Monday, October 30, 2017

World Series Game #6

TRIVIA QUESTION: Name the former AL MVP who was traded with Mudcat Grant to the Dodgers.

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN:  When the New York Yankees traded reliever Pete Mikkelson to the Pirates at the close of the 1965 season they got aging pitcher Bob Friend, a life long Pirate in return. Friend didn't fair well with the Yankees and finished his career with the cross town Mets. 

Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next eight blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog deals with the sixth game of the 1965 series while the next will deal with Game 7 of the 1967 series because there was no Game 7 in 1966. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.

                                                   1965 (Game Six)
                                           Los Angeles at Minnesota 
                                                Twins 5, Dodgers 2

It was a game the AL Champion Minnesota Twins had to win to force a seventh and final game at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They knew, even if they won they would be facing the most dominant pitcher in the last five years in Sandy Koufax in the deciding game. They went with their ace, Jim "Mudcat" Grant. 

Grant had a break out year and his best in the big leagues. He paced the Twins with 21 wins and only seven losses, pitching six shut-outs along the way. He walked only 61 batters in 270 innings and despite giving up a league leading 34 homers, completed 14 of his 39 starts. Grant bested Don Drysdale in game one throwing a complete game in an 8-2 win. This time he would square off against lefty Claude Osteen.

The Twins started the scoring when after Earl Battey reached on an error on a ground ball to second, Bobby Allison smashed a homer deep to left. Grant didn't allow a base runner through four, until Ron Fairly singled in the top of the fifth. Los Angeles threatened in the sixth when singles by Dick Tracewski and Maury Wills put runners at first and second. Grant got Jim Gilliam and Willie Davis to end the inning. 

The game was pretty much put out of reach however, by Grant himself. In the bottom of the inning with one out Allison walked and stole second. After Don Mincher struck out, manager Walter Alston chose to intentionally walk the light hitting Frank Quilici to get to the Mudcat. Bad mistake for which Grant made them pay. Grant smashed a deep drive over the left centerfield fench which Willie Davis could not reach and the Twins had a 5-0 lead.

Farily led off the seventh with a solo shot of his own, but that was it. Grant would retire the next 10 of 12 batters he faced and the Twins would face Koufax in Game Seven. Sandy was even more masterful than Grant, tossing a three hit shutout, striking out 10 Twins in the process.

Lou Johnson's two run homer in the fourth knocked Jim Kaat out. It was Sweet Lou's second homer of the series. He only hit 12 during the regular season. Koufax was named MVP winning two games but the Mudcat wasn't far behind. Both pitchers finished 2-1 but Koufax won Game 7 in grand fashion. He would go on to have one more great year before retiring early, and Grant would fall to 13-13 the following year, never again winning in double figures.

Late in his career, Grant became a fine relief pitcher, starting with his only year as a Dodger in 1968 at age 32.

Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

World Series Game #5

TRIVIA QUESTION: In 1965 the Yankees traded Pete Mikkelson to the Pirates who turned him into an ace reliever for the 1966 season. Who did New York get in return?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN:  I have a correction for last blog's Trivia Question. Mickey Mantle hit three home runs in a World Series three times, not twice. He did it in 1956, 1960 and 1964 which was his final World Series. Sorry about that. I'll try to be more diligent next time.

Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next eight blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog deals with the fifth game of the 1964 series while the next will deal with Game 6 of the 1965 series and so on. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.

                                                   1964 (Game Five)
                                               St. Louis at New York 

Game Five of the 1964 World Series was like all Game Fives, pivotal. The two teams were tied at two games apiece and if New York won Game Five, they would be going back to St. Louis with a 3 games to 2 lead and two left at Busch Stadium. St. Louis knew it needed this one badly and handed the ball to ace Bob Gibson to do his best. He did not fail them.

Gibson won 19 games in 1964 striking out 245 batter in 287 innings. His 1.19 WHiP was a prelude of things to come. At 28 years old he still had not reached his prime. He was the ace of a staff which included 18 game winner Curt Simmons and 20 game winner Ray Sadecki. If you ever needed to call on someone to be "that guy," it was Gibson.

