Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, September 17, 2010

1976 Topps #558 - Clarence Gaston

  • Clarence "Cito" Gaston played in the majors from 1967-1978. He was more famous as a championship  manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. Gaston was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1964. He played in the minors from 1964-1967 and was brought up by the Braves for a few weeks at the tail end of the 1967 season. Gaston roomed with Hank Aaron and later said that Aaron "taught him how to be a man." Clarence bated .120 in 25 at bats for the Braves in 1967.
  • Gaston was back in the minors in 1968. Clarence was selected by the San Diego Padres in the expansion draft after the 1968 season. Gaston got a chance to play with the Padres and batted .230 in 129 games in 1969.
  • Clarence had his career year in 1970. Gaston made the NL All Star team (he was 0 for 2 with a walk) and batted .318 with 29 HR and 93 RBI.
  • Gaston never had a year that approached his 1970 season. In 1971 he batted .228 with 17 HR and 61 RBI and in 1972 Clarence batted .269 with 7 HR and 44 RBI. Gaston's last year as a full-time player was in 1973. He batted .250 with 16 HR and 57 RBI in '73.
  • Clarence was a  backup outfielder in 1974 and batted .213 in 267 at bats. After the 1974 season Gaston was traded to the Braves for Danny Frisella.
  • Gaston spent the last part of his career as a pinch hitter and backup OF/1B. Clarence batted .241 in 141 AB in 1975, .291 in 134 AB in 1976, and .271 in 85 AB in 1977.
  • Clarence started the 1978 season with the Braves and batted .229 in 118 AB. Gaston was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 22 and went 1 for 2 in two games. The Pirates declined to offer Clarence a contract after the 1978 season.
  • Gaston played for various independent league and Mexican League teams in 1979 and 1980.
  • Aaron got Clarence back into organized baseball as the Braves' minor league hitting instructor in 1981. Gaston became the hitting coach of the Toronto Blue Jays under manager Bobby Cox in 1982. He remained as the Blue Jays' hitting coach until he was appointed as the team's manager in 1989.
  • Gaston was successful at first as the Toronto manager. The Blue Jays won world championships in 1992 and 1993. Gaston remained as the Blue Jays' manager until the last week of the 1997 season.
  • Cito rejoined the Blue Jays as hitting coach in 1999 but was let go after the 2001 season. Gaston was hired by the Blue Jays again in 2003 as a special assistant. He was rehired as manager of the Blue Jays in 2008 and has been there ever since. Gaston is due to step down as manager after the 2010 season.
  • Gaston's SABR biography
  • Liked to face: Bill Stoneman (.650 in 20 AB); George Stone (.381 in 21 AB); Jerry Reuss (.341 in 44 AB)
  • Hated to face: Charlie Hough (.000 in 10 AB); Tom Bradley (.071 in 14 AB); Tom Seaver (.136 in 44 AB) 


1 comment:

  1. Gaston was one of my favorite Padres, me being a Giants fan. I totally forgot he was with the Braves.