Monday, October 31, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1976 card for former Chicago Cub outfielder Gene Hiser, who played all five of his Major League seasons on the North Side of Chi-Town:

Hiser appeared in 45 games for the Cubbies in 1975, batting .242 with 15 hits in 62 at-bats, with eleven runs scored and six runs batted in with three doubles.
It would be the last Major League action he’d see after coming up with the organization in 1971 at the age of 22.
The most he played in any season was in 1973 when he got in 100 games, batting .174 with 19 hits over 109 at-bats, as he was generally used off the bench.
His career numbers added up to a .202 average with 53 hits in 263 at-bats over 206 games, with 34 runs scored and 18 RBI’s while playing all his defense in the outfield.
I personally always remember him as the guy pictured in the middle of the Burt Hooten 1972 Chicago Cubs rookie card, probably the first rookie card from that set I ever got years after it’s release.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


In baseball history, “1963” can be considered the “Year of Koufax”, and though it would start a four year stretch that few, if any, have had in Major League baseball, this was the season that truly introduced the “Left Arm of God” to the masses.
So today we have a 1973 “Turn Back the Clock” card celebrating the 10th anniversary of Koufax and his breakout season:

Though he led the National League in earned run average the year before, and set the new league mark with 269 strikeouts in 1961, Koufax really took over the game in 1963 when he posted a 25-5 record to go along with a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts, all league leading numbers for the pitching Triple Crown, as well as 11 shutouts and a ridiculous 0.875 WHIP, easily earning him the first of three Cy Young Awards and a Most Valuable Player Award.
As if that wasn’t enough, the guy would then pitch two complete game wins against the New York Yankees in the World Series, helping the Dodgers win the championship by striking out 23 batters over 18-innings, finishing with a nifty 1.50 ERA, giving him another award that season, the World Series MVP.
It’s amazing to think that for his career, Koufax posted an ERA of 0.95 in the World Series over eight games, seven of which were starts and four of which were complete games, and only ended up with a 4-3 record!
Regardless, over the next four seasons until forced to retire after the 1966 season, Koufax posted a record of 97-27! The man almost AVERAGED 25 wins a year over four years!
And let’s not forget five straight ERA crowns between 1962-1966, three shutout crowns, and three seasons of 300 or more strikeouts when NO OTHER N.L. pitcher even reached that lofty number ONCE.
Just amazing.
Koufax has always been one of my favorite baseball icons since I was a kid growing up in the very same neighborhood he grew up in, Bensonhurst. Brooklyn, just blocks from his high school, Lafayette.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1972 card for a guy you may remember from a rather special 1967 rookie card, pitcher Bill Denehy, who shared a card with the great Tom Seaver:

Denehy was in Detroit by 1971, for whom he appeared in 31 games, going 0-3 with a 4.22 earned run average over 49 innings pitched.
As for those appearances it would be the most he had in any of his three seasons as a Major League pitcher, but he did pitch 53.2 innings in his rookie year of 1967 with the Mets, when he posted a 1-7 record.
The following year saw him pitch in only three games, this time for the Washington Senators, getting in only 2-innings.
He’d only see minor league action the following two seasons before making it back in ‘71, turning out to be the last big league appearances of his short career.
All told he finished with a record of 1-10 with a 4.56 ERA over 49 games, nine of which were starts, and 104.2 innings pitched.
But at least he can tell people his rookie card is worth a LOT of money!

