There are a couple of reasons why I wanted to create a card for a guy that wasn't exactly "missing in action" for the 1972 set:
First up, I just happened to come across a nice, usable image for him.
And secondly, he happens to be the "other guy" on a famous rookie card from the 1968 Topps set, #247, better known as Johnny Bench's rookie card.
The player is Ron Tompkins.
Take a look at my card design first:
|Ed. Note: Thanks to Mark Tompkins, I've "fixed" my error and now have the correct player shown. Thanks Mark!|
And for those of you who need a little refresher, here's the 1968 Bench rookie, with Tompkins forever tagging along:
Tompkins never actually suited up for the Reds in his career, and he actually never suited up for ANYONE until his action in 1971 for the Chicago Cubs: 35 games, all in relief, good for an 0-2 record with a 4.08 earned run average and 20 strikeouts.
And besides five games with the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, those 35 games in '71 would actually be the only games Tompkins would play on the Major League level.
He'd never play in another Major League game again after 1971.
After six years in the Kansas City organization, Tompkins bounced around a bit between 1968 and 1972, playing for the Reds, Braves and Brewers minor league Triple-A affiliates, before finally getting some big league time with the Cubs in 1971.
But come 1972 Tompkins would play-out his pro career with two more season in ht e Minors, playing for the Cubs' Triple-A team Wichita before calling it a career.