Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bob Hendley (#345)

Although Bob Hendley's last major-league game was on September 3, 1967, Topps would issue cards for him in 1968 and 1969.

Bob was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1958. After 3 1/2 seasons in the minors, he made his major-league debut on June 23, 1961, pitching 7 innings in a loss to the Cubs. Hendley started 13 of his 19 games during his rookie season.

In 1962, Bob advanced to #3 starter behind veterans Warren Spahn and Bob Shaw, and ahead of Lew Burdette. In 1963, Bob Shaw became the team's closer, but Hendley was still the #3 starter, as Denny Lemaster (in his 1st full season) leapfrogged over Bob in the rotation.



After the 1963 season, Bob was part of a big trade with the Giants, as he, pitcher Bob Shaw, and catcher Del Crandall went to San Francisco in exchange for pitcher Billy Hoeft, catcher Ed Bailey, outfielder Felipe Alou, and infielder Ernie Bowman. With the Giants in 1964, Bob joined a rotation that included Juan Marichal, Jack Sanford, and 3 others that started and relieved (Gaylord Perry, Bob Bolin, Ron Herbel). Except for the aging Sanford (35), all the starters were either 25 or 26 years old.

Bob only appeared in 8 games for the Giants in 1965, before being traded to the Cubs on May 29th (along with catcher Ed Bailey and outfielder Harvey Kuenn) for catcher Dick Bertell and outfielder Len Gabrielsen. He was used in a swingman role with the Cubs, as their top 3 starters were Larry Jackson, Dick Ellsworth, and Bob Buhl (all future Phillies).

In 1966, Hendley pitched mainly in relief, and led the team with (a paltry!) 7 saves. 1966 also was the rookie season of catcher Randy Hundley, so the Cubs fielded a Hendley/Hundley battery for a year and a half, until Bob's June 1967 trade to the Mets.

In New York, Bob spent the closing months of his major-league career making 13 starts and 2 relief appearances.

Hendley spent the 1968 and 1968 seasons with the Mets' triple-A team, making 27 appearances in each season.

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