Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Having already creating a 1975 card for today’s player of the “missing” variety, today I present a “not so missing” card for former Montreal Expos second baseman Jim Cox, who played the final baker’s dozen games in his brief four year career:

Over those 13 games, Cox batted .172 with five hits in 29 at-bats, driving in and scoring a couple of runs for Montreal, the only team he’d play for in the Big Leagues.
As a matter of fact they would be the only organization he’d ever play for, suiting up for Montreal’s Major and Minor league teams between 1972 and 1979.
It was odd that he didn’t get a card in the 1975 set since he played in 77 games during the 1974 season, with 270 plate appearances!
However we can easily forgive Topps for leaving him out of the 1977 set, leaving him with a spot on a multi-player rookie card in 1974 as the only card appearance of his career.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1972 card for former infielder Marv Staehle, who wrapped up a seven-year Major League career with the Atlanta Braves the previous season:

Coming over from the Montreal Expos, where he played the 1st two seasons in the organization’s existence, Staehle appeared in 22 games for the Braves, batting .111 with four hits over 36 at-bats while playing both second and short.
He spent the first four years of his career with the Chicago White Sox, where he never appeared in more than 32 games in any one season.
All told, for his MLB career Staehle batted .207 with 94 knocks over 455 official at-bats, with a single home run, 33 runs batted in and 53 runs scored while playing the middle infield positions.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Today we celebrate the somewhat overlooked great Negro League second baseman Newt Allen, who is sadly not in the Hall of Fame with some of his peers, but nevertheless was and still is considered one of the great players of his time:

A veteran of about 25 Negro League seasons spanning 1922 to 1947, he spent the bulk of it with the Kansas City Monarchs, building a reputation as one of the fastest base runners of his time, while also becoming arguably the greatest fielding second baseman of his era.
Sadly I can’t find much on this forgotten star, but am more than happy to have him included in this thread honoring the guys that paved the way for others after them!
He did make the list of 39 finalists in 2006 for the special Negro Leagues Hall of Fame election, but fell short of the 17 players who eventually were voted in.
Hopefully this can be rectified sooner than later, bringing him into the Cooperstown fold for countless more baseball fans to appreciate by seeing and reading his plaque.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


The next star of 1970’s baseball to get the 1975 “In-Action” treatment is none other than Tony Perez, “Big Red Machine” cog and RBI-machine, who was on his way to a sixth 100+-RBI season by season’s end:

Perez truly was an overlooked star on a team that would also have guys like Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, just to name a few, and it’s just plain criminal considering he logged 10 seasons in a row over 90+ runs batted in, with six of them over 100 as stated earlier.
With a batting average hovering around .280, he was a solid and steady force at the plate and out in the field for a team that would become legendary, on their way to two straight championships in 1975 and 1976.
He would play for 23 seasons in the Major Leagues, and end up with 379 homers, 1652 RBI’s, 2732 hits and a very nice .279 average before he left the game at the age of 44.
The “Big Dog”, Sparky Anderson always stated that what killed the “Big Red Machine” from dominating longer was trading away their slugging first baseman in December of 1976 to the Montreal Expos for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray, a trade that still baffles me.
Nevertheless, after nine tries, he finally made it into the Hall of Fame in 2000, and rightly so. Hopefully Pete Rose can also join his former teammates someday as well.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Next up on the blog is a “not so missing” 1974 card for two-year Major League Pitcher Jim Geddes of the Chicago White Sox:

Geddes, who had his rookie card in the 1973 set, played out what would be the rest of his brief MLB career when he appeared in six games during the 1973 season, not factoring in a decision but posting a nice 2.87 earned run average over 15.2 innings of work.
The previous season he appeared in five games, again not factoring in a decision, while posting a bloated 6.97 earned run average in 10.1 innings pitched.
Those two brief tastes of the Big Leagues would be it for Geddes, as he’d pitch two more seasons in the Minor Leagues before calling it a career.
All told, he pitched 26 innings of Major League ball, without a record and a 4.50 E.R.A. over eleven appearances, all for the South-Siders.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Here’s a 1975 card for a guy who had one card as a Major League player, a spot on the multi-player rookie cards of the 1974 set, Tom Heintzelman, who would put in a brief four year career, but could be argued to have missed out on two cards by Topps:

