Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Unknown Heroes Before My Time Pt. 11: Mike Andrews

Boston has not historically developed a lot of good second-basemen.  Bobby Doerr was not technically developed by the Red Sox.  Beyond him, the most well-known include Marty Barrett, Jody Reed, and Dustin Pedroia, with Pedroia the only All Star.  Mike Andrews is a fourth second-baseman and, like Pedroia, Andrews was an All Star.

Mike Andrews came up with the Red Sox in the mid-1960's.  He flew by under the radar because he came up at the same time as Jim Lonborg, Rico Petrocelli, George Scott, and Reggie Smith and while Carl Yastrzemski and Tony Conigliaro were becoming stars.  So few noticed that the second-baseman was a pretty good contact hitter.

Andrews was a rookie in 1967.  That season he hit .263/.346/.352 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs.  He walked almost as much as he struck out and played good defense.  In 1968 his numbers increased somewhat, but it was 1969 when Andrews really came into his own.  That was his All Star season as he hit .293/.390/.455 with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs.  Impressive numbers for a middle infielder at the time.  He hit 17 home runs and drove in 65 in 1970, but his slash line was not as good.

Andrews was traded to the White Sox before the 1971 season for future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio.  He had a good season in fewer games in 1971.  In 1972 he started to decline and eventually found himself in Oakland in 1973 when he played for the eventual World Champs.  Andrews was briefly famous when A's owner Charlie Finley attempted to replace him on the World Series roster after making back-to-back errors.  Finley tried to force him to sign an affidavit claiming he was injured to replace him with Manny Trillo.  The problem was that Andrews was not injured and he refused to sign the affidavit.  Teammates were upset and manager Dick Williams decided to quit the A's after the season.  Andrews was eventually released by Finley and never played in the Majors again.

Mike Andrews has been the CEO of the Jimmy Fund for the last 25 years.

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