Monday, November 12, 2018

Final Card: Ted Davidson

I don't often post back-to-back cards of players on the same team, but 6 years after (I thought) I completed my "1968 Final Cards" series, yesterday I discovered that Reds' pitcher Ted Davidson also had his final card (#48) in the 1968 set.

Davidson was signed by the Reds in 1960. He made his major-league debut in late-July 1965 (at age 25). In 1966 he pitched in 54 games (all in relief), but his career took a turn for the worse in 1967.

Davidson was shot by his estranged wife in a bar in March 1967 and missed a few months while recovering. He began pitching in the minors by June, and was back with the Reds for 9 games in September.

Ted pitched 23 games out of the Reds’ bullpen during the first half of 1968, but was traded to the Braves (with pitcher Milt Pappas and infielder Bob Johnson) for pitchers Tony Cloninger and Clay Carroll, and shortstop Woody Woodward.

For the Braves, he pitched 2 games in June and 2 in July, then spent the rest of the season in the minors, never to return.

In his final pro season (1969), he bounced around in triple-A for the Cubs, White Sox, and Indians.

Davidson passed away in 2006 at age 66.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Bill McCool (#597)

Bill McCool was in his last season as a Cincinnati Red in 1968, and is shown on the next-to-last card in the set.

Signed by the Reds in 1963, he came up in April 1964, and was named to the Topps All-Rookie team that year.

Bill played from 1964-1970, wrapping up his career with the Padres (’69) and Cardinals (’70). He was almost exclusively a reliever, although he did start 1/3 of his games in 1967.

McCool led the Reds in saves in 1965 (21) and 1966 (18), and made the All-Star team in '66.  In 1967 he took a back seat to the newly-acquired Ted Abernathy.

The June 1968 acquisition of Clay Carroll from the Braves pushed McCool further down on the bullpen depth chart, and by season’s end he was left unprotected in the expansion draft.

The Padres selected him in the draft, and he led the new team in saves (a whopping 7!) in their first season.

He was traded to the Cardinals in April 1970, splitting that season between St Louis and their AAA team. It was his last year in the majors.

Between October 1970 and February 1971 Bill was traded twice – first to the Red Sox and then to the Royals, but he played for neither team.

He spent his final season (1971) with the triple-A affiliates of the Royals and Twins.

McCool passed away in 2014 at age 69.