Saturday, February 28, 2015

Senators Saturday - Dick Bosman, 1969.

Future Rangers pitching coach Dick Bosman appears today on card 607 of the 1969 Topps set. This card is a little beat up but it's a high number and so difficult to find at an affordable price.

Bosman relied mostly on his control and had a passable year in 1968. He was highly competitive though and looking to improve in 1969. He spent most of the season with Washington but did pitch two innings in one game for the Triple A Buffalo Bisons. Not sure what that was all about.

Dick appeared in 31 games for the Senators in 1969 and started 26 of them. He pitched a total of 193 innings throughout the season - second most for the club. Bosman walked 39 opposing batters but struck out 99. That brought his strikeout to walk ratio to 2.54 - best on the team and fourth best in the league. Dick's 2.19 ERA lead the team and the league. His 1.010 WHIP was best on the team and third lowest in the American League.

Dick Bosman had an outstanding year in 1969. He won the AL pitching title, got some MVP consideration, and posted a club best 14-5 record. Apparently the lowering of the mound between 1968 and 1969 didn't effect his control. The Senators had some pitching problems but Dick Bosman wasn't one of them. They expected great things from their young hurler in future seasons.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cards from John.

A short while back reader John H. told me he was going to send me a few cards I might need. Yesterday I got an envelope in the mail from John. Inside was a note and 17 Rangers cards.

One of those cards was this 2004 National Trading Card Day #DP-4 card of Alfonso Soriano. Not sure if this is a Donruss Classics card or part of a set all its own but it's a great card.

Also in the envelope was a note from John saying he hoped the cards he sent would fit my want list. Well, the Soriano card was a great start as I didn't have it. All told there were 13 more cards that filled holes in my collection. 14-for-17 is an awesome average not matter if you're at bat or sending cards to a fellow collector.

Thanks for the great package John, it made my day. I hadn't had a package arrive in awhile and I really appreciate it.

Also arriving yesterday was another card package that will be reviewed in the near future and a long-awaited through the mail autograph request.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spring Training in full swing.

Well, so far Spring Training seems to be going well for the Rangers. The worst news to this point is that Jurickson Profar will be undergoing shoulder surgery and missing another season. The surgery is related to the same injury that caused Profar to miss last season. Looks like Roughned Odor will not have as tough a time as expected in nailing down the second base job.

The other news out of Surprise is related to how Matt Harrison is progressing and the fact that all players are now in camp. Of course, Yu Darvish is getting mobbed by the Japanese media again this year.

Michael Young, shown here his 2006 Upper Deck Artifacts AL Artifacts #AL-MY card, is also in camp. This time as an instructor rather than player. Ivan Rodriguez should also be putting on an appearance at some point to work with the catchers. A few other former Rangers will probably be in and out as well.

So far so good, it seems. I still have my fingers crossed but can't help hoping for a bounce-back season and possibly a contending team. Anything with the majority of the team healthy would be a welcome improvement though.
2006 Upper Deck Artifacts AL Artifacts #AL-MY

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1979 Topps - Len Barker.

Another victim of the constant turnover Texas experienced in the late 1970's, Len Barker was no longer a Ranger by the time card 94 of the 1979 Topps set hit the store shelves. After Barker had a rough 1978 season, the Rangers sent him and outfielder Bobby Bonds the Cleveland Indians on October 3, 1978. In return Texas got Jim Kern and Larvell Blanks.

As for Barker, he went on to turn in a serviceable career for the Indians and even tossed a perfect game for them in 1981. Cleveland traded Len to the Braves in 1983 and he played there until he was released in April of 1986. The Expos picked him up but he spent 1986 in the minors and was released in March of 1987. Milwaukee gave him a shot and he pitched some for the Brewers in 1987 but injuries and age had taken their toll. 1987 was the end of the line.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Minor League Monday - Paul Postier, 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers.

Paul David Postier, shown here on card 1164 of the 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers team set, was drafted by the Rangers in the 17th round of the 1986 June draft. He started his pro career the same year. Four seasons later in 1990 Paul found himself preparing to start his second season with Double A Tulsa. That's not exactly shooting through the system.

As the front of Postier's card indicates, he was mainly an infielder. In 1990 he appeared at first and third base for the Drillers and in the outfield for ten games as well. He was not a regular starter at any of the positions he played.

In the 32 games Paul played at first base he handled all 283 chances he saw without an error. At third base he committed two errors over 46 games for a .985 fielding percentage. He was flawless in the ten games he appeared in the outfield.

Interestingly, Postier also pitched for Tulsa in five games. That indicates either a lot of blow-outs or perhaps an attempt to look at transitioning to pitching. Paul had pitched before, in two games with Single A Gastonia during the 1987 season, but not in the previous two seasons. The lack of practice didn't seem to hurt him though. He posted a 1.35 ERA and a 0.900 WHIP in 6.2 innings for the Drillers.

Paul made 319 trips to the plate over 89 games for the Drillers in 1990. He struggled to a .236 batting average and a .263 on-base percentage. Both were attributable to his propensity to strike out. He whiffed 55 times while working just 12 walks. Couple that with his lack of power - just eight doubles and one triple - and the outlook was grim indeed.

Paul Postier was a versatile player. He could play multiple positions fairly well and could even pitch effectively when needed. The problem was he couldn't hit. The Rangers were going to bump Paul up to Triple A Oklahoma City for the 1991 season but he was going to have to find his bat fast if he wanted to stay there or possibly get a shot in Arlington.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

1979 Topps - Sandy Alomar.

By the time Sandy Alomar appeared on card 144 of the 1979 Topps set his Major League playing career was over.

It had been clear in 1978 that Sandy was at the end of the line as a player. After 15 seasons in the Majors he was slowing down both offensively and defensively. The Rangers released him on October 24, 1978. Nobody picked him up.

Within seven years Sandy was back in the Majors, this time as a coach. He would coach with the Padres from 1986-1990, the Cubs in 2000-2002, the Rockies in 2003-2004, and with the Yankees starting in 2005.

In the years between playing and coaching Sandy taught his sons, Roberto and Sandy Jr how to play the game of baseball. He apparently taught them well. Sandy Jr had a successful Major League career as a catcher and Roberto was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Senators Saturday - Dave Baldwin, 1969.

Coming off a downer season in 1968, Dave Baldwin was looking for a bounce-back year in 1969. Unfortunately for Baldwin, shown here on card 132 of the 1969 Topps set, it didn't turn out the way he wanted.

Used strictly as a reliever, Dave appeared in 43 games for the Senators in 1969 and pitched 66.2 innings. That was just three more appearances but 24.2 innings more than the previous year. Obviously Baldwin was staying in the game longer. Dave struck out 51 opposing batters and walked 34 for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.50. That was a whole point lower than in 1968. His ERA totaled to 4.05, just .02 lower than the previous season, and his WHIP to 1.365, a rise of .127.

1969 had not been the season either Dave Baldwin or the Washington Senators were looking for from him. He hadn't been able to make any substantial improvement in his ERA and his WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratio made a definite downward turn.

Perhaps the Senators decided Dave's old elbow injury was back or maybe they just gave up on the side-arming hurler. Whatever the reason, the final result was a December 4, 1969 trade to the Milwaukee Brewers for George Brunet.