Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back on Topps' radar: Al Spangler

Tonight I'm starting a series of cards (well actually, the already-posted Tommie Aaron and Frank Kostro belong in this series also) where the player had one or more previous cards, but did not have one last year, and now they are back in the set. There are about 25 such players in the 1968 set.

Al Spangler (#451) was a journeyman outfielder who started in the Braves organization in the late 1950s. The Houston Colt .45s selected him in the expansion draft, and he became their starting leftfielder from day 1 of the franchise until his trade to the Angels in early June 1965.

After bouncing up and down between the Angels and their AAA team in Seattle, he was released by the Angels before the 1967 season, and quickly signed with the Cubs. In 1967, he split the season between Chicago and their AAA team in Tacoma, Washington. (I wonder if he kept his old apartment in Seattle?)

No doubt, all this triple-A time in 1966 and 1967 cost him a 1967 Topps card. (Spangler had a Topps card every year from 1960 to 1966.)

He stayed with the Cubs for the latter part of his career, although 1970 and 1971 saw him released and re-signed by the Cubs several times.

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