in the 9th inning, of the second game, before he was taken out.
After baseball, Don became a coal miner for Arch Mineral Company
while living in Dubuque, IA. He now lives in Pinckneyville, IL.
Albert Henry Severinsen was born in Brooklyn on November 9, 1944. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1964 (6-11, 3.44). Al attended Wagner College.
The 6'3", 220 pound Severinsen, made his first appearances in a major league uniform in 1969 for the Baltimore Orioles. The right hander pitched in 12 games for 20 innings with a 2.29 ERA. On Dec. 1, 1970, he was traded to San Diego in the Pat Dobson deal. With the Padres, in 1971 and 1972, he was in 59 and 17 games with 3.47 and 2.53 ERAs. He saved 8 games in 1971.
On paper, he had a good, but short, MLB career. In 88 games and 111 innings, he allowed 104 hits and 47 walks while striking out 53 for a 3.08 ERA, .256 OAV and he had 9 saves. [While with the Orioles, Severinsen and his wife baby sat for Cal Ripken Jr..]
A workhouse in the minors from 1964-1970 and 1972, he pitched for 10 teams with six years of ERAs under 3.00. He played at the "AAA" level for four seasons. At Rochester, he set a saves record in 1970 of 22 which lasted for 35 years. In 1967, because one of the umpires did not appear before game time, he acted as a temporary replacement umpire on the bases. When an umpire did arrive, Al went into the bull pen and eventually pitched getting the loss. Now you know the answer to the trivia question: "Which player umpired a game and was charged with it's loss?".
In the 1980s, Al became a construction company supervisor and lived in Medford, NY. He also coached players from all ages from youth level to college and he was involved in teaching baseball at clinics through the Major Baseball League Association. Severinsen retired from Nassau County in 2003 as a plant supervisor and then worked for years at Foxwoods as a warehouse manager. He lived in Mystic, CT, from 2003 until his death there on January 27, 2015. His ashes were given to his family.
Steven Francis Shea was born on December 5, 1942, in Worcester, MA. He pitched for the St. Cloud Rox in 1963 (0-1, 6.83) and 1964 (0-3, 3.27). Steve attended the University of Mass.
Steve had two partial major league seasons. In 1968, for the Houston Astros, he pitched in 30 games finishing 35 innings with a 3.38 ERA. His debut came with the bases loaded and no one out in the ninth inning. He pitched his way out of the jam and gained the victory after pitching another scoreless inning. On April 3, 1969, he was sold to Montreal and the right hander appeared in 10 games and 16 innings for the Expos that year compiling a 2.87 ERA.
In a 40-game MLB career, he completed 50 innings allowing 45 hits and 8 walks while striking out 11. His ERA was a good 3.22 with a .253 OAV.
In the minors from 1962-1964 and 1966-1971, he pitched for 10 teams with three seasons of ERAs under 3.00. He played at the "AAA" level for 4 years.
After his baseball career, he earned an MBA at Boston College and
worked in executive banking for more than 20 years before retiring as
president and chief executive officer of Rockingham Bank Corp in
1997. Steve also became a teacher and baseball coach in Amherst, NH.
In 1998, Steve joined the Central Asian-American Enterprise Fund and
began his mission to help to transform the lives of individuals and
their countries. He served as president and board member until his
death at home in North Hampton, NH, on March 4, 2015. The cause of
death was not released but it was not unexpected. Burial was at the
Hamilton Cemetery in Hamilton, MA.
James Robert Shilling was born in Tulsa on May 14, 1914. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1934 (.272, 11 HR) and 1935 (.345, 24, 89 RBI). He won the league batting championship in 1935.
Jim played only one year in the majors. For the 1939 Cleveland Indians, he played second and short in 31 games with a batting average of .276. He finished the year with the Phillies in 11 games hitting .303 while playing second, short, third and in the outfield. In his career 42 games, he batted .282 with a .324 OBP and .420 slugging %. The right hander had a fielding % of .936.
In the minors, the right hander played from 1934-1942 and 1946-1948 for 15 clubs with four seasons hitting over .300. He played at "AAA" for three years.
Steve served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943-1945.
After baseball he residing in Tulsa where he worked until retirement.
He died at home on September 12, 1986, in Tulsa and was buried at
Memorial Park there.
Wilfred Charles Siebert was born on January 14, 1937, in St. Marys, MO. He played for the Minot Mallards in 1959 as an outfielder (.238, 5 HR, 45 RBI).
The year after he played in the Northern League, he began pitching and arrived in the majors in 1964 with the Cleveland Indians. He stayed on major league rosters for the next 11 years. Siebert was a late bloomer as he developed control and a devastating curveball.
With Cleveland from 1964-1968, he pitched in 41, 39, 34, 34 and 31 games, including 14, 27, 32, 26 and 30 starts, completing 156, 189, 241, 185 and 209 innings for ERAs of 3.23, 2.43, 2.80, 2.38 and 2.97. He appeared in the 1966 All Star game pitching two scoreless innings and had the best win/loss percentage in the league that year (16-8, .667) [he also had a 16-8 record in 1965]. In addition, he pitched a no-hitter on June 10, 1966. Sonny had injury-marred seasons in 1967 and 1968.
In 2010, he remembered the day he pitched his only no-hitter: "I was living in an apartment and part of my routine on days I pitched was to take it easy in the afternoon, but that day I went outside to play a light game of catch with my oldest son, Scott," Sonny said. "I remember going to the ballpark that night and wondered if I'd spent too much energy. I had a routine the day I pitched and I got away from that a bit.
"Washington had a lot of home run hitters, big heavy swingers. My start before I had my best stuff of the year and struck out about 15 hitters and it should have been 19 or 20. But the day of the no-hitter I didn't have that kind of stuff and I concentrated on keeping the ball down and it paid off because I threw a lot of ground balls. It was one of those days where everything was clicking."
After two games with the Indians in 1969, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox [obtained Apr. 19 with Joe Azcue and Vicente Romo for Ken Harrelson, Juan Pizarro and Dick Ellsworth] where he appeared in 43 games (22 starts) for 163 innings and a 3.80 ERA. He stayed with the Red Sox from 1970-1972 and pitched in 33, 32 and 32 games (all but two were starts) finishing 223, 235 and 196 innings for 3.44, 2.91 and 3.80 ERAs. Siebert had 15-8 and 16-10 records in 1970-71 and injured his ankle in 1972 climbing rocks at a seashore. The right hander was also chosen for the 1971 All Star game.
He made only two appearances for Boston in 1973 before he was sold to the Texas Rangers on May 4 with whom he pitched 25 games, including 20 starts, for a 3.99 ERA. On Oct. 26, he was traded to St. Louis for Tom Cruz and cash. In 1974, he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and pitched in 28 games (20 starts) with a 3.84 ERA. In September 11, he beat the Mets in the second-longest game by innings (25) in NL history.
On Nov. 18 he was obtained by San Diego with Alan Foster and Rich Folkers for Ed Brinkman and Dan Breeden. His MLB career ended in 1975 with 6 games for the Padres (27 inn, 4.39) and then he was dispatched to the A's on May 16 for Ted Kubiak (17 g, 61 inn, 3.69 ERA).
In a good 12-year career, he played in 399 games, including 307 starts for 2,152 innings allowing 1,919 hits, 692 walks with 1,512 strikeouts, a 3.21 ERA, .238 OAV and 140-144 record. His batting average was .173 with 12 home runs [six came in 1971 including two in one game.] He is the last American League pitcher to hit two home runs in one game (9-2-71).
As a minor leaguer from 1958-1963, he played for eight teams with two years in "AAA".
Before his pro career, Sonny was an outstanding basketball [he was
drafted by the St. Louis Hawks] and baseball player for the
University of Missouri. He stayed in baseball as a coach for another
15 seasons including assignments as a minor league pitching coach in
1985, 1988 and (for the Padres)1991-1992. Then he was a major league
coach from 1994-1995 for San Diego. He lives in St. Louis.
Wayne Kirby Simpson was born in Los Angeles on December 2, 1948.. He pitched for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1967 (4-3, 2.80 ERA). He excelled as a quarterback in high school.
In a 2011 interview with SABR member Rory Costello, he remembered Sioux Falls: "My parents always wanted me to go to school, but I went with baseball." When asked what it was like for a teenaged city guy to go to the Dakotas, Simpson responded, "Scary! I was homesick. I didn't give it much thought at first because I was signing. But when I got to Sioux Falls I just felt lost. It was a transition for me. Fortunately I had the best manager I think I ever had, Jim Snyder. He was a father figure away from home. He helped people adjust.
"I roomed with Fred Kendall and a guy named Sheldon Andrens in a Silver Bullet trailer. I had played against Fred, who was from Torrance, but I didn't really know him." Once that summer, Simpson -- who was a jazz fan and clarinet player jazz -- spent his last three dollars of meal money on a record album. He went the day without food which was tough for a guy who eat two one-pound steaks at a sitting. "It was a long two months!" he said told Costello with a laugh.
Wayne had an excellent rookie season for the Cincinnati Reds in 1970 making 26 starts with 176 innings and a 3.02 ERA. He won 13 on his first 14 decisions (the loss came when a dropped pop fly allowing two unearned runs) including a 1-hitter, a 2-hitter and a 3-hitter. Simpson led the league with the lowest OAV (.198) and was chosen for the All-Star game. Torn ligaments in his pitching arm limited him to just two appearances after July and he finished with a 14-3 record. The injury hurt him for the rest of his career - and post baseball life.
During the next two seasons he was up and down between the Reds and class "AAA". With the Big Club, he appeared in 22 and 24 games (all but three were starts) for 117 and 130 innings with ERAs of 4.76 and 4.14. On Nov. 30, 1972, he was traded to Kansas City with Hal McRae for Roger Nelson and Richie Scheinblum. "They were unfair to me and never were truthful," Simpson was quoted after the season. "They'd tell me that I'd pitch on certain days, then those days would come around and I wouldn't be pitching. That has to upset a person. After the World Series, I was steaming. It was building up for some time. I mean they promised me that I'd pitch in the Series and I didn't. It was evident that I didn't fit into their plans and I asked them to trade me."
The 1973 season was another one split between "AAA" and the Royals with whom he pitched in 16 games (10 starts) finishing 60 innings for a 5.73 ERA. On Mar. 28, 1974, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Jim Foor and on Apr. 5, 1975, he went to Philadelphia for Bill Robinson. With the Phillies, he was in only 7 games in 1975, including 5 starting assignments, with 31 innings and a 3.23 ERA. On Apr. 6, 1976, Simpson was sold to California.
Wayne ended his major league career with a complete 1977 season with the Angels. In 27 games (23 starts) and 122 innings, he had a 5.83 ERA. For his 6-year MLB career, he pitched in 122 games, including 102 starts, with 636 innings giving up 606 hits and 315 walks while striking out 353. His ERA was 4.37 with a .251 OAV and a 36-31 record..
As a minor league pitcher from 1967-1969, 1972-1976 and 1978-1979, he played for 11 teams with three years of ERAs near or lower then 3.00. He had eight seasons at class "AAA".
He finally quit in early 1979 before damage to the blood vessels in his pitching arm seriously threatened not only his limb but also his life. Following his most severe bout of the arm and shoulder cramps, the pitcher spent two weeks of rest following a doctor's orders. He then tried to warm up in the bullpen. Simpson remembers: "My arm just knotted up, and my hand got cold and white -- no feeling in it whatsoever. The doctor realized there was no blood circulating in my hand. He rubbed it and told me that I had to have an operation right away, or I could lose the hand."
Simpson's blood clot in his arm could have easily caused a stroke. He was an extreme example of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), a repetitive stress disorder to which pitchers (as well as swimmers and tennis players) are prone. In the 2011 Costello interview, Simpson said, "The doctors later told me that the force of pitching kept my blood clots down. Otherwise they could have traveled from my subclavian artery to my head. They wanted to operate in Mexico City, but I said I didn't want to do it there." He went home and had four bypass operations in an effort to restore normal circulation.
"When a dye was finally put in," he said in 1981, "it illuminated the inside of my arm and pictures were revealing. The doctors were amazed at what they saw. Over the course of my pitching career, I had rubbed out an entire artery." At that point, he could not write more than half of a page before his hand would start to grow numb. That ended his attempt to get a real-estate broker's license, which he had begun to do before the '79 season.
Simpson eventually sued to obtain worker's compensation benefits from the Angels and Dodgers. "We worked something out," he said in 2011. "Without getting into too much detail, there was a settlement. I had a lawyer here...he directed me." When asked by Costello how his arm and hand felt, Simpson responded: "It hurts! I still have pain in the hand and under the arm. It's a permanent disability. I'm just used to it now."
He added: "The first four bypasses would not take. The clots came back. I went to the clinic of Dr. Denton Cooley in Texas, and they did a sympathectomy." That is a procedure which involved cutting nerves in the chest to help restore the flow of blood to the arm and hand. The same doctor who had done one on Whitey Ford (who also had TOS) as early as 1964 completed the procedure. "But the sympathectomy just released blood to the veins," Simpson said. "The artery is gone. I have had one health problem after another, and it all goes back to pitching with that torn rotator cuff, taking cortisone shot after cortisone shot. But mentally, I'm fine."
Wayne lives in Carson, CA.
[Please see Rory Costello's bio on Simpson at: SABR.org]
David Lindsey Skaggs was born on June 12, 1951, in Santa Monica, CA. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1969 (.314, 4 HR, 31 RBI).
Dave was a good-fielding back-up catcher for four MLB seasons. With the 1977-1979 Baltimore Orioles, he played in 80, 36 and 63 games with batting averages of .287, .151 and .248 and fielding percentages of .995, .988 and .984. In the 1979 ALCS, he was 0 for 4 in one game and in the World Series, that year, he appeared in one game going 1 for 3. After two games with the 1980 Orioles on May 13, he was sold to the Angels where he finished his big league career in 24 games batting .197.
Skaggs was popular with his teammates for his humor. In 205 MLB games, Dave had 510 at bats and batted .241 with a .310 OBP and .302 slugging %. His fielding average was .988. His first two big league homers, of three total, came in the last games of two different seasons - both off Rick Wise. Back problems ended his career prematurely.
As a minor league catcher, he was with seven teams from 1969-1975 with two years in class "AAA". He was in the military in 1970.
Dave lives in Riverside, CA.
Louis Mortimer Sleator was born in St. Louis, on September 8, 1926. He pitched for the Sioux Fall Canaries in 1948 (3-3, 3.86). Lou attended the University of Maryland.
Lou had 7 seasons with MLB activity, but only spent one complete
year with a major league club. In April 1950, he pitched in one game
and one scoreless inning with the St. Louis Browns. With them in
1951, he was in 20 games, including 8 starts, for 81 innings and a
5.11 ERA. On July 31 he was traded to the Yankees with Bob Hogue,
Kermit Wahl and Tom Upton for Cliff Mapes. He never played for New
The left handed knuckleballer pitched 4 games for the Browns in 1952 (9 inn, 7.27) and then, on May 12, was traded to Washington with Freddie Marsh for Cass Michaels. For the Senators he was in 14 games (9 starts) completing 57 innings with a 3.63 ERA. In a game, that year for the Senators, he got Walt Dropo to pop up ending his 12-straight-hits streak. He did not return to the majors until 1955, with the Kansas City A's [obtained on Apr. 28 for cash], where he pitched in 16 games for 26 innings and a 7.71 ERA.
The 1956 season was his only complete one in MLB. With the Milwaukee Braves he was used in 25 games for 46 innings compiling a 3.15 ERA. In 1957, he pitched in a career-high 41 games for 69 innings and a 3.76 ERA with the Tigers. Then, after 4 more games with Detroit in 1958 (5 inn, 6.75 ERA), he was claimed on June 2 waivers by the Orioles with whom he pitched in 6 games for 7 innings and a 12.86 ERA.
In his career 131 games and 301 innings, he allowed 306 hits and 172 walks with 152 strikeouts, a 4.70 ERA and .263 OAV. His record was 12-18.
In the minors from 1946-1955 and 1957-1958, he pitched with 16 teams. He had six seasons with ERAs near or under 3.00 and was at the class "AAA" level for six years.
According to his son, he was a better hockey player then a
baseball pitcher. Lou became a steel company sales rep after baseball
while living in Townsend, MD. After retirement from that occupation,
he concentrated on golf wining a number of local senor tournaments.
He died in Timonium, MD on March 25, 2013.
Dwain Clifford Sloat ("Lefty") was born in Nokomis, IL, on December 1, 1918. He pitched for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1938 (6-6), 1939 (10-14, 3.21 ERA) and 1940 (15-7, 2.46).
Lefty had two short stints in the majors. He pitched for 4 games (one start) for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 finishing 7 innings with a 6.14 ERA. Then, in 1949, he was in 5 games and 9 innings for the Cubs (7.00). He had a 9 game MLB career completing 16 innings giving up 21 hits and 11 walks for a 6.61 ERA and .350 OAV.
In the minors from 1938-1941 and 1946-1952, he played on 17 clubs with three seasons of pitching under 3.00 ERA. In 1947, he led the Texas league in ERA and strikeouts.
Dwain served from 1942-1945 in the military and fought in the
Battle of the Bulge. He worked for Hamm's Brewery and later Pabst
Brewing in St. Paul, MN, for 29 years. He died, from a heart attack,
in St. Paul on April 18, 2003. Burial was at the Union Cemetery in
William Garland Smith was born on June 8, 1934, in Washington, DC. He pitched for the 1954 Winnipeg Goldeyes (17-8, 2.93).
Bill had two short and one longer stints in the majors. In 1958 and 1959, he had brief turns with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2 and 6 games for 10 and 8 innings compiling 6.52 and 1.08 ERAs. On Dec. 4, 1959, he was traded with Bobby Gene Smith to Philadelphia for Carl Sawatski. The left hander's last appearances came in 1962 for the Phillies as he pitched in 24 games, including 5 starts for 50 innings and a 4.29 ERA.
Bill's career numbers were: 32 games, 68 innings, 82 hits, 17 walks, 34 strikeouts, 4.21 ERA and .304 OAV.
As a minor leaguer from 1953-1964, he pitched for 14 teams with 2 seasons of ERAs under 3.00. He was at the class "AAA" level for eight years.
Bill lived in Jamestown, NC, after his baseball career. He later
moved to Clinton, MD, where he died on March 30, 1997, and was buried
at the Resurrection Cemetery there.
Clay Jamieson Smith was born in Cambridge, KS, on September 11, 1914. He pitched for the 1935 (5-3) and 1936 (15-5, 3.13) Fargo-Moorhead Twins. He led the league in ERA and win/loss percentage in 1936.
Clay had two short tours of duty in major league uniforms. In 1938, for the Cleveland Indians, he was in 4 games and 11 innings with a 6.55 ERA and in 1940, for the Detroit Tigers, he pitched 14 games, including one start, for 28 innings and a 5.08 ERA. His career ERA was 5.49 and his OAV was .309. He entered Game 4 of the 1940 World Series with the Tigers losing in the third inning and allowed one earned run in 4 innings, but the Tigers did not come back. They eventually lost the Series in 7 games to Cincinnati.
As a minor leaguer from 1935-1943, he pitched for nine clubs having better then a 3.00 ERA for two of them. He was in "AAA" for four years.
Prior to his pro baseball years, Clay attended Southwestern College and was on the wrestling and track teams. He is a member of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame and, in 2000, was inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.
After his playing career, Smith returned to Cambridge, KS, where
he became a rancher, mail carrier and a father as he and his wife
raised two sons and a daughter. He died at the Winfield Rest Haven
near his ranch on March 5, 2002. Burial was at the Cambridge
George Cornelius Smith was born on July 7, 1937, in St. Petersburg. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1959 (.237, 3 HR, 30 RBI). George played baseball for two years with the Negro League's Indianapolis Clowns before his minor league playing days. Smith also attended Michigan State.
George had only one complete major league season. In 1963-1965, he was up and down between the Tigers and their "AAA" affiliate for 52, 5 and 32 games as a utility infielder batting .216, .286 and .094 in 171, 7 and 53 at bats. On October 4, 1965, he was traded with George Thomas to Boston for Bill Monbouquette.
He had his career year in 1966 with the Red Sox as their starting second baseman and occasional shortstop in 128 games with a batting average of .213 and a fielding average of .969. In his spring training of 1967, he tore cartilage in a knee which hastened the end of his career.
Life-time he played in 128 MLB games hitting .205 with a .278 OBP and .309 slugging % in 217 at bats. His fielding average was .974 and he was 1 for 10 as a pinch hitter.
The right hander played in the minor leagues from 1958-1965 and 1967-1968 for 11 teams with averages over .300 for two of them. He was at class "AAA" for six seasons.
He became a physical education teacher at Bay Point Middle School in St. Petersburg and a recreation aide to the community center. He was also a maintenance supervisor at a local bank. His death, caused by cancer, came at the Bayfront Medical Center, in St. Petersburg, on June 15, 1987. His burial was at the Lincoln Cemetery in Gulfport, FL.
Willie Smith was born on February 11, 1939, in Anniston, AL. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1960 (.297, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 10-6, 2.96). Smith was an amateur boxer.
During his early career, Willie played outfield, first base and pitched. In 1963, for the Tigers, he was used as a pitcher in 11 games (2 starts) and 22 innings with a 4.57 ERA. On Apr. 28, 1964, he was traded to the Angels for Julio Navarro and, that year with them, he was in the outfield 87 times (.301 in 359 at bats) and appeared as a pitcher in 15 games for 32 innings and a 2.84 ERA. He also was 9-for-15 as a pinch hitter. On June 4, Smith pinch hit, played the outfield and relieved in the 8th inning. From 1965-1966 he was used only as an outfielder/first baseman in 136 and 90 games batting .261 and .185. He was 5 for 41 as a pinch hitter in 1966. On Oct. 13, 1966, he was sold to Cleveland.
During the 1967 season for the Indians, the left hander hit .219 in 21 games and 32 at bats. In 1968, he made his last MLB appearances on the mound with 2 games for the Indians (5 inn., 0.00 ERA) and one game for the Cubs (3 inn,, 0.00 ERA). Offensively, he hit .143 in 42 at bats for the Tribe and .275 with 142 at bats for the Cubs [obtained on June 28 for Lou Johnson].
Willie continued his MLB career with the Cubs from 1969-1970 playing in 103 and 87 games with averages of .246 and .216. He was 12 for 40 and 9 for 40 as a PH those two years. On Nov. 30, 1970, he was sent to Cincinnati for Danny Breeden. His career ended in 1971, for the Reds, in 31 games and a .164 batting average.
Smith is the only black player to appear in at least 20 games as a pitcher and 20 as a fielder. He appeared in 691 games with 29 coming as a pitcher. His batting average was .248 with a .297 OBP and .395 slugging %. Willie's pinch hitting mark was 54 for 239. As a pitcher in 61 innings, he gave up 60 hits and 24 walks with 39 strikeouts, a 3.10 ERA and .273 OAV. His fielding % was .975.
He was best remembered by Cubs fans for his extra inning walk-off home run at Wrigley Field on Opening Day, April 8, 1969, which resulted in a Cub win over the Phillies.
He was a minor leaguer from 1960-1964, 1967 and 1971, playing with 7 teams. He batted over .300 for 2 teams, had ERAs under 3.00 for four clubs and was in "AAA" for four years. In 1963, he hit .380 and was 14-2 on the mound for Syracuse (IL).
Willie became a foundry worker in his home town of Anniston and later lived in Oxford, AL. He died on January 16, 2006, due to a heart attack, in Anniston, AL, and burial was at the Maple Grove Cemetery there.
"I really thought the world of Willie Smith," former Chicago Cubs shortstop Don Kessinger was quoted. "Willie was an exceptional hitter. But he also was an exceptional teammate."
Former Jacksonville State University baseball coach Rudy Abbott,
who grew up playing baseball with Smith, said Smith often helped
struggling hitters on the JSU team and helped out with youth baseball
camps. "I always thought he missed his calling," Abbott
said. "He would have been a tremendous big-league or college
hitting coach. He had the ability to communicate, to put people at
ease, the knowledge to teach them and help them understand and unlock
the secret of what they needed to do."
Joseph Blaise Sparma was born in Massillon, OH, on February 2, 1942. He pitched for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1963 (2-4, 4.60 ERA) after signing with the Tigers for a bonus. [Sparma pitched in eight games, striking out 58 in 43 innings. He also threw a five-hit shutout over Bismarck-Mandan to help the Dukes win the 1963 Northern League championship.] Joe platooned at quarterback in Ohio State's Big Ten championship season in 1961. After three seasons, he quit football because of differences with coach Woody Hayes. He also pitched for the Ohio State baseball team.
Sparma arrived to the Tigers in May 1964 and, that season, pitched in 21 games (11 starts) for 84 innings and a 3.00 ERA. He stayed full-time with Detroit from 1965-1969 with appearances in 30, 29, 37, 34 and 23 games, including 28, 13, 37, 31 and 16 starting assignments, finishing 167, 92, 218, 182 and 93 innings with ERAs of 3.18, 5.30, 3.76, 3.70 and 4.76. During spring training in 1966, he injured the index finger on his pitching hand while closing a car door. Sparma's recurrent control problems that season prompted interim Tigers manager Bob Swift to remark, "The son of a bitch looks like he never threw a baseball in his life."
