Thursday, April 30, 2015


Here's another one of those "head-scratchers" for those of us who pay attention to stuff like this: why did Topps issue a card for Bob Heise in their 1970 set?
First, the card:

If you go and look at Heise's action in 1969, you'll quickly see that the guy only appeared in four games for the New York Mets. Four games.
On top of that, in 1968 he appeared in only six games for the Mets.
So for a total of ten games in two years, he got a card in the 1970 set. Odd.
On top of all THAT, at the tail-end of his career, when he played in 63, 32 and 54 games respectively between 1975-1977, he was omitted from all Topps sets.
(Needless to say I'll be "fixing" THAT soon enough!).
Did Topps need to "fill out" the Ginats roster in the set, so they found a spot for Heise. I find that questionable. So your guess is as good as mine!
Heise did manage to put together an eleven-year career that saw him suit up for the Mets, Giants, Brewers, Cardinals, Red Sox and Royals before retiring after the 1977 season.
He batted .247 with a single homer (in 1970), 86 runs batted in and 104 runs scored over 499 games and 1144 at-bats.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Here was a fun card to create and go over for the blog: a 1973 "missing" card for infielder Bobby Floyd.
Check out the card first:

The reason I found this card interesting is because Floyd has a card in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974, yet the most action he ever saw in his seven-year career was in 1972, which means that the ONE year he didn't get a card was after the most action he had in any season!
How on earth does that happen?
In 1972 Floyd appeared in 61 games, good for 140 plate appearances.
After that the most he ever got up to bat was in 1969 when he had 94 plate appearances.
After his 61 games in 1972 the most he ever played in was 51 the following year in 1973.
As long as I live I just can never figure out the selection process implemented by Topps for their card sets.
In that 1972 season Floyd played just about equal games at third base and shortstop, 30 at third and 29 at short, so I went ahead and had him as a third baseman on the card.
Originally up as a Baltimore Oriole in 1968, he'd play for the O's two years before finding himself in Kansas City in 1970, where he'd play the final five years of his career.
He was out of the Major Leagues after the 1974 season, and his final numbers were: a .219 batting average with 93 hits, 18 doubles and a triple over 425 at-bats in 214 games.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Today I go ahead and give long time relief pitcher Lindy McDaniel a "Then and Now" card.
Check it out:

McDaniel put in a nice 21-year career in the Major Leagues, collecting a 141-119 record with 174 saves over 987 games.
He just missed becoming the second pitcher all-time to reach 1000 appearances, where he could have joined Hoyt Wilhelm in the exclusive club.
He pitched for five organizations during his career: the Cardinals, Yankees, Giants, Cubs and Royals before retiring after the 1975 season.
In 1960 he put in a heck of a year, finishing third in Cy Young voting as well as fifth in MVP balloting, based on his 12-4 record with a sparkling2.09 earned run average with a league-leading 27 saves over 65 games and 116.1 innings pitched.
He'd also lead the league in saves two other times, in 1959 with 16 and in 1963 with 22 as a member of the Cubs.
In 1970 he actually posted his career high, now with the Yankees, of 29 saves, along with a 9-5 record and a 2.01 E.R.A.
Certainly a fine career that deserves a bit more attention that it gets these days.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Here's an interesting card I designed for a "missing" player, a 1977 Doug Howard card.
Check it out:

The reason it's somewhat different than the others is because even though Howard was left out of the Topps set, he actually appeared in the 1977 OPC set, as an "original" Toronto Blue Jay.
Funny enough he never ended up playing a game for them on the Major League level, so I went and designed a card with him shown as a Cleveland Indian, for whom he suited up in 1976.
He appeared in 39 games for the Tribe, and batted .211 with 19 hits in 99 official at-bats.
It was the most time he saw in any of his five seasons in the big league, and his only season as an Indian. 
He came up with the California Angels in 1972 and played for them three years before moving on to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975, but he never did appear in a Topps set, even with his 97 career games and 233 at-bats.
Would have been a nice hole filled in as far as the more obscure players from the decade, especially when you think of some guys that DID get a card in the 1977 set who saw far less action in '76 like Jim Holt, Larry Cox or Jack Kucek.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Here's the next "missing" 1976 Topps card in my "1976 Project" for "reader Jim", former Baltimore Oriole Tom Shopay:

