Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1978 card for Atlanta Braves pitcher Don Collins, who had a brief career but should have had a card regardless.
Check it out:

Collins appeared in 40 games during the 1977 season, and posted a 3-9 record with a 5.09 earned run average and a couple of saves thrown in.
In his 70.2 innings of work he fanned 27 batters but walked 41, not the best thing to do as a guy coming out of the bullpen.
Nevertheless, 70+ innings and 40 games deserves a card, especially considering some of the other players who got on in the '78 set that played a lot less than him.
Besides the 1977 season Collins would pitch in four games for the Cleveland Indians in 1980, marking the only other season he'd make it to the top before closing out his career.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Here's a fun card: a "Nicknames of the '70s" card for former slugger Jimmy Wynn.
Take a look:

I used a 1973 template to play around with the cannon icon in the lower right-hand corner, while also giving him a card while he was still in a Houston uniform before he went on to play for the Dodgers and get named to two consecutive all-star starts in 1974 and 1975.
Wynn put up some solid years during his excellent 15-year career.
Eight times he'd top 20 homers, with three of them 30+, while also driving in 100+ runs twice, scoring 100+ runs four times and topping 100 walks six times, two seasons of which he'd lead the National League, with a high of 148 in 1969.
While slugging away, he was also a threat on the base paths, as he'd go on to swipe a total of 225 before retiring, with a high of 43 in 1965.
After a handful of games with the Milwaukee Brewers in the latter half of 1977, he called it a career, finishing with 1100+ runs scored, 1665 hits, 291 homers and 964 runs batted in, with a .250 average thrown in.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Let's go and give former Expos pitcher Jim Britton a "Missing in Action" 1972 Topps card.
Take a look:

Britton played the last of his Major League games during the 1971 season up in Montreal, appearing in 16 games.
He posted a 2-3 record with a 5.72 earned run average over 45.2 innings of work, giving him a lifetime 13-16 record with a 4.02 ERA, three shutouts, four saves and 148 K's over 76 games and 237.1 innings between 1967 and 1971 (he missed the 1970 season after three years playing for the Atlanta Braves).

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Of Course, when talking airbrushing on cards during the 1970's eventually you have to come to today's example: the 1974 Topps Reggie Smith card.
Take a look:

What is mystifying is that the "St. L" logo on his cap looks like it was hand drawn with crayons.
Just look at the rough, uneven edges!? So strange as to why this made the cut.
The rest of the cap is actually not that bad, with the shading, etc. But that logo.
Wow, just wow.
Of course this was all because Smith now found himself as a Cardinal after a very nice run in Boston between 1966 and 1973.
During that run he finished second in Rookie of the Year, was an all-star twice, led the league in doubles twice, and led the league in total bases in 1971.
It's easy (and sad) to forget just what a nice career "the other Reggie" put together through the decade.
Not only was he a legitimate home run threat (finishing his career with 314), but he hit .300 or better seven times during his run, and even managed to swipe 137 bases as a Major League player.
He'd finish his career with over 1000 runs scored, 1000 runs batted in, 300 homers and 2000 hits.
And let's not forget that he was one of those FOUR Dodger sluggers in 1977 to become the first set of quadruple 30+ homers hitters during the same season.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Here's another one of those cards that stuck with me all these years for it's "awesomeness", the 1975 Topps Luis Tiant card.

Man, just perfect!
You can almost see the swagger on "El Tiante's" face as he was enjoying a rebirth in his career, posting three 20-win seasons in four years (with 18 wins during the lone miss) while pitching for the Red Sox in the mid-70's.
Man, the colors, the image, it's all there!
We've talked about it somewhat over the past few months how those slightly out-of-focus images back then have more of a mystique about them than today's uber-crisp, high resolution digital shots.
I can't really say what it is about it, perhaps just something as simple as childhood memories, but they just carry so much more weight for me.
Great card of one of the funnier characters of the game during the wild 70's!
If not for a bit of a derailment with his career between 1969 and 1971, we'd be talking about a Hall of Fame member.
Nevertheless, 229 wins, 2416 K's, a 3.30 ERA and 49 shutouts is certainly nothing to gloss over…
Love this card!