After the '66 seasons, the Tigers suggested that Sparma abandon his elaborate windup and decrease the amount of time between pitches. He arrived for 1967 spring training weighing 192 pounds, 10 pounds less than in 1966. However, he had difficulty controlling his weight and was a chain smoker throughout his career - a fact which some believed had a detrimental effect on his pitching performance. His 1967 season turned out to be his best.
Sparma lost his spot in the rotation late in 1968 after rather poor performances during the season which was punctuated with an argument with manager Mayo Smith. But, in an emergency start on September 17, he beat the Yankees to clinch the pennant. He appeared in the 1968 World Series for 1/3 of an inning allowing 2 hits and a large 54.00 ERA.
On Dec. 3, 1969, he was traded to Montreal for Jerry Robertson. There he ended his MLB career in 1970 with 9 games pitching 29 innings with a 7.06 ERA. Arm problems derailed his career at age 28. Sparma often had control problems and, in his 7-year, 183-game, 865- inning career, he gave up 774 hits and 436 walks while striking out 586. His ERA was 3.94, OAV was .239 and his record was 52-52.
"You couldn't even play catch with the guy," recalled former teammate and Northern Leaguer John Hiller. "He never knew where the ball was going to wind up. It was all mental with him. When he was on, he had better stuff than Nolan Ryan. He just never figured out how to harness it."
As a minor leaguer from 1963-1964 and 1970-1971, he pitched for six teams with two years at class "AAA".
After baseball, he became the Vice President of National Accounts for Worthington (later "Buckeye") Steel while living in Columbus, OH. In May 1986, Sparma had a heart attack and was in a Columbus hospital. He died at age 44 May 14, 1986, from complications following triple-bypass surgery. He was buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Worthington.
[See a much more detailed bio at SABR.org]
Robert Charles Speake ("Spook") was born on August 22, 1930, in Springfield, MO. He played for the Sioux Falls Canaries in 1949 (.181, 0 HR, 12 RBI). Bob attended Southwest Missouri State.
Bob played 95 games as a rookie for the 1955 Cubs batting .218 including 5 for 24 as a pinch hitter. He hit 10 homers by June, but cooled off after that. He spent a complete season with the Cubs in 1957 playing outfield and first base while hitting .232 and having a 9-for-23 PH mark. On Apr. 3, 1958, he was sent with cash to San Francisco for Bobby Thomson.
In 1958, for the Giants, he was in 66 games (.211) with only 10 coming as an outfielder and the remainder as a pinch hitter (7 for 41). The left hander ended his MLB career with 15 games as a pinch hitter (1 for 15) for the Giants in 1959.
In 305 games and 761 at bats, Bob batted .223 with a .302 OBP and .406 slugging %. He was 22 for 99 as a pinch hitter, had a .966 fielding % and hit 21 home runs. .
As a minor leaguer from 1949-1951, 1954, 1956 and 1959, he played for seven clubs hitting .300 for one of them. He had two class "AAA" seasons.
Bob was in the military from 1952-1953 and, after baseball, Speake
entered the bowling business in Springfield. Three years later, he
started his career in insurance eventually rising to Executive Vice
President of American Investors Life and helped found American Family
Life company and operated it for 31 years until his retirement in
Topeka, KS. He still resides there.
Stanley Orville Spence was born in South Portsmouth, KY, on March 20, 1915. He played for the 1935 Eau Claire Muskies (.281, 9 HR, 42 RBI).
Stan played 51 and 86 games for the Boston Red Sox in 1940-1941 hitting .279 and .232 and going 11 for 33 and 6 for 33 as a pinch hitter. On Dec. 13, 1941, he was traded to Washington with Jack Wilson for Kent Chase and John Welaj.
In 1942-1944 and 1946-1947, he had his career years as a starting outfielder with the Washington Senators. He was chosen for the All-Star game in 1942 and also played in the 1944, 1946 and 1947 games. His regular season batting averages were 323, .267, .316, .292 and .279 while playing in 149, 149, 153, 152 and 147 games. He led the American League in triples (15) in 1942 and drove in 100 runs in 1944. Spence was in the U.S. Navy from March to November, 1945.
On Dec. 10, 1947, he went to the Boston Red Sox for Leon Culberson and Al Kozar. With them in 1948, he played in 114 games and compiled a .235 batting average. His last MLB season was 1949 when he played 7 games for Boston (.150) and 104 for the St. Louis Browns (.245) [obtained May 8 with cash for Al Zarilla]. .
Spence was a superlative outfielder with fine range and throwing ability. As a 9-year major league veteran, he played in 1,112 games with an average of .282, OBP of .369 and slugging % of .437. He played 990 games in the outfield and 19 at first base compiling a .984 fielding %. His pinch hitting record was 22-for-98.
He played in the minor leagues from 1935-1940 and 1950-1952 for 11 teams hitting over .300 for three of them. His "AAA" experience was six years.
After baseball, Stan was involved with a number of businesses over the years including a septic tank business and he later opened a boys' camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains with former Red Sox teammate Herb Hash. Spence also worked for the Gardner Construction Co. for many years. He loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed dancing while living in Kinston.
A heavy smoker, Spence died of emphysema on January 9, 1983, in Lenoir Memorial Hospital. His burial was at the Maplewood Cemetery in Kinston.
[Please see a much more complete bio at SABR.org]
Stanley Kenneth Sperry was born in Evansville, WI, on February 19, 1914. He played for the 1933 (.318, 6 HR) and 1934 (.322, 6) Eau Claire Cardinals/Bears.
Stan was a back-up second baseman for the 1936 Philadelphia Phillies and the 1938 Philadelphia A's playing in 20 and 60 games with averages of .135 and .273. He played a career 80 games with 290 at bats for a .255 average, .299 OBP and .307 slugging %. The left handed batter was 1 for 3 as a pinch hitter and had a .951 fielding % with 75 games at second.
As a minor leaguer, he played from 1933-1943 for 12 teams hitting over .300 for 7 of them. He was at the class AAA level for 4 seasons.
Stan was a deputy for the Rock County (WI) sheriff's department
and later operated a restaurant and tavern in his home town of
Evansville. He died, after a brief illness, at the St. Clare Hospital
in Monroe, WI, on September 27, 1962. His burial was at the Maple
Hill Cemetery in Evansville.
Scipio Ronald Spinks was born on July 12, 1947, in Chicago. He played for the Bismarck-Mandan Pards in 1966 (1-1, 2.54 ERA). He is the cousin of former Northern Leaguer and MLB pitcher, Wayne Simpson.
In 2009, Spinks was asked him what it was like going from Chicago to North Dakota and he responded: "They thought all the black guys were American Indians -- cultural shock." On August 26, 1966, he set a Northern League record by striking out 20 in a game. His opposing pitcher was Sioux Falls' Gary Nolan who fanned 17. Neither hurler got a decision as they were both gone when Bismarck scored the game's only run in the 10th inning. A total of 41 men struck out
He still remembered that game: "I believe that . . . [it] is still a record for nine innings for the most strikeouts by two pitchers. In the ninth inning, my manager, Tony Pacheco, told me, if I strike out the next three batters, he would buy me a steak dinner. Never got it." Spinks pitched mainly in relief in '66 pitching 39 innings in 15 games. He struck out 52 and walked 26.
Scipio played ball over five major league seasons, but each session was brief. With the Astros from 1969-1971, he pitched in 1, 5 and 5 games for 2, 14 and 29 innings for 0.00, 9.88 and 3.68 ERAs. On Apr. 15, 1972, he was traded with Lance Clemons for Jerry Reuss.
The right hander pitched in a career-high 16 games (all starts) for the Cardinals in 1972 completing 118 innings for a good 2.67 ERA, but the year was shortened because of a knee injury. In 1973 he developed shoulder problems and only appeared in 8 games for a 4.89 ERA. On Mar. 23, 1974, he was sent to the Cubs for Jim Hickman, but never appeared in a game for them.
Spinks was a hard thrower, but extremely wild. In an injury-reduced career of 35 games, including 29 starts, he finished 202 innings and allowed 175 hits and 107 walks while striking out 154. His ERA was 3.70 with a .234 OAV.
As a minor leaguer from 1966-1971 and 1974-1975, he pitched for nine teams with ERAs under 3.00 for three of them. He spent five years at class "AAA" and pitched a no-hitter in 1969 for Oklahoma City.
In 1989, he played in the Senor Professional Baseball Association. In November 1994, he became the Padres pitching coach for Idaho Falls (Pioneer). He also spent the 1995 season there and then moved on to Clinton (Midwest) in 1996.
In 1997, Spinks became a free agent scout. In 2009, he noted: "I have 16 teams that I'm responsible for, in eight different organizations, in the Texas League and the PCL. I [also] work with young pitchers in the Houston area and I have seen more and more young black kids playing baseball." He lives in Sugar Land, TX.
[Please see Rory Costello's bio on SABR.org]
Charles William Sproull was born on January 9, 1919, in Taylorsville, GA. He pitched for the Eau Claire Bears in 1939 (5-12, 5.61) and 1940 (13-11, 3.56).
Hampered by wildness, Charlie played one season in the majors. For the 1945 Philadelphia Phillies, he pitched in 34 games, including 19 starts, completing 130 innings allowing 158 hits, 80 walks while striking out 47. His ERA was 5.94, OAV was .298 and he had a 4-10 record.
The right hander pitched in the minors from 1938-1944 and 1946-1948 for 14 clubs. He had two seasons with ERAs under 3.00 and performed at the "AAA" level for three years. In 1944, he was 16-4 with a 2.40 ERA in the American Association.
After his baseball career ended, Charlie became a tool and die
maker for National Lock Company from which he retired in 1978 after
30 years of service. He died on January 13, 1980, at the Rockford
Memorial Hospital in Rockford, IL, and was buried at the Greenwood
Larry Floyd Stahl was born in Belleville, IL, on June 29, 1941. He played for the Minot Mallards in 1962 (.270, 5 HR, 52 RBI). He also made some pitching appearances that year (1-0, 4.20 ERA).
The left hander played for the Kansas City A's from 1964-1966 for 15, 28 and 119 games with 46, 81 and 312 at bats batting .261, .198 and .250. He was used as an outfielder and pinch hitter (7 for 31 in 1966). On Oct. 14, 1966, he claimed on waivers by the New York Mets. With the New Yorkers in 1967-1968, he played in 71 and 53 games hitting .239 and .235 including his first appearances as a first baseman.
Stahl was selected in the expansion draft by the San Diego Padres with whom he played from 1969-1972 for 95, 52, 114 and 107 games with averages of .198, .182, .253 and .226. He led the league in pinch at bats in 1969, going 6-for-44.
On Nov. 30, 1972, he was sold to Cincinnati. His MLB career ended in 1973 for the Reds in 76 games with a batting average of .225 and he was 11-for-45 as a PH. In the '73 NLCS, he was 2-for-4 as a pinch hitter.
Over his 10-year career, he played in 730 games, had 1,721 at bats and batted .232 with a .293 OBP and .351 slugging percentage. He was 52-for-252 as a pinch hitter and held a .983 fielding mark.
As a minor leaguer from 1960-1968, 1970 and 1974, he played with 11 clubs with two years of averages over .335. He was in class "AAA" for five seasons.
Larry was later employed in Smithton, IL, by the Peabody Coal
Company. He now lives in his home town of Belleville.
George Walborn Staller ("Stopper") was born on April 1, 1916, in Rutherford Heights, PA. He made a few appearances as a player for the 1956 Aberdeen Pheasants while managing them.
George had one taste of the majors in 1943 for the Philadelphia A's. In 21 games, the left handed outfielder, batted .271 with 85 at bats and had a .326 OBP with a .459 slugging %. His fielding % was .977 with 20 games in the outfield.
In the minors from 1937-1943 and 1946-1953 he played with 17 teams with averages over .300 for nine of them. He played at the "AAA" level for six seasons and also played a few games from 1954-1956 and 1958 while managing minor league teams.
George served in the U.S. Marines in the Pacific from 1944-1945,
was a minor league manager from 1948-1961 (A's organization 1948-53
and Orioles '54-'61 with a 922-1,043 record) and a major league coach
with the Orioles in 1962 and 1969-1975. He was also a scout for
Baltimore from 1963-1968. In 1976, he retired and lived in
Harrisburg, PA, where he died on July 3, 1992, at the Harrisburg
Hospital. His burial was at the Hershey Cemetery in Hershey, PA.
Frederick Blair Stanley was born in Farnhamville, IA, on August 13, 1947. He played with the Bismarck-Mandan Pards in 1966 (.261, 0 HR, 0 RBI). Stanley was originally signed by the Houston Astros.
Fred's first six MLB seasons were partial ones, but he had eight complete ones thereafter. He first came up in 1969 after being drafted by with the expansion Seattle Pilots where he hit .279 in 17 games. Fred stayed with the organization as it moved to Milwaukee for whom he made 6 appearances in 1970 with no official at bats.
With the Indians in 1971 he was used as a shortstop/second baseman in 60 games and batted .225. After 6 games with the Tribe in 1972 (.167) , the right hander moved on to the Padres [obtained June 11 for Mike Kilkenny] for 39 games and a .200 average. He then settled in with the New York Yankees from 1973-1980 as utility infielder and occasional starting shortstop. During those years, Fred played in 26, 33, 117, 110, 48, 81, 57 and 49 games with batting averages of .212, .184, .222, .238, .261, .219, .200 and .209. He appeared in the 1976-1978 ALCS going 5-for-15, 0-for-0 and 1-for-5. In the World Series, those years, he was 1-for 6, 0-for-0 and 1-for-5.
On Nov. 3, 1980, he was traded with Brian Doyle to Oakland for Mike Morgan. With the A's in 1981 for 66 games, he batted .193 and played in the division series (0 for 6) and the ALCS (1 for 3). His last year was with the A's in 1982 when he played 101 games for a batting average of .193.
Fred was obviously not in the majors for his bat as he had a good .971 fielding % with 648 games played at short, 128 at second, 40 at third and 1 at first base. He did hit .216 in 816 games and 1,650 at bats with a .302 OBP and .263 slugging %. Stanley outlasted virtually every other shortstop of his generation by providing slick late-inning defense.
He was in the minors from 1966-1971 and 1973-1974 with 10 teams having hit over .300 in one season. His class "AAA" experience was for five years.
Fred was in the military in 1967 and, after retiring as a player,
became the Oakland A's director of instruction. He was a major league
coach for the Brewers in 1991 On October 12, 2007, he was appointed
as the Giants' Director of Player Development. Prior to that, he held
several positions in the Giants' organization, including spending
2000-2004 as a minor league manager Stanley lives in Scottsdale,
Mitchell Jack Stanley was born in Grand Rapids, MI, on July 20, 1942. He played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1961 (.223, 2 HR, 22 RBI) and 1962 (.285, 4 HR, 43 RBI). Mickey attended Grand Rapids Community College.
Stanley once was quoted in "Accent/Grand Rapids" about his time in the Northern League: "The first game I played was in Grand Forks and it was snowing. I had a typical day, 0 for 4." After 44 games, batting only .223, he was sent down to the Class D Midwest League.
In 1968 Stanley told "TSN": "I first met [Jim] Northrup in 1961 at Tigertown.…The following October, I met [Willie] Horton." They also played together at Duluth.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"One of the great defensive outfielders of the modern era, Mickey Stanley made no errors in both 1968 and 1970 while playing in more than 140 games each year. He won Gold Glove Awards in both of those seasons and also in 1969 and 1974. During his 15-year career he recorded errorless streaks of 164 and 220 games. Yet this great defensive outfielder is best remembered as a World Series shortstop.
"Stanley was the focal point of an unusual managerial strategy in the 1968 World Series. Tigers' manager Mayo Smith, looking to add a bat to his lineup to counter Cardinals pitching - and also as a sentimental gesture toward Al Kaline, who had never appeared in a Series in his 15 years with Detroit - moved Stanley to shortstop and installed Kaline in the outfield for the Series. The move paid off: Stanley made no important errors while Kaline batted .379 and drove in eight runs to help the Tigers win their first world championship since 1945. Regular shortstop Ray Oyler whose anemic .135 average had helped Smith decide to pull the daring move with Stanley, finished each of Detroit's four Series victories as a defensive replacement while Stanley move back to the outfield."
Mickey had an unusual career because he was with the same team for 15 years. From 1964-1978, he played in 4, 30, 92, 145, 153, 149, 142, 139, 142, 157, 99, 52, 84, 75 and 53 games batting .273, .239, .289, .210, .259, .235, .252, .292, .234, .244, .221, .256, .257, .230 and .265. In the last 5 years of his career, he became a utility player with games at first and third bases in addition to roaming the outfield. In the 1968 World Series, he was 6 for 28 and made 2 errors. In the 1972 ALCS, he was 2 for 6 and played at his familiar outfield position. Stanley had a 1.000 fielding records in 1968 and 1970 and tied an AL record for putouts in a game with 11 on July 13, 1973. At the time of his retirement, he held the Tigers record for highest career fielding average for outfielders.
The right hander played 1,516 games and had 5,022 at bats for an average of .248, OBP of .300 and .377 slugging percentage. His career fielding mark was .991 in 1,290 outfield games, 94 at first base, 74 at short, 18 at third and 4 at second base. He was 27 for 99 as a pinch hitter.
In the minors from 1961-1965, he played on seven teams with two seasons in class "AAA".
Mickey became a manufacturer's rep while living in West Bloomfield, MI, and later worked with his son developing subdivisions. A golfer, he has played in numerous charity events. In 2011, a charity baseball tournament ("Mickey Stanley Baseball Tournament") was held in Grand Rapids. He now lives in Brighton , MI.
[Please see a much more complete bio at SABR.org]
Wilver Dornel Stargell was born on March 6, 1940, in Earlsboro, OK. He played for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1960 (.260, 11 HR, 61 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Willie Stargell was at the center of the Pittsburgh Pirates offense for nearly 20 years. It was his class, decency, ebullience, and leadership that had the greatest influence on his team's performance. His most famous saying was 'The umpire says 'Play Ball,' not 'work ball.' After Roberto Clemente's tragic death in 1972, Stargell reluctantly assumed the role of team leader. Before long he relished it.
"Stargell played the game with a combination of professional intensity and childlike joy. His silly pregame catches with Manny Sanguillen were worth the price of admission. During one game later in Stargell's career, he was given the steal sign. When it became obvious he was going to be called out by yards, he signaled for a time out. Wilver Stargell has lived his lived his life with the poise and dignity of one who has witnessed human behavior at its worse and had decided to rise above it. While playing in Texas and New Mexico at age 18, he became disillusioned by the racism surrounding him. He nearly quit the game after a rabid fan held a shotgun to his head and threatened to kill him if he got a hit that night. After a dispiriting performance in the 1971 World Series Willie told writer Roger Angell, who followed baseball for 'The New Yorker', 'There's a time in a man's life when he has to decide if he's going to be a man.'
"In his rookie season in 1963 Stargell hit .243 with 11 homers in 304 at bats. Splitting his play between the outfield and first base in 1964, he batted 421 times and belted 21 homers, including the first home run ever hit at Shea Stadium. He won the regular left field job the next year, and responded with 27 homers and the first five of five 100-RBI seasons. He averaged 27 homers in cavernous Forbes Field during the five seasons, including seven shout over the 86-foot high stands in right field. In the park's 61-year history that feat was accomplished only 18 times.
"When the Pirates move to Three River Stadium in June 1790 Stargell finally had a park suited to his power game. He hit the first Pirates homer there and finished the season with 31. In one game that season he tied a major league record with five extra-base hits. The Pirates won their division although they were swept by the Reds in the NLCS. The next season Stargell took full advantage of his new home. He hit a career-high 48 homers to lead the National League while batting .295, with 125 RBIs for the NL East champs. His record-setting 11 home runs in April included two three-homer games. Stargell also led the league with 154 strikeouts, and finishing his career with 1936 - the all-time leader until Reggie Jackson passed him. The Bucs won the NLCS as well as the World Series, as Clemente put on a clinic. Stargell, however, had just five hits and only one RBI in the Series after going 0-for-14 in the NLCS.
"About this time Stargell opened a fried chicken restaurant in Pittsburgh's Hill District. As a promotional idea, the chicken was free for anyone who was waiting in line to order when Stargell hit a home run. Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince began to call for him to homer with the words, 'Come on, Wilver. Let's spread some chicken on the Hill.'
"Stargell assembled a .293 average, 33 homers and 112 RBIs as the Pirates again won the NL East in 1972. But Stargell and his teammates were forced to shallow a bitter pill that winter. Clemente died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972, while trying to deliver relief supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. Clemente's proud, almost regal, style of play had been the heart of the Pirates for years. Adding to the team's problems was the replacement of Danny Murtaugh, their easygoing manager, by the intense Bill Virdon. Stargell rose to the occasion. In a year when no team seemed to want to win the NL East (the Mets finally prevailed with an 82-79 record), he almost single-handedly yanked the Bucs into the playoffs. Despite being back to the outfield, then returned to first base, he hit .299 and led the league in slugging, doubles, homers (44), and RBIs (119). But Pete Rose hit .338 that year with 230 hits for the division-champion Reds, and Stargell finished second in the MVP voting again.
"Stargell averaged 25 homers and 93 RBIs in the next two seasons as the Pirates won their division but lost the NLCS to the Dodgers and the Reds. Then came 1976 and 1977, nightmare years for Stargell, In 1976 his wife, Delores, was diagnosed with a blood clot on her brain; a distracted Stargell hit .257 with 65 RBIs. The next year he tried to break up a fight on the field and ended up with a pinched nerve in his left elbow that ended his season and his streak of 13 consecutive years of hitting at least 20 homers. The 1978 season was a turnaround for both the Pirates and also Stargell. He hit .295 with 28 homers and 97 RBIs and won the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award. The Pirates chased the Phillies down to the wired before finishing 1 ½ games back.
"The Bucs picked up in 1979 where they had left off the year before. They won one clutch game after another to hold off the Expos and clinched the division on the last day of the season. In a key September series a wild throw by Stargell cost the Bucs a game. 'I saw the deep man,' Stargell joked. 'He was wide open, but I overthrew him.' The next day Stargell slugged a monstrous home run to all but clinch the pennant. He had only 424 at bats that season - he was, after all, 39 - but his 32 homers and 82 RBIs were good enough for him to be named the National League co-MVP, with Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals. It was the first time the award had ever ended in a tie and Stargell was the oldest man ever to be named MVP.
"Then came the 1979 NLCS and World Series... He hit .455 in the NLCS... In the World Series the Pirates had to fight back from a 3-1 deficit to force a seventh game with the Orioles... He hit .400 for the Series with three homers, seven RBIs and four doubles, setting a Series record with 25 total bases. He also achieved a rare triple coup by being named MVP of the NLCS and of the World Series...In addition he was 'The Sporting News' Man of the Year and the 'Sports Illustrated' Co-Sportsman of the Year, with local Stellers quarterback Terry Bradshaw...
"After the glory of 1979 Stargell's body began to slow down. The slugger retired in 1982 and on September 6, 1982, the team and the city honored him with a day at Three Rivers - an outpouring of affection for the man they called 'Pops'..."
In 21 seasons and 2,360 games, Willie hit .282, with a .363 OBP and .529 slugging %, had 475 career home runs and a .961 fielding average with 1,296 games played in the outfield and 848 played at first. On mid-1990's career hitting leader charts he was 26th in slugging %, 43rd in total bases, 65th in games played, 120th in hits, 80th in doubles, 17th in home runs, 19th in home run %, 27th in extra base hits, 32nd in RBI, 128th in runs scored and 2nd in strikeouts.
After retiring from baseball as a player, he volunteered much of
his time to many organizations attempting to better society. He also
became a Pirates' minor league hitting instructor and, in 1985, one
of their major league coaches. From 1986-1988 he was a coach with the
Braves and, in his first year of eligibility, in 1988, he was elected
to the Hall of Fame. During the last three years of his life, he
suffered from a kidney disorder. In late March 2001 he had gall
bladder surgery, but died from a stroke at the New Hanover Medical
Center in Wilmington, NC, on April 9, 2001. It was the day the
Pirates opened their new ballpark - PNC Park. Mr. Stargell was buried
at the Oleander Memorial Gardens in Wilmington.
Herman Paul Starrette (named after Herman -Babe- Ruth) was born on November 20, 1936 (corrected from 1938), in Statesville, NC. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1958 (7-9, 3.50 ERA) and 1959 (17-7, 3.49). That year he got the win in a 30-inning contest against St. Cloud and Gaylord Perry. See more about the 1958 season on the page "The 1958 Aberdeen Pheasants". Herm attended Lenoir-Rhyne College and served in the National Guard.
Herm never had a complete major league season until he became a coach. In 1963, he appeared in 18 games for the Orioles pitching in 26 innings for a 3.46 ERA. In 1964 and 1965 he was in 5 and 4 games for 11 and 9 innings with 1.64 and 1.00 ERAs. The right hander pitched in 27 games (all in relief) completing 46 innings allowing 43 hits and 16 walks with 21 strikeouts for a 2.54 ERA and .264 OAV.
As a minor leaguer, he pitched for 10 teams from 1958-1966 with four seasons of ERAs under 3.00. He played at the "AAA" level for five years.
Herm was an Orioles minor league pitching coach from 1967-1973 [he also was a coach for the Rockford Expos in 1992] and a major league coach for the Braves (1974-1976), Giants (1977-1978 and 1983-1984), Phillies (1979-1981), Brewers (1985-1986), Cubs (1987) and Red Sox (1995-1997). He retired from the Red Sox organization in 2002 and then was a special assistant to the Orioles giving pitching and coaching advise to them even during his final days in a hospital. He died in his long-time home, Statesville, NC, on June 2, 2017. His remains were cremated and interred at New Salem United Methodist Church Columbarium in Statesville.
