Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Joe Pepitone (#195)

For the next several days, my 3 card blogs will take on a Phillies and Yankees flavor, as we gear up for the World Series.

Joe Pepitone was the Yankees regular 1st baseman in the 1960s. Here, he looks like the Yankees answer to the Jets' Broadway Joe Namath.


He was a backup 1B-OF in his rookie year of 1962, but when 1st baseman Moose Skowron was traded away after the season, Joe took over as a regular for the rest of the decade. In 1967 and 1968, he was the Yankees regular centerfielder, as he swapped positions with Mickey Mantle due to Mantle's limited mobility. After Mantle's retirement prior to the 1969 season, Pepitone moved back to first base.

After the 1969 season, he was traded to the Houston National League Baseball Club (known outside the Topps baseball card company as "Astros") for outfielder Curt Blefary. Midway through his only season with the Astros, he was acquired by the Cubs, where he would play until May 1973. In his first season in Chicago, he was their centerfielder, then came two seasons as their first baseman. In 1973, the Cubs traded him to the Braves, who released him one month later.

In summary, Joe Pepitone came along and replaced Moose Skowron, then Mickey Mantle, then Ernie Banks! During his career, Pepitone was famous for milking the slightest on-field injury for maximum sympathy.

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