Sunday, August 3, 2014

MISSING IN ACTION- 1974 TONY TAYLOR

Here's a "missing" card of an already established veteran at the tail end of his very nice career: a 1974 Tony Taylor card.
Take a look-see:


The Cuban infielder was already a 16-year veteran of the Majors, having come up with the Chicago Cubs in 1958 and going on to star for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1960's.
In 1971 he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, and in 1973 he played in 84 games for them, with 302 plate appearances.
He'd end up hitting .229 with 63 hits in 275 at-bats, and by season's end it did indeed seem like his career was over for the 37-year old.
I understand why Topps didn't bother including Taylor in the 1974 set, but I wanted to design a card for him anyway since I found this nice shot of him as a Tiger, and the fact that, as it turned out, he was signed by his old team, the Phillies, and managed to squeeze out three more years in the big leagues.
He'd end up retiring after the 1976 season, and allowed a young kid like myself the chance to have his last card (1976) as he was beginning a life-long obsession of collecting.
Taylor had a very solid 19 year career, finishing with over 2000 hits (2007), 1005 runs scored, and 234 stolen bases.
He also made what some call the toughest play in teammate Jim Bunning's 1964 perfect game against the New York Mets.
In the fifth inning of that game, Mets catcher Jesse Gonder hit a ball between first and second base, where Taylor made a diving stop, just in time to get Gonder at first.
I nice little anecdote to it all is that years later, Bunning mentioned in an article that to this very day he and Taylor call each other every year on the anniversary of the game, June 21st, to reminisce.
Pretty cool if you ask me…

2 comments:

  1. Nice job on this one. You could actually do a 1977 Topps card of him on the Phillies like you did for your 1975 Topps Norm Cash card a few weeks ago.

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