An Arm for Outs


Glancing Back, and Remembering Dick Bertell

Dick Bertell was a major league catcher for seven seasons, all but one with the Chicago Cubs. A .250 career hitter, Bertell was an excellent catcher with a strong throwing arm. During his career, Bertell threw out 48 percent of the runners who tried to steal off his pitchers, the fourth best percentage all-time. Continue reading

Life on the California-D.C. Shuttle


Glancing Back, and Remembering Ken McMullen

Ken McMullen played 16 seasons in the major leagues. The firLos Angeles Dodgersst 14 of those seasons were spent in either California or Washington D.C., where he performed consistently as a solid third baseman with the kind of power that made him a dangerous contributor in the middle of the batting order. Continue reading

Gentle Man, Brutal Bat


Glancing Back, and Remembering Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron had so many ways to beat National League pitchers that his prowess as a home run hitter was nearly overlooked until he passed Babe Ruth in career home runs in 1973.

But he was the second most productive home run hitter in the 1960s, and of course, he was the most productive home run hitter in the Twentieth Century. Continue reading

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

The Miracle Is Just Getting Started


This Week in 1960s Baseball

(September 24, 1969) In the inaugural season of divisional play, the New York Mets tonight clinched the first-ever National League East title behind Gary Gentry’s four-hit pitching and the slugging of Donn Clendenon and Ed Charles.

Gary Gentry (12-12) pitched a four-hit shutout as the New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 to clinch the East Division title.

The Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 as Gentry (12-12) went the distance for the shutout victory. Gentry struck out five and walked two in pitching his third shutout of the season.

The losing pitcher was Steve Carlton (17-11).

Mets first baseman Donn Clendenon homered twice with four RBIs. Since being acquired from the Montreal Expos in June, Clendenon has hit 11 home runs with 35 RBIs in 68 games.

Mets third baseman Ed Charles added a two-run home run in the third inning.

The Mets clinched the East Division title in front of 54,298 frenzied Shea Stadium fans. After the game, the crowd spilled onto the field en masse to celebrate.



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