Friday, September 25, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1976 card as part of my "1976 Project" for "Reader Jim" for former outfielder Billy Baldwin of the Detroit Tigers.
Check it out:

Baldwin had a brief two year career, 1975 playing for the Tigers and 1976 in a scant nine games for the New York Mets.
During that 1975 season in Motown, Baldwin played in 30 games, hitting .221 over 95 official at-bats with 21 hits, seven of which went for extra bases.
Sure he doesn't necessarily "deserve" a card in the (awesome) 1976 set based on this amount of playing time, but I've been thinking lately that as long as there's an image out there of a player, ANY player, that appeared in a Major League game the previous season, why not go and create a card?
Of course this means my "What Were They Thinking" thread becomes a moot point. But I've been thinking that a truly FULL representation of players who appeared in Major League games the year before may be the way to go.
What do you all think?
Could be fun to have cards of guys that even had a brief one-game "career" in the big leagues!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Here's this week's trivia set. A revisit of my 32nd set back in the beginning of 2014.
This week I focused on 100+ run scorers during the decade of the 1970's.
See how many you can get. As usual answers will be posted tomorrow…

1. Among all 100 run scorers during the decade, who had the fewest at-bats during their season?

2. Of all 100 run scorers in the '70's, who posted the fewest hits during their 100-run campaign?

3. What player had the fewest extra base hits during his 100-run season?

4. Who posted the lowest batting average in the 1970's for 100-run scorers?

5. Out of all 100 run scorers in the decade, who had the lowest on-base-percentage?


1. Reggie Smith, Dodgers. 488 in 1977.

2. Mike Schmidt, Phillies. 137 in 1979.
3. Felix Milan, Braves. Only 32 EBH in 1970.
4. Mike Schmidt, Phillies. He hit .253 in 1979.

5. Enos Cabell, Astros, with a .313 OBP in 1977.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Growing up with watching the Yankees on T.V., I was very familiar with former all-star first baseman Bill White, being that he was a longtime announcer on channel 11 here in the NYC area for games along with Phil Rizzuto.
As a matter of fact White would end up being a sort of fall-guy for all of Rizzuto's hilarious antics, which made for some really funny moments during the game.
Anyway, I always wanted to create a "Career Capper" for him in the 1970 set, just to have him creep into the 1970's.
So here you go:

White closed out a brilliant, if not shortened 13-year career in 1969, returning to the Cardinals, for whom he played between 1959 and 1965 and put together his best years as a big-league player.
In '69, he appeared in 49 games, hitting .211 with 12 hits over 57 official at-bats.
But when you take a good look at what he did over the eleven seasons that he played full-time, you see an excellent, consistent player who also played his position superbly.
At the plate White put together four 100-RBI seasons, reached 200 hits once (with two other 190+ hit years thrown in), clubbed 20+ homers seven times, topped .300 four times and scored 100+ runs once.
Defensively, all White did was take home seven consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1960 to 1966, leading his league in fielding twice along the way as well.
Admittedly I didn't know any of this as a young kid watching Yankee games at first.
Wasn't until I was bestowed with my first MacMillan Encyclopedia around 1979 that I was able to soak it all in.
I just remember him as a somewhat reserved guy who'd crack a joke here and there while Rizzuto was running wild at the mouth with all of his anecdotes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Though just beginning what was (and still is) an arguably Hall of Fame career in 1972, I nevertheless wanted to give former all-star shortstop of the "Big Red Machine" Dave Concepcion a "missing" In-Action card in the 1972 set, and I think I came up with a doozy!
Take a look:

