Friday, December 20, 2013

LONG TIME NO SEE: 1970 DANNY MURPHY (#146)

How's this for a guy who went a chunk of years between baseball cards?
When Topps issued a Danny Murphy baseball card in their 1970 set (#146), it was the first time Murphy appeared on a card since 1963.
Funny enough, in '63 Murphy was an outfielder for the North-side Chicago Cubs, yet when he resurfaced in 1970 he was now a pitcher for the South-side Chicago White Sox.
Take a look:

As a Cub outfielder in 1963...

...resurfacing as a White Sox pitcher in 1970.

Murphy made his big league debut back in 1960 as a seventeen-year-old, appearing in 31 games for the Cubs in the outfield.
Over the course of 75 at-bats he hit .120 with a homer and six runs batted in, which gave him a ticket back to the minors for the bulk of 1961 and 1962, though he did see a bit of time at the Major League level (18 games and 48 at-bats).
But for the next six years Murphy was stuck in Minor League ball playing for four organizations: Cubs, Indians, Astros and White Sox.
Though he did appear as a pitcher in two games while with the Cubs' B-Level Minor League team of Wenatchee in 1962, it wasn't until the White Sox got him that they converted him into a pitcher, hoping to turn his luck around.
Beginning in 1966 he was a full-on pitcher, starting 30 games for the Sox Double and Triple-A teams Evansville and Indianapolis, going a combined 11-12 with a 3.88 E.R.A.
After a few more decent years pitching in the Minors, Murphy finally made it back up to the Majors in 1969, appearing in 17 games for the South Siders and going 2-1 with a nice 2.01 earned run average.
The Sox thought enough of his performance that they had him back up in 1970 in a full-time middle relief role, appearing in 51 games for 80.2 innings, going 2-3 with a bloated 5.69 E.R.A.
Sadly for Murphy, that was the extent of his Major League action, as he found himself pitching for Boston's Triple-A affiliate Louisville team in 1971, posting a 1-2 record with a brutal 7.85 E.R.A., which would be the last pro-pitching he would do.
Oddly enough, Topps gave him a card in their 1970 set based on his 17 appearances in '69, but decided to exclude him from their 1971 set even though he posted those 51 appearances in 1970.
Go figure…

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