On the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1974 card for former Atlanta Braves infielder Larvell Blanks, aka “Sugar Bear”, who appeared in 17 games during his second season of Big League ball in 1973:
Blanks hit .222 in that time, collecting four hits in 18 at-bats while playing all infield positions but first base, along with some pinch-hitting duties as well.
He would only appear in three games during the 1974 season before playing full-time in 1975 when he appeared in 141 games, which turned out to be a career-high, hitting .234 with 110 hits over 471 at-bats.
Blanks would find himself with the Cleveland Indians in 1976, having a very nice season hitting .280 over 104 games, with 92 hits in 328 at-bats along with 45 runs scored and 41 runs batted in.
The next season was more of the same as he hit .286 with 92 hits in 322 at-bats almost duplicating the runs scored with 43 and RBIs with 38.
After a 1978 season that saw him falter just a bit, he found himself playing for the Texas Rangers in 1979, where he hit .200 in limited play, collecting 24 hits in 120 at-bats.
In 1980, in what turned out to be the last year of his MLB career, he was back where it all began, in Atlanta, where he hit .204 for the Braves in just over a half season’s action, collecting 45 hits in 221 at-bats while filling in at third, short and second as usual.
He would go on to play in the Mexican League between 1981 and 1985 for a few different teams, finally calling it a pro career at the age of 35.
Overall, by the time he finished up his career in the Majors, Blanks had a career .253 batting average, with 446 hits over 1766 at-bats in 629 games, with 203 runs scored and 172 RBIs.