Saturday, August 18, 2012

Final Card (the bonus tracks): Pete Mikkelsen

So, I was browsing through my 1968 binder, pulling all the final cards I previously posted, for a "Final Cards Recap" post (like I did with the 1967 set). After 2 or 3 pages, I was thinking "hey, what about this guy...and that guy... and that guy?" 

I ended up with a list of 65 other players whose final card may have also been in the '68 set. After checking the Zistle database, I whittled the list down to 8 players (of which 3 are Cubs) that I missed the first time around. So here they are, the "bonus tracks".

Pete Mikkelsen's final card (#516) was in the 1968 set, despite the fact that he pitched over 150 games from 1969-72 as a member of the Dodgers' bullpen. Thanks, Topps!

Pete was signed by the Yankees in 1958, and played in the minors for 6 seasons, primarily as a reliever, but making many starts during the 1959-61 seasons. In his 9-year major-league career, Mikkelsen played 364 games, starting only 3 (in 1965).

His debut came in April 1964, and he appeared in 50 games, saving 12 as the Yankees' closer in his rookie season. After another season in the Bronx, Pete was traded to the Pirates for pitcher Bob Friend, who had been a key member of Pittsburgh's starting rotation for the past 15 seasons. Mikkelsen lasted just 1 1/2 seasons with the Bucs, and was claimed off waivers by the Cubs on August 4th, 1967.

The following April, he was traded to the Cardinals for pitcher Jack Lamabe. Ok! Moving up from the Cubs to the World Champion Cardinals! Not so fast... Pete pitched 5 games for St. Louis in June, but spent the rest of the season in triple-A.

After the season, he was traded to the Dodgers for a minor-league pitcher. Pete spent his final 4 seasons working out of the Dodgers pen, and it was a productive 4 years. The righthanded Mikkelsen was the team's #2 reliever during his 4-year stay, just behind ace southpaw Jim Brewer.

Why did Topps leave him behind? 1969 is understandable (after spending most of '68 in the minors), but what about the other years? The GarveyCeyRussellLopes blog has done what Topps was unwilling to do.

1 comment:

Fireblossom said...

I'm playing the 1969 season with APBA, and just realized that Mikkelsen was uncarded as a Dodger when I went looking for an image of him for my blog. Very strange! As you say, he was part of a 1-2 L_R punch out of their bullpen.

I look forward to looking at your blogs!