So today I spotlight the 1972 Rick Wise and the 1973 Jim Fregosi cards, which collectively have a Hall of Fame battery lurking in the background.
First up is the 1972 Rick Wise (#43) card. While you have Wise frozen in time with this lame follow-through pitching pose, there are three teammates gathered in the background, and one of them is Hall of Fame pitcher and future American politician Jim Bunning (#14). He's talking to pitcher Bill Wislon (#37) and most likely a Spring training invitee since I can't find any record of a player who wore #54 for them that year.
What's interesting is that the photo is from 1971 and was Bunning's last year in the Majors. He wasn't included in the 1972 set. So he snuck in there after he hung up the cleats.
Another interesting note is that Wise would be suiting up for another team in 1972, the Cardinals, as he was dealt to St. Louis for Steve Carlton before the season started.
|Jim Bunning, second from left in the background.|
Next up we have an awesome card from the 1973 set: (#525). What a great card. This is "action" done right!
We have Fregosi obviously looking back at a foul pop that went into the stands, as none other than Johnny Bench of the Reds looking on. I love the fact that you also see all the Mets in the dugout watching the action. I wish I could make out who the they are, but I've tried enhancing the image as best I could and didn't recognize any of them.
One of my favorite cards from the set right here.
Interesting coincidence is that both Rick Wise and Jim Fregosi are long remembered as being the "bust" part of two separate historically lopsided trades.
As stated earlier, Wise was traded to the Cardinals for Steve Carlton, who went on to a Hall of Fame career mainly on what he did with Philadelphia, and Fregosi was traded to the Mets for future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who immediately became a superstar with the Angels in 1972.
|Johnny Bench tracking the foul pop.|