Sunday, September 30, 2012

Final Card: Bill Kelso

This is the final card for Bill Kelso, and his only solo card (#511). He previously appeared on Angels Rookie Stars cards in the 1965 and 1967 sets. Kelso appeared in the majors in 4 seasons, but primarily 1967 and 1968.

Bill played in the Dodgers' farm system from 1959 to 1963. For his first 4 seasons he was a catcher, only pitching 3 games in 1962 before converting to full-time pitcher in 1963. After the season, he was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the Rule 5 draft.

Kelso pitched the next 3 seasons in the Angels' system, while also pitching 10 games in the majors during 1964 and 5 games in 1966. Bill was primarily a reliever, except for his minor-league 1964 season.

1967 was the only season Kelso was not in the minors. He made 1 start and 68 relief appearances, and had a 2.97 ERA during his rookie season, and was the #2 reliever behind veteran closer Minnie Rojas.

After the season, he was traded to the Reds for starting pitcher Sammy Ellis, a 22-game winner in 1965. Neither Kelso or Ellis ever approached the success they had prior to the trade. Kelso made 29 relief appearances for the Reds through mid-July, then was sent down to AAA where he appeared in 20 games before his September recall. He finished out the season with 6 more relief appearances in the final weeks.

Bill pitched in the minors for 4 more seasons (mostly as a starter), with the Royals, Twins, Athletics, Expos, and Cubs.

After his playing career, Kelso scouted for the Angels, Phillies, and Astros.  Some of his signees were Bob Dernier, Lance Berkman, and Roy Oswalt.

He passed away on 5/11/2009 at age 69.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Final Card: Pete Cimino

Philadelphia-area native Pete Cimino (#143) had a brief career in the mid-1960s. (Briefer than I realized before checking his past stats for this post. I always assumed he played a role in the Twins' 1965 World Series season.)

Cimino was a high-school basketball star, and once scored 114 points in a game.  From Wikipedia:
A star athlete at Bristol High School...Cimino might be best known for scoring 114 points in a high school basketball game on January 22, 1960. The single-game shooting outburst occurred during a 134–86 win over Palisades High School, in a Lower Bucks County League match. In the game, Cimino made 44 of 79 field goal attempts and 26 of 29 free throw attempts. He scored all 69 of his team's second half points. The 114-point total is still a Pennsylvania state record and is also the fourth highest in any United States boys high school game.

Pete was signed by the Washington Senators (soon to be Minnesota Twins) in 1960, and pitched 6 seasons in the minors, as a starter for 4 seasons, then primarily a reliever in '64 and '65. His major-league debut came on 9/22/1965, as he pitched the last inning in a 5-2 loss to the Orioles. It was his only appearance that season.

Cimino appeared in 35 games (all in relief) for the Twins in 1966, as the #2 reliever behind veteran Al Worthington (14 years his senior). After the season, he was packaged up with 1st baseman Don Mincher and center fielder Jimmie Hall, and sent to the Angels for 1964 Cy Young winner Dean Chance and shortstop Jackie Hernandez.

Pete's time as an Angel was pretty much just 1967, where he was the team's #3 reliever behind ace Minnie Rojas (27 saves) and rookie Bill Kelso (11 saves), and ahead of aging veterans Lou Burdette and Jim Coates.

After only 4 games in 1968, Cimino was sent down to the minors in mid-May, and spent the rest of the season with the Angels' AAA and AA clubs. It was his last pro season.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Final Card: Clarence Jones

This is the first and last card for Clarence Jones (#506). For the second consecutive post, we are saying goodbye to a short-time Cubs' first baseman.

Jones was signed by the Phillies in June 1959. After finishing that season in the Phillies' organization, he was out of baseball in 1960. Clarence returned in 1961, and spent the next 5 seasons in the Dodgers' farm system.

After the 1965 season, he was drafted by the Cubs, and finally made it up to triple-A during the 1966 season.

Jones made his major-league debut in April 1967 with the Cubs. He played in 53 games that year, mostly as a pinch-hitter, but also 2 dozen games in right field and a dozen as Banks' backup at 1st base. He also spent mid-May to mid-July back in the minors.

The following season, he was back in triple-A for most of the season, only playing 5 games with the Cubs in September. After the '68 season he was dealt to the Reds, but spent the 1969 season at triple-A Indianapolis.

Jones then played in Japan from 1970 through 1977.