Friday, July 31, 2015


Today we go and give former California Angels infielder Winston Llenas a card that was missing from the 1976 set. Take a look:

Llenas appeared in 56 games for the Halos, hitting .186 with 21 hits over 113 at-bats while playing five different positions plus some DH-ing.
The action he saw in 1975 would be the last of his career, all spent with the Angels since he came up in 1968.
He didn't play in 1970 or 1971, so over the six seasons he did see action in the Majors, he hit .230 with 122 hits over 531 official at-bats, spread over 300 big league games.
In 1973 he led the American League with 16 pinch-hits and 56 pich-hit at-bats, while seeing the most action in any season he played, 78 games.
He then went on to play a year in Japan, for the Taiheiyo Club in 1976, hitting .227 before going to to play, coach and manage in the Dominican Republic for years, eventually getting inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Let's revisit my trivia set from November, 2013. See if any ring a bell. I'll post the answers tomorrow, as usual.

1. Who posted the most plate appearances during a season in the 1970's with a whopping 770 in 1974?

2. Dick Allen's M.V.P. season in 1972 saw him fall just short of winning the Triple Crown, leading the American League in homers and runs batted in, but coming in third in the batting race. How many points separated him from triple crown history?

3. Which season in the 1970's saw an astounding 44 starting pitchers post an E.R.A. of under 3.00 for the year?!

4. Conversely, what season saw only six Major League starters post a sub-3.00 earned run average over a full season?

5. Among all 30+ home run seasons by players during the decade, who had the lowest amount of total hits during his 30+ homer year with only 111? And what year was it?


1. Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds.

2. Ten. Rod Carew won the title with a .318 average while Allen hit .308. This translates to about five more hits over the course of the season.
3. 1972.
4. 1970.

5. Gorman Thomas, Milwaukee Brewers. 1978.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Today I go and crate a "missing" 1972 In-Action card for "Sweet" Lou Piniella, then of the Kansas City Royals.
Check out the card:

Piniella was establishing himself as a solid Major League player, already taking home the American League Rookie of the Year in the 1969, the Royals inaugural season, and just putting in consistent numbers every year there.
After being traded to the New York Yankees before the 1974 season, Piniella found his permanent home in the big leagues, playing the final eleven seasons of his career there.
Along the way he was a member of two championship teams, hit .300 or better five times, and eventually would even become manager of the Yanks before moving on to a long career leading Major League squads.
Over his 18-year career he hit .291, with 1705 hits in 5867 at-bats, and besides 10 games split between the Orioles in 1964 and the Indians in 1968, he'd do it all with the Roylas and Yankees between 1969-1984.
In 1986 he took over as Yankee manager, and would go on to manage for another 23 seasons, guiding the Yanks, Reds, Mariners, Devil Rays and Cubs.
He would lead his teams to a World Series win in 1990 (Reds), an American League record 116 win season in 2001 (Mariners), eight 90+ win seasons (all but the Devil Rays), and six 1st place finishes (with the Reds, Mariners and Cubs).
Not a bad career spanning 46 years!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


It feels like I haven't done a "Dedicated Rookie" in a long while, so allow me to present my 1975 dedicated rookie card for perennial Gold Glove first baseman Keith Hernandez:

Hernandez was just about to launch his stellar Major League career in 1975 after playing in 14 games during the 1974 season.
Topps gave him a spot on one of the multi-player rookie cards in the 1975 set, but a dedicated card for him seems like a natural for this blog.
As far as his career, all he would do from then on is win a batting title in 1979, a co-MVP Award the very same year (sharing it with Pirate legend Willie Stargell), take home 11 Gold Glove Awards for his magic at first base, and get named to five all-star games.
He was part of a World Champion team with both the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982 and the New York Mets in 1986, and would finish his 17-year career with over 2000 hits, 1000 runs scored, 1000 runs batted in and a .296 average.
He became an instant darling here in New York to so many kids when he arrived during the 1983 season, and I have to admit even though I was a rabid Yankee fan and WORSHIPPED Don Mattingly, Hernandez was a guy I just had to like no matter what.
It just seemed that it was the Hernandez trade that got the mid-80's Mets team going in the right direction, soon to be joined by the likes of Cone, Gooden, Carter and crew.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Here's a "missing" card for a player I didn't know about: outfielder Art Gardner of the Houston Astros:

Gardner appeared in 66 games for the Astros in 1977, hitting .154 with 10 hits over 65 at-bats.
He debuted in the Majors in 1975, playing in 13 games for Houston with equal luck at the plate, before playing the entire 1976 season in the Minor leagues.
In 1978 he'd play in only seven games with the Giants, before playing out his professional career in the Minor Leagues and the Japanese league in the early 1980's before retiring for good.
His total in the Big leagues: a .162 average with 16 hits (all singles) in 99 official at-bats, with 12 runs scored and five runs batted in. 
And though he was a speedster in the Minors (196 steals in his Minor League career), he tallied one single stolen base while up in the Majors, coming in his rookie year of '75.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Here's a quick one for a Saturday afternoon: I just posted my "missing" 1975 card for former reliever Jack Akers the other day. Today I ask: does anyone know how old the photo on Aker's 1970 Topps card is?
Take a look:


Now, Akers played most of the 1969 season with the Yankees, and to top it off he played the other part of the year with the expansion Seattle Pilots.
Before that, he did play with Kansas City Athletics, for whom he came up with in 1964 and played for through the 1968 season (after their move to Oakland).
My questions is, the uniform he has on seems to be a Kansas City A's uni, and from even earlier than 1967 or so.
Any help on this one?
I know Topps didn't take photos for a couple of years in the late-60's, but this seems even more drastic than other cases. This photos seems about five years old! No?
I see uniforms resembling the airbrushed job on Aker's card in the 1965 set, as well as the 1963 Fleer set (see below). Can this photo be that old?

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Next up on the "Hall of Fame" thread is second baseman Billy Herman, who put in 15 solid seasons as a Major League star. Check out my card design:

Inducted to Cooperstown by the Veteran's Committee in 1975, Herman wad a worthy pick in my eyes.
A 10-time all-star, he put in some some stellar seasons both offensively and defensively playing for the Cubs, Dodgers, Pirates and Boston Braves between 1931 and 1947 (he lost two seasons to military duty duty in 1944/1945).
After playing 25 games with the Cubbies in 1931, he busted out the following season, batting .314 with 206 hits, while collecting 102 runs scored, 42 doubles and seven triples.
And over the course of the rest of his career he would not disappoint, topping .300 six more times (with a high of .341 in 1935), top 200 hits another two times (with two more seasons of 190+ hits as well), while leading the league in hits, doubles and triples once each.
In 1935 and 1936 he slapped 57 doubles each year, and in 1943, now with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he managed to drive home 100 runs (for the only time in his career), with a scant TWO home runs, while hitting .330 with 193 hits and 41 doubles.
By the time he retired in 1947, Herman had 2345 hits, 486 doubles, 1163 runs scored and a .304 career average, with three top-5 MVP finishes (1935, 1936 and 1943).
Defensively, Herman led his league in assists three times, turning double-plays four times, putouts seven times and fielding percentage three times, with numerous second and third place finishes for all categories.
He never did get much support from the BBWA when it came to Hall of Fame election between 1948 and 1967, so as I stated earlier, he'd have to wait until 1975 to get voted in, thus closing out a very nice career as a ballplayer.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Let's go and give longtime relief pitcher Jack Aker a "missing" card in the 1975 set.
Take a look at the card I created:

For the 1974 season, his last as a Major League player, Aker appeared in 41 games for both the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets.
He posted a record of 2-2 with a couple of saves and a 3.57 earned run average, all out of the 'pen.
As a matter of fact, in his entire 11 year career he never started a single game, appearing in a total of 495 games in relief, posting a (then) very respectable 124 saves, including 32 in 1966 alone when he had his best season in the big leagues for the Kansas City Athletics, going 8-4 with a 1.99 ERA to go along with those league-leading saves.
Between 1964 and 1974 he'd suit up for the Athletics, Pilots, Yankees, Cubs, Braves and Mets, finishing with a 47-45 record with a nice 3.28 ERA and 404 strikeouts over 746 innings of work in 495 appearances.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Let's go and revisit Trivia Set #24 from November 2013. See how many you can get before I post the answers tomorrow.

1. Who was the only pitcher to lead the league in winning percentage in both the A.L. And N.L. During the 1970's, and what seasons were they?

2. While Nolan Ryan did so four times in the '70's, no National League pitcher averaged 10+ K's per nine innings over a single season. Who came the closest?