Gotta say, it's a beaut!
Granted, he has his back to the camera and it's really all about the other two guys, Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench and Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, but come on, THAT is some in game action right there!
Concepcion was a major cog in that machine we called "Big Red".
A nine-time all-star, he went on to take home five Gold Glove Awards and even two Silver Slugger Awards later on in the early-80's.
Teamed up with guys like Bench, Pete Rose, George Foster and Joe Morgan, they were incredible for a while there.
By the time he retired after the 1988 season he collected over 2300 hits, scored just under 1000 runs, and stole over 320 bases.
For a kid growing up then, he was up there among the recognizable players that seemed other-wordly, even if he wasn't bashing the ball out of the park or stealing a bushel of bases.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Funny how as a child beginning a lifelong obsession with card collecting, certain players are remembered regardless of the fact that barely played in the Majors at all.
Some of these guys, like todays subject Rick Baldwin, was all about timing.
Even though I was a Yankee fan, I also loved to pull Met players out of packs since I thought their color-scheme on cards always looked so nice (something that started for me in that perfect 1976 set!).
Years later I realize that Baldwin lasted a scant three seasons in the big leagues, and barely even played in 1976 at that!
Regardless, here's a 1978 card that I feel should have been included in the set based on his action during the 1977 season:

Over 40 games, Baldwin posted a 1-2 record with a 4.45 earned run average and a save in 62.2 innings of work.
Those 40 games would be the last he'd see on a Major League mound, relegating him to a group of guys in my mind like Bob Myrick, George Zeber and Mickey Klutts.
Baldwin would pitch in the minors during the 1978 season for both Seattle and Pittsburgh before calling it a career.
But alas, he lives on thanks to slabs of cardboard obsessed over by guys like myself!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Former Cleveland Indians pitching great and former manager Bob Lemon is the next inductee to get a card in my running series for the 1970's.
Check it out:

Lemon was nearing the end of his Hall eligibility in 1976 when the BBWA finally voted him in with 78.6% of the vote.
By no means a "sure thing", he did however put up some very impressive numbers that were hampered by military service during World War II.
Over the course of his 13-year career, he only actually put in 10 full seasons, yet he posted an incredible seven 20-win campaigns!
Along the way as part of the legendary Indians rotation that also included Early Wynn, Mike Garcia and a dude named Bob Feller, Lemon led the league in wins three times, complete games five times, shutouts (with 10) once, and was named to seven straight all-star teams between 1948-1954.
When he retired after the 1958 season, he finished with a 207-128 record with a 3.32 earned run average, 31 shutouts and 1277 K's over 460 games (350 of which were starts), and 2850 innings pitched.
After his playing days were over he went on to a respectable managerial career, leading the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees between 1970 and 1982.
Of course he's remembered as the skipper who took over the famous "Bronx Zoo" Yankees in 1978 and led them to an incredible drive that saw them go 48-20.
That drive eventually tying the Boston Red Sox and forcing the "Bucky &^%$% Dent Game", and a World Championship over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If not for the War, we could easily be looking at a near-300 game winner being that he didn't even start playing until he was 25.
Nevertheless, Cooperstown came calling and he found his place alongside former teammates Feller and Wynn. 
Three Hall of Fame starters on one rotation. Awesome…

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Here's another that has left me wondering: the Topps 1972 Bob Aspromonte card.

The fellow Bensonhurst, Brooklyn native is shown at the tail end of his career as a Cincinnati Reds player.
However, a couple of things: first, he never played for the Reds. As a matter of fact he never played Major League ball again after 1971 with the New York Mets.
Secondly, I cannot find any record of him even signing with the Reds before the 1972 season (??). 
Was he a Spring Training invite? Did he just happen to be in the right place at the right time, leading to a card in the '72 set?
Anyone know what was going on here?
As stated earlier, Aspromonte wrapped up a decent 13-year career in 1971, playing for the Dodgers, Colt .45's/Astros, Braves and Mets.
In 1324 games played he collected 1103 hits over 4369 at-bats, good for a .252 average with 60 homers and 457 runs batted in.
His brother Ken was also a long time Major League player as well as manager. He even appears in the 1972 set on a card I profiled a while ago because it looks like the photo was taken in the middle of the street in my old neighborhood. I kid you not. (Look it up. So odd).

