Friday, March 27, 2020

50 Years Ago - 1970 Opening Day Lineups (AL)

Here are the American League opening day lineups from half a century ago. Teams are shown in order of their 1970 finish.

East Division:

Elrod Hendricks caught more games than Andy Etchebarren, but the other 7 were everyday regulars.

Danny Cater was the primary 1st baseman, with Jerry Kenney playing mostly at 3rd base.

Yaz moved in to play first base this season, with George Scott moving over to 3rd base. Billy Coniglaro was the primary left fielder.

Not pictured are the regular 3rd baseman (Don Wert) and center fielder (Mickey Stanley). Jim Northrup and Al Kaline shared the right field starts.

Vada Pinson was the regular right fielder, otherwise this was the Tribe's regular lineup. (Tony Horton custom card courtesy of the late Bob Lemke.) 

The Senators made a lot of changes, before settling on Tim Cullen at 2B, Aurelio Rodriguez (acquired from the Angels) at 3B, Ed Stroud in CF and Lee Maye in RF.

West Division:

The Twins had a fairly stable lineup, with only Danny Thompson replacing the injured Rod Carew at 2nd base.

The Athletics were the only team whose 1970 Opening Day lineup was their regular lineup all season.

The Angels traded Aurelio Rodriguez to the Senators for 3B Ken McMullen. Jay Johnstone was the regular center fielder, pushing Roger Repoz to right field.

Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, Cookie Rojas (acquired from the Cardinals in June), and Paul Schaal were the regulars at C, 1B, 2B, and 3B. Shortstop and the outfielders were as shown above.

As you would expect from a disaster only one year removed from the Seattle Pilots, this lineup was unstable. The regulars were: C-Phil Roof, 1B-Mike Hegan, 2B-Ted Kubiak, SS-Roberto Pena, 3B-Tommy Harper, LF-Danny Walton, CF-Dave May, RF-Bob Burda.

Ahhh, those White Sox. In 1969 they finished behind the expansion Royals but ahead of the expansion Pilots. Now the Pilots/Brewers have passed them too.

Ed Herrman and Duane Josephson split the catching. 1st and 2nd base were manned by Gail Hopkins and Bobby Knoop respectively, while Ken Berry was the center fielder. Bill Melton actually played more games at 3B and also in RF that any other player.

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