Tuesday, October 23, 2018

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1976 PAT OSBURN

Today I post up my 1976 card for former pitcher Pat Osburn, who played two seasons as a Big Leaguer, and me now creating cards marking both seasons:


Previously I had a 1975 card for him on the blog, showing him with the Cincinnati Reds, for whom he made his MLB debut during the 1974 season when he went 0-0 with an ERA at 8.00 over six games and nine innings.
The card today shows him with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he made another six appearances in 1975, going 0-1 with an ERA at 5.40 over 11.9 innings of work.
In 1976 he’d spend the entire season in the Kansas City Royals Minor League system, going 7-4 with a very nice 2.32 ERA over 14 starts, completing half of them.
But he’d never get a call back up to the Big Leagues that year, and it seems he retired all-together from pro ball.

Monday, October 22, 2018

ANOTHER CASE OF AIRBRUSHING-1977 BILL SINGER

Today we take a look at the original airbrushed photo used for former pitcher Bill Singer’s last Topps card, a 1977 card as a member of the inaugural Toronto Blue Jays team:


I always found it odd when the artists at Topps did all the work on a cap, like this one which was excellently executed, then for some reason or another decided not to quickly paint-in the collar to a correct color.
Odd no?
You can clearly see that he was wearing a Minnesota Twins jersey, for whom he finished the 1976 season for after starting the year with the Texas Rangers.
Combined, he went 13-10 with an ERA at 3.69 over 36 appearances, all starts, which included four shutouts.
Sadly for him though, 1977 was a bad year for him, as he’d go 2-8 with the new organization, posting an ERA at 6.79 over 13 appearances, all but one of them starts.
Still only 33 years old, it turned out to be his last year as a Major League pitcher, finishing up with a record of 118-127 with an ERA of 3.39 with 24 shutouts in 322 appearances, 308 of those starts.
Of course he’s remembered for tossing a no-hitter in 1970, while also posting 20-win seasons in BOTH the American and National Leagues, going 20-12 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970 and 20-14 in 1973 for the California Angels, for which he was named to the All-Star teams each season, the only two times he’d make the team.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1975 RALPH GARCIA

Today I post up a “not so missing” 1975 card for former San Diego Padres pitcher Ralph Garcia, who appeared in what would be the last eight games of his brief two-year Major league career in 1974:


Garcia didn’t factor in a decision over those eight appearances, throwing 10.1 innings to an ERA of 6.10 with nine strikeouts against seven walks.
His only other Big League action was back in 1972 when he came up and threw five innings over three appearances as a September call-up for the Padres, again not picking up a decision but pitching to a very nice 1.80 ERA.
After a 1975 season that saw him spend the entire year in the Minor Leagues, Garcia retired for good as a player, leaving us with 11 appearances over 15.1 innings, no decisions and an ERA of 4.70, striking out 12.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

NO-HITTERS SPECIAL SUB-SET: VIDA BLUE, SEPTEMBER 21ST, 1970

Here was a fun card to create, a 1971 card celebrating the “arrival” of a young Oakland A’s pitcher named Vida Blue, who no-hit a very good Minnesota Twins line-up on September 21st, 1970:


Blue struck out nine with only one walk, facing the minimum 27 batters in his gem, giving him a 2-0 record with a 2.28 earned run average with the 6-0 win.
The offense supplied was pretty much all by lead-ff hitter Bert Campaneris, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, all on a three-run homer off Twins starter Jim Perry in the 8th inning.
Of course- we all know that the 21-year old lefty was just getting started, as he would take over the Majors the following season, going on to not only win the Cy Young Award, but take the league MVP Award as well with a 24-8 showing, along with a 1.82 earned run average and eight shutouts, with 301 strikeouts as the A’s were just about to become a three-peat world champion dynasty.
Blue would go on to six All-Star games, starting and winning one in each league, and eventually retire with 209 wins and a 3.27 ERA with 37 shutouts, posting three 20-win seasons over his 17-year career.
A true icon of 1970’s baseball.

Friday, October 19, 2018

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 GEORGE ZEBER

Next up on the blog, a “not so missing” 1979 card for former New York Yankee George Zeber, who had his one and only card the previous year, and confused a lot of us young kids with a “George who?!”:


After a very nice rookie showing in 1977 when he hit .323 over 25 games for the World Champs, Zeber was still hard pressed to crack the Yankee line-up, as evidenced by only three appearances during the second straight championship campaign.
He went 0-for-6 at the plate, in what would end up being his last taste of the Big Leagues, heading back to the Minor Leagues, where he’d finish out the season, hitting .235 in Triple-A ball.
The mystery is that it seems after that 1978 season, he never played pro ball again. I cannot find any other information on active play after that.
Nevertheless, Zeber was forever immortalized on cardboard with that 1978 card, smack dab in between those other Yankees like Reggie, Nettles and Guidry in that great 1978 set.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1972 JAY SCHLUETER

Today we have a 1972 card for former Houston Astros outfielder Jay Schlueter, he of a short seven-game Major League career that last about a month from June to July of 1971:


Schlueter appeared in two games as a left fielder for the Astros, going 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored, while also pinch-running, giving him a brief taste of the Big Leagues.
Sadly for him, over the course of the next four seasons he’d be mired in the Minor Leagues, for both the Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, before retiring as a player for good at the end of the 1975 season.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

TRADED- 1973 RAY FOSSE

On the blog today we have a 1973 “traded” card for former all-star catcher Ray Fosse, who was shipped off to the dynastic Oakland A’s by the time the 1973 season opened up:

Updated "Traded" card
Issued Topps card

Talk about your good fortunes, Fosse was traded to the A’s from the Cleveland Indians on March 24th of 1973 along with Jack Heidemann for Dave Duncan and George Hendrick, giving him a chance at Post Season play for the first time.
This got him two World Championships, in 1973 and 1974, right smack in the middle of his Big League career, which lasted 12 years between 1967 and 1979.
The catcher, forever remembered for being on the wrong end of a Pete Rose collision at home plate in the 1970 All-Star game, had a nice run between 1970 and 1973 when he put up very nice numbers for a catcher in the era.
In 1970 he hit 18 homers while batting .307, with 61 runs batted in and 62 runs scored, along with the first of his two Gold Gloves.
Contrary to what many believe, the All-Star injury at the hands of Pete Rose did not derail his career, as other injuries along the way in the following years also contributed to his drop in performance.
Nevertheless, by the time Fosse retired after a brief stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1979, he finished with a .256 average, with 758 hits over 2957 at-bats, driving in 324 runs while scoring 299 himself over 924 Big League games.
On another note, you really have to wonder how good those Cleveland Indians could have been by the late-70’s had they NOT traded away players like Graig Nettles, Dick Tidrow, Chris Chambliss and Fosse.

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Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.