Friday, September 18, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1972 Topps card I created for one season wonder Bruce Christensen of the California Angels.
Take a look:

Christensen appeared in 29 games for the Halos in 1971, good for 71 plate appearances while he took up the shortstop position.
Overall he hit a very respectable .270 with 17 hits over 63 official at-bats, with a double, four runs and three runs batted in.
Those would be the only Major League games he'd play in for his career, toiling in the Minor League for various teams between 1966 and 1976, playing primarily for the Angels and San Francisco Giants organizations.
I'm having a blast creating cards for players with short careers like this. 
Perhaps I need to rethink this and start creating cards for anyone who got to appear in a Major League game period!
That'll keep this blog going for years!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Today I find myself posting up for the 900th time on this blog, and I cannot thank you all enough for following and contributing to what has become a daily treat for me.
Honestly, when I started this I figured I'd entertain myself for a few months and let it die out as I got "bored" with what in essence would be my little personal baseball card "diary".
But as it's grown I've come to rely on this as a daily does of entertainment.
I hope you're all still with me here, as I have a ways to go!
FYI- I already have myself set up with posts until about New Years 2017!
Yes, you may say I've become obsessed!
For today, instead of highlighting a card# through the decade, I wanted to restate what was my original mission here, so I'm reposting my first two blogs, the impetus to why I created this all in the first place.
We'll jump right back into the usual topics tomorrow, so bear with me…
Thanks again! Hope you all keep reading…

Originally posted May 25th, 2013

A Brief Introduction to Someone's Obsession with 1970's Topps Baseball Cards...

As a sports card collector for some 35 years, as well as a Graphic Designer for over 20, I've always had my "favorites" as far as card designs go, whether it was a set or even an individual player. Who can argue with the fact that the 1952 Topps baseball set, or 1953 Bowman baseball set were simply sublime in design? Or what about those Allen & Ginter or Mayo Plug masterpieces from 100+ years ago? Little rectangular pieces of art!
However, as a "child of the 1970's", I must admit I have always had a warm spot in my heart for those Topps baseball sets of the decade. We were given psychedelic, eye-gouging designs like 1972 and 1975, while also having bland, almost inexplicably boring set designs in 1970 and 1973. And who can forget that frustrating (for a condition-sensitive collector today) 1971 set with the black borders?! Topps seemed to be trying to catch up with the "go-go" '70's, exploding with color, design, and sometimes even photography after pumping out "middle of the road" offerings ever since Bowman bailed out of the baseball card game in 1956. I mean, besides the "clean" 1967 design, which was really just an updated version of the 1957 design, Topps really just kind of phoned-it-in between 1960-1970 in my opinion.
Then, out of nowhere, they hit us with that aforementioned 1971 set, black and bold with some horizontal cards thrown in for extra "kick", only to visually rape us with that acid-trip of a 1972 set! As a matter of fact that set was so visually explosive that it seems to have made Topps take a step back for a couple of years in 1973 and 1974 to have some time to reload before they jumped into the color pool again with their 1975 edition!
Personally, the apex of Topps baseball was indeed the run between 1975 and 1978. Those four sets were, and still are, just magic to me. The colors of 1975 and 1976, along with the clean designs from 1977 and 1978 made these sets my favorites to this very day. On top of it all, I was always a sucker for the All-Star cards being the players' regular issue card. I'm sure many would disagree with me here, but I never liked separate All-Star cards for players. I always felt that when you pulled a player's card from a pack, and saw that "All-Star" designation on the card, it was awesome to turn to the back to see the very stats that made them an "All-Star" to begin with. That run of regular issue All-Star cards from 1975-1981 will be examined further in the near future, sort of a sub-set of articles actually. But for the near future, allow me to jump right into the cards of that crazy decade that burned themselves into my brain and have stuck with me all these years…

