Friday, July 26, 2013


If there ever was a perfect visual as to what the 1970's were to Major League Baseball on a social level, I think Bob Coluccio and his three successive baseball cards were it.
While his career wasn't much to write home about, spanning five sporadic years between 1973 and 1978 for the Brewers, White Sox and Cardinals, Bob managed to have three Topps cards.
And what a set of three cards they were!
Beginning in 1974, you have a nice, clean-cut wide-eyed young player with all the possibilities of stardom at his feet. Check it out:

Welcome to the big leagues Bob!

After a "decent" rookie year in 1973 where he appeared in 124 games for Milwaukee and popped 15 homers, Coluccio was rewarded with a nice rookie card in the 1974 set that we can all say was normal in every way. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Bob even got more playing time with the Brewers that season, managing to get into 138 games but without the muscle of the year before, hitting only 6 home runs while maintaining his low .220's batting average. Not a good omen for things to come.
But he did get his second card out there, and it looked pretty cool as party of that colorful 1975 offering. Take a look:

Hmmm...Looking a bit scraggly there Bob.
Now, nothing TOO crazy here, but Bob seems to be growing his hair out a bit. Looks a little "rougher" around the edges, don't you think? But hey, nothing a bunch of other players weren't doing come 1975, so no big deal. Still a nice looking card.
The '75 season wasn't too kind to Mr. Coluccio, as his playing time was cut dramatically, as was his production at the plate, giving us a .202/.284/.314 slash line. Certainly nothing to write home about.
On top of that, Bob was traded on May 8th of that year to the White Sox for Bill Sharp, another of those light-hitting guys patrolling the outfield back then.
Nevertheless, he garnered enough playing time for Topps to bring him back for their 1976 set (my favorite set of all time), and boy was it a DOOZY!
This would end up being Coluccio's last baseball card, and he went out with a bang!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new and improved BOB COLUCCIO:

Welcome to the '70's Bob!!!
Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! The hair, the 'stache, and those oh-so-70's shades! Perfect!
All that's missing is a slightly unbuttoned jersey with some tufts of chest hair peeking out, and a gold necklace with a big medallion.
Again, this transformation is all between '74 and '76. He's something right out of a Chicago police station!
Bob's career ended after the 1978 season, where he briefly played for the Cardinals. He appeared in only five games, going 0-3. But what a legacy he left us with his cards right?
Really. How can you NOT love 1970's baseball cards.
Tonight I will honor Robert Pasquali Coluccio over a few shots of bourbon. From one Italian to another.
Cheers Bob!

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