Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jump to bigs too much for Conde in 1962

Uncommon commons: In more than 30 years in sportscards publishing I have thrown hundreds of notes into files about the players – usually non-star players – who made up the majority of the baseball and football cards I collected as a kid. Today, I keep adding to those files as I peruse microfilms of The Sporting News from the 1880s through the 1960s. I found these tidbits brought some life to the player pictures on those cards. I figure that if I enjoyed them, you might too.

How big was the jump from the AAA minor leagues to the majors in the early 1960s? Ask Ramon Conde.

In mid-July, 1962, as they were preparing for a 10-day eastern road trip, the Chicago White Sox called up third baseman Ramon Conde from Indianapolis, their AAA farm club in the American Association.

At the time, Conde was batting .348 for the Indians.

He spent nearly a month with the White Sox but utterly failed to fulfill expectations. In 14 games, comprising 19 plate appearances, he failed to get a hit, though he did walk three times with an RBI.

Following the Aug. 14 game in which he appeared as a defensive replacement at third base, Conde was returned to Indianapolis. In the final weeks of the season he helped Indianapolis to the American Association pennant and raised his batting average to a league-leading .353.

He never got another chance in the bigs. His career batting average stands forever at .000.

Conde remained an effective hitter in the high minor leagues for another eight years. He owns a lifetime 17-season minor-league batting mark of .307. In his professional days he played in the farm systems of the N.Y. Giants (1954-57), Philadelphia Phillies (1958), L.A. Dodgers (1958-61), Chicago White Sox (1962-68), N.Y. Yankees (1967), and, Cincinnati Reds (1968-70). He also played (1970) and managed (1981, 1986) in the Mexican League and in 1985 managed the Chicago Cubs' Appalachian League (Rookie) team at Wytheville, Va.

For all those years in pro ball, it looks like Conde only had a single career-contemporary baseball card. He is included in the 1960 Darigold Farms Spokane Indians team set of Dodgers AAA players.


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