Topps 1976 #300 Johnny Bench.
Where do I even begin with what is my all-time favorite baseball card? First off, can a man actually be "in love" with a piece of cardboard? Ever since I pulled one of these our of a wax pack when I was seven years old, I was mesmerized.
What a bad-ass look on his face, standing there with an inexplicable dust-cloud hovering around him at home plate. This was a time when the Big Red Machine was terrorizing everyone on their way to two straight championships, including a sweep in the World Series that very year of my beloved Yankees.
Yeah Pete Rose may have been the hard-nosed leader of this juggernaut, but looking at this card always made me this Bench was one dude not to mess with!
The photograph, the cropping, the overall coloration in the card's design, and of course the "All-Star" designation screaming out to you on the lower left, this card has it all, and it's held up in my eyes all these years later.
Simply a classic baseball card.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The next guy up for the "1976 Project" I have going on with "Reader Jim", is long-time relief pitcher Joe Hoerner, who could have been included in the 1976 Topps set considering some of the other guys who put in less time during the 1975 season but got into the set.
Take a look at the card I came up with first:

Hoerner pitched in 25 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1975, not figuring in a decision over 21 innings of work while posting a nice 2.57 earned run average.
That ERA was a good sign of the solid 14-year career he'd put in the big leagues, as he'd finish with a 2.99 figure over 493 appearances and 563 innings pitched.
Between 1963 and 1977 he'd play for the Colt 45's (Astros), Cardinals, Phillies, Braves, Royals, Rangers and Reds, and took home a championship in 1967 while with the Cards in St. Louis.
A true man out of the 'pen, he never started a Major League game, with all of his 493 appearances coming in relief, and he'd go on to finish with 98 saves with a high of 17 in 1968, his finest season, as he also went 8-2 with a sparkling 1.47 ERA over 47 games for the National League champ Cardinals.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I always wanted to tackle the 1972 Reggie Jackson "In Action" card since I thought it was quite boring for such an electric player from the era.
First, let's take a look at the original issued card from Topps:
So here's my take on it:

The image Topps issued was Reggie staring off, probably at a foul ball, so the image I used was a shot of him 'swinging for the fences" in classic Reggie style.
Just more action for the "In Action" card, no?
Reggie was well on his way to Cooperstown, as he was about to take three championships with the A's before moving to the "Bronx Zoo" in 1977 and take home another two World Series wins with the Yankees while creating the "Mr. October" legend.
Before he retired after the 1987 season he'd win four home run titles, get named to 13 all-star teams, win an MVP Award in 1973, and get a freakin' candy-bar named after him (of which I ate MANY as an eight year old).
A legend no matter how you slice it, easily one of the baseball icons of the day along with guys like Bench, Rose, Carew, etc.

Monday, September 14, 2015


You know, I never even realized that Jim "Mudcat" Grant was missing a card in the 1970 set until I started this blog.
So why not go ahead and give him one right here!
Allow me to post up my 1970 creation:

Can't really understand why Topps didn't include him since he appeared in 41 games in 1969, posting an 8-11 record with a 4.42 earned run average in 114 innings of work, split between the Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals.
He'd go on to pitch two more seasons for the Oakland A's and Pittsburgh Pirates before retiring at the end of the 1971 season.
Overall he put in a nice 14-year career that saw him go 145-119 with a 3.63 ERA and 1267 strikeouts over 571 games and 2442 innings pitched.
His finest season was 1965 for the American League champ Minnesota Twins when he finished with a 21-7 record, the win total leading the league, as well as leading in winning percentage (.750) and shutouts (6).

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I'll admit, I'm a sucker for cards of non-rookies that barely, and I mean BARELY played the year before, like today's subject, Alan Closter and his 1973 card.

