Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Of course if I was creating a 1970’s “coach-card” set, you know eventually I’d come around to “Joltin Joe” DiMaggio and his time spent as a coach for the Oakland A’s at the end of the 1960’s, allowing me to create this 1970 card for him:

Almost 20 years after his retirement as a player, DiMaggio found himself a couple of years short of the highest level of pension from the Major Leagues, and owner of the Oakland A's franchise, Charlie Finley, was happy to oblige the “Yankee Clipper” with a title of Vice President while he suited up in the Oakland green
for the 1968 and 1969 seasons, which was near his hometown.
Convenient all-around, no?
Needless to say, the stunt got DiMaggio what he wanted, and Finley was able to leverage the legend of DiMaggio with the fans of the organization’s new home out west, where they moved from Kansas City after the 1967 season.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Today I offer up a “missing” 1975 card for former Detroit Tigers pitcher Bill Slayback, who wrapped up a three-year career in 1974, all in Motown:

Slayback appeared in 16 games during the 1974 season, four of those starts, and posted a 1-3 record with a 4.77 earned run average in 54.2 innings of work.
The previous year, he barely saw any big league action when he pitched in three games and only 2 innings, but his “rookie” year of 1972 gave him the bulk of his playing time when suited up for 23 games, going 5-6 over 81.2 innings.
All told he posted a 6-9 record in the Majors, with a 3.84 ERA in 42 games, 17 of which were starts, along with a shutout over 138.1 innings pitched.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Here’s a 1976 card for a guy who did appear in the set, but on a multiple-player rookie card.
However, “Reader Jim” asked me to create a dedicated version for his ongoing project, Dave McKay:

McKay appeared in 33 games for the Twins in 1975, good for 135 plate appearances, definitely stretching the “rookie” status a bit, especially for a spot on a multi-player card.
During his first taste of the Majors, McKay hit .256 with 32 hits over 125 at-bats.
He’d go on to play for eight years, even as one of the original Toronto Blue Jays in their inaugural 1977 season, and finishing with the Oakland A’s in 1982.
He would bat .229 for his career, collecting 441 hits over his 645 games and 1928 at-bats before becoming a long-time coach, currently acting as first base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Imagine pitching what many consider the greatest game ever pitched and yet come out the loser?!
Today we celebrate Harvey Haddix and the 12 perfect innings he pitched in 1959 against the defending National League champion Milwaukee Braves before losing it all in the unlucky 13th inning:

As we all pretty much know be heart now, on May 26th of 1959 Haddix took the hill against the Milwaukee Braves, led by sluggers Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock among others.
Well, all Haddix went on to do was retire the first 36 batters he faced! That’s 12 straight innings of three-up, three-down.
What adds to the incredible accomplishment was that, according to Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski, who was playing behind Haddix that day at second base, there were no game-saving defensive gems.
Haddix was in complete control as he went through the order four times before reaching the 13th inning.
His opposing pitcher, Lew Burdette, wasn’t throwing a perfect game, or even a no-hitter, but he WAS shutting the Pirates out as well, necessitating the game going into extra innings.
Sadly for Haddix, the 13th opened up with an error by third baseman Don Hoak, allowing Felix Mantilla to reach first base.
After a sacrifice bunt by Eddie Mathews (imagine that today!), he understandably walked Hank Aaron to face Joe Adcock, not exactly an easy out himself.
Well, Adcock drilled a Haddix pitch into the stands, hitting what seemed to be the game-winning 3-0 homer.
But with the game already legendary it couldn’t end THAT easily right?
Turns out upon Adcock hitting the game-winner, Aaron decided to just head straight for the dugout instead of running out the bases, which then led to Adcock passing him at second base, resulting in an out, leading to National League President Warren Giles to rule the hit a game-winning double, going into the books officially as a Braves 2-0 win.
Nevertheless, 12-consecutive perfect innings is something that you can’t even dream of.
Just incredible.
But for Haddix not incredible enough...

