Here's a card that leaves you wondering why Topps even bothered, yet falls into my "Long Time No See" thread for players who had years between card appearances: #427 Fred Norman from the 1970 set.
Take a look:
This was Norman's first card since Topps' 1965 set, when he appeared on a Cubs "rookie stars" card (#386), shown here:
What makes the 1970 card so odd is that Norman hadn't even appeared in a Major League game since the 1967 season, and even THEN he only got into a single game for the Cubs, for a single inning!
As a matter of fact, between 1965 and 1969, Norman's total Major League output as far as games he appeared in is THREE.
So when planning for the 1970 set came around, I can't really see why Topps went back and came up with Norman.
Notice the cheap-o cap he's wearing on the 1970 card? The "L.A." logo appears to be some iron-on patch. Hilarious…
Fred Norman is one of those guys (like Jamie Moyer), who really hit his Major League stride in his 30's.
He had his first 10+ win season at 30 in 1973, then reeled off seven straight such seasons until he hit 36 years of age.
He was a starter throughout the "Big Red Machine" days of the Cincinnati Reds, and pitched in both World Series in 1975 & 1976.
By the time he retired after the 1980 season, he put together a very decent 16-year career, posting a 104-103 record with a 3.64 E.R.A.
Those two World Championship seasons with the Reds would arguably be his two best as a Major Leaguer, going a combined 24-11 with an E.R.A. in the mid-3.00's.
Not bad for a guy who had only 5 career wins by the time he was 29 years of age.
Still leaves me scratching my head as to why he was included in the 1970 set though.