Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Today's "missing" player from the 1970's is Texas Ranger pitcher Jim Panther, who should have had a card in Topps' 1973 set.
Take a look:

First off, by the time the 1973 season opened up Panther was a member of the Atlanta Braves after being traded for Rico Carty in the off-season.
However, since he logged his 1972 playing time with the Rangers I went ahead and designed the card with him still Texas duds.
In 1972 Panther appeared in 58 games, good for 93.2 innings of work.
He went 5-9 with a 4.13 earned run average, and even started four games.So why he didn't get a slot in the 1973 set is beyond me.
Panther came up to the Majors the previous year with the Oakland A's, getting into 4 games and 5.2 innings. His only decision was a loss.
After moving on to Atlanta, Panther didn't fair too well, as he ended up 2-3 with a bloated 7.63 E.R.A., spread out over 23 games.
As it turned out, by season's end his pro playing days were done, and from what I gather online he went on to coach some High School ball in Libertyville, Illinois.
All told Panther got to see Major League action in three seasons, each one playing for a different organization.
He ended up with a 7-13 career record, with a 5.26 E.R.A. and 56 strikeouts over 130 innings of work in 85 games.


  1. I have seen Jim Panther's name in the baseball encyclopedia for years and now I finally get to see the guy in this cool card. Makes you wonder how Topps came up with their choices for "card worthy" players considering all the time he spent in the big leagues that year. I noticed you were up super early creating this! Wow!!

  2. Great addition. Love the initial Rangers uniforms.

  3. Hi there! Here is a reprised comment from one that I posted on your Fergie design from last year... Long time reader, second time writer…Just a note in offering how much that I have been enjoying your blog on all things 1970s Topps cards!

    Concerning your “Gimme a Do Over” and ”Missing in Action” cards, this is exactly the type of project that I have been taking on for a few years. I've identified the players that need a makeover, I just have no creative tools or skills. For my project, the key and much like you done with Mr Panther, is that the team that they appear for in that year, would be used for the applicable Topps Format. Take your beautiful version of Fergie Jenkins last year. In mine, he would be in the unis of the ’73 Cubs but as part of the same ’74 Topps Format. This way, the front image of his card reflects the season he had, and for whom he had it with, on the back of the card. With your great “MIA” series, consider the curious case of the Brewers Gary Beare. In ’76 he appeared in 6 games, starting 5 across 41 IP, good enough to be considered as the 10th man on that pitching staff. If one could find a color photo of him, it would appear as part of the ’77 Topps template in my little project. Hint hint… ;)

    This gets real interesting as you have noted, what with all the airbrushed jobs that the folks at Topps had throughout the 70s….including the Cubs (Reds) version of Woodie Fryman in the ’78 Topps set…

    Again – love the blog and I stop by to read as often as I can…..Cheers! J

    1. Hey! Thanks for reading (and writing in)! I do agree with you as far as depicting the player on the front for the season he HAD. That's also why I've been designing a bunch of cards for players that performed the previous year, even though they didn't actually play during the season of the card year.
      I have always felt that baseball cards are really more about what happened the year before, as a sort of recollection, than anything else.
      I will surely look into a Gary Beare 1977 edition! I only wish I had access to the Topps photo archives!! I'd be busy for years! ;)

    2. I agree. I always looked at them as a type of yearbook or annual documenting the previous year as much as possible. Obvious when they issued cards by series they were able to make adjustments and add traded cards or show guys in "this year's" uniform. But missing out on solid guys that had significant AB's or innings pitched is very curious.

  4. Appreciate that!

    Ahhhh yes....the mysterious Topps Archives.....As you probably know, legend has it that apparently years back Topps had an archived area containing thousands of folders in many filing cabinets with tens of thousands of images from the 50s-70s. A decade ago as the story goes, they then packed it all up and shipped tons of product to some satellite office for sale on ebay with no real organization in their storage. Meanwhile, I stay on the look out for a color image of Sonny Siebert as a Ranger in '73 or Eddie Leon in his applicable '72 Indian uni.....Ugh. ;)

    Again - great blog!

    1. HA! I'm on the lookout for a usable color photo of Dean Chance as a Detroit Tiger!! Help! Or Jim Perry as an Oakland A's player!

  5. Sorry - only B&W......Good luck!

  6. He coached me in 1978-1979 at Libertyville High School. Great guy! Great Coach! He also had one hit, a single vs. Minnesota Twins the inning after hitting Harman Killebrew the inning before.

  7. I always wondered why he did not get a card in 1973, great job.



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