Sunday, January 6, 2013
#177 Johnny Briggs
There have been two players with the name 'Johnny Briggs' in modern baseball. This one and the 1b/OF Johnny Briggs who played a few years later for the Phils and Brewers.
Jonathan Tift Briggs pitched for three different clubs between 1956 and 1960. He was in independent minor league baseball after high school when he found himself dealt to the Phillies for whom he never pitched. The Phils traded him to the Cubs and he appeared in three games in both 1956 and 1957 and then landed a spot in the Cubs rotation for '58. He made 17 starts, went 5-5 with a 4.52 ERA and was traded to the Indians where he pitched into 1960 and was traded again, this time to the Athletics. He was 4-4 in 29 games that year in the AL.
Traded again, Briggs toiled in the Reds chain for a couple of seasons before hanging up his glove. He finished with a 9-11 major league w/l total. He had a much more extensive minor league resume. He won nearly 100 games there.
The card's backside makes note of the trade that sent him to the Indians in January of 1959. That was probably not long before this 2nd Series card was produced. Below is his 1960 Topps cards (online scan). Both show the same expression. The batting cage in the background pretty much assures us that these two pics are from the same session. It's one case where the "OK, now take off that cap and smile again" instruction came in handy. He's a friendly, pleasant looking guy, no?