Saturday, March 13, 2010

1976 Topps #381 - Denny Doyle

  • Denny Doyle was coming off of his biggest year when this card came out. The Boston Red Sox had acquired him in June 1975 and Denny went on to play a solid second base all the way through the World Series. Since I was rooting for the Reds in the World Series I got mad every time Doyle got a hit.

  • Denny Doyle mostly played second base in the  majors from 1970-1977. Denny was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1965. He played in the minors from 1966-1969 and earned a promotion to the majors after batting .310 for AAA Eugene in 1969.

  • In 1970 Doyle batted .208 in 112 games for the Phillies as a 26-year-old rookie. He improved to .231 in 95 games in 1971. Denny became the starting second baseman for the Phillies in 1972, batting .249 in 123 games. On July 18 Doyle broke up a no-hitter by San Diego's Steve Arlin by singling with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th inning. Manager Don Zimmer had pulled in his third baseman to protect against the bunt and Denny blooped a single over the third baseman's head. It was the closest any Padre pitcher has ever come to a no-hitter. In 1973 Doyle batted .273 in 116 games. The Phillies had Dave Cash coming up so Doyle was traded to the California Angels after the 1973 season for players to be named later and Billy Grabarkewitz.

  • Denny batted .260 in 147 games in 1974. In 1975 the Angels went with Jerry Remy as their starting second baseman, so Doyle didn't get much playing time. He had played in only eight games with the Angels when he was traded to the Red Sox on June 14 for a minor leaguer and cash. The Red Sox made Doyle their starting second baseman and the move paid big dividends. Denny batted .310 in 89 games and hit a career-high 21 doubles. Doyle batted .273 in the 1975 ALCS and .267 in the World Series. He also received one 10th place vote for AL MVP in 1975. Denny Doyle: An Unsung Hero of the Red Sox Pennant Drive - February 1976 Baseball Digest.

  • Doyle was the starting second baseman for the Red Sox in 1976 (.250 in 117 games) and in 1977 (.240 in 137 games). The Red Sox picked up Remy to play second base so Doyle was expendable again. Denny was cut loose during spring training in 1978 and retired.

  • Now Denny Doyle is more famous for the baseball camps and training programs that he and his brothers (Brian and Blake) run in Winter Haven, Florida. They founded Doyle Baseball in 1978 and 37 camp alumni have made it to the majors. The camp got off to a good start when Denny's brother Brian (also a second baseman) had that great World Series for the Yankees in 1978.

  • Here is Doyle's SABR biography.

  • Liked to face: Bob Gibson (.464 in 28 AB); Al Fitzmorris (.425 in 40 AB); Clay Kirby (.405 in 37 AB)

  • Hated to face: Catfish Hunter (.108 in 37 AB); Don Sutton (.130 in 23 AB); Don Wilson (.132 in 38 AB)

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