Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Valmy Thomas Bumps an Ump, Gets Sold Twice and Shot!

Valmy Thomas was a catcher for the Giants, Phillies, Indians and Orioles in the late 50s and early 60s, born in Puerto Rico, he identified as being from St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

An incident with an umpire in the 1962 season saw Thomas' career take a few turns, then his life was nearly cut short during the season.

Thomas had started 1962 with Jacksonville of the Indians' minor leagues, when he was involved in an altercation with an umpire: The Spokesman-Review of Friday, June 22, 1962 had a good article on what happened...

"(Valmy) Thomas argued with (Umpire Tom) Lopat at the plate after being called out on strikes in Saturday's Jacksonville-Buffalo game. Thomas, sold to Rochester today for an unannounced figure, bumped Lopat several times and was restrained from attacking him."

Thomas was originally given a 3 day suspension and $100 fine by the league commissioner, which prompted a resignation from the umpire, Lopat. The Minor League Commissioner overruled that decision and suspended Thomas for 30 days.

Thomas never played for Rochester, and ended up heading to Atlanta.

According to the great blog On a Silver Diamond, 

" Thomas’ appearance was held up by a fine and suspension for striking an ump during a June 16 game. Thomas admitted to pushing the ump, but denied any punch, a statement verified by his teammates and most observers. Two different versions from the umpire involved clouded the issue, but Thomas was subsequently had his suspension lengthened to 30 days by the minor’s ruling body, the National Association of Professional Baseball League (NAPBL). Sisler blasted the move, claiming Thomas was being railroaded. The suspension voided the sale, since Thomas was technically suspended at the time of the transaction."

BTW, that blog is a wonderful history of Rochester baseball.

Jack Hairston's column in the Gainesville Sun of May 3, 1988  gives his view on what happened, he seems rather proud of his part in getting Thomas' suspension extended for what that is worth, and  also mentions Thomas' subsequent sale to Atlanta. Verified in the July 23, 1962 St. Petersburg Times.
That wasn't the end to Thomas' 1962 saga. He only got 13 games in with Atlanta, injured his finger, then was shot in an argument over a woman, you can read that here in the August 22, 1962 St. Petersburg Times!

He survived, but his active career didn't. He lived to the age of 84. A wild ride for Thomas in 1962!

Thomas card photo swiped from giantswax.blogspot.com  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Don Taussig in 1959 - Not So Simple

Don Taussig was an outfielder in the Majors for the Giants, Cardinals and Colt .45s in the late 50's and early 60's.

How he got from the Giants to the Cardinals is described thusly on his Baseball Reference page...

Which seems fine on the surface, but does not explain his run in 1959, which has him starting in Fort Worth, AAA for the Cubs, and finishing in Charleston for the Tigers' AAA.

We did some looking and found this from the Panama American of Apr. 28, 1959...

“The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs exchanged farmhands Sunday with the Giants sending outfielder Don Taussig to Fort Worth in the American Association and the Cubs sending pitcher Marcelino Solis to Phoenix of the Pacific Coast League”

No mention of this deal on either Taussig or Solis' pages. So how did Taussig get to Charleston? Can't find that yet. I DID find this odd note in the July 5, 1959 Sunday Gazette-Mail (Charleston WV)... 

"Don Taussig had been traded to Corpus Christy (sp) for Outfielder Jim Miller and Miller hadn't reported.”

Talking about why Charleston had been short-handed. Taussig stayed with Charleston so that deal must have been voided, Miller never went to Charleston and stayed in the minors for awhile.

Corpus Christi WAS a Giants AA team at the time. Somehow, Taussig gets back to the Giants at the end of the season:  the Spokane Daily Chronicle of Oct 28, 1959 has him being outrighted to Tacoma by the Giants.

The Cardinals then purchase him from Tacoma as per the Eugene Register-Guard of April 12, 1960.

So there are a few tangles to unknot. I did see that Alex Cosmidis also played for both Charleston and Fort Worth in 1959, maybe they were dealt for each other....

Taussig from www.sportsmemorabilia.com

Solis (in Ft. Worth gear no less!) from the great blog 59toppsblog.blogspot.com



Friday, June 26, 2015

Cotton Nash Couldn't Go Home

Cotton Nash was a two-sport athlete, playing pro basketball while trying to crack the majors in baseball. He did get a couple of shots at the bigs with the White Sox and Twins, but couldn;t stick despite putting up big power numbers in AAA.

Heading into the 1971 off-season, Nash was looking forward to heading back to Kentucky, where he was based, and was a star basketballer at Kentucky in Lexington. The big fellow is shown to go from the Twins system in 1971 (Portland) to DENVER in 1972, the Rangers' AAA team.

What happened?

Well, Nash WAS traded to Louisville...says the Jan. 25, 1972 issue of the Daily News of Bowling Green, Ky.

"The Minnesota Twins have traded Cotton Nash to the Louisville Colonels in return for Mike Derrick"

Derrick played for the Red Sox in 1970. This transaction is unlisted on both players' records.

So why didn't Nash stay in Louisville for 1972? He didn't make the team out of spring training, was cut, and signed with Denver for 1972, his last pro season.

Derrick (Red Sox hat) taken from Snipview.
Nash (White Sox) from Sabr.org!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Johnny Lewis, Billy Sorrell and John Sullivan

Johnny Lewis was a moderately successful outfielder with the Cardinals and Mets in the sixties. Near the end of his career, he was sent to the Mets' minor leagues, Jacksonville. However, he suddenly goes to Philadelphia's San Diego AAA team for 1968, his last active year. Lets find out how and why.

The Panama City News-Herald of Feb. 28, 1968 has the following:

"The Mets also completed a minor deal made earlier this week that sent catcher John Sullivan to Philadelphia's San Diego farm club. New York's Jacksonville farm optioned outfielder Johnny Lewis to San Diego in return for outfielder Bill Sorrell."

 "February 19, 1968: Purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies from the New York Mets."

" March, 1968: Purchased by the New York Mets from the Philadelphia Phillies."

So we can now correct this for all three players:

February 19, 1968 The New York Mets traded John Sullivan and a player to be named later to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later.  February 27, 1968 The New York Mets sent Johnny Lewis to the Philadelphia Phillies for Billy Sorrell to complete the trade.

Lewis and Sullivan from 1967topps.blogspot.com
Sorrell from topps1971.blogspot.com
Check out those blogs!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Don't Forget Darrell Osteen!

Darrell Osteen was a pitcher (NOT related to Claude) for the Reds and A's in the late 60's to 1970. He didn't fare very well in the majors at 1-4 with an 8.05 ERA. He found himself at AAA Iowa for the A's to start 1971, and finished the season (and his pro career) at Syracuse and the Yankees' chain.

How did he get there? No listing on his Baseball Reference major league page...

We find the answer in the Des Moines Register of May 26, 1971...

"The New York Yankees Tuesday night traded first baseman-outfielder Curt Blefary 27, to Oakland for minor league pitchers Rob Gardner and Darrell Osteen. Blefary, who has also played for Houston and Baltimore, batted .194 with one home run and two RBIs in 21 games with the Yankees. Gardner just reported to the Iowa Oaks after being demoted by the Athletics 10 days ago. He started the season with the Yankees, then went to Oakland with pitcher Ron Klimkowski in the Felipe Alou deal. Osteen had been with the Oaks all season, but had seen little action. Both he and Gardner will be assigned to Syracuse of the International League."

 AHA! This trade is listed on Ron Gardner's Baseball Reference major league page as...

"May 26, 1971: Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the New York Yankees for Curt Blefary."

Now we can add Osteen to that trade. Don't forget Darrell!

By the way, Ron Gardner was traded by the Yankees to the A's for Felipe Alou...traded back to the Yankees in this deal....then traded by the Yankees to the A's for MATTY Alou.