3. Name the only batter to receive more than 30 intentional base on balls during a season in the decade? As a matter of fact, this batter had 40 of them. Who is it?

4. Who is the only National League player to reach base over 300 times in a season during the 1970's? A feat he accomplished four times!

5. Only one time during the 1970's in either league did the stolen base champ end up with less than 50 steals. Who was it?


1. Don Gullett. 1971 (.727) with the Reds, and 1977 (.778) with the Yankees.

2. J.R. Richard, Astros. 1978 at 9.904.
3. Willie McCovey, Giants. 1970.
4. Pete Rose, Reds in 1973, 1975, 1976 and Phillies in 1979.

5. Bert Campaneris, A's. 1970 with 42..

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


The next player to profile for the on-going "1976 Project" is former Atlanta Braves player Rob Belloir.
Check out the card I came up with:

Belloir saw the most action in his short four-year career in 1975, playing in 43 games, good for 118 plate appearances while playing shortstop for Atlanta.
For the season, he posted a .219 batting average with 23 hits in 105 at-bats, along with 11 runs scored and nine runs batted in.
The following season he'd play in 30 games, hitting an even .200 while mixing it up on the defensive side between short and third base, before barely appearing in any games the next two seasons, playing in six and two games respectively in 1977 and 1978.
Oddly, Topps went ahead and gave him a card in the 1978 set, even with only his ONE at-bat for the previous season, which I profiled this past January.
In the end, Belloir played in 81 games, with a final average of .216 based on 36 hits in 167 official at-bats, before calling it a career.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1978 card for Bobby Tolan, who was wrapping up his nice career by the end of the 1970's.
Check out my card design:

Tolan appeared in 64 games in 1977, 15 with the Philadelphia Phillies and 49 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, good for 97 plate appearances and 90 at-bats.
He hit .189 with 17 hits, eight runs scored and 10 runs batted in, with a single stolen base.
His best years were with the Cincinnati Reds between 1969 and 1973, topping .300 a couple of times and leading the league in stolen bases in 1970 with 57 and even slamming 21 home runs in 1969 with 93 runs batted in.
Sadly for him, he was traded to the San Diego padres for pitcher Clay Kirby after the 1973 season, thereby missing out on the tremendous "Big Red Machine" run the next few years, and being a part of two world champion teams.
Dig the awesome 1970's sideburns-into-'stache going on with him on this 1978 card! Love it!
He'd actually make one more "comeback" of sorts in 1979, this time for the Padres, appearing in 22 games before retiring for good after not playing in the Big Leagues in 1978.
In all he'd finish with a .265 average with 193 steals and 1121 hits over 1282 games and 4238 at-bats, as well as a World Series ring as a member of the 1967 St. Louis Cardinals, when they defeated the Boston Red Sox.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Here's a "Then and Now" card for long time Major League pitcher Orlando Pena:

Pena was closing out a decent 14-year career that actually started in 1958, as he missed four seasons between 1958-1975 (1961, 1968, 1969 and 1972).
He'd finish with a 56-77 record, with a 3.71 earned run average, 40 saves and 818 strikeouts over 427 games and 1202 innings.
I couldn't help but notice his monster Minor League season at the ripe old age of 38 in 1972 when he posted a combined 22-3 record with a tiny 1.25 ERA!
He first went 15-3 with a 1.38 ERA with Miami of the Florida League, then moved on to Rochester of the International League and went 7-0 with a 0.96 ERA. 
Now, I can't be 100% positive at this point, but I'm almost sure his 1959 Topps card was the first 1959 card I ever got. It's either that or Virgil Trucks.
Old age is getting to me as I forget these once unforgettable moments collecting cards as a kid!

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Here's a "traded" card for former slugger Richie Zisk, who was traded from the Pirates to the White Sox during the 1976-1977 off-season.
Check it out:

Zisk arguably had his best Major League season in 1977, slamming 30 home runs along with a .290 batting average, with 101 runs batted in and 78 runs scored, giving him a starting all-star berth and some MVP consideration.
That 1977 White Sox team was a good one, based in large part to the fire power they had in their line-up, as they finished 90-72 for the season.
Besides Zisk and his 30 homers, they also got strong contributions from Oscar Gamble (31 homers), Eric Soderholm (25 homers), Chet Lemon (19 homers), Jim Spencer (18 homers), and Lamar Johnson (18 homers).
As a team the ChiSox ended up hitting 192 homers for the year, very nice muscle display!
As for Zisk, he'd end up playing for 13-years, hitting 207 home runs with 792 RBI's and 681 runs scored with a surprisingly nice .287 batting average over 1453 games and 5144 at-bats.
He started two consecutive all-star games for the American League in 1977 and 1978, and us card-nuts all know how he was "robbed" of an all-star designation on his 1978 Topps card.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