Shopay had a few missing cards through the 1970's, and I have already created and posted a 1978 card for him earlier on this blog.
In 1975 Shopay appeared in 40 games, mainly in the outfield and as a pinch hitter, collecting five hits in 31 at-bats, good for a .161 batting average with a double and two runs batted in.
That year was typical for Shopay's entire seven–year career with the Yankees and Orioles, as he never appeared in more than 67 games or had more than 74 at-bats in any season.
Nevertheless, as we've seen with guys like the Red Sox Bob Montgomery, Topps did in fact give guys who stuck around cards year to year, yet after the 1972 set Shopay was shut out until he retired in 1977.
Shopay ended up playing in 253 games during his Major League career, and ended up with a .201 batting average based on his 62 hits over 309 at-bats.
Funny enough he hit a total of three home runs in those seven partial seasons, yet two of the three were hit during his rookie year with the Yankees in 1967 in only eight games. He'd go on to hit only one more in 245 games the rest of the way.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Next up on the Hall of Fame Inductee hit parade is former New York Giants player Ross Youngs, who was inducted into the Hall by the Veteran's Committee in 1972, and not without controversy.
Take a look at my card design card first:

Now while the man had a very productive, yet short and tragic career, baseball historians such as Bill James cite Youngs as one of the "questionable" inductees selected by his cronies Bill Terry and Frankie Frisch who led the committee then.
Along with other inductees around this time (Jesse Haines, George Kelly, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft), Youngs does indeed seem like he falls a bit short of true Hall of Fame standards.
Granted, if not for the tragic fact that Youngs died at the age of 30 of "Bright's Disease", he may have well put up some serious Hall-worthy numbers.
But as it stands, in his abbreviated ten-year career, he batted .322 while collecting 1491 hits, 812 runs scored and 592 runs batted in, with 153 stolen bases over 1211 games and 4627 at-bats.
He posted two 200-hit seasons, scored 100+ runs twice, drove in 100+ once and batted .350+ twice before his illness ended his career in 1926.
While the numbers he put up season to season were above average, it does leave you scratching your head compared to the careers of some other guys.
Nevertheless, his former manager John McGraw considered him one of his favorite players, and even opposing player and fellow Hall of Famer Burleigh  Grimes commented that Youngs was the best player he ever saw.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1972 Topps card for former pitcher Dave Boswell.
Check it out:

Boswell wrapped up an eight-year career with 15 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 1971 after opening the year with Detroit, for whom he appeared in three games.
So his totals for the 1971 season were 18 games and 29 innings of work, with a 1-2 record and 4.66 E.R.A.
The first seven years of his career were spent with the Minnesota Twins, where he had some solid campaigns.
In 1966 he posted a 12-5 record with a 3.14 earned run average, and in 1969 he had his only 20-win season when he went 20-12 with a 3.32 E.R.A. and 190 strikeouts.
For his career Boswell went 68-56 with a 3.52 E.R.A., six shutouts and 882 strikeouts before leaving the game at a young 26 years of age due to an arm injury he actually suffered in the 1969 American league Championship Series against the Orioles.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Today I give the "Big Bopper", Lee May a "missing" in-action card in the 1972 set.
Check it out:

You have to wonder what could have been with May, since he was already a feared slugger putting together a very nice career before he was traded to the Astros as part of the Joe Morgan trade before the 1972 season opened up.
Would the "Big Red Machine" have happened? If so, would May's legacy on the diamond have been elevated to the point of true stardom?
He put up big seasons with the Reds, the Astros, and then the Orioles before ending his career after two partial seasons with the Royals in 1982.
His total numbers are very good, especially for a guy who played the bulk of his career in the "dead" late-60's/early-70's: 959 runs, 2031 hits, 354 home runs and 1244 runs batted in.
His last year in Cincinnati, 1971, was killer: 39 homers with 98 R.B.I.'s, 85 runs scored and a .278 average to complement the likes of Pete Rose, Tony Perez and Johnny Bench.
Granted the guy struck out a ton, and his final batting average of .267 leaves a lot to be desired, but it's interesting to wonder "what could have been" with both his career and the legend of the Reds teams of the mid-70's.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Time to give Hall of Fame slugger Willie "Stretch" McCovey a nickname card in my "Nicknames of the '70s" thread.
Check out my card:

I gave McCovey a 1970 template since he was smack in the middle of his prime, coming off of an M.V.P. season which saw him blast 45 home runs and drive in 126 along with a nice .326 batting average.
He wouldn’t disappoint in 1970 either, as he hit 39 homers with another 126 runs batted in, along with a league leading 137 walks, finishing in the top-10 in MVP voting for the fourth time in his career.
McCovey came into the Majors with a bang in 1959, tearing the seams off the ball by hitting .354 with 13 homers and 38 runs batted in along with 32 runs scored in only 52 games, copping a Rookie of the Year Award and setting the tone for his 22-year career.
By the time he retired in 1980, he crushed 521 home runs, collected over 2000 hits, drove in over 1500, and left his mark as one of the most feared sluggers of his generation.
In 1986, his first year of eligibility, he was voted into the Hall of Fame with 81.4% of the ballots cast.
Man, what a threesome McCovey, Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda made back in the 1960's for San Francisco, huh?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Here's the next card in the "1976 Project" you can consider either "missing" or part of my "career capper" series: a card for Danny Cater, aka "the other guy in the Sparky Lyle Trade".

Cater was wrapping up a decent 12-year career in 1975 with 22 games for the St. Louis Cardinals, in which he batted .229 with eight hits in 35 at-bats.
Not really a ton of action there, but for this project I don't call the shots (right Jim?).
Cater's previous three years were spent with the Red Sox, which is where the "Sparky Lyle" joke above comes from.
Before the 1972 season the New York Yankees traded Cater, who performed admirably for them for two years, to the Red Sox for pitcher Sparky Lyle, who as we all know went on to have an exceptional Major League career, including a Cy Young Award in 1977 as part of the World Champion "Bronx Zoo" team.
Cater, on the other hand, never played in more than 92 games in any season, nor batted any more than 343 times.
I'll always remember him as the guy who finished second in the American League batting race in 1968, when Hall of Fame legend Carl Yastrzemski took it home with a meager .301 average.
Cater, incredibly enough, hit .290 that year as a member of the Oakland A's, good for second! Amazing as it may seem.
In 1970 he had a solid year for the Yankees, as he hit .301 with 175 hits and 76 runs batted in. Not bad for that era actually.
But considering the pitching stud he was traded for, he's always remembered for "that trade", and that second place finish in the batting race (to us baseball-uber-nerds anyway!)

Monday, April 20, 2015


Here's a "missing" card for a guy that got into 23 games for the Cubs in 1974, good for 80 plate appearances, second baseman Ron Dunn:

Those 23 games marked the extent of his rookie year, as he batter .294 with 20 hits, seven of which were doubles and two of which were homers.
He also drove in 15 runs while scoring six, with 12 walks thrown in.
The following year he played in 32 games for the Cubbies, batting .159 with seven hits in 44 at-bats, and as it turned out those would be the final games of his Major League career.
Though he played a relatively full season in the minor leagues that season, he never appeared in a professional game again.
Anyone know why the guy went from Triple-A ball to nothing just like that?
His entire two-year career had him bat to the tune of a .241 average, with three homers and 21 ribbies, along with eight runs scored and 13 extra-base-hits.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Here's another one of those awesome 1971 action cards that I've always loved, a Rudy May edition.
Check it out:

What a great photo! And I'm always a fan of the horizontal format.
My ONLY gripe is with the placement of May's autograph, which I wish Topps put on the right side of the image, so we have a clearer shot of the third baseman, who is looking towards home plate in anticipation of a play.
Nevertheless, great card!
I'll always remember Rudy May as a New York Yankee, as he had two stints with the Bronx Bombers in his nice 16-year career.
He actually ended his career with his second tenure with the club, a four-year run that ended in 1983.
All told, he posted a 152-159 career record, with a 3.46 earned run average, 24 shutouts, 12 saves and 1760 strikeouts.
His finest year was easily 1980, when he led the American League in E.R.A. with a nice 2.46 mark, WHIP at 1.044 and strikeouts-to-walks with a 3.41 number.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Time for Early Wynn to get a card in my "Hall of Fame Inductees" thread, as he was elected to the Hall in 1972.
Check out my card:

Wynn's Major League romp towards 300 career wins didn't really pick up steam until he was 30-years old and a member of the Cleveland Indians in 1950, as he posted an 18-8 record with a league-leading 3.20 earned run average.
From then on he was hovering around 20-wins every year for the next ten years, topping the mark five times.
In 1959, now a member of the "Go-Go" Chicago White Sox, Wynn anchored the staff that led the team to a World Series appearance against the eventual champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, by posting a 22-10 record, leading the league in wins and copping a Cy Young Award at the age of 39.
However, the struggle to get that elusive 300th win is now well-documented, as he hung on for the next four years until he got that final victory in 1963 at the age of 43, thus joining the exclusive club and pretty much sealing his Cooperstown induction in his fourth year of eligibility, getting 76% of the BBWA vote.
All told, Wynn finished his 23-year career with a 300-244 record, with a 3.54 E.R.A., 49 shutouts and 2334 strikeouts in 691 games, 611 of which were starts, and was named to seven all-star teams.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Long time Detroit Tigers' slugger Norm Cash gets today's "Then and Now" card.
Check it out:

Cash really did put together a solid 17-year career that stands out even more when you consider the modern "dead-ball" era he played in.
By the time he retired after the 1974 season he slammed 377 homers and drove in 1103 runs while collecting 1820 hits.
Not a bad compliment in the line-up to guys like Al Kaline and Willie Horton!
Of course, his monster season happened to be the same year of Mantle and Maris and their pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record, 1961.
That year Cash tore it up, as he led the league in batting with a .361 average (the only time he batted .300 or better in a season oddly enough), while also slamming 41 home runs and driving in 132 runs.
Even with a league-leading .487 on-base-percentage and 193 hits, all it got him was a fourth place finish for MVP behind Maris, Mantle and Orioles slugger Jim Gentile.
Timing, as they say, is everything…

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1974 card for former Montreal Expos pitcher Joe Gilbert, he of a short two-year Major League career:

Gilbert's career was already over by the time this card would have come out, as he pitched what would be his final big league game on July 15th of 1973.
For the year he appeared in 21 games, good for 29 innings of work, with a 1-2 record, 4.97 earned run average and 17 strikeouts.
The previous year, his rookie year, he appeared in 22 games, good for 33 innings of work with a 0-1 record, 25 strikeouts and a bloated 8.45 E.R.A.
Yet he didn't get a card in the 1973 set either, so watch for THAT "missing" card here in the near future.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Today we give former Oakland A's star third baseman Sal Bando a "missing" in-action card in the 1972 set.
Take a look:

It's so easy to forget that Bando was such a solid player throughout the decade.
You look at the fact that he finished in second place for MVP in 1971 (behind teammate Vida Blue), fourth place in 1973 (behind teammate Reggie Jackson), and third place in 1974, and he really could have been remembered as one of the best of the wild-70's.
One of the anchors of the Oakland A's dynasty during the decade, he easily get's lost behind former teammates Jackson, Rudi, Campaneris, Hunter, Blue et al.
A four-time all-star, Bando moved on to Milwaukee after 1976 during the Oakland "exodus" of stars and put together a few more solid years before his career petered-out by 1979.
He retired after a 16-year career in 1981, with 1790 hits, 982 runs scored, 242 homers, 1039 runs batted in and a .254 batting average.
And thanks to blog follower Joe, I've now realized that he was denied an all-star card in the 1970 set! So what for that card in the near future…

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Here's a nice little 1972 "Nickname" card for Boston red Sox all-time great Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski:

Fun 1972 template to make the "Yaz" pop!
It's really easy to forget that Yastrzemski was a Long Island, New York boy before he went on to become a New England legend.
And how could he NOT become a legend, what with 23 years of Major League ball, all with the Red Sox, turning in three batting titles, a Triple Crown in 1967 along with an MVP Award, seven Gold Gloves, 18 all-star nods, and 25 league-leads in primary offensive categories.
By the time he did the retirement tour in 1983, he scored 1816 runs, collected 3419 hits, 646 doubles, 452 homers, 1844 runs batted in along with a .285 batting average.
He was just plain awesome…

Monday, April 13, 2015


The next player up on my ongoing "1976 Project" for "Reader Jim" is former pitcher Gene Pentz of the Detroit Tigers.
Take a look at the card:

Though his actual rookie card would be in the 1977 set as a Houston Astro, Pentz did in fact pitch in 13 games during the 1975 season for the Detroit Tigers, good for 25.1 innings of work, so we went ahead and created a card for him in the awesome 1976 set.
For the season he posted a 0-4 record with a 3.20 earned run average and 21 strikeouts.
He'd go on to pitch the next three years with Houston, but would be out of the Majors after 10 games in 1978.
His career numbers: 8-9 record, with a 3.63 E.R.A., seven saves and 116 strikeouts in 104 games and 191 innings.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Let's give a "missing" 1978 card to former outfielder Jim Fuller.
Take a look:

Fuller played the final 34 games of his career for the Houston Astros in 1977, collecting 16 hits in exactly 100 at-bats for a .160 batting average.
That action in 1977 was the first for him since the 1974 season when he played in 64 games for the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he came up with the previous year.
All told, Fuller's career consisted of those three years, finishing with a .194 batting average, 61 hits, 11 homers and 41 runs batted in spread over 107 games and 315 at-bats.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Let's go and give one of my favorite underrated stars of the 1970's, Al Oliver, a "Traded" card in the 1978 set:

Traded over to the Texas Rangers in a multi-player, multi-team blockbuster in December of 1977, Oliver would not disappoint in his four years in Arlington.
Topping .300 each and every year there, Oliver would garner two Silver Slugger Awards as well as two all-star team selections before moving on to Montreal, where he'd continue his assault on Major League pitchers before retiring after the 1985 season.
By the time his 18-year career was over, he racked up 2743 hits, 1189 runs scored, 529 doubles, 219 homers, 1326 runs batted in and a nice .303 batting average.
He batted .300 or more eleven times during his career, twice topped 200 hits (once in each league), took home a batting title in 1982 along with leading the league in hits, doubles and R.B.I.'s, and was named to seven all-star teams.
In my book he was also robbed of a Rookie of the Year Award in 1969 (losing out to the Dodgers' Ted Sizemore), and the fact that he was "one and done" as far as Hall of Fame voting in 1991 when he garnered only 4.3% of the vote is a joke.
But when your prime was during the era of Rose, Bench, Reggie, Carew et al, you can see how he flew under the radar I guess…

Friday, April 10, 2015


Up next on my "Hall of Fame" thread is none other than former Negro League all-time great Buck Leonard.
Take a look at my card design:

