Monday, September 13, 2010
1970 Topps, Jose Azcue
#294 Jose Azcue
First off, this card is the first time that I had ever seen Joe Azcue referenced as Jose. I know that he is Cuban and his name really is Jose, but why would Topps wait eight years after releasing their first Joe Azcue card to finally put his given first name on the card? I know Topps liked Americanizing the Hispanic names during the '60s, but why stop in 1970? Joe still goes by Joe today, so I doubt Topps put Jose on the card because of Joe's urging. Good ol' Topps, making no sense since 1970.
Here is another card from the Kansas City A's reunion. There was a guy at that game who went to the game just to see Joe. He had met him a long time ago and wanted to know if Joe remembered who he was. He was hoping to meet up with him prior to the game, but he got stuck in traffic for two hours just like I did. So, he ended up waiting by me at the base of the stairs that led up to the A's suite. He finanlly found some one to listen to his story and he talked that person in getting Joe down there to talk to him. Joe came down and talked to the guy a bit and I was able to get Joe to sign this card afterward. It was one of the easier autographs of the day.
Joe played in the Majors for parts of eleven seasons and he played with the Reds, A's, Indians, Red Sox, Angels, and Brewers. His best season probably came in 1963 when he had career highs in doubles, homers, and RBI. He finished his career a .252 hitter with 50 home runs. But, the best part about Joe was his throwing arm. In 1966, Joe threw out 62% of the baserunners that attempted to steal on him and for his career, he threw out 45.2%. It seems that the best part of Joe's game was shutting down the running game.