After a brief cup-of-coffee in 1973 (hence the rookie card the following year), he would make it back to the Big Leagues in 1974 with the St. Louis Cardinals, appearing in 38 games, batting .230 with 17 hits over 74 at-bats.
He also had 10 runs scored and nine walks in that brief period of play, but would find himself spending the next few seasons in the Minor Leagues, putting up some nice numbers.
In 1977 he’d be back, albeit for only two games with the San Francisco Giants where he went 0-for-2 at the plate as a pinch-hitter before playing the last 27 games of his career the following season, batting .229 with eight hits in 35 at-bats, generally as a pinch-hitter.
All told he played four brief seasons, batting .243 with 34 hits in 140 at-bats spread out over 90 games with the Cardinals and Giants.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Here’s another former player from the decade that only appeared during a late-season call-up for the sum total of his MLB career, former Houston Astros outfielder Al Javier:

Javier’s big league career consisted of eight games between September 9th and October 1st of 1976, batting .208 with five hits over 24 at-bats, all of the singles variety.
Toiling in the Houston Minor League system since 1971, he would find himself back down there in 1977, having a very nice season for the Columbus Astros of the Southern League before moving on to the Chicago Cubs organizations, for whom he’d play through the 1980 season before leaving for a couple of years in the Mexican League.
He never did get another shot in the Majors and was out of pro ball at the age of 28 in 1982.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Next up in the “Awards” thread I’ve been running for a while is a 1974 “Rookie of the Year” card for the 1973 winners, Gary Mathews and Al Bumbry, two guys who’d go on to have long productive careers in the Major Leagues:

In the National League, Mathews would have a really solid year for the San Francisco Giants, batting an even .300 with 22 doubles, 10 triples and 12 home runs with 74 runs scored and 58 runs batted in.
He played in 148 games and collected 162 hits over 540 at-bats, and even had 17 stolen bases thrown into the mix. Very nice first full season that led to an award.
He would go on to play 16 seasons in the Majors, retiring after 1987 with over 2000 hits with a very nice .281 batting average and 234 home runs
Over in the American League, Alonzo (Al) Bumbry only played in 110 games for the Baltimore Orioles, but he made the most of the opportunity as he led the American League with 11 triples while batting a hefty .337 with 120 hits over 356 at-bats.
He would go on to have a very nice 14-year career in the Big Leagues, all but his final season (with the San Diego Padres) spent in Baltimore, even becoming the first Orioles player to collect 200 or more hits in a season during the 1980 campaign when he collected 205 hits on his way to his only All-Star game nod.
By the time he hung them up after the 1985 season, he too retired with a batting average of .281, with 1422 hits over 5053 at-bats along with 254 stolen bases and 778 runs scored.
Two very good players who definitely left their mark on the game.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1978 card for Detroit Tiger Bob Adams, who played the only games of his brief Major League career in September of 1977, and admirably so I might add, yet never made it to the “big show” ever again:

In his 15 games career, Adams batted 2.50 with two home runs over 24 at-bats while playing a couple of games at first and one behind the plate.
Before he got the Fall call-up, he was tearing it up in Double-A where he was batting .330 for the Evansville Triplets, with ten home runs and 44 runs batted in over 62 games. Not bad.
Nevertheless, after his cup-of-coffee in the Autumn of 1977, he spent the following year back in the Minors before leaving pro-ball for good at the age of 26.
Wonder why he never got another shot?