Friday, May 27, 2016


Time to add a 1976 “missing” Diego Segui to the 1978 version I created a while back to close out the former pitcher’s career:

Segui appeared in 33 games for Boston in their American League championship season, posting a 2-5 record with a 4.82 earned run average over 71 innings of work.
He would miss the 1976 season before joining the Seattle Mariners team for their inaugural 1977 year, a forgettable one for Segui as he went 0-7 with a bloated 5.69 ERA in his swan-song.
For his 15-year career he would go 92-111 with a 3.81 ERA over 639 games, 171 of them starts, leading the A.L. in ERA in 1970 with a 2.56 mark when he split the year between starting and relieving for the Oakland A’s.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1979 card for former White Sox pitcher Jack Kucek, who appeared in two multi-player rookie cards (1975 and 1976) as well as a 1977 card:

Oddly enough, Kucek saw a significant amount of playing time in 1978 as far as his career was concerned, warranting a card in the ‘79 set, yet barely saw any playing time in the other seasons when he did get a spot in Topps’ sets.
During the 1978 season Kucek appeared in 10 games, pitching to a 2-3 record with a nice 3.29 earned run average over 52 innings of work.
What stands out to me is that of those 10 appearances he had five starts and completed three of them, while collecting a save among his other games played.
He would put together a seven-year career, posting a 7-16 record with a 5.12 ERA over 59 games and 205.2 innings, with a couple of saves and 121 strikeouts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Found this great action shot of fellow-Brooklynite Rico Petrocelli and I figured it would make a great “missing” 1972 In-Action card:

At this time in his career Petrocelli was THE power-hitting shortstop in the Majors, slamming 40 homers in 1970 and 29 in 1971 while averaging 100 runs batted in for the Red Sox.
In 1972 he’d go on to hit another 28 round-trippers while driving in 89 along with 91 base on balls with 82 runs scored with a .251 average.
But those three seasons would be the high marks as far as slugging, though he would remain a productive hitter the rest of his career which lasted through the 1976 season.
In all, Petrocelli played 13-years of Major League ball, all with the Red Sox, hitting 210 home runs with 773 RBI’s, 653 runs scored and 1352 hits, good for a .251 average over 5390 at-bats in 1553 games.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Up next on my thread celebrating the Major League’s 100th birthday in 1976 is the first player to win the batting Triple Crown, Paul Hines:

Hines put together an arguably Hall of Fame career between 1872 and 1891 playing in the National Association, National League and American Association.
Over the course of those 20 seasons he collected 2133 hits and batted .302, with 1217 runs scored and over 550 extra base hits.
In 1878 he also became the first player to lead the league in all three “big” categories, when he batted .358, “slammed” four home runs and drove in 50.
He would also go on to lead the league in batting the following year when he hit .357, while also leading the league in hits and total bases.
When you consider that he collected those 2133 hits in “only” 1658 games spread out over 20 years, you can easily see how this guy could hit!
He averaged only 80 games a year for his career and still reached over 2000 hits, no imagine if he could have even averaged 120 games a year.

Monday, May 23, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1971 card for a guy I have seen here and there among the more obscure players of the decade, Jim Hutto, who played about a third of a season in 1970 with the Philadelphia Phillies and a handful of games with the Baltimore Orioles in 1975:

During the 1970 season, Hutto was a 22-year-old rookie who played both the outfield and first base, hitting .185 over 92 at-bats in 57 games.
That really would be the bulk of his Major League career, as he’d toil in the Minors for the rest of his pro days aside from four games he suited up for as an Oriole during the 1975 season.
In those four games he caught two of them and went 0-5 at the plate, bringing his career average to .175, where it would stay.
Funny enough it’s as an Oriole that I see his name come up often, instead of the Phillies with whom he got the majority of his playing time.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Here’s another gem of an airbrushed card: the 1972 edition for former pitcher Lew Krausse:

Man, I just cannot get enough of these!
Besides the awesome cap, look at the hand-drawn collars! Fantastic!
son of former Major League player Lew Sr., was on the tail-end of his 12-year career which started with the Kansas City Athletics organization back in 1961 as an 18-year-old.
He’d play 24 games for the Red Sox, posting a 1-3 record with a bloated 6.38 earned run average over 60.2 innings before moving on to St. Louis in 1973, appearing in one solitary game for them, pitching only two innings.
Playing for the Atlanta Braves in his last season, he’d post a 4-3 record with a 4.19 ERA over 29 games and 66.2 innings, finishing his career with a 68-91 record along with an even 4.00 ERA.
On yet another card-geek note: I’ll always remember that Krausse was the first 1965 card I ever got, at some flea market in a church parking lot in the late-70’s.
Funny enough years later I would learn that the player pictured on the card itself is NOT even Krausse, but of Pete Lovrich.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


A while back I created a 1973 “missing” card for catcher Larry Howard, and today I go ahead and present a 1972 card I created for the former Houston Astro:

Granted he only had about half the playing time he had for the ‘73 version, but I came across this other image of him so why not?
In 1971 Howard appeared in 24 games and batted .234 based on his 15 hits over 64 at-bats with a couple of home runs and a surprising 14 runs batted in. Not bad for only two dozen games.
As a matter of fact he also drove in 16 runs in only 31 games in his rookie year of 1970 as well, which comes to about 80+ over the course of a full season.
It was the 1972 season which would see him get the most playing time during his 4-year career when he played in 54 games and had 175 plate appearances, hence my 1973 version previously.
He would only play in another 24 games in 1973, split between the Astros and the Atlanta Braves, which would mark the last games he’d suit up for on the Major League level.
All told he finished with a .236 average with 86 hits over 365 at-bats in 133 lifetime games before playing out his pro career in the Minors until 1976.

Friday, May 20, 2016


Today’s “Turn Back the Clock” card celebrates Willie McCovey’s “Hello” to the Major Leagues, a game that saw him go 4-for-4 including two triples against a future Hall of Fame pitcher no less, Robin Roberts:

McCovey absolutely lit the baseball world on fire the rest of his abbreviated big league season, hitting .354 over 52 games with 13 home runs and 38 runs batted in along with nine doubles and five triples!
Granted when you’re put between two OTHER future Hall of Fame players in Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda the line up there’s bound to be some help, but McCovey proved to fit right alongside them, as well as anybody else you could try stacking him up against.
All he’d do is go on to play 22-years in the Majors, hitting 521 homers, slamming 18 grand slams, winning an MVP Award in 1969 and of course cop the Rookie of the Year Award back in ‘59.
The man truly was a BEAST, evidenced by his 85 intentional walks in 1969/1970 with opposing teams not even wanting to give him a chance to punish them with his bat.
Needless to say when his chance for Hall of Fame induction came along in 1986 he was voted in on his first try.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1978 card for Jerry Hairston, who is part of a rare three-generation Major League baseball family:

Hairston appeared in 64 games during the 1977 season, split between the Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates.
As a matter of fact the 51 games he suited up for Pittsburgh in ‘77 would be the only games outside of a White Sox uniform he would play during his 14-year career that spanned 17 years between 1973 and 1989.
During that 1977 season Hairston batted a combined .231 with 18 hits in 78 at-bats while playing all three outfield positions and a single game at second base.
He would end up playing in the Mexican League between 1978 and 1980, making his return to the Majors in 1981, back with the White Sox, and for whom he would play out the rest of his career as a guy off the bench, especially for pinch-hitting duties.
He would finish his career with a .258 average based on 438 hits in 1699 at-bats over 859 games.
It’s also worth mentioning that Hairston’s father Sam was a big league ballplayer in 1951 with the White Sox, playing in four games, while also putting together a career in the Negro Leagues.
On top of that, Hairston Sr’s two sons, Jerry Jr and Scott, as well as his own brother John would also be Major League players to various degrees, giving us an expanded three generation baseball family.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Here’s a 1977 “Traded” card for former all-star and batting champ Bill Buckner, who found himself in the “Windy City” after starting his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, although I swear it looks like Tim Blackwell. But the source of this photo swears it is indeed "Billy Buck":

