1965 Topps - Dick Wantz
Dick Wantz, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-handed sidearmer reminded everyone of Ewell Blackwell, when he broke camp with the Angels in 1965. He would be used when Bob Lee was tired.
On April 13, 1965, Dick got his first shot with the Angels. In the eighth inning, against the Cleveland Indians at home, Wantz struck out Max Alvis to start off the frame. He gave up two straight doubles to Vic Davalillo and Larry Brown, scoring Davalillo in the process. A single to Joe Azcue scored Brown. Dick settled down and struck out pitcher Ralph Terry, then got Dick Howser to flyout to shortstop Jim Fregosi.
After the game, Dick complained of severe headaches. Wantz was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor and died on May 13, 1965, at the age of 25.
Dick Wantz never got a card from Topps. In my research, he never got any card. There may be a local or team issue that has escaped me, but to my knowledge, none exist.
This was perhaps the most difficult entry to make. There are only a few Dick Wantz pictures in an Angels uniform. All pictures of Dick that I've seen are in black and white. Therefore, I had to hand tint the one usable picture I found. All of the California Angels pictures I've found of Wantz are headshots. All but this one were grainy, newspaper quality.
Hopefully, this will fill the void until a decent quality picture of Dick Wantz can be found in color.