Thursday, February 6, 2014

# 27 Bob Saverine of the Washington Senators "The Rabbit"

Next up is a player I knew next to nothing about on a team I didn't care much about either. There was no Washington DC baseball team when I was a kid. I saw the '60's era Senators for what they were to me, a failed ball club which moved to Texas and became the Rangers (another team I never cared about)

As for basically all of the players, I viewed them all as commons. These cards weren't even listed by name in Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, just grouped together by numbers and a value. How can a boy develop any interest in first a Senators team that doesn't exist and a common baseball player?? This is a common thing you will read in this blog I'm sorry to say because this is what card collecting was for me in my adolescence. This blog is partially my attempt to learn about the players and teams I didn't think much about. Now that I'm older, I've learned that players on common cards are actually some of the elites in the sport. Most not only don't make it to the Majors, they never appear on a bubblegum card either.

That being all said Bob Saverine was predominately a utility ball player. Topps has him list as an infielder but he played Left and Center fields to go along with his play at Short stop, 2nd and 3rd base. He started his career with the Orioles where he didn't see too much action when he first came up in the league as an 18 year old rookie in September 1959. His low batting average and lack of power at the plate kept him strictly as a fill in position player. Nowadays utility players do not seem to be as common as they were prior to the era of massive contracts. Players like Saverine would be regulars in the minors and brought up to fill in with a multimillion dollar signed regular while that player is on the DL. These players used to be regulars on the team.

Saverine didn't see much minor league action after he became a regular Major league in 1963. He ended up spending '65 in the Baltimore farm system before being dealt to the Senators where he played the '66 and '67 seasons. He finished his pro career in the minors with the '68 season being played in Buffalo.

Saverine was a regular on Topps cards from 1964 to 1968. His usual appearance in Topps sets leads me to belive that he was a fan favorite like Mario Mendoza for the Royals and Doug Dascenzo. Saverine even earned the nickname The Rabbit. Probably for his quickness on the base path. Odds are his baserunning skills are the other key reason he maintained a career and a following int he majors. He is only credited with 23 career stolen bases (9 caught stealing) but Johnny Damon taught us in the 2009 World Series that bass runners do a heck of a lot more than just run bases.

I've already discussed my dislike of these Senator cards in the '67 set. Very bland lettering, dull looking hat (featuring a W which made no sense if you were introduced to the set in the 80's and 90's.