This week has been a good start to get back into the rhythm of writing regularly again. The '59 Topps set build is going to help keep me in that rhythm. Here's the 13th post about this set...
Card # 64: Joe DeMaestri
Joe is the type of shortstop that I remember watching in my early days of baseball. A good glove, and any offense that he provided was a bonus.
The cartoon is great, I love how it depicts the 6 singles that Joe earned in one game as little balls off of the bat. 4 of those 6 singles were off of starter Billy Hoeft, but it wasn't enough as the A's lost to the Tigers 11-8 in 11 innings. Those 6 singles actually raised Joe's average from .230 to .246.
Joe's bio only tells part of the story, those two seasons that he led the league in fielding were part of a 7 year run which would see him finish in the top 5 in fielding percentage for shortstops.
How'd he fare in 1959? The '59 season would be Joe's last as a regular for the A's, and it would see him hit .244 with 6 HRs and 34 RBI.
- Joe's nickname was "Oats", given to him by a family friend because of his blond hair.
- Blue Jays connection--Joe was traded by the White Sox in November of 1951 to the St. Louis Browns. One of the players going the other way was Al Widmar, who spent 10 seasons as the Blue Jays pitching coach, including the Jays first AL division championship in 1985.
- Rogers Hornsby was the manager of the St. Louis Browns the one season that Joe spent there in 1952.
- He set career highs for himself during the '57 season with 6 triples and 9 round trippers.
- Joe earned a trip to the all star game in '57, but did not appear in the game.
- Joe spent the last two seasons of his career as a Yankee, traded to the Yankees with Roger Maris. He was one of 3 players who implored Maris to come out of the dugout for a curtain call after Maris' 61st HR in October of '61.
- He would only play in the World Series once, a part of the '60 Yankees team that lost to the Pirates in 7 games. Joe only appeared in 4 games, going 1 for 2 in the series. Joe was a member of the '61 Yankees that won the World Series, but he did not appear in any of the games.
Joe is currently 86 years of age and living in Novato, CA which is near San Francisco.
thanks for reading, Robert