This is the rookie card for Vern Fuller, the Indians' starting 2nd baseman for most of 1967-1969.
Fuller was signed by the Indians before the 1963 season out of Arizona State University (just before the Athletics started using that school as their farm system, producing Rick Monday, Sal Bando, and Reggie Jackson!)
After a season in the minors, Vern missed almost all of 1964 with injuries, playing no minor-league ball and only 2 games with the Tribe in September.
He played all of '65 and '66 back on the farm, save for a September call-up in 1966.
Fuller was up and down between Cleveland and triple-A for the first half of 1967, but was recalled in mid-July and started 62 of the final 73 games at 2nd base, replacing the floundering tandem of Gus Gil, Pedro Gonzalez, and Chico Salmon.
In 1968 Vern split the 2nd base duties with Chico Salmon for the first half of the season, and with rookie Dave Nelson in the second half.
Surprisingly, even though Nelson was named Topps all-rookie 2nd baseman in 1968, he only started 30 games in 1969, mostly from late-July to mid-August. Meanwhile, Fuller started 72 games, with newly-acquired bust Zoilo Versalles playing some games there as well.
Rookie Eddie Leon took over in 1970, relegating Fuller to just 33 at-bats in 29 games for the season. He only made 1 appearance between 6/12 and 8/18, and spent no time in the minors, so maybe he was injured for a good chunk of the season? Anyway, he retired after the season.
RIP - Mike de la Hoz
2 days ago