Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DEDICATED "ROOKIE CARDS" #12: 1971 DON BAYLOR

Let's go and give Don Baylor a dedicated rookie card in the 1971 set, where he originally shared a multi-player rookie card with Tom Paciorek and Dusty Baker.
Take a look at my custom 1971 Don Baylor card:


Now while his original rookie wasn't too shabby a card, I found this nice image of Baylor during his very early years and decided to whip up a 1971 card for him.
Some of you may wonder about his uniform! But if you notice all the late-series Orioles players in that 1971 set were photographed with the "new" Baltimore uniform, which Baylor is wearing on this card.
As a young teen in NYC in the early 1980's, I can tell you Baylor was a favorite of ours in the schoolyards of Brooklyn for his hard-nosed play.
He was cool as a cucumber, yet as likable as you can be when we'd see him at baseball card shows around town.
Besides, he looked bad-ass standing there at the plate, upright and waiting to crush a ball into the stands.
He finished his 19-year career in 1988, playing for his third straight American League Champion team, and all three were different: Red Sox in '86, Twins in '87, and the A's in 1988.
Of those, the Twins brought home the title, giving Baylor his only Championship ring as somewhat of a "regular player".
He retired with over 2000 hits, 330 homers, 285 stolen bases and over 1200 runs scored and runs batted in.
In 1979 he exploded while with the Angels, bringing home the American league Most Valuable Player Award after slamming 36 home runs while leading the league in runs scored (120) and runs batted in (139), while hitting .296 with 22 stolen bases thrown in.
Of course, he'll also be remembered as one of the key components in the Orioles-A's trade that sent Reggie Jackson to Baltimore in April of 1976.
But by the time he hung up his cleats for good, he put together a very solid career himself, even winning the National League Manager of the Year Award in 1995 while steering the Colorado Rockies to a 77 and 67 record (good for second place).
Here's to you "Groove"!

4 comments:

  1. Really great looking card of one of my favorite players. Nice work!

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  2. Great job Gio! Now you gotta do one for Roger Freed and Mike Adamson... Ha ha ha...

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  3. Next will have to be Dusty a Baker and Tom Paciorek

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  4. Looks good, but I think that it would be more appropriate to give Baylor a do-over, single-player card in the '72 Topps set.

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