Friday, April 21, 2017

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1971 MINNIE MENDOZA

Here’s a “not really” missing 1971 Minnie Mendoza card that really came out well, for the long-time minor league player who got a cup of coffee in 1970:


Mendoza FINALLY got to the Majors after 16 years in the Minor Leagues, originally appearing way back in 1954!
In his MLB cup-of-coffee he appeared in 16 games with 16 at-bats, collecting three hits and batting .188.
But don’t let those numbers fool you. This guy flat out HIT in his 20 years in the Minor Leagues, collecting 2462 hits and batting .290!
Granted, most of his hitting was in the lower levels, but I’m curious as to why he didn’t get more of a shot in the Major League level after some really fine seasons.
After his brief ZMLB appearance he was back in the Minors until the 1973 season, where he played for Monterray in the Mexican League at the age of 39.
Pretty interesting career to look into!

6 comments:

  1. I'll say it came out really well! Where did you get such an awesome picture for a guy with such limited time in the bigs??

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  2. Thanks for turning me on to Minnie!

    His minor league record is fascinating. You can simultaneously question how he never made it to the majors (prior to 1970) and yet you can't see a lot of times in his career when he could/should have gotten a chance. Perhaps his one missed chance was in 1969 with the twins when he batted .333 for their AAA affiliate, BUT Minnie was already 35(!) and the division winning twins had Carew @ second, Cardenas @ short (5 years younger than Minnie) and MVP Killebrew @ third (not to mention a 24 year-old Graig Nettles). So you could see how it would be tough for him to break in then.

    By far, Minnie's biggest complaint would be why did he mire so long in the lower levels C, A, AA. Between 1954 and 1968 he only had 1 stop above AA (1962) and didn't light up the world with his bat. But he had many good-to-great seasons in AA that should have warranted more AAA playing time. In fact, Minnie played 10 full seasons (only 1 with less than 500 PA) with the Charlotte Hornets minor league team (A and AA levels). I wonder what the record is for most seasons with one minor league team. Minnie has to be up there on that list.

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  3. With 19 seasons in the minors, he batted .290 with 2,389 hits. One would think that someone could have used him in the majors at some point. Definitely a head-scratcher.

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    Replies
    1. **2,462 including the Mexican League.

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  4. It says that he broke camp with the Twins in '70; which was the season that Carew was out for much of the season with a knee injury. He also was once a first base coach for the Orioles.

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