Thursday, April 28, 2011

159 - Clarence Gaston

About This Player
Cito Gaston enjoyed 11 seasons in the Major Leagues and six of them with the San Diego Padres.  Gaston made his big league debut with the Braves in 1967 and played in nine games that season.  Gaston was later selected by the Padres in the expansion draft in 1969.  His finest season came in 1970 in which Gaston hit .318 with 29 home runs, 93 RBI and was selected to the All-Star Game.  Gaston never matched those offensive numbers throughout the rest of his playing career.  Gaston was traded to the Braves for Danny Frisella in 1975.  His contract would be purchased by the Pirates in September 1978 with whom he would play his final two games.

Gaston is better known for his success as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Gaston joined the Blue Jays organization as their hitting coach in 1982.  He took over as manager in 1989 and led his team to a division championship.  Gaston would lead the Blue Jays to another AL East crown in 1991.  With the financial success of the Skydome at the time and the signing of key free agents, Gaston led the Blue Jays to World Series championships in 1992 and 1993.

The team's success decline in the following years, Gaston was fired in 1997.  Gaston returned to the Blue Jays has a hitting coach from 1999 through 2001.  In 2002, Gaston was hired in an excutive position in the Blue Jays front office.  He managed the team again in 2008 and retired from managing in 2010. 

About This Card
The baseball cards from Cito's playing career are all scribed as "Clarence."  His manager cards all read as "Cito."

Gaston is also shown here before sporting his signature mustache.

Interesting cartoon on the back states that Gaston his .317 in May 1971.  Considering that he ended the season with a .228 batting average, his hitting must have been horrid for the rest of those months.

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