Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1973 CHARLIE HUDSON

Here’s a “not really missing” card for former pitcher Charlie Hudson, for whom I earlier created a “missing” 1974 card:


Hudson appeared in 12 games for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1972 season, the first taste of Major League ball he’d have.
He picked up a win against no losses, with a 5.11 earned run average over 12.1 innings of work, all out of the bullpen.
After a 1973 season that saw him as a Texas Ranger, going 4-2 with a 4.62 E.R.A. in 25 games, four of which were starts, he’d be out of the big leagues until 1975 when he made it back with the California Angels, appearing in the last three games of his short three-year career, going 0-1 with a bloated 9.53 E.R.A. to finish up at 5-3, with a 5.04 career E.R.A. in 40 appearances and 80.1 innings pitched.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

1975 "IN-ACTION" JIM PALMER

The next player featured in my on-going 1975 “In-Action” sub-set is the one and only Jim Palmer, 3-time Cy Young winner and ace of the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff for almost 20-years:


Though coming off of an uncharacteristically season in 1974 that saw him go 7-12 in only 26 games, he still posted an E.R.A. Of 3.27 with a couple of shutouts.
But of course that wasn’t the Jim Palmer we were used to, because for four years before AND after that season, he’s post 20-wins each and every time, as well as E.R.A.’s under 3.00 while racking up shutouts, innings and awards, including the aforementioned Cy Youngs, four Gold Gloves, six all-star game nods and an 8-3 postseason record with three championships.
Palmer will always be considered one of the era’s great pitchers, along with guys like Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton, the other 3-time (four for Carlton) Cy Young winners of that time period.
Just an amazing career.

Monday, April 24, 2017

MISSING IN ACTION- 1974 ED CROSBY

Here’s a 1974 “missing” card for former infielder Ed Crosby, who split 1973 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds:


Crosby played in a combined 58 games in 1973, batting .178 with 16 hits over 90 at-bats while playing all but first base in the infield.
He’d go on to play another three seasons before closing out his six-year career with a .220 batting average along with 149 hits and 67 runs scored in 677 at-bats and 297 games.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BASEBALL BROTHERS- DICK, HANK AND RON ALLEN

The next “Baseball Brothers” card in my on-going sub-set through the 1970’s are the Allen brothers, Dick, Hank and Ron, who all made it to the “Big Show”, with Dick of course leading the way as a bonafide star:


Dick, then known as “Richie”, made it to the Majors first and made an immediate impact, winning the National league Rookie of the Year Award with one of the all-time rookie campaigns, hitting .318 with a league-leading 125 runs scored and 13 triples, with 38 doubles, 29 homers and 91 runs batted in.
He’d go on to play 15-years while picking up an American League MVP Award (just missing a Triple Crown title), along with seven all-star nods.
He would top 30 homers six times, leading the league twice with 37 and 32 respectively in 1972 and 1974 while with the Chicago White Sox.
Though the oldest of the trio, Hank made it to the big league in 1966 and put together a seven year career playing for the Washington Senators, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox along with Dick.
Never a full-time player, he’d finish with a .241 batting average along with 212 hits in 881 at-bats in 389 games.
It’s worth noting that once drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, he tore up the minor league system between 1960 and 1966, knocking in 100+ runs three times and topping 20 homers three times, with a high of 37 in 1962 along with 140 RBI’s.
The youngest of the three Allen brothers, Ron just had a cup of coffee in the Majors in 1972, playing seven games with the St. Louis Cardinals during the month of August and hitting a home run for his only hit.
I don’t know why, but 1972 would be his final season as a pro Majors or Minors, and I wonder why since he was only 28 at the time. Would love to know more about him and what happened, if anything.

Nevertheless I'm always amazed when two brothers, let alone THREE or more, make the Major Leagues or any other pro sport. Awesome.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

NICKNAMES OF THE 1970'S: "THE LITTLE GENERAL" JOHNNY BENCH

Here’s a long-overdue “nickname” card for the great Johnny Bench, the “Little General”, who led the Cincinnati Reds through their “Big Red Machine” juggernaut teams of the decade to consecutive World Championships in 1975-76:


Though not really the most recognized nickname of the decade in baseball, Bench was tagged with it early on when it was clear this guy was a leader as well as a natural on the diamond.
All he would go on to do is win the National league Rookie of the Year as a 20-year old in 1968, win TWO Most Valuable Player Awards by the age of 24, and win those aforementioned championships by the age of 28.
Just an incredible career that took him straight to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1989, as if there was any chance of that NOT happening!
One of the all-time great catchers regardless of era.

Friday, April 21, 2017

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1971 MINNIE MENDOZA

Here’s a “not really” missing 1971 Minnie Mendoza card that really came out well, for the long-time minor league player who got a cup of coffee in 1970:


Mendoza FINALLY got to the Majors after 16 years in the Minor Leagues, originally appearing way back in 1954!
In his MLB cup-of-coffee he appeared in 16 games with 16 at-bats, collecting three hits and batting .188.
But don’t let those numbers fool you. This guy flat out HIT in his 20 years in the Minor Leagues, collecting 2462 hits and batting .290!
Granted, most of his hitting was in the lower levels, but I’m curious as to why he didn’t get more of a shot in the Major League level after some really fine seasons.
After his brief ZMLB appearance he was back in the Minors until the 1973 season, where he played for Monterray in the Mexican League at the age of 39.
Pretty interesting career to look into!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

1975 "IN ACTION"- TOM SEAVER

Here’s the next 1975 “In Action” card, this time it’s Mets ace Tom Seaver, who was on his way to a third Cy Young Award by the time the season was over:


After posting a record of 11-11 in 1974, Seaver came back with a vengeance in 1975, going 22-9 with a 2.8 earned run average and 243 strikeouts, leading the league in wins and K’s.
He was in prime form in the mid-70’s, putting together nine straight 200 strikeouts seasons while getting tabbed to ten all-star teams in his first eleven seasons.
Of course, being in your prime didn’t mean that the improbable could happen, as Mets fans found out on June 15th of 1977 when Seaver found himself traded to the Cincinnati Reds for four players, which at the time seemed like the rich (Reds) were getting richer.
But as baseball has shown everyone many times, having a team that is STOCKED doesn’t translate to championship seasons every time, as the Reds suddenly found themselves second-fiddle to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the West, never making it to the World Series with Seaver on their team.
Nevertheless, Seaver would ride his power-pitching straight to the Hall of Fame, finishing up with 311 wins, a 2.86 E.R.A., 61 shutouts and 3640 K’s.

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