He was back in the Yankees' minors in 1975 (we have no transaction detail on that yet), so one can assume that he was at least OFFERED to someone for Jesus Alou.

Darrell Osteen from Topps Archives, Rob Gardner from Baseball Almanac website

Monday, June 22, 2015

Jim Finigan and the Trade That Wasn't

By the time 1958 came around, Jim Finigan was a bench player looking for a team that could use him.

The infielder spent most of that season in the Giants' Phoenix minor league club, then was dealt to the Orioles in the dreaded "Unknown Transaction".

In doing some searching, I found excerpts from the book The Cardinals Encyclopedia... which had the following trade listed for Oct. 14, 1958:

"(Cardinals traded) Infielder Jim Finigan to the Baltimore Orioles for shortstop Jim Brideweser and pitcher Art Ceccarelli,"


I can find nothing that has Finigan in the Cardinals system....Ceccarelli never played for the Cards and neither did Brideweser until 1961.

I also found this article from the Breckenridge (TX) American of Oct. 15, 1958...

"The Baltimore Orioles have purchased infielder Jim Finigan from the Vancouver farm club..."


Now, Brideweser DID go from Vancouver in 1958 to Phoenix in 1959, so there could have been a one-for-one there...

Found it! The News from Frederick, Maryland of Oct. 14, 1958...

"Vancouver obtained Finigan from Phoenix last week in a trade for infielder Jim Brideweser and pitcher Art Ceccarelli"

So the Cardinals weren't involved at all! Ceccarelli was taken by the Cubs from the Orioles in the Rule V draft just two months later, so there is still a mystery there...but we have solved a real unknown transaction, and corrected an error in the process!

Finigan and Brideweser pics lifted from eBay. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wrapping Up Dennis Saunders

Inspired by the most recent Topps 1971 blog, I looked up the career of pitcher Dennis Saunders, who had a short major league stop with the Tigers before finishing in the Mets and Twins organizations.

He started the 1971 season in AAA Toledo before heading to Tidewater and the Mets' organization and then to Memphis and AA. How did he get there? We consult the Traverse City Record-Eagle of May 12, 1971...

"Right-handed pitcher Dennis Saunders, previously on option to Detroit's Toledo farm Club, was sold to Tidewater of the International League Tuesday. The Mets' top farm team obtained Saunders after he cleared major league waivers unclaimed."

That would make the sale to the Mets on May 11, 1971.

Saunders would last just one year in the Mets group, and would head to spring training with the big club for 1972. According to the Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph of March 30, 1972, he didn't make the cut...

"The New York Mets reached the major league's 25-man limit Wednesday by returning 10 players to the minor leagues, including three members of the 1971 team....The Mets also sold pitcher Dennis Saunders to Tacoma, a Minnesota Twins' minor league team in the Pacific Coast League..."

That would make the sale to the Twins on March 29, 1972.

So we get to put the full dressing on the unknown transactions for Dennis Saunders!

Pic from the Topps 1971 blog!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Help Needed to Fill Holes in Bill Pleis Career Transactions!

Bill Pleis was a pretty fair pitcher that spent his entire major league career with the Minnesota Twins, and even got into a game in the 1965 World Series with the Dodgers.

After a 1966 season which saw him in only 8 appearances for the Twins (and some ineffective work in AAA), Pleis was off to Hawaii in the (then) Senators organization for 1967.  There is no transaction listed for this move, but I did find this note in the Eau Claire Leader of Oct. 18, 1967...

"The Minnesota Twins set their winter roster at 40 Monday by putting two players on the National Defense service list, buying eight players from minor league affiliates, and gelling six others to the minors. Catcher John Sevcik and pitcher Tom Hall, who was purchased from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., were placed on the military list. Those bought by the Twins were: Catcher Franklin Sands, from Denver; outfielder Herman Hill and pitcher Charlie Murray, from Orlando, Fla; first baseman .Phil Hahn, from Auburn, N.Y.; pitcher Buzz Stephen, from Santa Barbara, Calif.; shortstop Rick Renick, from Eilson, N.C.; and pitcher Bob Weisenberg from St. Cloud, Minn. The Twins sold pitcher Bill Pleis to Hawaii."

Which would be a nice tie-up to the transaction mystery except Pleis spent the 1967 season in Hawaii, and the next in Louisville for Boston.

 BTW, that transaction above would have taken place on Oct. 16, 1967.

An article in the Buffalo Courier-Express from Feb. 25, 1968 has Pleis signing a contract with the Buffalo AAA club for 1968. That is all well and good, except we don't find out what happened with him and Hawaii, AND Pleis never played for Buffalo that year, he went to Louisville.

Can anyone out there help fill in the gaps on these deals?

Pleis pic from Trading Card Database.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dick Kenworthy Throws Me a Mexican Curveball

Dick Kenworthy was a Chicago White Sox infielder who tried to stick several times in the sixties, and may be best known for his 1968 Topps card. On that card he is listed as being on the Mets though he never played for them: he was a rule 5 pick that was returned to the ChiSox.

Kenworthy stayed on AAA Tuscon for the ChiSox until 1971, when he goes to the Reds' Indianapolis farm, with no reason given.

In trying to find out the machinations behind this move, I was thrown a curve in this Tuscon Daily Citizen article from Apr. 14, 1971...

" Hamilton Released As Toros Pick Up 'Missing Pitcher'- Jack "The Ham" Hamilton was given his unconditional release today by the Tucson Toros after pitching for the Pacific Coast League entry for the past two years. The colorful righthander, who was noted for his clubhouse-wrecking tantrums when he lost a game, will be replaced on the roster by the "missing pitcher" for the White Sox, Cecilio Acosta.. Acosta is a pitcher from the Mexican League who came to the White Sox in a trade for last year's third baseman for the Toros, Dick Kenworthy. . Acosta was to report to the White Sox spring training camp in Sarasota this spring but nobody heard from him. Last Friday he showed up in Tucson and the White Sox were notified. It was decided to leave him here and put him on the roster. Acosta was with the Jalisco club in Mexico last year where he fanned 99 batters in 8-5 innings."


So it appears like a straight Kenworthy-for-Acosta trade, but with Jalisco in the Mexican League. I can't find any mention of Kenworthy playing in Mexico at all, let alone 1971. I'll try to look further into that, unless someone can help, hint hint...

Acosta's Baseball Reference major league page  lists the following as to how he got to the White Sox in 1971...

" Before 1971 Season: Purchased by the Chicago White Sox from Jalisco (Mexican)."

So I think we can safely say it was a trade instead, involving Kenworthy. Next questions....how did Kenworthy end up in Indianapolis.... and what happened to him and Jalisco??

Acosta from the wonderful Jongy's Beat website! 
Kenworthy pic lifted from flickr.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Another Day, Another Sadowski

Ted Sadowski IS part of the family that sent (so far) four members to the Major Leagues. He spent almost his entire career in the Washington/Minnesota system except for a Class A jaunt in 1959, and a trip to Tacoma in the Giants' system in 1964.

No transaction was listed, but this was an easy one to track down, from a heck of a source: Simpson's Leader-Times from Kittanning, Pennsylvania of May 14, 1964...

" The Minnesota Twins optioned third baseman Jay Ward to Tacoma and sold pitcher Ted Sadowski outright to the same club."

Sadowski had started the year in the Twins' system at AAA Atlanta. I'll have to look further into Jay Ward's minor league career.

I think we can safely call this one a sale to the Giants, however.

Ted image from Check Out My Cards...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Yes! John Anderson Was Traded to Toronto

John Anderson  was a pitcher that played for four different major league teams in three years, 1958, 1960 and 1962. His minor league career continued until 1967 with a few stops in organizations not mentioned in his transaction list.

