Card #52: Coot Veal
I thought for the longest time that this wasn't a real name. Just a figment of someone's imagination, along the lines of the Sports Illustrated Sidd Finch April Fools gag back in 1985. Not until I discovered DHoff's blog a couple of years back did I realize that the gentleman does indeed exist.
Coot's full name is Orville Inman Veal, and he was born in Sandersville, GA.
Career beginnings: He was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1952.
Career Line: .231 average, 1 HR and 51 RBI in 247 games played.
I mentioned on the Bill Hall post about whether there would be other cards in the set that had detailed minor league statistics, well here you go! Veal's card back details a 6 year journey from the time he signed in '52 to his eventual debut and selection to the '58 all rookie team with the Tigers.
Loved to face: Bob Grim 6 for 13 (.462)
Hated to face: Hoyt Wilhelm 1 for 12 with 4 K's (.083)
Coot's only career home run came in 1959 off of White Sox lefty Billy Pierce.
How'd he fare in 1959? Coot wound up being more of a defensive replacement in 1959, appearing in 77 games but only garnering 89 ABs. Coot hit .202 with 1 HR and 15 RBI's that year.
- Coot's career was short lived, only lasting 6 seasons in the majors.
- He was drafted by the Angels in the 1960 expansion draft, and was traded that very same day to the Washington Senators where he spent the '61 season.
- Coot has the distinction of being the first player to get a base hit for the expansion Senators in the '61 season. He also scored the first run, driven in by a Gene Woodling triple with 2 outs in the first inning. The Senators lost to the White Sox 4-3.
- His '62 season with the Pirates consisted of only 1 AB.
- Coot would spend parts of the '63 and '64 seasons in the minors before retiring at the age of 32
I love the cartoon on the back that features Coot receiving a trophy for making the '58 all rookie team. The cartoon guy in the top hat and tails reminds me of Brian Doyle Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.
I also never knew what the "Pony League" was, but learned today that Pony is short for Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York. See, you do learn something new every day...
thanks for reading, Robert