Sunday, January 22, 2012

Final Card: Dick Kenworthy

This is the only Topps card for Dick Kenworthy. The back says that he was sent to the Mets in the off-season as the player to be named later in the Ken Boyer trade. Interesting. makes no mention of Kenworthy ever being sent to the Mets. In fact, it says the White Sox sent J. C. Martin to the Mets on 11/27/67 to complete the trade. Since this is card #63, it must have been printed sometime in late 1967, so maybe Topps was acting on some preliminary scuttlebutt regarding Kenworthy.

Kenworthy was signed by the White Sox in 1961, and played in their minor-league system for 10 seasons, before moving over to the Reds' farm system for 1971 and 1972. He was a 2nd baseman for his first two seasons before switching to 3rd base for the balance of his career.

Dick's major-league experience consisted of a few cups of coffee from 1962 to 1966. Then in 1967 and 1968, he played over 50 games each season with the White Sox, about half of them as the starting 3rd baseman.

Since he played for the White Sox in both '67 and '68, it looks like is right and Topps was wrong. Maybe a White Sox fan can clarify this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Final Card: Dick Lines

The 1960s' Hall of Fame results are now on my 1960s Baseball blog.

This is the 2nd and last Topps card for Senators' pitcher Dick Lines (#291). His rookie card was in the 1967 set, a 1-player card showing Lines with the Senators.

Lines' career is somewhat of a mystery. He spent 9 full seasons in the minors, before pitching the entire 1966 and 1967 seasons with the Senators. Then, it was back to the minors for 2 more seasons before calling it quits.

Lines was signed by the Pirates in 1957, and pitched in their farm system for 8 seasons, all but the last as a starting pitcher. Prior to the 1965 season, his contract was sold to the Senators. That season he pitched for the Sens' AAA team in Hawaii, which finally earned him a shot in the majors.

Dick spent the entire 1966 season as the only lefthander in Washington's bullpen, which featured veterans Ron Kline and Bob Humphreys, along with Casey Cox and 3 others who floated between the bullpen and the rotation (Jim Hannan, Diego Segui, and Dick Bosman). Lines fashioned a 5-2 record in 82 innings, and had a 49/24 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

In 1967, the Senators' bullpen featured Darold Knowles (a lefty), veteran Bob Priddy, and rookie Dave Baldwin in place of Ron Kline and Diego Segui. Lines, Humphreys, and Cox were the holdovers from '66. Knowles and Baldwin were the stars in terms of saves and ERA, and Knowles, Humphreys, and Priddy had the most innings pitched among relievers. Lines had similar games, innings, and strikeout/walks to the previous season, but his record fell from 5-2 to 2-5. I guess he was just out-performed by the other guys, because he didn't pitch in the majors after 1967.

Two more seasons (1968-69) in the Nats' farm system brought an end to Dick Lines' career.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Final Card: Garry Roggenburk

This is the final card for Garry Roggenburk (#581). Garry was signed by the Twins in 1962 and was assigned to the class-D Erie (PA) Sailors, where his teammates included future big-leaguers Jim Merritt, Joe Foy, and Ted Uhlaender. He started all 18 of his appearances that season, fashioning a 13-4 record. After only 1 season in the minors, he made the Twins in 1963, debuting on April 20th. With the Twins, he mainly worked out of the bullpen, only starting 2 of his 36 games.

Garry missed the entire 1964 season with injuries. When he returned, he split each of the next 2 years between Minnesota and their triple-A Denver team. During those seasons, he was a relief pitcher except for his minor-league stint in 1966.

In early September 1966, Garry's contract was sold to the Red Sox. Although he had a card in the 1967 Topps set, he spent the entire season in the minors, missing Boston's trip to the World Series.

The 1968 and 1969 seasons were a repeat of 1965 and 1966, only the cities changed. Roggenburk spent part of each season with the Red Sox and part in the minors. The only change of pace was that in June 1969 he was sold to the expansion Seattle Pilots. He pitched 24 innings over the final half of that season for the Pilots, both as a starter and reliever.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Orioles Rookies - Frank Peters / Ron Stone

This is the 2nd of three Orioles Rookies cards in the 1968 set (#409). Topps also included three Orioles Rookies cards in the 1966 and 1967 set, whereas most teams got only one or two rookies cards. If you were an Orioles fan in the mid-1960s, you really got your money's worth, what with all the rookie cards, World Series highlights in 1967, league leaders cards (thanks to Frank Robinson and Dave McNally), and various multi-player cards.

Frank Peters spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues from 1964-74 (mostly in the Orioles' chain) and never played in the big leagues. Topps' comment on the back about Luis Aparicio's departure paving the way for Peters left out one small detail: Mark Belanger.

Ron Stone takes his place alongside Lou Piniella as a frequent guest on Topps' rookie cards in the 1960s. Stone was in the 1966 set with the Athletics, here with the Orioles, and in 1969 with the Phillies, before getting his own Phillies' cards in '70, '71, and '72.

Signed by the Orioles in 1963, Stone spent 1963-1968 in Baltimore's farm system, except for a Rule 5 cup of coffee with the Athletics in early 1966. On 7/1/66, he was returned to the Orioles, where he languished until Baltimore traded him to the Phillies for catcher Clay Dalrymple in January 1969.

The highlight of his career was spring training 1969, where he assumed the role of spring phenom. Once the season began, he settled into a spare outfielder role through the end of the 1972 season. He retired after spending all of 1973 with the triple-A Phillies and Royals.