Saturday, October 22, 2016


Today we celebrate Early Wynn’s long sought after 300th win, which finally came on July 13th of 1963, with a 10th anniversary “Turn Back the Clock” card for the 1973 set:

Wynn, who was a stalwart of the Cleveland Indians rotation for years with teammates Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Mike Garcia, notched his 299th win as a Chicago White Sox player in 1962, with a few starts left in the season.
However that milestone win was beyond reach as he struggled in his remaining appearances, finishing up stuck one short of baseball history.
To add to the suspense, and something that would never happen these days, no one signed him for the upcoming 1963 season!
So Wynn sat, not sure if he’d even get a chance to get that one final win, until his old team the Indians signed him on June 21st.
Finally, after a few starts that should have gotten him that elusive win, Wynn took the mound against the Kansas City Athletics on July 13th, and after the Indians scored four runs in the fifth inning to break the game wide-open, (though they would give up some runs to make it a close game later on), Wynn did it, joining some of baseball’s elite hurlers to notch 300 career wins.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Here’s what would be a “missing” rookie card for Gold Glove winning first baseman Mike Squires, who would spend his entire 10-year career with the Chicago White Sox:

Squires came up to the Major Leagues in 1975, appearing in 20 games for the Pale Hose, batting .231 over 65 at-bats.
After a season in the Minors in ‘76, he was in the Big Leagues to say in 1977, generally a guy off the bench, specifically as a defensive replacement, leading to a Gold Glove Award in the strike-shortened 1981 season.
By the time he was out of the Majors after a couple of games in 1985, he left behind a .260 batting average with 411 hits over 1580 at-bats in 779 games, with a career .995 fielding percentage.
Nevertheless, as it stands Squires first card would be in that horrible black-and-white multi-player rookie sub-set in the 1979 set.
On a side-note, never realized that in the 1976 Topps set, there isn’t a first baseman among all the White Sox players.  I had to get creative to whip up a first baseman template for this card.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Here’s another airbrush classic thanks to Topps, the 1974 Clyde Wright (father of Jaret) edition:

Wright found himself in Milwaukee after an eight-year run with the California Angels, the team he came up with in 1966.
So Topps whipped out the tools and gave us this great paint job to “Brewer-ize” Wright just in time for their 1974 set.
Wright had quite a run with the Angels between 1970 and 1972, posting three straight years of sub-3.00 earned run averages along with 56 wins with a high of 22 in 1970, with six shutouts while averaging about 265 innings pitched.
Sadly for him however once a Brewer in 1974, he would end up losing 20, going 9-20 with a not so terrible 4.42 ERA, but in the light-hitting early 1970’s it was high enough to spell doom for any pitcher.
He would spend the 1975 season with the Texas Rangers, then find himself out of the Major Leagues for good, finishing with a 100-111 career record along with a 3.50 ERA over 329 games and 1728.2 innings pitched.
Years later his son Jaret would make a name for himself in 1997 beating the Yankees twice in the Division Series to help the Cleveland Indians eventually move on to the World Series before losing to the Florida Marlins.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Here’s a missing “career-capping” 1973 card of former pitcher Tom Phoebus, one-time Baltimore Oriole young gun who wrapped up a seven year career with the Chicago Cubs in 1972:

Phoebus appeared in 38 games in 1972, split between the San Diego padres and Cubs, posting a 3-4 record with a 4.04 earned run average over 89 innings of work.
He somewhat burst onto the Major League stage in 1966 when he threw two shutouts in three starts, going 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA.
Over the next three seasons he performed really well, winning 43 games with nine shutouts, even throwing a no-hitter on April 27th, 1968 against the reigning American League champ Boston Red Sox.
But after a 1970 season that saw him limited to 21 starts, posting a 5-5 record, Phoebus was traded to the San Diego Padres where he went 3-11 with a 4.46 ERA, before ending his career with that last split year in 1972.
Overall, Phoebus posted a 56-52 record with a nice 3.33 ERA over 201 games, 149 of them starts, with eleven shutouts and 725 strikeouts in 1030 innings pitched.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


It’s been a little while since I added to the missing 1972 “In Action” series, so today I post one up for former Gold Glove first baseman Wes Parker, aka “Mr. Steady” of the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Parker was just a season off of his fantastic 1970 campaign when he hit .319 with 196 hits with 10 home runs and 111 runs batted in with a league-leading 47 doubles.
Really an anomaly since before that he never batted higher than .278, or drove in more than 68 runs.
Nevertheless the man was a fantastic defensive player as evidenced by his six consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1967 and 1972.
After the 1972 season Parker, then only 32 years old, retired from baseball, cutting his then nine-year career short.
I can’t really find anything online as to why, since it doesn’t seem to be injury, but it did open up the position for a young stud out of Michigan (and SHOULD-BE Hall of Famer) Steve Garvey.
Anyone know why Parker retired?
I do remember him becoming an actor and even appearing on The Brady Bunch once, but as to why he left the game so early on is beyond me...

Monday, October 17, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1977 card for a guy who was never a full-time player, but still put together an eight-year career between 1969-1976, outfielder Jim Lyttle:

Lyttle capped of his career with a final year in 1976 split between the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers, where he hit a combined .248 with 38 hits over 153 at-bats in 65 games.
Originally up with the Yanks, he’d play in the Bronx until 1972 when he put in a lone season for the Chicago White Sox before moving on to the Expos where he would play until his move to L.A.
All told Lyttle batted .248 for his career with 176 hits in 710 at-bats over 391 games, with his 1970 season being his best when he hit .310 for the Yanks over 87 games played.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Next up in my “Then and Now” super veteran series is former long time Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis, who capped off a wonderful 18-year career in 1979 with the California Angels, but had his last card in the 1977 Topps set:

Davis came up with the Dodgers as a 20-year old in 1960, just in time to be a part of the organization’s great run which included two world championships in 1963 and 1965, as well as a World Series appearance in 1966.
A speedster who racked up hits and had the occasional power, Davis finished his career with over 2500 hits, 182 home runs and 398 stolen bases, along with a nice .279 batting average in 2429 career games.
Though he played the first 14 years of his career in L.A., Davis would go on to play for five teams over the last four years of his career: Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and the Angels in 1979 after a two-year absence from MLB ball in 1977 and 1978 when he played in Japan.


Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.