The next card up in the on-going "1976 Project" is a "missing" card for former first baseman and outfielder Tom McCraw.
Check out my card first:

1975 would end up being the final year of his career, one that lasted 13 years and saw him play for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, and California Angels.
During the 1975 season he appeared in a scant 23 games, with 59 plate appearances.
He hit a very respectable .275 based on 14 hits over 51 at-bats, with seven runs scored and five runs batted in and a couple of homers thrown in.
Over his career he hit .246 with just under 1000 hits on 3956 at-bats, 484 runs scored, 75 home runs and 404 RBI's, and 143 stolen bases.
After his playing days were over he went on to a lengthy career as a hitting coach, serving as such for various clubs over 23 years between 1975 and 2005.

Friday, July 17, 2015


I guess today's card can be considered a "missing in action OR even a "career capper": a 1972 Clete Boyer edition.
Take a look:

Boyer was wrapping up a nice 16-year career that saw him play for the Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves between 1955 and 1971.
For the 1971 season, he played in 30 games, with 108 plate appearances before calling it a career, batting .245 with 24 hits, 10 runs scored and 19 runs batted in while manning third base for the Braves.
His finest Major League season would have to be in 1967 when he hit 26 homers with 96 RBI's for Atlanta, even garnering some MVP votes.
His final pro numbers are solid for the era: 1396 hits with 645 runs scored, 200 doubles, 162 homers, 654 RBI's and a .242 batting average, while also leading his league in various fielding categories over at third base, including two fielding titles in 1967 and 1969, the latter of which got him his only Gold Glove.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


This week we revisit my 23rd trivia set from November 7th, 2013. See if any of them ring a bell, and I'll post the answers tomorrow, as usual.

1. Who was the only team to have four players drive in 100 or more runs during the same season, and what year was it?

2. Who quietly won 20 games for the Yankees in 1978, easily being overshadowed by Ron Guidry's Cy Young performance?

3. What Major League season saw only four players reach 100 or more runs scored for the year, a low mark for the decade? Coincidentally all were from the same league:

4. What season in the 1970's saw the most players hit 40 or more home runs?

5. What player recorded only 74 runs scored in a season that saw him collect 200+ hits, the lowest total in the decade?


1. 1977 Red Sox: Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk and Butch Hobson.

2. Ed Figueroa. 20-9.
3. 1971. All four from the National League: Lou Brock, Bobby Bonds, Willie Stargell,  and Ralph Garr.
4. 1970- Six Players: Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Billy Williams, Frank Howard and Harmon Killebrew.

5. Willie Montenez. 1976. He had 206 hits while only scoring 74 runs..

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Here's a card I've been meaning to tackle for some time now: a 1978 "career capper" for slugger Boog Powell, check it out:

Yeah it's a card that has been created by others, as I've seen them online, but I just had to fill this hole in my "virtual collection" as well.
Powell closed out a very nice 17-year career in 1977 with 50 games out in Los Angeles for the Dodgers, as a pinch-hitter and playing a little first base .
He collected 10 hits over 41 at-bats, all singles, posting a .244 batting average with five runs batted in.
He was only two-years removed from an excellent season with the Cleveland Indians that saw him hit 27 homers with 86 RBI's and a .297 average, but by the time he hit 35 years of age he was done.
He finished with 339 home runs, 1187 runs batted in and a .266 average, while being named to four all-star teams, taking home a Most Valuable Player Award in 1970 while with the World Champion Orioles, and two other top-3 MVP finishes in 1966 and 1969.
Always a fan-favorite in Baltimore, Boog can still be seen around Camden Yards at his "Boog's Barbeque" restaurant.
And who can forget those awesome Miller Lite commercials in the 1980's!? Those were great!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Our next Hall of Fame inductee for the decade is former Cleveland Indians star Earl Averill, who was elected to the halls of Cooperstown in 1975.
Here's my card:

Averill exploded onto the baseball scene as a rookie in 1929, putting together one of the best rookie years of all time: 110 runs scored, 198 hits, 43 doubles, 13 triples, 18 homers, 96 runs batted in and a cool .332 batting average.
And over the following ten seasons he'd continue that hot bat, collecting extra bases along with a solid batting average while consistently driving in runs in Cleveland.
In 1939 he found himself in Detroit, and his career would suddenly shift gears, leaving him to play out his Major League days with the Boston Braves in 1941, as he appeared in only eight games before retiring.
However before he did, he left us with 2019 hits, 401 doubles, 1224 runs scored, 128 triples, 238 home runs, 1164 runs batted in and a nice .318 career average.
All of this in only 10 full seasons with a few partial years thrown in.
Three times he finished in the top-5 for Most Valuable Player, and he was an all-star six straight seasons between 1933-1938.
Some may say he was "borderline" at best for induction, and I'm one of them to be honest, but he definitely put together a very solid career that left him right on that line between "very good" and "all-time legend".
This was reflected in the fact that he never garnered much support from the BBWA in Hall of Fame voting between 1949 and 1962, but he would finally get his due and enter those hallowed doors at the age of 73.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Today I present a "missing" 1974 card for former pitcher Charlie Hudson of the Texas Rangers.
Take a look:

Hudson appeared in 25 games during the 1973 season, with four starts among them, good for 62.1 innings pitched.
He posted a 4-2 record with a 4.62 earned run average, with 34 strikeouts and a shutout and save each.
He'd actually miss the entire 1974 season before coming back for a brief spell with the California Angels in 1975, pitching in only three games and 5.2 innings before his playing career was over.
Ironically enough, I just noticed that Hudson was traded from the Mets, the team who drafted and signed him, to the Cardinals in October 1971 in a multi-player deal for none other than pitcher Harry Parker, who I just posted a 1976 card for a couple of days ago. Go figure.
Nevertheless Hudson's career would span three years (minus the missed 1974 season), where he pitched for three teams: the Cardinals, Rangers and Angels.
He posted a 5-3 career record, with a 5.04 earned run average and 38 strikeouts over 40 games and 80.1 innings pitched.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Here's a card I had fun creating: a "Nickname" card for uber-Hall of Fame superstar Hank Aaron.
Check it out:

I used a 1973 template since Aaron was about to topple quite a few all-time Major League numbers, and also had what was arguably his last "Aaron-esque" season in 1973, slamming 40 home runs while driving in 96, with a batting average of .301, slugging .643 and on-base-percentage of .402.
The man was raking that year before playing out his incredible 23-year career through the 1976 season as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
What needs to be said here? 
Let his numbers do all the talking: 2174 runs scored, 3771 hits, 624 doubles, 98 triples, 755 home runs, 2297 runs batted in, a .305 batting average no less than 21 all-star selections!
Just tremendous!
He also had eight top-5 finishes for MVP, including taking home the award in 1957, as well as three Gold Gloves won consecutively between 1958-1960.
It's incredible to look at his 15 years of topping 100 or more runs scored, 11 seasons of 100 or more runs batted in, five more seasons of 90+ RBI's, and TWENTY STRAIGHT years of 20 or more home runs.
Almost hilarious to look at! Just incredible…

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Here's a card for former pitcher Harry parker as part of my "1976 Project" for "Reader Jim".
Take a look:

Parker split the 1975 season between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, appearing in 32 games, all but one of them in relief, posting a 2-3 record with three saves and a 5.06 earned run average.
He'd actually suit up for the Cleveland Indians in 1976, appearing in only three games before calling it a career.
All told, by the time he hung up the cleats he pitched in 6 seasons between 1970 and 1976 for the Cardinals, Mets and Indians.
His final numbers were: a 15-21 record, with a 3.85 ERA, 12 saves and 172 strikeouts over 124 games and 315.1 innings of work.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Here's a "Missing in Action" 1978 card for former Toronto Blue Jays player Steve Bowling.
Check it out:

I don't know what happened here, but Bowling played in 89 games for the Jays in their inaugural season, good for 236 plate appearances and 194 at-bats. You'd think that was enough to warrant a card.
In that playing time, Bowling hit .206 with eight doubles, a triple and a homer, with 19 runs scored and 13 runs batted in.
He played briefly in 1976 with the Milwaukee Brewers before being drafted by Toronto in the expansion draft, and actually would never play Major League ball again after his 1977 performance.
After two more seasons in the Minors for the White Sox and Reds, he'd call it a career for good after 1979.
His final career stats: a .199 batting average, with that single home run and 15 runs batted in over 103 games and 236 at-bats.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Today we revisit my 22nd Trivia set from Halloween, 2013. Take a stab and see what you can get. I'll post the answers tomorrow...

