Monday, September 23, 2019

Dick Kelley (#203)

Dick Kelley was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1959, and made his major-league debut on April 15, 1964. In that game he had the misfortune of giving up 4 earned runs while facing 5 batters (2 hits, 3 walks) but recording no outs, so his zero innings pitched resulted in the dreaded ERA of "infinity".

He spent the rest of the 1964 season in triple A, then returned to pitch 2 innings on the final day of the season. His no-hit/no-runs/no-walks performance LOWERED his ERA for the season to 18.00.

Aside from the rocky 1964, Kelley pitched 6 more seasons in the majors (1965-71). In 1966 and 1969 he was primarily a starter, and a reliever for the other years. (He missed the 1970 season.)

Kelley divided his time between the Braves and their AAA team in '65 and '66.

He pitched 98 innings for the Braves in both 1967 and 1968, but that was not enough of an impression to keep him off the expansion draft list. The Padres selected him in the post-1968 draft.

Dick started 23 of his 27 games for the Padres in 1969, and posted career-highs in innings (136) and strikeouts (96). He must have been injured in 1970, because he did not play for the Padres, and only played 1 game for their triple-A team.

Kelley returned to the Padres in 1971 as a reliever, and made 48 appearances (a career high) in his final season.

He pitched 9 games for the Rangers’ AAA team in 1972, before retiring.

Kelley passed away in 2001 at age 51.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ed Stroud (#31)

This is Ed Stroud’s first solo card.  He previously appeared on a White Sox Rookies card (with Walt Williams) in the 1967 set.

Stroud began his career in the White Sox organization in 1963. His nickname of “Streak” was due to his stealing 74 and 72 bases in his first two minor-league seasons! After 4 seasons in the minors, he made his Sox debut in September 1966.

In mid-June 1967 he was traded to the Senators for veteran outfielder Jim King. (The first of King's two trades that season.) It was a good move for Stroud, who was stuck behind Tommie Agee, Ken Berry, Pete Ward, and rookie Walt Williams in the Sox’ outfield.

Ed played 79 games in center field over the 2nd half of the ’67 season, sharing the starts with Hank Allen.

In 1968, rookie Del Unser took over the center field job, so Stroud moved over to the right field mix with Cap Peterson, Fred Valentine, and others. Ed led the pack with 52 starts. He also played in left field occasionally when Frank Howard was at first base.

The arrangement in 1969 was much the same as in ’68, except now Ed had Lee Maye above him in the pecking order.

1970 was a career year for Stroud. Unser was limited to 100 or so games, and half of them were in right field for some reason. Ed was the primary center fielder that year, starting 95 games. He had career highs in hits (115) and stolen bases (40).

All that quality play in 1970 got him a ticket out of Washington, as he was traded back to the White Sox for 1st baseman Tom McCraw during spring training in 1971. Stroud played in 50+ games over the first half (rarely starting) and by midseason he was back in the minors, and retired after the season.

Stroud passed away in 2012 at age 72.