#Hot Corner

H.C.B.C. - About those '64 Cardinals

Hunter Martin

In case you have't heard (or noticed at Baseball-Reference.com), the Society for American Baseball Research has published, and continues to publish, a great number of biographical articles about players (along with executives, ballparks, and other worth subjects). Thanks to good work and rigorous editing, the general quality of the articles is quite high; what they lack in style, they usually make up for in accuracy and comprehensiveness.

I've written a few articles for the BioProject, with another coming out soon. Ah, but there's a catch. When written specifically for a BioProject-related series of books, the articles appear only in print for a year or so after the book is published before hitting the Web. Hey, it's a business thing.

Anyway, there's a new book about the World Series-winning '64 Cardinals, and SABR's got a sneak preview featuring Tim McCarver:

McCarver's first stint with the Phillies ended in 1972 with a deadline trade to the Montreal Expos. Of the trade, McCarver said, "Being traded is something I'm acclimated to, but it would be easier to accept if the people being traded and their families were treated with respect." Two things bothered him: one is that he never heard from general manager Paul Owens, who traded him; and the other was that he just put $1,100 down on an apartment in Philadelphia.

His time in Montreal was brief, but for the first time in his big-league career he played other positions besides catcher. He appeared in six games as a third baseman and fourteen as an outfielder. The 1973 season saw McCarver return to his baseball roots in St. Louis. He appeared in 130 games — 77 of those were at first base — and he hit a respectable .266. The 1974 season saw another move: McCarver was sold to the Boston Red Sox in a stretch-drive move aimed at strengthening the bench for their pennant battle with the Baltimore Orioles...

See, this is why I read these things! I'd completely forgotten (if I ever knew) that McCarver was an Expo, and later a first baseman of sorts. Now he seems so much more real to me!

Seriously, maybe you don't still read "books" ... but I'll bet your granddad does. So if he was crazy about the Cardinals in the '60s, and you're looking for a worthy gift you could do a lot worse.

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