Morris Dale Steevens was born in Salem, IL, on October 7, 1940. He pitched for the 1960 St. Cloud Rox for a 11-12 record and 3.35 ERA which included a no-hitter.
Steevens was signed from the Illinois American Legion baseball program by Hershel Martin of the Cubs for $2,500.
Morrie pitched for the Cubs in 1962 for 12 games completing 15 innings for a 2.40 ERA. During the winter of 1963-64, Philadelphia got him in a trade with Salt Lake City. In 1964 and 1965, the left hander appeared in 4 and 6 games for the Phillies finishing 3 innings each year with ERAs of 3.38 and 16.88. His career spanned 22 games (one start) and 20 innings as he gave up 20 hits and 16 walks while striking out 11 for a 4.43 ERA and .263 OAV.
In the minors, he played from 1958-1967 for 11 clubs including four years at class "AAA". On September 9, 1964, he pitched his second no-hitter for the Arkansas Travelers of in the Pacific Coast League. The only base runner reached on an error and was it was the Eastern Division pennant clincher for the team. The game also happened to be the team's Fan Appreciation Night when each member received a $100 check, but Morrie also got $300 when the fans passed the hat after the game.
After the game, Travelers' manager Frank Lucchesi said: "I liked Steevens' arm after watching him throw early in the season, but I couldn't get him in the game as often as I wanted because I had all those other pitchers." Steevens said: "What a night! I never did think I had a chance to get a no-hitter. Good defensive work did it. " His control was very good. "The fast ball was sinking. It was my best pitch. I could throw it where I wanted to, in and out, down or tight. The slider was working good, too."
Morrie was a deputy sheriff and tax appraiser during the off
seasons of his playing days. After retirement from baseball, Steevens
became a tax consultant and later manager for Klein and Barenblat in
San Antonio, TX, where he still lives.
William Randolph Stein was born on March 7, 1953, in Pomona, CA. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1971 (2-3, 3.83 ERA).
Randy's first year in the majors  was his only complete season. For the Milwaukee Brewers, the right hander appeared in 31 games, including one start, for 73 innings compiling a 5.33 ERA. On June 7, 1979, he was traded to Seattle for Paul Mitchell. For the Mariners that year, he pitched in 23 games (one start) for 41 innings with a 5.88 ERA. In 1981, he was in 5 games/9 innings for the M's for a 10.61 ERA. His career ended in 1982, with the Cubs, as in 6 games/10 innings he had a 3.48 ERA.
Stein was, unfortunately, known for his exceptionally bad control. In his 65-game MLB career, he completed 134 innings giving up 151 hits and 81 walks while striking out 93. His ERA was 5.72 and his OAV was .290.
In the minors from 1971-1977 and 1979-1983, he pitched for 14 teams with four years of ERAs at or under 3.00. He performed at class "AAA" for 10 seasons.
After baseball, Stein became the vice president and sales manager
of the Los Angeles office of Stewart Title (title insurance). He
lived in Chino, CA, and Mineral Wells, TX, in recent years and died
on Dec. 12, 2011, after a four-year battle with complications of
Early Onset of Alzheimer's disease, in Racho Cucamonga, CA.
Louis Roberts Stephen was born in Porterville, CA, on July 13, 1944. He pitched for the 1966 St. Cloud Rox (10-3, 1.82). During that year, it was reported that Buzz was a natural strikeout pitcher and possessed an overpowering fast ball. In addition, his fast side-arm curve was generally used when a batter had two strikes against him. Buzz was quoted as saying: "I'll throw either of those pitches anytime. I'm not afraid to come in with the curve on 3-and-1. I don't have quite as much faith in the overhand curve, but I'll throw that 15 or 20 times a game, too. A pitcher has to have a breaking ball. He can't get by on speed alone."
Stephen was an all-around athlete in high school, playing as a football end, basketball center and baseball pitcher. He continued to play basketball in junior college, but only baseball at Fresno State. The Twins made him their number one draft choice in June 1966. "I wasn't always a pitcher," he said. "I was a first baseman as a little leaguer in Porterville. The coach noticed one day that I could throw pretty well from first base and, since we needed pitchers anyway, he switched me." Fresno won their conference championship in 1966 as Buzz had a 9-3 record.
When he became a pro, he commented: "Here [at St. Cloud] you can pitch every four or five days and, boy, that's a good feeling. You fall into a regular routine and learn how to pace yourself. You don't get overly excited about one game because you know - win or lose - there's another one coming up for you within a week. I like to win, naturally, but it's great to know there's another chance coming up shortly - if you don't."
"I would like at least one more season of minor league work [after 1966]. My control can stand a little more work and I'd like to develop more poise, learn not to get rattled so much when thing don't go just right. This comes with experience and I honestly feel I need more of that."
Buzz made 2 starts for the Minnesota Twins in September 1968. In 11 innings he gave up 11 hits, 7 walks and struck out 4. His ERA was 4.76 and his OAV .275. He was drafted by the expansion Seattle Pilots before the 1969 season, but never got back to the majors.
In 2005, he remembered: "I threw a slider that messed up my arm action and ended up taking stuff off my fastball. My fastball was always my best pitch and I just didn't have the stuff I used to have."
In the minors from 1966-1970, the right hander pitched for nine teams with three seasons of ERAs under 2.00. He played at the "AAA" level for two years.
Buzz attended Fresno State where he was a business major and then
switched to a recreation major. "..I lost about 20 units in the
switch.." he said. After baseball, Stephen became the manager of
his family's Porterville Monument Works and Swimming Pool Supplies.
He still resides in his home town.
James Franklin Stewart was born on June 11, 1939, in Opelika, AL. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1962 (.307, 12 HR, 47 RBI).
Jimmy was an outfielder and infielder who played all the defensive positions, except pitcher, in 10 seasons. He first came up to the majors in September 1963 for the Cubs where he played 13 games and had a .297 batting average with 37 at bats. He stayed with the Cubs from 1964-1966 playing in 132, 116 and 57 games and batting .253, .223 and .178. After the death of Ken Hubbs in 1964, he became Chicago's starting second baseman, but soon became their utility man.
After 6 games for the 1967 Cubs (.167) [May 22], the switch-hitter was sold to the cross-town White Sox for whom he played 24 games (.167). From 1969-1971 he was with the Cincinnati Reds for 119, 101 and 80 games with .253, .267 and .232 averages playing in the outfield, second and third. He led the league in pinch hit attempts in 1971 (11 for 48). In the 1970 NLCS he was 0 for 2 and in the World Series he again went 0 for 2 as a pinch hitter. On Nov. 29, 1971, he was traded to Houston in the Joe Morgan deal.
Stewart, who was a pesky hitter whose aggressiveness was as big an asset as his speed, ended his career in 1972-1973 for the Astros appearing in 68 and 61 games batting .219 and .191. He played in a total 777 MLB games with 1,420 at bats and a .237 average, .308 OAV and .305 slugging %. His fielding % was .969 as he played 227 games in the outfield, 122 at second, 107 at short, 37 at third, 10 at first and one game as a catcher. He was 71 for 330 as a pinch hitter.
In the minors from 1961-1963 and 1966-1968, he played on six teams hitting over .300 for three of them. He was at the "AAA" level for four seasons.
Jimmy graduated from Austin Peay State College (Tenn.) where he
played football and baseball. After his playing days, he became an
advance scout for the Cincinnati Reds (11 years) and later with the
Phillies. He lived in Palm Harbor and Odessa, FL. Stewart died on
November 24, 2012, in Tampa. Burial was at the Center Baptist
Cemetery in Chambers County, AL.
Richard Lewis Stigman was born in Nimrod, MN, on January 24, 1936. He pitched briefly for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1954 (0-0, 9.47 ERA). He then was sent to Class D Tifton (Georgia).
After graduating from high school in the spring of '54, Cy Slapnicka, who had signed Indians' greats Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, and Herb Score, found Stigman at his workplace - a lumberyard. "I came walking out of the yard in my overalls and there was his Cadillac with both my parents sitting in the car," Stigman recalled in a interview with SABR's Tom Tomashek.. "We drove to the Graystone Hotel in Detroit Lakes to discuss signing. I was very impressed that he respected my parents enough to include them so they would know that I wasn't getting involved in something that wasn't right.
"He offered me 200 dollars a month and another 200 a month if I stayed. I was only making 185 dollars at the lumber yard."
In his first MLB season (1960), the hardthrower was named to the American League All-Star squad as a Cleveland Indian. He pitched 41 games, including 18 starts, for 134 innings and a 4.51 ERA. He stayed with Cleveland through 1961 appearing in 22 games (6 starts) completing 65 innings with a 4.62 ERA. Because of arm problems, his appearances were limited in '61 On Apr. 2, 1962, he was traded to the Twins with Vic Power for Pedro Ramos.
After the trade, he realized that "It made me proud to be from Minnesota. People recognized me everywhere. It was an exciting time to be a Twin. I felt almost as popular as [Harmon] Killebrew and the other big names."
From 1962-1965 , the left hander pitched with the Minnesota Twins in 40, 33, 32 and 33 games (15, 33, 29 and 8 starts) for 143, 241, 190 and 70 innings compiling ERAs of 3.66, 3.25, 4.03 and 4.37. He won 15 games in '63. On Apr. 6, 1966, he was sent with Jose Calero to Boston for Russ Nixon and Chuck Schilling.
He ended his career with the Red Sox that year with 34 games, including 10 starts, finishing 81 innings for a 5.44 ERA. On Aug. 15, he was traded to Cincinnati with Rollie Sheldon for Hank Fischer, but Dick never played for the Reds.
Stigman has been described as "aloof". In his 7-year, 235-game, 923-inning MLB career, he gave up 819 hits and 406 walks while striking out 755 for a 4.03 ERA and .237 OAV. His record was 46-54.
In the minors, he played for 10 teams from 1954-1959 and 1967. He had two seasons with ERAs under 3.00 and pitched at the "AAA" level for three seasons.
"Some people say, 'Don't you wish you had pitched in another era?' but I figure that all and all I was blessed to play seven seasons in the major leagues," Stigman has said. "Just to have done that is an awesome feeling."
Dick became the Vice President of the Continental Loose Leaf Company in Minneapolis and retired in 2009. He lives in the Twin Cities suburb of Burnsville.
[Please see a more complete bio by Tom Tomashek at SABR.org]
Wesley Gay Stock was born on April 10, 1934, in Longview, WA. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1956 (14-6, 3.33 ERA). He was in the Army from 1957-1958. Wes attended Washington State College.
Wes pitched in 7 games for the Orioles in 1959 finishing 13 innings for a 3.55 ERA. In 1960, he was up and down with Baltimore, but got into 17 games and 34 innings with a 2.88 ERA.
From 1961-1963, he was with the Birds full-time pitching in 35, 53 and 47 games for 72, 65 and 75 innings with 3.01, 4.43 and 3.94 ERAs. He compiled excellent win-loss marks in relief with the O's. He was 5-0 in 1961 and went 100 games from July 1962 to July 1964 without a defeat including 7-0 in 1963. After 14 games with the O's in 1964 (3.92) [June 15], he was traded to the Kansas City A's for Charlie Lau where he appeared in 50 games and 93 innings for a cool 1.94 ERA.
[Stock pitched in 50 of K.C.'s remaining 106 games after the trade. His arm was dead after the season and he felt something pop during spring training 1965 and he was never the same again.
He stayed with the A's the rest of career which spanned 1965-1967. He was in 62, 35 and one game completing 100, 44 and one inning(s) compiling 5.24, 2.66 and 18.00 ERAs. In a 321-games, 517-inning career, he allowed 434 hits and 215 walks with 365 strikeouts and 22 saves. His ERA was 3.60 and he had a .231 OAV.
As a minor leaguer from 1956-1960 and 1966, he pitched for five teams with three years at "AAA".
Following his playing days, became a minor league pitching instructor for the Brewers and the A's. He was a major league coach for the A's (1967), Brewers (1970-1972), A's (1972-1976 and 1984-1986) and the Mariners (1977-1981). From 1982-1983, he was also a TV announcer for the Mariners. After a second stint as an A's minor league pitching coach, Stock walked away from pro baseball in 1994 after 38 seasons. He had a good retirement until 2006, when he suffered a pair of minor strokes that left him with no detectable side effects.
Wes has a winter home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but lives the rest of
the year five miles from Allyn, WA, on Treasure Island, which is
three-quarters of a mile long and accessible only by a one-lane
bridge. It's a natural mound sticking out of Case Inlet in southern
Hal Stowe was born in Gastonia, NC, on August 29, 1937. He played on the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1959 (5-4, 2.75).
On September 30, 1960, Hal pitched in his only major league game. The left hander came into a game at Yankee Stadium against the Boston Red Sox, in the top of the 8th, with the Sox leading 4-2. He walked the first batter -- LHB Vic Wertz -- and with another lefty at the plate - Russ Nixon - he picked Wertz off first base. Unfortunately, he also balked and Wertz moved to second.
Nixon then advanced Wertz to third on a sac bunt and Frank Malzone drove him in with a sac fly. Hal got the third out by forcing second baseman, Marty Coughtry, to pop up to short. That was all she wrote for his MLB career.
Hal pitched in the minors from 1959-1964 for nine teams with three seasons at class "AAA".
In 1954, he pitched his Gastonia team to the finals of the
American Legion World Series where they finished second. He graduated
from Clemson for whom he pitched in the College World Series in 1958
and 1959. After he retired from baseball, he became the Personnel
Director for Burlington Industries (a textile producer) for nine
years, and then, the owner and operator of "Stowe's Fish Camp"
in Gastonia, a restaurant he purchased from his father. He still
resides in his home town.
Richard Bernard Strahs was born on December 4, 1923, in Evanston, IL. He pitched for the Superior Blues in 1946 (0-1).
Dick did not make it to the majors until 1954 when he pitched in 9 games for the Chicago White Sox. In 14 innings, he allowed 16 hits and 8 walks with 8 strikeouts and a 5.65 ERA. He did not pitch again in MLB.
As a minor leaguer from 1946-1956, he pitched on 14 teams with three years at the "AAA" level.
Dick became a banker in Chicago. He died on May 26, 1988, in Las Vegas and was buried at the Palm Cemetery East there.
Floyd Marvin Stromme ("Rock") was born in Cooperstown, ND, on August 1, 1916. He pitched for the 1936 (2-4, 4.50) and 1937 (19-6, 2.10) Fargo-Moorhead Twins. He led the league in ERA for 1937. Floyd attended Northwestern University.
He pitched in one season for the 1939 Cleveland Indians as he completed 13 innings giving up 13 hits and 13 walks while striking out 4 in 5 games. His ERA was 4.85 and he had a .265 OBP.
In the minors, he pitched from 1936-1946 for 13 teams. He had two seasons with ERAs under 3.00 and was at class "AAA" for six seasons.
Floyd lived in Coos Bay, OR, and worked for several years with
Georgia Pacific. He died at the Central Washington Hospital in
Wenatchee, WA, on February 7, 1993. His burial was at the Sunset
Memorial Park Cemetery in Coos Bay.
Lawrence George Stubing was born on March 31, 1938, in Bronx, NY. He played for the 1958 St. Cloud Rox (.319, 13 HR, 82 RBI).
Stubing came to bat as a pinch hitter five times for the California Angels in early 1967 and did not get a hit. He struck out four times and did not appear in the field defensively.
He made 12 stops (starting in 1956) in the minor leagues before he reached the majors with two trials at "AAA" in 1961 and 1965. He finished at EL Paso in the Texas League in 1967-1969. He hit .300 or better four times and hit more then 20 home runs three times. The best year for the left handed hitter was 1964 at El Paso where he hit .316, had 35 homers and drove in 120.
Larry was a minor league manager in 1976 at Quad Cities (72-59, 2nd); in 1977 at Salinas (79-61, 3rd) where he also had his last professional at bats; 1978 at El Paso (80-55, 1st); 1979 at El Paso (61-76, 3rd); 1980 at Salt Lake City (77-65, 3rd); 1981 at Salt Lake (63-71, 3rd); 1982 at Spokane (78-65, 2nd) where he was the All Star manager; 1983 at Edmonton (75-67, 1st); 1984 at Edmonton (69-73, 4th ).
He was the Angels' hitting coach in 1985-1990 and had a short tenure as an interim manager for them in 1988 (0-8). From 1991-2007, he was a scout for the Angels. In 2008-09, he was a Nationals' scout and served as a special assistant to their general manager. He also was a referee in Division 1 college basketball, officiating games in the Pac 10 and other conferences. Stubing lived in Villa Park, CA, and his death came on January 20, 2018, in Santa Ana, CA.
Robert Howard Sturgeon ("Bobby") was born on August 6, 1919, in Clinton, IN. He played for the 1955 Fargo-Moorhead Twins (..315, 2 HR, 11 RBI).
When he was originally signed by the Cardinals, he was considered as good of a prospect as shortstop Marty Marion. In 1937-1938, he played at Albuquerque (Ariz-Texas League) where he hit .298 and .335. In 1939, he was at "AAA" Columbus and batted .297.
In late 1939, Sturgeon was traded to the Chicago Cubs reportedly for cash although"TSN" printed comments indicating that it could have been related to an earlier deal between the two clubs involving pitcher Ken Raffensberger. He made the Cubs out of spring training in 1940 and "TSN" reported that the infielder made several errors during his first 5 games. "[T]he kid plays grounders the hard way indicating that he is either overeager, a weakness which might be absorbed after he is around a bit longer, or that he is not ripe for the big company."
After 7 games (.190), manager Gabby Hartnett sent him to the minors. By late May 1941, he became their starting shortstop after they traded Billy Herman and he played 129 games hitting .245. In 1942, Sturgeon was hampered with a severe leg injury and played in only 63 Cubs' games with a .247 average.
After the '42 season, Bob went home to California and worked in his father-in-law's machine parts company as a machinist making airplane parts. From 1943 through 1945, he was in the Navy and, for a time in 1944, stationed in Long Beach, CA, where he played on the "Long Beach All-Stars" service team. In March 1945, "TSN" reported that he was departing from Roosevelt Base in California to an undisclosed location. In August 1945, he played for the Camp Elliot team in the Naval 11th District League on the West Coast.
In 1946, Bob was back with the Cubs playing in 100 games and hit .296. After the season, "TSN" reported that manager Charlie Grimm had "given up" on Sturgeon at shortstop: "Sturgeon was tried at short, but it was evident that he has neither the speed nor the arm to handle the job. He did hit well, however, and at the close of the season he was appearing regularly at second base since Johnson was sidelined with a broken hand." For the Cubs in 1947, Bob was in 87 games with a .254. average. While playing shortstop against the Dodgers that year, he appeared to have passed up a double play chance to throw the relay at rookie Jackie Robinson striking him in the chest. Six weeks later against the Cubs, Robinson reached base and ran on the first pitch toward second, but did not slide. He threw a block at Sturgeon and knocked him into the left field grass. Bob suffered two broken ribs.
In March 1948, he was traded to the Boston Braves for Dick Culler. At that time, manager Billy Southworth "greeted the arrival of Sturgeon with delight as he considers Bob an important asset to the team. Southworth wanted Sturgeon for shortstop and second base insurance. The Braves players welcomed him too, and they generally felt he could help the team, even if he does not break into the starting lineup." ["TSN"]
In the last exhibition game of 1948 spring training, he was playing third base with the soft-throwing Red Barrett on the mound. "TSN" reported the following: Their opponents were "just topping little weak grounders to the [Braves] infielders. Bob Sturgeon playing third base kicked two of them. Finally, he yelled in exasperation, to Barrett, 'Hey, Redhead, put something on the ball so they can hit it hard enough so it will stick in my glove.' The next batter was Walt Dropo... Red throw an inside pitch to Dropo who lashed a sharp grounder at Sturgeon, hit him in the shoulder, carried him back about five feet before it caromed into center field. 'I guess that's giving service', piped Red to Sturgeon. 'Hereafter, I guess I'll keep my mouth shut', murmured Robert."
In July 1948, he was sent to "AAA" Milwaukee, but before he could report, Braves' infielder Eddie Stanky was injured and he was recalled. The 1948 season [he roomed with fellow-infielder Sibby Sisti] was his last in MLB as he played in 34 games and had a .218 average. In his six MLB seasons, he played 420 games and had 1,220 at bats for a batting average of .257, OBP of .277 and slugging % of .318. His fielding average was .951 from his play at short for 283 games, 102 at second and 12 at third. The right-hander was 8 for 23 as a pinch hitter.
In the movie "The Stratton Story" (starring James Stewart and filmed during the winter of 1948-49), Sturgeon portrayed a Yankees' shortstop in the movies' version of a White Sox-Yankees game supposedly played early in Monte Stratton's Sox' carrier.
During the 1949-1950 seasons, Bob played for Seattle ('49) and Los Angeles ('49-'50) in the Pacific Coast League compiling .272 and .202 batting averages. He played a few games for L.A. in 1951, and then at mid-season, he became the player-manager of Victoria in the class "B" Western International League (7th, 62-83). He also hit .261 there.
In 1952, Sturgeon originally agreed to return to Victoria, but when the franchise became unstable, he agreed to manage Ventura of the California League where he also hit .329. On August 2, he resigned with the team in 7th place and in financial trouble. He stated in "TSN" that "the team is running short of money this year and I want to help out because I'm drawing the largest salary." He then became a full-time player with Sacramento (PCL) where he hit .239. For the 1953-1954 seasons, he returned as a player-manager to the then class "A" Western International League with Edmonton (.244, 3rd, 79-61 and .269, 5th, 62-63).
In 1955, he was player-manager in Salt Lake City (Pioneer) until mid-July where he hit .324 and his team was low in the standings. He then finished his playing carrier that season with Fargo-Moorhead.
After the 1955 season, Sturgeon was unable to find managerial job, so he took a corporate job in Long Beach with the recreation department of the Douglas plant. This plant became the major assembly plant for DC-8 jets over the following years. Eventually he became the sports director for the McDonnell Douglas operation there in Long Beach, organizing all the company's sporting events. Bob also spent much time on the area golf courses, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Angels'.
Sturgeon lived in Chino Hills, CA, for some time and died at San Dimas, CA, on March 10, 2007. He was buried at Westminister Park in Westminister, CA.
[Please see a complete bio at SABR.org]
Charles Morris Suche was born on August 5, 1915, in Cranes Mill, TX. He pitched for the 1934 (19-14), 1935 (22-5) and 1937 (3-7, 4.14) Fargo-Moorhead Twins.
Charley pitched in one MLB game on September 18, 1938, for the Cleveland Indians. As a reliever, he went 1 1/3 innings giving up 4 hits, 3 walks and 3 runs while striking out 1.
His minor league experience came from 1934-1941 for 13 teams. He never played at class "AAA".
Charley was in the U. S. Army Signal Corps during WW II and was an
engineer for Southwestern Bell Telephone for 37 years. He died on
February 11, 1984, in San Antonio and was buried at the Sunset
Memorial Park there.
Sherwin Merle Swartz was born in Tulsa on June 13, 1929. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1951 (11-9, 4.12 ERA). After graduating from high school in 1947, he signed with the Browns with the agreement that he would pitch his first season with the major league club.
In 5 games and 5 innings, for the '47 Brownies, he allowed 9 hits and 7 walks with one strike out for a 6.75 ERA. He never pitched in another MLB season.
He only played from 1948-1951 in the minor leagues for four teams with Aberdeen being his last (and his best).
Bud's father (also known as "Bud") was a minor league catcher and also became a scout for the Browns. He signed Don Larsen.
After baseball, Sherwin built and ran the Roxbury Market, the first grocery store in Beverly Hills to provide home deliveries. Years later, he sold the store and opened "The Roadhouse" which was just down the block from "The Troubadour". It had had two quarter pool tables, six full-size slate tables and beer. Many years later, he became a successful licensed California real estate agent with offices in Beverly Hills.
In 1986, he had a kidney transplant. Swartz died at the UCLA
Medical Center in Los Angeles, due to kidney cancer, on June 24,
1991. His burial was at the Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Marion Lee Talton was born on January 14, 1939, in Pikeville, NC. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1959 (.262, 2 HR, 43 RBI). Tim attended East Carolina College.
Talton was a back-up catcher and occasional first baseman for the Kansas City A's in 1966 and 1967. He played in 37 and 46 games, those seasons, with 53 and 59 at bats for averages of .340 and .254. As a LHB pinch hitter he was 10 for 25 and 9 for 32.
He played 83 MLB games and had 112 official at bats for a .295 average, .347 OBP and .438 slugging %. His fielding mark was .980 with 36 games at catcher and 10 at first.
In the minor leagues from 1959-1966 and 1968-1969, he played with 10 clubs hitting over .300 for four of them. He played at the class "AAA" level for four seasons.
