Tuesday, February 23, 2016

THE TEAM THAT NEVER WAS: 1977 WILLIE CRAWFORD AND THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

I still get a kick out of snafu’s when it came to Topps trying to keep up to date with a player’s new team.
And sometimes, it bit them in the ass because of last-minute transactions, like the 1977 Willie Crawford card that has him on the Giants:


Turns out that while he was indeed sent to the Giants after the 1976 season was over, he was then sent to the Houston Astros right before the 1977 season started, leaving us with a “phantom” team that he actually never played for.
This is some of the stuff that actually had me think about doing a blog of 1970’s baseball cards, because it really shows what Topps was up against in that day and age.
Today with all the up-to-date split-second technology we have, it’s cool to be reminded of what it was like not too long ago when (some of us) were kids.
Crawford put together a nice 14-year career in the Majors, mainly with the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he played 12 of those seasons for.
Between 1964 and 1977 he’d hit .268 as a pro, collecting 921 hits over 3435 at-bats in 1210 games.

9 comments:

  1. I can think of two other cards like this one: 1962 Topps Robin Roberts (Yankees) and 1972 Topps Denny McLain (Rangers).

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  2. 1977 Topps Rico Carty (Blue Jays), also.

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  3. 1977 Tommy Helms too if I'm not mistaken. After playing in 1976 with the Pirates, he was traded to the A's in the offseason so Topps showed with the A's via a poorly (and brightly) done airbrushing job, but he never played a game with them because he was sent right back to the Pirates before the 1977 season began.

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  4. Is Willie going to get his own 1977 card as an Astro?

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  5. 1968 Joe Moeller, 1977 Dave Roberts. 1972 McLain doesn't count as he was on the Senators the year before.

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    Replies
    1. It's arguable that McLain wouldn't count because he was on the Senators in '71. Two other players who appear as Rangers in the '72 set who were also on the '71 Senators are Tom McCraw ('72 Indians) and Tim Cullen ('72 Athletics). However, the one player in the '72 set who is depicted on the Rangers, but never played for the Rangers OR the Senators is Roy Foster.

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  6. My favorite (or least favorite) was Topps' 1968 Dick Kenworthy with the Mets. Kenworthy was a Rule V pick and lots of folks thought he'd make the team (Ed Charles was too old, they said; can you imagine the '69 Mets with Dick Kenworthy instead of Ed Charles?). But the Mets returned Dick to the White Sox before Spring Training ended. Regular season--majors and minors--Dick Kenworthy only ever played with the White Sox. But the '68 Kenworthy--showing him as a capless Met--is the only Topps card ever made of the man. That's gotta sting a little bit.

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  7. Kenworthy also played in the Reds' system, and possibly had a brief stop in Mexico: http://unknowntransaction.blogspot.com/2015/06/dick-kenworthy-throws-me-mexican.html

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  8. Another card which depicts a player on a team that he never played for is the 1975 Topps Scott McGreggor. He's pictured on the Yankees, yet he never played for them.

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