Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Vintage Fridays: Billy Cox, 1955 Bowman #56

If the name Billy Cox rings a bell to you, it's probably due to his tenure with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Cox was an infielder for the Bums from 1948 through 1954, and he gained a reputation as an acrobatic and dependable third baseman in particular. Though he wasn't known for his offense - he batted .262/.318/.380 (85 OPS+) with a total of 66 home runs in 1,058 career games - he held his own with the bat in World Series play. Billy played for three pennant-winning clubs in Brooklyn, and although all three of those teams were defeated by the damned Yankees in the Fall Classic, he hit .302/.351/.453 in 15 total Series games. Unfortunately, the Dodger fan-favorite wasn't around in 1955 when Brooklyn finally toppled the Bronx Bombers, as he'd been traded to Baltimore the previous December along with pitcher Preacher Roe. The Orioles didn't give up much in the deal, sending a pair of minor leaguers and $50,000 to the Dodgers; of course, they didn't get much out of the trade either. The 39-year-old Roe, a former four-time All-Star, retired without throwing a pitch for the O's. Cox, age 35, batted just .211/.275/.314 in 53 games as an Oriole, homering three times and driving in 14 runs. In mid-June, the Birds agreed to a four-player swap with the Indians, Cox and Gene Woodling for Dave Pope and Wally Westlake. Billy chose to retire rather than switch teams again, so Baltimore sent $15,000 cash to Cleveland to complete the trade. Billy Cox returned home to Newport, PA, near Harrisburg, and tended bar. He died of cancer at age 58 in 1978.

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