1968 Asheville Tourists
Affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds of the National League, the Asheville Tourists were a team that combined solid pitching, clutch hitting, sure handed defense and strong leadership from its manager Sparky Anderson.
Playing in the Southern League Double A minors, the Ashville Tourists finished the 1968 regular season with a strong 86 wins and 54 losses record and went on to win the 1968 Championship.
Asheville was led by starting pitchers Grover Powell 16-6, Thomas Frondorf 9-4, Wayne Simpson 7-9, Scott Seger 11-7, Bill Henry and Aurelio Monteaguda 8-2 and strong relief efforts by John Norlega 9-3 in 62 games and Dan McGinn 6-3 in 74 games.
The pitching foundation included Steve Blateric 7-2 in 30 games, including 7 starts and Daryl Hallmark 1-3 in 11 games, 5 starts. Michael Oates was 0-3 in 3 starts, Joseph Earl 1-2 in 5 games, plus 2 starts and Kenneth Widman 1-1 in 5 games, 4 starts.
Strong armed relievers Malcolm Warren 4-5 in 41 games, Claude Passeau 2-1, and James Baten 0-0
Tourists manager Sparky Anderson (later managed Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers to World Championships) had to constantly revamp the lineup as players moved up and down to the minors and up to the majors. In all 29 baseball players saw on-field action in 1968.
19 year-old, catcher Fred Kendall caught the attention of fans and media by hitting a solid .291 with 22 extra base hits in 117 games. Backup catcher Pedro Martinez played in 42 games and was strong on defense but hit just .170.
Archie Burge, Bernie Carbo, Rodolfo Welch and George Lattera were the main men
Archie Burge, 25 yrs old, led the Tourists with a .317 batting average, hit 22 doubles, 4 triples , 7 homers, scored 73 runs, in 123 games. His patience at the plate and clutch hitting were well noted by the stats department.
Bernie Carbo, 20 yrs old, the future longtime Cincinnati major leaguer, was just getting his pro baseball career started and already was a formable batter and fielder. In the outfield Bernie Carbo throw out 17 base runners, and in the batters box walked a team high 91 times in 508 plate appearances, batting .281 with a high .409 o/n base pct. He was chosen by numerous media publications and by www.baseballhistorian.com as the 1970 NL Rookie of the Year.
Rodolfo Welch, 29 yrs old, batted a solid .257 in 89 outfield games plus 14 pinch hitting at bats, and made just one error in the outfield in 1968. Rodolfo Welch lined 13 doubles, 4 triples, 8 homers and scored 44 runs.
George Lattera, 21 yrs old. Altho he was one of the younger guys manager Sparky Anderson inserted him into the outfield in 72 games and he posted a solid .948 fielder percentage. Lattera batted .187 with 8 extra base hits.
Donald Anderson, 26 yrs old hit .278 in 69 games and Ernest Davis hit .216 in 53 games
Stanley Meadows, 25 yrs old, second baseman/3B/outfielder hit .261 with 18 extra base hits and was one of the Tourists clutch batters.
Archie Moore, 26 yrs old, first baseman. One of the leading power hitters of the Southern League, in 1968 the future major leaguer hit a solid .281 and led the team with 23 doubles, was second with 20 homers and with 75 runs and led with 79 RBI. Archie Moore was born in Upper Darby, PA USA.
Darrel Chaney, 20 yrs old, switch hitting second baseman and shortstop. Chaney posted a .231 batting average, powered 21 doubles, 7 triples and led the team with 21 homers, scored 64 runs, and was second with 78 RBIs. Darrel played in the majors as a shortstop starting in 1969. Born in Hammond, Indiana USA.
Frank Duffy, 21 yrs, Shortstop. In 1968 Frank Duffy hit .249 with 20 extra base hits spanning 93 games. A sure handed fielding with quick reflexes, he made 259 assists, 51 double plays and only 13 errors. As a major leaguer during the 1970s, he was involved in trades with a few of the biggest names in baseball history, including Gaylord Perry, Sudden Sam McDowell and power hitter George Foster.
Peter Bergens, 22 years old, infielder. Played in just 14 games for the Asheville team. Batted .095 with one double.
George Runk, 21 yrs old, third baseman and pinch hitter. He batted .160 in 50 at bats, 20 games.
Sherwin Minster, 25 yrs old, infielder and pinch hitter. Minister played in 19 games and batted .103 in 1968.
Baseball Players Page 321