Monday, February 8, 2010

Final Card: Phil Linz

This is the last baseball card for Phil Linz (#594), a utility infielder in the 1960s for the Yankees, Phillies, and Mets. Here he looks just as much like an astronaut, or one of those jump-suited fighter jet mechanics as he does a baseball player.

Phil was signed by the Yankees in 1957, and after 5 seasons in the minors, finally made his big-league debut in April 1962. He played for the Yankees for 4 seasons, and was primarily a backup 3B-SS, although he saw action in a few games at 2nd base and the outfield.

His big seasons with the Yankees were 1964 and 1965, when he started just over 80 games each season, because of injuries to Tony Kubek. (Recently, I was watching the 1964 World Series on the MLB Network, and I learned that Linz had played all 7 games in place of the injured Kubek. I was shocked to see that Linz batted leadoff in every game, since I had known him to be the weak-hitting infield scrub on the 1966-67 Phillies.)

After the 1965 season, "Mr. Laffs" was traded to the Phillies for shortstop Ruben Amaro. He lasted 1 1/2 seasons in Philly, before being sent back to New York (this time to the Mets) for infielder Chuck Hiller in June 1967. With the Mets, Phil played in 21 games, mostly at 2nd base.

In 1968, Linz and rookie Ken Boswell shared the second base job, each making 67 starts. Phil retired after the season.

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