Tuesday, November 4, 2014

#36 Bob Tillman of the Boston Red Sox.

Up next is one of the lesser known players from the 1967 pennant winning Boston Red Sox, Lesser know because he wasn't even on the Red Sox when they actually won the pennant. He was sold to the Yankees in August of that year. Tillman was a regular catcher for the Red Sox but ultimately lost his job by 1967 to the catching tandem of former Yankee Elston Howard and Russ Gibson. 

What I never knew was that he was one of three players the Yankees dealt to the Braves for future Hall of Fame manager (but then a career minor league player) Bobby Cox.

Tillman's best season in the majors was in 1964.  That season was his only full time season as a catcher. While seasons were 162 games long, a catcher typically get day games after night games off. Russ Nixon filled in during his absence. The Red Sox lost 90 games in '64 but Tillman managed to bat .278 and show decent power numbers for a catcher. Tillman's lone post season appearance came in 1969 with the Braves. The league restructured and split into 4 divisions thus opening the door to regular league championship series playoff games. The '69 Braves were soundly beaten in the NLCS by the Mets. 3 games to none.

The card itself is a good looking one. The Red Sox cards grab your attention with the orange lettering. You have to admit that orange is a better choice then pale blue or burnt lawn green.

The photo used is a good one as well. It's a good posing shot of Tillman. This and the previous Carty card look like what you'd expect a card from the set to look like. Someone can say this about these cards. They wouldn't point to the Cimino card with the Angels name in front of a photo of the player, sans hat, obviously wearing another team's jersey.

It's anyones guess where this photo was taken, Tillman has a home jersey on but I imagine the photo was taken where most of the Red Sox photos were taken, in Florida during spring training, perhaps Winter Haven, where the team called home starting in '66 through to the 90's.

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