Thursday, December 25, 2014

#28 Vada Pinson, Hitting Coach

courtesy of tradingcarddb

courtesy of tradingcarddb

Vada Pinson was a young kid when he was signed by the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1956. He went through the minors quickly with his final stop being the 1958 season with the AAA Seattle Rainiers. He would spend the next 17 seasons in the big leagues with five teams. After 11 seasons in Cincinnati, Vada spent a season in St. Louis, two years in Cleveland, two with the Angels, and his final two seasons with Kansas City in 1974 and '75. He signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 1976 season, but was released at the opening of the season. During his career he put up what could be considered Hall of Fame numbers. Vada had collected 2757 hits with a .286 average and had 256 HR's and 305 SB's.

Because of his consistent hitting during his career, new Mariners manager Darrell Johnson tabbed Vada as his hitting coach for the new team coming to Seattle. He would hold that coaching position until Johnson and his staff were let go during the 1980 season. While Maury Wills was the manager in Seattle, Vada would coach with the White Sox in 1981. When the Mariners named Rene Lachemann the manager in 1982, he would come back and coach first base for Rene until he and his staff were let go during the 1983 season. The Detroit Tigers and Sparky Anderson would have Vada coach for them from 1985 through 1991. When the new expansion Florida Marlins came into existence, their first manager was Rene Lachemann and he would have Vada on his staff again for the 1993 and 1994 seasons. He would coach on two different expansion teams at their inception. On October 21, 1995, Vada Pinson suffered a stroke and passed away. He was just 57 years old.

Friday, December 19, 2014

#27 Diego Segui, Pitcher

If you want any quirky notes of the Mariners record book you will probably find Diego is connected to many of them. He is the only player to ever be part of two Seattle MLB franchises. He was drafted with the 14th pick from the Oakland A's in 1968 by the Seattle Pilots. He would be named the team's MVP for that ill fated 1969 season and because Charlie Finley wanted him back so badly, he would trade for him to come back from the new Milwaukee Brewers before the 1970 season. After stops in Oakland, St. Louis and Boston, the new expansion Mariners decided to purchase Diego from the Padres before the 1976 expansion draft at the age of 40. It was done as a stunt to the baseball fans in Seattle to bring back a Pilot. The Mariners thought is was so good that they made him the Opening Day starter and he would through the first pitch in team history. Diego would only be with the team for the first season in 1977 before being released.

Diego has a way with being with the original rosters of teams in his life. Before coming to the Mariners he played for the Hawaii Islanders in 1976. When the Islanders were started as a team in the PCL in 1961, one of those original players was Diego Segui. He was the only person to be a Pilot in 1969 and a Mariner in 1977. Diego was a man that could not let any chance to play baseball pass him by. After his time in Seattle for the second time, he went south and would spend 8 more seasons pitching in Mexico. He would be with the Cordoba Cafateros in 1978 and 1979, move on to the Reynosa Broncos from 1980 through 1982. In 1983 he would be with the Yucatan Leones, and 1984 would be a year with the Leon Bravos. Diego would spend his last year with the Mondove Acereros in 1985 and finally retire at the age of 47 or 48 depending on which reports you believe.

Diego would also create a baseball legacy by having his second son David also play in the majors. The Mariners being a team that was always able to see a marketing opportunity and needing a first baseman, would sign David after the 1997 season. The timing couldn't be better as the Mariners would move into the new Safeco Field in July 1999. That would mean that the old Kingdome would have to close it's Mariner chapter. On June 27th of that year the final Mariner game would be played under the dome. In a great ceremony of past and present players there was ceremonial final pitch in the Kingdome. The man that would throw that pitch would be none other than the man that threw the first, Diego Segui. The person that would receive it would be his son and current Mariner David. When the new park opened on July 15th David was a part of the team only to be traded 13 days later to the Toronto Blue Jays. Diego and his son David were part of one of the two Father-Son combinations in Seattle with Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. being the other.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

#26 Juan Bernhardt

One month before your 17th birthday you sign a free agent deal with the New York Yankees in 1970. You would be of top of the world thinking you hot the lottery right? I'm sure that is how Juan felt too. You don't think you will be in the Bronx the next day, but you would have high hopes. Juan would start the journey in 1971 working his way up through the Yankees minor league system. It was a slow climb for Juan to come up through the minors before seeing time with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs in 1976. Thanks to an injury, the Yankees brought Juan up to the big club in July of 1976 and he would spend the month with the team only to finish the year back in Syracuse. Thanks to a bit of luck, Juan was left unprotected by the Yankees and was the 10th pick by the Mariners in the 1976 expansion draft. The Mariners would have Juan on the Opening Day roster for the 1977 season.