I start with 1963. Anderson starts the year in Hawaii for the Angels system, then gets sent to Toronto and the Braves. This is from the Arizona Republic of June 21, 1963...

"Separate trades have provided the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International league with two knuckleball pitchers, Leaf General Manager Frank Pollock announced last night.  Outfielder Howie Bedell was traded to the Atlanta Crackers for one-time Leaf Bob Tiefenauer. Catcher Joe Hannah was sent to Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League, where he played last  year, in exchange for John Anderson."

Hannah was a career minor leaguer.

Of course, how Anderson even got to Hawaii is unknown, as well as his return to the Houston organization in 1965.

Anderson image from  www.baseballthinkfactory.org

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Not THAT Bob Sadowski, THIS One

Infielder Bob Sadowski (as opposed to Pitcher Bob Sadowski ) had his major league career end after the 1963 season, but he lasted quite awhile after that, in many minor league organizations.

He played in Toronto for a couple years, and started the 1967 season in Seattle before heading to Indianapolis in this trade archived by the Greensburg Daily News of June 10, 1967...

"The Indianapolis Indians of the Pacific Coast League traded left- landed pitcher Johnnie Seale to Seattle of the PCL Friday for infielder Bob Sadowski. Sadowski, who has batted .221 n 25 games for Seattle this season, is expected to join the Tribe this weekend at Oklahoma City."

 Seale had pitched for the Tigers in the 1964-5 seasons.

Sadowski was evidently not related to the other Bob Sadowski, or any of the other Sadowskis that were in baseball around that time...

There is still some research needed to be done on how THIS Sadowski bounced around the minors.

Sadowski from Trading Card Database, Seale lifted from eBay...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Gathering Clues in a Larry Elliot Trade

Larry Elliot was a minor league slugger that made the majors for a few seasons with first Pittsburgh, then the Mets. As was the case with players such as Elliot, he bounced around for awhile in the AAA's for a few teams before calling it a career.

In 1968 Elliot starts the season with Vancouver, having been traded to the A's the year before. He moves to Seattle and the Angels' chain during the season, then back to the A's and AAA Iowa for 1968. Curious.

I found this article from The Des Moines Register of April 6, 1969, 

Parsing together the interesting pieces regarding the move of the Vancouver A's AAA team to Iowa:

" An indiscreet move had (cost?) Vancouver yet another muscleman before former lowan Phil Seghi was brought in as the new farm director. -  Phil's predecessor... gave outfielder Larry Elliot to Seattle in exchange for a first baseman who flopped."

Okay, I can't find right now who else was involved in that deal, so we go to the 1968 Vanouver Mounties Baseball Reference page  and see if we can find a first baseman who "flopped" after coming to Vancouver from Seattle.

The only player that fits the bill is Charlie Vinson!

For the entire season, Vinson hit just .215 with 6 HR and 24 RBI, while Elliot hit .232, 13 HR and 71 RBI. No Vancouver player hit more than 10 HR that season.

To be fair, the former Angel first baseman Vinson had several good AAA seasons afterward, while Elliot would have just one more year in baseball.

The Register article talked about how the Iowa club would be much better than they were in Vancouver. Well, the Mounties were 58-88, the Oaks were 62-88.

Elliot for Vinson in the trade, can someone find the date?

Elliot pic from Trading Card Database, Vinson from Baseball Birthdays

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bob Perry Swapped For Tim Harkness

Bob Perry was a pretty fair outfielder for the Angels in 1963 and 1964 but didn't quite stick with the team and was sent to the Pirates for infielder Julio Gotay in 1965. The Pirates sent him to Columbus (AAA), and from there he went to Buffalo for some reason during the 1966 season.

Buffalo belonged to the Reds at that time. A look at some newspapers came up with the following from the Syracuse Post-Standard from July 6, 1966...