Friday, October 28, 2016


The next nickname card in the long line I’ve posted on this blog over the years is the “Stick” Gene Michael, New York Yankees shortstop during the “lean years” of the late-1960’s and early 1970’s, and future co-architect of the Yankee dynasty teams of the late-1990’s:

Michael came to the Yanks after two partial seasons in the National League: 1966 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and 1967 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He would remain a constant at Yankee Stadium for the next seven years, playing alongside guys like Bobby Murcer, Roy White, Thurman Munson and Horace Clarke.
After the 1974 season he would go on to play one year for the Detroit Tigers before retiring as a player and eventually moving into coaching, managing, and front office positions.
He is often credited alongside Bob Watson as one of the architects of the Yankee World Champion teams of the late-90’s, stressing youth, smart drafting and development, leading to players like Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.
A true baseball “lifer” and Yankee!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1977 card for former pitcher Steve Barr, who already threw the last of his Major League innings in 1976 with the Texas Rangers:

Barr, who originally came up with the Red Sox in 1974, appeared in 20 games with the Rangers, 10 of them starts, putting together a 2-6 record with a 5.59 earned run average over 67.2 innings of work.
The previous two seasons he played in a combined four games for Boston, going an even 1-1 in 15 innings.
All together he’d finish with a 3-7 MLB record over 24 games, throwing four complete games among his 13 starts, with a 5.16 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 83.2 innings.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


A long while back in the beginning of this blog I created a “career-capping” 1970 card for Don Drysdale, also imagining if the star righthander didn’t retire at the young age of 32.
Today I go one year further and create a fantasy 1971 card for “Double-D”:

Though retiring at such a young age, Drysdale still collected 209 wins along with a 2.95 earned run average and 2486 strikeouts.
Imagine if he were able to pitch another three or four years. Would we be looking at a 300-win guy? Most assuredly a 3000 strikeout pitcher for sure.
Nevertheless, his accomplishments in such a short time were good enough for the BBWAA to elect him into the Hall of Fame in 1984, joining old teammate Sandy Koufax and eventually joined by Don Sutton.
Drysdale took home the Cy Young in 1962 while pacing the Senior Circuit in wins, starts, innings and strikeouts, while also posting one of his NINE sub-3.00 ERA campaigns.
Tough as nails when on the mound, he was named to eight All-Star Games, and of course had that magical run in 1968 when he threw 58 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, including six straight shutouts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1974 card for former pitcher Ed Sprague (Sr.), father of future MLB player Ed Sprague Jr.:

Sprague the Senior put in an eight year career that actually saw him left out of a few Topps sets, which I hope to fix in the future.
In 1973 he appeared in 43 games split between three teams: the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and lastly the Milwaukee Brewers.
Over those three stints he compiled a 1-4 record with a 5.43 earned run average with two saves in 56.1 innings of work.
He would go on to have a very nice 1974 season in Milwaukee, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.39 earned run average in 20 games and 94 innings, easily the best year of his career.
He’d spend the rest of his career with the Brewers, finishing up after the 1976 season with a career 17-23 record, with a 3.84 ERA in 198 games and 408 innings pitched.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Hey everyone, the next "wthballs" issue, "1973 Missing in Action" is now available for purchase.
The fifth issue following the blog, it also has 24-color pages of my 1973 "missing" creations neatly printed to look over and file away.
This issue has well-known players like Hoyt Wilhelm, Rusty Staub, Tommy Davis while also giving props to guys like Bobby Floyd, Jim Panther and former Rookie of the Years Gary Peters and Curt Blefary.
Copies are $5 plus $2 postage, usual paypal address:
They're here and ready to go out asap upon payment.
Thanks to all who have ordered past copies!
Take Care


Let’s go and give “El Presidente” Dennis Martinez a “dedicated rookie card” in the 1977 set since he originally appeared on a (much hated) multi-player rookie card in the set:

“Denny” was just starting what would turn out to me a magnificent 23-year career that would see him win 245 games, throw a perfect game in 1991 and strike out over 2300 batters.
Though a solid starter with the Baltimore Orioles between 1976 and 1985, it was his stint with the Montreal Expos from 1986 to 1993 that solidified his place as a premier starter, posting a 100-72 record with a very nice 3.06 earned run average over eight seasons.
A four-time all-star, Martinez garnered all of those after the age of 35, and led the National League in ERA, complete games and shutouts in 1991 at the age of 37.
Even at the age of 41 with the Cleveland Indians in 1995, he posted an excellent season that saw him go 12-5 with a 3.08 ERA and a couple of shutouts.
Solid and steady for almost a quarter-century.
Gotta create an “El Presidente” nickname card in the near future!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Today I am giving a little teaser as to my focus in 2017 for the blog: creating cards for as many players that appeared in a Major League game regardless of how much they played.
So today’s subject is the Minnesota Twins Bucky Guth, who got to taste what it was like to be a Major League player with three scant games in 1972, playing one of those games in the field while collecting three at-bats without a hit:

All told Guth went 0-3 with a run scored in his Major League career as a late-season call-up, never to make it back to the “Bigs” again, finishing his pro-career with one more year in the minors in 1973.
As I find more and more of these great photos of players who barely got to see action during the 1970’s, it makes it a MUST that I try to create as many cards documenting the decade as I can.
Heck, if the supplies are there, why not?!
So for next year, besides the other special cards and sub-sets I try to come up with, a BIG focus will be the “Not Really Missing in Action” sub-set, as I have already collected almost a couple of hundred images to use.
Hope you all like the topic as much as I will!

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Today we celebrate Early Wynn’s long sought after 300th win, which finally came on July 13th of 1963, with a 10th anniversary “Turn Back the Clock” card for the 1973 set:

Wynn, who was a stalwart of the Cleveland Indians rotation for years with teammates Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Mike Garcia, notched his 299th win as a Chicago White Sox player in 1962, with a few starts left in the season.
However that milestone win was beyond reach as he struggled in his remaining appearances, finishing up stuck one short of baseball history.
To add to the suspense, and something that would never happen these days, no one signed him for the upcoming 1963 season!
So Wynn sat, not sure if he’d even get a chance to get that one final win, until his old team the Indians signed him on June 21st.
Finally, after a few starts that should have gotten him that elusive win, Wynn took the mound against the Kansas City Athletics on July 13th, and after the Indians scored four runs in the fifth inning to break the game wide-open, (though they would give up some runs to make it a close game later on), Wynn did it, joining some of baseball’s elite hurlers to notch 300 career wins.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Here’s what would be a “missing” rookie card for Gold Glove winning first baseman Mike Squires, who would spend his entire 10-year career with the Chicago White Sox:

Squires came up to the Major Leagues in 1975, appearing in 20 games for the Pale Hose, batting .231 over 65 at-bats.
After a season in the Minors in ‘76, he was in the Big Leagues to say in 1977, generally a guy off the bench, specifically as a defensive replacement, leading to a Gold Glove Award in the strike-shortened 1981 season.
By the time he was out of the Majors after a couple of games in 1985, he left behind a .260 batting average with 411 hits over 1580 at-bats in 779 games, with a career .995 fielding percentage.
Nevertheless, as it stands Squires first card would be in that horrible black-and-white multi-player rookie sub-set in the 1979 set.
On a side-note, never realized that in the 1976 Topps set, there isn’t a first baseman among all the White Sox players.  I had to get creative to whip up a first baseman template for this card.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Here’s another airbrush classic thanks to Topps, the 1974 Clyde Wright (father of Jaret) edition:

Wright found himself in Milwaukee after an eight-year run with the California Angels, the team he came up with in 1966.
So Topps whipped out the tools and gave us this great paint job to “Brewer-ize” Wright just in time for their 1974 set.
Wright had quite a run with the Angels between 1970 and 1972, posting three straight years of sub-3.00 earned run averages along with 56 wins with a high of 22 in 1970, with six shutouts while averaging about 265 innings pitched.
Sadly for him however once a Brewer in 1974, he would end up losing 20, going 9-20 with a not so terrible 4.42 ERA, but in the light-hitting early 1970’s it was high enough to spell doom for any pitcher.
He would spend the 1975 season with the Texas Rangers, then find himself out of the Major Leagues for good, finishing with a 100-111 career record along with a 3.50 ERA over 329 games and 1728.2 innings pitched.
Years later his son Jaret would make a name for himself in 1997 beating the Yankees twice in the Division Series to help the Cleveland Indians eventually move on to the World Series before losing to the Florida Marlins.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Here’s a missing “career-capping” 1973 card of former pitcher Tom Phoebus, one-time Baltimore Oriole young gun who wrapped up a seven year career with the Chicago Cubs in 1972:

Phoebus appeared in 38 games in 1972, split between the San Diego padres and Cubs, posting a 3-4 record with a 4.04 earned run average over 89 innings of work.
He somewhat burst onto the Major League stage in 1966 when he threw two shutouts in three starts, going 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA.
Over the next three seasons he performed really well, winning 43 games with nine shutouts, even throwing a no-hitter on April 27th, 1968 against the reigning American League champ Boston Red Sox.
But after a 1970 season that saw him limited to 21 starts, posting a 5-5 record, Phoebus was traded to the San Diego Padres where he went 3-11 with a 4.46 ERA, before ending his career with that last split year in 1972.
Overall, Phoebus posted a 56-52 record with a nice 3.33 ERA over 201 games, 149 of them starts, with eleven shutouts and 725 strikeouts in 1030 innings pitched.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


It’s been a little while since I added to the missing 1972 “In Action” series, so today I post one up for former Gold Glove first baseman Wes Parker, aka “Mr. Steady” of the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Parker was just a season off of his fantastic 1970 campaign when he hit .319 with 196 hits with 10 home runs and 111 runs batted in with a league-leading 47 doubles.
Really an anomaly since before that he never batted higher than .278, or drove in more than 68 runs.
Nevertheless the man was a fantastic defensive player as evidenced by his six consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1967 and 1972.
After the 1972 season Parker, then only 32 years old, retired from baseball, cutting his then nine-year career short.
I can’t really find anything online as to why, since it doesn’t seem to be injury, but it did open up the position for a young stud out of Michigan (and SHOULD-BE Hall of Famer) Steve Garvey.
Anyone know why Parker retired?
I do remember him becoming an actor and even appearing on The Brady Bunch once, but as to why he left the game so early on is beyond me...

Monday, October 17, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1977 card for a guy who was never a full-time player, but still put together an eight-year career between 1969-1976, outfielder Jim Lyttle:

Lyttle capped of his career with a final year in 1976 split between the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers, where he hit a combined .248 with 38 hits over 153 at-bats in 65 games.
Originally up with the Yanks, he’d play in the Bronx until 1972 when he put in a lone season for the Chicago White Sox before moving on to the Expos where he would play until his move to L.A.
All told Lyttle batted .248 for his career with 176 hits in 710 at-bats over 391 games, with his 1970 season being his best when he hit .310 for the Yanks over 87 games played.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Next up in my “Then and Now” super veteran series is former long time Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis, who capped off a wonderful 18-year career in 1979 with the California Angels, but had his last card in the 1977 Topps set:

Davis came up with the Dodgers as a 20-year old in 1960, just in time to be a part of the organization’s great run which included two world championships in 1963 and 1965, as well as a World Series appearance in 1966.
A speedster who racked up hits and had the occasional power, Davis finished his career with over 2500 hits, 182 home runs and 398 stolen bases, along with a nice .279 batting average in 2429 career games.
Though he played the first 14 years of his career in L.A., Davis would go on to play for five teams over the last four years of his career: Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and the Angels in 1979 after a two-year absence from MLB ball in 1977 and 1978 when he played in Japan.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Here was a fun card to create, a 1976 “Coach” card for Hall of Famer Bob Lemon, who was coaching the eventual American League champ New York Yankees:

I had to get a bit creative with the player graphic in the lower left of the card. Just imagine it being a coach hitting some fielding practice bunts to players before a game.
Anyway, before memorably leading the Yankees to a World Championship in 1978 with one of the most improbable come-backs in history, Lemon was giving his expertise to pitchers like Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter and Sparky Lyle.
But before taking the helm of the Bronx Bombers he would have a stint as Chicago White Sox manager in 1977, a team that surprised many with an offense led by Oscar Gamble and Richie Zisk, popping almost 200 home runs during the homer happy season.
Nevertheless he found his way back to the Yanks in the middle of the 1978 season, leading the team past the Boston Red Sox in a 163rd game that we know as the “Bucky Dent” game, and eventually past the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Yankees second consecutive championship.
A true baseball “lifer”, Lemon would also find his way to Cooperstown in 1976, elected by the BBWAA based on his 207 wins, all with the Cleveland Indians, which included SEVEN 20-win campaigns in only ten full seasons. Amazing.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Here’s a 1972 card for former Cuban outfielder Tony Gonzalez, who just celebrated his 80th birthday this past August:

Gonzalez wrapped up an excellent 12-year career in 1971, appearing in 111 games for the California Angels and batting .245 with 77 hits over 314 at-bats.
It’s easy to forget that he finished with a very nice .286 career batting average, something he did over the modern “dead-ball” era.
His hey-day was with the Philadelphia Phillies, for whom he played nine-years through the 1960’s, batting as high as .339 in 1967 and hitting as many as 20 homers in 1962.
After he left the Majors he tried playing in the Mexican League and Japanese league in the early ‘70’s, but was out of the pros by 1973 after a brief stop at Reading (AA) for the Phillies at the age of 36.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Here’s a card for a player who had a FEW “missing” cards in the decade, former infielder Bob Heise, this time a 1978 edition:

I’ve already made a 1976 “missing” card for him as part of the “1976 Project”, and I have another one lined up for 1977, but this 1978 card is also a career-capper, as he closed out a nice 11-year career with a season in Kansas City, being a part of the 1977 American League West champ Royals.
Heise appeared in 54 games with KC, batting .258 with 16 hits over 62 at-bats with defensive work at all infield positions.
This was pretty much his role his entire career in the Major Leagues, playing for no less than seven organizations between 1967 and 1977.
He would end up with a .247 batting average for his career, with 283 hits over 1144 at-bats and 499 games

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Here’s a card created for the ongoing “1976 Project” a while back featuring former infielder Ed Goodson, who actually appeared in the 1976 set as a Los Angeles Dodger, with the team he finished the 1975 season with, the Atlanta Braves:

Goodson would go on to play the final two years of his eight-year career with the Dodgers in 1976 and 1977, but since “Reader Jim” shares my feelings that a set represents more of what happened the previous season, sort of like a “yearbook”, he asked me to create a Braves card.
Originally a San Francisco Giant between 1970 through midway 1975, Goodson found himself in Atlanta for the final 47 games before moving on to L.A.
Basically a catcher off the bench his entire career, he had a very nice 1973 season for San Fran when he batted .302 with 12 homers and 53 runs batted in over 102 games, easily his best season in the Major League.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1973 card for long time Red Sox outfielder Rick Miller, who played 12 of his 15 Major League seasons in Beantown:

Miller appeared in 89 games for the Red Sox in 1972, his second season in the “big show”, batting .214 with 21 hits over 98 at-bats.
Except for the three years spanning 1978-1980 when he played for the California Angels, Miller was a familiar face in the Boston dugout until his retirement after the 1985 season.
By the time he left the game, he collected 1046 hits over 3887 at-bats, good for a career .269 average with 552 runs scored and 369 runs batted in.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1975 card for a guy who actually had almost 200 plate appearances in 1974, and played another two years in the Majors, Chris Arnold of the San Francisco Giants:

Arnold played in 78 games for the Giants in 1974, batting .241 with 42 hits in 174 official at-bats with 22 runs scored and 26 runs batted in while playing all the infield slots but First Base.
He would play all six of his big league seasons with San Francisco, coming up in 1971 and playing through the 1976 campaign.
As a matter of fact he actually got a card in the 1977 set after already playing his final game the year before.
All told Arnold hit .237 over his career, with 103 hits in 435 at-bats with 47 runs scored and 51 RBI’s while playing the aforementioned infield positions and nine games behind the plate in 1973.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Here’s a “missing” Career Capper for a guy who came up as an outfielder yet made a nice career for himself as a pitcher, Dick Hall:

Not many images of Hall at the end of his career, so I used this action shot.

