Tuesday, February 24, 2015


OK, so trying to say long-time Major League pitcher Mike Torrez "missing" from the 1972 set is a bit of a stretch, but it WAS the only set he didn't appear in during the decade, so I went and designed one anyway.
Take a look:

Torrez barely played in 1971, as he split time between the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos (for only one game), totaling 10 games and 39 innings of work.
But in 1972 he would begin a nice run when he posted a 16-12 record with a 3.33 earned run average and 112 strikeouts over 34 games, 33 of which were starts, and 243.1 innings pitched.
During the middle of the decade he did something I always thought was amazing: he won 14 or more games five years in a row, with FIVE different teams!
He won 15 in 1974 with the Expos, 20 in 1975 with the Orioles (of course, right?), 16 in 1976 with the A's, 14 in 1977 (after coming over from Oakland with a 3-1 record) with the Yankees, and then 16 with the Red Sox in 1978.
That's a pretty cool run! He even went on to win 16 games yet again the following year while still pitching for Boston.
By the time he retired after the 1984 season, Torrez fashioned himself a solid 18-year career that saw him go 185-160, with a 3.96 E.R.A., 1404 strikeouts and 15 shutouts over 494 games, 458 of which were starts.
He also won two games in the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers, pitching a complete game in both starts, yielding a 2.50 E.R.A. with 15 strikeouts. Not bad at all…


  1. Giovanni,

    I don't know how, but I have never found your site before. I found it yesterday while searching the web for why Rico Carty had no 1974 Topps baseball card (of all things...but I am sure you understand how that can happen).

    This site is so wonderful I have gone back thru almost all of your old posts and I just love it.

    We seem to have many things in common in addition to our love of baseball and baseball cards. I am from New Jersey (Hillsborough), and my favorite team is the Yankees. I am 46 years old (I too, was 10 years old when MY favorite player Thurman Munson died).

    Regarding Baseball Cards, I started collecting in 1975/1976/1977 and have LOVED it ever since. I too think the 1970's cards are the best and my favorite aspect of them is the All-Star designation (on the regular card) and the Topps all-star rookie trophy (I always wanted to see them when opening the packs). 1971 Topps Thurman Munson #5 is my favorite card.

    Additionally, I have always felt the cards of a given year should be a reflection of the previous season, so I too am often bothered by the air brushing on the new teams as opposed to just having the old team represented. Also I need the Playoffs/World Series subsets (which they did not have in 1979 for some reason) and Highlights/record breaker cards that many years had.

    So what I really love is seeing your "Missing Cards" because the way I sort/store my cards in 9-pocket pages by team (sorted by the team they played the most for the previous year). The first page has the batters for the team so that the players look like they are in their positions on the field (top row - LF, CF, RF; middle row - SS, DH or Manager, 2B; bottom row - 3B, C, 1B). So I would have the the players from the teams the year before - so you could imagine my page for the 1977 topps A's is a disaster with Tenace as a Padre, Rudi & Baylor as Angels, Campy as a Ranger, Bando as a Brewer.....BACK TO MY POINT ABOUT YOUR "Missing Cards"...many times, as you know, certain players that should have cards due to decent playing time, don't and therefore I need to put a piece of paper in there with the name and position and stats on the back...this would have not been necessary if your "missing cards" actually existed (like the 1977 Billy Williams that would fit nicely in the middle of that A's page as the starting DH instead of a ridiculous piece of paper)...so thanks for those, they are a lot of fun.

    I don't want to take up too much of your time, but I will be checking in on your site regularly because it is very entertaining. Thanks for all the hard work it must take.

    Tom M.

    1. Hey Tom!
      Wow, I live in Franklin Township in Somerset, though I'm a recent transplant from Brooklyn. You are the second person from the area that has contacted me through this blog. Amazing...
      Starting this blog has been nothing short of incredible for me. I should have started it years ago, but hey, better late than never right?
      I'm so into this that I'm already two months AHEAD with my posts! I'm 60 deep at the moment and I just keep adding to it. On top of that I have the NEXT 60 or so posts already mapped out, just have to create the cards and write them up!
      Glad to hear someone else out there was a fan of the All-Star designation ON the players' cards! Man I was pissed when that 1982 set came out and I pulled a Reggie all-star card our of the pack! Ha! Ahhh the little things we hold on to!
      Thanks for writing in! And I hope you keep reading! I'm a long way from stopping, that's for sure!

    2. Great stuff Tom. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Fantastic "period correct " photo of Mike Torrez for the 1972 topps missing card.

  3. Tom M.....we are kindred spirits as you basically have summed up my 70s project, although the manager gets the last slot on the 3rd page of the binder (27th card). The updated page for the '77 A's team pages are unreal and with Gio's help, so will be my '76 Project!!

    I just need that Rookie pic of Johnny Lemaster of the Giants from the '75 season as he made it onto a 4 panel card. He needs his own card I tell you! Great site!!

    Oh and you old guys have me in age by at least 6-12 months.....! LOL!

  4. In the days before binders and 9-card pages, I used to organize my teams with the team card first, manager second, rookie cards specific to that team and the players after that. Sometimes by position, alphabetically or by card no. Great memories.

  5. In the days before binders and 9 card pages were rubber bands and shoe boxes. Tony, i arranged my card in pretty much the same order you did. I'll be 50 on April 30th so I think I might be the resident geezer...

    1. Johnny, I left out the rubber band part because I still cringe over my 1971's that have white edges in the middle of the cards. And a good show box could last for year with a little tape. Also good to know I'm not the only one with organizational issues, lol.

      And I've got ya beat by two years. I'll be 52 a few days before you turn 50. So I may have out-geezed everyone here so far. Make sure you sign up for AARP (seriously)....it's $16 a year and you get decent reductions on hotel room, etc. Paid for it the first time we used it.

    2. From baseball cards to AARP discounts... Man... Where did the time go...?!

  6. No kidding. No grandkids yet but it probably won't be long.



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