Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Final Card: Rick Joseph

This is the final card for Rick Joseph (#186), and his first Phillies' card featuring him in a Phillies' uniform. (His 1968 and 1969 Phillies cards use the same hatless closeup of Joseph in a Kansas City Athletics' uniform.)  Looking at this card reminds me that Joseph used to wear an inside-the-cap insert instead of a batting helmet (as did his teammate Tony Taylor).

Joseph was from San Pedro de Macoris, DR, the hotbed of major-league infielders, although he came before many of the big names of the 1970s and 1980s.

Rick was signed by the Giants in 1959, and after 5 seasons was selected by the Athletics in the minor-league draft. He made his major-league debut with Kansas City in 1964, playing 17 games as a corner-infeld reserve. After that, it was back to the minors, including a half-season in the Tigers' chain, before being returned to the Athletics' farm.

The Phillies drafted him after the 1966 season, and he spent most of 1967 with their triple-A San Diego Padres team, which was more like an old-age home for ex-major-leaguers than a launching pad for future prospects. Joseph was called up to Philadelphia in late August when 3rd baseman Richie Allen's season was ended by a hand injury. Joseph spent the next 3 seasons with the Phillies as a backup at 1st base and 3rd base, behind the likes of Allen, Bill White, and Deron Johnson.

Rick was traded to the White Sox on January 14, 1971 for pitcher Darrell Brandon. Joseph spent the 1971 season with the Padres' AAA team in Hawaii, then wrapped up his career playing in triple-A for the Braves and Pirates in 1972, and in Mexico in 1973.

Joseph passed away in September 1979 from diabetes, at age 40.

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