In game Two, Gibson gave up four runs in eight innings and left trailing 4-3 when the Yankees scored four in the ninth off relievers to nail down the win. This time there was no stopping Gibby who was squaring off against 22 year old starter, Mel Stottlemyre again.  He was a nine game winner with a 2.06 ERA and was behind Whitey Ford, Jim Bouton and Al Downing in the rotation. Bouton won 18 that year to lead the staff. Stottlemyre drew Gibson for a second time. The first time they squared off, Mel went the distance for the win.

The game was scoreless until the fifth when Gibson, a good hitting pitcher, singled with one out. Curt Flood hit a ground ball to second which Bobby Richardson booted for an error leaving runners at first and second. Lou Brock singled to right scoring Gibson with the first run of the game. Flood took third. Bill White then hit a ground ball which forced Brock at second, scoring Flood. Cardinals 2, New York 0.

New York didn't mount even a threat until the ninth when the Cards were trying wrap it up. Mantle led off with a ground ball to shortstop Dick Groat which went for an error. Two outs later Tom Tresh got hold of a pitch from Gibson and sent it over the right center field wall. With the score tied 2-2, they went into extra innings and Gibson went with them. It should have been a 2-0 shutout.

 In the top of the 10th Bill White drew a walk off reliever Pete Mikkelson. Ken Boyer laid down a bunt and Mikkelson didn't handle it cleanly and it went for a single.With Groat at the plate White stole third. Groat then hit a ground ball to third baseman Clete Boyer who held White and threw to second for the force out on Boyer. Tim McCarver, who batted .478 in the series then cranked a home run to deep right scoring both White and Groat and that was that. New York managed a single off Gibson in the bottom of the tenth, and St. Louis had a 5-2 victory. It was off to Busch Stadium for Games six and seven. 

Bouton would pick up his second win in Game Six but Gibson again would out duel Stottlemyre in Game Seven to win his second game against one defeat, pitching a nifty nine-hitter 7-5.

For Gibson it would only be a highlight because when he took the mound four years later in the 1968 World Series against Detroit he would set a World Series record for strikeouts in a game with 17.  Bob Gibson was a monster on the mound. Not only did he win 251 games including five 20-win seasons, he also was 7-2 in the World Series. In a 1968 game he took a line drive off the bat of Roberto Clemente which actually broke Gibson's leg. He continued to pitch and finish out the inning. He was tough. 

Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

World Series Game #4

TRIVIA QUESTION: Mickey Mantle hit 18 home runs in the World Series. Twice he would belt three in a single series. Name both the World Series where he hit three homers?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: 1963 and 1964 the very next two years the Yankees made it to the Series but lost. It wasn't until 1976 when they appeared again. After that, starting in 1965 other teams began to dominate and the Yankees were continually rebuilding. The players who had built the dynasty became broadcasters and managers, retiring from the field of play (i.e. Berra and Kubek among them).

Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next eight blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog deals with the fourth game of the 1963 series while the next will deal with Game 5 of the 1964 series and so on. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.

                                                   1963 (Game Four)
                                             New York at Los Angeles

The reason Game Four of the 1963 World Series was so important was it marked the first time the New York Yankees had ever been swept in a four game series in the history of the game. In 1922 they were swept  by the Giants, sort of. One of the games ended in a tie which meant they actually played five games.

If ever there was a sign the Yankees were aging and the dominance which started in the 1950's was over, it was this series.  New York had only scored three runs in the first three games against the pitching heavy Dodgers who themselves would only score a total of 12 runs in the four game set. 

Los Angeles was led by great starting pitching of Sandy Koufax who was 25-5 with an unheard of 1.88 ERA, and Don Drysdale who despite a record of 19-17 registered a 2.63 ERA. An old Johnny Podres won 14 more and between the big three they completed 47 games. Throw in Ron Perranoski with his 16 wins and 21 saves and you have a pitching staff which held New York to just four runs in four games. Unheard of. 

Koufax won the first game and Podres the second with Drysdale tossing a shutout in Game Three. New York drew the unenviable task of facing down Koufax again in Game Four.  He was up the task pitching on three games rest and one travel day. Remember this was the 1960's when that was the norm rather than the exception. Koufax squared off against Whitey Ford in a battle of lefties.

