Friday, October 4, 2019

Ron Herbel (#333)

Ron Herbel looks determined to not finish with a 4-5 record for the 3rd straight year. (He didn't – his 1968 record was 0-0! He did get back to 4 wins in 1969 though.)

Herbel was signed by the Giants in 1958, and made his major-league debut in September 1963. He was a member of the Giants’ rotation from 1964-67. His best season was 1965, posting career highs in wins (12) and strikeouts (106).

(Why would Topps abbreviate San Fran one way on 4 lines, then change to another way?) 

Ron shifted to bullpen duty for the Giants in 1968 and 1969, but only pitched 43 innings in 1968.

After the 1969 season he was traded to the Padres with catcher Bob Barton and 3rd baseman Bobby Etheridge for pitcher Frank Reberger. Ron notched 9 saves with San Diego, then on September 1st he moved on to the Mets. He led the National League in 1970 with 76 appearances.

In December he was flipped to the Braves for 3rd baseman Bob Aspromonte. Herbel was the 11th man on Atlanta’s pitching staff in 1971, and was released the following spring.

He was picked up by the Twins but spent 1972 playing for their AAA team, never to return to the majors.

A notoriously bad hitter,  his .029 career batting average is the lowest in major-league history for a player with at least 100 at-bats.

Herbel passed away in 2000 at age 62.