Monday, March 11, 2013

Card 14 The Famed Phil Linz, former Yankee, Met Phillie and Harp player

Back from a another hiatus. Things are what they are and life is what it is. You still can choose to beat the living shit out of life instead of having life beat the living shit out of you.

Card 14 features Phil Linz on his second to last baseball card. He appeared on a '68 Topps card in a Phillies uniform but labeled as being a New York Met which he was for part of 67 and all of '68 (his final year)

Linz is best known for an incident on the Yankees team bus in 1964. Linz was playing the harmonica near the back of the bus which really got under the skin of rookie Manager Yogi Berra who was sitting in the front. Yogi finally yelled for Linz to knock it off. Phil didn't hear wehat he said so he asked Mickey Mantle what he said and Mantle told him Yogi wanted him to play louder. Thus a folk hero was born and a little known utility player achieved a status few other utility players could achieve over the course of several careers. Linz ended up playing harmonicas in full page ads (one of which is featured on the back cover of the '65 Yankees yearbook).

Linz's career was fairly short. He was a major leaguer from '62 to '68 playing his final game at the ripe young age of 29. Linz wasn't much of a hitter but look at his fielding stats, the man played almost everywhere. He played everywhere except 1b, C, and P. He appeared in 112 games in '64 for the AL Champion Yankees (last to win the pennant for 11 years) playing mostly SS and 3B.

The Phillies picked up Linz in '66. I am assuming the source of the picture of Linz on his '67 Topps card comes from the '66 spring training. He has a road jersey with a smallish stadium in the distant background. He actually split his playing time in '67 with the Phillies and Mets. In '68 the Mets employed him exclusively as a second baseman and pinch hitter.

A lesser know fact about Linz is that in 1,518 regular season at bats, he hit only 11 home runs but in only 34 World Series at bats, he hit 2 home runs. This fact might've overshadowed the famed harmonica incident if the Yankees managed to win the '64 World Series where Linz hit his clutch homers.

1 comment:

  1. Linz got regular playing time in the 1964 World Series due to Tony Kubek's absence. Maybe regular at-bats boosted his productivity.