Next up for my "Then and Now" series is a 1974 version celebrating Orlando Cepeda, who was wrapping up a 17-year Hall of Fame career.
Check it out:
Granted, the man was actually a Kansas City Royals player that year, but for the sub-set here I've been following whatever team Topps had the "super veteran" on.
Cepeda just came off an excellent season for the Boston Red Sox as their first designated hitter in 1973, hitting .289 with 20 home runs and 86 runs batted in, so you would have thought he had a few decent years ahead of him, even at the age of 36.
However, after a scant 33 games with the Royals, his career came to a close, but not before posting some excellent numbers: 2351 hits, 417 doubles, 379 homers, 1365 runs batted in and a .297 average.
Throw in an M.V.P. Award in 1967 with the Cardinals, a Rookie of the Year Award in 1958 with the Giants, and seven all-star games, and you can see why the "Baby Bull" was finally called to Cooperstown in 1999 by the Veteran's Committee.
As I've mentioned before, what a line-up the Giants had with Cepeda, Willie McCovey and Willie Mays supplying the power!
Three future Hall of Famers who all won a Rookie of the Year and at least one Most Valuable Player Award during their careers. Wow…