Here are a few of my favorites from what John sent me:
Don Buford: former White Sox and Oriole (5 years with each team), as a switch hitter he batted first most of his career and boasts the lowest GIDP ratio (grounded into double play) of 1 to 138 at bats hitting into only 34 career DP's. Buford was also the first Baltimore Oriole to hit a homerun from both sides of the plate in the same game, April 9, 1970. Buford also hit a leadoff homerun in the first game of the 1969 world series.How can you not like any Seattle Pilot card (talk about one year wonders). After the inaugural season of 1969 the Pilots moved to Milwaukee and are forever known as the Brewers. So these two cards are always treasured though I am still searching for that elusive team card # 713. On the left is Greg Goosen (#271) who had his career year in 1969 with the Pilots, hitting 10 HR's and a .309 BA. Goosen had a short career of six years playing in only 193 games having 460 at bats and striking out 112 times. And John Gelnar (#393) showing off the full front view of the Pilot uniform also had a brief career of 5 years, appearing in only 111 games and 230 innings with a career record of 7 and 14. But they are part of history as players from the "one year only" 1969 Seattle Pilots.
One of the most unlikely MVP winners (1965) is Zoilo ("Zorro") Versalles. A solid leadoff man, with excellent base running skills and a solid glove, Versalles played for the Minnesota Twins for seven years (1961 to 1967) until being traded five times in the next five years. Versalles started the 1969 campaign with Cleveland and ended up in Washington with very non-MVP numbers. He was considered the "sparkplug" that led the Twins to the first World Series in 1965 and he led the AL in runs scored, double, triples and at bats. Two All Star games, two gold gloves and an MVP yet he is probably best known in the card collecting world with his "famous" 1961 uncorrected error card spelling his first name as "Zorro".
Another real nice card John sent is the "Birds Wrap it Up" (#201) as the Orioles sweep the Twins in the very first ALCS. That is the powerful Boog Powell catching the final out with Ellie Hendricks screaming with joy. Unfortunately the 109 wins the Orioles had in 1969 were not enough to beat the "miracle" Mets in the World Series that year but . . . . I will not end this post on a downer since John was so generous, so thank you John for making the Monday after the "super" sunday so terrific. You made today the best day of any week.