Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mike Andrews (#502)

This is Mike Andrews’ first solo card (having previously appeared on a Red Sox Rookies card in the 1967 set). Mike is fresh off his rookie season with the 1967 Impossible Dream BoSox. I was surprised today to see that Andrews had a relatively-short 7-year career (not counting his 5 games in 1966).

Signed by Boston in 1961, he played for 5 seasons in the minors (1962-66) – mostly as a shortstop, until switching to 2nd base for 1966.

Mike made his major-league debut in September 1966, then took over the starting 2nd base job with the Red Sox as a rookie. After riding the bench for the first 6 games in 1967, Andrews started 135 games that season, and played in 5 of the 7 World Series games, batting .308 in the Fall Classic.

He was the team’s regular 2nd baseman through 1970. In ’69, Mike made his only All-Star team, and hit .293 that year, along with 15 homers (more than double the previous year).

With newly-acquired rookie Doug Griffin ready to take over the 2nd base job in 1971, Andrews was traded to the White Sox for shortstop Luis Aparicio. In Chicago, Mike split the 2nd base job with Rich McKinney, while also starting a few dozen games at 1st base in relief of Carlos May.

In 1972 he was the full-time 2nd baseman, starting 143 games there. That was to be his last year as a regular, probably thanks to his batting average dropping to .220 from the .282 he hit the previous season.

Andrews was used mostly as a DH in 1973. After only starting 35 of the first 90 games, he was released on July 16th.

Two weeks later he was picked up by the Athletics, and was reunited with his old Red Sox manager Dick Williams. Andrews played 18 games over the final 2 months of the season. He also played 2 games each in the ALCS and the World Series.

There was a ruckus during that World Series, when owner Charlie Finley tried to fire Andrews after making 2 errors in 1 game. The commissioner forced Finley to reinstate Andrews, but he was subsequently released in November, ending his major-league career.

Andrews played 123 games in Japan during 1975, then retired.

His younger brother Rob Andrews played for the Astros and Giants from 1975-79.