Friday, August 26, 2016

MISSING IN ACTION- 1974 WAYNE SIMPSON

Here’s a “missing” 1974 card for former pitcher Wayne Simpson, who burst on to the Major League scene in 1970 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, but because of injuries never found that initial success later on:


Four years removed from his fantastic rookie year, Simpson found himself in Kansas City, trying to hang on and pitch through injuries that derailed his career, one that saw him go 14-3 with a 3.02 earned run average and league-leading .824 winning percentage as a member of the pennant winning Reds team in 1970.
For the Royals in 1973 he would go 3-4, with a 5.73 ERA over 16 appearances, 10 of which were starts, with a complete game and 29 K’s over 59.2 innings.
Sadly for him, he would only pitch a handful of games in 1975 for the Phillies, then make somewhat of a comeback in 1977 with the California Angels, which saw him go 6-12 with a 5.83 ERA over 27 games, 23 as a starter.
But that would be it for him, and at the age of 28 he would never see Major League action again.
His 1970 season was one of those rookie splashes up there with Von McDaniel, Mark Fidrych and Herb Score, enough so that he would still be a figure baseball magazines would write about years later as far as a young arm making an immediate impact.
Sadly like so many of those other young studs, it was something that they couldn’t maintain through no fault of their own.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

1976 PROJECT: MIKE GARMAN RE-DO

Today I post a “re-do” of former pitcher Mike Garman’s 1976 Topps card, which was originally an airbrushed to show him on his new team, the Chicago Cubs, for which “Reader Jim” wanted a St. Louis Cardinal version to reflect the team he suited up for in 1975.
First up, the original:


Now the redesigned card with the Cardinals:




As I’ve stated before, I have always thought of a year’s baseball card set as more of a “yearbook” of sorts for everything that happened the previous year, and agree with Jim that having cards reflect that seem to make more sense.
Of course the other side of the argument is just as valid and I do see the reasoning, but nevertheless I am more than happy to accommodate Jim and what he asked me to create.
Garman put together a nice ‘75 season in St. Louis, posting a 3-8 record which wasn’t indicative of his 2.39 earned run average with 10 saves in 66 appearances and 79 innings pitched.
He would pitch for nine-years in the Major Leagues, collecting 42 saves and 22 wins (against 27 losses) generally out of the bullpen, as only eight of his career 303 games were as a starter.
He’d also finish with a 3.63 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 433.2 innings, with his only postseason action coming in 1977 as a member of the National League champ Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"WTHBALLS" ISSUE #2: 1970 "MISSING IN ACTION" MAGAZINE IS HERE!

Hello Everyone,
For those interested, the second issue of “wthballs” arrived, and it features all my “Missing in Action” 1970 cards to date from the blog.
Once again it comes in at 24-pages, full-color from cover to cover, and has players such as Don Drysdale, Bill White, Ken Boyer as well as the obscure guys like Van Kelly, Jim Mason and Steve Jones.
As with the first issue, it’s $7 postpaid and you can paypal me at: john@slogun.com
Let me know if you want one and I’ll put it aside!
As for those who have already pre-paid, they will go out Friday afternoon (next trip to the P.O.)
Thank you all and take care,
Gio

MISSING IN ACTION- 1975 FERNANDO GONZALEZ

Today I post up a “missing” 1975 card for former New York Yankee (for a short time anyway) Fernando Gonzalez, who came over to the Bronx from the Kansas City Royals during the 1974 season:


Gonzalez Played in 60 games in 1974, the first nine with KC before finding himself in New York with the Yanks, hitting for a cumulative .204 average, with 29 hits in 142 at-bats.
After missing out on Major League play the next two seasons he’d make it back, now with the team he originally came up with, the Pittsburgh Pirates, before moving on to the San Diego padres where he would play until 1979, his last year in the Majors.
In his six seasons in the big show he would hit .235 with 244 hits in 1038 at-bats over 404 games, with 17 homers and 104 runs batted in along with 85 runs scored

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

FANTASY CARD- 1972 SANDY KOUFAX IN-ACTION

Let’s close out the “Fantasy” Koufax series with a 1972 “In-Action card of the lefty legend shall we? I used a horizontal format for some in-game action for the fellow Brooklyn-native:


Thus end my dream cards of Koufax playing into the 1970’s, wondering all the incredible numbers he could have racked up had not injuries stopped his career to a dead halt, right after taking home his third Cy Young Award in four years in 1966.
What COULD he have done during the “Year of the Pitcher” in 1968? Man we can only wonder...

Monday, August 22, 2016

MISSING IN ACTION- 1978 RICH McKINNEY

Here is a “missing” 1978 card that’s a last hurrah for former Oakland A’s player Rich McKinney, who came back to the Majors after missing a year:


McKinney was back in the big leagues in 1977, appearing in 86 games for the A’s, hitting .177 with 35 hits over 198 at-bats, which sadly didn’t translate into any more Major League action, closing out his seven-year career.
Up with the Chicago White Sox in 1970, he went on to play for the New York Yankees in 1972, then Oakland the final four years of his career, although he only played in 13 games in 1974 and 1975 combined before spending 1976 in the Minors, putting up some good numbers.
When it was all said and done, McKinney finished with a .225 batting average, with 199 hits in 886 at-bats over 341 games, with 20 homers and exactly 100 runs batted in and 79 runs scored.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1970'S: ROD CAREW TAKES HIS SEVENTH BATTING TITLE

Here is a “Highlight” card for batting guru Rod Crew, who took home his SEVENTH batting title in 1978, absolutely dominating the American League during the 1970’s:


Carew hit .333 in 1978, and also led the league in on-base-percentage with a .411 figure, and marked the sixth time in seven years he took home the title as top hitter in the Junior Circuit.
Now, you also have to remember that he just missed another title in 1976 when he fell two points short of George Brett, which could have made it seven straight!
The man topped .300 15 years in a row, with a high of .388 in 1977 on his way to a Most Valuable Player Award and capturing the public’s attention with his .400 chase late in the season.
A clear-cut Hall of Fame player, he was inducted on his first year of eligibility in 1991 when he garnered 90.5% of the vote, which leaves me with the question: who the hell are the 9.5% who DIDN’T vote for him!!!???

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