Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#627 - Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor gets a standard pose for his final card in Oakland. This really is Carl’s final card, too, as he didn’t have one at bat at any level after his final one in ’73. That year was his second straight one of back-up work in KC and most of his work behind the plate came early and late in the season: May and September were his busiest months. That was because former starter Ed Kirkpatrick got moved to the outfield and new guy Fran Healy had a tough start early and then got hurt late. Carl wasn’t too bad of a hitter and he did a pretty good job at getting on base; his ’73 OBA of .363 was about his lifetime average. But he could never really capitalize on his fat average in ’69 and he settled in for a pretty decent run as a number two or three guy. He was versatile and could play infield and outfield as well as catch. But he didn’t make it out of spring training in ’74 and moved onto his next role pretty impressively. He better have a bitchin’ coiff under that hat because he probably could have used the advertising.
Carl Taylor was born in Sarasota, Florida, and got down to Key West by the time he was in high school. Prior to that he and his step-brother Boog Powell were on a hotshot Little League team that made it to their world series, but didn’t win. After a multi-sport career at Key West HS, Carl was signed by the Pirates in ’62 and that summer hit .246 with a .348 OBA in D ball. In ’63 he moved up to A ball where he became a bit of a slugger with a .295/11/58 line and continued to hit well at that level in ’64 with a .291 average and 54 RBI’s. He lost some points off his average the next year when he moved up to Double A but was back in line in ’66 with a .292 and in ’67 with a .293 at that level. By then he’d begun doing his military time and had also begun doing some outfield work. In ’68 he had a pretty good spring and made the Pirates Opening Day roster. While he got a smattering of work behind the plate mid-season he also pinch hit a bit and didn’t see too much plate time. That changed the next year when a hot run in the pinch to start the season got him some starting time at first base and the outfield corners – he got zero time behind the plate – and he put up a big .348 average and a .432 OBA while putting in a decent run as the second guy in the order. After the season St. Louis, desperate for some timely hitting, traded Dave Giusti and Dave Ricketts for Carl.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals and for Taylor, Carl didn’t bring his big average with him when he changed teams. Again used almost exclusively in the outfield and at first base, he spent a significant part of the spring trying to claw above .200 but from late June until the end of the year hit .272 to improve things a bunch and his 45 RBI’s weren’t too shabby. But the Cards weren’t crazy happy with how things rolled and shortly after the season they sent Carl to Milwaukee with infielder Jim Ellis for pitcher George Lauzerique and catcher Jerry McNertney. Carl didn’t even make it to spring training with the Brewers though, as he was sent to KC even up for fellow catcher Ellie Rodriguez. He would get a bit of work with the Royals that season but most of it was spent in Triple A where put up a .362 average and .470 OBA while again working primarily in the outfield. Late that season he was sold back to Pittsburgh for help during the stretch run but didn’t see too much action and got shut out of any post-season work. In ’72 he returned to KC in another sale and returned to catcher as he split the season between Triple A - .291 with a .399 OBA in 117 at bats – and up top as he backed up Kirkpatrick and May behind the plate. After continuing in that role strictly in Kansas City in ’73 he was done. Along with the stats on the back of this card, Carl put up an MLB OBA of .367 and one of nearly .400 in the minors, where he hit .291.
Soon after Taylor was done playing he opened his own hair salon back in Florida which he kept going for 17 years. Towards the end of that run he did some bullpen  work for the short-lived Senior Leagues and then signed on with the Yankees as a bullpen coach, sometimes barber, and eventually the team’s videographer, which he did from ’90 to ’97. He then did some local baseball clinic, school, and camp work before retiring a few years ago. He was always in the right place to do that.

Carl Means Taylor? I would have though that Carl meant Carl, but that’s just a bad joke. That last star bullet showcases the average that put Carl for a while in the Pirates starting line-up. I think Topps is a bit over the top in its characterization of Boog in the cartoon.
After a one-post delay, here’s some more Watergate timeline:
7/9/73 – Around this date two important things happened. One was that in the wake of John Dean’s testimony President Nixon, despite his statement in May that he would respect and cooperate in the Watergate investigation, announced that he would neither testify before nor provide any documentation to the Senate Watergate Committee. The second bit, which wouldn’t come out for a while, is that Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein initially learned of a scheme, authored by White House staff member Check Colson, to burglarize and/or firebomb the Brookings Institution, a DC-based think tank he believed may have been behind the leaking of sensitive information to the press in the ’70 to ’71 time-frame.
7/16/73 – John H.R. Haldeman’s deputy testifies before the Senate Committee, Paul Butterfield was a former Air Force pilot whom knew Haldeman from UCLA and was asked by his former classmate to join the White House staff in ’69. He was never believed to be part of the Watergate conspiracy and was never indicted. But he had intimate knowledge of the workings of the Nixon administration and when asked if he knew of an existing tape recording system he answered in the positive. He therefore confirmed John Dean’s suspicions and sent the Special Prosecutor and the Committee itself packing in a whole new direction to what would eventually be the smoking gun in the whole affair.
Taylor did double duty with Pittsburgh so this should be pretty easy:

1. Taylor and Richie Hebner ’68 to ’69 and ’71 Pirates;
2. Hebner was on the ’73 Pirates.

1 comment:

  1. Paul Butterfield was a blues harp player. Alexander Butterfield was the unindicted co-conspirator.