Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Men Without Hats II

To date, I've only made 8 posts here about the Athletics, fewest of any team. So I was planning to post their 1968 team card, but I just led off my last 1967 post with the team card, so I decided to call an audible and revisit some of the awesomeness that was Topps in 1968.

For the 2nd time in 3 years, Topps screwed over an American League team from California. NOT ONE CARD in this set has an Athletic in their new Oakland uniform. Even the first-year Atlanta Braves got a few decent cards in the 1966 7th series, and in 1969 Topps was able to include new cards for FOUR expansion teams in the later series.

But Topps really half-assed the 1968 set. Even the total number of cards dropped from the previous set, from 609 in ’67 to 598 in ’68. This despite adding TWENTY All-Star cards, which they did not have in 1967. They also curiously decided to dispense with team cards altogether halfway through the season, so 7 teams were without a team card that year.

Sure, we were expecting the Astros not to have one, because Topps never made a Colt 45s/Astros team card until 1970, but six other teams also? (That’s another thing – someone’s always giving the Astros the shaft. If it’s not Topps, then it’s the dope in the commissioner's office.)

So here are the 1968 Athletics – “Men Without Hats” (or in some cases, “Men With Bad Hats”):

(And what's with having FOUR catchers?)

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Jack Hiatt (#419)

Jack Hiatt was a C/1B who played for 9 seasons (1964-72), five of them with the Giants.

He was signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 1961 and played in their farm system from 1961-64 as a catcher and outfielder. Jack made his major-league debut with the Angels in September 1964.

After the season he was traded to the Giants for outfielder Jose Cardenal. (D'oh! Another fleecing of the Giants' front office!) For most of 1965-66 he played for the Giants’ AAA teams in Tacoma and Phoenix, but also played a few dozen games with the Giants.

Hiatt made the majors to stay in 1967.  With rookie catcher Dick Dietz joining the team to back up Tom Haller, Hiatt only started 3 games behind the plate, but started 31 games at 1st base to give Willie McCovey some rest.

Haller was traded to the Dodgers after the season so Hiatt was elevated to #2 catcher in 1968, starting 56 games (with Dietz starting 80 and Bob Barton (of 1972's "In-Action" card fame!) picking up the other 27 games).

This arrangement continued in 1969 with the Dietz/Hiatt/Barton trio starting 69/57/33 games.

On Opening Day 1970 he was sold to the Expos. Jack played 17 games (10 starts) with Montreal, then was traded to the Cubs for outfielder Boots Day in mid-May.

He played 66 games (58 starts) for the Cubs in his only season with Chicago. He was the starting catcher every day from May 16th to July 3rd (except for the 2nd game of doubleheaders) while Randy Hundley was out of the lineup.

Before the 1971 season he was sold to the Astros. Jack started 57 games that season as Johnny Edwards’ backup.

In July 1972 he came full-circle back to the Angels.  He played 22 games (10 starts) with most of his starts coming in September.

Hiatt was released during Spring Training in 1973, and played that season with the Padres’ AAA team in Hawaii. He also played for the Cubs’ AAA team in 1974, and for 1 game in 1975.

He was a minor-league manager for 5 different teams off-and-on from 1977-88.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Blogroll Blog

A few months ago I set up a blogroll blog (for reasons mentioned in the blog).

Since then, it has been lurking as "Master Blogroll" on the sidebars of my 1963 to 1970 blogs, just above the "Vintage Year Blogs (1951-80)" section, so some of you may have found it already.

 For those that haven't, here it is: https://jd-blogroll.blogspot.com/

I have included all the blogs I could find for baseball and football cards, as well as some non-card-related baseball blogs.