Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some TTM successes

Billy "Whitey/Shotgun" Gardner 1956-59

Billy played in over 1,oo0 MLB games during his ten year career, which was highlighted by his 589 game, 4 year stint on the O's. Billy was mainly a light-hitting backup infielder over his career but had an outstanding 1957 season. He led the AL in doubles, at-bats, and plate appearances and finished the year by coming in 12th in MVP balloting.

He received the nickname "Shotgun" for his powerful arm, but I'm not sure where "Whitey" came from. I would think it had something to do with his hair but it looks dark in the cards above.

Billy won a World Series Championship with the 1961 Yankees and was a manager and coach at the major and/or minor league levels for the Red Sox, Twins and Royals for many years after his playing career was over. His son Billy Jr. is currently a manager for the Rays AA Southern League team, the Montgomery Biscuits.

Jack Harshman 1958-59

Jack is the first guy to sign two cards for me with two different inscriptions, so I thought that was pretty cool.

He pitched for 5 teams over his 8 year MLB career and his best year was his 1958 season for the Birds. He finished 24th in MVP voting but I'm not exactly sure why, as he went 12-15 on the season. It must have had something to do with his 2.89 ERA, or his 3 shutouts, or the 161 K's, or maybe it was his 17 complete games. 17 complete games! That's crazy!

Jack wasn't too bad with the stick either. He hit 6 HR's that season; he was like the Babe Ruth of pitchers! But seriously, his 21 homers are tied for 10th all-time for pitchers. That's awesome.

Mel Held 1956

Mel was a relief pitcher who appeared in 4 games for the '56 Birds. He gave up 4 runs in 7 innings which worked out to be a 5.14 ERA. He struck out 4 batters, gave up 7 hits and walked 3. And that's the extent of what I could find out about Mr. Held. I nominate his nickname to be "Meld", how does that sound to everyone?

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