Ford fell to Koufax in Game One and was coming of his second 20 plus game winning season. He was 24-7 in 1963 and was definitely on his game this time. Ford had only allowed a single to slugger Frank Howard in the second inning when he came up against Howard again in the 5th. Howard took him deep to left and into the left field bleachers at Dodgers Stadium for a home run to put Los Angeles up 1-0. It was the only other hit Ford allowed and the only earned run.

Koufax was matching Ford pitch for pitch. Through six, he only allowed a single and a double and was well on his way to an eight strikeout game when Mickey Mantle came up with one out in the seventh. Batting right handed Mantle would hit the 15th home run in his World Series career. A solo shot to tie the game at 1-1.

The bottom of the seventh however was where this game came home to roost. Jim Gilliam led off the inning with a ground ball to the normally sure handed and gold glove third baseman, Clete Boyer. Boyer's throw to first was good but first baseman Joe Pepitone misplayed it and it went down the right field line. The speedy Gilliam raced all the way around to third. Willie Davis then hit a flyball to his counterpart in center field. Mantle made the catch but Gilliam scored the go ahead run. 

Koufax began to tire but still had enough left in the tank as manager Walter Alston chose to leave his lefty in. In the ninth New York mounted what was their last hope. A lead off single by second baseman Bobby Richardson got things started. Koufax would not be denied, catching both Tom Tresh and Mantle looking at third strikes before Elston Howard hit a ground ball to short which Maury Wills handled for the force out at second, but Dick Tracewski mishandled for an error. With runners on first and second and two out, Hector Lopez bounced a ball to Wills who went across the diamond to Bill Skowron at first for the final out and the Dodgers were World Champions.

 To say it was Dodger pitching which won this series is an understatement. While Los Angeles had only 25 hits, the Yanks were held to 22 and only four runs in four games. So dominant were the Dodger starters, the bullpen pitched only 2/3 of an inning in the entire series. Koufax completed two games, Drysdale one and Perranoski's lone appearance came in relief of Podres.

New York batted a dismal .171 while the Dodgers only hit .214. Elston Howard led NY with five hits, Tommy Davis had six for the Dodgers and Bill Skowron, now playing for LA also had five.  It was Moose's only season in Los Angeles for the Dodgers.

The fielding was awesome as well with only three errors made by the Dodgers and one by New York, but the one was most costly. It allowed the winning run to score in a 2-1 World Series clincher in front of 55,000 fans at Dodgers Stadium.

Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon


Friday, October 27, 2017

World Series Game #3 NYY Dynasty

TRIVIA QUESTION: While the Yankees didn't win a World Series between 1962 and 1976, they did play in some. How many losing appearances did the Yankees make during that time?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: The only two regular starters in the line up of the 1961 Yankees who failed to hit home runs in double digits were the middle infielders. Bobby Richards hit three homers and Tony Kubek blasted eight. Everyone else hit at least 11 with Maris topping out at 61.

Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next eight blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog deals with the third game of the 1962 series while the next will deal with Game 4 of the 1963 series and so on. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.

                                                        1962 (Game Three)
                                       San Francisco at the New York Yankees

Some liken it to the beginning of the end of an era. This particular game was in the middle of that final World Series for the Yankees for a decade to come.
It often times comes down to one big inning and the 1962 World Series followed the exact same scenario in Game Three. Each team had won a game and by the time the Series moved to New York, it was anybody's contest. The Yankees won the first game 6-2 while the Giants took the second 2-0. Game three was a face off between two good but not outstanding pitchers.

For New York it was Bill Stafford. It seems he was always around the series back then. Coming off a pair of 14 win seasons he was perfect to start the third game of the Fall Classic. He was going up against Billy Pierce. Pierce had won 16 against six losses and was coming off his final good year. Two years later he would be out of baseball with 211 wins in a career which spanned two decades and saw him twice win 20 games with the White Sox.

In this game he looked solid for six innings. Then in the seventh a lead off single by Tom Tresh was followed by another single by Mickey Mantle with Tresh advancing to third on an error by left fielder Felipe Alou. When Roger Maris singled home Tresh Mantle went to third When Willie McCovery mishandled the ball in right field, Maris heading into second. 

