Friday, July 1, 2011

Familiar Faces / Strange Places: Bert Campaneris / Yankees

It has been a long time since I have posted one of these.

Campy was one of the key contributors as the starting shortstop for the Oakland Athletics' dynasty teams of 1971 to 1975. As a member of those A's teams he won three straight World Championships and made six career All-Star appearances. He holds the A's franchise records for career games played (1795), hits (1882) and at bats (7180). He led the American League in stolen bases six times from 1965 to 1972 and retired with the seventh most steals in history (649).

His big league debut with Kansas City on July 23, 1964 was a memorable one as Campaneris belted two home runs, the first coming on the first pitch thrown to him by Jim Kaat. He is one of four players in major league history to hit two homers in his first game.

On September 8, 1965 as part of a special promotion featuring the popular young player, Campaneris became the first player to play every position in a major league game.

The 1972 post-season provided one of the most long lasting memories of Bert Campaneris. In Game 2 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, Campaneris already had three hits, two steals and two runs when in the 7th inning he faced pitcher Lerrin LaGrow. After a pitch hit him in the ankle, got angry and Campaneris threw his bat at LaGrow. The benches cleared, with Detroit manager Billy Martin going after Campaneris; both Campaneris and LaGrow were ejected. He was fined and suspended for the rest of the ALCS, as well as the first seven games of the next season, but was permitted to play in the World Series win over the Cincinnati Reds (which the A's won).

After the 1976 season, Campy took advantage of the launch of free-agency and signed with the Texas Rangers. In May 1979 he was traded to the California Angels. He spent 1982 in the Mexican League, before returning to the majors for a last hurrah in 1983 with Billy Martin's New York Yankees. In New York, he batted a career-high .322 in 60 games at second and third base before retiring.


Anonymous said...

Just discovered your site...*LOVE* these "strange places" cards. Great concept, great execution. Keep it up!

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