Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Forget to Remember

I'm going to be a lot of fun to deal with when I'm older.

I say that because even though I'm only in my 20's, as the old adage goes I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached to my shoulders.

In trying to come up with an idea for today's post, I was glancing through my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection binder in hopes of getting some inspiration.  Then, I noticed a card I had completely forgotten about.

Frank Coggins was a name that I had been actively searching for when I finally came across his only Topps release on eBay about a month ago.  I was happy to see this piece of vintage cardboard listed under a dollar with free shipping to boot; so, I pulled the trigger.

Then, I forgot about poor ol' Frank Coggins.  While baseball fans might have forgotten him as well, I feel that I should at least give him a write-up now, having denied him the spotlight on Wrigley Roster Jenga for several weeks (I'm sure he's real broken up about it).

Coggins didn't have much of a career in Major League Baseball, even though he was tabbed as a Rookie Star by Topps going into 1968.  However, you can forgive them for thinking otherwise; in '67 Frank hit .307 with 8 RBI in 19 games for the Senators.  He started each of these contests at second base, a position he seemed primed to inherit.

So, the Senators gave him the starting nod for 1968, thinking that they had their second baseman of the future.  As it turned out, that future last no longer than summer time.

In 62 games, Frank posted a batting average of .175, well under the Mendoza line.  Now, if he fielded like Mario Mendoza, maybe he would have stuck around longer, but he booted 12 errors in that same time frame.

 There's always a job for good defenders

Thus, it was back to the minors for Frank, where he wouldn't reemerge for another four years.  After two trades and a minor league draft, Coggins got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 1972.

In his six appearances, he was used as a pinch runner four times; but, he never even attempted a stolen base.  In addition, he went hitless in his 2 at-bats and never saw action on defense before the Cubs cut ties that July.  As you can plainly see, Coggins was no key cog for any team's offense.

Frank hung around for another 12 games in the Atlanta farm system in '73, but his professional career was over after that, never fulfilling that promise he showed Topps going into 1968.

Speaking of fulfillment, maybe I should go review my calendar and make sure I haven't forgotten about any commitments in that same time frame.  Maybe I'll start doing crosswords or something too.


  1. Few remember that Frank Coggins was briefly a Seattle Pilot, albeit not during the regular season. The Senators traded Frank to Seattle for catcher Merritt Ranew in November 1969. He played for the Pilots in spring training 1970. The team didn't become the Brewers until April 1, 1970. 3 days later, Frank and former Mets prospect Roy Foster were sent to the Indians for Max Alvis and Russ Snyder (it was the first trade ever by the newly minted Brewers). Also forgotten by most, Roy Foster was named by the Sporting News as the AL Rookie of the Year in 1970 (though the official league award went to Thurman Munson) which, technically, means the Pilots--a team that only lasted one season--had traded away Rookies of the Year for two consecutive seasons. God, I love the Pilots.

  2. You sure do know your Pilots history! It's too bad they lasted so briefly.