Elected to the Hall of Fame along with former long-time teammate Josh Gibson in 1972, Leonard was called "the Black Lou Gehrig", and batted fourth behind Josh Gibson for many years.
In 1999 the Sporting News ranked him as the 47th greatest baseball player as part of their "100 Greatest Players" list.
Sadly statistics from the Negro Leagues are spotty, but from what IS documented and researched, Leonard is credited with a .320 lifetime average and a .527 slugging percentage, along with three Negro League Championships and nine pennants.
One of my favorite quotes about Leonard is by fellow Hall of Fame member Monte Irvin, when he stated, "Trying to sneak a fastball by him was like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster".

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I'm going to take a week or two break from trivia to try and catch up on all the posts I already have done (first world problems, right?!).
Anyway, rest assured trivia Thursday will be back soon enough for those of you who like it...
For now, here's a "Then and Now" card for longtime relief specialist Ted Abernathy, who closed out a solid career after the 1972 season:

Abernathy actually came up in 1955 with the Washington Senators, when he started and came out of the bullpen on his way to a 5-9 rookie year with two shutouts and a gaudy 5.96 earned run average.
Over the next eight years he bounced back and forth from the Minors to the Majors, and it wasn't until the 1963 season, now with the Cleveland Indians, that he found his groove strictly as a relief pitcher, as he posted a 7-2 record, with a 2.88 E.R.A. and 12 saves.
Two years later he had a great season, now with the Chicago Cubs, as he went 4-6 with a 2.57 E.R.A., with a league-leading 31 saves over 84 games and 136.1 innings pitched.
He finished 62 games that year, and struck out 104 batters, the only time in his career he'd top 100 K's in a season.
Two year after that, now with the Cincinnati Reds, he'd have perhaps his finest year as a pro, when he posted a 6-3 record, with a sparkling 1.27 earned run average and a league-leading 27 saves, while finishing 61 games over 70 appearances.
He'd also post excellent years in 1968 with the Reds, as well as 1970 when he split the season between three teams (Cubs, Cardinals and Royals), and 1971 as a 38-year-old in Kansas City when he finished with a 2.56 E.R.A. with 23 saves over 63 games.
Even his final season, 1972, was impressive, as he posted a 3-4 record with a very nice 1.70 earned run average and five saves at the age of 39.
By the time he retired he appeared in 681 games with a 63-69 record, with 148 saves and 765 strikeouts over 1148.1 innings of work.
Incredibly however, even though he suited up for seven different organizations during his 14-year career, he never appeared in a post-season game.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Ok, so here's a "missing" 1976 card for a guy I wouldn't consider necessarily missing for the set because of lack of playing time in 1975, but since I created the card for my ongoing project with "Reader Jim", I'm posting it up here.
Take a look at my 1976 Dave Pagan card:

For the 1975 season Pagan pitched in 13 games for the Yanks, without a decision and a 4.06 E.R.A., one save and 18 strikeouts over 31 innings of work.
The following year he'd get traded to the Baltimore Orioles, before getting drafted in the expansion draft and becoming one of the "original" Seattle Mariners in 1977.
At the tail end of 1977 he'd pitch in one game for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which creates a bit of a photo "white whale" for me since I want to create a "missing" 1978 card for him as well (hint hint to anyone out there who has a usable photo of him as a Pirate).
That one game for Pittsburgh would be the last of his career, as he'd pitch in the Pirates' Minor League system for the next two years before hanging them up.
Overall he had a five-year career, finishing with a 4-9 record, along with a 4.96 E.R.A., one shutout, four saves and 147 K's over 232.1 innings of work spread over 85 games.
One last note on Pagan: he hails from the relatively remote town of Nipawin, Saskachewan, Canada.
Check out the location! As far as a baseball player goes, man that is remote!
A good friend of mine lives in Winnipeg, manitoba, and the Winters there are insane. THIS town of Nipawin is a few hundred miles NORTH of that! So I can't even imagine what it's like up there…

