#532 Twins Rookie Stars (Bud Bloomfield/Joe Nossek)
There’s some competition in the 1964 set, but Clyde Stalcup (Bud) Bloomfield is certainly among the least-accomplished major leaguers to be depicted in the set (this is all relative, of course, as anyone who even played one game in the majors was accomplished in his own way). Joe Nossek managed to stick around for a few years, which is one of the only good things you can say about his playing career.
This combo rookie card is among the coveted high numbers, which are rarer than cards from the previous series. All cards above 523 are part of the high set, and because of their relative expense most of the cards I don’t have yet are from this group. I have this one, though, and I couldn’t possibly be more excited. I mean, it’s a miscut and everything (sigh).
Bud Bloomfield appeared in eight MLB games. The first came in September 1963 with the Cardinals, when he came in as a defensive replacement for Ken Boyer and didn’t get a plate appearance. In the offseason, he was picked up by the Twins and he played seven games for Minnesota in 1964.
His only big-league hit came in the only full game he played. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored in a 9-1 win over the Angels on May 7, 1964. He started the next game but only played four innings. He made it into four more games after that, and the last two were as a pinch runner. His last appearance was June 22.
Bloomfield had played seven seasons in the minors before making his debut with the Cards at age 27. After three years in AA, the Twins sent him to AAA Atlanta for most of the ’64 season but he wasn’t good there, hitting just .217 with a .514 OPS and no homers in 236 plate apperances. Bloomfield hung it up after the season. He died in 2011 at the age of 75.
Joe Nossek wasn’t much of a big-leaguer either, but he did manage to hold down a part-time role for four full seasons. Like Bloomfield, Nossek only appeared in seven games in 1964 (they both played on May 7). Unlike Bloomfield, Nossek was back in 1965 and appeared in 87 games. His stats were dismal: .218/.250/.306 with 2 HR and 16 RBIs in 183 PA. His 1965 Topps card was also a combo rookie card, and was also a high number (and those are even tougher to find these days than the 1964 highs).
The Twins won the AL pennant that season, and Nossek was chosen to start in center field in the World Series over Jimmie Hall in five of the seven games. Hall was an All-Star that season and finished 13th in the MVP voting (there has to be some more to that story, right?). Nossek went 4-for-20 in the series, which the Twins lost to the Dodgers.
Nossek was sold to the A’s in 1966, and he put up lackluster numbers in two seasons in Kansas City. He was out of the big leagues in 1968, and had 12 total plate appearances with Oakland and St. Louis in 1969 and 1970. He ended his career with a .228 batting average and three home runs.
Nossek is mostly known for his work as a coach in the big leagues, as he worked for several teams between 1973 and 2003. He spent more than a decade with the White Sox, and filled in as interim manager a couple times. He’s currently 72 years old.