Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"WE HARDLY KNEW YA"- A CUP OF COFFEE AND A BASEBALL CARD #2

This 1975 Topps Bruce Ellingsen (#288) card always stuck out to me because of the photo. It reminded me of a Hollywood head shot instead of a baseball card.
Not only that, but this looked like a photo out of the '50's or '60's, NOT the wild and crazy '70's. Amid the sea of funk that was the 1975 set, this card garnered a second look for all the "wrong" reasons.
Ellingsen was drafted by the Dodgers out of high school in the 63rd round of the 1967 draft. After toiling in the minors for both L.A. and the California Angels, he was traded by the Dodgers to the Indians on April 4th, 1974.
What makes the trade so significant was that the player L.A. got in return straight up was none other than Pedro Guerrero, then a teenager in rookie ball.
Definitely a one-sided trade if there ever was one, as Ellingsen ended up pitching for Cleveland in a total of 16 games during the 1974 season, posting a record of 1-1 in 42 innings, never to return again. So by the time kids were pulling this card out of packs, Ellingsen was out of the Majors for good.
Now consider that Pedro Guerrero went onto a very good 10-plus year career with L.A., with three top-4 M.V.P. finishes and four all-star nods, and Cleveland has to consider this one of the worst franchise trades in their recent history.
Oh well, at least Ellingsen got a Topps baseball card out of a 16-game "cup of coffee" in one of the more memorable baseball card sets. Good for him.

Is this a "Head Shot" or a baseball card?

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