Monday, September 14, 2015

no. 451 - joe keough

Who is the man: Joe Keough posted his career-high in batting average in 1970, finishing at .322, but his season ended prematurely when he broke his leg sliding into home against the Angels at the end of June. The injury helped shorten his career.

Can ya dig it: Keough has a baby face but he was a stud athlete. He was highly recruited and an outstanding quarterback who once tried to play football and baseball for Arizona State (it didn't work out). 

Right on: This is the third of just four baseball cards of Keough, and his cards are pretty good, particularly the glorious bat rack debut in 1969.

You see that cat Keough is a bad mother: Keough hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, a pinch-hit shot off the Yankees' Lindy McDaniel in 1968. Keough also supplied the first game-winning hit in Kansas City Royals history, a pinch-hit single in the 12th inning against the Twins in the Royals' first game.

Shut your mouth: Keough came up in the A's organization and knew all of the future Swingin' A's players, like Reggie Jackson and Sal Bando, from his college days. When he was selected by the Royals in the expansion draft, Keough admitted to being disappointed. He said his first reaction was "Why me?"

No one understands him but his woman: Keough's mother, Eleanor, raised three pro ball players. Joe's older brother, Marty, was an outfielder for several teams, including the Red Sox, Reds and Senators. Another brother, Tom, played briefly in the Red Sox minor league organization. (Marty's son is former A's starting pitcher Matt Keough, who later become famous -- again-- through reality television).

(A word about the back): There you see the .322 batting average. He was sixth in the American League in the category when he broke his leg.

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