Thanks to reader Johnny Cabrera, I started really looking at former Baltimore Oriole outfielder Tom Shopay, and the fact that his last Topps card was in the 1972 set, even though he played up until 1977.
As a matter of fact, I feel he had enough playing time in 1977 to warrant a card in the 1978 set.
So allow me to present my design for such a card (Thanks Johnny!):
Shopay's case really is a strange one.
In 1971 he appeared in 47 games, good for 79 plate appearances, and was given a slot in the 1972 set.
Yet the following year he appeared in 49 games, and was NOT given a spot in the '73 set (??).
And while he didn't appear in a Major League game in either 1973 or 1974, he came back in 1975 to play in 40 contests for Baltimore yet still not appearing on a card.
But it's 1977 where he saw the most playing time in his big league career, playing in 67 games, good for 79 plate appearances and 69 at-bats, hitting a paltry .188 with a homer and four runs batted in. But again, no card for him in 1978, even though we have other players with less playing time showing up in that great set.
Nevertheless, Shopay's career was over by 1978, toiling in the Minors that season and closing out a sporadic seven year career that began with brief time with the Yankees in 1967 & 1969 before playing out the last five seasons with the Orioles.
He finished his career with a .201 average, three home runs and 20 R.B.I.'s, with 40 runs scored and 62 hits in 309 at-bats.
Just one of those "ghosts" of 1970's baseball that makes this blog possible!