Saturday, December 18, 2010

#39 - Ken Suarez (TEX)

I don't remember this card from my youth, although I'm sure I had it then.  Ken's career seems to be filled with micro facts.  He played very few games, and his '73 campaign with the Rangers was his high point with 90 games played.  He was almost totally at catcher, except in 1968 he played one inning of left field for Cleveland, one inning of "outfield," one out at second base and two outs at third.  I wonder if those non-catcher appearances were in the same game, as if they did this to get somebody else to play all nine positions.

I found out some strange things about Suarez whilst doing some research.  Although he has a 1974 card, he never played in the majors in '74.  His last game was in Sept. of '73.  He was traded to the Indians just before the start of spring training in '74, and was one of the pieces in the Indians late '74 trade with the Angels for Frank Robinson.  I'm wondering if Ken was in the minors for the '74 season (and beyond?) and was involved in two trades as a minor leaguer, and this is the reason why he has no further major league stats.  He has no card in the Trades set.

Cartoon:  Ken is a deputy sheriff, but it doesn't say where.  I'm sure it's not Mayberry.  Well, I wonder.  When did the Andy Griffith show go off the air?  Could Ken have replaced deputy Fife?  He probably would have been good at catching criminals with a baseball bat.  Louisville Slugger?

Ballpark background:  Ken is posing here at the big ballpark in the Bronx.  Yankee Stadium as it is also known. 

1 comment:

  1. That 1968 game of "OF" is the same as his "LF", baseball reference adds LF, CF and RF together for OF though it looks weird if there's only one position in the OF.

    He played LF on June 13, 1968. He replaced Chico Salmon in LF in the top of the 11th. Salmon was the last batter in the bottom of the 10th on a pop-out, so something must have happened to Chico. Oakland beat Cleveland 1-0 when Sal Bando doubled to LF scoring Danny Cater. I wonder if Suarez played it into a double?

    His 2B / 3B experience was on June 3, in another extra inning game - this time against the ChiSox. Suarez replaced Max Alvis in the top of the 14th. (Injury, illness, dunno?) He played one out there and then he and Salmon switched to second and third. I would have thought because of handedness (trying to hide Suarez from righties at third) but the lead off hitter in the inning was Aparicio, then they switched, and then Tom McCraw batted. Hmmm...

    He was done after 1973 - didn't go to the minors. I bet he was quietly taken off of the 40-man.