1969 BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE DAY- AL MCBEAN- SAN DIEGO PADRES

 

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Alvin O’Neal McBean- when McBean played for the Pirates from 1961 to 1968 and then finishing his career with them in 1970 -the Pirates announcer the colorful Bob Prince aka “The Gunner” would call Al McBean by his full name- Alvin O’Neal McBean. It did have a ring to it. He grew up playing baseball in the Virgin Islands and the Pirates discovered him at a tryout in 1957 and signed him. He would make the big club in 1961 and would spend time during his career as both a starter and a reliever.

In 1964 Alvin O’Neal McBean won 8 games in relief and saved 21 games. second best in the National League and was named The Sporting News National League Fireman Of The Year. McBean had an odd career- going back and forth between starting / relieving-and closing. His best year as a starter was 1962 when he had a record of 15-10 with a 3.70 ERA. In today’s baseball a 3.70 ERA would make you a multi-millionaire but back in 1962 it wasn’t all that fantastic. In 1962 he went 13-3 with only 7 starts- he had 11 saves. His last successful season was at the age of 29 in 1967. He went to San Diego in the expansion draft in 1969- he would go to the Dodgers early in the 1969 season after only pitching one game with the Padres. In 1970 he pitched only one game with Dodgers before being released. The Pirates picked him up the same day he was released but found him wanting– in mid- May he was released by the Pirates. In 1971 he would pitch in the Phillies minor league system but never returned to the major leagues. McBean’s lifetime record was 67-50 with a 3.13 ERA. He was a decent hitter-he hit 3 home runs including a grand slam- while hitting .197 during his career. Al McBean is now 79 years old and as far as I can find- still living in the U.S Virgin Islands.

My Alvin O’Neal McBean fun fact- and this is pretty cool- the best man at his wedding in 1962 was The Great One- Roberto Clemente.

 

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