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Friday, January 15, 2010

Ray Rippelmeyer, Then and Then

This is one of those instances where you've never heard of a guy until recently, then you see him somewhere else later, noticing him when you wouldn't have before.

A couple weeks ago the random way-back generator spat out CMC card 150, Nashville Sounds pitching coach Ray Rippelmeyer, a former player with a memorable name and a short career.

That in mind, the wife and I went to the local mall tonight for a movie (Avatar). We walked right in the middle of a mall-wide card show and with a little time to waste before the movie. A couple seconds thumbing through a stack of 60s and 70s cards full of names I'd never heard of and I came across this, a very memorable name I had just heard of two weeks earlier.

It's a Ray Rippelmeyer's 1961 card stamped "rookie" with the back saying the Reds hoped he would be a big winner in '61. It's the very same Ray Rippelmeyer that would land in Nashville 29 years later (a possible rough landing that resulted with the transposed e and l in the middle of his name)

In 1961, Rippelmeyer ended up being a big winner, but not in Cincinnati, with the Reds' AAA club in Indianapolis. He wouldn't see any major league action until the next year, '62, after the Senators picked him up in the Rule 5 draft. He pitched in 18 games that year for Washington.

His major league career would end July 1, 1962. Ten days later, he was returned to the Reds. He played three more seasons in the minors, then switched his focus to coaching. That focus would lead him to the Nashville Sounds and the 1990 CMC set.

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