1. What reliever received the most points in MVP voting during any one year in the decade?

2. Two players share the low-mark for 1st place M.V.P. votes among winners during the 1970's, one in the A.L. and one in the N.L. Who are they?

3. In the 1970 American League Cy Young voting, the fourth place finisher had just as many 1st place votes as the winner, Jim Perry, with six, more than even the second and third place finishers. Who was he?

4. Who was the only unanimously voted Rookie of the Year winner during the decade?

5. What pitcher managed to finish in second place in the N.L. Cy Young race in 1977, then finish in second place in the A.L. Cy Young race two years later in 1979?

1. Sparky Lyle, New York Yankees. 158 MVP points in 1972.
2. Jeff Burroughs, Texas Rangers in 1974 and Keith Hernandez, St. Louis Cardinals in 1979 (co-winner with Willie Stargell). Both had only 10 first place votes.
 3. Mike Cuellar, Baltimore Orioles.
 4. Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox. 1972.
5. Tommy John, Los Angeles Dodgers in '77 and New York Yankees in '79.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


The next "Hall of Fame Inductee" up in my thread is former 19th century slugger Sam Thompson, aka "Big Sam".
Take a look:

Thompson was a "slugger" by his day's standards, slamming 126 home runs with two homer titles during his 15-year career between 1885 and 1906.
If you take a look at his career you'll be looking at some hardcore numbers!
In ten full seasons (the other five being partial at best), Thompson drove in over 100 runs eight times, with highs of 166, 165 and 147.
In 1894, he drove in those 147 runs in only 102 games! He also hit .415 with 114 runs scored to team up with fellow future Hall of Fame members Ed Delahanty (.404) and Billy Hamilton (.403) to form the only .400-hitting outfield in baseball history.
To top it off, there was a FOURTH outfielder on the team, Tuck Turner, who hit .418 in 382 plate appearances!
Back to Thompson, he collected over 200 hits in a season three times, collected 10+ homers six times, 20+ triples three times and scored 100+ runs all ten seasons of full-time play.
By the time he retired for good after a brief return to Major League ball in 1906 with the Detroit Tigers after an eight-year absence, he finished with 1261 runs scored, 1988 hits, 343 doubles, 161 triples, 126 home runs and 1305 runs batted in with a wonderful .331 batting average.
In that time he also led his league in a primary offensive category 17 times. Certainly a Hall of Fame resume if worthy of induction by the Veteran's Committee in 1974.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1971 card for Wayne Comer, he of five partial Major League seasons between 1967 and 1972:

During the 1970 season Comer played for both the Milwaukee Brewers and the Washington Senators, compiling 171 plate appearances over 90 games.
He hit .212 with 31 hits in 146 at-bats, along with 22 runs scored and nine runs batted in for good measure.
The previous season would be his only substantial playing time, as one of the full-time Seattle Pilots outfielders in their lone season before moving onto  Milwaukee.
He appeared in 147 games with 573 plate appearances, hitting .245 with 15 homers and 54 runs batted in with 88 runs scored while playing five positions, including catcher.
All told, Comer would play in 316 games, with 808 plate appearances, collecting 157 hits in 687 at-bats, good for a .229 average, with 16 homers and 67 runs batted in, before retiring after a short stint with the Detroit Tigers in 1972.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Next up on the "1976 Project" hit parade is a "career capper" of sorts for pinch-hitter extraordinaire Gates Brown of the Detroit Tigers.
Take a look:

Brown closed out a wonderful 13-year career in 1975, all for the Tigers, playing in 47 games.
He hit .171 with six hits in 35 at-bats in his final season, but don't let that fool you, he was THE man off the bench for the Tigers, and one of the top pinch-hitters in baseball history.
Between 1963 and 1975 he collected 582 hits, with 107 of them as a pinch-hitter, and of those 107 pinch-hits 16 were home runs.
It's interesting to note that during the "year of the pitcher" in 1968, when Carl Yastrzemski led the American League with a .301 average, and Danny Cater finished second with a .290 average, Brown, in the role of pinch-hitter, finished with an amazing .370 average in just under 100 at-bats.
Certainly not a full season by any means, but he was raking it nevertheless as part of the eventual World Champion team.
If none of you have read up on the man, I suggest you at least Google him to read some of the anecdotes attributed to him, as well as his interesting life story and how he eventually made it to the Major Leagues. 
Definitely one of those great baseball characters that live on forever in my eyes.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


