Don Bosch

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Donald John Bosch

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Biographical Information[edit]

A switch-hitting center-fielder, Don Bosch was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and had some good seasons in their minor league system in the early 1960s, hitting .332 in 144 games with the Kinston Indians in 1963, and then .283 with 21 doubles, 8 triples and 11 homers for the Columbus Jets in 1966. That earned him a brief look with the Pirates in September of the year, after which the New York Mets acquired him with the view of making him their starting centerfielder. He was already touted as "the next Mickey Mantle" and of course had no way of living up to such lofty expectations. He didn't come close in fact, hitting .140 in 1967 and being sent back to the minors in early June. The Mets acquired Tommie Agee to be their centerfielder in 1968, and, even though Agee struggled at the plate, Bosch played himself out of the team's future plans by hitting .171 in 50 games that year.

The Mets left Bosch exposed in the expansion draft, but he was not picked, and the Mets then simply sold him to the Montreal Expos when the draft was over. He had the inside track to earn the Expos' starting job in center field, but during their first spring training in 1969, he was beaten out of the job by Rule V draftee Don Hahn, who became the Opening Day starter in center field. Hahn quickly showed he was not ready to play in the majors, and Bosch then got a chance to start in CF for a while, but he still couldn't buy a hit. He was hitting a mere .179 in 49 games - the highest of his career though - when he went down with a season-ending injury in early July. He couldn't make the team in 1970 and was sent to the AAA Buffalo Bisons (which became the Winnipeg Whips after a few weeks), and hit decently there - .266 in 51 games with a bit of power. On June 23rd, he was traded to the Houston Astros for pitcher Mike Marshall in a deal that would turn out to be an absolute steal for the Expos. Marshall became one the best relievers in baseball for the rest of the 1970s, while Bosch hit only .196 in 25 games for the Oklahoma City 89ers and was released, ending his career.

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