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#574 Manny Jimenez

07/30/2018

Condition: VG-EX. It’s way off-center and has a few small surface wrinkles, but still presents well. Trivia answer is not rubbed off.

Trivia question: “What club played a season with 5 pitchers?”

Though it’s not scratched off, if you shine a light on the card just right you can see that the answer given is the 1904 Red Sox. This is true, but one major detail is wrong. Yes, the American League team from Boston did go an entire season in 1904 using just five pitchers. But that team was not yet known as the Red Sox. From 1901 through 1907, the Boston A.L. team was called the “Americans” and had blue as their primary color.

Boston won the A.L. that season with a five-man pitching staff of Cy Young, Jesse Tannehill, Bill Dinneen, Norwood Gibson and George Winter. After winning the inaugural World Series in 1903 over Pittsburgh, Boston was not given a chance to repeat as John McGraw’s New York Giants, the ’04 N.L. champs, refused to play an “exhibition” series against the “inferior” league. The dispute led to the formalization of the agreement of the two league champions to play each other, and they’ve done it every year since 1905 (except, of course, 1994).

A few things about Manny Jimenez:

* This card is a high number, making it more valuable than other cards in the set. But of the high numbers (523-587), it’s the second-easiest to find in premium condition. There are 52 PSA 9s of this card, which is more than any high number other than the Phil Niekro rookie card.

* Manny Jimenez had one pretty good year in MLB, and that was his rookie season of 1962. He had nearly half of his career plate appearances that season, and he hit .301/.354/.428 with 24 doubles, 11 homers and 69 RBIs for the A’s.

* After hitting 0 home runs in part-time action in 1963, Jimenez saw his last significant action in the majors in 1964. Though he batted only .225, he bested his rookie year by hitting 12 homers in 225 plate appearances. The best game of his career was July 4, 1964, when he hit three home runs in a 6-6 tie against Baltimore. He hit two more homers in an 11-4 loss to the White Sox on July 12. But by mid-August he was no longer a starter and basically faded away from there.

* Manny spent all of 1965 and most of 1966 in the minors. He had a quite respectable .742 OPS in 135 PA over two seasons with the Pirates, and closed out his MLB career by going 1-for-6 with the Cubs in 1968. He finished his career with a decent-enough 101 OPS+ but had a -1.0 career WAR due to being a below-average left fielder.

* Jimenez was from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. He was the 10th Dominican to appear in a major league game. His brother, Elvio, was the 16th Dominican player, but Elvio appeared in just one game for the Yankees, on October 4, 1964.

* I wasn’t able to find much specific information about his later life, but Manny passed away on December 11, 2017, in New York City. He was 79 years old.

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