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Time to go ahead a re-do yet another 1977 expansion card, this time the Leroy Stanton card, going from an airbrush job to an actual image of him in uniform with the new Seattle Mariners organization:

Revised version
Original airbrushed version

The 40th pick in the 1976 expansion draft, Stanton went on to have a very productive season for Seattle in their inaugural campaign, hitting 27 home runs while driving in 90 runs with a very respectable .275 batting average.
Oddly enough, after a sub=par season in 1978, which saw his home run total plummet to three while only appearing in 93 games, he was out of Major League ball for good.
1979 would see him play in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers, where he would hit 23 homers, though he only drove in 58 runs while hitting only .225, which would be the last professional action he would have, though I did see somewhere that he may have played in the Mexican League in 1980. But I can’t find any stats or record of this actually happening.
Anyone know? He was only 34 at that time.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Next up in line for my imagined 1975 “In Action” sub-set is the reigning Cy Young Award winner at the time this card would have come up, Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher extraordinaire Mike Marshall:

This is the first player in the series that is actually shown in action on his regular Topps card of the set, but since he made such a splash in the Major Leagues during the 1974 season, I figured he should be a part of this set.
All the man did in 1974 was appear in a STILL record 106 games, posting a record of 15-12 with a league-leading 21 saves sporting a 2.42 earned run average and 143 strikeouts over 208.1 innings pitched, ALL out of the bullpen!
This performance helped the Dodgers reach the World Series, where they would eventually lose to the three-peat Oakland A’s.
Nevertheless, one of the great pitching performances of the era, giving new meaning to the term “workhorse”.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Today we go and give the man man responsible for Major League baseball creating the amateur draft, bonus baby Rick Reichardt, who had substantial playing time in 1972 yet was not a part of Topps’ 1973 set:

Reichardt played in 101 games during the 1972 season, batting .251 with 73 hits over 291 at-bats with eight home runs and 43 runs batted in during his second season with the Chicago White Sox.
That is serious playing time to be omitted from the Topps set, so I’m wondering if he just didn’t want to be on a card ala Mike Marshall or Tony Horton around the same time.
Of course, Reichardt is well remembered as a spectacular two-sport superstar at the University of Wisconsin, so much so that a bidding war began by Major League clubs for his services, eventually having him sign a then unheard of $200,000 signing bonus with the (then) Los Angeles Angels of the American League.
This necessitated the development of the Amateur Draft, which began the very next year in hopes of curtailing such a wild scenario as the Reichardt affair.
Sadly for Reichardt, a serious kidney ailment cut short an excellent 1966 season which saw him have a kidney removed, and though he put up some decent numbers from time to time through the rest of his career, he was never the same again, eventually retiring after a single at-bat with the Kansas City Royals in 1974.
His last Topps card was in the 1971 set, which is odd since he really should have had a card from 1972 to 1974.
I actually already created a 1972 “missing” card for him a while back, and once I can find a decent shot of him with the Royals, I plan on doing the same for both 1974 and 1975.
Anyone have good images of him with KC?

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Here was a fun card to whip up, a “not so missing” 1971 card for former pitcher Mike Jackson, who played the first five games of his brief four year Major League career in 1970 with the Philadelphia Phillies:

Jackson went 1-1 in Philly over 6.1 innings pitched, with four walks and four strikeouts with a very nice 1.42 earned run average.
He would appear in only one game the following year, now with the St. Louis Cardinals, before moving on to the Kansas City Royals in 1972 when he went 1-2 over seven appearances, along with the only three starts of his short career.
In 1973 he would split time with both the Royals and Indians, for whom he’d pitch the last of his Big League games, not factoring in a decision and finishing his career with a record of 2-3 along with an ERA of 5.80 in 49.2 innings pitched.
He’d continue with his pro career through the 1974 season, finishing up in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization before calling it a career, spending nine seasons as a pro dating back to 1964 (he missed the 1966 and 1967 seasons).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Sometimes you really had to wonder what Topps was thinking when they made their decisions for someone to appear on a multi-player rookie card, even though they had substantial playing time the season before, such as Detroit Tigers pitcher Kip Young, who appeared on the dreadful rookie sub-set in 1979.
So I went ahead and gave him his own “dedicated” rookie card considering the man put in enough innings during the 1978 season that he wasn’t even a rookie any longer by the time 1979 came along:

Getting his first taste of Major League ball in 1978, Young went on to appear in 14 games during the season, 13 of them starts, and posting a record of 6-7 with a very nice 2.81 earned run average over 105.2 innings pitched!
Certainly NOT a rookie any longer, yet there he was on those awful black-and-white cards that we all love to hate (is there anyone out there who likes them?). The kid even threw seven complete games in his rookie season, which alone took away his “rookie” status”, regardless of his other games that year.
In 1979 he came back, much less successful this time, going 2-2 with a bloated 6.39 ERA in 13 appearances, with 43.2 innings of work in what would turn out to be the last of his brief two-season career.
Though he continued to pitch in the Minors through the 1982 season vor a few different organizations, he’d never make it back to the Majors, finishing his career with an 8-9 record, along with a 3.86 earned run average over 27 games and 149.1 innings.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Today we celebrate early Negro Leagues legend Bruce Petway, who falls under the radar somewhat though he is considered one of the greatest NBL catchers of all time:

Leaving a career in medicine to pursue baseball back in 1906, he would go on to play approximately 20 years for legendary teams such as the Leland Giants and Cuban X-Giants between 1906 and 1925.
A fantastic defensive backstop, he is reported to be one of the first catchers to throw out potential base-stealers at second base from a squatting position.
In 1910, he threw out Ty Cobb three times out of three attempts while in Cuba for an exhibition event, a season that also saw him bat .397 which showed that he was a threat at the plate as well.
In 1912 he also led the Cuban League in stolen bases with 20, something you do NOT see everyday throughout baseball history, regardless of which league we’re talking about.
Having the great Rube Foster as a mentor early in his career, Petway went on to also serve as a player-manager for the Detroit Stars in the 1920’s, while also contributing on the field, especially at the plate when he posted batting averages of .313, .268, .337 and .341 between 1921 and 1924.
A great player that should not be forgotten with time, and a great addition to my running “Legends of NBL Baseball”.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1974 card for former pitcher Norm Angelini, who pitched the final seven games of his brief two-year Major League career in 1973:

Angelini made seven relief appearances during his second season in the big leagues, posting a 4.91 earned run average over 3.2 innings of work, walking seven and striking out three.
He had his first taste of the “big show” in 1972, when he appeared in 21 games for the Kansas City Royals, posting a record of 201 with a very nice 2.25 era over 16 innings pitched.
He’d end up toiling in the Minor Leagues for another seven years, through the 1981 season, for the Royals, Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos organizations, but never get back to MLB ball before he retired from pro-ball.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Alan Ashby, one of the original Toronto Blue Jays of 1977, gets a make-over on this 1977 Topps card, getting rid of the airbrushed job and replaced with an actual shot of him in Toronto gear:
Re-done version
Original version by Topps
After being traded to the Jays from the Cleveland Indians in November of 1976, Ashby would go on to put in two seasons for the expansion team before moving on to play for the Houston Astros for the next eleven years. I never realized that his career to him all the way to the doorsteps of the 1990 decade, finishing up with 22 games for the Astros in 1989 after 17-years as a Major League catcher. In those 17 seasons he batted .245 while playing in 1370 games, collecting 1010 hits with 90 home runs and 513 runs batted in over 4123 official at-bats. After his baseball career ended as a player he hung around the game as a coach in the Astros system as well as a broadcaster for the Astros in both radio and television.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Today we celebrate two of the decades greatest players, who both happened to have won their only MVP Award in 1973, Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson:

