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Old 07-12-2012, 10:40 PM
BRDSR BRDSR is offline
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Switch-hitter Al Weis broke into the big leagues with the White Sox in 1962 and would play for 10 seasons. Never a regular, the most games he ever started in a season was 83 for the ’64 Sox. A career utility player, he played second base, third base, shortstop, and the outfield during his career. He would never break the .300 mark for batting average, although he did come close in 1965 with a .296 mark. finishing with only a .219 average. He would never hit for more than two home runs or 23 RBI in a season, finishing with seven and 115 for his career, respectively. The White Sox traded him to the Mets following the 1967 season, where he would finish his career. Certainly the highlight of his career came in October 1969 as a member of the Mets’ World Series-winning squad. Interestingly, although he had only one plate appearance in three games during the NLCS against the Braves, he had 16 plate appearances in five games during the World Series. He made the most of the Series, batting .455 and knocking in three runs, including a solo home run that tied the game in the bottom of the 7th of the eventual series-clinching game five.

Other than having the highest batting average of his career, Weis’s 1965 season was fairly typical. He appeared in many more games (85) than he started (37), seeing time at second, third, shortstop, and centerfield. Despite the high average, he had fewer at bats than the two previous years or the next year, stepping up to the plate 156 times. He would score 29 times and drive in 12 runs. Eight of his 40 hits were for extra bases; his only home run of the season came on May 7th, 1965.

The White Sox didn’t play on May 6th, so the May 7th game was the first since Burgess had driven in the tying and go-ahead run with his pinch-hit single on the 5th. It was the first game of a three-game series against the Twins, the second series the two teams had played in 1965. The Twins had taken the first series two games to one but, having lost the day before, entered the game 1.5 behind the White Sox. It looked bad for the White Sox in the first inning when Harmon Killebrew hit one of his 573 career homers with two men on. But Al Weis would get the Sox back in the game with a two-run, two-out double in the 2nd inning, scoring Pete Ward and Ron Hansen. Tommy John retired the next six Twins he faced, and Hansen tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the 4th. After Ken Berry flied out to left field, Weis came up again with two outs. His solo home run was his only of the season, put the Sox ahead, and knocked Twins pitcher Dick Stigman out of the game early. The Sox would go on to score nine more runs and win 13-5. Don Buford eventually pinch-hit for Weis in the 7th, even though his performance was by far his most productive of the season.

With the win, the White Sox had won five in a row and moved to 2.5 games ahead of the Twins. A child thumbing through his White Sox cards on May 7th may have been encouraged about his own ability to be a major league player when he came to Weis’s card. With a youthful face and a slender frame, the average American young man might have seen a little of himself in Al Weis.
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