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Here's a "missing" In-Action 1972 card for former Baltimore Oriole pitching great Dave McNally.
Take a look:

McNally just wrapped up a tremendous four-year run by the time this card would have come out, posting four straight 20+ win seasons along with three wins spread over three World Series (1969-1971) and a World Championship.
Between 1969-1971 he finished in the top-5 in Cy Young voting each time, with a second place finish in 1970 behind Jim Perry.
Along with Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar he formed one of the most talented pitching rotations in the game, and in 1971 was one of FOUR Oriole pitchers to post 20 or more wins.
By the time he retired after the 1975 season, he finished with a 184-119 record, with a 3.24 earned run average, 33 shutouts and 1512 strikeouts.
Some of the other highlights of his career are pretty nifty: still the only pitcher to hit a Grand Slam in a World Series game; he had three different streaks of 12 or more wins in a row during his career (Roger Clemens would later match this) including a 17-game streak between 1968-69; and he threw a Series-clinching shutout against the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series to match teammates Jim Palmer and Wally Bunker, completing an improbable sweep of the reigning champs and their staff which had future Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
Quite a career for the man from Billings, Montana.

Monday, April 6, 2015


I recently gave former Phillies and White Sox slugger Greg "The Bull" Luzinski a "Nickname" card as part of my "Nicknames of the '70s" thread, and today I want to present a "Dedicated Rookie Card" for him as part of the 1971 set.
Check it out:

You all know I'm not a fan of the multi-player rookie cards were using in their sets, so I'm slowly creating "dedicated" rookies of all the players who went on to prominent careers later on.
Luzinski's 1971 rookie was nothing to write home about, as he split his card "appearance" with outfielder Scott Reid, who actually never made it back to the Majors again after a handful of games in 1969 and 1970.
For "The Bull" Luzinski, he only played in eight games in 1970, manning first base and collecting two hits in 12 at-bats.
He'd have to wait until 1971 for his first Big League homer, hitting three of them over his 100 at-bats that year.
From then on he became the perfect partner to slugging third baseman Mike Schmidt, as they bashed their way through National league pitching staffs for the rest of the decade before Luzinski moved on to the Chicago White Sox in 1981.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1973 card for former Phillies outfielder Ron Stone.
Check it out:

Stone played in 41 games for Philadelphia in 1972, batting .167 with nine hits in 54 official at-bats.
Granted, it's not like Topps really missed the boat on this guy for the 1973 set, but I DID find this decent image of him to use, so why not?
Anyway, turns out those would be the final games of his five-year career, playing in just over a couple-dozen games with the Kansas City Athletics in 1966 before coming back to the Majors with the Phillies in 1969.
His only relatively full season was 1970, when he played in 123 games, mainly as an outfielder.
He batted .262 that year with 12 doubles, five triples and three homers and 39 runs batted in, with a .262 batting average.
After splitting time in the Minors with both the Phillies and Royals organizations in 1973, his playing days were behind him.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Here's a fun card for the Hall of Fame thread: fellow Bensonhurst, Brooklyn native Sandy Koufax and his 1972 induction:

