Swings and misses

2008 Upper Deck 

The Rookie of the Year in 1969, Lou Piniella spent 18 years playing in the majors, most notably for the New York Yankees. He was with the Kansas City Royals, however, when he hit .282 with 11 home runs to claim top rookie honors. Piniella went on to play in one All-Star Game and finish in the MVP vote four times. He participated in four World Series, winning with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978. Piniella went on to manage five teams including the Yankees and Chicago Cubs. He guided the Cincinnati Reds to the World Series championship in 1990 and was named Manager of the Year three times.

LFHP Autograph Card

One of the 100-oldest-living players, Dick Lane appeared in 12 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1949. He had five hits in 42 at bats before returning to the minors. Lane’s daughter replied to our letter, letting us know he unfortunately has Alzheimer’s. While he was unable to complete the questionnaire he was still able to sign his name.

1955 Bowman

Another of the 100 oldest, Dick Smith appeared in 70 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1951-1955. He hit .134 in the big leagues with 17 runs scored and 11 RBI.

1974 Topps

An all star in 1965, Ed Kranepool played for the New York Mets for 18 seasons, posting a .261 career average with 118 home runs. He was a member of the 1969 Mets’ team that won the World Series, although he played in just one game of that year’s Fall Classic.

1979 Topps

Duane Kuiper spent 12 years playing in the majors, breaking in with the Cleveland Indians in 1974 and finishing with the San Francisco Giants in 1985. He hit .271 for his career with one home run. Kuiper is currently one half of the Giants’ broadcast team.

1979 Topps

A 16-game winner for the San Francisco Giants in 1977, Ed Halicki went 55-66 over seven seasons spent pitching mostly with the Giants. Halicki also won 12 games for San Francisco in 1976.

Letters sent to Alan Trammell, Jim Kern, Ray Knight, Bob Horner and Jim Kaat were all returned with bad addresses.


Published by Chris

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

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