Monday, February 22, 2010

#41 Buck Rodgers

1963 Topps and 1962 Topps
Robert Leroy Rodgers
Bats: Both, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2", Weight: 190 lb.
Born: August 16, 1938 in Delaware, OH
Debut: September 8, 1961 Los Angeles Angels
Final Game: October 1, 1969 California Angels

Drafted 12th by the Los Angeles Angels from the Detroit Tigers in the 1960 expansion draft.

1963 Topps Peel-Offs

Entered game in the 10th as a pinch-hitter for Rocky Bridges and grounded out in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field, LA on September 8, 1961.

1961 - 1969
Batted .232 with 704 hits in 932 games. Had .988 fielding percentage as a catcher.
Hit 32 doubles in 1962.
1962 Topps All-Star Rookie Team

1967 The Enquirer Newsprint Photo (also signed by Jake Gibbs)

1967 The Enquirer Newsprint Photo (also signed by Steve Whitaker)

Rodgers attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio Northern University. As a player, he signed his first professional contract with the Detroit Tigers and was selected by the Angels in the 1960 MLB Expansion Draft. He was a top defensive catcher and a switch-hitter who played nine major league seasons (1961-69), all with the Angels, compiling a .232 batting average with 31 home runs in 932 games. Rodgers caught Bo Belinsky's no-hitter on May 5, 1962.

1991 Ticket Stub

1991 - 1994
313 games, 140-173 .447

In August 1991, the Angels fired Doug Rader and hired Rodgers as their new pilot. Buck - still well-liked from his playing days in Anaheim - led the Halos to a 20-18 record for the remainder of the campaign, and was 39 games into his first full season as Angel manager in 1992 when a bus carrying the California club was involved in an expressway accident; Rodgers was seriously injured and missed almost 90 games. He returned, but still felt the after-effects of his injuries. Perhaps more damaging, the Angels did not respond to his leadership. They posted a losing mark in the final weeks of 1992, finished 20 games below .500 in 1993, and were only 16-23 in May 1994 before Rodgers was replaced by Marcel Lachemann.
In between his playing and managing careers, Rodgers served as a coach for the Minnesota Twins (1970-74), San Francisco Giants (1976), and the Brewers (1978-80). He managed in the Angels' farm system in 1975 and 1977.

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