Saturday, November 28, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 61

This page is full of ex-Cubs who did nothing. And I know what your thinking....are there any ex-Cubs who did something at all...stop that!!

#536 - Padres Rookies At least they both are wearing Padres' hats. Danny Breeden never made the San Diego roster and was sold to the Reds organization on June 30, 1969. He played in three games for the Reds on three consecutive days in July, and then never again for them. Going 1-8 probably didn't help his cause. He spent all of 1970 in the minors and then was traded to the Cubs over the winter. He played in 25 games for the Cubs, hit .154, and that was the end of his big league career. His younger brother Hal also played for the Cubs in 1971 and hit .139.

There were two different Dave Roberts who played at this time. This one broke in with the Padres in 1969 and was 0-3. He would later pitch for the Cubs in 1977 and 1978 and was 7-9 with a 4.70 ERA.

#537 - Mike Paul
I'm not sure if Night Owl would consider this a night card, but the lights are on. Paul was 5-8 as a rookie in 1968 and followed that up by going 5-10 in 1969. He came to the Cubs in late August, 1973, but was no help in getting the Cubs to the top of the division. He pitched only two games in April of 1974 before being released. No other team picked him up.

#538 - Charlie Smith
Breaking my rules, Charlie will not get his own post tomorrow. You have to play in more than two games to get your own post. He's got blue pinstripes on, but they are Mets blue. He played for them in 1965 - way to get the updated photos, Topps!

The Cubs purchased Smith from the Yankees at the end of spring training. He made two appearances as a pinch hitter in April, was 0-2, and got sent to the minors. When you are 31 and sent to AAA, its time to reconsider your career. Charlie did, and after 27 games in Tacoma, he called it quits.

#539 - Ted Shows How
Three things I noticed on this card....1) Did Ted Williams really choke up that high on the bat, and why is he showing that to power hitter Mike Epstein? 2) That black batting glove look dorky 3) Epstein has long white sleeves under his jersey. I'm pretty sure that is not allowed today, that the long sleeves have to be a dark color.

#540 - Curt Flood
Curt Flood does not look like a happy man on this card. He was still a top player in the league, but his numbers were starting to decline. His 1969 average was 16 points lower than 1968 and after the season, he was traded to the Phillies in a seven player deal. This was the trade that ultimately brought an end to the reserve clause and ushered in free agency.

#541 - Joe Verbanic
Topps has an ugly hatless photo of Joe from his year with the Phillies, 1966. He was 6-7 for the Yankees, but didn't pitch at all in 1969, either with the Yankees or in the minors. Injured?

#542 - Bob Aspromonte
True confession time...I knew he played for Houston and I thought his last name was Astromonte, and I thought, how cool is that! He was traded to the Braves and the '68 season, so this has to be a nice new, spring of '69 shot. He was a part-time player for the Braves, starting a lot of games in the first half of the season, but coming in off the bench from July on.

#543 - Fred Newman
So why did Fred get a card? His last MLB experience was three mid-season games in 1967. Those were also his last games

#544 - Tigers Rookies
Kilkenny made his MLB debut with the Tigers in 1969 and had a decent season, 8-6, 3.37 ERA. Woods also broke in in 1969, but his numbers weren't too good, a .183 average in 186 ABs.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 38
Hatless - 123
Airbrush - 91
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 74


  1. Joe Verbanic:

    Apparently, Verbanic injured his arm and missed all of 1969. Here's a page from a Western Pennsylvania high school sports website that I found today about Joe V.

  2. Also:
    Attending the same high school as Joe Verbanic were MLB pitcher Doc Medich and NFL back Tony Dorsett.

    Others on the above-linked "Western PA sports figures" list are:
    Mike Ditka
    Tito Francona
    Terry Francona
    Cal Hubbard
    Po James (Eagles RB in early '70s)
    Fred Klages (ChiSox pitcher in late '60s)
    Joe Lonnett (MLB catcher & coach)
    Pete Maravich
    Joe Namath
    Babe Parilli (AFL QB)
    Hal Woodeshick (MLB pitcher in '60s)
    Norm Van Lier (NBA)