Friday, April 23, 2010
#23 - Ron Campbell
#23 was worn by two utlility infielders in 1966. The first, Carl Warwick, was picked up in a trade at the end of spring training and was with the Cubs through June. He was then released, ending his six year career. His late arrival with the team and his early departure meant no card for Carl in a Cubs uniform.
After Warwick and his .227 batting average were cut, Ron Campbell was called up from AAA to take Warwick's roster spot and wear his number #23. This was actually Campbell's third trip to the majors. In his previous two stints, he wore two different numbers (#7 and #15). He stayed with the team the rest of the season and played in 24 games, though he hit only .217.
Those 24 games were enough to earn himself a card in the 1967 set. But those 24 games were his final ones in the major leagues. He spent all of 1967 and 1968 with the Cubs AAA team and the next two seasons with the Pirates top farm team before retiring after the 1970 season.
I would have to say that the curse of #23 continued on with the two guys who wore in in 1966.
In 1967 and 1968, #23 was assigned to Garry Jestadt, a top Cubs prospect. However, Jestadt was never called to the majors, so #23 just sat in a closet for two seasons. In December, 1968, Jestadt was taken by the Expos in the expansion draft, so that made #23 available.