Closter appeared in a scant two games during the 1972 season, posting an 11.57 ERA while not figuring in any decisions.
His workload amounted to 2.1 innings that year, yet he got a slot in the 1973 set.
I do understand that building the roster for their upcoming edition must have had Topps in fits, so some "busts" were sure to happen (as we have seen), but I still get a kick out of profiling these cards since we've also seen just how many players "should have" had cards in sets during the decade.
Closter's career would end after appearing in four games during the 1973 season with the Atlanta Braves, again going 0-0, this time with a 14.54 ERA over 4.1 innings of work.
Over parts of four seasons, he'd finish with an even 2-2 record, with a 6.62 ERA and 26 K's over 21 games and 35.1 innings playing between the Washington Senators, Yankees and Braves.
It's also fun to point out that those two games and 2.1 innings in 1972 got him his own card in 1973, while 14 games and 28.1 innings of work in 1971 only managed to get him on a multi-player rookie card in the "oh-so-funky" 1972 set.
Go figure…

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Today we have a "missing" 1972 "In Action" card for underrated Kansas City Royals outfielder Amos Otis.
Take a look:

Otis was just coming into his own in 1971, leading the American League in stolen bases with 52 and beginning a nice run of plate production that would see him become a cog in the successful Royals teams of the mid-to-late 1970's.
By the time he retired after the 1984 season he topped 2000 hits, 1000 runs, 1000 RBI's, 340 stolen bases and just under 200 home runs with 193.
He also brought home three Gold Gloves for his fielding in 1971, 1973 and 1974, as well as getting named to five all-star teams.
Excellent all-around numbers that often get buried behind his former teammates and contemporaries of the decade.

Friday, September 11, 2015


I guess we can consider this both a "missing" 1971 card for pitcher Hank Aguirre and a "career capper", since he saw his last action on a Major League mound in 1970 with the Chicago Cubs.
Check out my card first:

1970 saw Aguirre wrap up a nice 16-year career, which saw him suit up for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cubs between 1955 and 1970.
He appeared in 17 games for the Cubs, posting a 3-0 record with a 4.50 ERA over 17 games and 14 innings of work.
His finest season was 1962 with the Tigers when he went 16-8 with a league-leading 2.21 earned run average and 156 strikeouts.
Overall he finished his career with a 75-72 record, with a 3.25 ERA, nine shutouts and 33 saves over 447 games and 1375.1 innings.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


It's Thursday Trivia Day.
So let's revisit my trivia set from New Years, 2014.
This week's questions dealt with wins-leaders of the 1970's. Take a shot and see how many you get.
As usual answers will appear tomorrow…

1. Among all wins leaders of the '70's, what pitcher suffered the most losses during his "winning" campaign?

2. Of all the wins leaders during the 1970's, who recorded the most strikeouts during their winning season?

3. On the flip side, what wins leader was the only one to strikeout less than 100 batters during his winning season?

4. What wins leader had the highest batting-average-against during his league leading wins season?

5. Who pitched the least amount of innings during his wins-leading season during the 1970's?


1. It's a tie: Wilbur Wood, White Sox, 1973 and Phil Niekro, Braves, 1979. Both had 20 losses.

2. Steve Carlton, Phillies. 310 K's in 1972.
3. Randy Jones, Padres. He whiffed only 93 batters in 1976.
4. Wilbur Wood, White Sox. Batters hit .270 against him in 1973.

5. Gaylord Perry, Padres. He pitched in "only" 260.2 innings in 1978.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Here's a "Hall of Fame Induction" card for former 19th-century slugger Roger Connor, who was inducted in 1976, hence the template used.
Take a look:

As many of you already know, Connor was the player who held the career home run record before a guy named Babe Ruth came along.
In his stellar 18-year career, he slammed 138 homers, which was an impressive total for the dead-ball days of yore.
A big dude (6'3"/225lbs), Connor wasn't only a slugger however, by the time he retired in 1897, he totaled 2467 hits, 1620 runs, 441 doubles, 233 triples and 1323 runs batted in. He also managed to steal 244 bases as well, though records for some of these stats were loosely kept, I'll admit.
Nevertheless, the man topped 100+ runs scored eight times, 100+ RBI's four times, 10+ homers seven times, and 10+ triples 12 times.
A very worthy player from the 1800's to be elected into the Hall of Fame…

