26 February 2012

absolutely aspromonte

bob aspromonte had a single at bat as a brooklyn dodger.  it came in 1956, and the 18-year old brooklyn native pinch-hit for sandy amoros in the bottom of the 8th inning of a laugher against saint louis.  facing the cards' don liddle, aspromonte struck out and was replaced in the field by gino cimoli and the dodgers won the game 17-2.  fast forward four years, and the dodgers are in los angeles and bob aspromonte makes his next big league appearance.

he played in enough games (21) to warrant a card of his own in the 1961 set.  i have a couple of them, and aspromonte was kind enough to sign one through the mail for me
aspromonte played in 47 games for the dodgers in 1961 and hit .241 on the year.  after the season, the houston colt .45's made him the 3rd pick in the 1961 expansion draft.  aspromonte went on to man the hot corner for the colts/astros for the next 7 seasons before spending two years in atlanta and a final campaign back in new york with the 1971 mets, which were managed by his old brooklyn (and los angeles) teammate gil hodges.  speaking of brooklyn teammates, aspromonte was the last brooklyn dodger player to retire from the big leagues.

aspromonte hit only one home run as a dodger and it came against the braves' lew burdette on cinco de mayo, 1960.  the next home run he hit came as a colt, and he hit it on cinco de mayo, 1962. 

aspromonte also included a personalized note when he returned my card, complete with his uniform number
although that's the number he wore in houston and atlanta, not his dodger uniform number - that would have been 34. or 44. or 28.  i wonder if it was in any way a tribute to hodges?  i shoulda asked.
thanks bob!

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