Don Larsen, the aging one, came into face Elston Howard who lift a flyball to Willie Mays in Center and everybody moved up 90 feet. Larsen hit Moose Skowron putting runners at first and third. Clete Boyer hit a gronder to short and got the out at second but could not complete the double play. Maris came home with the unearned run; number three. Stafford grounded out to end  the inning but the damage was done.

Stafford held his own until the ninth when Mays led off with a double and two batters later Ed Bailey sent one over the wall in deep right field. But that was all the Giants got and Stafford closed them out 3-2 finishing with a brilliant 4-hitter, walking two and striking out Five.

The two teams took it to seven games where a double play ball by Tony Kubek drove in Moose Skowron for the only run of the game and the Yankees took game 7, 1-0.  Ralph Terry pitching a masterful 4-hit shutout and didn't walk a batter. 

It was probably one of the quietest World Series in modern history and the last the Yankees would win until 1976. It was the end of the Dynasty of the period and the beginning of a free for all of teams claiming the be the Kings of Baseball.

Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon

Thursday, October 26, 2017

World Series game #2

TRIVIA QUESTION: Only two of the regular starters for the 1961 Yankees failed to hit double figures in home runs. Who were they?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: In the 1960 Series the Yankee powerhouse scored 38 runs in their three wins over Pittsburgh. During those three games the Yanks didn't hit for power. They only belted four homers in the three wins, three by Mickey Mantle and the other by Bobby Richardson. 

Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next 10 blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog deals with the second game of the 1961 series while the next will deal with Game 3 of the 1962 series and so on. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.

                                                        1961 (Game Two)
                                       Cincinnati Reds at the New York Yankees

Game two of the 1961 World Series was a real pitchers duel with two guys few fans beyond little kids collecting baseball cards would remember. Joey Jay of the Cincinnati Reds was a decent pitcher. He did win 21 games in both 1961 and 1962 but other than that his career was rather unremarkable. His lifetime ERA was 3.77 and even in those 21-win years he gave up a lot of runs. His biggest down fall in his 99 career wins were walks and gopher balls. He average giving up a homer per 10 innings, which when combined with a 1.3 WHiP, can be pretty devastating.

The Yankees Ralph Terry was another steady but unremarkable pitcher. He also had his two best seasons in 1961 and 1962. In "61 he was 16-3 with 3.15 ERA and two shutouts. The following year he was overworked. While pitching 299 innings and giving up 40 homers he leading the league in the number of batters faced. He was on the mound a long time in winning 23 games.

In Game Two of the 1961 series these two pitchers faced off and matched each other pitch for pitch. Through three innings each pitcher had given up a lone single. Terry broke first however. In the fourth, an error on a ground ball by usually sure handed Clete Boyer at third opened the door. Gordy Coleman belted a high drive to right center which cleared the wall at Yankee Stadium, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the fourth New York came right back after a walk to Roger Maris, Yogi Berra went deep to tie it at 2-2.

In the fifth the Yankees woes continued with a pair of two out singles by Elio Chacon and Eddie Kasko with Chacon motoring to third. With Vada Pinson at the plate Terry fired off a pitch Elston Howard couldn't handle and it got by him for a passed ball, Chacon scored to make it 3-2. 

Meanwhile Jay was striking out Yankee hitters (he ended up with six) despite issuing six walks. In the sixth after a double by Wally Post and an intentional walk to Gene Freese, Johnny Edwards got one of his two hits to drive home Post to make it 4-2.

In the eighth the roof caved in. Luis Arroyo was now pitching and he issued a lead off walk to Frank Robinson. Gordy Coleman hit a weak ground ball in front of the plate which Arroyo threw down the right field line. Robinson scored all the way from first. Before the inning ended there was a misjudged flyball to left which went for a three base error, an intentional walk and another RBI double by Edwards. The game was pretty much over with the Reds leading 6-2.

Jay had pitched a remarkable game going the distance while giving up two runs on just four hits, despite walking six. Terry went seven and only gave up two earned runs walking two and striking out seven. Yankee D failed him. Berra, Boyer and Arroyo committed errors and a passed ball by Howard let in a run as well. Of the four runs he allowed only two were earned and only one of the two Arroyo allowed was earned, despite his own key error. 

