Monday, June 27, 2011

Joe Verbanic (#29)

This is the second of four Joe Verbanic cards. Joe appeared on a Yankees Rookies card in 1967. He also had cards in '68, '69, and '70, all with the Yankees, and all hatless (c'mon Topps!). This same photo below was also used for his 1969 card.

Verbanic grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania, the same sports hotbed that produced Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Babe Parilli, Stan Musial, Ken Griffey Sr, Tito Francona, Doc Medich, and Pete Maravich among others. (In fact, Dorsett, Medich, and Verbanic were from the same town!)

Joe was signed by the Phillies in 1961, and began his career as a relief pitcher with their Miami Marlins farm team in 1962. After another season in Miami, he moved up the ladder and eventually made his major-league debut with the Phillies in June 1966. Verbanic pitched in 17 games for the Phillies that season, but was traded to the Yankees that December for veteran pitcher Pedro Ramos.

Joe split the 1967 season between the Yankees and triple-A. In 1968, he managed to stick with the Yanks for the entire season, compiling a 6-7 record in 40 games (11 starts).

Verbanic missed the entire 1969 season with arm troubles. When he returned in 1970, his career was essentially over. Joe pitched 7 games for New York, and 15 games for AAA Syracuse. He also missed most of the following season, only pitching 5 games for Syracuse. Verbanic wrapped up his career in 1972, back with the Phillies' AAA team for a 39-game stint.

I often thought that Topps should have made another 1966 Phillies Rookies card featuring Verbanic and rookie pitcher John Morris. (Morris was traded to the Orioles for pitcher Dick Hall, and later surfaced on a 1969 card as a Seattle Pilot.)

Here's an internet page for Verbanic.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sammy Ellis (#453)

Sammy Ellis had a 7-year career as a starting pitcher in the 1960s, mostly with the Reds. He was signed by Cincinnati in 1961, and although he appeared in 7 games for the Reds in 1962, he spent most of 1961-63 in the minors.

In his rookie season of 1964, Sammy led the bullpen with 52 games, 122 innings, and 14 saves. The following season, he joined the rotation and compiled a 22-10 record, which, along with Jim Maloney's 20-9 gave the Reds a nice one-two punch.

After slipping to 12-19 in 1966 and 8-11 in 1967, Ellis was shipped off to the Angels for pitcher Bill Kelso. His one season in California was more of the same (9-10 record), and Sammy was traded to the White Sox in January 1969 for outfielder Bill Voss. After only 10 games with Chicago, he was traded to the Indians for pitcher Jack Hamilton, and was assigned to triple-A for the remainder of the season.

Ellis' final major-league game was in June 1969. His last baseball card was also in 1969. He spent the next 2 seasons in the minors before retiring.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

1969 Baseball Stamps - All the Rest

Here are the rest of my 1969 baseball stamps (well, except for the Padres' Larry Stahl, but he didn't fit into one of the group rectangles!) I got all these in 1969, and they've been sitting in glassine envelopes ever since.

I have no idea who I'm missing (except for the Phillies' Tony Taylor). It's weird that I have no stamps from the 2-time NL champion Cardinals, nor the Yankees, Reds, Dodgers, Braves, Red Sox, Orioles, Angels, Astros, Expos, Royals, or Pilots.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1969 Phillies Stamps

Ok, so these aren't from 1968, but the photos were probably taken in 1968 (well, all but Don Lock. Apparently, Topps was unable to locate Don Lock after 1966!)

I was just reading the latest post by Jim on his Phillies Room blog where he made a reference to the 1969 Topps baseball stamps. I forgot that I had these until reading his post. When I located them, I didn't find any doubles, but I have 76 of these stamps from various teams, mostly Phillies, Pirates, Cubs, Twins, and Athletics. I wonder why out of 76 stamps, I have none from the Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Cardinals, Expos, Astros, or Reds?

Here are the Phillies (I seem to be missing the Tony Taylor stamp that Jim referred to):

And here are 3 recent ex-Phillies. (Cater is actually about 4 years removed from the team, but Topps is still showing him in a Phillies uniform.)