 Hall closed out a very respectable career in 1971, finishing with a 93-75 record along with a 3.32 earned run average over 495 appearances, collecting 71 saves along the way.
He originally came up as an outfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952, but by the time 1955 came around they realized he was better suited to the pitcher’s mound.
Turned out to be a smart move, as Hall found his niche in the bullpen by the time he joined the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he’d play nine of the final eleven seasons in the big leagues.
A member of two championship teams, Hall was a valuable arm to call on for the Birds, whether it was putting in long relief work or closing out games.
In the postseason you can see just how valuable he was, posting a 2-1 record over five games, with a perfect 0.00 ERA in 8.2 innings, finishing four of those contests.
And on a personal note, he was the very first 1970-card I ever got as a kid around 10 years old back in 1979 or so. I’ll always remember gawking at the back and seeing that long career dating back to the early ‘50’s, blew my mind.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Time to give former all-star catcher Bob Boone a “dedicated” rookie card since he appeared on a three-way card in the 1973 set:

The seven-time Gold Glove receiver first came up during the 1972 season with the Phillies, where he would spend the next 10 years of his career, appearing in three all-star games and picking up two of the aforementioned Gold Gloves and being an integral part of the 1980 world champion squad.
In 1982 he would move over to the West Coast and the California Angels, where he’d spend the next seven years, taking home another four Gold Gloves, his last as an Angel at the age of 40!
But he wasn’t done there, as he would then go to Kansas City where he would win yet another Gold Glove, at the age of 41 in 1989 for his stellar defensive work behind the plate.
Over his 19 years as a big league catcher he would play in 2264 games, collecting over 1800 hits and ending up with a .254 average, leading his league in many defensive categories.
Not only a baseball lifer, but the son of former big leaguer Ray, as well as the father of two future players in Aaron and Bret.
Some serious baseball lineage we’re talking here.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Next up is a “missing” 1974 card for former infielder Bernie Allen, who finished up a nice 12-year career with a split season between the New York Yankees and Montreal Expos:

Allen appeared in a combined 33 games in 1973, batting .206 with 22 hits in 107 at-bats while playing both second and short.
Known mainly for his five years as a Minnesota Twins player, with whom he came up in 1962, Allen also spent five years with the Washington Senators before a full season in the Bronx in 1972.
Overall he finished his career with a .239 batting average based on his 815 hits in 3404 at-bats, with 73 home runs and 352 runs batted in and 357 runs scored.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I guess it’s about time I go ahead and create a fantasy 1979 card for former pitcher (and author) Jim Bouton, who made a remarkable Major League comeback after an eight-year hiatus, pitching for the Atlanta Braves in 1978, a short-lived comeback, but still an accomplishment:

Sadly the only image I could really find and use is one used often, so my creation here isn’t exactly the most “unique” specimen.
Once a young stud with the New York Yankees in the early 1960’s, posting a 21-win season at the age of 24, followed by an 18-win campaign the next season, he soon developed arm trouble and found himself out of baseball in 1970 at the young age of 31 after a season and a half with the Houston Astros.
Fast-forward eight years to 1978, most notably after writing the now legendary baseball book “Ball Four”, and Bouton made it all the way back as a 39-year old knuckleball pitcher, appearing in five games, all starts, going 1-3 with a 4.97 earned run average in 29 innings of work.
Though the comeback was short, it was definitely sweet as I remember it really brought Bouton back into the spotlight, giving his book new life, just enough for a ten year old kid from Brooklyn a cool book to read from the library!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1970 card for former  relief pitcher Ron Kline, who was at the tail end of a nice 17-year career which would end in 1970:

Like Many early relievers, Kline originally came up as a starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates way back in 1952, but would find his niche as a reliever about ten years into his career, then with the Detroit Tigers in 1962.
In 1969 he played for no less than three teams: the Pirates, Giants and Red Sox, combining for a 1-5 record with a 5.19 earned run average in 43 appearances and four saves.
This was a stark contrast to his excellent 1968 season which saw him post a 12-5 record with a miniscule .168 ERA over 56 games, with seven saves in 112.2 innings pitched for Pittsburgh.
In 1970, his last year in the big leagues, he’d appear in five games for the Atlanta Braves, posting a bloated 7.11 ERA without a record, thus closing out his career with a 114-144 record over 736 appearances, with a 3.75 ERA and 108 saves in 2078 innings pitched.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Today we celebrate the historic 1977 season the greatest hitter of the 1970’s had, Rod Carew and his chase of the elusive .400 mark:

Carew would end up taking home the American League Most Valuable Player Award not just based on his final batting average, but his league-leading 128 runs scored, 239 hits and 16 triples along with 38 doubles, 14 homers and 100 runs batted in.
As for that .400 mark? It once again remained untouched since Ted Williams in 1941, with Carew coming in at an eye-popping .388 to win his sixth batting title.
But during that 1977 season he had everyone following each Minnesota Twins game to see what he did at the plate.
Even though I was only eight at the time I remember it well, thinking Carew was some sort of God.
Guess I was right!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Hey Everyone!
The fourth issue of my 'zine "WTHBALLS" is now available!
This issue compiles all my 1972 "missing in action" cards to date, such as Rusty Staub, Luis Tiant, Dean Chance and many more.
Anyone interested can pick up a copy the usual way, $7 paypal to and I’ll get this out asap!


The next “missing” card from the 1970’s up on the blog is a 1979 edition for former Cincinnati Reds player Don Werner, who was on a multi-player rookie the year before:

Werner actually saw substantial playing time in 1978, appearing in 50 games for Cincinnati, with 17 hits over 113 at-bats, for a .150 batting average with 11 runs batted in and seven runs scored.
Actually not a bad hits-to-RBI ratio!
Anyway, he would not see Major League action in 1979 though would make it back in 1980 before moving on to the Texas Rangers in 1981 and 1982.
For his seven year career Werner hit .176 with 49 hits in 279 at-bats over 118 games, all while catching behind the plate.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Here’s a “Turn Back the Clock” 1972 card celebrating the 10th anniversary of Washington Senators’ pitcher Tom Cheney striking out 21 Baltimore Orioles in a 16-inning complete game which saw him throw over 220 pitches:

On September 12, 1962, Cheney had a shutout going into the ninth-inning, along with 13 strikeouts.
Sadly for him, the Orioles also had a shutout going, so the game would go into extra innings.
Little did anyone know that Cheney would continue pitching, as well as striking out batters, for another seven innings until opposing pitcher Dick Hall gave up a game-winning homer to Senator Bud Zipfel, giving Cheney the shutout and record-breaking performance.
The mark still stands as the most strikeouts in a single game by one pitcher, regardless of innings pitched.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Here’s a “missing” 1977 card for former Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Decker, who actually missed the 1977 season but put in some time during the ’76 season to get a card:

Decker appeared in 13 games for the Twins in the Bicentennial year, posting a 2-7 record with a 5.28 earned run average over 58 innings pitched.
Aside for nine games with the Seattle Mariners in 1979 it would be the last action he’d see in his nine-year career, the first four of which were spent with the Chicago Cubs between 1969 and 1972 before finding himself in the Twin Cities.
He finished his big league career with a 36-44 record with a 4.17 ERA, winning as many as 16 games in 1974 when he also posted a nice 3.29 ERA along with 158 strikeouts, easily his best season in the Majors.


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