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Random Baseball Card Of The Day: 1972 Steve Hamilton May 13, 2017

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball, Baseball Cards.

Steve Hamilton had a decent run as a relief pitcher for mostly the Yankees in the mid 1960s. He bounced from team to team afterwards, finishing his career with the Cubs around the time this card was issued.

He got some post season play but no rings, pitching for the Yankees in their series losses of ’63 and ’64 before their pre-Steinbrenner era drought, and for the Giants in their ’71 NLCS loss to Pittsburgh.

But what makes Hamilton stand out are two offbeat items – for starters, Hamilton also played in the NBA, for the Minneapolis Lakers from 1958 to 1960. This makes him one of only two people to play in both an NBA championship and a World Series. But unlike the other guy who did it, Gene Conley (amazingly on the very Boston Celtics team defeating Hamilton’s Laker team in the 1959 finals), Hamilton lost in both.

Hamilton’s other stand out talent is far more entertaining. He was one of the few guys out there to throw the notoriously stupid-yet-entertaining “eephus pitch,” a high arcing slow lob also known as the “folly floater.” You’d see it turn up in games that really didn’t matter when people felt like screwing around. But sometimes, you’d get an embarrassing out with it, and someone would post a clip of it 40+ years later on some new-fangled technology called youtube.

A Yankees/Indians double header in 1970 is a painful thing to think about… at least Hamilton & Horton made this moment entertaining. I love Horton’s all-fours crawl to the dugout.

Hamilton died of colon cancer at only age 63 in 1997. Get those colonoscopies, people. RIP.



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