"The league-leading Columbus Jets swapped Pancho Herrera to Syracuse because their rookie, Mike Derrick, had beaten Pancho out of the first-base job. Now Mike is out with a broken ankle, so the Jets had to make another deal. They swapped outfielder Bob Perry, here with the Bisons, for Tim Harkness, who can play first base besides being an outfielder."

So former Met Tim Harkness was traded even-up for Perry. Another article, from the Buffalo Courier-Express of June 28, 1966  states that the trade was being held up by the Reds, and that either Harkness or another former major leaguer Joe Hicks would be traded.

1966 ended up being Harkness' last season, but Perry continued for several years with stops in the Twins and Brewers minor league systems. Haven't been able to track those transactions down yet!

Both pics lifted from Baseball-Almanac.com

Friday, June 5, 2015

Danny Kravitz Was a Two Year YoYo

Danny Kravitz finished his major league career as a useful backup catcher in 1960 with the A's and was traded to Cincinnati. He played in 1961 for Jersey City, the Reds' AAA team, then for two years he bounces back and forth from Richmond {Yankees AAA} and Rochester {Orioles' AAA} with no trades mentioned. Lets' see what we can find.

The Lincoln Star of Feb. 15, 1962 has the following:

" The Richmond Virginians acquired catcher Danny Kravitz from San Diego of the Pacific Coast League in exchange for outfielder Jim Pisoni and utility infielder Tony Asaro."

Wait, San Diego? Yes. San Diego had just switched from the White Sox to the Reds.

Pisoni, from the Yankees, has no mention of this deal on his Baseball Reference major league page.

During the 1962 season, Kravitz heads to Rochester in a deal to help their battered catching staff according to the great "On a Silver Diamond" essay collection:

" Sisler moved quickly, picking up IL veteran receiver Danny Kravitz from Richmond for Joe Christian."

Another article says Kravitz was "expected back" by Richmond for the start of 1963, and a later "on a Silver Diamond" notes in 1963:

" Catcher Danny Kravitz was re-acquired from Richmond, giving the team a experienced receiver and sending Chris Krug back to the Cardinals."

I don't think this was a straight up swap as Krug went to Tulsa, the Cards' AA team, so the 1963 bounces are still mysteries.

Kravitz from Trading Card Database. Pisoni from www.ootpdevelopments.com

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bob Will, and Does Get Traded

Another trolling through random players resulted in landing on the Baseball Reference minor league page of Bob Will.

Will played for the Cubs...except for a short time in his final year, 1964, where he went to the Cardinals and their Jacksonville AAA team. With no transaction listed, we went to searching.

I found that Will had been named a player-coach for Salt Lake City for the 1964 season after being sent down. That didn't really help with the transaction.

Finally, I found an article from the Salt Lake Tribune of June 6, 1964. 

The synopsis is a bit rough, but I ground out this translation:

" Bob Will, who led the Bees in hitting last season with a .371 mark and
has been the club's most consistent hitter this season, has been sold
by the Chicago Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinal organization. THE
CARDINALS said Ray Withrow, a right-handed hitting outfielder currently
with Jacksonville, would go to the Cubs in the transaction and be assigned

 to Chicago's Fort Worth club in the Texas League. Will has been
assigned to Jacksonville, the Cardinals said Withrow was with Denver in
the Pacific Coast League last year and finished the season with the
Cardinals and was sent to Jacksonville this spring. The Cardinals said
the Will for Withrow deal was the wrap-up on the transaction that sent
Glen Hobbie to the Cards in a pitching swap that brought Lou Burdette to
Chicago. WILL HAD been a member of he Cubs since 1960, when he came up
 from Fort Worth of the American Association and batted .255. His best
year in the majors was 1961....He was player-coach of the Bees this season.

Will, however, balked temporarily when assigned to
Salt Lake and his sale supposedly was brought about by his
dissatisfaction over being assigned to Triple A."

AHA! So naming him player-coach didn't mollify him evidently, and he was dealt to the Cardinals.

This deal evidently adds to the Hobbie-For-Burdette deal as well.