Tim became a member of the North Carolina Conservation and
Development Commission while living in Pikeville. He still resides
Charles William Tanner was born in New Castle, PA, on July 4, 1928. [For many years, it was thought Tanner was born in 1929, however, he corrected the record himself in 1999.] He played for the Eau Claire Bears in 1947 (.325, 7 HR, 27 RBI) and 1948 (.361, 7, 52).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"A local columnist once called Chuck Tanner 'Pittsburgh's cockeyed optimist.' That might have been an understatement. He managed 17 full seasons and parts of two others, and where ever he went, the smiled - all the time. He told his players how wonderful they were, how lucky they all were to be alive, how lucky they were to be able to make a living playing baseball. Pessimism was not permitted. Frowns were discouraged. Tanner grew up during the Great Depression and lived with his family in a tiny house without electricity or running water. Luckily, Chuck's father had both steady work in a steel mill and a sunny outlook that he passed on to his son. 'You know,' Chuck Tanner once said, 'I always thought we were just as happy and had as much as anybody.'
"An outfielder, Tanner signed with the Boston Braves out of high school and spent nine years in the minors. He made the majors in 1955 and on the first pitch he saw as a major leaguer he delivered a pinch-hit home run off the Reds' Gerry Staley. That was the highlight of his career as a player. He spent four full seasons and parts of four others in the majors and finished with a .261 average and 21 homers...."
The left hander played with the Braves in 1955-1956 for 97 and 60 games batting .247 and .238. After 22 games with the team in 1957, he was traded to the Cubs [obtained on June 8 for waiver claim] where he played in 95 games and batted .286. With the Cubs in 1958, he was in 73 games for a .262 average. He led the league in pinch hitting appearances, that year, going 12 for 53. On Mar. 9, 1959, Tanner was traded to Boston for Riverboat Smith.
In 1959 and 1960, he played a few games for the Cleveland Indians (14 and 21) with averages of .250 and .280. He finished with the L.A. Angels in 1961 and 1962 with 7 games and averages of .125 each year.
Chuck played in 396 MLB games with 885 at bats finishing with an average of .261, OBP of .325 and slugging % of .388. He was 38 for 174 as a PH and had a fielding % of .983 from 202 games played in the outfield.
After retiring as a player, he worked for 26 years as manager, first in the minors in 1963-64 at Quad Cities (Midwest), 1965-66 at El Paso (Texas), 1967 with Seattle (PCL), 1968 at El Paso (Texas) and 1969 through Sep 14, 1970 with Hawaii (PCL).
On Sept. 14, 1970, he began his major league managing career which included 17 consecutive seasons. Tanner was fired only once, in 1988, from the Atlanta Braves. His major league managing record was: 1970 White Sox - 3-13; 1971 White Sox - 79-83 (3rd); 1972 White Sox - 87-67 (2nd) [TSN MLB "Manager of the Year"]; 1973 White Sox - 77-85 (5th); 1974 White Sox - 80-80 (4th); 1975 White Sox - 75-86 (5th); 1976 A's - 87-74 (2nd) [after the season, owner Charley Finley traded him to Pittsburgh for Manny Sanguillen and $100,000] ; 1977 Pirates - 96-66 (2nd); 1978 Pirates - 88-73 (2nd); 1979 Pirates - 98-64 (1st , World Series Champs); 1980 Pirates - 83-79 (3rd); 1981 Pirates - 25-23 (4th) and 21-33 (6th); 1982 Pirates - 84-78 (4th); 1983 Pirates - 84-78 (2nd); 1984 Pirates - 75-87 (6th); 1985 Pirates - 57-104 (6th); 1986 Braves - 72-89 (6th); 1987 Braves - 69-92 (5th) and 1988 Braves - 12-27.
From 1992-2002, Tanner worked as a special assistant to the Brewers' general manager. He also scouted for five years for the Indians and, in November 2007, he was named a senior adviser to the Pirates. His son, Bruce, pitched for the White Sox and A's and another son, Mark, pitched in the Cubs, White Sox and Ranger's organizations. Chuck lived in his home town of New Castle until his death on Feb. 11, 2011, after a long illness. Burial was at the Castleview Memorial Gardens in New Castle.
He will forever be known for his enthusiasm and eternal
Willie Tasby was born in Shreveport, LA, on January 8, 1933. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1950 (.227, 0 HR, 1 RBI).
In September 1958, Willie first played in major league games with the Orioles batting .200 with 50 at bats in 18 games. He became a starting outfielder for them in 1959 appearing in 142 games and hitting .250 with 13 home runs. In 1959, Tasby played a game in Baltimore's outfield without shoes as he was afraid that lightning would be attracted to their metal cleats. After 30 games in 1960 (.212), they traded him [on June 9 for Gene Stephens] to the Red Sox where he started in their outfield for 105 games and hit .281.
The expansion draft brought him to the Washington Senators in 1961 as he was an outfield starter for them with 141 games and a .251 average while slamming 17 home runs. Willie only played 11 games for the Nats in 1962 (.206) and was traded to Cleveland on May 3 for Steve Hamilton and Don Rudolph. He was with the Indians for 75 more and a .241 average. His last year was 1963, with the Tribe, when he played in 52 games and hit .224.
He played in 583 MLB games and had 1,868 official plate appearances with an average of .250, OBP of .328 and slugging % of .367. He was 5 for 42 as a pinch hitter and had a .980 fielding % from 543 games in the outfield, one at first and one at second.
In the minors from 1950-1958 and 1963-1965, the right hander played for 14 teams hitting over .300 for four of them. He spent four years at the class "AAA" level.
Willie grew up in Oakland and during his playing days was employed
by the Trans-Pacific Aircraft Company there. After baseball, he
worked for the American Can Company. He lived in Oakland for many
years and now resides in San Leandro.
Charles Gilbert Taylor was born on April 18, 1942, in Murfreesboro, TN. He pitched for the 1962 Winnipeg Goldeyes (9-5, 3.22). Chuck attended Middle Tennessee State.
On Feb. 12, 1964, St. Louis traded him with Jim Beauchamp to Houston for Carl Warwick. The Cardinals got him back on June 15, 1965, with Hal Woodeshick for Mike Cuellar and Ron Taylor.
Chuck pitched for the Cardinals from 1969-1971 in 27, 56 and 43 games, including 13, 7 and 1 starts, with 127, 124 and 71 innings for 2.56, 3.11 and 3.53 ERAs. On Oct. 18, 1971, he was sent to the Mets in the Jim Bibby trade. In 1972 he was with the New York National League team for 20 games (31 inn., 5.52 ERA) and the Brewers [purchased Sept. 13] for 5 (12 inn, 1.54).
Taylor was a control pitcher who made batters hit the ball. His last MLB years of 1973-1976 were spent with the Expos for 8, 61, 54 and 31 games completing 20, 108, 74 and 40 innings with ERAs of 1.77, 2.17, 3.53 and 4.50. The right hander had pitched in 305 MLB games and 607 innings allowing 576 hits and 162 walks with 282 strikeouts for a 3.07 ERA and .258 OAV.
As a minor league player from 1961-1969, 1972-1974 and 1976, he pitched for 17 teams with ERAs under 3.00 in four seasons. He performed at the "AAA" level for 10 years.
After his baseball retirement, Chuck was the owner of the Western
Auto and Ace Hardware Store in Smyrna, TN. He lives in his home town
Ronald Wesley Taylor was born in Toronto on December 13, 1937. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1957 (9-7, 3.40 ERA) and the Minot Mallards in 1958 (14-10, 2.89). Ron graduated from Toronto University with an electrical engineering degree (from 1961) and a medical degree in 1977.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Ron Taylor was a quality relief pitcher for the Mets in their 1969 "Miracle" year, but another miracle occurred in 1972 when the 34-year old righthander applied to a Toronto medical school and started on the path that would make him a successful physician. 'I must have suffered some brain damage handing around (Jerry) Koosman but I decided to try it,' he recalled. 'I had to present letters of recommendation and one of the most important came from (Mets executive) Donald Grant. He really went to bat for me.'
"The son of a Welsh immigrant in Canada, Taylor earned an engineering degree, reporting late to spring training for four years as he finished course work. Originally signed by Cleveland for a $4,000 bonus, he pitched in the World Series for both the Cardinals and Mets. He never allowed a run in 10 1/3 career postseason innings.
"Always an intellectual, Taylor amused and baffled teammates with such observations as 'I just found out what's driving me crazy - it's baseball.' and 'Doubleheader tomorrow, barring nuclear holocaust.' On the mound he was all business. He came to spring training in 1967 as a nonroster player and proceeded to lead New York in both appearances and saves for four consecutive years. The only Met with postseason experience entering the 1969 season, Taylor provided veteran leadership in a bullpen that included the enigmatic Tug McGraw. He picked up a win and a save in New York's three-game sweep of the Braves in the National League Championship Series. He then saved Game 2 of the World Series.
"...Perhaps nostalgic for his days as a Miracle Met, Taylor muses: 'Sometimes I dream of coming back as a pitcher and not making it."
Ron first played in the majors for the 1962 Cleveland Indians. In 8 games and 33 innings, his ERA was 5.94. In his first start with them, he lost a 12-inning duel 4-0 on a grand slam by Boston's Carroll Hardy. On Dec. 15 he was traded with Jack Kubiszyn to St. Louis for Fred Whitfield. He was then with the Cardinals for most of 3 seasons pitching in 54, 63 and 25 games from 1963-1965 with 133, 101 and 44 innings for ERAs of 2.84, 4.62 and 4.53. In 1964, he had a NL-high eight relief wins for the champion Cards.
On June 15, 1965, he was traded to Houston with Mike Cuellar for Hal Woodeshick and Chuck Taylor. With the Astros, he pitched in 32 games, 58 innings with an ERA of 6.40 in 32 games. His Houston tenure ended in 1966 with 36 games and 65 innings compiling a 5.71 ERA. On Feb. 10, 1967, he was sold to the New York Mets.
His Mets years were from 1967-1971 with 50, 58, 59, 57 and 45 games for 73, 77, 76, 66 and 69 innings compiling ERAs of 2.34, 2.70, 2.72, 3.93 and 3.65. When the Mets won the World Series in 1969, Taylor won 9 games and, for the second of three straight years, saved 13. On Oct. 20, 1971, he was sold to Montreal but never played for them. Taylor ended his career with the Padres in 1972, but was only in 4 games, 5 innings for a 12.60 ERA.
Ron pitched in 491 major league games for 800 innings giving up 794 hits and 209 walks while striking out 464 for a 3.93 ERA and .264 OAV. His record was 45-43 with 72 saves. In six career postseason appearances, he did not allow a run and had three saves.
On the minor league level, he pitched from 1956-1962 for seven teams with two years at "AAA".
After getting his medical degree five years after he retired as a player, he was the team doctor for the Toronto Blue Jays since 1979. He is also the director of a clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on athletic injuries and he maintains a family practice, too. Ron still lives in Toronto.
Antonio Nemesio (Sanchez) Taylor was born in Central Alara, Cuba, on December 19, 1935. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1955 (.267, 5 HR, 46 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Tony Taylor established himself as a reasonably good offensive second baseman in the 1960s, although his lack of range made him a defensive liability. Taylor began his career with Texas City-Thibodeux as a third baseman-shortstop in 1954 and led the Evangeline League in triples with 12. The following year he paced the Northern League in both triples and stolen bases. After stops in Danville and Dallas, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and converted to a second baseman.
"The Cubs traded Taylor along with catcher Cal Neeman to the Phillies for pitcher Don Cardwell and first baseman Ed Bouchee in May 1960. That year he made the All-Star team and got a hit in his only at bat. In 1964 he set a National League record for the fewest assists by a second baseman in 150 or more games when he registered just 358. In June 1971 Taylor was traded to the Tigers for minor league pitchers... With the Tigers he was a skilled pinch hitter and helped them to an American League East title. In December 1973 he was unconditionally released by the Tigers and re-joined the Phillies. He played parts of 15 seasons with Philadelphia. His six steals of home is good for second place in Phillies history..."
For the Cubs from 1958-1960, he played in 146, 150 and 19 games batting .235, .280 and .263. On May 13, 1960, he was traded to Philadelphia with Cal Neeman for Ed Bouchee and Don Cardwell. He finished 1960 with the Cubs with 127 games and a .287 average.
Then from 1961-1971, he was in 106, 152, 157, 154, 106, 125, 132, 145, 138, 124 and 36 Phillies games for batting averages of .250, .259, .281, .251, .229, .242, .238, .250, .262, .301 and .234. After spending his first six years with the Phillies as their second baseman, he became a valuable utility man and pinch hitter. On June 12, 1971, he went to Detroit for Mike Fremuth and Carl Cavanaugh where he finished the 1971 season with 55 games and a .287 average.
His Tigers years also included 1972-1973 with 78 and 84 games for averages of .303 and .229. In the 1972 ALCS, Tony played second base in 4 games going 2 for 15 at the plate. He returned to the Phillies for the 1974-1976 seasons hitting .328, .243 and .261. In 1974, he led the league in pinch hits with 17 in 46 attempts. In 1975, he led the NL in pinch hitting attempts going 12 for 54.
In his 19 years and 2,195 games, he batted .261 [2,007 hits] with a .322 OBP a .352 slugging %, scored 1,005 runs and stole 234 bases. He was 63-for-245 as a pinch hitter and fielded .976 with 1,498 games at second, 417 at third, 89 at first, 18 in the outfield and 8 at short. Taylor also stole home 6 times.
Tony was a minor league manager from 1982-1983, 1985-1986 and
1987. He was a major league coach for the Phillies (1977-1979 and
1988-1989) and the Marlins (1999). In 2001 he started a company "Tony
Taylor Baseball Academy Afiliado A La Serie Del Caribe Inc." in
Miami (an non-profit organization). He has lived in Palm Harbor, FL,
and Hialeau. Now retired, he resides in Miami.
Maynard Bert Thiel was born on May 4, 1926, in Marion, WI. He pitched for the 1947 Eau Claire Bears (10-10, 3.60). Bert was in the military in Europe in 1944-47.
Bert pitched in 4 games for the 1952 Boston Braves completing 7 innings and allowing 11 hits, 4 walks while striking out 6 for a 7.71 ERA and .344 OAV.
In the minors from 1947-1959 and 1961, he pitched for 15 teams with six seasons in "AAA". In 1949, he developed arm trouble and had chips removed from his elbow. He was the 1956 "Texas League Player of the Year". He also played two years in the Puerto Rico Winter League.
Bert was a minor league manager from 1960-1961 and 1972-74 (K.C. and White Sox organizations) and was a scout for the A's (1962), Senators (1963-69 - also a minor league pitching coach), Braves (1970-71) and White Sox. Thiel also managed the amateur town team in Leopolis, WI. He then entered the forest products business in his home town of Marion.
He also operated a restaurant and bar, called Bert's 10th Inning
in Marion for ten years. Bert
loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing up at Wilson Lake, gardening
and mushroom picking, He died on
July 31, 2020, in Pella, WI, and was buried in St. Mary's Catholic
Cemetery in Leopolis, WI.
Danny Leon Thompson was born in Wichita on February 1, 1947. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1968 (.282, 7 HR, 38 RBI).
He was the star athlete at tiny Capron High in the 1960s and met his future wife Jo at a sock hop after a high school basketball game in which he played.. Thompson was an All-American shortstop at Oklahoma State University and was 21 when the Minnesota Twins drafted him in June 1968. Danny and Jo packed their bags and never really unpacked. "We never stayed in one place for more than four months," Jo recalled. "We had this pickup with a camper shell. We kept everything in two boxes, covered with blankets. The dog always knew when it was time to go."
Thompson, an agile, sure-handed and well-liked infielder, played for the Minnesota Twins from 1970-1976 in 96, 48, 144, 99, 97, 112 and 34 games with batting averages of .219, .263, .276, .225, .250, .270 and .234 generally as a shortstop. He suffered an arm injury in 1971 which limited his appearances that year. In the 1970 ALCS, he played in all three games going 1 for 8. He became the Twins' regular shortstop in 1972 as the contact hitter, with alley power, led all MLB shortstops that year with a .276 average.
Before the 1973 season, a routine physical showed Danny was suffering from chronic granulocytic leukemia. At first, doctors thought it was controllable. He agreed to undergo an experimental new series of injections to combat the progression of the disease. Although he continued to play baseball, the treatment was nightmarish, leaving scars the size of half dollars on his skin
On June 1, 1976, he was traded to Texas in the Roy Smalley deal. He finished the season with the Rangers with 64 games and batted .222. In 694 major league games, he batted .248 with 2,218 at bats, had a .289 OBP and .310 slugging %. His fielding average was .956 with 478 games at short, 106 at third and 99 at second.
He only played three years in the minors (1968-1970) for three teams. Thompson was an All Star in each of those years. .
Thompson died Dec. 10, 1976, in Rochester, MN, a few months after playing his final game for the Texas Rangers. His burial was at the Capron Cemetery in Capron, OK.
To this day, friends remember Thompson as "big league in every sense of the word." and the memories of Danny''s life and death can be painful for Jo Thompson, who has become a social worker for the United Way in Chicago. His daughter, Tracy, was 6 when her father died. Meeting people who knew Thompson and played baseball with him has given Tracy and her sister Dana, 30, a different perspective on the father they didn't know----and the difficulties he and Jo faced in dealing with the disease.
"He played in pain," said Tracy. "He was often
sicker than he was letting on, because he wanted to play so much. But
my father was living his dream. My sister and I consider the [annual
Sun Valley golf] tournament my father''s legacy. It helps people keep
living their dreams." The tournament was founded in 1977 by
baseball slugger Harmon Killebrew, a native of Payette, and Idaho
legislator Ralph Harding. Killebrew''s $6,000 donation to leukemia
research after his teammate Thompson''s death 27 years ago ultimately
turned into something much bigger with his decision to launch the
corporate and charity-driven tournament.
Andre Thornton ("Andy") was born in Tuskegee, AL, on August 13, 1949. He played for the Huron Phillies in 1967 (.182, 1 HR, 3 RBI). On June 15, 1972, Philadelphia traded him to Atlanta with Joe Hoerner for Jim Nash and Gary Neibauer. Andy attended Cheyney State.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Hard-hitting first baseman Andy Thornton was in both the Braves and Phillies organizations before he made the majors, and didn't really settle into a spot with the Cubs or Expos either. But, on December 10, 1976, Cleveland made one of the best steals in club history, obtaining Thornton from Montreal for Jackie Brown. The proud but unassuming Thornton was a deeply religious man who engendered respect on the field with his powerful bat, and off the field with his sincere devotion to Christian beliefs. Twice Thornton slugged more than 30 homers and drove in more than 100 runs in a Cleveland uniform. Twice more he passed the 90 mark in RBIs. In 1982 the became the second Indian to draw 100 walks and drive in 100 runs (Al Rosen was the first in 1950).
"During his 11 years in Cleveland, he led the Tribe in home runs seven times, including four seasons in a row. Only a succession of injuries - he missed the entire 1980 season and almost half of the 1981 - kept him from becoming the all-time Indian home run leader. He finished his career with 214 homers as an Indian, just 14 behind Hal Trosky."
Andy played in four seasons with the Cubs after being obtained by them on May 19, 1973, for Joe Pepitone. From 1973-1976, he was in 17, 107, 120 and 27 games batting .200, .261, .293 and .200 with 0, 10, 18 and 2 home runs. He also played 3 games at third base during those years. Andre was on "Baseball Digest's" 1974 All -Rookie team.
On May 17, 1976, he went to Montreal for Steve Renko and Larry Bittner and finished the year with them in 69 games, an average of .191 and 9 home runs with 11 games played in the outfield. On Dec. 10, 1976, he was traded to Cleveland for Jackie Brown. His Indians' years were from 1977 through 1987. As mentioned above, he lost all of the 1980 season and most of the 1981 due to a knee injury. Thornton also missed parts of the 1985 and 1986 seasons. During those 10 seasons, he played in 131, 145, 143, 69, 161, 141, 155, 124, 120 and 36 games hitting .263, .262, .233, .239, .273, .281, .271, .236, .229 and .118 with 28, 33, 26, 6, 32, 17, 33, 22, 17 and 0 home runs. He played in the 1982 and 1984 All-Star games and was generally a DH over his last 7 years.
Thornton was a respectable first baseman before the injuries and his poise, courage and overall attitude won the respect of fans, teammates and his opponents. He played in 1,565 major league games and had 5,291 official at bats for an average of .254, OBP of .364 and a .452 slugging %. He was 28 for 103 as a pinch hitter and had a .992 fielding average with 729 games played at first, 11 in the outfield and 3 at third.
In the minor leagues from 1967-1973, he played on nine teams with two years at "AAA".
In 1977, Thornton and his son Andy (André Jr.) were injured in an automobile accident that took the life of his wife Gertrude and three-year old daughter Theresa Gertrude. In 1983, he wrote a book "Triumph Born of Tragedy" about the accident and it's aftermath.
Thornton owns "Global Procurement Management Company"
which is involved in management consulting, promotional products and
event planning. Thornton continues to be involved in the Cleveland
community by being a board member of a number of civic and
educational organizations. Andy lives in Chagrin Falls, OH.
Otis Benjamin Thornton was born in Decena, AL, on June 30, 1945. He caught for the 1966 Bismarck-Mandan Pards (.191, 0 HR, 9 RBI).
Otis played two games for the Houston Astros in July 1973. He had three plate appearances, but failed to get a hit. However, he did get a RBI. In four defensive chances, he did not have an error at catcher.
In the minor leagues from 1965-1974, he played for 13 clubs with three years at class "AAA".
In 2010, he attended a Negro League reunion in Birmingham, AL,
were he resides.
Thomas Henry Timmermann was born on May 12, 1940, in Breese, IL. He pitched for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1961 (15-6, 2.70 ERA). Tom attended Southern Illinois University.
Tom arrived with the Detroit Tigers in June 1969 and was with their organization into the 1974 season. During those years, he appeared in 31, 61, 52, 34 and 17 games with 56, 85, 84, 150 and 39 innings for ERAs of 2.75, 4.11, 3.86, 2.89 and 3.69. In 1970, the Detroit sportswriters named him "Tiger of the Year" when he set club records for appearances and saves (27). In 1972-1973 he was in their starting rotation.
On June 15, 1973, Timmermann went to Cleveland with Kevin Collins for Ed Farmer and finished the 1973 season with them in 29 games (including 15 starts) and 124 innings with a 4.92 ERA. The right hander ended his MLB career with the Tribe in 1974 in 4 games for a 5.40 ERA.
In his career, he pitched in 228 games and 548 innings allowing 508 hits and 208 walks while striking out 315 for a 3.78 ERA and .246 OAV. His record was 35-35 with 35 saves.
In the minors from 1960-1971 and 1974, he pitched for 18 teams with 10 years of ERAs under 3.00. He spent 10 years at class "AAA".
After retirement from baseball, Tom became employed in metal
fabricating sales while living in his home town of Breese. He also
has lived in Whitmore Lake, MI, and now resides in Pickney.
Austin Ben Tincup was born in Adair, OK, on December 14, 1890. He pitched for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins when he managed them for part of the 1942 season.
Ben pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1914, 1915 and 1918 for 28, 10 and 8 games with 155, 31 and 17 innings compiling ERAs of 2.61, 2.03 and 7.56. Included in his seven 1914 wins were three shutouts taking two by 1-0 scores. He concluded his MLB career with the Cubs in 1928 with 2 games and 9 innings for a 7.00 ERA.
In his 48 games, including 18 starts, he finished 212 innings giving up 229 hits and 78 walks with 127 strikeouts, a 3.10 ERA and .291 OAV.
He played in the minors from 1912-1913, 1917, 1919-1932 and pitched as a player/manager in 1936-1939 and 1941-1942. He had a perfect game on June 18, 1917, in class "AA". Ben led his leagues in strikeouts in 1912 and 1913 and pitched a career 648 minor league games with a 251-198 record in 3,784 innings allowing 3,901 hits and 1,168 walks with 1,804 strikeouts and a 3.49 ERA. He also hit a career .271 in 1,203 minor league games.
Ben was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian who was erroneously called
the "Millionaire Indian" because he owned 500 no-oil acres
in Oklahoma. Tincup was a minor league manager in the lower minors
from 1936-1942, an umpire in the American Association in 1933, a
scout for the Braves (1946-1948), Pirates (1949-1953) and Phillies
(1956-1958) and a major league coach for the Yankees in 1961. He was
also elected to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Ben was found dead in his
hotel room at Claremore, OK, on July 5, 1980. He had died of natural
causes and was buried at the Rose Hill Memorial Park in Tulsa.
James Richard Todd was born on September 21, 1947, in Lancaster, PA. He played for the 1969 Huron Cubs (6-8, 2.80). Jim attended Millersville State College.
Todd had an up and down career as a relief pitcher for three teams. In 1974, the right hander played in 43 games for 88 innings with a 3.89 ERA on the Cubs. On Apr. 6, 1975, he was traded to Oakland for Champ Summers and cash. In 1975-1976, for the A's, he pitched in 58 and 49 games completing 122 and 83 innings for 2.29 and 3.81 ERAs. He appeared in the 1975 ALCS for three outs over three games allowing three hits and a run.
Hall of Famer, Rollie Fingers, who was a teammate of Todd's in 1975-76, once said he could not have been regarded as one of the best relievers in baseball without Jim as his set-up man. However, Ralph Houk accused Todd of throwing greaseballs - Jim called them "super sinkers." In 1975 he was 8-3 with 12 saves.
On March 15, 1977, Todd was back to the Cubs and was in 20 games and 31 innings for a 9.10 ERA during that season. On Apr. 20, 1978, he went to Seattle for Pete Broberg. His 1978 season was spent with the Mariners for whom he was in 49 games, 107 innings with a 3.88 ERA. In 1979, he returned to the A's where he ended his big league career appearing in 51 games and 81 innings compiling a 6.56 ERA.
