Friday, November 22, 2013
Vintage Fridays: Joe Gaines, 1964 Topps #364
Gaines is the type of player that falls through the cracks of baseball history. His major league career spanned the years 1960 through 1966, but in three of those seasons he received little more than a cup of coffee. He played his best ball with the O's in 1963, when he appeared in 66 games as a fifth outfielder and pinch hitter. That year, Joe batted .286 with a .381 on-base percentage and .476 slugging percentage, and had six home runs and 20 RBI. But he started slow in 1964, and was dispatched to the fledgling Astros. By 1965, young Rusty Staub had replaced Gaines in the starting lineup. He prolonged his career by jumping to Japan in 1969, spending one season with the Hanshin Tigers. He's still alive and presumably well at 77 years of age.