 He would get his first chance with the new team on April 10th and put his name in the team record books. Juan hit the first home run in team history off Frank Tanana of the California Angels. Juan would see time in 1977 and in 1978 at Designated Hitter, 3rd Base, and 1st Base. He would stay with the team all season in 1977, but was split between Seattle and the AAA San Jose Missions in 1978. Juan would be a pinch hitter on April 8, 1979 getting a single and being pinch ran for. That would be the last action Juan would ever see in the majors as he would be sent to AAA with the Spokane Indians. Juan would be dealt to the Chicago White Sox in July 6th that year and would spend the rest of the year with the Iowa Oaks. In 1980 Juan decided to play with the Tabasco Planteros in Mexico. For the next two years in 1981 and 1982 he would be a player/manager with the Campache Piratas. Juan would start 1983 with the Piratas but without the mam\nagging duties, and would finish that year with the Aguascalientes Rieleros. Baseball can be a cruel sport with Juan seeing his time done at the age of 30 with much promise that just never materialized.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

#25 John Montague, Pitcher

In the 1965 draft the Chicago White Sox took a shot on John in the 15th round. He decided not to sign and went to school at Old Dominion University. Two years later, the Baltimore Orioles came calling in the 3rd round of the 1967 draft. John would weave his way through their minor league system only to find himself traded to the Montreal Expos at the beginning of the 1973 season. The good news is that would turn into John making the majors as a September call up in that season. While he did mediocre with the Expos, they decided in late 1975 that is was time for him to go and he was put on waivers only to be claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies weren't impressed to say the least and let John spend 1976 with the Oklahoma City 89er's in AAA. In November of 1976 the new Mariners team purchased his contract and brought him in to be part of the new team in Seattle. He would spend the entire season here, and was sidelined off and on in 1978 with a hip pointer. John would still be in Seattle during the All Star season of 1979 only to be traded down the coast to the California Angels in late August for a  player to be named that would eventually be Jim Anderson. Jim would stay with the Angels until he was released before the 1981 spring training and would spend that year's camp with the Blue Jays but was let go before the season. Deciding that he wasn't done, John went south of the border to play for the Aguascalientes Rieleros in Mexico and was with them in 1981 and 1982, before spending some time with the Mexico City Tigres in 1982. At the age of 35 and two years in Mexico, Mr. Montague gave and b=called it quits from baseball.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

#24 Frank MacCormack, Pitcher


Frank MacCormack was a guy that grew up in New Jersey and would attend Rutgers University. From college he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1974. He would finally make it to the big leagues in 1976 and appear in 9 games. After that season the new expansion Seattle Mariners saw some potential in Frank and with the 8th selection in the expansion draft they brought him into the Mariners organization. Due to a limited minor league system in their first year he would start the season with the class A Bellingham Mariners. It didn't tske long for Frank to come south to the big club. He would start games for the Mariners on April 24th and 28th and again on May 3rd. In those three starts he would go 4 innings in the first two and didn't get out of the first in the last. Because the Mariners didn't have their own AAA club in 1977 he would spend the rest of the season with the Toledo MudHens.

With a full system in in 1978, the Mariners decided that being only 23 years old that Frank could use some more time in the minors and would spend the season with the AAA San Jose Missions. Because of not having a good year in 1978 the Mariners decided before the 1979 season to release Frank. He would sign back with his original team in the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers had Frank play for the AAA Montgomery Rebels that season which would be his last season in baseball.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

#23 Stan Thomas, Pitcher / Luis "Puchy" Delgado, Outfield

Stan was a pitcher that would go the Washington Senators in the 27th round of the draft in 1971. As we all know that team would move to Arlington and become the Texas Rangers in 1972. During Billy Martin's first season as manager in 1974, Stan would get his first call to the big leagues. He would spend all of the 1975 season in the hot Texas summer heat. After the 1975 season, the Rangers shipped Stan to the Cleveland Indians. Stan would stay in the bullpen for all of the 1976 season in Cleveland. After a rather good season with the Tribe, the Mariners decided to use their 9th pick in the expansion draft and choose Stan for the team. Sadly, the pitcher the Mariners got in 1977 was a disaster. Stan would go 2-6 in 13 games of which 9 were starts. Stan would not pitch for the Mariners after July of that season, and in August he was shipped off to the Yankees in a trade. After a brief stop in AAA Syracuse, Stan would make the Yankees roster in September. The Yankees would send Stan to the White Sox in that off season only to be released before spring training. He would play in the Rangers system with the AAA Tucson Toros in 1978. The next year would see Stan go south of the border literally. The Maracaibo Petroleros de Zulio would be home in 1979 and Stan would head to the Mexico City Tigres for 1980. Stan would call it quits at age 30 after two seasons in Mexico.

