Thursday, November 30, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1976 card for a guy I already created a 1974 version of, former pitcher Charlie Hudson, who appeared in the last three games of his brief three-year career with the California Angels:

After spending the 1974 season in the Minors, Hudson made it back to a Big League mound in 1975, now as a member of the Angels after coming up with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972 and suiting up for the Texas Rangers in 1973.
In those three appearances, one of them a start, Hudson was hit hard, giving up seven hits and six earned runs over 5.2 innings, getting tagged for a loss without a win.
That would be it for the 25-year-old lefty, as he would spend 1976 in the Minors before leaving the game for good as a player.
He finished his career with a record of 5-3 with a 5.04 earned run average over 40 appearances and 80.1 innings pitched, with 38 strikeouts, a shutout and a save thrown in.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Time to go and give former all-star third baseman Sal Bando an In-Action card in my running 1975 sub-set, celebrating his excellent run as one of the leaders of the Oakland A’s dynasty that saw them win three straight World Series between 1972-1974:

Bando was a consistent RBI-man during this period, giving the A’s some pop at the plate while manning third base on a team that also had all-stars Joe Rudi, Reggie Jackson and Gene Tenace.
Three times he would finish in the top-5 for American League MVP voting, with a high of second place in 1971 behind teammate Vida Blue.
Of course, like many of his teammates in 1976, he would leave the A’s via Free Agency and sign with the Milwaukee Brewers, playing out the final five years of his very nice 16-year career before retiring in 1981 with 242 homers, 1039 runs batted in and a .254 batting average over 2019 games and 7060 at-bats, with four all-star nods.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Here’s a “Missing” 1975 card, and career-capper, for former pitcher Dick Selma, who finished up a decent 10-year career with two appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1974 after starting the season as a California Angel:

Selma originally came up with the New York Mets in 1965, and even put in a nice year for them in 1968 when he started 23 games, tossing three shutouts and posting a very nice 2.75 earned run average over 170.1 innings during the “year of the pitcher” at the age of 24.
But as bum-luck would have it, he was left available for the expansion draft, and the San Diego Padres selected him as the 5th pick.
He pitched well in their inaugural season of 1969, but the Padres turned around and traded him to the Chicago Cubs, where he would end up in an historic pennant race against his former club, pitching well for Chicago, going 10-8 with two shutouts and a 3.63 ERA over 25 starts and 36 appearances.
By the time 1974 rolled around, he just came off four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, appearing mainly out of the ‘pen with occasional starts, before starting the season in California, where he went 2-2 in a relief roll before making his way to Milwaukee, where he got hit hard in two appearances, giving up five earned runs over just 2.1 innings pitched.
He’d finish his career with a record 42-54, with a 3.62 earned run average and 681 strikeouts over 307 appearances and 840.2 innings pitched, with six shutouts and 31 saves.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1974 card for former Montreal Expos outfielder Pepe Mangual, who you may remember as one of the “other” players on the 1975 Jim Rice rookie card:

Mangual played in 33 games for Montreal in 1973, his second year in the Big Leagues, batting .177 with 11 hits over 62 at-bats.
He’d play in only 23 games during the 1974 season before having the only full season of his brief 6-year career in 1975, appearing in 140 games and batting .245 with 126 hits in 514 at-bats, scoring 84 runs and stealing 33 bases for the Expos.
But in 1976 he’d be back to a part-timer, splitting the season between the Expos and New York Mets, appearing in 107 games and batting .237 over 385 plate appearances, before getting into only seven games in 1977, the final games of his career.
He’d finish with a career .242 average, with 235 hits and 155 runs scored in 319 games, with 64 stolen bases, yet would continue to play in the Minor Leagues through the 1984 season, the final six years in the California Angels system before retiring for good at the age of only 32.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Today we move on to the 1976 with my “Awards” sub-set, starting off with the 1975 Cy Young winners, two stalwarts of the era, Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer:

