Wednesday, September 12, 2012

no. 92 - fred wenz

Who is the man: Fred Wenz was a relief pitcher for the Phillies who appeared in a career-high 22 games in 1970. He would not play in another major league game after this card was issued.

Can ya dig it: I wonder how many kids Wenz confused with this pose? He's posing as a catcher, yet he's a pitcher.

Right on: Wenz seems like an absolute character. From his chaw-aided grin to his glorious signature.

You see this cat Wenz is a bad mother: Wenz pitched for 10 seasons in the minor leagues before getting to the majors. He didn't even make it to Triple A until after he had been playing professionally for seven seasons. That's persistence. And a little bit of bad-assness.

Shut your mouth: In an interview with Phillies alumni, Wenz was asked what career he would have chosen if he didn't play baseball. Wenz said he would've gone with his "first love" and become a veterinarian.

No one understands him but his woman: This is Wenz's only solo card. He appears on a Red Sox three-player rookie card in the 1969 set.

(A word about the back): Wenz's nickname was "Fireball," which I know to be the nickname of 1950s Cincinnati Reds reliever Frank Smith. I suppose it was a common name back them for those pitchers with a mean fastball.


  1. No way I would have guessed this guy was 6'3" and 214 lbs. from that picture. He looks about Freddy Patek in size!

  2. I had this card. I discovered it around the house several years after 1971. It is an odd pose, odd name, and a pretty unusual career, in that he never pitched in a game after 1970. And his early minor league career is even more strange, for he was horrible in low minors but some how stuck it out and was OK in AA and AAA. Still a 3-0 mlb career is cool (although most likely it was more luck than skill).

  3. This is the only Phillies player in the 1971 set NOT pictured in the new uniform that was worn from the start of 1970.

    (Maybe the Phils' minor-leaguers didn't get the new uniforms right away, and this is his minor-league photo?)

  4. The Phillies had a bunch of the floating head pics on teh back of their card in '71. I remember Denny Doyle's looking particularly funny.

  5. I would've thrown that in my catcher binder...thanks for the heads up!

  6. That is a great signature. I've got Fred's and some other beauts right here: