Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Came across a very nice shot of Rollie Fingers in Boston Red Sox garb and just had to create a card for him and the sale that never was:

For those of you who are not familiar, Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley was facing a HUGE problem with Free Agency on the horizon for all of his stars, including his top reliever Rollie Fingers.
Rather than lose them all to the highest bidder, he was determined to cash in ahead of time, and decided on somewhat of a fire sale.
This included selling pitcher Vida Blue to the Yankees for $1.5 million, and Joe Rudi along with Fingers to the Red Sox for $1 million apiece.
However, once the sale went through Baseball Commisioner Bowie Kuhn came along and determined that these sales were NOT in the best interest of the sport, and nullified the deals.
Fingers was a member of the Red Sox for just three days, from June 15th-18th, and never appeared in a game.
It was back to Oakland for him where he’d finish up the 1976 season with a 13-11 record along with a 2.47 earned run average over 70 games, with 20 saves in 134.2 innings pitched.
Just as Finley feared, he lost the core of his three-peat championship club to free agency, including Fingers who signed with the San Diego Padres where he’d star for the next four seasons, pacing the National League in saves his first two years with 35 and 37 respectively.
Of course he’d go on to finish a Hall of Fame career with four years with the Milwaukee Brewers, ending up at 341 saves with a 2.90 ERA and 114 wins over 944 games, all but 37 of them out of the bullpen.


  1. I didn't realize he went to the Red Sox. I remember being disappointed when the Commish nullified the trade of Vida Blue to the Reds in 1978.

    You should do a post showing all of the horrible airbrushed ex-Oakland A's in the 1977 set. It's amazing how quickly they dismantled that team.

  2. Remember this very well. Thought Finley was well within his rights as the owner to do this deal. Like the card.

  3. I didn't realize Rollie was with the Sox for days! I wonder what would have happened if he had gotten into a game and then was told to go back to Oakland? I also remember the Vida Blue incident where he was traded to the Reds for cash and even began appearing in publications as a Red prior to Spring Training '78 before the Commissioner nullified that deal. I still sit in wonder over that 70s A's team. The Reds may have been dubbed the "Team of the 70s" but Oakland in my opinion was more reflective of the decade (and had 1 more ring than the Reds). This coming from a kid who grew up in Cincy during the decade.

  4. Yeah, as much as I thought Finley was a PITA, and the players thought so too, he's not the only to do this. Connie Mack was famous for doing this too. I thought the Commissioner over-stepped on this one. Bowie Kuhn was just a wee bit ego-driven during his time as commish - managed to peeve both the players and the owners.

    Awesome looking card, Gio!!

  5. Ha, I feel this is one particular custom that has been made by several different custom-card makers over the years, basically the same card with slight tweaks by whoever made it. I think it's the only known color photo from his brief Bosox stint, so it's a no-brainer to use. I made a version of my own a year or two ago, with the intention of printing a copy for my PC, but I lost steam when it came to designing a back (I hate settling for "blank back" customs), and never got around to finishing it. One of these days!

  6. Unless this was from a late season traded set, Rollie as a Red Sock probably should have been put on a '77 fantasy card since the trade took place in July of '76.

    1. I had a "late-series" or Traded set in mind. To be honest I just thought the '76 template with all the colors would have looked much better! ;)

    2. I have to agree with you there. The color scheme on the '76 card works well with that photo.

  7. Was he traded or sold outright?



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