Wednesday, June 26, 2019

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1977 BUDDY SCHULTZ

Today we have a “not so missing” 1977 card for former pitcher Buddy Schultz, who came up with the Chicago Cubs though you may remember him from his tenure later on with the St. Louis Cardinals:


Schultz was in his second MLB season in 1976 when he appeared in 29 games, throwing 23.2 innings and posting a record of 1-1 with an earned run average at 6.08.
Over the Winter he’d be traded to the Cardinals for Minor Leaguer Mike Overt, and he’d play for St. Louis the final three years of his career, going a combined 12-8 over that time with an ERA around 3.00, appearing in 133 games with three of them starts.
Injuries would derail his career, causing him to retire after the 1982 season while in the Minors, causing him to finish his Major League tenure with a very nice 15-9 record over 168 appearances, sporting an ERA at 3.68 over 240 innings, striking out 193 batters while collecting 12 saves.
Very good numbers!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

NICKNAMES OF THE 1970S- "SARGE" GARY MATTHEWS

Time to go and add Gary Matthews, aka “Sarge” to the long-line of “Nicknames of the 1970s” list, with a 1978 edition for the 16-year Major League veteran:


Matthews just finished his first season with the Atlanta Braves when this card would have come out, after playing the first five years of his Major League career with the San Francisco Giants, for whom he brought home a 1973 NL Rookie of the Year Award.
He would go on to play through the 1987 season playing pretty much equally for the Giants, Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs, with a short 45-game stint in Seattle at the very end, hitting a very nice .281 over his career with 234 homers and just under 1000 runs batted in.
In 1983 while with the “Wheez Kids” of Philly, he would help them reach the World Series with an MVP performance in the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he slammed three homers in four games with eight RBIs.
In 1984 he’d finish fifth in the NL MVP race when he led the league in both walks and on-base-percentage, helping the Cubs reach the post-season for the first time since 1945 before losing to the San Diego padres in the Championship Series.

Monday, June 24, 2019

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1978 STAN WALL

Here’s a 1978 “not so missing” card for former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Stan Wall, who played the last of his three-year Big League career during the 1977 season:


Wall, who spent all nine professional seasons of his career in the Dodgers organization, appeared in 25 games for the Dodgers in 1977, going 2-3 with an earned run average of 5.34, all out of the bullpen.
The previous year saw him appear in 31 games, going 2-2 with an ERA of 3.60, throwing a career high 50 innings while also picking up a save.
In 1975 he had the first taste of the Majors, getting into 10 games for the reigning National League champs, going 0-1 with a nice 1.69 ERA over 16 innings at the age of 24.
From what I can gather, it seems those last appearances during the 1977 season were the last of his Pro career, never even appearing in another Minor League game after that.
Trying to find out why but can’t seem to find anything.
Anyone know?
Nevertheless, Wall finished up his MLB career with a record of 4-6 over 66 appearances, with an ERA of 3.86 over 98 innings pitched, all in relief.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

AIRBRUSHING THROUGH THE 1970's- 1976 BOBBY DARWIN

Looking at the 1976 airbrush job done for former “slugger” Bobby Darwin of the Milwaukee Brewers for his 1976 card, though again I wonder why Topps didn’t have an image of him in the real thing:


It’s strange that Topps had to airbrush him into a Milwaukee uni since he played the last half of the 1975 season with them, appearing in 55 games after coming over from the Minnesota Twins in a trade on June 14th for Johnny Briggs.
Nevertheless, he’d find himself on the move once again during the 1976 season, this time heading East to the Boston Red Sox after opening the year with 25 games with the Brewers, ending up appearing in 43 games with the Red Sox before finishing up his nine-year career with yet another split season between Boston and the Chicago Cubs in 1977.
He did put together three straight decent years while with Minnesota between 1972 and 1974, averaging just about 20 homers and 90 runs batted in, though leading the league in strikeouts each season.
Overall, he finished with a .251 career average, hitting 83 homers and driving in 328 runs while collecting 559 hits in 2224 at-bats in 646 games between 1962 and 1977.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

1973 SPECIAL- TOM SEAVER AND NOLAN RYAN

Here’s a “special” 1973 card I’ve been meaning to create for some time now, a Tom Seaver/Nolan Ryan edition with these two young pitching studs in their prime:


What can be said about these two that hasn’t already been stated a million times over?
“Tom Terrific” would go on to win three Cy Young Awards, top 300 wins and 60 shutouts, and strikeout over 3000 batters, while his former flame-throwing teammate “The Ryan Express” would demolish the Major League record for career strikeouts with over 5000, also win over 300 games and throw a record seven no-hitters while pitching into his mid 40’s.
Just an incredible pair of pitchers who marched straight for the Hall of Fame.
I won’t start listing their insane stats here since I’ve probably done so on the blog a couple dozen times before, but these two guys were, are and always will be legends of the game.

Friday, June 21, 2019

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 BUTCH BENTON

Today we have a “not so missing” 1979 card for former New York Mets catcher Butch Benton, who made his MLB debut during the 1978 season:


Benton appeared in four games in his Big League debut as a September call-up, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a couple of runs batted in.
He would spend all of 1979 in the Minors before making it back in 1980, playing in 12 games though collecting one hit over 21 at-bats, good for a .048 batting average.
Again, he’d spend all of 1981 in the Minors before coming back, this time with the Chicago Cubs in 1982, hitting .143 with a hit over seven at-bats in four games.
Once again, Benton would find himself back in the Minors, this time for the 1983 and 1984 seasons before coming back for one last hurrah in the Majors, now with the Cleveland Indians, where he appeared in a career-high 31 games, hitting .179 with 12 hits over 67 at-bats, scoring five runs while driving in seven.
That would be it for his MLB tenure, though I see that he would be out of pro ball between 1986 and 1990 before coming back in the Detroit organization in 1991 playing for their Triple-A team, getting into nine games, before retiring for good.
No info on where, if anyplace, he played in those “missing” seasons, but nevertheless he finished up his career with a .162 average, with 16 hits over 99 at-bats over 51 games and four seasons.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

TRADED- 1974 CHRIS CHAMBLISS

Today I post up my 1974 Chris Chambliss “Traded” card, a card that would have signified a very important transaction for the burgeoning “Bronx Zoo” World Championship teams of the late-70’s:


Chambliss came to the New York Yankees on April 26th of 1974 along with Dick Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw for four pitchers: Fred Beene, Tom Buskey, Steve Kline and Fritz Peterson.
From Cleveland’s standpoint it seemed like a solid trade, with four arms coming their way for the former AL Rookie of the Year in Chambliss and a young Tidrow and veteran Upshaw.
But it turned out to be a golden trade for the Yankees, not only getting what turned out to be their first baseman for the rest of the decade in Chambliss, but a rock-solid pitcher in Tidrow who was valuable not only out of the bullpen but also as a spot starter when needed.
Throw in the veteran Upshaw for a brief tenure, and the Yankees really did come out on top with this one, especially with Chambliss who provided the organization with one of the all-time greatest team moments in 1976 with his Pennant clinching home run in Game 5 against the upstart Kansas City Royals.
Chambliss would play with the Yankees through the decade, before moving on to the Atlanta Braves in 1980 where he’d play until 1986 before one last trip back to the Bronx when he appeared in one game with the Yankees before retiring in 1988.
The man put in a solid career, topping 2000 hits while driving in 972 runs while scoring 912 himself, with a nice .279 batting average over 2175 games and 7571 at-bats between 1971 and 1988, with that Rookie of the Year Award in 1971 and a Gold Glove thrown in (1978).
Great memories of him in the Bronx when I was still in grade school!

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