22 August 2011

there and back again, joe moeller's tale

if you were to look at joe moeller's stats at baseball reference, you would see that he pitched for the dodgers from 1962 (as a 19-year old) through 1971.  that includes full seasons in the minors that happened to coincide with the dodgers' two world championships in the 60's (1963 and 1965), although he did make an appearance in the 1966 fall classic.  here's his 1965 topps card as proof positive of his status as a dodger.
so, on the surface, moeller seems to be a career dodger.  not so fast.  after the 1967 season, moeller was selected in the rule v draft by the houston astros.  topps was on the ball for their 1968 set
even though the astros returned moeller to the dodgers prior to the start of the 1968 season.  shades of fellow double dipper denny lewallyn.  here's moeller's final card - a 1971 topps
for his career, moeller had a 26-36 record with 4 saves and a shutout - a 6-hitter against the braves in 1970.  i suppose it makes sense that the batter moeller faced more times than any other in his career was hank aaron (29 plate appearances) to whom he surrendered home run number 270.  he also fanned him 3 times.  speaking of strikeout victims, moeller most frequent victim was ron santo (6 k's in 22 pa's) followed closely by willie mccovey (5 in 16).

after the 1971 season, moeller pitched in the minors for two seasons in the padre and phillie organizations without making it back to the majors, unfortunately.  eventually, he rejoined the dodgers as part of their alumni speaking bureau/community outreach group.  i believe he is still affiliated to this day, unless frank mccourt has fired him for some reason.  over the last couple of years i have sent a few cards his way, c/o the dodgers, and they have always come back signed.

here's a very young joe moeller on his 1963 topps card
and the previously seen 1965 card, this time signed
here's his 1967 topps card
and his 'return' card from 1969
that's an older photo, as moeller switched to number 27 when he rejoined the dodgers in 1968, and then changed to 25 in 1969.

here's his 1970 card
with some cars in the background

and his swan song, 1971 topps
wearing the number that tommy john would claim in 1972.

here's to you, joe moeller, dodger double dipper!  thanks for signing my cards!

1 comment:

Jim from Downingtown said...

Here's another version of Joe Moeller's 1968 card.