Tuesday, March 6, 2012
1967 Topps Don Mincher #312 California Angels
Today's entry about my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is a player who was the only All-Star in the Seattle Pilots' franchise history. He also went on to become President of the Southern Minor Baseball League. It is Don Mincher, first baseman for the California Angels. Card number 312 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects. Sadly, Don Mincher passed away on March 4, 2012 at the age of 73 after a long illness.
This autograph was obtained on June 2, 2010 in Birmingham, Alabama during the 100th anniversary of the Rickwood Field, the oldest ballpark in America. My friend Ryan and I took a bus trip sponsored by the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Team to Birmingham to get an opportunity for the autograph and watch the game between the Smokies and the Birmingham Barons. Don Mincher was the President of the Southern League in Minor League Baseball and was in attendance with his long time friend, Harmon Killebrew , who was a special guest for the event and threw out one of the first pitches of the game. Also in attendance were many of the former Negro League Baseball players and it was an amazing day of baseball nostalgia and history. I met Mr. Mincher as he walked through the stadium and I requested his autograph on his 1967 Topps card. Don Mincher signed the card with a black sharpie. Definitely a beautiful signature. If you want to know more about my encounter with Harmon Killebrew, read my story from my blog by clicking here. As of March 6, 2012, I have obtained 569 autographs in my 1967 Topps Baseball set.
Don Mincher career in the Major Leagues lasted from 1960 to 1972 and he played for the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, Angels, Seattle Pilots, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers. He was part of two franchise moves, both involving the Senators. The original Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins and then the New Senators franchise moved to Texas and became the Rangers. His career statistics include a .249 batting average with 200 home runs and 643 runs batted in while playing 1400 games. Don was named to two All-Star teams, 1967 with the Angels and 1969 with the Seattle Pilots. Since the Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970, Don Mincher will always be the lone all-star in the franchise's history. Don Mincher also won a World Series crown in 1972 as a member of the Oakland A's in the 1972, his final season.
Mr. Mincher served in the front office of the Milwaukee Brewers and Huntsville Stars before becoming the President of the Southern League in 2000. He remained in that post until October of 2011 before announcing his retirement. Don was elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. To learn more about Don Mincher, read his biography on wikipedia.