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Oscar Gamble

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Oscar Charles Gamble

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[edit] Biographical Information

"When I'm at bat, I'm in scoring position." - Oscar Gamble

Outfielder Oscar Gamble was a high-profile star who played six and a half seasons with the New York Yankees and starred for the 1977 Chicago White Sox during 17 years in the majors.

Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 16th round of the 1968 amateur draft, Gamble reached the majors the following season as a 19-year-old. After the 1969 campaign, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and split the next three years between the majors and the AAA Eugene Emeralds, for whom he hit in the .290's each year. Perhaps his biggest claim to fame with the Phillies is collecting the last hit ever at Connie Mack Stadium on October 1, 1970.

Following the 1972 season, Gamble was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Del Unser, and he began to see regular playing time, split between designated hitter and the outfield. After hitting at least 15 home runs in each of three summers there, he was sent to the New York Yankees for Pat Dobson and was the regular rightfielder on the club that reached the 1976 World Series.

The following spring, Gamble was traded again, this time to the Chicago White Sox, along with La Marr Hoyt, for shortstop Bucky Dent. He had his best big league seasons there, hitting .297 with 31 homers as the "South Side Hit Men" made an unlikely run for the AL West title, ultimately finishing just short in third place. But with his free agency looming after the season, he made no secret of his contract demands, which the Sox were unable to meet. Following the season, he signed with the San Diego Padres.

Gamble was a bit of a bust with the Padres in 1978, hitting just 7 homers and driving in only 47 runs. After the season, he was dealt to the Texas Rangers. He hit .335 with 8 home runs in 64 games with the Rangers in 1979 before being sent back to the Yankees during the heat of the pennant race. He proceeded to go on a tear, hitting .389 with 11 home runs in 36 games for New York, ending the season with a .358 average and a .609 slugging percentage in 274 at-bats.

Gamble remained with the Yankees for five more seasons and hit .600 with a pair of home runs in the 1981 ALDS against the Milwaukee Brewers. Mostly a left-handed platoon player, he was especially effective at Yankee Stadium, where he slugged .585 over the course of his career. He returned to the South Side of Chicago as a free agent in 1985 but was released in August after hitting just .203 in 70 games.

Overall, Gamble hit exactly 200 home runs in his major league career.

After his big league days, Gamble played for the St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989, appearing in 4 games and batting .273.

His son, Sean Gamble, played in the Phillies organization, most recently as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1973 & 1977)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1977)

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