Tuesday, October 20, 2015
no. 464 - aurelio rodriguez
Who is the man: Aurelio Rodriguez played for the Senators in 1970. In his only season with Washington during his 17-year career, he set career highs in home runs (19), RBIs (83) and stolen bases (15).
Can ya dig it: Rodriguez is airbrushed out of an Angels helmet there in Yankee Stadium. He played for the Angels from 1967-69 and I guess Topps never got him in a Senators uniform.
Right on: Rodriguez was traded to the Tigers in the big eight-player deal with the Senators that famously sent Denny McLain to Washington. With this card, this blog has now featured seven of the eight players in the deal. The only one yet to be featured -- McLain -- won't be seen for awhile.
You see that cat Rodriguez is a bad mother: Rodriguez won the Gold Glove in 1976, signaling the end to Brooks Robinson's 16-year reign as the Gold Glove third baseman for the American League.
Shut your mouth: Rodriguez is the original A-Rod.
No one understands him but his woman: Rodriguez is famously absent from his 1969 Topps card. In his place is the California Angels' bat boy Leonard Garcia. Some have surmised that Rodriguez was playing a prank, although that's doubtful because he barely spoke English when he came up to the majors in the late '60s. The mistake more likely happened in a mix-up in the Topps archives as it searched for a photo of Rodriguez (this was during the time when current players were not posing for Topps because the players union believed they were not being adequately paid).
(A word about the back): The Mexican Center League was a feeder league for the Mexican League and lasted from 1960-78. Among the other future major leaguers who began there was Fernando Valenzuela.