Up on the blog today, we have a 1979 “Then & Now” Super Veteran card for former Chicago Cubs All-Star Don Kessinger, who wrapped up a nice Major League career as player-manager with the cross-town White Sox:
Originally up to the Majors in 1964 as a 21-year-old, he would play the first 12 years of his career on Chicago's North Side with the Cubbies, before moving on to the St. Louis Cardinals for a season and a half, then the Chicago White Sox for the last two and a half years of his 16-year career.
Kessinger was really a great player who gets lost over the years, making six all-star teams over his career, along with two Gold Gloves for such a great Cubs team at the time.
In 1969 Kessinger had perhaps his best season in the Big Leagues, collecting a career-best 181 hits, 38 doubles, 53 runs batted in and 109 runs scored.
In 1979, his last season of his career, he was also named manager of the White Sox before handing over the reigns to a young up and coming field general, a guy named Tony LaRussa.
For Kessinger, he would finish his career with 1931 hits, 899 runs, 100 stolen bases and a .252 batting average over 7651 at-bats and 2078 games played.
As a manager however, he didn't have the same result, lasting only 106 games into the 1979 season before getting let go, leading the team to a record of 46-60.
His replacement, Tony LaRussa, incredibly is STILL managing to this day, which boggles my mind.