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Category Archives: Shortstop

Jerry Kenney – 1973 Topps #514

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ImageGerald Tennyson Kenney (born June 30, 1945 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a retired American Major League Baseball infielder. He is from Beloit, Wisconsin. He hit a home run on his first up to bat with the New York Yankees in 1967. He played for the Yankees in 120 games or more in 1969, 1970 and 1971. He also had appearances for the Yankees in 1967 and 1972. He played five games for the Cleveland Indians in his final season in 1973.

Jerry Kenney @ baseball-references.com

Jerry Kenney @ baseball-almanac.comImage

Gene Alley – 1973 Topps #635

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ImageLeonard Eugene Alley (born July 10, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop who played his entire career for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a modest hitter and an exceptionally steady shortstop with good range and an accurate throwing arm. He won two Gold Glove Awards at shortstop and also two All-Star appearances on the strength of his glove. ImageHe spent most of his career turning double plays with Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski, and the two set a MLB record of 161 double plays in a season in 1966 that still stands. They also joined a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman duos to each win a Gold Glove the same season while playing together twice. Shoulder and knee problems ultimately ended his career and prevented him from realizing his full potential. On September 2, 1970, Alley hit an inside the park grand slam at Jarry Park in Montreal,against the Montreal Expos. With the bases loaded, facing Carl Morton, Alley hit a line drive which landed in front of center fielder Boots Day, who slipped on the wet grass. The ball rolled all the way to the wall in deepest center field, and all the baserunners and Alley scored.

Ted Martinez – 1973 Topps #161

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ImageTeodoro Noel Martínez Encarnación (born December 10, 1947 in Santa Cruz de Barahona, Dominican Republic) is a former professional baseball infielder. He played all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball, mostly as a shortstop and second baseman, for the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. ImageHe helped the Mets win the 1973 National League pennant, the Athletics win the 1975 American League West and the Dodgers win the 1977 and 1978 National League pennant. In 9 seasons he played in 657 games and had 1,480 at bats, 165 runs, 355 hits, 50 doubles, 16 triples, 7 home runs, 108 RBI, 29 stolen Bases, 55 walks (12 intentional), .240 batting average, .270 on-base percentage, .309 slugging percentage, 458 total bases, 25 sacrifice hits and 6 sacrifice flies.

Jackie Hernandez – 1973 Topps #363


Jacinto Hernandez Zulueta(born on September 11, 1940 in Central Tinguaro, Cuba) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and third baseman from 1965 to 1973. Hernández played for the 1971 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He also played for the Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals in his career.

Jack Heidemann – 1973 Topps #644


Jack Seale Heidemann (born July 11, 1949 in Brenham, Texas) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball shortstop who played from 1969 to 1977 with the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers. He attended Brenham High School. He is also the uncle of Brett Bordes, a minor league pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He is also related to Bordes’ father, Charles Bordes – who played minor league baseball – and grandfather, Bill Cutler, who is the former president of the Pacific Coast League. Originally drafted 11th overall by the Indians in 1967, he made his debut on May 2, 1969 at the age of 19. The sixth youngest player that year in the Majors, he appeared in three games, collected three at-bats and hit .000 in that time. He finished his career in 1977, playing his final game on May 10 of that year. Used almost entirely as a defensive replacement/pinch runner in the five games he played that year, he collected no hits in one at-bat, although he did score a run. Overall, he hit .211 in his career with 9 home runs and 75 RBI. He was a .966 career fielder. He compares most statistically to Alvarado, and he spent 5 seasons with Dick Tidrow, John Lowenstein and Phil Hennigan-longer than any other teammates. He collected his final hit off Dave Roberts and his final home run off Bill Lee.

Chris Speier – 1973 Topps #273


Christopher Edward Speier(born June 28, 1950) is a former Major League Baseball player and current bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds. He was drafted second overall in the January secondary 1970 Major League Baseball Draft. Speier played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues as a shortstop for the Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and briefly for the St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins during the 1984 season. He accrued a career .246 batting average and a .970 fielding percentage. His overall playing strengths were his solid fielding and selective eye at the plate; he led the league in intentional walks in 1980 and 1981. He was also named to the National League All-Star team during the 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons as a member of the Giants. He won the 1987 Willie Mac Award for his spirit and leadership during his second time with the Giants.

