Here’s a “missing” in-action 1972 card for a guy who gets forgotten a bit in the baseball decade of the 1970’s, but was really a key figure on a big team, Joe Rudi of the Oakland A’s:
Rudi was an important cog in the machine that was the dynastic A’s team
that put together three straight World Champion teams between 1972 and
1974, as his two second-place finishes show in 1972 and 1974.
Throw in three straight Gold Gloves from 1974-1976 and three all-star
game nods, and you see why the guy should be remembered a bit more for
his contributions during the decade.
He would lead the American League in hits and triples during the ‘72
season, with 181 and nine respectively, and would also pace the league
in doubles and total bases two years later with 39 and 287.
A solid player through his 16-year career, he would finish after the
1982 season with a stint back in Oakland after four years in Anaheim and
a year in Boston.
He would end up with a .264 average, 179 homers, 684 runs scored and 810
runs batted in, mainly during the “dead” 70’s hitting era.