Saturday, December 30, 2017

Final Card: Sherm Lollar

Sherm Lollar (#118) was signed by the Indians in 1943, and played 3 seasons with their International League club in Baltimore. He made his Indians' debut in April 1946, but also spent part of that season back in Baltimore.

Lollar played for the Yankees from 1947-48, the bulk of the '47 season with their AAA Newark Bears team. He started 2 games in the 1947 World Series vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers. He rode the Yankee bench for most of 1948 as the 3rd string catcher, playing only 22 games (12 starts).

After the 1948 season, he was traded to the St. Louis Browns, and was their starting catcher for the next 3 seasons, making his first All-Star team in 1950.

Following the 1951 season, Lollar was part of an 8-player trade, sending him from the Browns to the White Sox.

Sherm was the White Sox' starting catcher for the next 10 seasons, making 6 All-Star teams and winning 3 Gold Glove awards. He also played in the 1959 World Series vs. the Dodgers.

After being the ChiSox' primary catcher since 1952, Lollar's workload began to diminish in 1961. That season he split the catching chores with rookie Cam Carreon (starting 93 games to Carreon's 63). The next season it was 85/59 in favor of Carreon.

In Lollar's final season (1963) he only started 18 games. Carreon started half the games, but J.C. Martin (who had been a 1B/3B in the previous season) started 63 games behind the plate. His final appearance was on September 7th, and he was released after the season, ending his 18-year career.

After his playing career, he was a coach for the Orioles and Athletics in the 1960s, and a minor-league manager for the A's in the 1970s.

Lollar passed away in 1977 at age 53.

In 2000, he was selected to the White Sox' All-Century team.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bob Bruce (#24)

Some years ago, I posted Bob Bruce's final card as part of a group post, but without any mention of his career. Now it’s time to give him the full treatment.

Bruce began his career in the Tigers' organization in 1953. He missed the 1957 season due to military service, but returned the following season, and made his Tigers’ debut in September 1959.

Bob played all of 1960 (34 games, 15 starts) and part of 1961 with the Tigers.

He was traded to the Houston Colt .45s a few months prior to their inaugural 1962 season, and along with Turk Farrell was one of the team's top starting pitchers from 1962-65.

In April 1964 he stuck out the side on NINE pitches, one day after Sandy Koufax had done the same. Bob is one of 12 pitchers to have done that.

Bruce was the opening day pitcher in 1965, the first regular-season game played in the Astrodome.

After an off-year in 1966, and with the emergence of Larry Dierker and Mike Cuellar, Bruce was traded to the Braves prior to the 1967 season (with outfielder Dave Nicholson) for 3rd baseman Eddie Mathews, infielder Sandy Alomar, and pitcher Arnold Umbach.

Bob only pitched 12 games for the Braves in his final season, the last coming on June 24th. He played the 2nd half of the season with the Braves' AAA team, before retiring.

Bruce passed away in March 2017 at age 83.