In the National league, Seaver took home what would be his third and final Cy, though he got ripped off in 1971 in my eyes, as well as in 1981 while with the Cincinnati Reds.
Anyway, Seaver put in what was a typical Seaver season in 1975, posting a record of 22-9 with a 2.38 earned run average and 243 strikeouts along with five shutouts.
The man was a pitching machine! It was the eight of nine straight 200+ strikeouts campaigns for “Tom Terrific”, on his way to a career 3640 K’s for the future Hall of Famer.
Over in the American League, Palmer had arguably the best season of HIS Hall of Fame career when he posted a record of 23-11, a career high in wins, while also posting an earned run average of 2.09 with 10 shutouts, the only pitcher to post double-digit shutouts in the decade.
He also chipped in 193 strikeouts while completing 25 of 38 starts for the Orioles, even picking up one of his career four saves as well.
Two Hall of Fame legends in the prime of their career. What luck I got to see them, as well as guys like Nolan Ryan, Fergie jenkins, Steve Carlton and Phil Niekro take a Major League mound.
What an era.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Back on July 9th of 2016  I posted about the strange case of the 1977 Topps Dave Collins card and how it took me decades to prove to my friends that I was correct in my guess that it surely wasn’t the former speedster. Take a look at the original:

Well, turns out it was former pitcher Bobby Jones, as I’m sure many of you are now aware all these years later, so it was time to go ahead a re-do the card with the proper image, take a look:

Collins played his first two seasons of Big League ball with the California Angels, stealing 52 bases combined in a part-time roll, giving us a preview of what was to lie ahead.
He would go on to play 16 years in the Major Leagues, stealing as many as 79 bases in 1980 while with the Cincinnati Reds, while also stealing 60 in 1984 when he was playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, a season where he also led the league in triples with 15.
I’ll always remember him for his disappointing year with the New York Yankees in 1982, a year that was a failure for the organization in so many way actually.
Nevertheless, Collins would finish his career with 395 steals, while also batting a very nice .272 with 1335 hits over 4907 at-bats in 1701 games, finishing up with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1990.
I never even realized he made it that far to be honest!

Friday, November 24, 2017


Here’s a career-capping 1971 card for Joe Sparma, who finished a nice seven-year Major League tenure with his only season outside of Detroit, a nine-game stint with the Montreal Expos:

Sparma appeared in nine games with the Expos during the 1970 season, posting a record of 0-4 with a bloated 7.04 earned run average in 29.1 innings of work.
In the six seasons prior to that, he was a solid arm both out of the ‘pen and as a starter for the Detroit Tigers, the team he came up with in 1964.
His finest season in the big leagues is easily 1967 when he posted a record of 16-9 with a 3.76 earned run average over 37 starts and 217.2 innings pitched along with five shutouts.
The following season he was a full-time starter on the eventual World Champs, appearing in one game during the World Series in relief.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Be safe, eat, drink, watch some football and nap (always works for me!).
Let’s cap-off the brilliant Major League playing career of Felipe Alou, who would go on to also have a brilliant managerial MLB career later on, giving us a true baseball “lifer”:

Alou would only appear in three games with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1974, playing one game at right field while pinch-hitting as well.
It would be the finale of an excellent career that saw him bat .286 over 17-seasons, leading the National League in hits twice while collecting over 2000 hits and 200 home runs in 2082 games.
He would also get to play MLB ball alongside his two brothers, Matty and Jesus, while also seeing his cousins Jose Sosa pitch, and eventually seeing his son Moises become an all-star player himself, while having his nephew Mel Rojas pitch in relief! Incredible baseball family tree hardly seen before or since!
During the height of his playing career, with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the 1960’s, Alou topped 20 homers four times, topping .300 three times, and also led the league in total bases in 1966 with 355 when he topped 30 homers for the only time in his career.
As stated earlier, he would eventually move on to an excellent managerial career in 1992, managing the Montreal Expos for ten seasons through 2001, including the heart-breaking 1994 season when the team was steam-rolling through the Summer before the baseball strike killed the organization.
He would move on to the San Francisco Giants in 2003, leading them to a 100-win season and first place finish in the National League West, and guide them through the next three seasons before leaving the managing life after 2006.
A great baseball figure from an incredible baseball family!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1978 card for former relief pitcher Ed Farmer, who was yet to hit his MLB stride as a Chicago White Sox bullpen ace later on, throwing a total of ZERO innings in 1977 with the Baltimore Orioles, giving up a hit and a walk in his only appearance of the year:

Farmer, who originally came up to the Major Leagues as a member of the Cleveland Indians in 1971, bounced around after that, playing for four organizations in three seasons while missing the 1975 and 1976 campaigns altogether before getting that one taste of a big league mound again in ‘77.
But he would right his ship soon enough, eventually having an All-Star season in 1980 with the White Sox when he posted 30 saves over 64 appearances and 99.2 innings pitched.
He would end up pitching eleven seasons as a big league pitcher, leaving the game in 1983 with a career 30-43 record, with 75 saves and a 4.30 earned run average in 370 appearances and 624 innings before moving on to a long broadcast career.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Next up in my ongoing awards sub-set through the 1970’s is a 1975 Rookie of the Year card for the 1974 winners, Bake McBride and Mike Hargrove, two players who went on to nice Major League careers:

In the National League, McBride played centerfield for the St. Louis Cardinals, and proceeded to bat .309 in his first big league season with 173 hits and 81 runs scored, 30 stolen bases and 56 runs batted in.
He would go on to bat a career .299 over his 11-year career playing with the Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians before retiring after the 1983 season.
In the American League, Hargrove played in 131 games in his first taste of the Majors, ending up with a .323 batting average based on his 134 hits in 415 at-bats.
He also collected 49 walks, giving him an on-base=percentage of .395 which would be a familiar theme for his 12-year career, as the “Human Rain Delay” would retire with a very nice career OBP of .396, topping 100 walks four times.
Of course later on he would go into managing, leading the powerhouse Cleveland Indian teams of the 1990’s, winning two American League pennants before moving on to the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners through the 2007 season.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Here is a 1979 “not so missing” card for a pitcher who threw one sole inning in 1978, the very first inning of his Major League career, Dan Boitano of the Philadelphia Phillies:

It was a scoreless and hitless inning for the 25-year-old, while issuing one walk while not factoring in a decision.
The following season he would be suiting up for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he would have five appearances and pitch six innings with no record once again before getting into 11 games in 1980, posting an 0-1 record with a bloated 8.15 E.R.A
In 1981 he’d see more playing time, pitching for the New York Mets and going 2-1 with a 5.51 E.R.A. over 15 appearances and 16 innings pitched before finding himself with the Texas Rangers in 1982, the last action he’d see on a Big League mound, appearing in 19 games and pitching 30.1 innings.
He would finish his career with an even record of 2-2 along with an E.R.A. of 5.68 in 51 appearances and 71.1 innings pitched, striking out 52 batters while walking 28.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Here’s another one of those cards that requires a closer look, a 1972 card showing former rookie stand-out Roy Foster as a Texas Ranger:

Foster, who was the runner-up to Thurman Munson for the American League rookie of the year in 1970 as an Indians player, never actually suited up with the Texas Rangers.
As a matter of fact, not only did he play with the Cleveland Indians in 1971, but he also played for them in 1972!
Turns out, after a disappointing year in Cleveland in 1971 which saw him bat .245 with 18 homers and 45 runs batted in after posting a .268 average with 23 homers and 63 ribbies in his rookie year, he was traded to the new Rangers organization in December of 1971 in a deal that included seven other players.
In what seems like a common thing in that era, it turns out that he would end up getting traded BACK to Cleveland right before the new season started, ending up playing what would turn out to be the final 73 games of his brief career, batting .224 with only four homers and 13 runs batted in, before spending the 1973 season in the Minors and the following couple of years in the Mexican League before retiring for good.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Today I wanted to look at this Topps airbrush job for former pitcher Roric Harrison on his 1978 card, which also has a lot to scratch your head about as far as why Topps ever went to this much trouble for:

