Wednesday, December 23, 2015
no. 485 - ken mcmullen
Who is the man: Ken McMullen played his first season for the Angels in 1970 after being dealt from the Senators in late April of that year for outfielder Rick Reichart and third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez.
Can ya dig it: Another one of my early favorites from that first group of 1971 cards I obtained as a youngster.
Right on: I was oblivious to this when I first gained the card, but that is an excellent look at how the monuments in Yankee Stadium were in play before it was renovated in the mid-1970s. Since field dimensions were so deep, particularly in Yankee Stadium, it was fairly common to put foul poles and monuments in the outfield. They rarely interfered with play, although it did happen.
You see that cat McMullen is a bad mother: McMullen shed a reputation as a shaky fielder -- he led the league in errors in 1965 -- by establishing several fielding marks. He led AL third basemen in total chances each season from 1967-69 and once tied a record by starting four double plays in a game. He set an AL record with 11 assists in a game against the Red Sox, and was the league's putout leader at third in 1969.
Shut your mouth: McMullen's rookie card is one of my greatest white whales as a Dodger fan because the card is also Pete Rose's rookie card. I never liked that Rose guy.
No one understands him but his woman: McMullen's wife, Bobbie, died of breast cancer at age 30 in early April, 1974, mere months after giving birth to the couple's third child. McMullen continued to play in a backup role for the Dodgers, who wore black armbands in remembrance of Bobbie McMullen.
(A word about the back): The write-up doesn't specify, but if you were collecting cards in 1971, you knew that Lefty Phillips was the Angels manager.