Swings and misses

Got three letters back over the weekend. Unfortunately none of them answered the survey. All of them signed my cards, so I suppose that’s something.

1959 Topps

Fairly slugged 215 home runs in a career that spanned 21 years and six different teams. Interestingly, he never hit 20 or more home runs in a season. Perhaps even more interesting is that his career high in home runs came in 1977 when he was 38-years old and smacked 19 during his one season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He consistently delivered double digits in the power category though, hitting 10 or more home runs 15 times, including in the final year of his career. Fairly was twice an all star (1973 and 1977) and played on three of the Los Angeles Dodgers World Series winning teams (1959, 1963 and 1965). Following his playing career, he worked as broadcaster for the Angels, Giants and Mariners. For more on Fairly, click here.


Veal spent six years in the big leagues, four of them with Detroit and one each with the Senators and the Pirates. A career .231 hitter, Veal never had more than 218 at bats in a season and never played more than 77 games. Considered a solid defender, Veal got into 77 games for the 1959 Detroit Tigers, but only had 104 plate appearances and just 89 at bats. I’m not that great at math, but even I can see that translates to just one about at bat per game played. Coot Veal – career stats.

1959 Topps

A three-time all-star, Bell was a solid pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox from 1958-1968. During that span he won 10 or more games eight times, with his best season coming in 1959 when he was 16-11 for the Tribe. While not a big time strikeout pitcher, Bell did manage 194 K’s in 254 innings for the 1966 Indians. He went 11-11 for the Red Sox in 1968, earning his final all-star game appearance in the process. His career concluded with one season pitching for the Seattle Pilots and one more with the Chicago White Sox. Overall, Bell won 121 games in his big league career. The roommate of pitcher/author Jim Bouton, Bell is featured in Bouton’s famous baseball memoir Ball Four. Gary Bell – career stats.

Published by Chris

Writer, historian, father, intrepid traveller, journalist, aging punk ... I am actually in a Hall of Fame.

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