Leo turns 75 today!
I always liked Leo Cardenas. He was a great fielding shortstop, and he always seemed to come up with the big hit.
Leo broke in with the Reds in 1960, and only played three years for the Twins, 1969-71, but those were pretty good years, with Oliva, Killebrew, Tovar, Carew, and Cardenas anchored the defense as the everyday shortstop. Pretty good acquisition for the Twins; they traded pitcher Jim Merritt for him, and Merritt had some good seasons for the Reds, going 17-9 in 1969, and 20-12 in 1971. (And 1-11 in 1972. What happened there? He was never the same after that. Probably arm trouble. Yup. Elbow injury.)
Leo had a .257 lifetime batting average, and 118 career home runs. From the Twins he went to California, then Cleveland, then a couple years with Texas. He lives in Cincy now, and I guess thinks of himself as a Red. To me, he’s a Twin.
Happy Birthday Leo! Good game!