Thursday, September 12, 2019

Doug Rader (#355)

This is Doug Rader’s 3rd solo card, but anyone familiar with vintage Topps cards will know that the '68 and '69 Astros cards are not much to look at.  Rader also appeared on an Astros Rookies card in 1967.

Rader was signed by the Astros before the 1965 season. After just 2 ½ seasons, he made his major-league debut in July 1967.

He played a bit at 3rd base, but was mostly used at 1st base during his rookie season, starting 33 games there during the 2nd half. (In early-August, the Astros traded veteran Eddie Mathews to the Tigers, opening up 1st base for Rader.)

Rader was back on the bench at the start of 1968, but with long-time regular (and original Colt .45) Bob Aspromonte out of the lineup for a month beginning in mid-June, Doug began a streak of 32 starts at 3rd base. Even after Aspro’s return, Rader played most of the time.

Aspromonte was traded away after the ’68 season, so Rader was the full-time 3rd baseman, starting almost every game until early-September 1975.

Doug also won the Gold Glove award every season from 1970 to 1974.

In December 1975 he was traded to the Padres for pitchers Larry Hardy and Joe McIntosh. He started 136 games at the hot corner in 1976, an improvement over the 7-man committee playing there in 1975. 

He started 47 of the first 55 games in 1977, then was sold to the expansion Blue Jays in early-June.

Rader played 96 games with Toronto that year, split between 3B and DH. He was released during spring training in 1978.

After his playing career he became a manager. He coached for the Padres in 1979, then managed their AAA team from 1980-82. He also managed the Rangers (1983-85), White Sox (1986), Angels (1989-91), and Marlins (1993-94).

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