Card of the Moment #47
September 10th, 2010 by slangon

1964 Topps #370 Hal Woodeshick

Today’s Card of the Moment is a very well loved 1964 Topps card of Hal Woodeshick. I’ve made mention in past posts that I always enjoy getting cards from teams that are no longer in existence. Yes, I’m well aware that the Houston Colt .45’s are actually still around, they just changed their name. Well, in my mind, the Colt .45’s went out in a blaze of glory the year after this card came out. Anyway, out of all the teams that no longer exist any more, the Colt .45’s hold a special place in my heart because they’re named after either a gun or a malt liquor. Either way, it’s one of the most awesome team names I’ve ever heard.

They also happen to have one of the all-time greatest team logos, which you can get a very nice look at on Hal’s jersey. I’ve been lucky enough to track down a handful of other cards from the Colt .45’s, but I do believe that is the best display of that logo out of any of them.

Hal was a bit of a journeyman pitcher, playing 11 seasons with 6 different teams. He had started some games earlier in his career, but by the time 1963 rolled around, he was used strictly in relief. He seems to have been much more successful as a reliever since his ERA was 4.67 in games that he started, whereas it was only 2.88 in games he was used as a relief pitcher.

1963-65 were probably his best years. In ’63 he went 11-9 without starting a game and had 10 saves. He also struck out 94 in 114 innings that year and had a pretty slim 1.97 ERA. He also made it to the National League All-Star squad that summer. He pitched 2 scoreless innings in the All-Star game walking 1 and striking out Joe Pepitone, Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison. The only hit he gave up was a single to Brooks Robinson. He actually led the league in saves the year of this card with 23. This year, that would put him at 19th best in the Majors.

Interestingly, his very last appearance as a Major League pitcher came in game 6 of the 1967 World Series as a member of the Cardinals. He worked a scoreless 8th inning in an 8-4 loss to the Red Sox. In an odd bit of coincidence, even though he was taking over pitching duties for Jack Lamabe, the person he was officially replacing in the lineup was Card of the Moment #46 subject Dave Ricketts, who was in the game as a pinch hitter for Lamabe.

According to the back of his baseball card, he turned 32 the summer this card came out. Is it just me, or does he look like he’s about 52 on the front? Also according to the back of his baseball card, he threw lefty and batted righty. Being also someone who bats righty I’m well aware  that someone who bats righty has their left arm exposed to the pitcher. That doesn’t seem like such a smart thing for a guy who makes his living with his left arm, especially considering not even sissies wore elbow protectors at bat back then. I guess something like that might not matter so much for a relief pitcher, but he did make a combined 105 plate appearances with the .45’s and the Cardinals, when he was exclusively a reliever. Ah well, I guess guys were just a little tougher back then and didn’t worry about things like getting hit with 92 mph fastballs right in their livelihood.

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