Sometimes in an expansion draft as you get into the later picks, some guys are just chances taken to fill out the roster. The Mariners decided with the 28th pick to take Luis Delgado out of the Red Sox organization. Luis had spent the last four years in the minors, never getting past A ball except for two games late in 1976. The Mariners would leave Puchy with the Red Sox AAA team in Pawtucket for most of the 1977 season. The Mariners did not have a farm system yet so guys were spread all of the minor leagues. When the time came to expand the rosters in September, the M's gave Luis a shot with the club. Sadly, he was not too lucky in the big leagues only getting four hits in his 23 plate appearances. The Mariners would keep Luis in the organization as a member of the AAA San Jose Missions in 1978. Near the end of the 1979 spring, the Mariners sent Puchy to the Chicago Cubs for Larry Cox. Luis would split that season between the Wichita Aeros and the Omaha Royals. Luis would be done after that season and would leave baseball at age 25.

from ootp developments

from 1977 Topps update blog

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#22 Darrell Johnson, Manager

Darrell was one of those guys in the 1950's that played in the heyday, but never was a star or could stay consistently in the majors. He was a catcher that would see time on more teams than a star. After seeing his final playing time with the Orioles in 1962, the team installed him as their manager of the AAA Rochester Red Wings in 1963 and he would even make an appearance at bat in 1965 as the manager. The Orioles decided to move Darrell to the AA Elmira Pioneers for 1966. In the 1968 season, he made the jump to being a pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox for Dick Williams and would also serve in that role in the next season.

It was decided that in 1971, Darrell would manage again in the minors. He would take the helm of the AAA Louisville Colonels in the Red Sox organization. After the 1972 season Darrell would stay on the manage the team that was now the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1973 all the way to a league title. After Boston management saw Eddie Kasko go 88-73 in the 1973 season, and Eddie Popowski win for a 1-0 record, the Sox brought to Boston. Darrell would do well in Beantown, taking the Red Sox to the World Series and nearly winning it in 1975. During his third season in 1976 long time Sox owner Tom Yawkey would pass from leukemia and Darrell would be fired shortly after with a 41-45 record to be replaced by Don Zimmer. When the new team in Seattle was born, the Mariners tabbed Darrell as the man to captain the ship on it's maiden voyage in the Kingdome.

Darrell would find it hard to have success with the Mariners that were starting out new with players that were past their prime, or never were or would be. In the first season of 1977, he would do what Joe Schultz did with the Pilots going 64-98. In his second season, they would fall farther back going 56-104 in 1978. The All Star game would come to Seattle in 1979 being the highlight of the baseball season. Those Mariners would go 67-95. Darrell would make it through more than half of the 1980 season going 39-65 before being replaced after August 3rd by the inept as a manager Maury Wills. Darrell would see his record as manager of the Seattle finish at 226-362 for a 384 winning percentage. At the start of the 1981 season, Darrell would resurface as a coach on the Texas Rangers staff under Don Zimmer. Don would be fired on July 30th, 1982 and Darrell would finish the season the helm of the Rangers at 26-40. The Rangers would bring on Doug Rader to take over in 1983, and Darrell would be a coach for the New York Mets. Darrell would move on to be a minor league coordinator of instruction and long time scout for the team.

Sadly, the Mariners lost their first skipper to leukemia on May 3rd, 2004 at the age of 75 in Fairfield, California.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#21 Tommy McMillan, Shortstop

You would think that maybe coming out of Jacksonville University in the second round of the 1973 draft would be a good thing. My mind would think you would be on a faster track to the Cleveland Indians than other players. For Tommy that was not the case. After getting his feet wet in AA San Antonio, he would also see AAA Oklahoma City in 1973. The next two years were also spent trying to get past OKC. The Indians were pretty set at SS with Frank Duffy, so Tom would split the 1976 season between the Toledo Mud Hens and the Iowa Oaks in the AAA ranks with never a September call up. The break he was looking for might have come with the 17th pick in the expansion draft, the Mariners selected Tommy. It didn't work that way though as the Mariners would use Craig Reynolds at short in 1977 and Tom would be a Rochester Red Bird and a New Orleans Pelican for most of that season. Tommy would get his first chance after coming to play defense in the bottom of the 8th inning on September 17th in KC. He didn't get an AB but made an out in his first chance. A few days later, Darrell Johnson gave him the start at SS in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Sadly, Tommy would go 0 for 5 in that game with a fly ball to LF, a ground out to the pitcher, a pop up to the catcher, a fly ball to the second baseman, and a ground out to 2B.

