Monday, September 30, 2013

no. 218 - tony cloninger

Who is the man: Tony Cloninger was entering his second-to-last major league season in 1971, trying to hang on as a regular member of the Reds' starting rotation.

Can ya dig it: This is the last time that Cloninger appears in a non-airbrushed baseball uniform. He is a high-number card in the 1972 set, wearing an airbrushed Cardinals cap.

Right on: Nobody has come out to see Cloninger pretend to throw.

You see this cat Cloninger is a bad mother: Cloninger is most often cited for his bat. In a 1966 game no one will forget, Cloninger hit two grand slams and drove in nine runs against the Giants. That wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime offensive performance. Cloninger could hit. He once pitched a one-hitter and hit a home run against the Mets.

Shut your mouth: Cloninger won 24 games for the Braves in 1965. It's got to be one of the quietest 24-win seasons in the last 50 years. No one talks about it.

No one understand him but his woman: Cloninger had one of the best fastballs of the 1960s. But in a decade that featured Koufax, Gibson, Marichal, Drysdale, Sam McDowell and Jim Maloney, his name doesn't come up much.

(A word about the back): Thank you for mentioning the 24 wins, bio writer. Cloninger was bothered by wildness periodically and led the league in walks and wild pitches that 1965 season, too.


  1. There is a new 1972 set blog that starts at 787 and works backwards. By coincidence, Cloninger's is the featured card on that blog today also:

  2. Hey, he talking about my blog! Thanks, I haven't had this kind of publicity since the new phone book came out!