Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1976 Topps #291 - Ken Sanders

  • Ken Sanders was signed by the Kansas City A's in 1960. He was in the minors for the 1960-1963 seasons. Ken earned a promotion to the majors in August 1964 after going 9-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 41 games at AA Birmingham. Sanders pitched in 21 games for the A's and was 0-2 with one save and an ERA of 3.67.
  • Sanders spent the 1965 season in the minors and then was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft. Ken started the 1966 season with Boston (3-6, 2 saves, 3.80 ERA) and then was traded back to Kansas City on June 13. He went 3-4 with 1 save and a 3.76 ERA in 38 games (1 start) for the A's.
  • Ken was back in the minors in 1967, most of 1968, and 1969. He had a short stint with the A's in July 1968 (0-1, 3.38 ERA in 7 games). After the 1969 season Sanders was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. Sanders started the 1970 season in the minors and was recalled in late May. He pitched in 50 games for the Brewers and was 5-2 with 13 saves and a 1.75 ERA.
  • Ken's best season was in 1971. He was the AL Fireman of the Year as he led the AL with 31 saves and 83 appearances. Sanders had a 7-12 record with an ERA of 1.91. He wasn't as good in 1972 (2-9, 17 saves, 3.12 ERA in 62 appearances). Sanders was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies (who then turned around and traded him to the Minnesota Twins) after the season.
  • In 1973 Sanders pitched for two teams. He started with the Twins and was 2-4 with 8 saves and a 6.09 ERA. Ken was placed on waivers and claimed by the Cleveland Indians on August 3. He returned to form with Cleveland and was 5-1 with 5 saves and an ERA of 1.65.
  • Sanders pitched poorly for Cleveland in 1974 (0-1, 1 save, 9.82 ERA in 9 games) and was released on June 17. He may have been hurt -- Sanders made only one appearance between mid-April and mid-June. Ken was picked up by the California Angels and assigned to AAA Salt Lake City. He pitched pretty well there and was brought back to the majors in mid-August. Sanders had a 2.79 ERA in nine appearances for the Angels in 1974.
  • During spring training in 1975 the Angels traded Ken to the New York Mets for Ike Hampton. Sanders split the '75 season between AAA Tidewater and the Mets. He appeared in 29 games for the Mets and was 1-1 with 5 saves and an ERA of 2.70.
  • Ken's last season in the majors was 1976. He started with the Mets and was 1-2 with 1 save and a 2.87 ERA in 31 games. Sanders was sold to the Kansas City Royals on September 17. Ken pitched three innings for the Royals and was released at the end of the season. Sanders signed with the Milwaukee Brewers and pitched for their AAA Spokane team in 1977 but wasn't called back up to the majors. Sanders retired after the 1977 season.
  • After his retirement Ken became a prominent real estate man in Milwaukee. He also has served on the board of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. Here is a "where are they now" article from 2002 about Ken.
  • Liked to face: Ed Kirkpatrick (.087 in 23 AB); Ed Brinkman (.056 in 18 AB); Cesar Tovar (.063 in 16 AB)
  • Hated to face: Bobby Murcer (.625 in 16 AB); Amos Otis (.471 in 17 AB); Carl Yastrzemski (.385 in 13 AB)

1 comment:

  1. Another one of those cards of a pitcher with a huge glove. Check out card 219 Tom Murphy. His glove is so big it looks like you could live in it. The funny thing is that if you look at Murphy's cards over the years you will see the same thing.