Monday, July 21, 2014
no. 311 - lee stange
Who is the man: Lee Stange had already been released by the White Sox when this card was pulled from packs. He would not play another major league game after 1970.
Can ya dig it: Stange's cap is blacked out because he's actually wearing Red Sox attire. He was picked up by the White Sox in June of 1970. You can see Topps chose a photo in which Stange's arm strategically blocks the Boston name on his uniform.
Right on: Blacked-out caps were a staple of cards issued in the late '60s and early '70s. I probably didn't discover them until the early '80s, but I remember being horrified by how they looked. They seemed very unprofessional to me. Whereas bad airbrushing sometimes escaped my attention, there was no way a blacked-out cap did.
You see this cat Stange is a bad mother: Stange won 12 games for the Twins in 1963 in a little more than a half a season. He was in the minors for the first half.
Shut your mouth: Stange's nickname was "Stinger," but he says he doesn't know who started calling him that.
No one understands him but his woman: Stange retired after the 1970 season and found himself the pitching coach of the Red Sox in 1972. "I had no idea a chance to coach in the major leagues would come so quickly," he said in a Sporting News article.
(A word about the back): I'm sure it's happened before, but I had never heard of someone pitching and being the team's bullpen coach at the same time.
Also note that Stange's sideburns are a lot longer in this photo than on the front, as the picture on the front is likely from 1969 or earlier.