Saturday, August 2, 2014

RANDOM QUICKIE: 1970 TOPPS BOB CHRISTIAN

Here's a guy I never really knew anything about, but recently came across and wanted to delve into: former Detroit Tiger and Chicago White Sox outfielder Bob Christian.
Take a look at his one dedicated Topps card:


First off, the image is one of him in a Detroit uniform.
Odd since he played for the White Sox in 1969, and appeared in 39 games for them, good for 143 plate appearances.
What's even stranger is that in 1968 he appeared in only three games for the Tigers, the first three games of his career, yet an image of him from that season made it to this card.
He did appear in the 1969 set on a multi-player White Sox rookie card, (along with Gerry Nyman), but was also in a Detroit uniform, his cap being airbrushed "blank".
Those two cards would be the only two he'd appear on.
For his playing career, Christian only got into 54 Major League games in the three years he saw big league action, and was out of the Majors by the age of 24.
One big highlight from his career would be his first big league homer, which was off of future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer on June 14, 1969.
In 1971 and 1972 he went on to play ball in Japan for the Toei Flyers, hitting a combined .263 wth 27 homers and 90 runs batted in.
But sadly, I recently came across a small write up of him because of some tragic circumstances, and learned of why he was out of the game so soon.
Turns out that just four years after his last Major League game, at the very young age of 28, he passed away after being diagnosed with Leukemia.
Yet another tragic ending for a ballplayer from that era, which does seem inordinately "common" compared to other decades.

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