Monday, February 9, 2015

1974 TOPPS JUAN BENIQUEZ.....WHY EXACTLY?

Here's another of those cards that leaves one scratching their heads: a 1974 Topps Juan Beniquez:


So why is it so strange?
Well for starters the guy didn't even appear in a Major League game in 1973.
And since the 1974 set was the first by Topps to NOT be issued in different series throughout the Spring and Summer, it's not like they saw Beniquez collecting some decent playing time in early 1974 in time to issue a card for him later on.
Odd, especially when you also see that Beniquez actually played in only 33 games in 1972 as well. Yet Topps went and gave him a slot in the 1974 set.
I could never figure that one out.
I remember always being intrigued by Juan Beniquez in the mid-1980's since he was always batting better than .300, with a high of .336 in 1984 with the California Angels over 382 plate appearances.
Over his 17-year career he only plated enough appearances to qualify for a batting title twice, in 1976 and 1978, both seasons with the Texas Rangers, so he was really that bat off the bench for most of his career.
Yet he did manage to stretch it out to 17 years until he retired after 1988 after a couple of part-time seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, even winning a Gold Glove in 1977 and playing in the 1975 World Series while with the BoSox.
He finished with a .274 lifetime average with 1274 hits, 610 runs scored, 79 home runs and 476 runs batted in over exactly 1500 games and 5151 plate appearances.

4 comments:

  1. Another one of those semi-angled Topps cards of the 70's. I wonder if Beniquez won any kind of minor league award or title in 1973 or was dubbed as a top prospect coming into the '74 season. That's the only reason he would have merited a card that year after not getting one the year before. I also think Topps probably had their list in the bag for many months due to costs and cutbacks even though they were all issued as one series. This gave them no wiggle room to make adjustments once they were locked in. I'd like to know how many aw-shit moments happened in Duryea PA once they stopped issuing cards by series.

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  2. Beniquez had a pretty good year at Pawtucket in 1973. He hit .298/.373/.459 with 25 SB. He also got his first time in the outfield, playing 47 games, possibly to learn the position in preparation for 1974. The Red Sox traded away Reggie Smith in October of 1973. Maybe it was well known that was done to open up a spot for Beniquez.

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  3. I remember when Beniquez came up in 72. He was awful at SS. I think he made three errors in his first game. He could always hit though. Had to find a spot for him. I used to go watch him in Pawtucket.

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  4. Has anyone thought the reason might be that Topps already had a photo of him or already signed to a contract. Topps was quite cheap.

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