Saturday, September 19, 2015

NL / ML Rookies (#579, 569, 539)

Topps' custom for Rookie Stars cards from 1964 to 1972 was that by the time they got to the 7th series, if there weren't at least 2 remaining rookies for the same team, they would group them on "NL Rookies", "AL Rookies", or "ML Rookies" cards.  (I'm not sure why they just didn't put Ivan Murrell and Jim Ray on a "Houston Rookies" card.)

Larry Hisle was handed the Phillies' starting center field job to begin the 1968 season, but flopped miserably, and after only 7 games was sent down to AAA for much-needed seasoning. He returned the following spring as the #1 center fielder, and after a great rookie season, slumped in 1970 and split 1971 between the Phillies and the minors. He later played 5 years with the Twins (including a career year in 1977) and 5 years with the Brewers.

Mike Lum played 8 full years with the Braves (1968-75), and was then a part-time player for the Reds (1976-78) and Braves (1979-81). He was the Braves’ regular right fielder in ’71 and ’72, the years when Hank Aaron played 1st base.

After cups of coffee with the Astros from 1963-68, Ivan Murrell was drafted by the expansion Padres in 1969 and played 3 full seasons in San Diego as a part-time outfielder. Murrell bounced up and down between the Padres, Braves, and their minor-league teams from 1972-75, then played in Mexico from 1976-83.

Les Rohr pitched in the Mets’ farm system from 1965-70, and saw action in 6 games with the Mets between 1967 and 1969.

Jim Ray pitched a few games for the Astros in ’65 and ’66, then was a bullpen mainstay from 1968-73. He finished his career in 1974 with the Tigers.

I was surprised today to see how short Mike Ferarro’s MLB career was. Although he played in the minors from 1962-75, he only made brief appearances with the Yankees (10 games in ’66, 23 in ’68) and Seattle Pilots (5 games in ’69) before his only season as a regular in 1972 (124 games for the Brewers). He also managed the Indians in 1983 and Royals in 1986.