That would be it for Tommy, as the Mariners decided to put him with the AAA San Jose Missions for the 1978 season. In December of that off season, the Mariners would send him with Rick Jones and Enrique Romo to the Pirates for Odell Jones, Mario Mendoza, and Rafael Vasquez. The Pirates decided to put Tommy with the AA Buffalo Bisons for the 1979 season with Tim Foli and Dale Berra holding down short for the eventual World Champions. After that season, we would see Tommy no more in professional baseball. Congrats to Tommy for seeing the big leagues for a brief moment!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

#20 Tommy Moore/ Jimmy Sexton, Pitcher/ Shortstop

Tommy Moore was in college in Cerritos, CA and would be chosen by the Minnesota Twins in 1969. He decided not to play for them and would stay in school only to be chosen the next year by the New York Mets. Tommy decided to take a chance and would slowly make his way through the Mets system to get a chance in three games in 1972 and 1973. Tommy would spend 1974 with the Tidewater Tides in 1974 and would be sent to the St. Louis Cardinals after that season for Joe Torre. After getting to see a little time with the Redbirds, Tommy was sent to the Texas Rangers in June of that same '75 season.  The Rangers thought it was best for Tommy to be with the Sacramento Solons for the 1976 season, and the Mariners would buy his contract after that season. The Mariners coaching staff decided to have Tommy in the bullpen to start the season, and he would hit the mound in 14 games before spending the rest of the season with the Spokane Indians in AAA. After the first season in Seattle, the team sent Tommy and Carlos Lopez to Baltimore for Mike Parrott. The Orioles would let Mr. Moore go after the spring of 1978 and that would be last we would see of Tommy Moore.

from 1977 Topps update blog

Tommy's 1990 Senior League card from the trading card database

Jimmy Sexton was more than happy to sign with a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent in the summer of 1970. It was a slow progression for him through the farm system for a marginal player with many good players ahead of him to the goal of the Pirates infield. After playing at AA Shreveport and AAA Charleston in the 1976 season, the Pirates would send Jimmy and Craig Reynolds to the Mariners in December to bring Grant Jackson to the Steel City. With Craig implanted to play for the M's, Jimmy would play for the San Jose Missions in 1977. When Seattle expanded rosters in September, Jimmy finally got his chance seeing his first time on September 2nd and would get into 14 games during that 1977 season. Two days short of being brought to Seattle, Jimmy would be sent to the Houston Astros to bring Leon Roberts to the Mariners. Jimmy would get good time for two years in Houston but would eventually get sent to Oakland, and would see AAA and major league time with the A's, White Sox, and Cardinals systems. Jimmy decided after a few games in AAA in 1984 he told the Cardinals he was done with baseball at age 32.

from 1977 Topps update blog

Jimmy's first appearance on a baseball card

Saturday, February 15, 2014

#19 Bob Galasso, Pitcher

If you were an 18 year old kid and don't get drafted you would be disappointed. That would change if you were signed by a pitching rich team like the Baltimore Orioles. If you aren't a pitcher on that level of ability though, you can expect to spend some time in the minor leagues working on your game. If you really haven't had any good seasons and suddenly you turn it all around at AAA Rochester in 1976, you think good things. For Bob all it got him was unprotected for the expansion draft, and he would be chosen with the 21st pick by the Seattle Mariners. Because the Mariners didn't have a set farm system for the first year, players were all over the minors. Bob would spent a little time with the Toledo Mud Hens, and the New Orleans Pelicans in 1977. Finally on July 24th of the season, Bob made it to the majors with the Mariners for the first of 11 games. Seattle would let Bob go after spring training in 1978 and was quickly signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Bob would stay in AAA for 1978, and would start 1979 in AAA only to spend most of the rest of the season in Milwaukee. Sadly, he would find his way back to AAA for the 1980 season. As is common, history would repeat itself as Bob would be released by the Brewers at the end of the 1981 spring, only to be signed by the Mariners. After a little time as a Spokane Indian, Bob would come across the state and be back with the Seattle Mariners. After being out of baseball for two seasons, Bob tried to come back with the Atlanta Braves in 1984, but would be with AAA Richmond that year and would let the game go after that year.