Jim's MLB career encompassed 6 years, 270 games and 511 innings as he gave up 541 hits and 239 walks with 194 strikeouts, a 4.23 ERA and .277 OAV.
As a minor leaguer, he pitched from 1969-1975, 1977, and 1980 for 11 clubs with ERAs under 3.00 for eight of them. He was at the class "AAA" level for seven years.
Jim lives in Parker, CO.
Phillip Julius Todt ("Hook") was born in St. Louis on August 9, 1901. He appeared as a player/manager for the Crookston Pirates in 1939.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"In the aftermath of owner Harry Frazee's firesale of the Red Sox, first baseman Phil Todt was one of the few bright spots on the club. Todt led the American League in fielding percentage with a .997 mark in 1928 and in putouts, assists and errors in 1926. His totals that year - chances accepted and putouts - are among the highest in history. That year he received five votes for the AL Most Valuable Player. He is among the life-time leaders in chances accepted per game.
"'In the field we had one outstanding player, Phil Todt, our first baseman,' recalled Red Sox outfielder Walter Shaner, 'He was a smooth fielder, but he swung up around his shoulders every time, and he only hit if they threw it there.' After almost seven years as a regular with last-place Boston, he joined the pennant-winning Philadelphia A's in 1931. He walked in his only World Series appearance in the A's seven-game loss to the Cardinals; it was his last game as a major leaguer..."
Phil was the starting first baseman for the Boston Red Sox for 6 years while they finished last in the AL. From 1924-1930, he appeared in 52, 141, 154, 140, 144, 153 and 111 games with batting averages of .262, .278, .255, .236, .252, .262 and .269. He was handicapped as a lefthanded hitter in Fenway Park's deep centerfield and right-field fences.
On Feb. 3, 1931, Todt was sold to the Philadelphia A's where he performed his last year, during the 1931 season, when he played 62 games for a .244 average. Likable and consistent, Phil played in 957 games hitting .258, with a .305 OBP and a .395 slugging %. His life-time fielding % was .992 and he was 7 for 47 as a pinch hitter.
Phil played minor league ball for the St. Paul Saints from
1932-1937 and was a minor league manager in 1933, 1937 and 1939.
After baseball, he operated a flower shop in St. Louis. He died on
November 15, 1973, in St. Louis and was buried at the Saints Peter
and Paul Cemetery there.
Joseph Paul Torre was born on July 18, 1940, in Brooklyn. He played for the Eau Claire Braves in 1960 (.344, 16 HR, 74 RBI). He won the batting championship that year.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"After conquering a weight problem, Joe Torre won the National League Most Valuable Player award and added the word 'svelte' to hundreds of sportswriters' vocabularies. But Torre took a lot longer to conquer his 'wait' problem. He set a record 4,272 games as a big league player and manager without ever participating in a World Series. Then in 1996, his first season at the helm of the New York Yankees, he guided the club to the world championship...
"...Torre grew up in Brooklyn, where he played third base at St. Francis Prep. He was the product of a baseball family. His father scouted for the Milwaukee Braves and later for the Baltimore Orioles and Joe's older brother, Frank, played first base for the Braves. It was no surprise the Joe signed with Milwaukee in 1959. With Eddie Mathews occupying third base, the Braves converted Torre into a catcher. His bat, however, was his ticket to the majors...In 1960...he was promoted to Milwaukee and singled off Harvey Haddix in his first major league at bat.
"Torre spent barely a month of 1961 at Milwaukee's Triple-A club, batting .342 to earn a permanent promotion to the Braves. He played 112 games in 1961, filling in when regular catcher Del Crandall was injured. In 1962 he and Crandall shared catching duties, and the next year Torre began playing first base when he wasn't behind the plate, in order to get his bat in the lineup. That season he even made two outfield appearances. Torre was selected to the National League All-Star team for five straight seasons, starting in 1963, and he had four more consecutive selections, starting in 1970.
"When Crandall was traded to San Francisco in an eight-player deal that brought Felipe Alou to Milwaukee for the 1964 season, Torre became the Braves' regular catcher. He led NL receivers with a .995 fielding average and flowered as a power hitter, with 36 doubles, 20 homers, 109 RBIs and a .321 batting average. He also led the league in grounding into double plays, a dubious distinction he'd achieve again in 1965, 1967 and 1968. He finished fifth in the league's 1964 MVP voting and received a smattering of votes the next two years. In 1965, Torre slammed 27 homers. He was one of the league-record six 20-home run hitters on the Braves, an arsenal matched only by the 1961 Yankees, 1964 Twins and 1986 Tigers. He also won his only Gold Glove and hit a two-run homer in the first innings of the All-Star Game.
"The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966 and led the league in home runs for the second straight season. Torre batted .315 and was one of the team's three 30-home run hitters, socking a career-high 36. He suffered a broken cheekbone in April 1968, missing three weeks, which caused a drop in his power numbers. But he led the league's catchers in fielding percentage for the second time. On St. Patrick's Day 1969, the Braves traded Torre to St. Louis for first baseman Orlando Cepeda, the league's 1967 MVP and team leader for the back to back NL champion Cardinals. Torre replaced Cepeda at first base, fielded better, outhit him by 32 points and knocked in 13 more runs. But the Braves scrambled from behind to win the inaugural NL West flag while the favored Cardinals were never in the NL East race.
"The next winter the Cards made another big swap, trading catcher Tim McCarver and center fielder Curt Flood to Philadelphia in a seven-player deal that included Richie Allen as their principal acquisition. The Cardinals had 20-year-old catcher Ted Simmons on the way, but without Torre to play behind the plate in 1970, they probably wouldn't have made the deal. As it turned out, Flood refused to report to the Phillies and the Cardinals sent Willie Montanez and Cal Browning to the Phils to complete the deal. Flood's subsequent lawsuit began the downfall of the reserve clause and the Cardinal plans went back to the drawing board after third baseman Mike Shannon was forced to retire due to kidney disease. Torre began the 1970 season catching and made the All-Star team. But when Shannon left the lineup, Torre shifted to third base, a position he hadn't played since high school. He finished with yet another banner year, setting career highs with a .325 average, second-best in the league, and 203 hits, including 57 for extra bases. He also knocked in 100 runs, his best power output in four years. The Cardinals decided that Torre would be their regular third baseman.
"To prepare for the new assignment, Torre went on the popular Stillman water diet; lots of protein, no carbs and eight glasses of water a day. He dropped more than 20 pounds before spring training and had his best season in the majors. He led both leagues with 230 hits, 137 RBIs, 352 total bases and a .363 average, winning the NL MVP over Willie Stargell. Torre clouted 24 homers that season but never again hit more than 13 or knocked in more than 81 runs in any of his remaining major league seasons. After playing mainly at third base in 1972, he shifted to first base for the next two years. Hitting for th cycle on June 27, 1973, was the highlight of those years. During the 1974 World Series the Mets continued their habit of collecting veterans for their troublesome third base position. They acquired Torre [on Oct. 13, 1974] for veteran pitcher Ray Sadecki and young-star Tommy Moore.
"The Mets soon learned that Torre had slowed down. In his first year in New York, Torre grounded into a league-record four double plays in a nine-inning game, typing the major league mark first set 30 years earlier by Goose Goslin. During his career, Torre hit into 284 double plays. Torre batted .306 as a semi-regular in 1976, playing first more than third and no longer a power threat. On May 31, 1977, the Mets fired manager Joe Frazier and appointed Torre who also remained a player until June 18..."
Joe's MLB managerial record is: Mets - 1977 (49-68, 6th), 1978 (66-96, 6th), 1979 (63-99, 6th), 1980 (67-95, 5th) and 1981 (17-34, 5th and 24-28, 4th); Braves - 1982 (89-73, 1st), 1983 (88-74, 2nd) and 1984 (80-82, 2nd); Cardinals - 1990 (24-34, 6th), 1991 (84-78, 2nd), 1992 (83-79, 3rd), 1993 (87-75, 3rd), 1994 (53-61, 3rd) and 1995 (20-27); Yankees - 1996 (92-70, 1st, World Champions), 1997 (96-66, 2nd), 1998 (114-48, 1st, World Champions), 1999 (98-64, 1st, World Champions), 2000 (87-74, 1st, World Champions), 2001 (95-65, 1st, lost World Series), 2002 (103-58, 1st), 2003 (101-61, 1st), 2004 (101-61, 1st), 2005 (95-67, 1st), 2006 (97-65, 1st) and 2007 (94-68, 2nd).
Before he became the Yankees manager, Torre was rapped as a not an especially good manager because he played strictly by the book, bunting more often then most. However, with expensive talent to manage in New York, he succeeded beyond expectations. After twelve consecutive appearances in the post-season (1996-2007), Joe left the Yankees in October 2007 after being offered a one-year contract with a 30% cut in pay. There were reports, at the time, that Torre was not ready to retire and would entertain offers, most probably from the National League. After 26 years of managing, many reporters were granting him hall-of-fame status.
As manager for the Dodgers, his record was: 2008 (84-78, 1st); 2009 (95-67, 1st) and 2010 (80-82, 4th). On Sept. 17, 2010, Torre announced he would retire from baseball at the end of the season Assuming that is true, his final record over 29 years, was 2,326-1,997 (.528). Joe was the fifth most winiest manager of all time.
During his 1985-1989 managing hiatus, he was a TV baseball announcer in California and, in March 1999 Joe had surgery for prostate cancer. In February 2011, Torre was named MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations and he left that job in December 2011 in order to join a group who wished to purchase the Dodgers. In 2013, he rejoined MLB's executive circle. He will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Torre lives in Harrison, NY.
Paul Louis Toth was born in McRoberts, KY, on June 30, 1935. He played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1956 (6-2, 2.86 ERA).
Toth, a finesse pitcher, had a brief three-year MLB career. In 1962, he appeared in 6 games for the Cardinals (17 inn, 5.40 ERA) and 6 games for the Cubs (34 inn, 4.24) [obtained Sept. 1 for Harvey Branch]. In 1963 and 1964, for them, he was in 27 and 4 games for 131 and 11 innings with ERAs of 3.10 and 8.44. On June 15, 1964, he was traded to St. Louis in the Lou Brock deal but never played for them. In his career 43 games and 192 innings, he gave up 177 innings and 54 hits for a 3.60 ERA.
In the minor leagues, he pitched from 1955-1958, 1961-1962 and 1964-1967 for 13 teams with six years of ERAs at or lower then 3.00. He was at the "AAA" level for five seasons.
Paul was in the military in 1959-1960 and became the Sales Manager for Z and Z Beer Distributing Company in Toledo. He became a resident of Erie, MI, and died on March 20, 1999, in Anaheim, CA, of a heart attack during a family visit. Burial was at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.
Jesus Manuel Marcano (Trillo) was born in Caripito, Venezuela on December 25, 1950. He played for the Huron Phillies in 1968 (.261, 0 HR, 4 RBI). Manny attended Col. Libertado Bolivar.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Manny Trillo once said, 'The best thing about baseball is that you can do something about yesterday tomorrow.' During his 17-year career Trillo had many successful tomorrows, playing in four All-Star Games and helping the Phillies win the first world championship in franchise history in 1980.
"Signed by the Phillies as a free agent in January 1968, Trillo was sent to Huron of the Northern League. In 1969 he was drafted by Oakland after playing in Spartanburg of the West Carolinas League. He later played at Birmingham, Iowa, and Tucson before reaching Oakland in 1973. After playing in only 38 games in two years for the A's, he was traded with two other players to the Cubs for future Hall of Famer Billy Williams. In Chicago, Trillo became a consistent second baseman, appearing in at least 150 games from 1975 through 1978 and fielding everything to come his way. In 1977 he hit a respectable .280 and followed that up with a .261 mark in 1978.
"Nevertheless, in February 1979 he was traded to the Phillies in an eight-player transaction, and the following season he won the first of three Gold Gloves. In 1980 Trillo batted .292 and established career highs in doubles, with 25, and triples, with nine. He hit .381 in the NLCS and teamed with Larry Bowa to shut down the Astros on defense. Although he tapered off at the plate in the World Series, hitting only .217, his defense was first-rate as the Phils beat the Royals in six games. Trillo had a career year afield in 1982, going 89 straight errorless games and leading the league in fielding percentage. He not only was adept of getting to balls, but his quick whip-like throw to first belied the old wives' tale that second baseman don't have strong arms.
"After the 1982 season he was traded to Cleveland with four other players for Von Hayes. In 1983 Trillo became the first player to start successive All-Star games for different leagues. Traded to Montreal in August 1983, he became a free agent in November 1983 and signed with San Francisco. By then a part-timer, Trillo returned to the Cubs in 1986. He finished his career with Cincinnati in 1989."
For Oakland in 1973-1974, he played second for 17 and 21 games with averages of .250 and .152. On Oct. 23, 1974, he was traded to the Cubs with Darold Knowles and Bob Locker for Billy Williams. With them from 1975-1978, he played in 154, 158, 152 and 152 games for averages of .248, .239, .280 and .261. He had an All Star appearance in 1977. On Feb. 23, 1979, he went to Philadelphia in a nine-player deal.
His Phillies years were from 1979-1982 with appearances in 118, 141, 94 and 149 games batting .260, .292, .287 and .271 and All Star experiences in 1981 and 1982. Trillo was the MVP in the 1980 NLCS when he hit .381 with four RBI against Houston. In 1982, he set since-broken MLB records for second basemen with 89 consecutive errorless games in a season, consecutive errorless chances accepted of 479 and a league-record .9937 fielding % for second basemen.
On Oct. 9, 1982, he was traded to Cleveland in a six-player deal and had a partial year with them in 1983 (88 games, .272) and another All Star game, but finished the year with Montreal [obtained Aug 17 for Dan Carter and $300,000] in 31 games and a .264 average. He signed as a free agent with San Francisco on Dec. 21, 1983.
With the Giants in 1984-1985, he continued to play second base in 98 and 125 games for averages of .254 and .224. On Dec. 11, 1985, he was dispatched to the Cubs for Dave Owen. In his second stint with the Cubs in 1986-1988, he was in 81, 108 and 76 games hitting .296, .294 and .250 with appearances at all of the infield positions. On Dec. 21, 1988, he signed as a free agent with Cincinnati. His last year of 1989, was with the Reds for 17 games and a .205 average.
Manny played in 1,750 major league games batting .263, with a .318 OBP and .345 slugging %. His fielding percentage was .981 with 1,518 games at second, 110 at third, 85 at first and 16 at short. The right hander was 15 for 76 as a pinch hitter.
Trillo was the a minor league hitting coach in 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2004-05 and a minor league infield instructor for the White Sox in '06 and is currently their base running coordinator. He apparently still lives in his home town of Maracaibo during the off season.
Harold Arthur Trosky Jr. (born “Troyavesky”) was born
in Cleveland on September 29, 1936. He played first base for the
Superior Blues in 1955 (40g/.265) and pitched for the Duluth-Superior
Dukes in 1956 (9-5/3.95/1.49). In 1955 he was injured early in the
season. “As he fielded a throw that was low and up the
baseline, the runner came inside the line and ran into the forearm on
his glove hand. The result was a quarter-sized bone chip on his
left elbow that made him unable to flex his arm...and he returned to
Iowa to rehabilitate the arm. His orthopedic physician advised
Trosky that surgery might permanently restrict his arm movement, and
instead recommended that he spend the offseason exercising daily with
a five-gallon bucket of sand.
“Trosky was disciplined in his therapy. By the first day of 1956 spring training he had regained more than 90 percent of his flexibility and range of motion. He was invited to spring training with the White Sox, and though he was batting .345, a coach approached him one morning. “Have you ever thought about pitching?” the coach asked. “We think that the little restriction that you have remaining in your left arm will keep you from hitting big-league pitching. But we’ve noticed that everything you throw has natural movement on it and we want you to try pitching.” Trosky was 6-feet-3 and weighed 205 pounds, so size was not an issue for the White Sox.
“Hal’s father had advised him to try anything the big-league club suggested, within reason, so he worked as a pitcher the rest of the spring. When he returned to Superior, it was as a side-arm pitcher. But White Sox pitching coach Ray Berres told him that he’d never get big-league hitters out throwing side-arm. The right-handed-pitching Trosky changed to a three-quarter delivery and used his fastball and “nickle curve” (today called a slider)...for Duluth-Superior in his first season on the mound. (At that point, Hal’s career was a mirror image of his father’s: Hal Sr. had begun as a pitcher and moved to first base.)” - from his SABR bio by Bill Johnson.
Trosky had one chance in the big leagues in late September 1958 for the White Sox. He relieved in 2 games going 3 innings allowing 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out one. His ERA was 6.00 and he had a .385 OAV and .467 OOB.
In the minors he played from 1954-1960 playing in 282 games. He hit .244 and had a 44-30 pitching record with an ERA in the mid-threes.
Trosky was the son of Hal Trosky Sr., a Hall-of-Farme MLB player from 1933-41, 1944 and 1946. In the 1980s, Junior was a Sales Supervisor for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company in Cedar Rapids, IA. He stayed in the insurance business for 50 years. Trosky was inducted into the Iowa Baseball Hall of Fame.
Hal died on November 23, 2012, from complcations of lung cancer at the Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha, IA, and was buried at St. Michael's Cemetery, Norway IA. His obit stated: “He enjoyed being outdoors mowing, hunting, fishing, and attending air shows. He had a lifelong love of music and patiently worked through crossword puzzles.”
Robert Trowbridge was born on June 27, 1930, in Hudson, NY. He pitched for the Eau Claire Bears in 1950 (16-8, 2.97 ERA).
Trowbridge pitched for the Milwaukee Braves from 1956-1959 in 19, 32, 27 and 16 games, including 4, 16, 4 and 0 starts, for 51, 126, 55 and 30 innings with 2.66, 3.64, 3.93 and 5.93 ERAs. He played in the 1957 World Series for one inning allowing 2 hits, 3 walks and 5 runs. On Oct. 12, 1959, he was sold to Kansas City.
His last MLB season was in 1960 for the A's where he appeared in 22 games and 68 innings for a 4.61 ERA. In his five seasons, he played in 116 games and 330 innings giving up 324 walks and 156 walks with 201 strikeouts. His ERA was 3.95 and he had a .260 OAV.
As a minor leaguer from 1950, 1954-1956 and 1960-1961, he pitched for eight teams with three years of ERAs at or under 3.00. He was at "AAA" for four seasons.
Bob was in the military from 1951-1953 and was known as one of
MLB's top bowlers. He continued to live in his home town of Hudson
while working in security for a State of New York correctional
facility. He died in Hudson on April 3, 1980, from a heart attack.
Burial was at the Cedar Park Cemetery there.
Robert Lee Turley ("Bullet Bob") was born in Troy, IL, on September 19, 1930. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1949 (23-5, 2.31 ERA). He led the league in strikeouts that year.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Pitcher Bob Turley won the Cy Young Award in 1958 when he was, quite simply, the best pitcher in baseball. A quiet, religious man, he won quite a few ballgames by stealing the opponents' signs. He told Peter Golenbock, 'I simply had the ability to pick up signs from opposing pitchers. I picked up a tremendous amount fo them and relayed them to Mickey Mantle...I called a tremendous amount of home runs for Mickey.'
"The Yankees thought they had signed Turley out of high school, but instead they had mistakenly signed his uncle, who was just two years older. The younger Turley signed with the Browns and started with Belleville of the Illinois State League in 1948. He moved to Aberdeen in 1949 and led the Northern League with 23 wins and 205 strikeouts. After stops in San Antonio and Wichita, Turley pitched one game for the St. Louis Browns and spent 1952 and most of 1953 in the military. He starred with the Orioles in 1954, their maiden season, leading the league in strikeouts, with 185.
"Turley went to the Yankees as part of a 18-player deal completed in December 1954. He won his first seven games as a Yankee but got bombed in Game 3 of the World Series against the Dodgers. He also lost Game 6 of the 1956 World Series to the Dodgers' Clem Labine, 1-0, in 10 innings. In 1958 Turley came into his own. He led the American League in wins, won-lost percentage and walks, won the Cy Young Award and then starred in the World Series. Although knocked out in the first inning of game 2, he started and won Game 5, picked up a save in Game 6, pitched 6 2/3 innings of relief to win Game 7 and was World Series Most Valuable Player.
"He suffered from bone chips in 1960, was on the disabled list for a month in 1961 and was sold to the Angels on a conditional basis in October 1962. He retired after the 1963 season and said, 'I'd like to be remembered as a guy who gave everything he had, a guy who was well-liked and respected by both his teammates and opponents and a guy who didn't sully the game with controversy.' "
Bob was in the Army during most of the 1952 and 1953 seasons. It was said his weight went from 195 to 230 during those years, but after he was discharged in late summer of '53, he dieted and his weight dropped to 210. In 1952 he was stationed at Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio where he pitched and had a 15-2 record.
For the Browns in 1951 and 1953, Bob was in one and 10 games with 7 and 60 innings for 7.36 and 3.28 ERAs. With the 1954 Orioles, he started 35 games and completed 247 innings for a 3.46 ERA and .203 OAV which led the league. He was their opening day starter in the first major league game played in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore He was also named to the All-Star team that year. On Nov. 18, 1954, he was traded to the Yankees in a 17-player deal.
In his Yankee years from 1955-1962, he pitched 36, 27, 32, 33, 33, 34, 15 and 24 games, including 34, 21, 23, 31, 22, 24, and 12 starting assignments for 247, 132, 176, 245, 154, 173, 72 and 69 innings compiling ERAs of 3.06, 5.05, 2.71, 2.97, 4.32, 3.27 and 5.27. He was named to the All Star team in 1955 and played in the 1958 affair. His World Series record in 15 games and 54 innings was 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA. After his elbow problems in 1959, which required surgery, he lost his fastball and turned to the curve. On Oct. 29, 1962, he was sold to the Los Angeles Angels.
His career ended in 1963 with the Angels (19g, 12 starts, 87 inn, 3.30 ERA) and the Red Sox (11g, 7 starts, 41 inn, 6.10 ERA). In his 12-year MLB career, he pitched in 310 games for 1,713 innings allowing 1,366 hits and 1,068 walks while striking out 1,265 for a 3.64 ERA and .220 OAV.
After his playing career, Turley was the pitching coach for the Red Sox in 1964 before moving to Alpharetta GA and going into business. He and his partners founded A L Williams & Associates, which eventually became the largest financial service organization in North America with over 100,000 representatives. He later became a senior national sales director of Primerica Financial Services, which had purchased. Williams. After moving to Dunwoody, GA, he retired from the business giving half of his business to his son and the other half to his secretary.
In addition, along with his friend former major leaguer Gus Triandos, they opened a bowling alley in Bel Air MD. He enjoyed fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and his weekly golf date in Big Canoe, GA. Turley was also involved in designing, building and selling homes in Marco Island, FL and North Georgia. He also had lived in Duluth, GA. He died from liver cancer while in hospice care in Atlanta on March 30, 2013 (the same week his friend Triandos died). Cremation followed.
Wayne Lee Twitchell was born in Portland, OR, on March 10, 1948. He pitched for the 1966 Bismarck-Manden Pards (4-1, 1.41). On Nov. 21, 1969, he was sold by Houston to the Seattle Pilots which became the Milwaukee Brewers the next spring.
The 6'6" right hander first pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970 for 2 games and 2 innings with a 10.80 ERA. He was then with the Phillies from 1971-1976 for 6, 49, 34, 25, 36 and 26 games (1, 15, 28, 18, 20 and 2 starts) for 16, 140, 223, 112, 134 and 62 innings compiling ERAs of 0.00, 4.06, 2.50, 5.21, 4.42 and 1.75. He pitched a scoreless inning in the 1973 All-Star game and finished the year 2nd in the league for ERA, 3rd for in fewest hits per nine innings (6.93) and tied for 3rd in shutouts with 5. Twitchell injured his knee playing basketball in November 1973 and was out until the end of May 1974.
After 12 games in 1977 (8 starts, 46 innings, 4.53 ERA), he was traded to the Montreal Expos [June 15 with Tim Blackwell for Barry Foote and Dan Warthen] where he made 22 starts for 139 innings and a 4.21 ERA. Wayne stayed with the Expos in 1978 for 33 games, including 15 starts, for 112 innings and a 5.38 ERA.
His MLB career ended in 1979 with 33 games for the Mets (64 inn, 5.23 ERA) and 4 with the Mariners [purchased Aug. 19] (14 inn, 5.27 ERA). His major league career spanned 10 seasons, 282 games and 1,063 innings as he allowed 983 hits and 537 walks with 789 strikeouts, a 3.98 ERA and .250 OAV.
In the minor leagues, he pitched from 1966-1971 and 1979 for nine clubs with three years of ERAs under 3.00. He was at the "AAA" level in five seasons. He spent his early years as a pro splitting his time between the Army Reserves and the minor leagues.
Wayne went into the real estate business while living in Portland
and also was a volunteer coach for 11 years at Wilson High School
there. He died on Sept. 16, 2010, in Portland due to cancer and was
interred in Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Mausoleum.
David Burton Tyriver was born on October 31, 1937, in Oshkosh, WI. He pitched for the 1957 Fargo-Moorhead Twins (14-9, 2.68 ERA). On Oct. 14, 1961, Cleveland sold him to Washington but he never played for them and returned to the Indians organization.
Dave pitched in 4 games for the 1962 Indians. He completed 11 innings allowing 10 hits and 7 walks with 7 strikeouts, a 4.22 ERA and .250 OAV.
