Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bud Harrelson (#132)

When I was collecting cards back in the late 1960s, I would keep them sorted by team, with each team rubber-banded and stacked in either my "NL box" or "AL box". The boxes were the actual boxes they were sold in (see photo below). The guy at the corner store where we bought our cards would let us take the box if we bought the last pack in the box. 

Anyway, I probably had four or five boxes for each year. Two boxes (NL, AL) would be used to store my singles, then the rest would hold my duplicates. Since the boxes held 3 stacks of cards, the 3rd box would be for doubles (2 stacks) and triples. The 4th box would be for my 4's, 5's, and 6's, and so on. 

Where am I going with this? I remember that for the 1968 set, I had more Bud Harrelson cards (8 or 9) than any other card. That 5th box was mostly for Bud.

Bud Harrelson was entering his 2nd season as the Mets' regular shortstop in 1968. In another year he, along with other newcomers Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Donn Clendenon, Tommie Agee, and Ed Charles would push the team all the way to World Series victory.

The switch-hitting Harrelson was signed by the Mets in 1963, and played 4 seasons (1963-66) in the minors. He was called up in September 1965, and again in late August 1966. Bud started most of the games at shortstop during September 1966, replacing incumbent veterans Roy McMillan and Eddie Bressoud. After the season, McMillan was released and Bressoud was traded, paving the way for Harrelson to be the everyday shortstop in 1967.

Except for missing most of the 1975 season, Harrelson was the Mets' regular shortstop for the next decade, until Doug Flynn took over on July 1977. Bud was also an all-star in 1970 and 1971, and played in the 1969 and 1973 World Series.

In March 1978 he was traded to the Phillies, where he played two seasons as a backup middle infielder, and finished his career with the Rangers in 1980.

After his playing career, Bud managed in the Mets's farm system in '84 and '85, then managed the Mets from 1990-91. He also managed the independent Long Island Ducks in 2000.

Harrelson's SABR bio

Here's one of the 1968 Topps' boxes (eBay photo):

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Wow! Jim, 3 posts in one day. Must be some sort of record.