In the long-running “Awards Sub-Set”, I imagine what it would have looked like had Topps included such a set every year in their basic sets, and today’s two cards are doozies, with Rose and Jackson leading two juggernauts in baseball history.
Rose put in one of the finest seasons of his incredible 24-year career, leading the National League in batting at .338 , his third batting title, while also leading the league with a career-high 230 hits, the sixth of his ten career 200-hit seasons.
Over in the American League, Jackson led the Oakland A’s to the second of three straight World Series titles by leading the league in homers (32), RBIs (117 and runs scored (99) while also hitting (at the time) a career-high .293.
While Rose’s Reds fell short in the NL playoffs to the Mets, denying a rematch of the 1972 World Series, they would soon take over the mantle of “Team of the Decade” from Oakland when the “Big Red Machine” took two straight championships of their own in 1975 & 1976.
But they’d have to wait as the A’s would beat the Mets for the title in 1973, then go on to win it again in 1974 by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Two al-time baseball super-stars right here in the prime of their career.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Today I present to you a “not so missing” 1975 card for Hugh Yancy of the Chicago White Sox, who played in three different seasons yet for never more than three games in any one of them:

Yancy first got a taste of the big leagues in 1972 when he appeared in three games for Chicago, before spending the entire 1973 season in the Minors.
In 1974 he made it back to the big leagues, but for one single game with one plate appearance, a sacrifice for the “unofficial” at-bat.
His last taste of the Majors would be in 1976 when he appeared in another three games, collecting one hit in 10 at-bats to close out a career that was summed up by two hits over 19 at-bats in seven games.
He would toil in the Minors through the 1979 season for both the Cincinnati and Cleveland organizations, but sadly for him never again play in the Major Leagues.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Today I post a 1977 nickname card first, a vertical design for all-time second baseman Joe Morgan, who was “Mr. All-World” at the time this card would have come out in the Spring of 1977:

What else could Morgan have accomplished by 1977?! The reigning two-time MVP led his “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds to two straight World Series wins in 1975 & 1976, took home his third straight Gold Glove Award, was RIPPED OFF a Rookie of the Year Award back in 1965 (look it up), and was well on his way to the Hall of Fame.
His 1976 season was the stuff of legend at the time: a .320 batting average, 27 homers, 111 runs batted in, 113 runs scored and 114 base on balls, leading his league in On-Base-Percentage and Slugging while claiming a spot on his seventh National League All-Star team.
The man was a machine!
Nothing “little” about his play, as a matter of fact he was a GIANT of the game through the decade!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Here was a fun card to whip up, a “not so missing” 1976 card for former Boston Red Sox player Buddy Hunter, who played in one single game during the 1975 season:

Hunter went hitless in his lone at-bat for the Red Sox during their American League championship season while playing second base in what would be his last taste of the Majors in his brief three year career.
Over that time he collected five hits in 17 at-bats, good for a very nice .294 average with five runs scored and a couple of runs batted in.
In a bit of a quirk for his career, he played his games in the 1971, 1973 and 1975 seasons, missing out on the years in between, and playing through the 1979 season in the Boston Minor League system, spending his entire 11-year pro career with the organization.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Here’s a “missing” 1977 card for Lee Richard, who finished up his five-year Major League career in 1976 with the St. Louis Cardinals:

Richard, who spent the first four of his MLB seasons as a member of the Chicago White Sox, played in 66 games for the Cardinals in 1976, batting .176 with 16 hits over 91 official at-bats.
After getting considerable playing time in his rookie year of 1971, playing in 87 games with 288 plate appearances, he’d never really get that shot again, topping out with those 66 games in his final year in the big leagues.
Over his five year career, Richard finished with a .209 batting average along with 103 hits in 492 at-bats while playing both the infield and outfield.

Monday, October 9, 2017


Today I post a “not so missing” card for former pitcher Mark Bomback, who made his Major League debut during the 1978 season with the Milwaukee Brewers:

Bomback appeared only two games that season, one of them a start, totaling 1.2 innings of work with a bloated 16.20 earned run average.
He’d spent the next year in the Minor Leagues before making it back to the big show in 1980, this time as a member of the New York Mets as a full-time starter.
In what was his only full-time season during his four-year career, Bomback put in a solid year for the Mets, going 10-8 with a 4.09 E.R.A., two complete games and a shutout over 162.2 innings.
Yet that wasn’t enough for him to stay at Shea, as the Mets traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later in the form of Charlie Puleo, where Bomback would pitch over the next two years.
He closed out his career after the 1982 season, finishing up with a record of 16-18, with a 4.47 E.R.A. & 124 strikeouts over 74 appearances and 314.1 innings pitched.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