As a minor league pitcher from 1956-1964, the right hander played for 11 teams with three years of ERAs under 3.00. He was at class "AAA" for four seasons.
Dave was a manager of a men's clothing store in Oshkosh. He died
at his home there on October 28, 1988, from a heart attack. Burial
was at the German Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Oshkosh.
Robert George Uecker was born on January 26, 1935, in Milwaukee. He played for the Eau Clare Braves in 1956 (.171, 6 HR, 17 RBI) and 1957 (.284, 12, 54 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Light-hitting, little-used journeyman catcher Bob Uecker outdid Joe Garagiola at his own game by cashing in on a less than mediocre career becoming in his own way - 'Mr. Baseball.' Uecker had been a decent sandlot pitcher in Milwaukee and attracted some attention from a Braves scout, but his baseball career did not begin until he enlisted in the Army at age 19. Stationed in Missouri, he talked himself onto the Fort Leonard Wood team by claiming to have played for Marquette University, which actually did not have a baseball team. In fact, Uecker had never been to college.
"In the army Uecker became a catcher and the Braves scouted him again. This time they offered him a $3,000 bonus. 'For the signing ceremony,' noted Uecker, 'the Braves' officials took us to one of the city's swankiest restaurants. My dad was so nervous he rolled down the window and the hamburgers fell off the tray.' Uecker went to the minors for $250 a month at Eau Claire in the class C Northern League. His start was unimpressive: a .171 average with 17 RBIs. Nonetheless, he became the first home-grown Milwaukee product to play for the Braves. Of course, as Uecker blithely pointed out: 'I was also the first Milwaukeean sent to the minors and the first traded.'
"The Braves traded Uecker to the St. Louis Cardinals when Tim McCarver was injured and he played (occasionally) for the world champions. That year, two students at Drury College in Missouri noted that, from Opening Day until July 2, the Cardinals had not won a game in which Uecker had played. Such consistency demanded recognition and the result was the Bob Uecker Fan Club, which eventually reached 500 members and featured the slogan: 'Bob Uecker is a Great American.' Uecker finished his career playing for Philadelphia and the Braves, who had moved to Atlanta.
"In 1971, Milwaukee owner Bud Selig retained Uecker as a member of the Brewers' broadcasting crew, a position he still held through the  season. He was named Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year five times and was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association Hall of Fame in 1994. Uecker made comic appearances at an Atlanta nightclub with jazz trumpeter Al Hirt, which led to the first of numerous appearances on NBC's 'Tonight Show'. His rising profile made him a regular from 1976 to 1982 on ABC's 'Monday Night Baseball'. His self-mocking style also gained him popularity in Miller Beer commercials, which in turn won him a starring role in the ABC sitcom 'Mr. Belvedere'. Uecker also hosted two syndicated TV shows, Bob Uecker's 'Wacky World of Sports' and Bob Uecker's 'War of the Stars'. He authored a 'Catcher in the Wry', a humorous look at Uecker's experiences. In 2003 he entered the broadcaster's wing of the Hall of Fame."
For the Braves in 1962-1963, Bob played in 33 and 13 games batting .250 each year. On Apr. 9, 1964, he was traded to St. Louis for Jim Coker and Gary Kolb. With the Cardinals in 1964-1965, he was in 40 and 53 games with averages of .198 and .228. On September 1, 1964, he hit a 9th inning home run to beat the Braves 5-4 and keep St. Louis in the pennant race.
On Oct. 27, 1965, he went to Philadelphia in a six-player trade. With the Phillies in 1966-1967 for 78 and 18 games he compiled batting averages of .208 and .171. The remainder of the 1967 season was spent at Atlanta [obtained June 6 for Gene Oliver] with 62 games and a .146 average. On June 21, he had 5 RBI, including a grand slam. His .972 fielding average for the Braves was a tribute to his good fielding as he often caught their knuckleballers.
His MLB career lasted 297 games with an average of .200, .295 OBP and .287 slugging %. His fielding % was .981 with 271 games at catcher. The right hander was 5 for 29 as a pinch hitter.
Uecker survived in baseball with good defensive skills and a rifle arm. Bob played minor league ball from 1956-1961 and 1963 for 12 teams with three seasons hitting over .300. He was at class "AAA" for four seasons and, in 1961, led all catchers in fielding for Louisville (IL).
When Uecker was at his busiest with the various TV and radio appearances, he was brought down to earth with heart problems. Bob has been broadcasting Brewers games on radio since 1978. He hosted two syndicated television shows, "Bob Uecker's Wacky World of Sports" and "Bob Uecker's War of the Stars, was in a number of Miller Lite commercials, appeared in "Major League I, II and III", was the star of the TV sitcom "Mr. Belvedere" for six years., became one of Johnny Carson's favorite guests, making some 100 appearances on the "Tonight Show", wrote two books and was the lead play-by-play announcer on ABC's "Monday Night Baseball".
He has lent his services in support of several local organizations, including the United Performing Arts Fund, the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Fund, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. In addition, he's an advocate for such organizations as cystic fibrosis, heart disease and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. He also chairs the popular Bob Uecker Celebrity Fishing Tournament for Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In 2003 he received the Ford Frick Award by Baseball's Hall of Fame. In 2010 Uecker, then 75, had more heart problems as he had bypass surgery and did not announce Brewers' games for about three months.
During a 2014 broadcast on the MLB Network (“Mr. Baseball”), Uecker said he was hired as a scout by the Brewers in 1970 and assigned to the Northern League. He claimed that on the scouting reports he was required to submit that he wrote on the bottom “of every one” - FML (fringe major leaguer. Is reasoning? “So in case the guy made it, 'I told you. There it is, in my report.'” [He would have scouted long-time major leaguers Ken Griffey Sr., LaMar Johnson, Tony Scott, Joel Youngblood, Tom Carroll, Will McEnaney, Rick Reuschel and Pat Zachry.]
He lives in Menomonee Falls, WI.
Arnold William Umbach (Jr.) was born in Williamsburg, VA, on December 6, 1942. He pitched for the Eau Claire Braves in 1962 (5-3, 3.47).
Arnie started one game for the Milwaukee Braves in October 1964 lasting 8 1/3 innings allowing 11 hits, 4 walks and 3 runs. He was back with the Braves in Atlanta for 22 games in 1966. He finished 41 innings for a 3.10 ERA. In his 23-game career, the right hander, pitched 49 innings allowing 51 hits and 22 walks while striking out 30. His ERA was 3.12 and he had a .270 OAV.
On Dec. 31, 1966, The Braves traded him with Eddie Mathews and Sandy Alomar to the Colt 45s for Dave Nicholson and Bob Bruce, however, he never played for the Houston club. As a minor leaguer from 1961-1968, he pitched for 12 teams with five years of "AAA" ball.
Arnie pitched in the 1960 All-American Amateur Baseball
Association Tournament for his Alabama team striking out 24 batters
in one game. He graduated from Auburn in 1969 and law school
(University of Alabama, J.D., 1971; Emory University, LL.M. in
Taxation, 1976) and became an attorney in Opelika, AL, for the firm
of Adams, Umbach, Davidson & White, LLP. . He now lives in
Roy T. Upright was born on May 30, 1926, in Kannapolis, NC. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1948 (.287, 8 HR, 61 RBI). In 1947, he was signed by the Pirates and, in 1951, became White Sox property.
On Jan. 20, 1953, he was traded from the White Sox with $25,000 to the Browns for Fred Marsh. He played in 9 games for the 1953 Browns as a pinch hitter. The LHB went 2 for 8 with one walk and one home run.
In the minors, he played from 1947-1958 for 14 teams with averages over .300 for seven of them. He was at class "AAA" for two seasons. In 1958, he hit .343 with 17 homers and 116 RBI in the Western League.
Upright became a furniture salesman in NC. He died from cancer in
Concord, NC, on November 13, 1986, and was buried at the Greenlawn
Cemetery in China Grove, NC.
Fred Lee Valentine ("Squeaky") was born in Clarksdale, MS, on January 19, 1935. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1957 (.271, 7 Hr, 59 RBI). Fred was a football star with Tennessee A & I.
Fred played with the Orioles in 1959 and 1963 in 12 and 26 games batting .316 and .268 as a switch-hitting outfielder. On Oct. 11, 1963, he was sold to Washington. Valentine was with the Senators from 1964-1967 for 102, 12, 146 and 151 games as generally a starting outfielder. His batting averages, during those years were .226, .241, .276 and .234. He hit 16 homers in '66 and led the team with 29 doubles and 140 hits. .
After 37 games with the Nats in 1968 (.238), he went back to the Orioles [on June 15 for Bruce Howard] where he finished his MLB career in 47 games batting .187. He had played 533 MLB games and finished with a batting average of .247, OBP of .331 and a slugging % of .373. He was 20 for 113 as a pinch hitter and had a fielding mark of .983 with 413 games in the outfield and 2 at first.
As a minor leaguer from 1956-1963, 1965 and 1969, he played on 11 clubs hitting over .300 for four of them. He played at the class "AAA" level for seven seasons. In 1958, Valentine was named Carolina League "Player of the Year".
He became a construction company draftsman in Washington, DC,
where he still resides.
Jose (Nicolas) Vidal ("Papito") was born on April 3, 1940, in Batey Lechugas, D. R. He played for the 1962 Grand Forks Chiefs (.239, 4 HR, 22 RBI).
Jose had four short tours of duty in the majors. From 1966-1968, he made 17, 16 and 37 appearances for the Cleveland Indians as a right-handed outfielder batting .188, .118 and .167. On Mar. 19, 1969, he was traded to the Yankees for Dick Simpson but never played for them.
He ended his MLB career by playing 18 games for the Mariners in 1969 hitting .192. In his 88 game career, he batted .164 with a .261 OBP and .260 slugging %. He was 2 for 24 as a pinch hitter and had a .985 fielding average with 73 chances.
As a minor leaguer, he played from 1958-1975 for 19 teams including four years in the Mexican League. He had five years of averages over .300 and spent seven seasons at class "AAA". He won the triple crown of the California League in 1963 (.340, 40, 162). He played 1,592 minor league games with a career .278 average with 251 home runs and 988 RBI. In 1971 he played 39 games in Japan batting .221.
In 1971, he played in Japan. Vidal lived in Santo Domingo, but
died from stomach cancer after being bedridden several months, on
Jan. 7, 2011, at the Health Plaza in La Romana, La Romana, DR .
Burial was at Cementerio Municipal in La Romana.
Ozzie Virgil (Sr.)
Osvaldo Jose (Pichardo) Virgil was born in Monte Cristi, D.R., on May 17, 1933. He played for the 1953 St. Cloud Rox (.259, 7 HR, 60 RBI). He is the father of Ossie Virgil Jr. who was a catcher in the majors from 1980-1990.
As the first Dominican to play in the majors, Ozzie played every position except pitcher and center fielder during his career. At age 23, in 1956, he made his MLB debut for the Giants with 3 games batting 5 for 12 as a third baseman. He stayed with the team all of 1957 appearing in 96 games at third, in the outfield and at short with a .235 average. On Jan. 28, 1958, he was traded to Detroit with Gail Harris for Jim Finigan and $25,000.
In 1958 and 1960 with the Tigers, he played 49 and 62 games with averages of .244 and .227 and was used defensively at third, second, short and catcher. Virgil went 5-for-5 in his first game with them in '58. After 20 games for them in 1961 (.133), the right hander was traded to the Kansas City A's [obtained on Aug 2 in a 4-player deal] where he played in 11 games with a .143 average.
He only played one game in 1962, for the Orioles, walking as a pinch hitter. Virgil did not return to the majors until 1965 when was in 39 games with the Pirates hitting .265 and used more often as a catcher. On Oct. 1, 1965, he was sent to San Francisco with Joe Gibbon for Matty Alou. In 1966, he played 42 games for the Giants batting .213. His MLB career ended in 1969 with one game for the Giants going 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter.
Ozzie played in 324 major league games and had 753 official at bats for a .231 average, .264 OBP and .331 slugging %. He was 14 for 60 as a PH and had a fielding % of .951 in 189 games played at third, 35 at catcher, 26 in the outfield, 16 at second, 7 at short and 5 at first.
As a minor leaguer, he played from 1953-1956, 1958-1960, 1962-1964 and 1966-1968, for 13 teams. He had three years with averages over .300 and was at the class "AAA" level for 10 seasons.
Ozzie was a major league coach for the Giants (1969-1972 and
1974-1975), Expos (1976-1981), Padres (1982-1985) and Mariners
(1986-1988). He lives in Glendale, AZ.
John Christopher Vukovich was born on July 31, 1947, in Sacramento. He played for the 1966 Huron Phillies (.267, 2 HR, 35 RBI).
John was a wide-ranging third baseman who stayed in the majors for 10 years by becoming a utility infielder. In 1970, he played 3 games for the Phillies going 1 for 8. In 1971, he was their back-up third baseman for 74 games with a .166 average. On Oct. 31, 1972, he was traded to Milwaukee in the Don Money deal. In 1973 and 1974 for the Brewers he was in 55 and 38 games batting .125 and .188 at all infield positions. On Oct. 22, 1974, he was traded to Cincinnati for Pat Osburn.
He spent the 1975 season with the Reds for 31 games batting .211. John was back with the Phils from 1976-1977 and 1979-1981 playing in 4, 2, 10, 49 and 11 games with batting averages of .125, .000, .200, .161 and .000. In his 227 MLB games and 559 at bats, he hit only .161 with a .205 OBP and .222 slugging %. His fielding average was .951 with 212 games at third, 24 at second, 20 at first and 20 at short.
He played in the minor leagues from 1966-1972 and 1975-1979 for 15 clubs. He batted over .300 for two teams and was at the class "AAA" level for seven seasons.
John was a major league coach for the Cubs (1982-1987) and the Phillies (1988-2004) which made him the longest-serving coach in Phillies' history. He was a major league manager in 1986 for the Cubs (1-1) and the 1988 Phillies (5-4). In 2001, he survived a brain tumor that was surgically removed and treated with radiation. October 2004, he accepted a position with the Phillies as a special assistant to the general manager. He lived in Voorhees, NJ, before succumbing, in a Philadelphia-area hospital, to complications from another brain tumor [this one inoperable] on March 8, 2007. The cancer had returned in the fall of 2006. Burial was at the Haddenfield, NJ, cemetery.
After his death, Dodgers' general manager Ned Colletti said: "He was one of the most respected guys in the game because he respected the game. He would challenge anybody. I don't care if you were the biggest star. If he thought you weren't giving your best, he would challenge you right then and there. He loved the game." Colletti also called him "one of those three or four people that will forever be my friend." Curt Shilling wrote: "John Vukovich was the closest thing I had to a father since my dad passed away (in 1988). There's no doubt in my mind that my career would have been over 10 or more years ago without John..."
Mike Schmidt remembered him as "the best friend I had."
Phillies' GM Pat Gillick said Vukovich had "one of sharpest
minds in the game."
Richard Frank Wade ("Rip") was born in Duluth, MN, on January 12, 1898. He played for the 1933-1935 Superior Blues and the 1936 Duluth Dukes as their player/manager.
Rip played 33 major league games for the Washington Senators in 1923. As a left handed hitting outfielder, he had a .232 batting average, .284 OBP and .406 slugging %. He was 1 for 8 as a pinch hitter and fielded .967 with 30 outfield chances.
In the minors, he broke in with Kitchener in 1919 and played for the Minneapolis Millers in 1920 (159 games, .316), 1921 (152, .327) and 1922 when he compiled a .311 batting average with 22 home runs and 119 RBI. After his trial with the Senators, he played for Nashville, Memphis, St. Paul, San Francisco, Montreal, Atlanta, Des Moines, St. Joseph and Burlington.
Dick managed those four minor league seasons mentioned above and
was briefly a scout for the Cleveland Indians in 1956. He was also
the owner of the Dukes until his death on June 15, 1957, in Duluth
(at the time, "The Sporting News" reported his death
date/place as June 16 in Sandstone, MN.) Burial was at the Oneota
Cemetery in Duluth.
Leon Lamar Wagner ("Daddy Wags") was born on May 13, 1934, in Chattanooga. He played for the St. Cloud Rox in 1955 (.313, 29 HR, 127 RBI). He led the league in home runs and RBI that year.
Wagner's description of his '55 year: "Twenty-five thousand people in St. Cloud and only one black man … so I had to get involved in an all-white environment … no problem, you know? People were fine there."
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Expansion gave him a chance, and...Wagner grabbed it with both hands. For five years in the 1960s Wagner was one of the game's better sluggers. 'Wags always thought he was the greatest hitter in baseball.' said Phillies general manager Lee Thomas, a teammate of Wagner's on the 1961 Angels. 'He didn't care a lot about defense. He felt the was paid to hit the ball out of the park and that's what he tried to do just about every at bat. And he had great power.'
"...Wagner signed with the Giants in 1954. He made it to the majors in the second half of the 1958 season and hit .317 with 13 homers and 35 RBIs in 74 games. After slumping to .225 with five homers in 1959, he was traded to the Cardinals after the season. Hitting only .214 in 39 games with St. Louis, he spent most of 1960 in the minors. Wagner was 26 years old by then and going nowhere. But the American League had recently expanded and the new Los Angeles Angels franchise picked him up along with two other players and some cash in exchange for Al Cicotte, a pitcher whose career was on the skids. The deal turned out to be highway robbery. In 1961 Wagner hit .280 with 28 homers and 79 RBIs as the Angels stayed in contention until August and won a startling 70 games, which remained the record for an expansion club through 1999. He was even better in 1962, hitting 37 homers and driving in 107 runs, both career highs.
"After hitting .291 with 26 homers and 90 RBIs in 1963, Wagner was traded to the Indians for Barry Latman and Joe Adcock. He responded by upping his totals to 31 homers and 100 RBIs in 1964, and hitting a career-best .294 for a full season in 1965. Over the five-year span from 1961-1965, Wagner averaged 30 homers and 91 RBIs . He started to slip in 1966 and continued to slide the next season, with only 15 homers and 54 RBIs. After two more years - with the Indians, White Sox and Giants - Wagner was through. He finished his career with 211 home runs in only 4,426 at bats... 'He was a character, but a nice character,' Thomas said of him. 'He liked to have fun.'"
For the Giants in 1958-1959, he played in 74 and 87 games with averages of .317 and .225. He was on "TSN" 1958 Rookie All-Star team. On Dec. 15, 1959, he went to St. Louis with Daryl Spencer for Don Blasingame and spent the 1960 season with the Cardinals (39 g, .214).
Later Wagner gave this information regarding his years with the Giants: "I lived in the Fillmore District with a guy named Teddy, who used to be with the underworld. He had a silk bathrobe and a nice, big home there. Willie Kirkland lived with a woman named Sadie, who was an ex-madam, I guess. A fine, older lady. We were introduced to these people by Mays, his wife Marghuerite, and later by Sad Sam Jones. They knew these society people who had nice homes. Mays always looked out for us.
"Kirkland and I used to go out at night to the Washington Club and other spots. The Fillmore District at the time was jumping, with Jack's and all those other places. We were dating these little sisters from the Bank of America, in the Fillmore District ...
"Willie Kirkland was my closest friend on the team but I was good friends with all of them. (Orlando) Cepeda was playing bongo music all the time, smoking a little weed--it was strong, then. But we never smoked weed during the games. You can't play drugged up. Every now and then we'd smoke weed after the game, or in the offseason. But you could not play drugged up, with all those people in the stands, playing for money, man. That was out. You couldn't drink a lot of whiskey, either, and I was never a boozer. But, as I said, it was strong stuff, then--two puffs (laughs)."
On Jan. 26, 1961, he was traded in a four-player deal to the Angels. During the powerful, left handed pull hitter's Angels years of 1961-1963, he played in 133, 160 and 149 games hitting .280, .268 and .291 with 28, 37 [3rd in AL] and 26 home runs. He played in the 1962 [went 3-for-4 and hit a 2-run home run in game one] and 1963 All-Star games.
He remembered his Angel years: "Dean Chance and Bo Belinsky were playboys, but Bo was a bona fide nice guy who just liked to play Hollywood. He really went out there and caught the Hollywood girls. He was like white boy who was a pimp (laughs). From New Jersey. Yeah, I bought myself a shiny, new Cadillac in L.A., and Bo went out and got himself one in the same color. We were friends, though we never hung out together. He was a hustler. He could bowl and shoot pool like a hustler.
"I was about the only black guy on the team. Charlie Dees was there for a little while and we hung together, but there weren't too many black guys to hang with. So I partied with Jim Fregosi, Bob Rodgers and Lee Thomas. We had a ball together--we were real close."
On Dec. 2, 1963, he was dispatched to Cleveland for Joe Adcock and Barry Latman. He continued to start for the Cleveland Indians from 1964-1967 in 163, 144, 150 and 135 games batting .253, .294, .279 and .242 with 31, 28, 23 and 15 home runs. After 38 games for the Tribe in 1968 (.184), he was traded on June 13 to the Chicago White Sox for Russ Synder where he played in 69 games with a .284 average. In 1968, he led the league with 46 pinch hitting appearances. His career ended with 11 games with the Giants in 1969 (4 for 12).
Wagner played in 1,352 major league games batting .272 with a .343 OBP and .455 slugging %. He was 46 for 196 as a pinch hitter, leading the league in 1968. He fielding average was a decent .964 with 1,140 games in the outfield.
He played in the minor leagues from 1954-1960 and 1969-1971 for eight teams hitting over .300 for four of them. His class "AAA" experience was five years.
Leon was in the military in 1957 (he was drafted into the Army for an 18-month hitch, spent mostly at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs. Wagner's primary duty was playing baseball) and graduated from Tuskegee University.
After baseball, he was a professional actor ("A Woman Under the Influence" and "Bingo Long's Traveling All Stars"), opened a clothing store whose slogan was "Buy Your Rags at Daddy Wags" and had a 14-unit apartment building, a store, and three houses. He claimed to have been worth $800,000 in 1963. He also sold cars for two years in Honolulu and ten years in San Francisco. However, later he suffered from substance abuse and was often homeless living in the streets of South Los Angeles.
At the end of his life, he lived in a small electrical shed behind a video store which was his makeshift home. Wagner died in that shed (located in South L.A.) of natural causes on January 3, 2004. He was cremated.
When Wagner was 63 years old, he stated: "All my life I had $4,000 or $5,000 a month expenses, a house, two cars, one for the lady, you know. And when you've been doing that since you were 23 years old and you're making $40,000 to $50,000 a year … I just got tired of all that. I just got free for a change the last couple of years …
"I'm retired now. I'm living kind of a radical lifestyle, like the hippies in San Francisco in the '60s. I've got a Lincoln, and I could get an apartment if I wanted to, with cable and everything, but I just feel free being out--I don't know whether it's the Indian in me or what. I check into a fabulous hotel every now and then. But I always felt like I was rich, whether I had only two dollars or whatever. I was raised that way. I can always get some cash. And I ain't money hungry. I'm blessed. I get paid from baseball--$1,800 a month. Forever ..."
[Wagner's quotes were from " The Original San Francisco
Giants" by Steve Bitker (Sports Publishing, 1998, pp. 120,
Donald Allen Wallace was born in Sapulpa, OK, on August 25, 1940. He played for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1962 (.325, 0 HR, 20 RBI). The Cardinals claimed him the rule V draft in after the season, but he did not make the '63 Cards and he was returned to the O's. After the '63 year, the Yankees drafted him and he stayed with their orgainization for two years.
Don made the Angels 1967 opening day roster and appeared in 23 games going 0 for 6 with 2 walks. He was used mostly for defensive and pinch running purposes. He was 0 for 3 as a left-handed pinch hitter and was errorless in his 7 fielding chances at second for 4 games, first for one and third for one. On June 4, he was sent to "AAA" and on July 24 was traded to the Mets with cash for Hawk Taylor but he never played for them.
He played in the minor leagues from 1962-1968 for seven clubs. He was at "AAA" for five seasons. fielded extremely well, although by now he exhibited almost no powe
Don graduated from Oklahoma State and, in the 1961 College World Series, was named All-Tournament shortstop. In the latter years of his pro career, Wallace obtained a master's degree in education and was teaching high school in Kansas City during off seasons. In 1967, he was named assistant principal, and in his last minor league season of '68, he did not join his team until June - after the school year had ended. After leaving baseball, he became a full-time teacher.
By the mid-1980s, he became the principal at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School in Colorado Springs, CO, and, during summers, traveled extensively in Asia on church missions. . His residence is now in Manitou Springs, CO.
Norman Edward Walentowski (played baseball under "Wallen") was born on February 13, 1918, in Milwaukee. He played for the 1939 (.266, 8 HR, 37 RBI) and 1942 (.304, 12, 103) Wausau Lumberjacks.
Norm played in 4 games for the 1945 Boston Braves. As a right handed third baseman, he was 2 for 15 at the plate with one walk and one triple. He made 2 errors in 10 defensive chances.
He played in the minors from 1939, 1942, 1944-1945 for four teams.
Wallen retired from the Huebach Manufacturing Corp. and was a
member of the Wisconsin Old Time Ball Players Hall of Fame. He died
in Milwaukee on June 20, 1994, and was buried there at the Holy Cross
Charles Leonard Walters ("Shooter") was born in Minneapolis on February 21, 1947. He pitched for the St. Cloud Rox in 1967 (7-2, 1.94 ERA). He missed leading the league with the lowest ERA by 0.02. He was signed by the Twins in a try-out camp at Metropolitan Stadium.