Bob didn't get a card for 1977, but Topps would use a picture from that season on his 1982 card. Bob wore 19 for that first season, and in 1981 the uniforms had changed and Bob wore 43 that year.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

#18 Joe Lis/ Kevin Pasley, 1st Base/ Catcher

What do you do when you are consummate AAAA player? You the guy that's too good for AAA, but can't cut it as a major leaguer. That would be the ultimate description for a guy like Joe Lis. After bouncing up and down with the Philadelphia Phillies for a few seasons, Joe was able to try his hand with the Minnesota Twins. He was not able to find consistent time with the Twins due to an influx of better players, so Joe took his game to the Cleveland Indians. Sadly, Joe found it hard to translate his AAA ability to the big leagues. The break that Joe was probably hoping for came when the Seattle Mariners used their 23rd pick in the expansion draft to bring Joe to Seattle.  It didn't really come to be for Joe in Seattle as he only played in nine games in the first month, but did make his first attempt as a catcher on April 13th. Joe would last see the big leagues on May 8th and would play in Iowa and Toledo the rest of the 1977 season. Joe would take his talents to the Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan for 1978, only to come back to the AAA Evansville Triplets for one last go. Joe would go on to coach the American Legion team from Evansville and would be followed by his son Joe Jr, who went from making it to AAA to coaching. Joe would also start the Joe Lis Baseball School in Indiana. Sadly, an original Mariner would sail his final voyage when at the age of 64, Joe succumbed to prostate cancer in 2010.


Since Joe didn't get but nine games as a Mariner with the #18 uniform, you would think that if you were Kevin Pasley  you might not want the number next. Kevin was a catcher whose career path had kind of similarly mirrored Joe's. Kevin was a decent player in the minor leaguers coming up through the Dodgers organization out of high school in the Bronx. Kevin was given spot chances to shine in the end of a couple of seasons, but having star players in front of you at the position doesn't help your cause. After being named one of the "Dodgers players to watch" in 1977 by Baseball Digest, Kevin spent most of that season back with the AAA Albuquerque Dukes for the team. Finally on September 8th, the Mariners would purchase Kevin's contract form Los Angeles. Kevin would only see four games for the M's in '77, but would find his way into 25 games behind the plate for the M's in the 1978 season. For his coup de grace, Kevin would homer for last MLB hit on October 1, 1978 off the Texas Rangers' Fergie Jenkins. That is of little consequence except that only two players have homered in their last hit and had their number retired. Those two would be Ted Williams, and Kevin Pasley. Of course the only reason Kevin's # was retired was because somehow he wore #4 for the Dodgers but it was retired for Duke Snider who was with the team in Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1947 through the 1962 season. Kevin would bounce around through many AA and AAA teams for seasons from 1979 through 1982 before finally hanging up the spikes.

Three of the four guys on this card would all see time in Seattle, with only Don Werner being the only one that didn't wear a Mariner uniform. How is that for prophecy on Topps' part??

Sunday, February 2, 2014

#17 Glenn Abbott, Pitcher

I would think if you were picked in the 8th round in 1969 for an up and coming team you would think you have a good shot to make it. That's what happen for Glenn Abbott. Glenn would work his way through to make it as part of the 1973 A's that would go on to win a World Series title without him. He would be on the roster and win a ring with them the next year in 1974 though. Glenn would be part of history as the Athletics were the first team to throw a four man combined no hitter during the 1975 campaign. After the 1976 season the A's left Glenn unprotected and with the 12th pick in the expansion draft he was plucked up by the Mariners and dropped into the starting rotation.

Glenn was excited to follow pitching coach Wes Stock up to Seattle, but didn't realize the growing pains that came with an expansion team. He would win 12 games during the 1977 season which was just under 20% of the team's wins for the season.  During those first seasons, many players would come and go. The only constants were Glenn and longtime broadcaster Dave Niehaus. Sadly during the spring training of 1982 Glenn would have bone chips removed from his elbow, but couldn't get healthy afterward only to find that he had contracted viral meningitis. Due to loss of strength and weight it would cost Glenn all of the 1982 season. He would come back with the M's in 1983 only to have his contract purchased by the Detroit Tigers in August and would make it a year in the Motor City before being released in August of 1984 before the Tigers would make their championship run against the Padres.

