Thursday, February 29, 2024

#232 Dave Ricketts - St. Louis Cardinals

David William Ricketts
St. Louis Cardinals

Bats:  Both  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  190
Born:  July 12, 1935, Pottstown, PA
Signed:  Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent before 1957 season
Major League Teams:  St. Louis Cardinals 1963, 1965, 1967-1969; Pittsburgh Pirates 1970
World Series Appearances:  St. Louis Cardinals 1967-1968
Died:  July 13, 2008, St. Louis, MO (age 73)

Dave Ricketts was a back-up catcher for six seasons in the majors, mostly with the Cardinals.  He appeared a career-high 57 games for the pennant-winning Cardinals in 1967, making 16 starts.  Ricketts made three pinch-hitting appearances in the World Series, won by the Cardinals over the Red Sox in seven games.  He appeared in only 20 games for the Cardinals in 1968, but still served a valuable role as batting practice pitcher and bullpen catcher.  Ricketts was a lifetime .249 hitter with one home run, hit off Pirates reliever Dennis Ribant (#463) on September 4, 1967.  Following his playing days, Ricketts served as a long-time coach for the Pirates (1970-1973) and Cardinals (1974-1975, 1978-1991).  He'd win a second World Series ring with the Cardinals in 1982 as a member of their coaching staff.

Some text for this post originally appeared on my 1965 Topps blog.

Building the Set / 
Card #230
March 12, 2023 from The Philly Show (Uncle Dick's Cards)
In mid-March, Doug and I attended the Philadelphia Sports Collectors Show, held within the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  My main focus for this show was accumulating as many 1969 Topps commons as possible, which I did by adding a grand total of 193 cards to our set.  That's almost 30% of the entire set added in one enjoyable afternoon.  I wrote a full summary of the show in a post over at The Phillies Room, found here.

This is the 153rd of the 193 commons and semi-stars purchased, pulled and stacked from the first two neon green binders housing 1969 Topps cards at the multi-table spread of Uncle Dick's Cards from Babylon, New York.  My method was simple - I pulled up a chair, found a card I needed, picked the best of the group from the binder page and set it aside.  After each 100 cards, I'd ask the dealer to tell me how much damage I had done so far.  With a budget in mind, I kept going twice, continuing after card #100 and card #200, and stopping at card #298.  The final amount due was 17% off the sticker price for the pile of 193 cards, with this card costing me $1.25.

The Card / Cardinals Team Set / Accuracy Index +5
The photos used for this card and Ricketts' 1968 Topps cards seem to come from the same session.  That's a long write-up on the back for a reserve catcher, and Topps does a nice job highlighting the stronger aspects of Ricketts' game.  Tim McCarver (#475) is mentioned as the team's regular All-Star catcher.

Accuracy Index:  Ricketts' card scores a +5 for the accurate Cardinals uniform.

1969 Season
Ricketts batted .273 in 30 games with the Cardinals, making seven starts behind the plate and was third on the team's catching depth chart behind McCarver and Joe Torre (#460), who mainly played at first base.  As a pinch-hitter, Ricketts batted .278 (5 for 18) with a double and three walks.  On October 21st, he was traded with Dave Giusti (#98) to the Pirates for minor leaguer Frank Vanzin and Carl Taylor (#357).

1965 Topps #581
1967 Topps #589
1968 Topps #46
1970 Topps #626
1973 Topps #517

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1965 Topps #581
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (6):  1965, 1967-1970, 1973
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1990 Topps TV St. Louis Cardinals #4
Total Non-Parallel Baseball Cards:  34 in the Beckett online database as of 2/9/24.

Baseball Reference / SABR / Wikipedia

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