Monday, May 30, 2011

Cap Peterson (#188)

Charles Andrew "Cap" Peterson had an 8-year career in the 1960s as an outfielder, primarily for the Giants and Senators (Topps' two "green" teams, coincidently).

Cap was signed by the Giants in 1960, and spent 4 seasons in their farm system, the first 3 as a shortstop. After a cup of coffee at the end of the 1962 season, and 22 games in May, June, and September 1963, Peterson spent the entire 1964 season with the Giants, where he was used mostly as a pinch-hitter. (The Giants' starting outfield was Willie McCovey. Willie Mays, and Jesus Alou. Even their bench was well-stocked with outfielders Harvey Kuenn, Matty Alou, and an aging Duke Snider, so there wasn't much room for Peterson.)

In 1965, McCovey had moved to 1st base, Snider retired, and Kuenn was pushed to the back burner, so there was more time in the field for Peterson. He played in 60 games, and was the team's 5th outfielder, making 20 starts in left field.

Cap found himself with a semi-regular job in 1966. With rookie Ollie Brown now in right field, Jesus Alou moved over to left field, which became a 3-way job-share with Peterson and last year's regular left fielder, Len Gabrielson. After the season, Cap was traded to the Senators along with pitcher Bob Priddy for pitcher Mike McCormick.

Cap began the 1967 season as the starter in right field. After sharing the job with previous Nats' right fielder Jim King for about a month, King was traded away, giving Peterson more playing time. During the second half of the season, Cap shared right field with Fred Valentine, who would move over from his regular center field spot to give Ed Stroud or Hank Allen some starts in center.

1968 was the beginning of the end for Cap's career. Rookie Del Unser started 154 games in center field, moving everyone else (Fred Valentine, Ed Stroud, Hank Allen, and rookie Brant Alyea) over to the right field melting pot with Peterson. Cap made 37 starts in right, another 11 in left, but was mostly used as a pinch-hitter.

After the 1968 season he was traded to the Indians, where he played for 1 season as a pinch-hitter and backup left fielder.

Peterson played in triple-A for 3 more seasons before retiring. He passed away on May 16, 1980 from kidney disease at age 37.

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