#397 Chuck Cottier
Yet another in Topps’ line of “portrait shots of guys on the field before a game with their mostly-empty home stadium in the background.” Also another example of Topps using “2d base,” thinking that adding in an “n” would make things unwieldy. My example of this card is in the EX range. Corners are soft, but the centering is actually very good and there aren’t any creases. The trivia question is exposed. Since this is from the semi-high series, a NM example lists in SMR for $9 (quite a premium over a low series card, which lists for $8).
The trivia question asks “who hurled for three years without ever being relieved?” The answer provided is Jack Taylor, and that is correct. I don’t know if it’s the only correct answer, but it is accurate. Taylor started 106 games between 1903 and 1905, and he finished all of them. Taylor pitched for the Cubs in 1903 — the first year Chicago’s NL team was known by that nickname (they were previously known as the Orphans) — then moved on to the Cardinals for the ’04 and ’05 seasons.
Chuck Cottier was known during his time in the Major Leagues as a very good fielder. It’s a good thing he was, because he was far from a good hitter. In fact, he never posted an OPS+ of better than 76 in any season, and had a career mark of 66. He batted .220 for his career and had just a .282 OBP and paltry .317 SLG. He hit 19 home runs in 1,770 career PA.
Cottier’s best season was 1962, when he played 136 games with the Senators and hit .242/.310/.341 with six homers and 40 RBI as a 26-year-old.
Cottier played 430 of his 580 career games with the Senators. He started his career in Milwaukee and played 10 games with the Tigers in 1961 before being traded to Washington for Hal Woodeshick. 1964 was his final full season in Washington, and he was used as a part-time starter. He played in 73 games but only got 160 PA. He probably should’ve had fewer, as he hit .168/.268/.307. He spent the 1965 and ’66 seasons playing for Washington’s PCL affiliate, which was conveniently located in Hawaii. He was purchased by the Angels and finished his ML career with 35 appearances with California in 1968 and 1969.
This was Cottier’s last Topps card in a Senators uniform, though Topps would produce a card for him in 1969 as an Angel. He would appear on a regular-issue Topps card two more times in 1985 and 1986, when he managed the Seattle Mariners. He took over that job late in the 1984 season, led the team to a 74-88 record in ’85 (not bad for the Mariners at the time), then was fired 28 games into the ’86 season.
Cottier has also coached with the Mets and Cubs, among others. He was most recently an advance scout for the Yankees, but he was fired from that job following the 2006 season.