Saturday, June 5, 2010
The Nitty Gritty Card of the Day
Today’s Nitty Gritty Card of the Day is card #90 of Rich “Red” Rollins from 1965 Topps baseball. I think what I like most about this card is it puts a face to his name. Now I imagine this guy hauling ass around the bases going for three and trying to not lose his glasses. Awesome. Rich Rollins was the Twins third baseman from 1962 till 1968. His ride to the majors came quick. He signed a contract with the Washington Senators in the summer of 1960 out of Kent State University. He was immediately sent to their short season Class B team in the Carolina League, the Wilson Tobs. The next year he started in A level, jumped to AAA and ended the ’61 season with the Twins in Minnesota batting .294 in 13 games. He started 1962 with the big club and never looked back. He started BOTH All Star Games in 1962 and batted leadoff. He was also the leading vote getter that year. He was 2-5 (.400) in both games with a run scored. He finished the year in ’62 batting .298 with 16 homers and 96 RBI and finished 8th in the MVP vote. Mickey Mantle took home the award with guys like Al Kaline and Harmon Killebrew finishing behind him. Rollins batted .307 in ’63 and in ’64 He batted .270 with 10 triples. That tied him with his teammate Zoilio Versalles for the league lead. The next year his Twins were AL Pennant winners, but towards the end of the year and through the playoffs Harmon Killebrew was shifted to third base. Rollins spent the next few years as a part time player in Minnesota before being drafted by the Seattle Pilots in the expansion draft. They also picked up Tommy Harper who played third base as well, so Rollins played second fiddle again. He signed with the Brewers for the start of the 1970 season and made a final stop in Cleveland for 42 games before playing his final game on 9-26-1970. He ended his career at 32 with a .269 batting average, 20 triples, 77 homers and 399 RBI. I love this game and ALL of its many stars. I love this hobby and I love ’65 Topps! 45 years LATER!