Catch, Play, Laugh

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Bob Uecker

Before he was a play-by-play announcer, hilarious talk show guest, and beer commercial icon, Bob Uecker really was a professional catcher, playing at a level that relatively few ever achieve: the major leagues. Continue reading

How Dick Groat Got His Wings

 

Swap Shop: Cardinals Trade Don Cardwell for Dick Groat

Dick Groat was a fine all-around shortstop – one of the best in the majors at the beginning of the 1960s. Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952, he had been the Bucs’ everyday shortstop since 1955. He had a career season in 1960, hitting .325 to win the National League batting title and being named National League Most Valuable Player.

Groat’s batting average fell 50 points to .275 in 1961, but he rebounded in 1962, batting .294. After nine seasons with the Pirates, the 31-year-old Groat fully expected to finish his playing career in Pittsburgh.

It was not to be. Continue reading

You Only No-Hit Twice

 

Lights Out: Jim Maloney Pitches a 10-Inning No-Hitter for the Second Time this Year

When: August 19, 1965

Where:  Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

Game Time: 2:51

Attendance: 11,342

 

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jim Maloney had the kind of stuff that made every start a potential no-hitter. Continue reading

From Goat to Great

 

Career Year: Ralph Terry – 1962

Ralph Terry was probably the most under-appreciated New York Yankees pitcher of the 1960s.

Despite his numbers, he was never considered the ace of the Yankee staff. That acknowledgement always belonged to Whitey Ford while Terry was a Yankee. And even in 1962, when Terry was clearly the best starting pitcher in the American League, he was completely ignored by the baseball writers in the voting for the Cy Young Award.

In that season, he was baseball’s Rodney Dangerfield: he won everything but respect. Continue reading

A Wealth of Hitting

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Rich Rollins

Seemingly coming out of nowhere in 1962, Rich Rollins claimed the Minnesota Twins’ third base job and established himself as one of the American League’s best all-around hitters – batting in a Twins lineup that featured proven hitters like Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Earl Battey and, later, Tony Oliva and Jimmie Hall. While he never matched the MVP-caliber offensive numbers of his rookie season (when he finished eighth in the American League MVP voting), Rollins was a productive hitter for the Twins for nearly a decade, a perfect complement to the fence-busting machines that surrounded him in the Twins’ potent lineups of the 1960s. Continue reading

Can-Do Catcher

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Chris Cannizzaro

Chris Cannizzaro played for six different National League teams in his 13-season major league career. Actually, make that seven different National League teams, as he was a member of the NL All-Star team in 1969, the first player from the San Diego Padres franchise to achieve that distinction. Continue reading