Traded in January, “Billy Buck” went on to have an excellent time as a Cub, topping .300 four of his seven seasons there, even winning the National League batting title in 1980 when he hit .324.
It was a big trade that included Ivan DeJesus going to Chicago with Buckner while Rick Monday went West to L.A.
Now I’m not going to talk about “that moment” in 1986 because I feel it unjustly takes away from a great 22-year career that saw him collect 2715 hits, 498 doubles, over 1000 runs scored and runs batted in with a .289 lifetime average.
He also topped 100 RBI’s in a season three times, each time with LESS than 20 home runs, a rare feat in the modern game, while also collecting 200 hits in both the N.L. and A.L. (1982 with the Cubs, 1985 with the Red Sox).
Not necessarily a borderline Hall of Famer, but if there was such a thing, a “borderline-borderline-HOF’er” at the very least!
For what it’s worth, he is also one of the handful of players whose career spanned four decades: 1960’s-1990’s.
Great player....

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


The next player featured in my ongoing 100th anniversary of Major League baseball is Levi Meyerle, who suited up for the Philadelphia club in the new league’s inaugural season:

Meyerle was already a veteran of the National Association, playing all five seasons of the leagues existence.
In the first year of the league, Meyerle hit an incredible .492 to lead the league in that department along with home runs with four.
Granted, he attained that lofty batting average in only 26 games of play, but it was still a torrid 64 hits over 130 at-bats for the third baseman.
In the National League’s inaugural season, Meyerle was still a hot hitter as he finished with a .340 average with 87 hits over 256 at-bats in 55 games, and it was a common thread for the player through his 8-year career.
After a few games with the Philadelphia club of the Union Association, Meyerle’s playing days were over and he finished with an eye-popping .356 career average over 307 games with 513 hits over 1443 at-bats.
He would win two batting titles (1871 and 1874 where he hit .394 for the Chicago club), and score almost a run a game for his career, with 306 in those 307 games.

Monday, May 16, 2016


It’s a bit of a stretch but I couldn’t resist creating a 1977 Topps card for former Oriole Tom Shopay, who deserved a few cards throughout the decade of the 1970’s:

Shopay appeared in only 14 games for the O’s, hitting an even .200 with four hits over 20 at-bats while playing the outfield aside from one game at catcher.
He’s a bit of a novelty for me since he really could have had cards in multiple Topps sets between 1970-1978 but only got two, in the 1970 and 1972 editions.
I already created 1976 and 1978 versions on this blog, and will most likely add a 1973 version as well, so keep an eye out for it!
As for Shopay’s career, he hit .201 over 7-partial seasons with 62 hits over 253 games and 309 at-bats playing for the New York Yankees and Orioles between 1967 and 1977, missing any Major League playing time in the 1968, 1970, 1973 and 1974 seasons.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Today marks the third anniversary of this blog, and I want to thank you all for following all I've covered!
Let's hope for three MORE (at least)!

I just had to do a “dedicated rookie card” for former slugger Darrell Evans, the first man to slug 40+ homers in both the American and National Leagues:

Evans played in the first 12 games of his 21-year career during the 1969 season, getting a taste of where he would produce a solid resume through the 1989 season playing for the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers.
Through it all he was a consistent hitter, topping 20 homers 10-times and collecting over 2000 hits and 1300+ runs scored and RBI’s.
In 1973 he hit 41 home runs for the Braves, becoming the first trio along with Hank Aaron and Davey Johnson to do so as teammates in the same season.
Twelve years later, now a member of the Detroit Tigers, he would lead the American League with 40 homers, becoming, as I stated earlier, the first to do so.
In 1987, at the age of 40, he would blast 34 homers with 99 RBI’s and 100 walks for Detroit, easily one of the best age-40 season we’ve seen come along.
By the time he retired, he would hit 414 home runs, while hitting .248 with two all-star game berths in 2687 games and over 10000 plate appearances.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