The next "Super Veteran" in my "Then and Now" thread is former pitcher Stan Williams, aka "Big Daddy":

Williams was closing out a nice 14-year career in 1972, actually appearing in three games for the Boston Red Sox, pitching only 4.1 innings.
He was just two years removed from an awesome season for the Minnesota Twins in 1970 when he posted a 10-1 record with a sparkling 1.99 earned run average and 15 saves as a reliever, appearing in 68 games, all in relief.
Williams finished his career with a 109-94 record, with a 3.48 ERA, 11 shutouts and 1305 strikeouts over 482 games and 1764.1 innings of work.
I love his final Topps card, which is in the 1972 set, that has a great night-shot with stadium lights in the background.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Next up on my ongoing "missing" 1972 In-Action card sub-set is former pitcher Ken Holtzman:

Holtzman was pitching in his first season for the Oakland A's in '72 after coming over from the Chicago Cubs, and he would contribute exceptionally well for the team that would go on to three straight championships in his first three years.
He'd go on to win 19, 21 and 19 wins between 1972 and 1974, posting ERA's of 2.51, 2.97 and 3.07 with 10 shutouts, while never pitching less than 255.1 innings.
Then he'd go on to win 18 in '75 with a 3.14 ERA while topping 250+ innings pitched once again in his last year for the A's before being part of the monster Reggie Jackson trade that sent them to Baltimore in the Spring of '76.
He'd put together a very nice 15-year career, finishing with a 174-150 record, with a 3.49 ERA, 31 shutouts and 1601 strikeouts before retiring after the 1979 season.
What a pitching staff the A's had when you put Holtzman in there with Catfish Hunter and Vida Blue. Not a bad trio, and on top of that you had future Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers out of the 'pen!

Friday, July 3, 2015


Let's go and give former pitcher Terry Cornutt a "missing" 1978 card.
Take a look at the card I whipped up:

Cornutt appeared in 28 games for the Giants in 1977, posting a 1-2 record with 23 strikeouts and a 3.86 earned run average over 44.1 innings of work.
Except for a single solitary appearance in 1978, that would be the entirety of his Major League career.
Curious as to why he never made it back up to the "big show", as he put in a few more decent seasons in the minor leagues until 1980 for the Giants organization out of the 'pen.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Let's revisit my quiz from October 24th, 2013.
I'll post the answers tomorrow…

1. You may be surprised by the answer: what reliever had the most saves in a "perfect" season during the decade? That is, no blown saves for the year?

2. What starting pitcher had the lowest season E.R.A. while sporting a losing record during the '70's?

3. Who was the only pitcher to lead a league in E.R.A. for a season without winning 10+ games?

4. What pitcher had the highest strikeout total in a season without leading the league?

5. Who was the only pitcher during the decade to NOT have more wins than losses while leading the league in E.R.A. during the 1970's?


1. 1977 Dave Campbell, Atlanta Braves: 13/13.

2. Dave Roberts, San Diego Padres: 2.10 with a 14-17 record.

3. Craig Swan, NY Mets. 1979. 9-6 with a 2.43 E.R.A..

4. Vida Blue, Oakland A's. 1971. 301 K's, second to Mickey Lolich who had 308.

5. Diego Segui, Oakland A's. 1970. 10-10 record with a 2.56 E.R.A..

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Well today we come to one of the most popular players ever to play ball, and his induction to the Hall of Fame, Mickey Mantle.
Here's the card I came up with:

I think the shot works well with the template, no?
Mantle is one of those guys I really don't think we need to get into as far as his accomplishments on the baseball diamond. It'd be kind of like a joke to start writing about his career since it would take up a book's worth.
But alas, 500+ homers, a bushel of World Championships, three Most Valuable Player Awards, and the hearts of more fans than we can even imagine to this day.
"The Mick" in all his glory, enshrined in his rightful place in Cooperstown, along with his longtime buddy Whitey Ford in the same HOF class.
Not too bad a Hollywood script...


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