Charley appeared in 6 games for the Minnesota Twins in 1969. He completed 7 innings giving up 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2. His ERA was 5.40 and he had a .240 OAV. On Mar. 21, 1970, he was traded with Joe Grzenda to Washington for Brant Alyea but never played for them.
The right hander played in the minors from 1966-1972 for 10 teams with ERAs under 3.00 for four of them. He pitched at the class "AAA" level for two seasons. In 1970, he pulled an adductor muscle in his thigh and hurt his knee in an on-the-field brawl.
After retiring from baseball, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a journalism degree. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by the "St. Paul Pioneer Press" to cover sports. In the early 1980s, he started his own column, a sports "insider" type, in the Pioneer Press which he continues to this day. He lives in the St. Paul superb of Mendota Heights.
For a more complete biography, please see:
Chris Gilbert Ward was born on May 18, 1949, in Oakland. He played for the Huron Cubs in 1969 (.332, 4 HR, 37 RBI). Chris attended Chabot Junior College.
Ward played one game for the Chicago Cubs in 1972 going 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter. In 1974, the left hander played in 92 games with a .204 average, .297 OBP and .255 slugging %. He was 9 for 49 as a pinch hitter and had a .977 fielding % in 22 games in the outfield and 6 at first base.
He played in the minors from 1968-1977 for 11 teams hitting over .300 for three of them. He was at "AAA" for five years.
Ward has also attended the Southern California Institute of
Architecture and UCLA. He became an architect. Chris has lived in
Glendale and Irvine, CA, and now resides in Moorpark.
John Francis Ward was born in Bookfield, MO, on September 9, 1938. He played for the 1958 Fargo-Moorhead Twins (.250, 0 HR, )HR).
Jay had three short stints in the majors. In 1963-1964, he played for the Twins in 9 and 12 games going 1 for 15 and hitting .226 while appearing at third, second and the outfield. He concluded his MLB career with 6 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 1970 when he was 0 for 3.
In his MLB career, he was in 27 games and had 49 at bats hitting .163 with a .293 OBP and .224 slugging %. He was 0 for 5 as a pinch hitter and the right hander's fielding % was .977 with 10 games at second, 6 at third, 4 in the outfield and one at first.
As a minor leaguer from 1956-1971, he played with 19 teams with 12 seasons at class "AAA". He played over 1800 games as an infielder and outfielder in the minors and hit over 20 home in five seasons. He spent one season ('66) in Japan.
Jay was a minor league manager from 1972 (class "A" -
Twins), 1983-1986 ("A", "AA" Phils, Reds),
1988-1989 ("A", "AA" Pirates, Mariners), 1996-98
(Independent), 2000-02 (Independent) and a major league coach for the
Yankees (1987) and the Expos (1991-1992). He was also an Expos minor
league hitting instructor in 1990, opened the Wade Boggs and Jay Ward
Hitting School in Tampa, FL, and was involved in hitting clinics
throughout the U.S. He retired to Troy MT in 2001 and enjoyed
hunting, fishing and the outdoors there. Death came on Feb. 24, 2012,
Daniel Dean Warthen was born on December 1, 1952, in Omaha. He pitched for the Watertown Expos in 1971 (9-3, 3.96).
Dan came up to the Montreal Expos in 1975 and stayed for parts of the next three seasons. From 1975-1977, he appeared in 40, 23 and 12 games, including 18, 16 and 6 starts for 168, 90 and 35 innings with 3.11, 5.30 and 7.97 ERAs. He was 8-6 with 3 saves in '75, but was used sparingly thereafter. The left hander was traded to Philadelphia on June 15, 1977, with Barry Foote for Wayne Twitchell and Tim Blackwell. He finished the '77 season with the Phillies where he was in 3 games, 4 innings not allowing an earned run.
His last year was in 1978 with the Astros for 5 games, 11 innings and a 4.22 ERA. His career ERA was 4.31 in 83 games and 307 innings as he gave up 253 hits and 198 walks with 224 strikeouts for a .228 OAV.
As a minor leaguer from 1971-1982, he played for 14 teams. He had eight years at class "AAA". He was the American Association pitcher of the year in 1978.
Since 1981, Dan has been a long-time minor league pitching instructor for the Pirates, Phillies and Mets organizations. He was a major league coach for the Mariners (1991-1992), Padres (1996-1997) and Tigers (1999-2002) and in 2005 was the the "AAA" pitching coach for the Mets. During the 2006-2007 seasons, he was the bullpen pitching coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers. On June 17, 2008, Warthen was appointed pitching coach of the New York Mets. He lives in Portland, OR.
Dan is apparently the final Northern League player to wear a major
league uniform (as a coach).
Robert Cecil Watkins was born in San Francisco on March 12, 1948. He pitched for the Bismarck-Mandan Pards in 1966 (0-5, 4.42 ERA).
Bob pitched in 5 games for the Houston Astros in September 1969 finishing 16 innings and allowing 13 hits and 11 walks while striking out 11 for a 5.17 ERA. He had a .241 OAV.
In the minors from 1966-1971, he played for nine teams with three seasons at the class "AAA" level.
Bob has lived in Compton, CA, but now lives in Los Angeles.
Edward Dean Watt was born on April 4, 1941, in Lamoni, IA. He pitched for the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1963 (10-12, 3.14 ERA) and 1964 (14-1, 1.77). Ed led the league in win/loss % that year and in an exhibition against the Minnesota Twins, he pitched 4 scoreless innings.
Watt was attending State College of Iowa when he was signed by the Orioles. In his first three years of pro ball he played for teams managed by Cal Ripken [Sr.].
Eddie was the "go-to" set-up guy and closer for the Baltimore Orioles from 1966-1973. He had 13 starts in 1966 [with a record of 2-5], but the rest of his career appearances were all in relief. During those years, he played in 43, 49, 59, 56, 53, 35, 38 and 30 games for 146, 104, 83, 71, 55, 40, 46 and 71 innings with ERAs of 3.83, 2.26, 2.27, 1.65, 3.25, 1.82, 2.17 and 3.30.
Watt saved 16 games in '69 which was the 4th highest in the league. In 3 games of the ALCS in 1969, 1971 and 1973, he pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits [saved game 1 of the 1971 games]. His World Series appearances in 1969-1971 were a different story as, in 5 games and 6 1/3 innings, he gave up 10 hits and one walk with 8 strikeouts and a 4.26 ERA. He was charged with the loses in games 5 and 7 of the '69 series, game 4 of the '70 contests and game 4 of the '71 WS.
On Dec. 7, 1973, he was sold to Philadelphia. The right hander finished with 42 games in 1974 for the Phillies (38 innings, 3.99 ERA) and 6 games with the '75 Cubs (6 inn, 13.50 ERA). In his career, he was in 411 games completing 660 innings allowing 530 hits and 254 walks with 462 strikeouts. His ERA was 2.91, he had 80 saves and a .222 OAV.
As a minor league player from 1962-1965 and 1976-1978, he pitched for 10 clubs with ERAs under 3.00 for four of them. He was in class "AAA" for four seasons. For the 1965 Elmira (Eastern) team, he pitched two no-hitters on April 24 and May 6.
For two decades, Eddie was a minor league manager (1978-81, "A" and "AA", Padres) and pitching instructor (coach 1990, 1999). He was named to the Orioles' Hall of Fame in 2000 and lives in North Bend, NE. Now retired, he was recently quoted by Mary Le Arneal of the "Fremont Tribune": "I have done all the traveling I want. I don't like going out, I don't like crowds, I don't need to be entertained."
Wilber Wehde ("Biggs") was born in Holstein, IA, on November 23, 1906. He pitched for the 1942 Sioux Falls Canaries (4-0).
Biggs pitched for the White Sox in 1930 and 1931 for 4 and 8 games. He finished 6 and 16 innings with ERAs of 9.95 and 6.75. For his career, the right hander was in 12 games and 22 innings allowing 26 hits and 17 walks while striking out 6 for a 7.68 ERA and .325 OAV.
After his major league appearances, he played from 1932, 1935 and 1939-1942 in the minor leagues finishing with the Canaries.
Biggs was a military veteran who died at the V.A. Hospital in
Sioux Falls, SD, on September 21, 1970, due to a lung abscess. He was
buried at the Calvary Cemetery in Sioux City, IA.
Julian Valentine Wera was born on February 9, 1902, in Winona, MN. He played for the Crookston Pirates in 1937 (.290, 3 HR, 56 RBI).
In 1925, Wera was so coveted by the New York Yankees that they paid the St. Paul Saints $25,000 and two players for him. He began his pro career in 1924 with a trial at Terre Haute and then played for the Saints. He also played for a short time at Peoria before becoming Yankee property.
Julie was a third baseman and pinch hitter for the 1927 and 1929 New York Yankees playing in 38 and 5 games with batting averages of .238 and .417. In his career, he made 43 appearances with 54 at bats for a .278 average, .316 OBP and .389 slugging %. He was 0 for 5 as a pinch hitter and played errorless ball at third in 23 games (37 chances).
In 1928, the Yankees sent him to Hollywood and then to St. Paul. He was at Jersey City in 1929-1930 and then was released to San Francisco for the 1931-32 seasons. He left the Seals in mid-1933. Wera finished the '33 season at Oakland and in 1934 played for Portland and Ft. Worth. In 1935 he was at Syracuse and Buffalo and, in 1936, was with Toronto. His last pro year was with Crookston. All told, he had three seasons with averages over .300.
After baseball, Julie became a butcher and worked at the Piggy Wiggly Supermarket, in Rochester, MN, for 25 years. He died on December 12, 1975, due to a heart attack and was buried at the St. Mary's Cemetery in Winona, MN.
George William Werley was born in St. Louis on September 8, 1938. He pitched for a short time with the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1957 and 1959 (two and four games).
The right hander made his professional baseball debut for the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 1956. He pitched one inning giving up one hit, two walks and one run.
Orioles manager Paul Richards called Werley into the game in the bottom of the eighth inning in a game where they were being shut out 6-0 by Washington. George, wearing his gray #15 road jersey, got the lead off hitter, second baseman Herb Plews, to ground out to the first baseman Bob Hale. Next up was catcher Ed Fitzgerald, who grounded out to shortstop Billy Gardner. With two out, Werley walked Pete Runnels. Roy Seivers also walked. With two on and two out, Jim Lemon singled to right scoring Runnels. The next batter was a big one - Harmon Killebrew. Harmon grounded out to Gardner to end the inning. The Baltimore Sun reported that Werley "nevertheless showed a good fastball and considerable poise in his one-inning trial." He never returned to the majors.
From 1957-1959, he pitched for six minor league teams, but never higher then the Pheasants. In 2006, "The Baltimore Sun" attempted to contact Werley to get his feelings on his all too brief major league career. He did not want to talk and gave them no information.
Werley became president of the Wenzel Tent and Sleeping Bag
Company of St. Louis and lived in Ballwin, MO. On November 21, 2013,
he died in St. Louis.
Wesley Noreen Westrum was born on November 28, 1922, in Clearbrook, MN. He played for the Crookston Pirates in 1940 (.275, 3 HR, 23 RBI) Eau Claire Bears in 1941 (.330, 7 HR, 70 RBI).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"Wes Westrum was a part-time catcher for the New York Giants in 1948 and 1949, sharing time behind the plate with Walker Cooper and Ray Mueller. When he finally became the regular in 1950, he responded with an excellent year: 23 home runs, 71 RBIs and a .999 fielding percentage. In one game in June that year he slugged three homers and added a triple against the Reds. He also led the league in assists and double plays by a backstop.
"Westrum was more than a durable catcher with power, however. He was a student of the game, knowledgeable enough to coach and manage in the big leagues for 17 years after his playing career ended. One of Westrum's most famous quotes was on the subject of baseball. 'It's like church,' he said. 'Many attend, but few understand.' As a player,...Westrum set an International League record in 1949 when he clouted five grand slams, despite appearing in only 51 games that year. He would later hit five grand slams in the bigs, including a vital one that won a critical game in July 1951 and moved the onrushing Giants into second place.
"Westrum started all three games of the playoffs against the Dodgers that year, but he was absent when teammate Bobby Thomson hit his famous 'shot heard 'round the world,' a three-run ninth-inning homer that clinched the division title for New York. The catcher - one of seven future managers, incidentally, on the rosters of those two teams - had been removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth. In 1955 Westrum had an embarrassing experience in a game against Brooklyn. The Dodgers' Sandy Amoros had swung and missed on a strike three, but his hefty swing brought the bat all the way around, beaning Westrum. The dazed catcher couldn't recover in time to find the ball and keep Amoros from reaching first. Shortly thereafter a rule change was made to prevent similar occurrences.
"Westrum moved with the Giants to San Francisco as a coach. But thanks to a chance encounter at a Cleveland bar, he later returned to New York as a coach and, eventually, manager of the Mets. As Jack Lang, a longtime New York sportswriter, tells the story, he and Mets skipper Casey Stengel were enjoying each other's company and having a few drinks during the 1963 All-Star break in Cleveland. The two closed the press lounge at one in the morning and were heading back to their hotel when they saw a dim neon sign with one word on it: 'Bar.' Stengel suggested they stop for one more. Sitting at the far end of the tavern's bar was Westrum, whom Stengel knew from his years with the Giants. The former catcher and 'the ol' Perfessor' began to talk baseball, and they talked the night away. Stengel had never realized how much Westrum knew about the game. After that season the Mets and the Giants pulled off an unheard of swap: a coach for a coach. Mets coach Cookie Lavagetto was interested in being closer to his home in Oakland and Stengel wanted Westrum at his side. The two men got along famously, and on occasion Westrum even rivaled Stengel in malapropisms. After listening to an hour-long diatribe in Stengelese, Westrum turned to a friend and said, 'Boy, after they made him they threw away the molding.'
"When Stengel broke his hip in 1965 he named Westrum to be his interim replacement, even though Yogi Berra, who already had managerial experience, was also a Mets coach. The 'interim' proved to be permanent. Westrum kept the job for the 1966 season, but the spirit of Stengel lingered. After a tensely fought spring training game that year, Westrum was heard to say 'Whew! That was a real cliff dweller.' That year, for the first time in their history, the Mets did not lose 100 games. They won 66 and moved out of the cellar, where they had been since their premiere season. The team's apparent progress was a fluke, however. Although rookie Tom Seaver was showing flashes of brilliance the next year, the Mets were flirting with another 100-loss season when Westrum quit in late September. He was frustrated, both with the team he had been given and with the lack of respect he received from fans, the media and the front office. Of his tenure as Mets manager, Westrum said, 'I had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.'
"Westrum returned to San Francisco to coach the Giants and was hired as manager when Charlie Fox was fired in the middle of the 1974 season. Under Westrum the Giants moved from fifth to third, but when the teams was sold in the off-season, new management was chosen."
Wes played his whole career with the Giants from 1947-1957 for 6, 66, 64, 140, 124, 114, 107, 98, 69, 68 and 63 games with batting averages of .417, .160, .243, .236, .219, .220, .224, .187, .212, .220 and .165. He had 23 and 20 home runs in 1950-1951 and was chosen for the All-Star games in 1952 and 1953. In 1950 he broke the record for best fielding percentage by a catcher (.999) and led the league in assists and double plays. Westrum caught every game of 1951 and 1954 World Series.
In his 11 years, he played in 919 games and had 2,322 at bats for a .217 average, .357 OBP and .373 slugging %. His fielding average was .985 while playing 902 games at catcher and 3 at first. In 10 World Series games, he was 7 for 28 (.286).
As a minor leaguer from 1940-1942, 1946-1947 and 1949, he played for eight clubs.
Wes was in the military from 1943-1945. He was a major league coach for the Giants (1958-1963 and 1968-1971) and the Mets (1964-1965). His MLB managerial record was: Mets - 1965 (19-48, 10th), 1966 (66-95, 9th) and 1967 (57-94, 10th); Giants - 1974 (38-48, 5th) and 1975 (80-81, 3rd).
Wes was a scout for the Braves from 1976-1992 and died from lung
cancer. on May 28, 2002, in Clearbrook, MN. Burial was at the Silver
Creek Cemetery in Clearbrook.
Donald Wesley Wheeler was born in Minneapolis on September 29, 1922. He caught for the 1941 (.280, 5 HR, 74 RBI) and 1942 (.350, 4, 58) Eau Claire Braves and the St. Cloud Rox in 1946 (.263, 2, 10).
Don spent one complete season in the major leagues as a back-up catcher for the 1949 Chicago White Sox. He played in 67 games and had 192 at bats for a .240 average, .333 OBP and .323 slugging %. The right hander was 1 for 8 as a pinch hitter and had a .976 fielding average with 58 games behind the plate.
He played in the minor leagues from 1941-1942, 1946-1948 and 1950-1952 for 11 teams.
Don was in the military from 1943-1945 and reached England with the infantry in 1945. After his retirement as a player, he worked full-time for the U.S. Postal Service. In the late 1950s, he began pitching batting practice for the Minneapolis Millers, who were playing at Metropolitan Stadium. Also, in the 1950s, Wheeler was involved in hockey, football and baseball officiating.
In the 1960s, he became an off-ice official for the NHL Minnesota North Stars working as a goal judge and then as a penalty time keeper. He also umpired Minnesota Gophers baseball games. Don retired from the post office in 1981 and lived in Bloomington, MN, which was his home since the 1950s. He died from a heart attack while clearing snow with a snow blower, from a neighbor's driveway, on December 10, 2003.
For a more complete biography, please see:
Jack Franklin Whillock was born on November 4, 1942, in Clinton, AR. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1964 (1-6, 4.87). Jack attended the University of Arkansas.
Jack's only major league experience came in 1971 for the Detroit Tigers [was signed by them after his release by the Cardinals]. He appeared in 7 games as a reliever completing 8 innings and allowed 10 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. His ERA was 5.63 with a .323 OAV.
Whillock was traded by the Tigers to the Expos on Jan. 22, 1973, but never played for them. As a minor leaguer from 1964-1974, he played for 16 clubs with ERA's under 3.00 for five of them. The right hander pitched at the class "AAA" level for five years.
Jack lives in Arlington, TX.
Thomas Peter Whisenant was born in Asheville, NC, on December 14, 1929. He played for the 1947 Eau Claire Bears (.179, 2 HR, 23 RBI).
Pete arrived in the majors for 24 games for the Boston Braves in 1952 hitting .192 as a right hand hitting outfielder. On June 3, 1955, he was traded to St. Louis for Del Rice and he was with the Cardinals the rest of the 1955 season for 58 games with a .191 average. On March 3, 1956, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Hank Sauer.
On the Cubs in 1956, he played in 103 games batting .239. On Nov. 13, he was sent to Cincinnati in a 5-player deal. With the Reds from 1956-1959, Pete performed in 67, 85 and 36 games hitting .211, .236 and .239. In 1957, he was 8-for-20 (5 were home runs off Vinegar Bend Mizell) as a pinch hitter. After one game for the Reds in 1960 [Apr. 29], he was sold to the Indians (7 games, .167) and then finished the year with the Washington Senators [acquired on May 15 for Ken Aspromonte] for 58 games and a .226 average.
In 1961, he moved with the franchise to Minnesota where he was in 10 games going 0-for-10 and then went back to Cincinnati for 26 games and a .200 average. In his eight-year career, he batted .224 in 475 games and 988 at bats. His OBP was .287 and he had a .399 slugging %. He was 26-for-124 as a pinch hitter and had a .988 fielding % with 343 games in the outfield, 3 at first, one at catcher and one at second.
As a minor leaguer from 1947-1955, he played on 14 teams and hit over .300 for three of them. He was a class "AAA" for five years.
Pete served with the U.S. Navy in Korea (1951) and, after
baseball, owned and operated several successful business including an
arcade, an insulation business, a bar and package store and a venting
machine business. He died after an extended illness on March 22,
1996, in Port Charlotte, FL, and was cremated..
Elder Lafayette White was born on December 23, 1933, [corrected from 1934] in Colerain, NC. He played for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1955 (.187, 1 HR, 10 RBI) and the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1956 (.246, 7, 49) and 1958 (.289, 18, 68). He was originally signed by the Indians in 1955 and, in 1956, became property of the Pirates. The Cubs drafted him in the minor league draft on Nov. 28, 1960.
Elder had all of his major league experience in 23 games for the 1962 Chicago Cubs. As a right handed shortstop, he batted .151 in 53 at bats. His OBP was .274 and he had a .189 slugging %. He was 1 for 6 as a pinch hitter and had a .986 fielding % with 15 games at short and one at third.
As a minor leaguer from 1952 and 1955-1965, he played with 14 clubs with three years at "AAA".
White became a technician for Beasley Oil Co.[later Northeastern
Oil Co.] while living in Ahoskie, NC. He died at his home there on
Nov. 16, 2010.
Floyd Euliss Wicker was born in Burlington, NC, on September 12, 1943. He played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1963 (.261, 6 HR, 25 RBI). He also had a 1-1 record as a pitcher with a 2.61 ERA. Floyd attended East Carolina College.
Floyd played one complete and three partial years in the majors. In 1968, with the Cardinals, he was in 5 games as a pinch hitter going 2 for 4. In Dec. 1968, he was taken by Montreal in the rule V draft. The left-hand hitter played 41 games for the 1969 Expos batting .103 with 39 at bats.
In August 1970, he was sold to the Brewers. With Milwaukee in 1970 and 1971, he was in 15 and 11 games as an outfielder/pinch hitter hitting .195 and .125. On June 1, 1971, he was traded to San Francisco for Bob Heise and he spent the rest of the year as property of the Giants with whom he batted .143 in 9 games.
In his 81 MLB games, he had 113 at bats for a .159 average, .215 OBP and .195 slugging %. He was 7 for 49 as a pinch hitter and fielded 40 chances in the outfield without error.
As a minor leaguer from 1961-1963, 1966-1968 and 1970-1971. he played with nine teams with two seasons of averages over .300. He did not pitch after 1963 and was at the class "AAA" level for four years. He did not play baseball in 1964-65 due to military service.
Floyd became a poultry farmer near Snow Camp, NC. He still lives
David Clifford Wickersham was born on September 27, 1935, in Erie, PA. He pitched for the Grand Forks Chiefs in 1956 (13-9, 4.53 ERA). He was scouted by Branch Rickey and George Sisler, signed by the Pirates in 1955 and chosen by the A's in the 1959 minor league draft. Dave attended Ohio University.
Dave pitched with Kansas City from 1960-1963 for 5, 17, 30 and 38 games, including 9 and 34 starts in 1962-63, for 8, 21, 110 and 238 innings with ERAs of 1.08, 5.14, 4.17 and 4.09. He was slowed by a 1961 back injury, but went 11-4 in '62 and 12-15 in '63.
On Nov. 18, 1963, he was traded to Detroit in the Rocky Colavito deal. With the Tigers for the 1964-1967 seasons, he pitched in 40, 34, 38 and 36 games (36, 27, 14, 4 starts) for 254, 195, 141 and 85 innings with 3.44, 3.78, 3.20 and 2.74 ERAs.
He was 19-12 in 1964. When he was trying for his 20th win that year, the last weekend of the season, Bill Valentine was one of the umpires. After a close play, Wickersham tapped him on the shoulder to ask for a time-out. Touching an umpire is against the rules, so Valentine tossed Dave from the game which deprived him of his chance for a 20-win season. For the next 39 years, Valentine lived with a gnawing regret for booting the pitcher in that split-second decision. But he doesn't carry that regret anymore. In 2003, Wickersham wrote the umpire a note, telling him he was right in his decision and that he held no hard feelings. That note lifted a weight from Valentine's shoulders.
On Nov. 28, 1967, he was sent to Pittsburgh for Dennis Ribant and, in 1968, Wickersham was with the Pirates for 11 games and 21 innings compiling a 3.48 ERA. On Oct. 21, 1968, he was sold back to Kansas City. He finished his career with the A's in 1969 pitching in 34 games, 50 innings with a 3.96 ERA. In his 10-year, 283-game and 1,123-inning career, he gave up 1,071 hits and 384 walks while striking out 638. He had a 3.66 ERA, .252 OAV and 68-57 record.
In the minors, he pitched from 1955-1961 and 1968-1969, for 12 teams with six years of ERAs under 3.00. He was at the "AAA" level for four years.
After baseball, Dave entered the insurance business in Overland Park, KS, where he still resides.
William Williams was born on June 13, 1933, in Newberry, SC. He played for the 1955-57 Fargo-Moorhead Twins (.259, unknown, .283) and the 1958-59 Minot Mallards ( .330, .312).
Williams saw big league action for the expansion Pilots in 1969 being in 4 games with 10 at bats. He went hitless with one walk and 5 strikeouts. He played the outfield in 3 games with a 1.000 fielding mark.
Billy played in the minors from 1952-1969 for 2,182 games and more then 7,076 at bats hitting .280. He had 11 seasons in class “AAA”.
Williams called himself, "The first Billy Williams.” After his playing career, he owned “Billy Williams’ Men’s Boutique,” in Oakland CA, but soon after returned to baseball as a coach, working many years in the Indians' minor league organization. He was involved in baseball well into his 70s, finishing nearly 50 years in baseball as a player, coach and manager, with the Sioux City Explorers of the independent Northern League where he coached for five seasons and was interim manager part of a season.. Williams died on June 11, 2013, at a hospital in Berkeley, CA.