Glenn was without work for long after calling it quits in 1984. Glenn has been a pitching coach in many cities since retiring including stops in Little Falls, Jackson, Tidewater, Huntsville, Tacoma, Midland, Modesto, Oklahoma, Spokane, Mobile, San Antonio, Portland, Savannah, and since 2012 he has been the pitching coach for the Binghampton Mets. You will find Glenn in the dugout with those Mets again for the 2014 season.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

#16 Gary Wheelock, Pitcher

When you are a kid playing baseball your dream is to play for your hometown team. For Gary that was the case. After attending high school in Fullerton and going to college at UC Irvine, he would be selected by the California Angels in the 6th round of the 1974 draft. Gary would pack up and head for Quad Cities for almost the rest of the season only to be promoted to Salinas for two games to finish the season. Mr. Wheelock would make a big jump moving to AAA Salt Lake City for the 1975 and 1976 seasons. Gary did so well in his second season in Salt Lake that he earned a call to the Angles to end the '76 season and got lit up in two appearances with only two innings pitched.  During the expansion draft for the 1977 season, the Mariners saw something they liked by taking Gary with the second pick in the draft. While it is difficult to have good stats with an expansion team, Gary would start 17 games for manager Darrell Johnson during the that season. Sadly with the addition of some pitchers in the offseason, Gary would be at AAA San Jose in 1978, and when the Mariners switched their AAA affiliation to Spokane, Gary spent 1979 in Eastern Washington. Gary would see the Mariners one more time for a start in the Kingdome against the Minnesota Twins on April 18th before spending the rest of the 1980 season back in Spokane. The Mariners would let Gary go after the 198 season, and he would sign with his other team from home in the Dodgers. Gary would get into 9 games in 1981 with the AA San Antonio Dodgers. After those nine games, he would become their pitching coach for that season and for the 1982 season.

The Mariners decided to bring Gary back to the family by hiring him as the roving pitching instructor between 1983 and 1986. Gary would decide to take a job with the AAA affiliate of the Rangers in the Oklahoma City 89'ers during the 1987 season under manager Toby Harrah. He would come back to the Mariners family in 1988 spending time as the pitching coach with the Bellingham Mariners for four seasons. Gary would be the pitching coach for the San Bernadino Spirit in 1992, before coaching the Peoria Mariners from 1993 through the 1995 season. For the next three years it was back to the Everett AquaSox, only to head back to Peoria from 1999-2002 and once more in Everett in 2003. Gary decided he liked the warm weather more and would be the pitching coach in Peoria from 2004 through the 2011 seasons. This upcoming season will be Gary's 31st in the Mariners organization as a coach while he spends his third season as the Rehab Pitching Coordinator.





Sunday, January 19, 2014

#15 Bob Stinson, Catcher

You must have some talent if in June of 1965 the Kansas City Athletics draft you in the 3rd round, and the Washington Senators choose you again in the 1st round in January of 1966. Bob decided that he didn't want to sign with either club and was again selected, this time 15th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bob would work his way through rookie ball all the way to AAA Spokane in the Dodgers minors. On September 23, 1969 Bob was finally able to see the big leagues with the Dodgers. He would get a chance in 4 games in both 1969 and 1970, but with both Tom Haller and Jeff Torborg as regular catchers and Joe Ferguson coming up Bob was expendable. Right after the 1970 season, the Dodgers sent Bob to the Cardinals with Ted Sizemore for Dick Allen. A short time in St. Louis would find Scrap Iron moving to Houston in a trade for future one game Mariner manager Mariner Marty Martinez. A future with the Astros didn't seem apparent either when his contract was purchased by the Montreal Expos. Bob was given sparing playing time with the Expos, and was traded to the Kansas City Royals before the 1975 season. For two seasons in KC, there was a lot of time on the bench as Bob was used only at times and not on a regular basis.

On November 5th of 1976, the Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays were able to select players from current MLB rosters in the expansion draft. With their 13th pick in the draft the Mariners selected Bob from the Royals organization. As a veteran wit big league experience, Bob was immediately thrust into the job of everyday starting catcher for the new club. "Scrap Iron" would hold it down behind the plate for the first two Mariner seasons in the Kingdome and on the road. Before the 1979 season the M's picked up Larry Cox from the Cubs, and Bob was starting to play less. By the next year in 1980 the Mariners also now had Jerry Narron in the catching rotation and Stinson was basically forgotten about and was not playing nearly at all. Bob saw his last action on August 1st of that 1980 season, and was subsequently released by the team a week later. Bob was done with baseball by the time the 1980 season was done, but Bob will always be part of the original Mariner history.