Thursday, August 2, 2012

#11 Washinton Senator Robert Barry Moore

Up next is  pitcher Barry Moore. This is the first Senator card of the '67 set and the light purple lettering does not make for an attractive looking card. The '67 set is classic, don't get me wrong but some of those colors for the lettering just makes the cards look a little off for me.

This of course was the second of the now three Washington DC teams. The first moved to Minnesota to become the Twins. This Senator team moved to Texas to become the Rangers and the Montreal Expos moved to Washington to become the Nationals (the original name of the original Washington team before it changed to the Senators).

Barry Moore had a very short five year career in the Majors. Like the Alou card before, this one was produced during Moore's two year peak as a Major League Pitcher. His ERA was under 4 and while he didn't have a winning season until '69 he had his only shutout in 1967. He didn't win many games but neither did the second Washington ball club who only won more than half of their games in 1969, the year Moore broke.500 as well.

Judging from his stats, Moore lost something off his pitches in 1970 and that resulted in him getting roughed up on the mound. He went from the Indians to the White Sox in that year and he went winless after the trade. In December of 1970, the Sox traded him to the Yankees for Bill Robinson but he didn't make the team.
He struggled in the Yankees and Pirates farm system for awhile before quitting. He definitely caught Topps attention in the 60's and he deserved to be featured on his own card because he was a pitching prospect.

As I said the Senator cards were never a favorite of mine. This picture definitely looks to be taken in a Major League Stadium and it may even be D.C. Stadium

#10 Pittsburgh Pirate Matty Alou. Baseball's Royal Family

 Up next is one of three of the Alou brothers, Matty Alou. Mateo Rojas "Matty" Alou, who I am sorry to say passed away from diabetes complication on November 3, 2011 was the middle of the three Alou brothers who all had long successful careers in the Majors. Also, all three brothers have cards featured in this '67 set. The Alou trio all started their Major careers with the Giants (all three played for the team at some point of the '63 season) but all had equal or better success with the teams they went on to play for after San Francisco. This is definitely the case with Matty Alou.

Matty was in the prime of his career around the time this card came out. He had a string of over .300 avg seasons, a pair of 200+ hits in a season and, while he wasn't a power hitter, he was an excellent contact hitter with many doubles and triples to his credit. He didn't have many stolen bases so I question whether or not he was a speedster on the base paths. This tells me he really hit them where they weren't during his peak.

Matty was still hitting the ball well when he left the Pirates to play for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971. In '72, he was traded to the A's. He went on to win a championship with the team that year and while he hit well in the ALCS, he was virtually hitless in the actual series.

It seems a player's career is all but done when they start to bounce around
from team to team and this is true for Matty Alou as well. While he continued to hit well with all of the teams he played for, teams just didn't keep him on. In '73 the Yankees brought him on and though he was a .300 hitter, he ended up with the Cardinals for the rest of the season. In '74, Matty didn't hit well for the Padres and that was the last of his 14 seasons in the Majors. Of the three Alou brothers, he had the shortest Major League career.

This card features the same purple lettering featured on the White Sox card and like much of the earliest cards in this set, the photo looks to come from spring training. I imagine this photo was taken prior to the start of the '66 season and the photographer likely asked Matty to take the same picture without his hat on in case he was traded. Later Topps just airbrushed out the wrong logo but back in the 60's they featured pictures of hatless players.