Ed Brinkman – 1973 Topps #5


Edwin Albert Brinkman  (December 8, 1941 – September 30, 2008) was a Major League Baseball shortstop. He played fifteen years in the Major League Baseball, led the American League in games played twice, won a Gold Glove Award at shortstop, and had a career batting average of .224. He was also named to the American League All-Star team in 1973. Brinkman was a high school teammate of Pete Rose at Cincinnati’s Western Hills High School. Paul “Pappy” Nohr, the baseball coach at Western Hills, described Rose as “a good ball player, not a Brinkman.” Based on their performance in high school, scouts saw Brinkman rather than Rose as the future superstar. When he was a senior, Ed batted .460 and also won 15 games as a pitcher. Brinkman was paid a large (for the time) bonus of $75,000 by the Washington Senators in 1959. Brinkman later said: “Pete always kidded me that the Washington Senators brought me my bonus in an armored truck. Pete said he had cashed his at the corner store.” He has the record for the number of seasons (seven) with more than 400 at-bats, fewer than 15 home runs, and a batting average lower than .230. Since 1930 only one player with 5000+ at-bats has a lower average. Brinkman’s batting average would have been even worse if it were not for Ted Williams. Brinkman hit .266 and .262 in 1969 and 1970 while playing for Washington Senators teams managed by Williams. Excluding those two seasons, Brinkman’s lifetime average was .214. He committed a then-record low seven errors in 156 games for the division-winning Tigers in 1972. Even with a .203 average, Brinkman was hailed as one of the team’s most valuable players, and he won a Gold Glove that season. Brinkman died on September 30, 2008 due to complications from lung cancer.

*Note: The card and Wikipedia tell two different accounts on the bonus paid by the Washington Senators.

Ozzie Smith – 1991 Donruss #240

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Osborne Earl “Ozzie” Smith (born December 26, 1954) is an American former baseball shortstop who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals from 1978 to 1996. Nicknamed “The Wizard” for his defensive brilliance, Smith set major league records for career assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590) by a shortstop (the latter since broken by Omar Vizquel), as well as the National League (NL) record with 2,511 career games at the position; Smith won the NL Gold Glove Award for play at shortstop for 13 consecutive seasons (1980–1992). A 15-time All-Star, he accumulated 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases during his career, and won the NL Silver Slugger Award as the best-hitting shortstop in 1987. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2002.

Cal Ripkin – 1991 Donruss #223

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Calvin Edwin “Cal” Ripkin,Jr. (born August 24, 1960), nicknamed “Iron Man”, is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001). Ripken is perhaps best known for breaking New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played, a record many deemed unbreakable. He surpassed the 56-year-old record when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game on September 6, 1995, between the Orioles and the California Angels in front of a sold-out crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. To make the feat even more memorable, Ripken hit a home run in the previous night’s game that tied Gehrig’s record and another home run in his 2,131st game, which fans later voted as Major League Baseball’s “Most Memorable Moment” in MLB history. Ripken played in an additional 501 straight games over the next three years, and his streak ended at 2,632 games when he voluntarily removed his name from the lineup for the final Orioles home game of the 1998 season. His record 2,632 straight games spanned over seventeen seasons, from May 30, 1982, to September 20, 1998.

Dave Concepcion – 1973 Topps #554

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David Ismael Concepcion Benitez (born June 17, 1948), better known as Dave Concepción, is a former shortstop in Major League Baseball. He was born in Ocumare de la Costa, Aragua State, Venezuela. On August 25, 2007 the Cincinnati Reds retired jersey number 13 in honor of Concepción’s contributions to the team. On May 9, in a Reds 9-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Johnny Bench hit three home runs and drove in seven runs against pitcher Steve Carlton. It was the second time that Bench smashed three homers against Carlton in a game. However, a Concepción two-run tie-breaker homer in the ninth, off Barry Lersch, was the game-winner. Concepción had been named to the NL All-Star team, but on July 22, two days before the game he broke his ankle (sliding into 3rd base after moving from first base with Dennis Menke base hit against the Expos in the bottom of the 7th inning at Riverfront, fracturing the fibula of left leg) and missed the second half of the year.
NOTE: I was at the game in Riverfront Stadium the day Dave Concepcion broke his leg.

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