Tuesday, June 11, 2019

#66 Lee Walls

Lee Walls played for ten seasons in the majors after being signed by the Pirates in 1951. He had some big seasons in their chain but failed to produce much with the big club and was dealt to the Cubs in 1957.

The year this card was produced was easily his best in the majors as he made the NL All-Star team and had career highs in homers, RBIs and batting average. He finished in the Top Ten of several offensive categories, including WAR.

He later toured much of the rest of the NL, playing for the Reds, Phils, and Dodgers, mostly as a fourth outfielder and pinch-hitter. He was on the Dodgers 1963 Series team but didn't get into a Series game.

He returned to baseball 15 seasons after his playing days as a coach and minor league manager. He died at 60 in 1993.

My copy is obviously off-center and sort of scuffed but, man, check out that cartoon!

Friday, June 7, 2019

#65 Von McDaniel

Longtime big leaguer Lindy McDaniel's younger brother, Von, didn't have the kind of career as his older sibling. In fact, he only enjoyed 19 games in the majors. But he certainly made a splash in that short time.

In 1957 he signed out of high school with the Cards (Lindy's team at the time) and was placed on the roster as per the bonus signee rules in effect then. After a couple of relief appearances (including a win in Ebbetts Field), he pitched a two-hit shutout to beat the Dodgers on June 21 for his first win. He went on to win seven games and helped the Cards to a second place finish. This Cardinals blog has an entertaining post describing McDaniel's rookie season.

Von developed arm issues the following spring and lost command of his pitches. After a couple of rocky outings, the Cardinals shipped him to the minors where he eventually transitioned into a third baseman (he was a pretty good hitter) but he never returned to the majors.

The McDaniel brothers only appeared in one game together that I can find. In September of '57 Von had a bumpy start against the Reds and was relieved by Lindy in the second inning. Older brother ended up getting a win out in that one.