For those of you who missed Part 1 and don’t want to read it… I recently completed a vintage team set of the 1960 Baltimore Orioles, a young team which remained in the Pennant Race for much of the season and would finish in 2nd behind the Yankees.
The first post was supposed to be the ONLY post, but the more I learned about the team, the more I wrote and the more cards I featured, and I just gave up and broke it into two halves (and, as these things always turn out, ended up writing even more than originally planned for Part 2).
And so, we continue…
1960 Topps was one of the few sets where coaches got featured on cards. There’s a part of me that thinks “It sucks that they got coaches in 1960 and we don’t even get managers in 2019!” I’m confident, however, that anyone who collected back then will tell us that coaches cards were generally subjected to bicycle spokes.
The three coaches featured on this card are Eddie Robinson, Harry Brecheen and Lum Harris.
A few years ago Eddie Robinson wrote an autobiography called “Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years In Baseball” which tells you a lot about Eddie right there. The four-time All-Star as a player would serve in a lot of roles in baseball, including GM with the Rangers.
Harry Brecheen was the O’s pitching coach from 1954 to 1967. As a pitcher with the Cardinals in 1948 he went 20-7, lead the league in ERA (2.24), strikeouts (149) and shutouts (7).
Lum Harris pitched for the Athletics and Senators, and would serve as the Orioles’ interim manager at the end of the 1961 season. He would also manage the Colt .45’s and Braves.
Here’s a combo card featuring Milt Pappas, Jack Fisher and Jerry Walker, all of whom were 21 at the time and were the youngest pitchers on the team (although Chuck Estrada and Steve Barber were both 22).
Milt Pappas was a “Bonus Baby” who went from high school to the Majors. He’d hurl three shutouts in 1960, and several years later would be traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson.
“Fat Jack” Fisher went 12-11 and tied for the team lead with three shutouts.
Fisher had a tendency to give up historic home runs; Ted Williams hit a home run off of Fisher in the Splendid Spinter’s final career at bat. Fisher also gave up Roger Maris’ 60th homer, the one which tied Babe Ruth. Finally, as a Mets pitcher, he gave up the first home run at Shea Stadium.
In 1959, Jerry Walker at 20 years old became the youngest pitcher ever to start an All-Star Game. Walker won 11 games that year, but took a step back in 1960.
Like a couple of players mentioned in Part 1, Gus Triandos was another player who came to the Orioles after being blocked at his position by a star player; in his case, it was the Yankees and he was blocked by Yogi Berra. He came to the O’s in a November 1954 16-player trade.
An All-Star from 1957 to 1959, Triandos caught no-hitters for Hoyt Wilhelm and Jim Bunning (while both were with the Phillies)
Hal “Skinny” Brown would pitch 8 years for the O’s with an overall 62-48 record. In 1960 he went 12-5, 3.06 and had a lead-leading 1.113 WHIP.
…Not that anyone paid much attention to WHIP in 1960. For the record, only Don Drysdale (1.063) had a better WHIP in the Majors that year.
Usually when I do these vintage team reviews, I have a number of categories that I pick cards for. I didn’t do much of that this time, but Arnie Portocarrero gets the “Best Name” award. He pitched for the Athletics and Orioles, mainly as a starter, and pitched his last Major League game in 1960.
A late November, 1959 trade saw the Orioles send Billy Loes and Billy O’Dell to the Giants for Jackie Brandt, Gordon Jones and another player. The two players named Billy show up on their 1960 cards as hatless SF Giants, but interestingly enough the two Baltimore-bound players showed up on their Orioles cards with Giants caps. Maybe the Q/A people saw black caps with orange logos and figured it was close enough?
Jackie Brandt would be the starting center fielder for much of the season.
Gordon Jones would pitch exclusively out of the bullpen in 1960.
MORE EXPANSION FUN
In the previous post, I featured players who would go on to play for the 1962 Mets. In this post, I’m going to feature players who would be selected off of the Orioles roster after the season in the expansion draft which populated the rosters of the Los Angeles Angels and the “New” Washington Senators (to replace the Senators team which was moving to Minneapolis to become the Minnesota Twins).
Billy Klaus was drafted by the Senators. He’d play one season in Washington before being sold to the Phillies.
Gene Green was acquired from the Cardinals late in 1959, played just one game with the O’s and would be drafted by the Senators. Like Klaus, he lasted just one season in DC.
Albie Pearson, who had been the 1958 AL Rookie of the Year with the original Senators, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels
The scribbled pen marks over Pearson’s name further illustrates how unconcerned I was about condition when assembling this team set.
Here are the 36 cards of the team set (which fits Oh So Nicely into a four 9-page sheets). In case anyone is wondering, they are in ordered by “How I wanted to order them”.
Minus the 2 combos, team card, manager and coaches, we’re still talking about 31 player cards, which made up a very good chunk of the roster.
So, in conclusion… This was a fun team set to put together and, as I mentioned in the first part, is the oldest team set I’ve completed thus far. Sometime in 2020 I should complete the 1957 Topps Orioles team set (which would then be my oldest) and these two sets have been so much fun to put together that I’m pondering attacking either the 1956 Orioles or the 1955 Kansas City Athletics, either of which – If I’m not mistaken – would fall into the “A fun challenge which would be possible on a budget” category.
Eddie Robinson just turned 99 on Sunday. With the passing of Val Heim a couple weeks ago, he’s now the oldest living former major leaguer. He’s the only living person to have played on a Cleveland Indians World Series Championship team.
I’m surprised I didn’t notice the birthday when I was researching, but I had no idea about the rest of it. Great info, thank you for sharing that with everyone!
Love how the team set looks in the pages like that. All team sets should be divisible by 9 for that exact reason.