Today on the blog we spotlight my "1960s Career-Cappers" insert card for the great, arguably greatest, Stan Musial, about as forgotten or overlooked a great of the game as there is:
Saturday, December 9, 2023
Friday, December 8, 2023
Today's blog post has a 1975 "In-Action" card for "Sweet Swingin' Billy from Whistler", Billy Williams, Hall of Fame outfielder extraordinaire of the Chicago Cubs:
By the time he retired, he finished with 2711 hits, 1410 runs scored, 426 home runs, 1475 runs batted in and a .290 batting average over 2488 games.
He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1961, two-time runner-up to the MVP Award (thanks to Johnny Bench each time) in 1970 and 1972 and a six-time All-Star.
What a career he put together, yet always in the shadows of giants like teammate Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.
Nevertheless, though it took him six years of eligibility to make it, he was elected for a rightful place in Cooperstown in 1987 when he received 85.7% of the vote.
Just a great player all around.
Thursday, December 7, 2023
Up on the blog today, we're going to go and give Lou Piniella a do-over on his 1970 card, something worthy of the 1969 American League Rookie of the Year:
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Good day everyone!
I've always known that he didn't have much of a Major League playing career, but never realized that he saw enough action in his only year, 1975, to warrant a card being issued for him in the 1976 set.
In his only season up in the big leagues, Kelly played in 49 games for 147 plate appearances, hitting a not-so-impressive .181 while playing first base and some outfield. Not much, but enough in my eyes for Topps to give him a card.
Nevertheless, after that brief time in the "bigs" he bounced around the Minors until 1980, suiting up for the Twins and Orioles.
He did have some pretty decent seasons, showing some "pop" to go along with some solid averages, and he even got to pitch in a few games, going 1-0 with a 1.88 E.R.A. in 24 innings, yet for some reason he never got the call back up.
Well as we all know, Kelly found his way to leading teams on the field, starting out as skipper for Visalia in A-Ball at the ripe old age of 26 in 1977 as a player-manager.
By the time 1986 rolled around, he was managing the Minnesota Twins, and it was a position he'd hold onto for 16 years, even leading the team to two world championships in 1987 and 1991.
Some of the players he managed were stars like Kirby Puckett, Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Jack Morris.
He finally retired after the 2001 season, getting himself a bunch of baseball card appearances of the managerial variety along the way.
But today, I post a 1976 player card I designed for the former Twins leader reflecting his cup-of-coffee back in 1975.
Seems the Twins didn't have a card of a first baseman in the 1976 set. I had to "cut out" the player icon in the lower left from a George Scott card and recolor the border for the Kelly card shown below. Go figure...
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Today on the blog we take a look at another OPC/Topps image variation in the 1977 sets, this time for Dave Cash of the Montreal Expos:
In those three seasons Cash averaged over 200 hits a season, along with a .300 average while playing pretty much every single game, even setting the MLB record (since broken) of 699 at-bats during the 1975 season.
He’d sign with the Montreal Expos in the Winter of 1976 as a Free Agent, and would have one more very good year in 1977 before quickly having his career turn South.
All told, Cash finished with a very nice .283 career average, with 1571 hits over 5554 at-bats and 1422 games between 1969 and 1980, stealing 120 bases and scoring 732 runs.
Monday, December 4, 2023
Up on the blog today, a card I actually printed up for an early WTHBALLS set years ago, my 1978 do-over for Rich "Goose" Gossage:
Sunday, December 3, 2023
Granted when you’re up against guys like Koufax, Marichal, Drysdale and Gibson, it’s easy to see why.
Nevertheless, in Maloney’s seven full seasons of Major League ball, he posted five seasons of sub-3.00 ERA, four 200+ strikeout years, and six 15+ win seasons, with two of them topping 20.
The guy was a machine! 29 of his 30 lifetime shutouts were in those seven years, with four seasons of five or more.
And consider this: until Major League officials changed the rules of what a no-hitter was years later, Maloney was considered as one of the few to throw THREE or more such gems.
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