The next 1977 expansion card to get the re-do is the very first Mariner or Blue Jay card I pulled as an 8-year-old way back, 40 years ago, Dan Meyer, who put together an excellent year for Seattle in their first year of existence:

Original airbrushed version by Topps
Revised version

Meyer, who was the ninth pick in the baseball expansion draft in November of 1976, did not disappoint his new team in 1977, as he batted .273 with 22 homers and 90 runs batted in while playing first base.
It would be the best year of his 12-year career, and he’d play for the Mariners through the 1981 season before moving on to the Oakland A’s for four years before retiring after 1985.
Over those 12 seasons, Meyer batted .253 with 86 home runs and 459 runs batted in playing for the Detroit Tigers, Mariners and A’s.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Next up on my “Negro league Legends” hit parade is Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, who was both a star catcher and pitcher during his epic lengthy career that spanned about 36 years between pro and semi-pro ball:

It’s tough to find a concise time-line of his baseball tenure, but it is alleged that Radcliffe played for over 30 teams and collected more than 4000 hits, hit 400 home runs, won over 500 games and struck out about 4000 batters.
A long time teammate of the great Satchel Paige, Radcliffe once caught a shutout by Paige in the first game of a double-header, then went out and pitched a shutout himself in the second game!
Six times Radcliffe played in the Negro league East-West game, three as a pitcher and three as a catcher, while also pitching and catching in two and six other all-star games respectively.
Remarkably, as part of a publicity stunt, Radcliffe was “signed” at the age of 96 by the Schaumberg Flyers of the Northern League in 1999, throwing one pitch to become the oldest player ever to appear in a game.
A character on and off the field, you can find more anecdote regarding Radcliffe than you can statistics, sadly the result of lost record-keeping for the Negro leagues over the years.
Just Google his name and try reading the bits and pieces that were recording over his long life, definitely an entertaining read!

Friday, October 6, 2017


Hey everyone!
Happy to announce that series 3 in the "WTHBALLS" card collection, "1920 Base Ball Stars" is now available for purchase.
Limited to 25 sets, this super-thick stock 41 card set comes in a tin with wax paper wrap.
See pictures below!
From Babe Ruth to Joe Jackson to Ty Cobb, they're all here.
They're $26 each postpaid and you can order one by emailing me at: john@slogun.com

They came out great! Really happy with the final product.


Let’s go and give one of the nice guys of baseball, and underrated star of the early-to-mid 1970’s an “In Action” card in the 1975 set, Bobby Murcer:

Though Murcer would find himself playing for the San Francisco Giants in 1975 after the blockbuster trade that brought Bobby Bonds to the Bronx, I have him as a Yankee based on his 1974 action.
He and Thurman Munson were the stars of the “lean years” between 1964 and 1976, with Murcer making the All-Star team four times while also taking home a Gold Glove in 1972.
For three straight years, between 1971 and 1973, he placed no worse than ninth in the American League MVP voting, and was a fan favorite.
After spending 1975 through part-way through the 1979 season playing for the Giants and Chicago Cubs, he made it back to the Yankees and would play out the final four years of his 17-year career with the team he started out with, retiring during the 1983 season before moving on to a long-lasting broadcast career.
In 17 seasons, Murcer hit 252 homers along with 1043 runs batted in and 972 runs scored, with a .277 average in 1908 games.
Absolutely missed since his passing in 2008, he really was such a nice person who I had the privilege of meeting on more than one occasion at card shows and Yankee events. Always an easy-going guy.
R.I.P. Bobby.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1973 Damaso Blanco card for the former San Francisco Giants third baseman, who made his Major League debut during the 1972 season:

