Friday, February 22, 2019

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 FERNANDO ARROYO

Here’s a “not so missing” 1979 card for former Detroit Tigers pitcher Fernando Arroyo, who had only two appearances during the 1978 season:


Arroyo spent most of the year down in the Minors, not factoring in a decision while pitching to an unsightly 8.31 earned run average over 4.1 innings.
The previous season he was one of Detroit’s starters, appearing in 38 games, with 28 of them starts, posting a hard-luck record of 8-18 as evidenced by his 4.17 ERA along with eight complete games and 209.1 innings.
He would go on to play through the 1986 season, though not appearing in a Major League game between 1982 and 1986, ending up with the Oakland A’s and making one appearance in that final year, walking the only three batters he’d face.
All told, between 1975 and 1986 Arroyo went 24-37, with an ERA of 4.44 over 121 appearances, 60 of them starts, with 12 complete games in 535.2 innings of work.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

1975 IN-ACTION: DAVE PARKER

Though still only an up-and-coming star for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the time this card would have come out, I had to add “should be” Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Parker to my on-going 1975 In-Action sub-set:


Parker was going to have his first (of many) great seasons in the Big Leagues in 1975, driving in 101 runs with 25 homers while hitting .308 for Pittsburgh in what was going to become a fantastic 19-season career.
He would go on to win two batting titles, back-to-back in 1977 and 1978, while also taking home the National League MVP Award in 1978, get named to seven All-Star teams, collect three Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger Awards, and also finish in his league’s top-5 in MVP another five time aside from his win.
“Cobra” would retire after the 1991 season with 339 homers, 154 stolen bases, 2712 hits, a .290 batting average, 526 doubles, 75 triples and 1493 runs batted in, with 10 seasons of 90 or more, yet never getting more than 24.5% support for his place in Cooperstown.
I have to call BS on that one. If Jim Rice, Orlando Cepeda, Ron Santo et al are in, this guy needs to be in!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1978 DICK DAVIS

Today we have a “not so missing” 1978 card for former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Dick Davis, who made his Major League debut in 1977:


Davis appeared in 22 games for the Brewers in 1977, hitting .275 with 14 hits over 51 at-bats, scoring seven runs while driving in six.
He would go on to play five more seasons in the Big Leagues, 1978-1980 with Milwaukee while finishing up with a year and a half with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981/82, then on to some games with the Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates in 1982 as well.
Over his six MLB seasons Davis hit .265 with 323 hits in 1217 at-bats, hitting 27 homers while driving in 141 over 403 career games.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1976 TOMMY SMITH

I always love any chance to add to my favorite set of all-time, 1976 Topps, so today we have a “not so missing” card for former outfielder Tommy Smith taking up another spot:


Smith only appeared in eight games for the Cleveland Indians in 1975, collecting one hit over eight at-bats yet driving in two runs.
In 1976 he’d see the most playing time of his five Major League seasons, appearing in 55 games while hitting .256 with 42 hits in 164 at-bats, driving in 12 runs and scoring 17 himself.
In November of 1976 he would be drafted by the new Seattle Mariners organization as part of the expansion draft, where he would go on to play the last games of his career, 21 to be exact, where he hit .259 with seven hits in 27 at-bats.
All told, Smith played in 121 games in five seasons, hitting .232 with 63 hits, driving in 21 while scoring 28 over 271 at-bats.

Monday, February 18, 2019

TRADED- 1978 BEN OGLIVIE

Here’s another “traded” card to throw into the long-running sub-set through the decade, a 1978 edition featuring former slugging outfielder Ben Oglivie:


Oglivie, who never really got a full-time shot playing in Detroit the previous few seasons, found himself heading to the Milwaukee Brewers on December 9th of 1977 for two pitchers, Rick Folkers and Jim Slaton.
Oglivie immediately made an impact, hitting .303 with 18 homers and 72 runs batted in in 1978, followed by 29 homers with 81 RBIs the next year.
But of course it was his 1980 season that had him bust out, tying the Yankees Reggie Jackson for the American League lead with 41 homers while driving in a career-high 118 runs, hitting .304 and picking up a Silver Slugger Award along the way.
He’d play through the 1986 season, all with Milwaukee, before retiring with 235 homers, 901 RBIs with a .273 batting average over 16 seasons, collecting 1615 hits in 5913 at-bats.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

SPECIAL- 1975 "CHARLIE'S CHAMPIONS" OAKLAND A'S

Here was a fun card to create symbolizing that wild decade of the 1970’s, a 1975 Oakland A’s card featuring the studs of the three-time World Champions as well as their eccentric owner, Charlie Finley:


When this card would have come out the A’s were on top of the baseball world, coming off of their third straight championship with a team still intact and seemingly on their way to more success.
With a line-up that featured All-Stars like Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Sal Bando and Gene Tenace, as well as a pitching staff loaded with arms like Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Ken Holtzman and Rollie Fingers, they seemed unstoppable.
However, it was all gone in an instant, with Hunter leaving to sign with the New York Yankees before the 1975 season in the new era of Free Agency, only to be followed by Bando, Rudi, Tenace and Bert Campaneris, and compounded by the blockbuster trade of slugger Reggie Jackson to Baltimore.
Within a couple of seasons Oakland went from baseball’s elite to a last-place team, led by owner Charlie Finley, who tried dealing some of his star players in a fire-sale reminiscent of Connie Mack decades before, only to have Major League leaders nullify the transactions.
What an era of flash, brash and flat-out insanity! Oh, and loads of facial hair!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

NO-HITTERS SPECIAL SUB-SET: PHIL NIEKRO. AUGUST 5TH, 1973

Next up in my on-going journey celebrating no-hitters through the 1970’s is the very first gem tossed for the Braves after relocating to Atlanta, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro’s No-No tossed against the San Diego Padres on August 5th:


Niekro used a mix of fastballs and sliders during the first seven or so innings of the no-hitter, then switched to a heavy knuckleball for the final two innings, striking out four while walking three, improving his record to 11-5 and lowering his earned run average to 3.44 in the 9-0 win.
Dusty Baker and Frank Tepedino both helped the cause with two RBIs each, while lead-off hitter Ralp Garr went 3-for-3 with three runs scored for the bulk of the Braves offense.
Niekro finished his no-hitter on this Sunday afternoon in just under 2 1/2 hours in front of only 8,748 in attendance watching two teams struggling to stay out of the basement, the Padres at 37-73 and the Braves at 52-64.

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