That is listed on Hobbie's Baseball Reference page as:

"June 2, 1964: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals for Lew Burdette."

I think we can safely edit this to:

June 2, 1964: Traded by Chicago Cubs with a player to be named later to the St. Louis Cardinals for Lew Burdette and a player to be named later; on June 5, 1964 the Chicago Cubs sent Bob Will to the St. Louis Cardinals for Corky Withrow to complete the deal.

Will and Withrow pics ripped off from eBay.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bob Spence's Glasses for Lowell Palmer's Shades

Sometimes I just look up a random player and see where it leads me. This time it was Bob Spence, a first baseman for the White Sox in the early 1970s.

Spence goes from the White Sox minor league system to the Phillies by the start of 1972, and there are no transactions for that listed on his Baseball Reference major league page.

I found an article with an interview with Spence that talked about him coming to Eugene from the Sox to take the place of Greg Luzinski, who had been called up to the majors.

Looking further, I found this article from the Oct. 17, 1971 Schenectady Gazette which had this in an AP note:

"The Chicago White Sox traded first baseman Bob Spence and pitcher Don Bolte to the Philadephia Phillies Tuesday for relief pitcher Lowell Palmer."

That would put the date of the trade as Oct. 16, 1971.

Lowell Palmer is well known as "the guy with the sunglasses" on all his Topps cards. His Baseball Reference major league page has the following to explain his move from the Phillies to the White Sox:

"October 22, 1971: Purchased by the Chicago White Sox from the Philadelphia Phillies."

And now we know better.

Don Bolte  was a teenaged rookie ball pitcher who only played in 1971.

Palmer pic from Amazon and Topps; Spence pic stolen from Flickr.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Muffett Man traded for a Moon Man

Billy Muffett was a pitcher for the Red Sox, Giants and Cardinals from the late 50's thru the 1960's who finished his career in a few different organizations in the minors. His last year in the majors was 1962, and after one bad outing was sent out to Seattle.

From there he goes to Atlanta and back to the Cards organization, without an explanation. Well, the Seattle PI online article from 2007 on Dave Mann outlines what happened:

" At midseason in 1962, the Rainiers traded Mann and pitcher Billy Muffett to Atlanta of the International League for highly regarded third baseman Mike Shannon (later of the St. Louis Cardinals), and then reacquired Mann a month later."

So the deal sent Mike "Moonman" Shannon to the Red Sox minor league system! We don't have an exact date yet...

Cardinal blogger RetroSimba  has a nice feature on Shannon's Red Sox stay, but no word on how he get back to the Cards late in the season. Perhaps the Mann AND Shannon moves were both loans.

Further research is needed...

Shannon from www.tradingcarddb.com , Muffett from Check Out My Cards

Monday, June 1, 2015

George Smith, a Giant of a Man

George Smith spent time in the majors with the Tigers and Red Sox, and was a starting second baseman for a while for both teams. His major league career ended in 1966, but he kept playing in the minors.

Without explanation, he starts up 1967 in the Giants' system, at Phoenix. Why? I found this exerpt from the book The Curse of the Bambino or How the Sox Finally End It by LIAM...

"Friday, July 21, 1967... ...Norm Siebern, who came to the Red Sox in exchange for infielder George Smith, played for the first time..."

This isn't listed for Smith at all, and Siebern's Baseball Reference page has the transaction as the following:

"July 15, 1967: Purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the San Francisco Giants."

Well, we now know what (who!) the purchase price was.

A biography of Siebern by SABR

"his brief National League tenure ended on July 16, when he was acquired by the Red Sox for the waiver price of $20,000. In order to claim Siebern on waivers, Boston also optioned injured outfielder George Smith to the Giants farm club at Phoenix."

Looks like a trade to me.

Smith went to the Senators and Astros systems in 1968, we will see if we can come up with the hows and whys on those...

Smith photo from the great www.ootpdevelopments.com