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.


Unknown said...

Do any photos of him with a hat exist?

Jim from Downingtown said...


I only know of this one (which commenter Eric C. Loy noted).