I don't want to seem rude here to Mr. Lowenstein, but man did this card spook me as an 8-year old when it came out:
I mean, come on right?!
John Lowenstien is downright dark and ominous on that card. (Not like I'm a prize or anything myself, believe me)
But it's like he's "Death" and was about to step out onto the field to claim a life right smack in the middle of a game.
This was one of those cards that my cousin and I would always pull out to gawk and giggle at when we were at each other's house.
Nowadays I just love it for the cheesy 1970's wildness that it represents.
Sort of a time capsule of the days when ballplayers let the hair flow, sideburns burn and mustaches…well… 'STACHE!
Gotta love it...
On a side note-there also seems to be some strange airbrushing/touching up going on between Lowenstein and the background. Kind of reminds me of the 1976 Fritz Peterson card I profiled a while back.
I can't tell if he was airbrushed, or cropped out of one photo and dropped onto this one.
Either way it wouldn't make any sense since he was already playing for the Indians for seven years at this point.
So why Topps didn't have a solid image of him for this card has me puzzled.
And look at his autograph, if you can even see it. Really thin, almost non-existent signage to the left of him, about ear-high. Strange. Wonder what was up with this card.
I'll always remember Lowenstein as one of the most successful platoon players of the 1980's, when he was paired up with Gary Roenicke on the Baltimore Orioles.
For example check out their awesome combined 1982 season where Lowenstein and Roenicke outright mashed the ball in part-time rolls.
The two combined for 45 homers, 140 runs batted in, 209 hits and 127 runs scored in 715 at-bats! Granted it's a bit more playing time than a "regular" full season, but not by THAT much.
Lowenstein ended up with a very decent 16-year career playing for the Indians (1970-77), Rangers (1978) and Orioles (1979-85), generally as a part-time player.
As a matter of fact his 1974 season with Cleveland would be the only time he posted enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title throughout his career.
But a decent career nevertheless, and a classic card in my eyes in 1977.