I love anything to do with Koufax, and any chance to design a card for him is jumped at.
Koufax and the "Left Arm of God" legend has only gotten bigger over time.
The years between 1961 and 1966 were amazing, but it was the 1963-1966 period in particular that was just unconscious, and what got him into Cooperstown.
Just look at the numbers, all in FOUR seasons of play:
A 97-27 record, with four E.R.A. crowns, three years of a sub-2.00 mark, 31 shutouts, 89 complete games and 1228 strikeouts, with three of those years topping 300+ K's!
He took home three Cy Young Awards, finished third in 1964, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1963, with two other second-place finishes in 1965 and 1966, his final two years of Major League ball.
In the postseason he was equally as brilliant, being voted MVP of the World Series in both 1963 and 1965, leading the Dodgers to championships.
He posted a 4-3 lifetime record with a 0.95 earned run average, two shutouts and 61 strikeouts in 57 innings of work.
In his three losses in postseason play, he gave up THREE earned runs! So it's not like he choked in those games either.
Sadly we all know how his career ended because of arm troubles, causing him to retire at the age of only 30.
Man how I wish we could have seen him pitch into the 1970's!
Would have been awesome to see him on those card-issues into the mid-decade, no?
That five year stretch was so awesome that he was elected in the Hall on his first try, being named to 86.9% of the ballot.
There are some out there that feel he didn't "perform" long enough to warrant a Hall selection, let alone a first-year induction.
And most of the time I'd agree.
However we are talking some rarified stuff here, so with Koufax it was indeed a no-brainer.
What do you all think? Anybody out there think Koufax didn't perform long enough for a Hall of Fame induction?

Friday, April 3, 2015


Today's "Nickname of the '70s" ballplayer is former Phillies slugger Greg "The Bull" Luzinski.
Check out the card:

I put him on a 1977 template since he was smack in the middle of a torrid run between 1975 and 1978 that saw him post four straight top-10 MVP finishes, with two runner-up finishes in 1975 and 1977.
An all-star each of those seasons, Luzinski topped a .300 batting average three of the four seasons, as well as three 30+ homer and 100+ R.B.I. totals as well.
While the rest of his career was solid as well, it was those four years that made him a monster at the plate, complimenting Mike Schmidt in the line-up with a one-two punch that few other teams could match.
He'd finish his 15-year career as a member of the Chicago White Sox, the only other team he'd play for, in 1984, and would total 307 homers, 1128 runs batted in and a .276 average over 1821 games and 6505 at-bats.
I wish he was able to play longer, as he was only 33 when he retired. I don't remember why he left the game when he did, if it was because of injuries or what.
Watch for my 1971 "Dedicate Rookie Card" for him in the near future…

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Time for a revisit of the twelfth edition of 1970's baseball trivia from 2013. See how many you can get.
As usual, the answers will be posted down below tomorrow.

1. On August 11, 1970 he became the first pitcher to win 100 games in both the A.L. and N.L. since Cy Young. Who was he??

2. On September 5th, 1971 this pitcher tied the THEN big league record with 15 strikeouts in his first Major League start. Who was he?

3. On August 11th and 12th, 1977, this player broke up TWO straight no-hitters late in the game, one by Mike Torrez of the Yankees, and the next by Jim Palmer of the Orioles. Who was the batter?

4. In 1972, this pitcher threw THREE two-hitters and TWO one-hitters, yet finished with a record of 10-21. Who was this hard-luck hurler?

5. Who was the only M.L. player to attain 200 hits in a 1970's campaign while playing for two teams? Hint: he was a Rookie of the Year runner up earlier in the decade.


1. Jim Bunning.

2. J.R. Richard, Houston Astros.

3. Manny Sanguillen, Oakland A's.

4. Steve Arlin, San Diego Padres

5. Willie Montanez, 1976, split between the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Here was a fun card to design: a 1970 "missing" card for short-lived Major League pitcher Ron Law of the Cleveland Indians.
Take a look at my card:

Turns out the Canadian's only Major League action was the 1969 season, when he appeared in 35 games for the Tribe, good for 52.1 innings, in which he fashioned a 3-4 record with a 4.99 E.R.A., a save and 29 strikeouts.
I'm getting more and more into the idea of creating cards for these guys with brief (even briefer) MLB careers since I'm finding nice images of them online.
I know it kind of flies in the face of my "Why?" series profiling guys who barely played the previous season, but a guy like Law here, with 35 games and 52.1 innings deserves a slab of cardboard, no?
Keep an eye out for more of these guys in the near future, as I have been trolling the web for players like this and have come up BIG!
Too much fun……


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