Sunday, July 10, 2011

Astros Rookies: John Mayberry Sr. / Bob Watkins

While filling in for the injured Shane Victorino, the Phillies' John Mayberry Jr collected THREE doubles during today's 14-1 thrashing of the Atlanta Braves. Let's look at his Pop's rookie card...

John Mayberry Sr. was the Astros' #1 pick in the 1967 draft. Although he hit 44 homers in the minors during 1968-69, he was stuck there for 5 seasons, while the Astros changed 1st basemen every year: Eddie Mathews ('67), Rusty Staub ('68), Curt Blefary ('69), Bob Watson & Joe Pepitone ('70), and the cruelest cut of all, an aging, out-of-position Denis Menke ('71). I think when they prefer Menke over a slugging youngster, you pretty much don't fit into their plans.

Mayberry was traded to the Royals in December 1971, and spent the next 6 seasons as their starting 1st baseman. During spring training in 1978, he moved on to the Blue Jays, where he manned 1st base for another 4 seasons. John split his final season (1983) between the Blue Jays and Yankees.

Bob Watkins
? As is so often the case with these rookie cards, one player makes it big while another fades away. Watkins' big-league career consisted of 15 innings with the Astros in 1969. He pitched in their farm system from 1966 through 1971.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

By an unrelated search I found out Google Book has library of Baseball Digests. In the 70's BD would have a rookies to watch section: Here what it said abou Mayberry: "Can't miss. Does it with bat and glove and hits with power. Also surprisingly fast for bbig man"

Satkins: "Major league fast ball, curve and slider, but minor league control. If he can find plate has chance to advance rapidly."