The Yankees won 109 games in 1961 and are a team considered by many as the Second Best Team of All Time, second only to the 1927 Yankees. They would not be deterred. Despite the 6-2 loss in Game Two, they would go on to win the series in five games. They got revenge in the final game beating Joey Jay 13-5, knocking him out with four big runs in the first inning capped by a Johnny Blanchard dinger. 

Terry would fair little better giving way in the third after giving up three earned runs. Bud Daley relieved him and went the rest of the way for the win.  The Reds would use eight pitchers in the game. This time the errors were committed by the Reds. Three errors led to two unearned runs but when you score 13 total and the other guys only score five, it kinda doesn't matter.  

Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

World Series Game #1

TRIVIA QUESTION: The Yankees scored 38 runs in their three wins in the 1960 series. Mantle and company were known for their power. In those three wins, how many home runs did the Yankees hit?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: In 1968, the year of the pitcher, the Detroit Tigers starting pitchers completed 59 games, 28 by Denny McLain who won 31games. The team only had 29 saves and both Pat Dobson and Daryl Patterson tied for the lead with seven each.
Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next 10 blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog will deal with the first game of the 1960 series while the next will deal with Game 2 of the 1961 series and so on. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.

                                                        1960 (Game One) 
                                       New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates

Game one of the 1960 World Series was remarkable for a number of reasons. Off the top, it marked the first time Pittsburgh had been to the big dance in 35 years. The Yankees were the team of the previous decade and a new one was underway. The question most asked, "could they continue their winning ways?" Most importantly however, this game is marked by a little known fact. 

Everyone who follows baseball remembers Bill Mazeroski's walk off home run in the last inning of the seventh game to win it for Pittsburgh. A series otherwise dominated by Yankee home runs and bats. Few people remember Mazeroski also hit what was the game-winning home in Game One, when the Bucs beat the Yanks 6-4. 

It was certainly what New York was looking for in a hitters game except for the final score. They pounded out 13 hits to the Pirates six. Roger Maris and Elston Howard both homered, lead off hitter Tony Kubek slapped three hits as did Maris. Maris homered in the first to give New York a 1-0 lead off Vern Law. The Deacon, as he was known, won 20 games for Pittsburgh in 1960. 

In the new age of baseball on television, pitching however faltered. Art Ditmar didn't make it out of the first inning as the Bucs Bill Virdon started things off with a walk. Virdon, a future manager with the Yankees, promptly stole second and advanced to third on an error by Kubek at short. NL Batting Champion Dick Groat doubled in Virdon, Bob Skinner singled in Groat and with one out Skinner stole second, then scored on a single by Roberto Clemente. Jim Coates relieved Ditmar and brought the inning to an end, but the Bucs led 3-1.

Law sailed along until the fourth when a single by Moose Skowron drove home a run, making it 3-2. In the bottom of the fourth after a one out walk to Don Hoak, Mazeroski promptly belted an offering from Coates deep over the left field wall. It gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead and few in Forbes Field (including Mazeroski) realized it was a sign of things to come. They could not have realized either this homer put the Pirates ahead for good; thus the game winner.

In the sixth Maz would single and come home on a hit by Virdon giving the Pirates their sixth run. New York scored in the ninth on Howard's two run home run but by then it was all over. Fireman Roy Face pitched the final two innings in relief of Law to save the win for Pittsburgh.

The rest of the series was the things legends are made of. New York would go on to outhit, outscore, out homer and basically annihilate the Pirates in their three wins, 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0. Even in the decisive seventh game they scored 9 rungs, but with Maz's homer in the bottom of the ninth the Pirates scored 10. It was the only time Pittsburgh scored in double digits in the series.

