Today on the blog, we celebrate the great Ernie Banks and his time as a Negro League player before he took the Majors by storm, added to my 1972 sub-set featuring stars who had their start in the Negro Baseball Leagues:
Saturday, June 3, 2023
NEGRO LEAGUE TO MAJOR LEAGUE STARS: ERNIE BANKS
Friday, June 2, 2023
1977 N.L. CENTENNIAL SUB-SET: JOE TORRE
Thursday, June 1, 2023
1970 "20-WIN CIRCLE": FERGIE JENKINS
Next up to be profiled in my fun 1970 "20-Win Circle" sub-set, the great Fergie Jenkins, who is always a favorite subject here on the blog to create a custom card for:
In 1991 he capped off his career with an induction into Cooperstown on his third try, just getting the 75% of the vote with 75.4% support.
On a geeky side-note, “Fly” was also the first pitcher to ever register 3000+ strikeouts while issuing less than 1000 base on balls.
Love stuff like that!
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
REVISITING A BLOG POST FROM 2014: "MISSING" 1972 LOU BROCK "IN-ACTION" CARD
On the blog today, revisiting a blog post from September of 2014 for those that missed it the first time around, my "missing" 1972 In-Action card for the great Lou Brock:
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
1970'S ALL-DECADE TEAM: N.L. FIRST BASE STEVE GARVEY
We move on to the National League's top first baseman in my "1970s All-Decade Team" set, with my pick the great Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers:
The anchor of the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers teams of the era, they took over from Cincinnati as the preeminent team in the Senior Circuit in the late-70s, reaching the World Series three times over five seasons between 1977 and 1981, winning it all that final year, beating the New York Yankees and exacting some sweet revenge for their two losses in 77/78.
I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a few hundred times: the fact that this man is NOT in the Hall of Fame, representing his era of Major League baseball, is a joke. Flat out nonsense. Beyond the numbers, the personality, the leader of a team that was shattering attendance records, helping popularize the game further, the man was an All-Star year in-year out.
In my book, seeing that the most support he ever received was 42.6%, which was in his second-year of eligibility in 1994, is nothing short of a mark on what the Hall of Fame is.
Monday, May 29, 2023
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION: 1979 JUAN EICHELBERGER
On the blog today, we have a 1979 "not so missing" card for seven-year MLB pitcher Juan Eichelberger, who made his Big League debut in 1978 with the San Diego Padres:
Sunday, May 28, 2023
EXPANDED LEAGUE LEADERS: 1979 N.L. STRIKEOUTS
Good day all!
On the blog today, we have the top three National League strikeout pitchers of 1978 proudly displayed on a 1979 “expanded league leader” card, featuring three studs of the mound:
We begin with Houston Astros ace J.R. Richard, who had himself quite a season in 1978, reaching the 300 strikeout plateau for the first time with 303 total over 275.1 innings of work.
Richard was just getting better and better at this point, reaching the 300 strikeout mark after two seasons of 214, winning 18 games each year between 1977 and 1979 with a 20-win season in 1976.
He was a beast on the mound, and would follow up his 1978 campaign with an even better 1979 season, striking out 313 batters while leading the league with a 2.71 earned run average while completing 19 of his 38 starts, throwing 292.1 innings.
I cannot even imagine how the 1980’s could have gone for him had not a tragic stroke strike him during the 1980 season, ending his career just like that.
In second place with 248 strikeouts, the 1977 K-leader in the N.L., Atlanta Braves pitcher Phil Niekro, who started 42 games while completing 22 of them, both league high marks, as well as his whopping 334.1 innings.
He went 19-18 with a very nice 2.88 ERA, tossing four shutouts and even winning the first of his five Gold Gloves, this at the age of 39! Amazing.
In third place with 226 strikeouts, a man who at that point was already a five-time K-King, Cincinnati Reds ace Tom Seaver, who had a very nice first full-season after his shocking trade to the team during the 1977 season.
“Tom Terrific” went 16-14 over 36 starts, posting an ERA of 2.88 over 259 innings, tossing one shutout while completing eight, making his eleventh All-Star team on his way to an easy Hall of Fame selection years later, in my opinion THE best pitcher of the 1970’s.
Quite the trip of arms here!
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