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Today I present to you all a 1970 "Then and Now" card for the "Little Potato", Camilo Pascual.
Check it out:

Pascual was at the tail end of a very nice 18-year career by 1970, retiring after the 1971 season actually, but having his last Topps card in the 1970 set.
He came up in 1954 as a 20-year old with the Washington Senators, but it would take a few years before he hit his stride, eventually posting two 20-win season (in 1962 and 1963), as well as leading the American League in strikeouts three years in a row between 1961-1963, with a high of 221 the first year of that run.
He also led the league in shutouts three times, with a high of eight during the 1961 season, while also winning 15 or more games five times and posting a sub-3.00 ERA three times.
All told, by the time he retired after nine games with the Cleveland Indians in 1971, he finished with a 174-170 career record, with a 3.63 earned run average and 2167 strikeouts over 529 games and 2930.2 innings of work.
Perhaps if I can find a usable photo of him as an Indian from 1971 I'll whip up a "career capper" card in the near future.
We shall see…

Monday, September 7, 2015


Here's a "missing" 1972 card for fomer pitcher Jim Nelson of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Take a look at what I came up with:

Nelson had a brief two-year career, spanning 1970-1971 for the Pirates, and in 1971 appeared in 17 games, posting a 2-2 record with a very nice 2.34 ERA over 34.2 innings of work.
In those two years he'd finish with a 6-4 record, with a 3.06 earned run average and 53 strikeouts over 32 games and 103 innings.
I don't know what happened but he would spend the 1972 season on the Buc's Triple-A team in Charleston of the International League, but then never again play in pro-ball.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Today we go and give future Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rollie Fingers of the Oakland A's a "missing" 1972 In-Action card.
Take a look:

Bear with me on this one, the photo used is actually Fingers pitching in a game from 1972, so I'm a little off here.
But I tell you, as long as I tried, I could NOT find an image of him in-action during a game from 1971, or even 1970 for that matter!
Nevertheless, nice colorful image of the anchor out of the bullpen for the three-time World Champ A's of the 1970's.
Fingers would put together a wonderful 17-year career which would see him win both a Cy Young and MVP Award in 1981 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Lead the league in saves three times, post sub-2.00 ERA's 12 times and finish up with a sparkling 2.90 career ERA over 944 games and 1701.1 innings pitched.
He was named to seven all-star teams, both in the A.L. and N.L., before closing out his career in 1985, finishing with a 114-118 record with 341 saves.
One of the great characters of the decade! But a force out of the 'pen as well.
He was voted into the Hall in 1992, his second year on the ballot, garnering 81.2% of the vote.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


OK, so let's take a gander at what I consider one of the funnier cards out there during the decade: the 1972 Bob Barton "In Action" card.
Now in this case "In Action" MUST BE quoted since the photo is about as NON-action-packed as you can get.
Take a look:

Barton looking around while at the backstop, probably after watching a foul ball head that way.
My favorite is the elder security guard/police officer looking up, probably watching the flight of the ball.
Just awesome!
I swear that officer is more of a prominent figure in the card to me than the player himself!
As for Barton himself, he put in 10-years as a Major League catcher, playing for the Giants, Padres and Reds before his time was up after 1974.
His best year was easily 1971 when he played in 121 games for San Diego, hitting .250 with 94 hits over 376 at-bats, with 17 doubles, two triples and five homers to go along with 23 runs batted in.
He never played in more than 61 games in any other year during his career.
He'd retire with a lifetime .226 average, with 237 hits over 1049 at-bats, nine homers, 34 other extra base hits and 66 RBI's for his troubles.
And one awesome classic "In Action" card in 1972!