Pittsburgh scored only 26 runs in the series. New York scored 55. The hits gap was 91-60 and the home run gap 10-4. Mazeroski hit half of those. Maz hit only 11 in the entire 1960 regular season. Mickey Mantle hit three while Maris and Skowron each banged two. When it came to pitching Whitey Ford won two complete nine-inning games with an amazing WHiP of 0.72. Pirate starters Law and 34-year old Harvey Haddix each won two games, 18-game winner Bob Friend lost a pair and little Elroy Face picked up three saves. Still it was Game One which set the tone for what had become an improbable World Series victory.
The seventh game in 1960 remains the only "walk off seventh game homer" in the history of the World Series. It's made Mazeroski a true legend and despite his amazing defensive credentials, it helped catapult him into baseball's Hall of Fame.
Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Whatever Happened to the NEXT Mickey Mantle?

TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1968 Detroit Tigers had a 31 game winner in Denny McLain, but who led the team in Saves?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: In 1962 the Cleveland Indians finished in sixth place, 43 games behind the pennant winning New York Yankees. Winning only 80 games that year, ace Dick Donovan won 20 of them while losing 10, he completed 16 of his 34 starts and tossed five shutouts. While his ERA was a respectable 3.59 over 250 innings his control was amazing. He walked only 47 batters over the season including five intentionally.  

Roger Repoz came up with the New York Yankees in 1964, hailed as the next Mickey Mantle. By June 1966 Yankee brass decided they would look for the next-next Mickey Mantle. Repoz possessed lots of power, a sweet swing, an amazing arm and strong prowess in the outfield and at first base. He was smooth. Despite those attributes his batting average left management cold. Remember, this was the 60's and the BA was important.

In his first full season with New York he hit .220 with 12 homers in 79 games. The following year he played in 138 games and hit fewer homers (11) and only batted .232. His strike outs were high but not abnormally high for a power hitter. Of course if he was supplying the power they projected, he might have stayed with the Bronx Bombers. 

The end for Repoz came in June, 1966. Relegated to pinch-hitting (43 at bats in 37 games) he was actually batting well.  His average was .349 but he didn't hit any home runs and he was striking out at a rate of one in six at bats. Defensively he played in almost every game at least as a late inning replacement and made just two errors in the outfield. Come June 8th however he batted for the last time as a Yankee. Batting for Mel Stottlemyre in the 8th he popped out to short. The next day the Yanks  sent the future Mickey Mantle to Kansas City along with Gil Blanco and Bill Stafford for catcher Billy Bryan and pitcher Fred Talbot. The great experiment was over.

For Repoz it wasn't the end. It was just the finish to a season which looked so promising.  With the Athletics he was competing for a spot with Joe Nossek, Larry Stahl and Mike Hershberger. All three were good defenders but with no power and journeyman batting averages in the .250 range. In his first game with the A's, inserted into the line-up in center field for Larry Stahl, he quickly banged out two hits against the Angels in a losing effort. He must have impressed someone in the Angel's brass. Despite going 5 for 24 the rest of the season against the Angels and despite batting a lowly .216 with 11 home runs for the A's, he was shipped to California the next season.

Midway through the 1967 season he was sent to the Angeles for Jack Sanford and Jackie Warner. June was usually a terrible month for Repoz. The Yankees traded him on June 10th, the A's traded him on June 15th and later in 1972 the Angeles traded him on June 10th. 

With California he seemed to gain new life. Over the next four seasons he hit double figures in homers three times including a career high 18 in 1970. His average never climbed above ..247 however and by the time his career came to an end in Anaheim, he decided Japan was the place he could finish out his career.  The Angels sent him to Baltimore who sent him to Triple A and by now he'd had enough. 

In five seasons in Japan, the former "Next Mickey Mantle" found his stroke. He slugged 122 homers, hitting a high of 36 for Yakult in 1976 and batted a foreign career .262. The amazing thing about Repoz however, was he probably fielded better than Mantle in their prime. In a major league career which covered 730 games he made a grand total of just 18 errors in nearly 2000 chances. Only 107 of those games were at First Base and that is where one third of those errors took place. In other words as an outfielder he played in 623 games and committed just 12 errors or one in every 52 games. He also threw out 27 base runners over that time. 

Roger Repoz had the sweet swing and he had the gun. He was never able to put it all together.
In 1971, Repoz became the first player in Major League Baseball history to compile an OPS of greater than .700 while putting up a batting average of under .200 and playing in a minimum of 100 games.

Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at, or on Amazon.