Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#51 Tom Burgess

Autographed 8x10 Photo

Thomas Roland Burgess (Tim)
First Baseman and Outfielder
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6' 0", Weight: 180 lb.
Born: September 1, 1927 in London, Ontario, CAN
Died: November 24, 2008 in London, Ontario, CAN
Debut: April 17, 1954 St. Louis Cardinals
Final Game: September 29, 1962 Los Angeles Angels
Years with the Angels: 1962

Obtained by the Los Angeles Angels from Dallas (American Association) as part of a minor league working agreement before the 1961 season.
Later was released by the Angels after the 1962 season.

Entered the game in the 5th as a pinch hitter for Dean Chance with bases loaded and two out, striking out to end the inning in a 12-5 win against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, April 14, 1962 (D) at Metropolitan Stadium.

Batted .196 in 143 at bats over 87 games. Committed only 1 error in 299 chances in the outfield and first base.

Cups of coffee in the majors with the 1954 Cardinals and the 1962 Angels. He played for the Rochester Red Wings from 1953 to 1958, hitting 93 home runs over that span.
After his playing career ended, Burgess managed in the minors for many years. He was a New York Mets coach in 1977 and a member of the Atlanta Braves staff the next year.
Burgess coached for Team Canada in the 2001 Baseball World Cup and 2003 Baseball World Cup.
Burgess died of cancer at his home at age 81 in 2008.

Friday, May 21, 2010

#50 Red Witt

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

George Adrian Witt (Red)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3", Weight: 185 lb.
Born: November 9, 1933 in Long Beach, CA.
Debut: September 21, 1957 Pittsburgh Pirates
Final Game: June 10, 1962 Houston Astros

Purchased by the Los Angeles Angels from the Pittsburgh Pirates on October 10, 1961.
Later returned to the Pittsburgh Pirates by the Los Angeles Angels following previous purchase on May 1, 1962.
Autographed 1962 Topps

Started the game and got a no-decision going 3.2 innings and giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and striking out 5 in a 12-5 win against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, April 14, 1962 (D) at Metropolitan Stadium.

Went 1-1 in 10 innings over 5 games (2 starts) posting an 8.10 ERA with 10 Ks.

Autographed Custom Index Card
Played on the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates and faced 15 Yankee batters without allowing a run. Pitched in 8 games for the Astros in 1962, then another season in the minors before retiring.

Monday, May 17, 2010

#49 Frank Leja

1954 Topps Archives
Frank John Leja
First Baseman
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6' 4", Weight: 205 lb.
Born: February 7, 1936 in Holyoke, MA.
Died: May 3, 1991 in Boston, MA.
ML Debut: May 1, 1954 New York Yankees
Final Game: April 29, 1962 Los Angeles Angels

Purchased by the Los Angeles Angels from the St. Louis Cardinals on March 30, 1962.

Started at First Base against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, April 12, 1962 (D) at Comiskey Park I. In his first at bat in the 4th inning flied out to left. Went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts.

In 16 at bats in 7 games, had no hits, one walk and 6 strikeouts for a .000 average. At first base made 38 putouts and committed 2 errors.

Projected as another Lou Gehrig, the Yankees made him their first bonus baby by signing him at age 17 for $100,000 in 1953. No one expected at the time that his entire ML career would consist of only one hit in 23 at-bats, a single to right against the Philadelphia Athletics on September 19, 1954.
After eight seasons in the minors the Angels gave him a shot in 1962, but again he went hitless in 16 at-bats. His career was over in 1963. After baseball Leja entered the insurance business, and later was in the wholesale lobster business. He died of a heart attack on May 3, 1991, at age 55 in Boston.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

#48 Joe Nuxhall

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

Joseph Henry Nuxhall
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6' 3", Weight: 195 lb.
Born: July 30, 1928 in Hamilton, OH
Died: November 15, 2007 in Fairfield, OH
Debut: June 10, 1944 Cincinnati Reds
Final Game: October 2, 1966 Cincinnati Reds

Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Angels on April 9, 1962.
Later, released by the Los Angeles Angels on May 15, 1962.

Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th and recorded a stikeout in 1/3 of an inning of a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, April 10, 1962 (D) at Comiskey Park I.

As a reliever, recorded 2 strikeouts and 5 walks in 5 games (5.1 innings) for a 10.13 ERA.

Autographed Custom Index card

Joe Nuxhall was the youngest player to make his major league debut at 15 years, 10 months, and 11 days old. He debuted on June 10th, 1944, in a game the Reds were losing to the Cardinals 13-0. After walking one batter and retiring the next two he noticed Stan Musial in the on-deck circle and became unravelled allowing five earned runs and failing to retire another batter. He was sent down to the minors and did not pitch another major league game until 1952. Nuxhall was a 2-time NL All-Star in 1956 and 1957, led the NL in shutouts in 1955, and won 15 games in 1955 and 1963. He played for the Reds, Athletics, and Angels. After his playing career he became a broadcaster for the Reds from 1967-2004. Joe Nuxhall died November 16, 2007 at age 79 after suffering from cancer and pneumonia.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Funny Exchange

I was sitting on the couch watching the Phillies/Braves game on TV, when the following exchange between me and 2 of my ten-year-old daughters took place:

Hope: "Dad who's playing?"
Me: "The Braves and the Phillies."
Hope: "Who's winning?"
Me: "The Phillies."
About ten minutes later Grace enters the room....
Grace: "Who's playing?"
Hope (totally innocent): "The Braves and the Philistines."
Laughter ensued.

I LOVE my girls!

Friday, May 7, 2010

SPECIAL INSERT - Robin Roberts

A tribute to the Great Robin Roberts.
Robin threw for the Baltimore Orioles from 1962 thru 1965. This gave him the opportunity to face the Angels in the American League, after 14 seasons with the Phillies in the National League. He started 6 times against the Angels, winning 3 and losing 2. In those 6 games he struck out 18 and had a 3.07 ERA.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

SPECIAL INSERT - Ernie Harwell

A tribute to the great Ernie Harwell. He called a lot of Tigers/Angels games.

I LOVE how he signed it right across his forehead!