Getting his first taste of Big League action in 1972, Blanco appeared in 39 games, batting a cool .350 with seven hits over 20 at-bats while playing third, short and second base.
The 1973 season was not as kind, as he appeared in 28 games, though he failed to collect a hit over 12 at-bats, though he did score four runs.
Finally, the 1974 season would see him appear in the final five games of his brief career, with one single hitless at-bat to show for it, thus concluding a three-year career that saw him go 7-for-33 at the plate, good for a .212 average, with nine runs scored over 72 games, all with the Giants.
He did have an extensive Minor League career that spanned 14 years, from 1961 to 1974, that saw him collect 1458 hits along with a .268 average over 1470 games, with 830 runs scored and 204 stolen bases.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Always love adding to the 1970 set, and today I do just that with a “not so missing” card for former utility man Gary Kolb, who finished his 7-year Major League career in 1969 with the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Kolb appeared in 29 games for the Bucs in 1969, assuming back-up catching duties while batting .081 with three hits in 37 at-bats.
Looking over his career, it’s interesting to see that he played every position during his MLB career except pitcher and shortstop, really serving the term “utility man”.
Over his pro career that spanned 1960 and 1969 (missing the 1961, 1966 & 1967 seasons), he ended up with a .209 batting average, with 94 hits over 450 at-bats in 293 games, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets and Pirates.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Time to go and give former Major League catcher Johnny Edwards a “career-capping” 1975 card after a nice 14-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros:

Edwards appeared in 50 games during the 1974 season, his last as a productive catcher over the course of his career in which he was a three-time all-star and two-time Gold Glove backstop.
In those 50 games, he batted .222 with 26 hits over 117 at-bats, with 10 runs batted in and eight runs scored while catching 32 of those appearances.
For his career, he finished up with a .242 batting average with 1106 hits in 4577 at-bats in 1470 MLB games, and played on two N.L. Championship teams, the 1961 Cincinnati Reds and 1968 Cardinals, who would both lose in the World Series, to the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers respectively.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Here’s a “missing” 1978 card for inaugural Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Tom Bruno, who’d eventually have a rookie card a couple of years later in the 1979 set on one of those terrible black-and-white cards:

Bruno was selected by Toronto in the expansions draft from the Kansas City Royals, where he made his Major League debut in 1976, appearing in 12 games and posting a record of 1-0.
In that initial Blue Jay season of 1977, Bruno went on to appear in another 12 games, this time going 0-1 with a bloated earned run average of 7.85 over 18.1 innings pitched.
He’d find himself over in St. Louis in 1978 after being traded to the Cardinals for Rick Bosetti, and he’d have his best season as a big league pitcher, posting a record of 4-3 with a very nice 1.99 E.R.A. over 18 appearances and 49.2 innings.
Funny enough, all that would get him card-wise in 1979 is a spot on the aforementioned rookie cards that Topps created, sharing the spotlight with George Frazier and Terry Kennedy.
He’d finish his career after the 1979 season, posting a record of 2-3 with a 4.23 E.R.A., with 27 strikeouts over 38.1 innings and 27 appearances, ending up with a record of 7-7 with a decent 4.22 E.R.A., 80 strikeouts and a single save over 69 games and 123.2 innings pitched.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


We move on to the 1974 set today in my ongoing awards sub-set, and today we begin with the 1973 Cy Young Award winners, to juggernauts of 1970’s ball, Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer:

For Seaver, it was his second Cy Young Award after posting a record of 19-10 with a league-leading 2.08 earned run average and 251 strikeouts.
Leading the way for the Mets to reach the World Series for the second time in franchise history, Seaver anchored a staff that also had Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and a surprising George Stone, though they’d fall to the budding dynasty Oakland A’s in the series in seven games.
In the American League, it was another future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who was taking home the first of what would be (like Seaver) three Cy Young Awards during his incredible career that saw him post EIGHT 20-win seasons in nine years!
For the 1973 season, Palmer won 22 games against only nine losses,  with a league-leading 2.40 E.R.A., along with six shutouts and 158 strikeouts.
He would go on to win the award two more times in the next three years, solidifying his stature in Major League history as one of the greats of the game.
Two all-time greats representing the 1970’s in full force: six Cy Young Awards between them, with 579 wins and almost 6,000 strikeouts between them!


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