When I posted my two entries on this blog regarding the "missing" Tony Horton cards, I mentioned that I came to the realization that he had these missing cards from an online piece I read about "most lifetime Major League games without a Topps card", of which Horton topped the list.
That piece was also a treasure trove of other players who never had a card for one reason or another, and I took advantage of it and designed some cards for these guys.
One of those players was San Diego Padres infielder Van Kelly, who really should have had a card in the 1970 Topps set after playing almost half of San Diego's inaugural season the previous year, manning both third and second base.
Here's my card for the overlooked player:
Kelly didn't leave much of a mark in the Majors, playing in 73 games in 1969 and only 38 games the next.
But I'd like to think that 222 plate appearances in '69 would be enough to warrant a card, especially for a 23 year old who seemed to be on the verge of a "career", no?
All told, Kelly would play in 111 games in his career, finishing with a .221 batting average, 66 hits, four homers, 25 runs scored and 24 runs batted in during his short career.
But thanks to the world of baseball card geeks like me, his name lives on!
I'll be posting up some other players with brief careers who should have had a card along the way over the next couple of weeks.
Keep an eye out for them here…