Monday, January 29, 2018

Fritz Peterson (#142)

Here’s Fritz “Fred Ingels” Peterson, one of the top players from the late 1960s that I have not featured on any of my blogs yet. I chose to use his 1970 card because of the unusual pose. I don’t know if he’s trying to hypnotize the batter, or put the Malocchio on him!

Fritz was signed by the Yankees in 1963, and made his major-league debut in April 1966. He won 12 games for a bad Yankees team as a rookie. Peterson was the Yankees’ top left-handed starter, right behind staff ace Mel Stottlemyre.

Peterson’s best seasons with the Yankees were from 1969-72. Over that span, he won 17, 20, 15, and 17 games (again, for some bad teams), and made his only All-Star team in 1970. That was an unusual season for the Yankees in that they finished in 2nd place, while spending most of 1966-73 near the basement.

Just as the Yankees began to turn it around in 1974, Peterson was gone – traded to the Indians in late-April in a 7-player deal that brought 1st baseman Chris Chambliss to the Bronx.

After 2 seasons as the top southpaw starter in Cleveland, Fritz was traded to the Rangers in late-May 1976. By then his career was shot. He made his last appearance 3 weeks later, missing the remainder of the 1976 season due to a shoulder injury.

He was released by Texas in early-February 1977. Two weeks later he was signed by the White Sox, but after a 2nd shoulder surgery he decided to call it a career, having not pitched in '77.

Peterson retired in May 1977 after 11 seasons, with a record of 133-131.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hal Lanier (#583)

For players that have been around for a while, I much prefer to post their ‘66, ‘67, ‘68, or ‘69 card, than their 1970 card. But I have so many cards queued up for 1967 to 1969, that some veterans are being pushed onto my 1970 list. (I don’t mind bypassing the ‘68 and ‘69 Astros and ‘68 Athletics – those cards are a mess.) 

Hal Lanier (whose father Max was a pitcher for the Cardinals and others from 1938-53) was signed by the Giants in 1961 and made his Giants’ debut in June 1964. He was named to the Topps All-Rookie team that year.

Originally a 2nd baseman, he was the team’s regular there from his debut in mid-June ‘64 through the 1966 season.

Hal swapped positions with Tito Fuentes at the start of the 1967 season, and was the Giant’s regular shortstop for the next 4 years, until he was replaced by rookie Chris Speier at the start of the 1971 season.

After a year on the bench, Lanier was sold to the Yankees before the 1972 season. He played his final 2 seasons as a utility infielder for New York.

Hal then had a long coaching career with the Cardinals, Phillies, and others, and also managed the Astros from 1986-88 (winning the NL West in ’86). In recent years he has managed independent minor-league teams.

From 1966: