Saturday, May 15, 2021

#154 Bob Humphreys - St. Louis Cardinals

Robert William Humphreys
St. Louis Cardinals

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  165
Born:  August 18, 1935, Covington, VA
Signed:  Signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent before 1958 season
Major League Teams:  Detroit Tigers 1962; St. Louis Cardinals 1963-1964; Chicago Cubs 1965; Washington Senators 1966-1970; Milwaukee Brewers 1970

A member of the 1964 World Champion Cardinals, Bob Humphreys pitched in parts of nine big league seasons as a middle reliever and spent the bulk of his career with the Senators between 1966 and 1970.  Humphreys was sold by the Tigers to the Cardinals on March 15, 1963 and he'd appear in 28 games for the eventual World Champions in 1964.  He pitched a scoreless inning in Game 6 of the World Series,  striking out opposing pitcher Jim Bouton (#30).  His best seasons came while a member of the Senators.  In 1966, Humphreys went 7-3 with a 2.82 ERA and three saves over 58 apperances.  In 1970, his final season in the majors, he was a member of the original Milwaukee Brewers, appearing in 23 games.  For his big league career, Humphreys appeared in 319 games and had a record of 27-21 with a 3.36 ERA and 20 saves.

He stayed in baseball after retiring as a player, serving as the head baseball coach at Virginia Tech University between 1974 and 1978.  He joined the Blue Jays' organization in 1979 and managed their Triple-A team in Syracuse in 1981.  Between 1984 and 2004, Humphreys worked as a minor league pitching coach within the Orioles, Brewers and Cardinals organizations.

April 1, 2021 - Phillies Opening Day
Building the Set

April 2, 2021 from Manchester, MO - Card #246
It's a strange time.  Spring has arrived, we finally attended a Phillies game in person and it seems as if with the arrival of the vaccine the pandemic could soon be behind us.  But I still find myself anxious, occasionally having trouble sleeping at night, and I know many of my friends and family feel the same way.  I went the entire month of March without adding to our 1965 Topps set, and as the month came to a close I decided to start off April with the purchase of a group of commons.  In search specifically for series two cards, I veered into the higher series when I found sellers on eBay auctioning off batches of cards from recent set breaks.  Over the course of a few days, I ended up winning 16 cards for $48 for an average of $3 per card.  

This Humphreys card came from eBay seller ace64cards from Manchester, Missouri for a winning bid of $2.50.  It was the ninth and final card from the group I won from that seller.  With the weather getting warmer, having enjoyed a beer at a few Phillies games and 16 new cards in our collection, the month is starting off on the right foot.

The Card / Cardinals Team Set
This is Humpheys' rookie card and he would have been a member of the Cubs by the time this card was released.  On the back, reference is made to his "unusual and successful side-saddle windup," and I found this write-up explaining Humphreys would pump "two or three times with both hands to one side of his body" prior to his wind-up.

1965 Season
On April 7th, Humphreys was traded to the Cubs for pitcher Hal Gilson and infielder Bobby Pfeil.  He spent the entire season in the Cubs' bullpen, appearing in 41 games for a team that lost 90 and finished in eighth place.  Humphreys went 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA over 65 2/3 innings pitched.  With Ted Abernathy (#332) and Lindy McDaniel (#244) doing the heavy lifting for the Cubs relievers, Humphreys was used exclusively in middle relief and didn't record any saves.  That coupled with his desire to play less day games led to an offseason trade request.  The Cubs obliged by sending Humphreys to the Senators on April 2, 1966, for outfielder Ken Hunt.

1966 Topps #342
1967 Topps #478
1969 Topps #84
1970 Topps #538
1971 Topps #236

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1965 Topps #154
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (7):  1965-1971
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1971 Topps #236

30 - Humphreys non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 4/13/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

Previous Card:  #153 Norm Cash - Detroit Tigers

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