The first baseball event from 1959 that I wanted to celebrate with a 20th anniversary 1979 card is the phenomena of the “Go-Go” Chicago White Sox who stormed to a 1st place finish in the American League that was dominated by the New York Yankees in the 1950’s:

Led by eventual Cy Young winner Early Wynn and eventual Most Valuable Player winner Nellie Fox, the White Sox finished 94-60, 5-games ahead of the Cleveland Indians.
Ironically, the last A.L. team aside from the Yankees to finish in first place was the 1954 Indians, led by none-other than the manager of the ‘59 White Sox, Al Lopez.
Besides the guys like Wynn, Fox and another future Hall of Fame member, Luis Aparicio, the Sox had strong contributions from slugger Ted Kluszewski, catcher Sherm Lollar, Al Smith and pitcher Bob Shaw.
Sadly for them however, the team ran into a strong Los Angeles Dodger team, who would end up the World Champs, beating Chicago 4 games to 2, with guys like Koufax, Drysdale, Hodges and Snider leading the way.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Up next is a “missing” 1973 card for future top-notch manager Chuck Manuel, who suited up in his last season for the Minnesota Twins in 1972:

Manuel appeared in 63 games for the Twins, batting .205 with 25 hits over 122 at-bats while playing the outfield.
After spending the entire 1973 season in the Minors, he’d find his way back onto a Major League field in 1974 and 1975 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he’d see a tiny bit of action before moving to Japan where he would have some monster years between 1976 and 1981.
He would top 40 homers in both 1977 while with the Yakult club and 1980 playing for Kintetsu, hitting 42 and 48 respectively.
After coaching for years he became manager of the Cleveland Indians in 2000 and led them to two consecutive 90+win seasons, before being let go halfway through the 2002 season.
He them moved on to the Philadelphia Phillies organization where he would manage for the next nine years, leading the team to two pennants and a World Championship in 2008.
He would end up with exactly 1000 managerial wins in 12 seasons at the helm of a Major League club.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Here’s a thread that hasn’t been visited in a while, the ongoing “1976 Project” for reader Jim and his pursuit of the complete 1975 representation of players and who they played for.
So today we spotlight former Chicago Cubs all-star shortstop Don Kessinger, who actually appeared in the 1976 Topps set as a St. Louis Cardinal player with a classic airbrush job since he was was traded to them in October of 1975:

Jim had me create a Cubs version for Kessinger since he played the entire ‘75 season with them, his last of 12 campaigns that saw him get named to six all-star teams along with two Gold Gloves.
Though still a relatively young 33 years old by the time 1976 opened up, Kessinger’s days as a player were winding down, seeing him play a season and a half in St. Louis before moving back to Chicago, this time for the South Side White Sox, where he would become player manager in 1979.
It wasn’t exactly a successful tenure, as the Pale Hose went 46-60 under his reign before the organization gave the job to a guy who would see some success as a Major League manager: Tony LaRussa.
As for Kessinger, he retired with a very nice Major League resume that sported a 16-year career with the aforementioned all-star nods and Gold Gloves, batting .252 with 1931 hits over 7651 at-bats in 2078 games.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


After appearing in 67 games for the Boston Red Sox in 1973 I think John Kennedy deserves a “missing” card in the 1974 set, so here it is:

Kennedy hit .181 in those 67 games based on his 28 hits in 155 at-bats while splitting time between both second and third base.
He put together a 12-year career in the Majors, coming up with the Washington Senators in 1962 before moving on to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their World Champion team in 1965.
He would go on to play for the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers and Red Sox before his career was over after the 1974 season, leaving behind a .225 batting average with 475 hits over 2110 at-bats in 856 lifetime games.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Hey everyone!
For those interested, you can now follow me on Twitter:
It’ll be full of blog announcements, as well as anything that pops into my head relating to baseball. And unlike the blog this will not necessarily be just about the 1970’s.
It'll be a place to throw out the tons of stuff that comes up during the baseball season, whether it be about the modern game or the past.
I’ll also throw in trivia, history, random interesting images I come across and of course, cards!
Hope to see you all there...


