Tuesday, July 16, 2013


One day while trolling through cards to spark ideas for this blog I came across this seemingly "common" common: Topps 1977 Chuck Hartenstein #416.
Luckily for some reason I flipped the card around and looked at the stats posted, and saw that this guy hadn't appeared in a Major League game since 1970. So of course, I look up when he last appeared on a baseball card and saw that it was also in 1970.
Amazing actually, that a guy has a span of seven years between baseball cards as an active player. The only other time I can recall this happening is with pitcher Vicente Romo, who went between 1975-1983 without a card.
Thanks to baseball's expansion with the Mariners and Blue Jays, there was a sudden need for some "extra" players in 1977, especially some cheap, unprotected veterans and cast-offs who could fill some roles on the bench and in the bullpen.
Apparently the Toronto brass felt Hartenstein was one of these guys, even if his earlier career wasn't necessarily stellar.
Pitching from 1966-1970, Chuck sported an even 17-17 record as an arm out of the pen over 174 games for the Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates and Red Sox with a 4.52 E.R.A.
As for his return to the big leagues, it wasn't much to look at, posting an 0-2 record with a 6.59 E.R.A. in 13 games.
But hey, at least it was good for a nifty, groovy-looking card that only the '70's could offer.
I'm still trying to see if I uncover any other cards of guys who had a long span between issues but can't seem to find any. Anyone know of any others?

From 1970: clean-cut and unassuming...

To this: dig the shades and sideburns!

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