Sunday, May 12, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1965 Topps #474 Cookie Rojas

(Happy Mother's Day to all Moms, Moms-to-Be, Grandmothers, Great Grandmothers, Foster Moms, Stepmoms, and Just-Like-Moms out there.)

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, May 12, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1965 Topps #474.
  • Player Name, position, team: Cookie Rojas, infielder-outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: April 10, 1962.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1964 stats (Phillies): 109 G, 340 AB, 58 R, 99 H, 19 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 31 RBI, .291 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Redlegs as a Free Agent before the 1956 season. Traded by the Reds to the Phillies 11/27/1962. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16. This is his third Topps card and first as a coach.
  • Blurb on the back: "Last season, Cookie played 70 games in the outfield, 20 at second base, 18 at shortstop and 1 game at third and one behind plate!"
  • Commentary: I would love to see how next year's Topps Heritage will figure out how to add long team names (or will they even do it) like Diamondbacks. Or will they just be D-Backs? I like the pennant element in the 1965 design. It really hasn't been used since (although ribbons have made constant appearances over the years). I'm trying to figure this out. Maybe it was a nickname he gained in his youth. Maybe his family back in Cuba were in the baking industry or owned a bakery. But I can't seem to find any articles that explain how Octavio Victor Rojas was gifted the nickname "Cookie." He isn't the first "Cookie" that I'm aware of (Harry Arthur Lavagetto, Arthur Joseph Cuccurullo...okay, that last one makes sense). Rojas became the Phillies regular second baseman in 1965 and made the head honchos of the Phillies organization look good by hitting what would eventually be a career high batting average of .303 with 3 home runs and 42 rbi's. He would also be named to the first of five All-Star Teams, but the only time he'd be on the NL squad as a Phillie (he was named to the AL All-Star team four years in a row 1971-74 with the Royals). You know how the blurb on the back says that Rojas played all those positions in 1964? Well, in 1965, he was inserted in all positions except third and pitcher. It would be in 1967 that Rojas would appear in at least one game where he played everywhere, including pitching against the Giants on June 30, 1967. In seven seasons with the Phils, he appeared in 880 games, hit a cumulative .262, with 29 home runs and 252 rbi's and 27 stolen bases. After being traded at the end of the 1969 season to the Cardinals (in the infamous Curt Flood trade that would eventually lead to free agency), Rojas struggled as a Cardinal, hitting a low .106 (5-47) in 23 games. He was traded to the Royals to provide a much needed veteran presence on such a young team. With the Royals, Rojas himself became rejuvenated. As with the aforementioned four All-Star appearances, in his eight years with KC, he appeared in 880 games (just as many as he did in Philly), hit 25 home runs, drove in 332 rbi's, stole 46 bases, and hit for a .268 average and .660 OPS. He was released by the Royals after the 1977 season, and even though he signed with the Cubs in September the following year, did not get into a game and opted to retire as a player. After a long and prosperous coaching career (including managing the Angles in 1988...hence appearing in the 1988 Topps Traded set, my lone Cookie Rojas card), he is now the Spanish language commentator for the Miami Marlins.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $6.00-$15.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #548. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.


JayBee Anama

No comments: