Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Up on the blog today we have a career-capping 1975 card for a starter turned reliever who put together a nice 13-year career in the Big Leagues, Pete Richert:

Richert appeared in the last 34 games of his career during the 1974 season, split between the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, going 2-1 with a very nice 2.27 earned run average in 31.2 innings.
Originally a starter the first half of his career between 1962 and 1967, he was switched over to the bullpen in 1968 while with the Baltimore Orioles, and had a nice run the rest of the way.
He would post ERA’s under 2.30 four times during that span, with a low of 1.98 in 1970 when he helped the Baltimore Orioles cruise to a World Championship over the Cincinnati Reds.
He made two All-Star teams, in 1965 and 1966 while a starter for the Washington Senators, even garnering some MVP attention for his efforts.
By the time he was done in 1974, he retired with a career 80-73 record, with a very nice 3.19 ERA over 429 appearances and 1165.2 innings pitched, with three shutouts and 51 saves.

Monday, December 9, 2019


On the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former pitcher Gary Ross, who was coming off of two straight tough seasons in 1974 and 1975:

For the 1975 campaign Ross appeared in one single game with the California Angels, throwing five innings and allowing three runs for a 5.40 ERA, taking the loss. This was after he appeared in only nine games for the San Diego Padres the year before, throwing 18 innings and not factoring in a decision.
He would bounce back nicely somewhat in 1976 when he appeared in 34 games, 31 of them starts, going 8-16 but with a very nice 3.00 earned run average with seven complete games and two shutouts in 225 innings of work.
Sadly, his 1977 season was another bust as he went 2-4 in only 14 games with a 5.55 ERA over 58.1 innings, which would end up being his last as a Big League pitcher.
He’d retire after the season, never even playing Minor League ball after that, finishing up with a career 25-47 record over 283 appearances, with a 3.92 ERA in 713.2 innings pitched between 1968 and 1977.

Sunday, December 8, 2019


Taking a closer look at another airbrushing gem from the wild-70’s today, this one the 1973 card for former outfielder Larry Stahl, who found great fortune when he went from the last-place San Diego Padres to the Cincinnati Reds:

A nice paint-job for the cap and some adequate cropping of the image, and just like that we have his 1973 card ready to be ripped out of packs.
For Stahl, he’d end up playing that one year with the Reds and call it a career, putting in 10 seasons under the Major League sun playing for the Kansas City Athletics, New York Mets, Padres and Reds between 1964 and 1973.
Never a full-time player, the most action he ever saw in any season was back in 1966 when he appeared in 119 games for the Athletics, followed by 144 games for the Padres in 1971.
Over the course of that career he hit .232 with exactly 400 hits through 1721 at-bats in 730 games, with 167 runs scored and 163 RBIs with 36 homers.

Saturday, December 7, 2019


Nice card to add to the “Nicknames of the 1970s” thread, a 1971 edition for Stan Williams, aka “Big Daddy”, who had himself a big time return to top-notch form in 1970 while with the Minnesota Twins:

Originally a starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers between 1958 and 1962, Williams even made the All-Star team in 1960 and gave the team a solid arm paired up with the likes of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.
By the time the 1970 season was opening up, his career was in flux, but he found his groove as a reliever that season, going 10-1 with a brilliant 1.99 earned run average over 68 appearances and 113.1 innings of work.
At the age of 33, you’d think he was starting a second phase of his career, but sadly he’d only be in the Majors another two seasons, pitching for the Twins, St. Louis Cardinals and finally the Boston Red Sox in 1972, making only three appearances and getting lit up to a 6.23 ERA.
After taking 1973 off, he did pitch in the Minors for Boston in 1974, and performed very well, going 2-0 with a minuscule 0.47 ERA over five appearances and 19 innings pitched, but that would be it for his Pro career, finishing up with a 109-94 record over 14 seasons, with a nice 3.48 ERA and 1305 strikeouts in 482 appearances and 1764.1 innings, throwing 11 shutouts while collecting 42 saves along the way.

Friday, December 6, 2019


I’ve been meaning to post up a blog entry about this test-set that never happened a long time ago, and came across the folder of scans recently, so here goes.
Apparently Topps was considering a “Rookie All-Stars” sub-set at some point after the 1970 season, featuring guys like Thurman Munson and Larry Bowa, but whatever reason it never happened.
Here are what the cards were going to look like:

Now, for some reason the design reeks of 1970 to me, not 1971, but all documentation I can find about it stated 1971, so 1971 it is I suppose.
I found a nice blog write-up on the Topps Archive from 2011:


Go check that out for more info.
I don’t know exactly what the idea was to move forward with such a set. Was it going to be a yearly thing? Some sort of “Update”?
Or maybe just a sub-set within the following year’s set?
Either way this would have been awesome to have, pulling them out of packs through the decade, certainly leading to some doozy’s later on like 1978 Eddie Murray and Andre Dawson, 1979 Ozzie Smith, 1976 Fred Lynn, etc.
I saw a couple go up at auction over the years and they go for ridiculous amounts of money, over $10k each!
I can’t even imagine what a Thurman Munson specimen would go for out on the open market!

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1978 card for four-game Major League pitcher Bobby Cuellar of the Texas Rangers, who saw Big League action as a September call-up during the 1977 season:

Cuellar threw 6.2 innings over those four relief appearances, allowing only one run for a nifty 1.35 earned run average, with three strikeouts and two walks.
You’d think that the performance, as well as the fact that he was only 24 years old, would get him so more playing time the following year, but it wasn’t to be.
Cuellar would go on to spend the next eight seasons in the Minors, including the 1982 season in the Mexican League, before turning to Minor League managerial work.
Incredibly he has worked in some capacity (manager, coach, etc) in Minor League ball to this very day, a good 36 years!
Add his player experience, which started in Rookie Ball in 1974, we are now talking 45 years of the baseball life.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Been a long time since I created a coach card, and today I am happy to add a 1970 card for long-time baseball lifer Frank Crosetti, “The Crow”, who had himself quite a career with the New York Yankees before lending his wisdom with the Seattle Pilots for their sole season of 1969:

Crosetti spent 37 years with the Yankees as a player and then coach, but wanted to be closer to his family in Northern California, so he took the coaching gig for Seattle before working with the Minnesota Twins in 1970 & 1971.
Crosetti was a part of 17 World Champion Yankee teams between 1932 and 1962, and 23 American League Champion squads up to 1964.
As a player he was a two-time All-Star who scored 100+ runs  four times, with a high of 137 for the juggernaut 1936 team when he had his finest year, hitting .288 with 182 hits, 35 doubles, 15 homers and 78 RBIs.
It wasn’t until a  young new shortstop named Phil Rizzuto came along that he’d lose his starting position, though he did fill in as regular shortstop when Rizzuto was in the military during World War II.
He hung up the cleats after the 1948 season and went right to coaching, never having an interest in managing as he turned down numerous offers over his coaching career.
Crosetti lived a wonderful long life, until the age of 91 before passing away from complications from a fall in 2002.
A true baseball institution.


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