Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bubba Morton (#216)

The 2nd Bubba for today is Wycliffe "Bubba" Morton, outfielder for the California Angels in the late 1960s.

Morton was signed by the Tigers back in 1955, and spent 6 seasons in the minors before breaking in with the Tigers in April 1961. Bubba spent all of 1961 and 1962 as a spare outfielder, behind starters Al Kaline, Rocky Colavito, and Bill Bruton.

In May 1963, he was purchased by the Milwaukee Braves, but played only 15 games for them before spending most of '63, and all of 1964 in the minors. His minor-league adventures continued in 1965, but this time as a member of the Indians' organization.

Morton was traded to the Angels at the end of the 1965 season, and after spending most of '66 in triple-A, he returned to the majors and played his final 3 seasons with California. He played about 80 games in each of those 3 seasons, but the Angels' roster was packed with outfielders in those days. The 1967 Topps set features EIGHT outfielders on the team. The Angels' 1968 and 1969 rosters also featured 8 outfielders with significant major-league experience. If your name wasn't Rick Reichardt, you pretty much scrambled for playing time.

Morton spent the 1970 season playing in Japan.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All-Star Cards

After a 5-year absence, Topps re-introduced All-Star cards in their 1968 set, featuring players selected as 1967 All-Stars by The Sporting News. These choices differed somewhat from the actual 1967 All-Star lineup (which was still voted on by the players that season).

In the actual game, the NL had Juan Marichal, Joe Torre, Bill Mazeroski, and Richie Allen starting at P, C, 2B, and 3B respectively. The AL featured Dean Chance, Rico Petrocelli, and Tony Conigliaro starting at P, SS, and RF. Otherwise, the starters were those you see in the 2 large blocks of cards below. Surprisingly, Joe Morgan, Ron Santo, and Ken Holtzman were not even on the actual All-Star roster in 1967, yet all were picked for the first team by The Sporting News.

Four of the six outfielders started at their natural position, while Hank Aaron and Tony Oliva each started in centerfield.

Oh, The Sporting News selected 2 pitchers in each league, 1 lefty and 1 righty, so...

The backs of these 20 cards formed 2 photos - Orlando Cepeda and Carl Yastrzemski. Contrary to what I would have thought, the 2 puzzles were not made exclusively from the player cards from Cepeda's or Yaz' own league. (My scanner bed is not large enough to hold all 10 cards, hence the cut-off tops.)