Saturday, June 29, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #559 - Alan Bannister

  • Alan Bannister was a star at Arizona State University. Alan was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1973 (he was the first player taken in the draft). 
  • Alan spent most of the next three years in the minors. He received brief trials in 1974 (.120 in 26 games) and in 1975 (.274 in 24 games).
  • Bannister wasn't able to beat out Larry Bowa, so after the 1975 season he was traded (with Dick Ruthven and Roy Thomas) to the Chicago White Sox for Jim Kaat and Mike Buskey. Interestingly, Ruthven was the first player taken in the special phase of the 1973 draft. That's the only trade I've seen in which two players who were the first players taken in a draft were traded at the same time.
  • Alan split the 1976 season between AAA Iowa (.241 in 32 games) and the White Sox (.248 in 73 games). He played six different positions - SS, 3B, 2B, and all three OF positions.
  • In 1977 Bannister was given the starting shortstop job after Bucky Dent was traded to the New York Yankees. Alan batted .275 and scored 87 runs in 139 games. The White Sox traded for shortstop Don Kessinger in late August because of concerns over Bannister's defense (Alan had made 30 errors). Alan still played most of the games at shortstop in September, but he led AL shortstops with 40 errors.
  • Bannister had shoulder problems in 1978. He said he needed surgery in May, but the White Sox demurred until July. Alan played his last game in 1978 on July 26 and had surgery that ended his season. Bannister batted .224 in 49 games in 1978.
  • Kessinger had become the starting shortstop in Bannister's absence, but Alan came back in 1979 to have a good season as a utility man. He batted .285 in 136 games while playing five different positions.
  • Bannister started the 1980 season with the White Sox, but after a slow start (.192 in 45 games) he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Ron Pruitt on June 13. It was thought that Alan would become the starting 2B for the Indians, but he played six different positions for the club. Bannister hit a lot better once he went to Cleveland, batting .328 in 81 games.
  • Alan batted .263 in 68 games in the strike-shortened 1981 season.
  • Bannister was used as a utilityman in his last two seasons with the Indians. He batted .267 in 101 games in 1982 and batted .265 in 117 games in 1983.
  • During spring training in 1984 Bannister was purchased by the Houston Astros. Alan didn't play much with the Astros (.200 in 9 games) and on May 25 he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Mike Richardt. Bannister batted .295 in 47 games for the Rangers in 1984.
  • Alan's final season was in 1985. He batted .262 in 57 games. He became a free agent after the 1985 season but he didn't sign with anyone and retired.
  • After his playing days Bannister had some success as a manager in the low minors. He managed for two years (1988 and 1989) in the Montreal Expos organization and for three more years (1992-1994) in the San Francisco Giants organization.
  • 1977 Stats: .275, 3 HR, 57 RBI in 139 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986

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