Friday, September 4, 2015


Time to get my Dick Allen "fix" in and present to you all my "Nicknames of the 70's" card for the former slugger.
Take a look at what I came up with:

I used the 1974 template since he was in the middle of a great run with the South Side Pale Hose.
As I've stated many times, I have always been a fervent fan of Allen and his "'tude", kind of like what Albert Belle ended up being a couple decades later.
Allen, whether during his "Richie" or "Dick" years, could flat out rake.
Six times he'd top 30 homers, with a high of 40 in 1966 while still with the Phillies.
He'd also top 100 runs scored twice, 100+ runs batted in three times, and even top 200 hits, which was during his amazing rookie year, where he also hit 29 homers, scored 125 runs and drove in 91.
Needless to say, he took home the Rookie of the Year that year, and in 1972 would take home the MVP trophy while with the White Sox when he paced the American League with 37 homers and 113 RBI's, while just missing out on the Triple Crown, batting .308, just ten points off the league-leading mark by perennial winner Rod Carew.
By the time he left the game at the age of 35, Allen hit over 350 homers, batted .292 and scored 1099 runs with 1119 RBI's.
The seven-time all-star also led his league in triples once, walks once, on-base-percentage twice and slugging three times.
I'm not saying the man is a lock-tight Hall of Fame candidate, but I do think in light of some of the guys already in, HE should also be in there.
The fact that the most support he got was an 18.9% showing in 1996 seems like a joke to me.
What do you all think?

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Trivia Thursday again, and today we'll revisit my set from Christmas, 2013.
Take a shot and see what you can get. This trivia focused on stolen base leaders of the 1970's.
All questions deal with league leaders. As usual the answers will be posted tomorrow.

1. Among all stolen base leaders of the 1970's, who had the most hits in the season they lead the league in swipes?

2. Who had the LEAST amount of hits in a season they lead the lead in steals?

3. Who hit the most home runs in a stolen base leading season during the decade?

4. Who hit for the highest average among all stolen base leaders of the '70's?

5. On the flip side, who hit for the lowest average the year they lead the lead in steals?


1. Lou Brock, Cardinals. 200 in 1971.

2. Davey Lopes, Dodgers. 103 in 1976.
3. Bert Campaneris, A's. 22 in 1970.
4. Bobby Tolan, Reds. .316 in 1970.

5. Omar Moreno, Pirates. .235 in 1978.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


As a young Yankee fan in 1979, I was confused and heartbroken when my older cousin Tony told me that one of my favorite Yanks, Sparky Lyle, was traded to the Texas Rangers.
What made it more confusing was tearing open Topps packs a couple months later to see Lyle STILL donning the pinstripes.
So here is an "updated" 1979 traded card for the former all-star reliever, showing him on his proper team:

Really the best usable image I could find of him in Texas garb believe it or not.
Traded in November of 1978 to Texas, it would be the trade that got the Yankees Dave Righetti, though he wasn't the main cog in the massive 10-player transaction that also included Juan Beniquez, Mike Heath and Domino Ramos, among others.
What a great career Lyle put up: 899 lifetime appearances, ALL in relief, a Cy Young Award in 1977 when he went 13-5 with a 2.17 ERA and 26 saves over 72 games, two top-10 MVP finishes in 1972 and 1977, three all-star nods, and two championships as part of the famous "Bronx Zoo" Yankee teams of the late-70's.
A character among characters, funny enough he is currently involved with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League not 10 minutes from my home. And he's still the life of the party!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Here is a missing 1975 Topps card I created for former Detroit Tiger Marvin Lane.
Take a look:

Lane played in 50 games during the 1974 season, easily the most action he ever saw during his five-year career, all with Detroit.
For the year, he batted .233 with 24 hits over 103 at-bats, scoring 16 runs with four doubles, a triple and two homers while driving in nine.
In the three previous years he played in only 22 games total, and after missing the 1975 season he would come back in 1976 to appear in 18 games in Motown before closing the books on his Major League playing time.
All told, he'd finish with a .207 career average with 37 hits and 23 runs scored over 90 games and 210 plate appearances, with three homers and 17 RBI's.


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