Thursday, January 14, 2010

Final Card: John Buzhardt

And now a 10-day blitz, as I wrap up most of the remaining 10-year veterans who retired in the late 1960s...

I almost hate scanning and posting these 1968 Astros cards, because every last one of them is either hatless or airbrushed. Earlier today, upon completing his tour of the entire 1969 set, Wrigley Wax noted that at some point he "hit the wall". I hit the wall every time I see one of these hatless wretches! What makes it even worse is when there is no other interesting aspect to the photo. In a few days, we'll all be treated to Buzhardt's Astros teammate Larry Sherry - an equally un-interesting hatless photo, as well as the Phillies' Turk Farrell. But I digress...

John Buzhardt (#403) was signed by the Cubs in 1954, and played in their minor-league system from 1954 to 1958. His major-league debut came on September 10th, his first of 6 appearances that year.

In 1959, John played for the Cubs the entire season. Before the 1960 season, Buzhardt was traded (along with third basemen Alvin Dark and Jim Woods) to the Phillies for outfielder Richie Ashburn.

John's two seasons in Philadelphia seem less than impressive. He compiled records of 5-16 and 6-18. Two of his 6 wins in 1961 were the games just before and just after the Phillies' infamous 23-game losing streak.

After the 1961 season, Buzhardt and third baseman Charlie Smith were sent to the White Sox for first baseman Roy Sievers. John fared better in his 5-plus seasons with the Sox than with the Phillies. (It was probably the team!) Twice he got double-figures in wins. Twice his ERA was under 3.00. For awhile, he was actually on par with Gary Peters, Joe Horlen, and Tommy John!

In 1967, Buzhardt was on the move. He was one of five players (along with Jim King, Jim Landis, Jack Lamabe, and Ken Harrelson) to play for more than 2 teams in 1967. [Hmm... 4 of these 5 played for the White Sox!] On August 21st he was sold to the Orioles. A month later he was sold to the Astros. (I'm not sure why. Houston was not on any kind of stretch drive for the last week of September!)

1968 was John's final season. He appeared in 39 games for the Astros - his most since 1961.

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