Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rick Wise (#605)

Using all my blogs, I've been posting 1 card for everyone who played for the Phillies from 1966-1969. Of the 77 players in that time span, five didn't have a card, and two (Ed Roebuck and Howie Bedell) had cards, but not in the years serviced by my blogs. I have 15 Phillies' players to go, about half of them in the 1970 set.

Rick Wise was one of the Phillies' best starting pitchers from 1969-71. He had a breakout season in 1971, pitching a no-hitter, hitting 2 home runs in that no-hitter, and at 17-14, was one of only 2 Phillies' pitchers to compile a winning record that season. After that season, he was famously traded to the Cardinals for 20-game winner Steve Carlton.

Wise was signed by the Phillies in June 1963. After just a half-season of class-A ball, Wise was rushed to the majors in April 1964. He appeared in 25 games as a rookie, all but 8 out of the bullpen. Rick's 2nd starting assignment was in game 2 of the Fathers' Day doubleheader against the Mets, where his teammate Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game in the opener. Although rarely used as a starter, Wise did string together 4 starts in August.

Rick spent the entire 1965 season at triple-A Little Rock, and started the '66 season with San Diego, the new home of the Phillies' AAA team. Recalled in early June, Wise remained with the team for the rest of the season, pitching in 22 games (13 starts).

Wise's minor-league days were now over, as he began the '67 season as the 5th starter, but soon supplanted newly-acquired veteran Dick Ellsworth as the #4 starter. Rick was a fixture in the Phillies' rotation for the next 5 years. With Bunning's trade to the Pirates after the 1967 season, Larry Jackson's retirement after '68, and Chris Short missing all but 2 games of the 1969 season, Wise continued to assume a bigger role on the staff.

Following his trade for Carlton, Rick won 16 games in each of his 2 seasons in St. Louis, then was swapped to the Red Sox for outfielder Reggie Smith after the '73 season. He missed most of the 1974 season, but turned in 3 good seasons in Boston after that, including winning 19 games for the AL champs in 1975.

In March 1978, he was traded to the Indians for pitcher Dennis Eckersley. Two seasons in Cleveland were followed by two full seasons in San Diego (all as a starter). After 1 relief appearance at the start of the 1982 season, he was released on April 16th, ending his 18-year career.


Jim said...

One of my favorite players as a kid. He spoke at my 1971 Little League banquet. I remember winning a baseball and he and Denny Doyle, who was also at the banquet, signed it. A classmate's father was Director of Promotions of the Phillies and he got all the players to come to our banquets. I also remember that they gave each of us a boatload of '71 Topps baseball cards too.

Jim from Downingtown said...


I started following the Phillies in 1967. By mid-season 1971, only Wise and Chris Short from that '67 squad were still with the team, and Short was on a downward slide.

Anonymous said...

Larry Jackson's departure from Philly was actually due to the expansion draft, where he was picked by Montreal; he retired the next day, rather than report to the Expos.

Unknown said...

Hey, how many players can say they were traded for 2 Hall of Famers?