Here’s a “Fantasy Card” of all-time great baseball player and legend Ernie Banks, “Mr. Cub”, who moved on to coaching for the Chicago Cubs after retiring :

The face of the Chicago Cubs organization, Banks put together a colossal 19-year career that saw him slam 512 home runs, cop two Most Valuable Player Awards, and get named to eleven all-star teams while excelling at both shortstop and first base.
By the time he retired as a player he collected 2583 hits with 1636 runs batted in and 1305 runs scored along with a .274 average over 2528 games and 9421 at-bats.
Needless to say when his eligibility for the Hall of Fame came up in 1977, he was a lock, and was elected on his first try.
Just one of the most well-liked all-around good guys the game has ever seen...

Monday, May 9, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1970 card for former Montreal Expos player Jose Herrera:

Herrera appeared in 47 games for the Expos in their inaugural season of 1969, batting a respectable .286 with 36 hits over 126 at-bats while playing both the infield and outfield.
Turns out it would be the bulk of his Major League playing time, as he would only play in one game during the 1970 season, never to appear in a game again.
The sum total of his four partial seasons as a big league ballplayer was a .264 batting average, with 61 hits spread out over 231 at-bats and 80 games, pretty much evenly split between the Houston Astros and Expos.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Up next in my on-going celebration of baseball’s 100th anniversary in 1976 is Hall of Fame player “Orator” Jim O’Rourke, who put together a 23-year career, spanning over 30 years:

Elected into the Hall of Fame in 1945, O’Rourke was an important figure in early baseball, playing in the National Association  from 1972 to 1875 before playing for the Boston club in the inaugural Major League season in 1876.
He would go on to play straight through the 1893 season, then ten years later when he was a coach for the New York Giants he would catch a game and go 1-for-4 at the age of 53!
All told O’Rourke collected 2639 career hits, batting .310 with a batting title in 1884 when he hit .347, while scoring 1729 runs while driving in 1208 over 1999 games and 8503 at-bats.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Time to go and give former slugger Dale Murphy a “Dedicated Rookie” in the 1977 Topps set:

Murphy would appear in two straight multi-player rookie cards, in both the 1977 and 1978 sets.
It wasn’t until 1979 that he was finally on his own.
Of course we all know how his career would pan out: two consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards in 1982 and 1983, seven All-Star games, five Gold Gloves and an 18-year career that saw him slam 398 home runs while also totaling over 2000 hits, 1100 runs scored and 1200 runs batted in.
Arguably a Hall of Fame caliber player considering the era he played in, he never got more than 23.2% support when it came time for voting.
Still a beast in his prime...

Friday, May 6, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1976 card for former player Bill Sudakis, who played his final Major League games during the 1975 season split between the California Angels and Cleveland Indians:

Sudakis appeared in 50 games during the ‘75 season, hitting .154 with 16 hits over 104 at-bats.
He would stretch out an eight-year career in the Majors, never really getting a full-time shot except for his second season in 1969 with the Los Angeles Dodgers when he played in 132 games and posted 507 plate appearances.
The most plate appearances he would post after that would be the 311 the following year, securing himself a spot off the bench the rest of his career playing for the New York Mets, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and the two teams listed above.
He wound up with a .234 average based on his 362 hits over 1548 at-bats with 59 homers and 214 runs batted in in 530 games and 1548 at-bats.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Here’s a card celebrating Hoyt Wilhelm and his no-hitter against the eventual World Champion New York Yankees on September 20th, 1958:

The 1-0 no-hitter would end up being the only win he’d post for the Baltimore Orioles after coming over from the Cleveland Indians on waivers.
And it would end up being the last time the Yankees were no-hit in a complete game by a pitcher (the Houston Astros combined for a no-hitter against the Yanks in 2003).
As a kid growing up a Yankee fan during the 1970’s and 1980’s, we’d always be reminded of the “last time the Yanks were no-hit” every time a starter was getting close (Moose Haas, Nolan Ryan, etc).
Before I ever even knew of the incredible career of Wilhelm, I knew of him just for this one fact.
It wasn’t the most memorable of seasons for the future Hall of Famer by any means, as he’d post a combined 3-10 record, though he’d pair that with a great 2.34 ERA, but certainly had one heck of a memorable moment.
Wilhelm would end up pitching 21 seasons in the big leagues, and keep in mind he didn’t start playing until he was 29 years old!
He finished his brilliant career with a 143-122 record with a sparkling 2.52 ERA over 1070 games, the first pitcher to reach 1000 appearances, before retiring after the 1972 season at the ripe old age of 49.
Between 1964 and 1968 the HIGHEST ERA he’d post was 1.99 in ‘64. That’s five straight seasons of a sub-2.00 ERA, all while with the Chicago White Sox.
I also always found it amusing that during his 21-year career he only pitched enough innings in any one season to qualify for the ERA crown twice, in 1952 and 1959, and he led the league in that department both times.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1971 card, which can also serve as a “career capper” for former slugger Jimmie Hall, who finished up an eight-year career in 1970:

Split between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, Hall hit .165 with two homers and five runs batted in over 79 at-bats in 67 games.
His final three seasons between 1968 and 1970 were all split seasons among multiple teams, a far cry from when he came up with the Minnesota Twins in 1963 and slugged his way to a third-place finish in the A.L. Rookie of the Year voting when he slammed 33 homers with 80 RBI’s and 88 runs scored.
Though he went on to hit 20+ homers the following three seasons, the overall numbers declined before he found himself in California playing for the Angels in 1967, hitting 16 homers, the most he’d hit in any season the rest of his career.
He would end up hitting 121 homers during his career, along with a .254 average and 391 RBI’s with 387 runs scored in 963 games and 2848 at-bats between 1963 and 1970.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


After closing out a Hall of Fame career as a pioneering player during the 1940’s and 1950’s, Larry Doby continued to serve baseball well into the 1990’s.
So here’s a card of his time as coach for the Chicago White Sox in 1977, before he was actually to become the second black manager in Major League history the following season:

Doby actually started his coaching career with the Montreal Expos in the first season, 1969, and would serve in one capacity or another with the organization until 1973 before returning in 1976 after coaching with the Cleveland Indians in between. (keep and eye out for an Expos coach card in the near future).
Once former White Sox owner Bill Veeck purchased the White Sox again in 1976, Doby was brought in to act as hitting coach, where the White Sox would have some impressive offensive seasons under his mentoring.
He would remain with the organization until 1979 before resigning and becoming the Director of Communications for the New Jersey Nets in 1980, a position he would keep until 1989.
All in all a great career in professional sports for one of the better power hitters of the Golden Age of baseball during the 1950’s.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1973 card for former 1965 American League Rookie of the Year Curt Blefary, who wrapped up an eight-year career split between the Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres in 1972:

Blefary played in 82 games during his final season, hitting .221 with three homers and 10 runs batted in over 134 plate appearances.
After having three straight productive seasons with the Orioles between 1965 and 1967, he fell off and bounced from the O’s to the Astros, Yankees, A’s and Padres between 1968 and ‘72.
He would finish with a .237 average along with 112 homers and 382 runs batted in, with 699 hits over 2947 at-bats, with his inaugural season easily being his best.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Here’s a spotlight on another of the 1972 airbrush cards, the 1972 Jim Lonborg edition:

Just some great painting of the cap and the “M” logo for the Milwaukee Brewers that seems to be erased on the right-lower stem of the letter.
Lonborg went on to have his best season as a pro since his Cy Young Award winning 1967 season when with the Boston Red Sox.
In 1972 he posted a 14-12 record with a nice 2.83 earned run average and 143 K’s over 33 games, 30 of which were starts, and 223 innings of work, in what would be his only season as a Brewer player.
That ERA mark would actually be the lowest he’d post in any full season during his 15-year career, which would see him end up with a 157-137 record, with a 3.86 ERA and 1475 strikeouts over 425 games and 2464.1 innings playing with the Red Sox, Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies.


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