Thursday, August 9, 2012

Player Profile: Stan Bahnsen

I have nine cards of Stan Bahnsen. This one is from 1982 Fleer.

Playing career: Stan Bahnsen was the 1968 Rookie of the Year, going 17-12 for the Yankees with a 2.05 ERA. That ended up being his career year (though he did go 21-16 with the White Sox in 1972). He reinvented himself as a short reliever, saving seventeen games for Montreal between 1977 and 1981. He ended his career with the Phillies in 1982.

My memories: I remember reading about him as an old Yankee from the sixties when I was a kid. I was surprised to get an 80s-era card of him with the Expos; I hadn’t had any idea he had hung around so long.

Interesting stories: Like many ballplayers in the sixties, he served in the Army Reserve, alongside men who would be shipped out to Vietnam. Some attempted suicide to avoid being sent to Southeast Asia, including one man who bunked next to Bahnsen and slit his wrists in an unsuccessful suicide bid. “Looked like someone slaughtered a hog in his bed,” Bahnsen told the Des Moines Register.

Where he is now: He hosts baseball-themed cruises for MSC Cruises USA.

Google Autocomplete results: He is tenth when you type Stan B, behind Stan Bush the Touch, referring to the singer and song from the soundtrack of the 1986 Transformers movie. There do not appear to be any other prominent Stan Bahnsens.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Scott Bailes.

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