Sunday, January 6, 2019

Vern Fuller (#71)

This is the rookie card for Vern Fuller, the Indians' starting 2nd baseman for most of 1967-1969.

Fuller was signed by the Indians before the 1963 season out of Arizona State University (just before the Athletics started using that school as their farm system, producing Rick Monday, Sal Bando, and Reggie Jackson!)

After a season in the minors, Vern missed almost all of 1964 with injuries, playing no minor-league ball and only 2 games with the Tribe in September.


He played all of '65 and '66 back on the farm, save for a September call-up in 1966.

Fuller was up and down between Cleveland and triple-A for the first half of 1967, but was recalled in mid-July and started 62 of the final 73 games at 2nd base, replacing the floundering tandem of Gus Gil, Pedro Gonzalez, and Chico Salmon.

In 1968 Vern split the 2nd base duties with Chico Salmon for the first half of the season, and with rookie Dave Nelson in the second half.

Surprisingly, even though Nelson was named Topps all-rookie 2nd baseman in 1968, he only started 30 games in 1969, mostly from late-July to mid-August. Meanwhile, Fuller started 72 games, with newly-acquired bust Zoilo Versalles playing some games there as well.

Rookie Eddie Leon took over in 1970, relegating Fuller to just 33 at-bats in 29 games for the season. He only made 1 appearance between 6/12 and 8/18, and spent no time in the minors, so maybe he was injured for a good chunk of the season? Anyway, he retired after the season.

6 comments:

Bill White said...

Great info. The 68 set was a little disappointing following the 67 set. As a result, I didn't collect as many. Have done some filling in recently.

Jim from Downingtown said...

I don't mind the burlap borders so much. What I don't like is only half the teams have team cards (no rhyme or reason), and there are fewer cards than the previous year (and almost no multi-player cards).

Jim from Downingtown said...

(Also the Astros' and Athletics' cards are a mess.)

Bill White said...

Totally agree on the Astros and Athletics. John Hogan made some nice 68's for you according to your post in Sept 2016 ( I have been following your blog for a while now). Also, Bob Lemke made some great 68 Reggie Jackson's which I am sure you have seen. Was sorry to hear about Bob's passing a while ago. He was really a good blogger. Anyway, thanks to John and Bob they helped to make the 68's a little more complete. BTW, John has made some cards for me at my request even though I am not a blogger and he doesn't know me from Adam. Nice guy!

Jim from Downingtown said...

Yes, John has made many nice cards. Too bad there are people printing and selling them on eBay, making money off his efforts. He made some football QB cards for me also.


The '68 set had their disasters with Astros and Athletics cards.

The '66 set had ugly all-capless Braves and Angels cards. Both teams were color-coded lavender, which didn't help any either.

By contrast, the '67 set is amazing. (Well, everyone says that about the first set they collected.) But there are only 4 airbrushed cards in the whole lot (Mayo Smith, Tom Egan, Dodgers Rookies, and I forget which other one, but I've mentioned it in the 1967 blog post that includes Mayo Smith.)

Jay Abbott said...

There are bad things about the '68 but it has one thing going for it. You can complete it without robbing Fort Knox. I can't justify spending a king's ransom on the high numbers in the '67 or '66.