TRIVIA WINNER: The winner of this week's trivia contest is Jake Kribel of Amity, PA who knew that Willie Mays homered in the same inning ofthe Marichal-Roseboro debacle. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.
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NEW TRIVIA QUESTION: Three players on the 1969 Angels had sons who also played in the big leagues. Who were the ball playing dads?
The number 16 was a big factor for the 1969 California Angels. Two out of three times that number was on the losing side of the mark, but for one player it was the beginning of a solid career and a major milestone for baseball.
For Messersmith it was a strange stat line as he pitched in 40 games, started 33, finished 5 and tossed two shutouts but managed two Saves as well. Over 250 innings he registered a 2.52 ERA while striking out 211, walking 100 and giving up just 169 hits. His 17 home runs was low for the time period.
Andy didn't get much support. Jay Johnstone led the team in hitting by a long shot at .270 and no one hit more homers than Rick Reichardt's 13. Hoyt Wilhelm and Ken Tatum led the bullpen but what Messersmith accomplished that season was pretty much all on him.
He would later be the key player in the case which ended baseball's Reserve Clause and opened the door to Free Agency as we know it today. Before then, despite a failed attempt by Curt Flood, every player was tied to the team that signed him and only that team.
Oh, by the way, the other two 16's for the Halo's in 1969? Both Tom Murphy (10-16) and Jim McGlothlin (8-16) owned the other no. 16's on the club's statistical roster that year. Another number was prominent in Messersmith's career; 20, which he won in two different seasons and had 19 wins in another.