Charles Prosek Williams was born in Flushing, NY, on October 11, 1947. He pitched for the Mankato Mets in 1968 (5-1, 2.42 ERA). Charlie attended Parsons College.
Charlie arrived in the majors with the New York Mets in 1971 for 31 games, including 9 starts, completing 90 innings with a 4.78 ERA. On May 11, 1972, he went to San Francisco with $50,000 for Willie Mays. Then from 1972-1978, the right hander became quite a dependable long reliever and sometimes starter with the Giants in 3, 12, 39, 55, 48, 55 and 25 games finishing 9, 23, 100, 98, 85, 119 and 48 innings compiling ERAs of 8.68, 6.65, 2.78, 3.49, 2.96, 4.00 and 5.44.
Williams had a strong arm but unreliable control. For his career 268 games (33 starts), he competed 573 innings allowing 581 hits and 275 walks with 257 strikeouts, a 3.97 ERA and .269 OAV.
As a minor leaguer, he pitched from 1968-1973 for seven teams having ERAs under 3.00 for two of them. He was at class "AAA" for three years.
After leaving baseball, Williams briefly drove a taxi in New York City before he moved to Florida. Williams lived in Port Orange where he died on January 27, 2016. The cause was complications following surgery in late December 2015 to clear blocked coronary arteries. Even as he lay in the hospital in the last few weeks, Williams continued to receive copies of his baseball cards from fans seeking autographs.
Fred "Papa" Williams was born in Meridian, MS, on July 17, 1913. He played and managed at Grand Forks in 1940 (.320, 6, 22) and Winnipeg in 1941 (.293, 9, 96).
He started playing pro ball in 1935 at Columbus/Cleveland (East Dixie). A big man (6'2' and 215 pounds), he also played with Memphis, Wilkes-Barre, Winnipeg, Grand Forks, Borger (TX), Waycross (GA), Greenville (MS), Meridian, Vicksburg and the Cleveland Indians. When he was with Greenville and Memphis in 1936 and 1937 he originated a "fish net" first baseman's glove which was eventually ruled illegal by baseball officials. It had 15 feet of leather-thong webbing and made trapping wild throws much easier.
As a player-manager at age 40 in 1954 with Crestview (Alab-Flor.) he hit .403 and had 44 stolen bases. Most were of the "delayed" variety. In only four seasons, during his playing career of 1936-1955, did he fail to hit over .300 and he had a batting average during those years of .324 in 1,887 minor league games.
Williams made the war-time 1945 Cleveland Indians out of spring training and appeared in 16 games with 19 at bats. He got 4 hits for a .211 average. Pap played first base in three games and the right hander was 2 for 12 as a pinch hitter. That year he also appeared in 49 games at Wilkes-Barre (Eastern).
He managed from 1940-41, 1946, 1949, 1951-52 and 1954-55 at Grand
Forks, Winnipeg, Waycross (2 years), Greenville, Meridain, Crestview
and Vicksburg. Pap managed the Grand Forks Chiefs to the 1940 league
pennant and playoff championship. He was the skipper at Winnipeg for
the 1941 season when they finished in last place. His 1955 year was
the 8th as a manager and 19th as a player.
During his first seven years of managing, he finished out of first
division only once.
Pap died on November 2, 1993, at Meridian. Burial was at the Memorial Park in Meridian.
Walter Allen Williams ("No-Neck") was born on December 19, 1943, in Brownwood, TX. He played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1964 (.318, 9 HR, 50 RBI).
His odd physical appearance was the result of a typhus injection he received as a baby. After his hometown of Brownwood was hit by a flood, the government gave typhus injections to prevent the spread of the disease. Williams was so muscular even as a baby that, they couldn't reach a vein except in the back of his neck. He developed a crick in his neck, which then stiffened and shrank.
The 5'6", 185 pound Williams, who was fast early in his career, came up to the Houston Colt 45s in 1964 getting into 10 games and going 0 for 9. On Dec. 14, 1966, he was traded from St. Louis to the White Sox in a 4-player deal. From 1967-1972, he was usually an outfield starter for the Sox in 104, 63, 135, 110, 114 and 77 games batting .240, .241, .304, .251, .294 and .249. In his career year of 1969, although he hit .304, he didn't walk much and hit only 3 homers. In 1971, he did not commit an error in the field.
On Oct. 19, 1972, the right hander was traded to Cleveland for Eddie Leon and he played for the Cleveland Indians in 1973 for 104 games and a .289 average. On March 19, 1974, he went to Detroit and then to the Yankees in a five-player, three-team trade [including Jim Perry]. He finished with the Yankees in 1974-1975 for 43 and 82 games hitting .113 and .281. Walt led the league in pinch hits (10) in 1975. In his career 10 years and 842 games, he batted .270 with a .311 OBP and .365 slugging %. He was 52 for 226 as a pinch hitter and had a .981 fielding % with 565 games in the outfield, 6 at second and 2 at third.
As a minor leaguer from 1963-1966, 1968, and 1978-1979, he played with 8 teams. He hit over .300 for seven of them and played at "AAA" for two years and also in Japan during the 1976-77 seasons.
After his playing career, Walt was the recreation supervisor for
Cordell Community Center and umpired youth baseball leagues in and
around Brownwood. In 1988, he was a major league coach for the White
Sox and was a minor league manager from 1992-94 in the SALY League.
He is currently working in the Houston area and living in his home
town of Brownwood.
Kendall Cole Wise was born on September 8, 1932, in Lafayette, IN. He played for the Sioux Falls Canaries in 1953 (.297, 1 HR, 41 RBI). Casey attended the University of Florida.
Casey was an utility infielder who never had a complete season in the majors. In 1957, for the Chicago Cubs, he played in 43 games with 106 at bats for a .179 average. On Nov. 10, he was traded to Milwaukee for Ben Johnson, Charlie King, Len Williams and cash. The switch-hitter played for the Braves in 1958-1959 for 31 and 22 games compiling .197 and .171 averages. Casey was in 2 games of the 1958 World Series going officially 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter.
On Oct. 15, 1959, he was traded to Detroit in a five-player deal and ended his MLB career with the Tigers in 1960 appearing in 30 games for a .147 average.
In 126 games and 321 at bats, he hit .174 with a .243 OBP and .240 slugging %. He was 0 for 16 as a pinch hitter and had a .968 fielding mark with 78 games at second, 27 at short and two at third.
In the minors, he played from 1953-1960 and 1962-1963 for 13 clubs hitting over .300 for three of them. He was in class "AAA" for eight seasons.
After his baseball career, Casey became an orthodontist based in Naples, FL, until he retired in 1991. He died in Naples on February 20, 2007, and was buried there at the Naples Memorial Gardens.
David Alvin Wissman was born in Greenfield, MA, on February 17, 1941. He played for the 1962 Grand Forks Chiefs (.244) and attended the University of Bridgeport.
His time in the majors was 16 games for the Pirates in 1964 where he batted 27 times with 4 hits. He was an outfielder in 10 games with a perfect fielding record.
As a minor league player he performed from 1961-67 batting a career .257 in 813 games and at least 2,791 at bats. He was at the “AAA” level for four seasons.
By the mid-eighties, he was a foreman for Dole Bros., a contractor in Shelburne Falls, MA. He lives in Derby, VT.
Horace Guy Womack was born in Columbia, SC, on August 25, 1939. He pitched for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1959 (13-9, 4.50 ERA).
Dooley had four good years as a reliever even though the Yankees did not consider him much of a prospect. He made the team in their last-place finish year of '66 and through 1968, the right hander pitched in 42, 65 and 45 games finishing 75, 97 and 62 innings for ERAs of 2.64, 2.41 and 3.21. During the 1967 season, he had a 26-consecutive-innings scoreless streak and ended the year with 18 saves. That year Womack tied a club record for most appearances with 65.
On Dec. 4, 1968, he was traded to Houston for Dick Simpson. In 1969, he was in 30 games and 51 innings for the Astros compiling a 3.51 ERA and then was traded on Aug. 24 to the Mariners with Roric Harrison for Jim Bouton where he ended the '69 season with 9 games, 14 innings and a 2.51 ERA. Following the 1969 season, Womack was sent back to the Astros and then a few months later traded with Pat House to the Reds for Jim Beauchamp. In August 1970, his travels continued when he was sold to the A's.
In 1970, his MLB career ended with 2 games for 3 innings and a 15.00 ERA with Oakland. A torn rotator cuff was the cause of his early baseball demise. In his career of 5 years, 193 games and 302 innings, he allowed 253 hits and 111 walks with 177 strikeouts, a 2.95 ERA and a .233 OBP. As a batter, he went 7-for-31 for a .226 batting average. He was known as a control artist who threw curveballs at various speeds.
As a minor leaguer from 1958-1965 and 1970-1971, he played for 11 teams with five seasons of ERAs under 3.00. He was at "AAA" for three years.
Dooley entered the carpet business in Columbia after his
retirement from baseball. He still resides there.
Harold Joseph Woodeschick was born on August 24, 1932, in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He pitched for the 1951 Duluth Dukes (0-2, 4.50).
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"A competent pitcher who enjoyed only modest success as a starter, Hal Woodeschick became a quality reliever in the last five years of his career. Starting out with the Detroit Tigers, he pitched for three American League teams from 1956 to 1961, when his contract was sold to the Houston Colt 45s. It was with Houston that Woodeshick became a solid reliever. Used as a starter in 1962, he switched to the bullpen in 1963 and responded by posting a 1.97 ERA with 10 saves in 55 relief appearances. In 1964 Woodeschick led the National League in saves with 23, and then was traded to St. Louis midway through the following season. Although he was stuck behind Joe Hoerner and Nelson Briles in the Cardinals' bullpen he still managed to save 15 games and make 51 appearances.
"Woodeshick pitched for the Cardinals for two more years and appeared in the 1967 World Series, pitching one scoreless inning in game 6. His appearance helped the Cardinals set a record for most pitchers used in a World Series game, with eight. It was his last appearance on the mound."
With the Tigers in 1956, he made 2 starts with 5 innings and a 13.50 ERA. On Feb. 18, 1958, he was traded with J.W. Porter to Cleveland for Jim Hegan and Hank Aguirre. He pitched for the Indians in 1958 in 14 games (9 starts) and 72 innings for a 3.64 ERA. On May 25, 1959, he was sent to Washington with Hal Naragon for Ed FitzGerald. He was with the Senators from 1959-1960 for 31 and 41 games, including 3 and 14 starts, for 61 and 115 innings compiling 3.69 and 4.70 ERAs.
After 7 games with the expansion Senators in 1961 (6 starts, 40 inn, 4.02 ERA), the left hander returned to Detroit [acquired June 5 for Chuck Cottier] for 12 games (2 starts) and 18 innings with a 7.85 ERA. He was with the Colt 45's the complete seasons of 1962-1964 for 31, 55 and 61 games (26 starts in '62) with 139, 114 and 78 innings posting ERAs of 4.39, 1.97 and 2.76. He played in the 1963 All-Star game.
In 1965, he pitched 27 games for Houston (32 inn, 3.06) and 51 games with 60 innings for the Cardinals (1.81 ERA) [obtained on June 15 with Chuck Taylor for Mike Cuellar and Ron Taylor]. He ended his MLB career for St. Louis, in 1966-1967, with 59 and 36 games for 70 and 42 innings with 1.92 and 5.18 ERAs. Lifetime, Hal was in 427 games in his 11-year tour of duty completing 847 innings and allowing 816 hits, 389 walks and getting 484 strikeouts for a 3.56 ERA and .254 OAV. His record was 44-62.
In the minor leagues from 1950-1952, 1955-1959 and 1961, he pitched for 11 clubs with four years of ERAs at or under 3.00. He performed at the class "AAA" level for four seasons.
Hal served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict in 1953-1954. He worked 32 years as a sales representative for Zep Manufacturing of Houston, retiring in 1999. During his years in Houston, he coached young baseball players, played in charitable golf tournaments and volunteered in the cardiology wing at Memorial Herman Hospital, as he was a successful cardiac by-pass survivor.
Death came after a lengthy battle with heart and lung disease on
June 14, 2009. He was cremated and interred at Memorial Oaks Cemetery
[Please see more about Hal's early pro career in page "More Tales from the League's Dugouts".]
Hugh Yancy was born in Sarasoda, FL, on October 16, 1949. He played for the 1969 (.286, 1 HR, 5 RBI) and 1970 (.333, 3, 40) Duluth-Superior Dukes.
Hugh had three brief turns in the majors. Every other year from 1972 through 1976, he played in 3, 1 and 3 games for the Chicago White Sox batting .100 in his 10 total at bats. His only hit was a double. He handled 20 fielding chances without error with 3 games at second and 3 at third. On Nov. 6, 1976, he was traded to Cincinnati for Tom Spencer but never played for the Reds.
The right hander played in the minors from 1968-1979 for 17 teams with eight years at class "AAA".
For 12 years, Hugh was the head baseball coach at Riverview High
School in Sarasoda. He retired from coaching in May 2004 and still
James Harlan York was born on August 27, 1947, in Maywood, CA. He pitched for the 1969 Winnipeg Goldeyes (3-1, 0.75). He pitched for UCLA in the 1969 College World Series and then signed with the Royals.
The sidearm sinkerballer came up with Kansas City in September 1970 for 4 games completing 8 innings for a 3.38 ERA. Staying with them in 1971, he pitched in 53 games for 93 innings compiling a 2.89 ERA. On Dec. 2, he was traded to Houston with Lance Clemons for John Mayberry and Dave Grangaard.
He was with the Astros from 1972-1975 for 26, 41, 28 and 19 games with 36, 53, 38 and 47 innings posting 5.25, 4.42, 3.29 and 3.86 ERAs. On Jan. 8, 1976, York was sold to the Yankees where his MLB career ended in 1976 with 3 games (10 inn, 5.59). In his 7-year, 174-game and 285-inning career, he gave up 290 hits and 132 walks while striking out 194 with a 3.79 ERA and .264 OAV.
As a minor leaguer from 1969-1976, the right hander pitched for 10 teams with ERAs under 3.00 for four of them. He spent 7 seasons in "AAA".
Jim lived in Mission Viejo, CA, and now lives in San Juan
Donald Wayne Young was born in Houston on October 18, 1945. He played for the 1964 St. Cloud Rox (.232, 8 HR, 38 RBI). He lettered in baseball and football in high school and was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. On May 14, 1967, the Cubs sold him to St. Louis and on Aug 1 they sold him back to the Cubs.
Don had one brief year and another as a starter for the Cubs. In September 1965, he played in 11 games with 35 at bats for a .057 average. His first game was on the 9th, when Sandy Koufax pitched a no-hit game against the Cubs. The right hander was a usual outfield starter with the team in 1969 for 101 games compiling a .239 average. For his 112-games career, he batted .218 with a .314 OBP and .345 slugging %. His fielding average was .972 with 111 outfield games.
Young was considered an average center fielder, but also a quiet, introspective man.
In the minors from 1963-1968 and 1970-1971, he played for 13 clubs. The power hitter was at "AAA" for four years. In 1965, he was on the Texas League All Star team and led the league in assists and double plays. Young also pitched briefly in the minors.
Don became a machinist for Flimline Manufacturing in Scottsdale,
AZ. Later he moved to Denver and Loveland, CO.
Joel Randolph Youngblood was born on August 28, 1951, in Houston. He played for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1970 (.225, 0 HR, 17 RBI). He was originally drafted by the Reds.
The following is from "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":
"On August 4, 1982, Joel Youngblood became the first major leaguer to collect hits for two different clubs in two different cities on the same day. He began the day as a Met and singled in an afternoon contest against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. During the game, he was told that he had been traded to Montreal. Youngblood flew to Philadelphia, where the Expos were playing a night game, arriving in time to pinch-hit a single off Steve Carlton.
"The righthanded hitter was a second-round draft choice in June 1970. Youngblood came to the majors with the Reds in 1976 but was traded to the Cardinals before the 1977 season. In June 1977 he was sent to the Mets. He was an outfielder with a strong arm, but managers often tried to work him into the lineup as part of the infield . New York Mets manager Joe Torre attempted to make a third baseman out of him. With San Francisco in 1983 he was tried at second. Neither experiment worked.
"Youngblood had his best years in New York, where he hit 37 doubles and 16 home runs in 1979. In 1981, before a knee injury cut short his season, he was hitting .350 and was named to the NL All Star team. After finishing 1982 with the Expos Youngblood moved on to the Giants. In 1989 he ended his playing career where it began in 1976, in Cincinnati."
With the Reds in 1976, he played in 55 games batting .193 and playing in the outfield, at third, catcher and second. On March 28, 1977, he was traded to St. Louis for Bill Caudill. In 1977, he played 25 games with the Cardinals (.185) and 70 with the Mets (.253) [obtained June 15 for Mike Phillips]. .
Joel was then with the Mets from 1978-1981 for 113, 158, 146 and 43 games batting .252, .275, .276 and .350. He had 18 and 14 stolen bases in 1979-1980. He was the Mets' right field starter in 1979 and 1980 but became a reserve thereafter. After 80 games with them in 1982 (.257), he went to the Expos [acquired Aug. 4 for Tom Gorman] for 40 games batting .200.
He signed a free agent contract with San Francisco on Feb. 7, 1983, and his Giants years were from 1983-1988 for 124, 134, 95, 97, 69 and 83 games with averages of .292, .254, .270, .255, .253 and .252. Youngblood hit a career-high 17 home runs in 1983, but he also led NL third basemen in errors with 36 in '84. From 1986-1988, he had 16, 13 and 15 pinch hits. He missed his only chance at postseason play in 1987 when he broke his wrist chasing a foul fly on September 19.
On Dec. 21, 1988, he signed as a free agent with Cincinnati. His career ended in 1989 with the Reds for 76 games and a .212 average.
He played in 1,408 games and had 3,659 at bats posting a .265 average, .332 OBP and .392 slugging %. He was 93 for 360 as a pinch hitter and had a .981 fielding mark with 745 games played in the outfield, 218 at third, 173 at second, 7 at first, 3 at short and 1 at catcher.
In the minors from 1970-1975, he played on seven teams with three years in "AAA".
Joel was a minor league manager and then a major league coach for the Cubs (1994-1997) and the Brewers (1998). He lives in Phoenix and is currently involved with the Giants and Reds fantasy camps. In 2006 he was a coach for the Brewers' rookie team in the Arizona League and in 2007-10 Youngblood coached the Diamondbacks' AAA team at Tucson (PCL).
On July 3, 2010, he became the Diamondbacks' third base coach. The
club assigned him to the position of minor league outfield and
baserunning coordinator during the '10 post season.
Patrick Paul Zachry was born in Richmond, TX, on April 24, 1952. He played for the Sioux Falls Packers in 1970 (2-1, 3.43). Zachry received player of the year honors as a high school senior in 1970.
Zachry arrived in the majors in 1976 and stayed 10 complete seasons. With the World Champion Reds in 1976, he pitched in 38 games (28 starts) and 204 innings for a 2.74 ERA and 14-7 record. For that good performance, he was a co-winner of the National League rookie of year award. In the NLCS he started one game and pitched 5 innings with a 3.60 ERA. He also started one game in the World Series going 6 2/3 innings giving up 6 hits and 5 walks while striking out 6 for a 2.70 ERA.
After 7 games for them in 1977 (12 starts, 75 inn, 5.04 ERA), the 6'5" Zachry was traded to the Mets [obtained June 15 in the five-player Tom Seaver deal] where he made 19 starts finishing 120 innings for a 3.76 ERA. He pitched respectably for the Mets through the 1982 season for 21, 7, 28, 24 and 36 games (21, 7, 26, 24, 16 starts) for ERAs of 3.33, 3.59, 3.01, 4.14 and 4.05. Due to an arm injury, his 1979 season was limited to 7 games and he had other injuries during those years. He was chosen for the 1978 All-Star team.
On Dec. 28, 1982, he was traded to the Dodgers for Orge Orta. In 1983-1984, he pitched in 40 and 58 games for the Dodgers with 61 and 83 innings for 2.49 and 3.81 ERAs. He was in 2 games of the 1983 NLCS for 4 innings and a 2.25 ERA. On Feb. 45, 1985, he went to Philadelphia for Al Oliver. His MLB career ended that year with 10 games for the Phillies (13 inn, 4.26).
During his career, he pitched in 293 games and 1,177 innings, over 10 years, giving up 1,147 hits and 495 walks while striking out 669. He had a 3.52 ERA, .259 OAV. and a 69-67 record. His minor league playing days were from 1970-1975 for seven teams with ERAs under 3.00 for three of them. He was at "AAA" for two seasons.
After leaving baseball as a player, he ran a batting practice
facility and in the late 1980s, played in the Senior Baseball League.
He lives in Waco, TX.
Barton Wallace Zeller was born on July 22, 1941, in Chicago Heights, IL. He caught for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1963 (.252, 11 HR, 36 RBI) and 1964 (.270, 5, 35).
On May 21, 1970, Bart came into the game for the St. Louis Cardinals as a defensive replacement at catcher. He handled one defensive chance without error, but did not get an at bat. He never returned to the majors.
In the minor leagues from 1963-1966 and 1968-1971, he played for 10 teams hitting over .300 for two of them. He played at the "AAA" level for two seasons.
Bart attended the University of Arizona and graduated from East Illinois University. He was the Senior Officer of Sales for National Telemarketing Company retiring in 2002 and, since 2002, is a partner in Grand Slam Enterprises.
He was a major league coach for the Cardinals in 1970 and was the Sioux Falls Canaries (Northern - Independent) during the 2005-06 seasons. He was with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League (Independent) in 2007-10 as their hitting, third base and pitching coach. In Jan. 2011, Zeller was named as the first manager of Joliet (Frontier).
He lives in Scottsdale, AZ.
Marion Sylvester Zipfel was born in Belleville, IL, on November 18, 1938. He played for the 1959 Fargo-Moorhead Twins (.300, 17 HR, 104 RBI).
Zipfel was with the Washington Senators for two partial seasons in 1961-1962. He played first base and outfield for 50 and 68 games with averages of .200 and .239. The left handed batter was 0 for 5 and 2 for 18 as a pinch hitter. In his career 118 games, he batted .220 with a .287 OBP and .370 slugging %. His fielding average was .981 with 70 games at first and 23 in the outfield.
In the minors, he played from 1956-1966 for 14 teams with two seasons of averages over .300. He was at the class "AAA" level for four years.
After retirement from baseball, Bud entered the insurance business
with Midwest Capital Associates and owned real estate under the names
"Bud Zipfel Enterprises" and "Bud Zipfel Apartment
Rentals" in Belleville. He still lives there.
William Henry Zuber ("Goober") was born on March 26, 1913, in Middle Amana, IA. He pitched for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1934 (16-8). He apparently was the only Amish player in MLB history.
Bill came up to the Bigs in September 1936 for 2 starts with the Cleveland Indians (14 inn, 6.59). He was also with the Tribe from 1938-1940 for 15, 16 and 17 games with 29, 32 and 24 innings and 5.02, 5.97 and 5.63 ERAs. On Apr. 21, 1941, he was sold to Washington. He was with the Senators from 1941-1942 for 36 and 37 games (7 starts each year) with 96 and 127 innings for ERAs of 5.42 and 3.84. On Jan. 29, 1943, he was traded to the Yankees with cash for Gerry Priddy and Milo Candini.
The sidearm sinkerballer pitched with the Yankees from 1943-1945 for 20, 22 and 21 games and 118, 107 and 127 innings compiling ERAs of 3.89, 4.21 and 3.19. His 4-F status made him available during the war years. There is no proof that, due to his Amish roots, that he became a conscientious objector.
After 3 games in pinstripes in 1946 (6 inn, 12.71 ERA), he moved to the Red Sox [purchased on Apr. 18] where he pitched in 15 games (7 starts, 57 inn, 2.54 ERA). His last season was with the Red Sox in 1947 for 20 games and 51 innings posting a 5.33 ERA.
In his career 11 years, 224 games and 786 innings, he gave up 767 hits and 468 walks while striking out 383 for a 4.28 ERA and .260 OAV. In the minors from 1932-1939 and 1948, he played for 12 clubs with 4 years in class AAA.
After his retirement from baseball, Bill owned and operated a "family style" restaurant near the Amana colonies, in Homestead, IA. He died, after a brief illness, in Cedar Rapids, IA, on November 2, 1982, and was buried at the Middle Amana Cemetery. His restaurant is still in operation and, to this day, bears his name - "Bill Zuber's Dugout Restaurant".
"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 12 by Jack Smalling, pub: Baseball America
"The Baseball Autograph Collector's Handbook" - Number 14 by Jack Smalling
"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
Charley Walters - "The St. Paul Pioneer Press"
"Howie Schultz"by Stew Thornley (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org
"Charley Walters" by Stew Thornley (available at:
"Don Wheeler" by Stew Thornley (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org
"Tom Saffell" by Jim Sargent (available at: http://bioproj.sabr.org
"The Baseball Autograph Collector's Handbook" - Number 13 by Jack Smalling
"Baseball In Eau Claire" by Jason Christopherson; pub: Arcadia
"Baseball Memories 1950-1959" by Marc Okkonen; pub: Sterling
"Baseball Memories 1930-1939" by Marc Okkonen; pub: Sterling
"The Ballplayers" edited by Mike Shatzkin; published by Arbor House
2000 Cups of Coffee 1900-1949 by Marc Okkonen - unpublished [available for download on SABR members-only web page]
Various educational and business oriented web sites