As releases 1978 Topps card
Airbrushed image used

You can clearly see Harrison in a St. Louis Cardinals jersey that was cropped just so to have him on his 1978 card as a Detroit Tiger.
Funny thing is Harrison never ended up playing for the Tigers, getting released before the season even started.
On top of that, at the time this card came out he hadn’t even been on a Major League mound since the 1975 season when he last played for the Cleveland Indians.
So where do the Cardinals fit into all this?
Harrison bounced around a lot during his five-year career, especially between Big League stops in 1975 and 1978 when he played the last nine games of his career, with the Minnesota Twins.
From the beginning of 1975 to 1978, he was a member of no less than six teams, though actually playing for only three of them (Braves, Indians and Twins).
In between, he signed with the Tigers, the Pirates and Cardinals, with whom he never played.
Amazing that Topps did all this for a guy who hadn’t played a Major League game in three seasons, and was bouncing around so much.
I wonder why the need to get him into the set when guys like Bill Melton and Carlos May were left out?
Anyway, Harrison did actually make it back to the Majors in 1978, but as I stated before as a member of the Minnesota Twins, where he went 0-1 with a 7.50 earned run average over nine games and 12 innings pitched.
Thus would end his career, with a record of 30-35, with a 4.24 E.R.A., 10 saves and 319 strikeouts in exactly 590 innings pitched.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1974 card for a guy I’d forgotten had his Major League start with the Baltimore Orioles, as I so identify him with his second team in the Majors, the Houston Astros, Enos Cabell:

Cabell actually had his first Major League action in 1972, appearing in only three games before coming back in 1973 and making 32 appearances.
In that brief time he batted .213, with 10 hits over 42 at-bats for Baltimore, progressing enough to play just under half a season in 1974, where he batted .241 while playing all-over the place, both infield and outfield.
In December of 1974 he was part of the trade that brought the “Big Bopper” Lee May to Baltimore, with Cabell finding a home in Houston where he would play for the next six years, having some very good seasons.
Playing full-time for the Astros each and every year, he averaged about .275 while playing third base, along with some first base action.
He’d end up putting together a nice 15-year career in the Big Leagues, retiring after the 1986 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, finishing up with 1647 hits and a .277 average in 1688 games and 5952 at-bats, with 238 stolen bases and 753 runs scored.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Here’s a “missing” or “not so missing” 1977 card for pitcher Mike Proly, who appeared in 14 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976, albeit for only 17 innings of work, all is relief:

Getting his first taste of the Major Leagues, Proly would go 1-0 over those 14 games, with a 3.71 earned run average.
He wouldn’t get any action in the Big Leagues the following year, spending all of 1977 in the Minnesota Twins Minor League system, before making it back in 1978, but now as a member of the Chicago White Sox, for whom he’d pitch the following three years.
He had a nice season for the Pale Hose, starting six of the 14 games he’d see action in and going 5-2 with a 2.74 E.R.A., completing two of his starts and picking up a save as well.
That was precisely the role he’d have with Chicago, and the rest of his career, pitching mainly out of the bullpen with an occasional spot start here ans there for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981 and the Chicago Cubs for his final two MLB season in 1982 and 1983.
All told he finished his career with a record of 22-29, along with a nice 3.23 E.R.A., 22 saves and 185 strikeouts over 267 appearances and 545.2 innings pitched.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Here’s a “career-capping 1972 card for a guy who I always thought had a cool name, former pitcher Cal Koonce:

Koonce finished up a nice ten-year career with 13 appearances for the Boston Red Sox, going 0-1 with a 5.57 earned run average over 21 innings pitched.
Originally up with the Chicago Cubs in 1962, he moved on to the New York Mets after 5 1/2 seasons in Chicago, pitching for 3 1/2 years in Queens before ending up in Boston.
Over those ten seasons he posted a career record of 47-49, with an earned run average of 3.78 and 504 strikeouts over 971 innings pitched.
Though he didn’t appear in the Post Season, he was a part of the “Miracle Mets” of 1969, appearing in 40 games for the eventual World Champions, going 6-3 with an E.R.A. of 4.99 and seven saves coming out of the bullpen.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Time to go a “re-do” a 1977 Topps expansion card, this time we’ll tackle Jesse Jefferson of the Toronto Blue Jays:

Re-done version
Topps original

Jefferson was drafted by the new club away from the Chicago White Sox, for whom he pitched in 1976 and part of the 1975 season.
In the first season of Major League play, he pitched pretty well for an upstart team, posting an earned run average of 4.31 with eight complete games over 33 starts, with 217 innings pitched.
Of course, as with any club just starting out, he wouldn’t get any support as evidenced by his final record of 9-17.
He would put together a nine-year career in the Big Leagues, finishing with a record of 29-81 along with an E.R.A. of 4.81 over 237 appearances, 144 of those starts, with four shutouts and 522 strikeouts in 1085.1 innings pitched.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1975 card for former pitcher Don Rose, who had a brief three year Major League career, each one with a different team:

During the 1974 season Rose appeared in two games with the San Francisco Giants after spending the previous season in the Minors.
Over those two games he didn’t factor in a decision, posting an earned run average of 9.00 in exactly one inning of work.
In 1971 he came up to the Majors with the New York Mets, appearing in a single game and pitching two scoreless innings before being a part of a pretty big trade in the off-season when he was included with a young flame-throwing Nolan Ryan in a deal with the California Angels to get perennial all-star shortstop Jim Fregosi.
Well we all know how that turned out...
Nevertheless Rose finished his career with 19 appearances and a record of 1-4 along with an E.R.A. of 4.14 over 45.2 innings pitched.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Adding to the already long list of imagined 1975 “In Action” cards in my running series is the electric Houston Astros outfielder Cesar Cedeno, who was in the middle of his prime on his way to a brilliant 17-year Major League career:

Cedeno had the speed, the power, and the talent to put together a five-year stretch where he brought home 5 straight Gold Gloves, get named to four all-star teams while topping the 20/50 mark three years in a row.
In 1974 he had a monster season that saw him hit a career-high 26 homers AND steal a career-high 57 stolen bases along with, you guessed it, a career-high 102 runs batted in.
I would love to know the numbers he could have put up had he not played in the cavernous Astrodome for the first 12 years of his career!
By the time he was done after the 1986 season, he retired with 199 homers and 550 stolen bases, along with a very nice .285 batting average and 2087 hits.
An excellent player who was easily overshadowed by contemporaries of the era.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Next up in my ongoing awards sub-series through the 1970’s is a 1975 card celebrating the MVPs of the previous season, Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jeff Burroughs of the Texas Rangers:

In the National league, Steve Garvey had his breakout season, getting written-in to start the All-Star game that Summer, on his way to a season that saw him collect 200 hits, 21 homers and 111 runs batted in for the eventual N.L. Champs.
He would go on to log 200 or more hits in six of seven seasons between 1974 and 1980, while driving in 100 or more runs five times, while collecting five Gold Gloves.
A perennial all-star for the era, it still amazes me that he is not in the Hall of Fame. Sometimes it’s more than just numbers or the modern Sabermetrics.
Sometimes it should also include players who came to almost represent his era by his play, his stature, etc. And guys like Garvey, Dave Parker and Jack Morris fit the bill for me.

But hey, "I ain't votin'", so it's all for naught.
In the American League, former 1969 overall #1 pick Jeff Burroughs followed up a very nice 1973 season with an even better one in ‘74, leading the league with 118 runs batted in while hitting 25 homers and batting a career-high .301 while leading the team to a second place finish in the A.L. West.
He would go on to put together a solid 16-year career, even hitting a career-high 44 home runs in 1977, though overshadowed by the exploits of George Foster.
Nevertheless, Burroughs finished his career with 240 homers and a .261 batting average while driving in 882 over 1689 games.

Friday, November 10, 2017


Time to close out former Major League catcher Duane Josephson’s eight-year career with a “not so missing” 1973 card:

Josephson, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chicago White Sox, played the last two years with the Boston Red Sox, including 26 games in 1972 when he played 1st base along with some catching duties thrown in.
He performed very well for the BoSox, batting .268 with 22 hits over 82 at-bats with 11 runs scored and seven runs batted in.
For his career, he hit .258 with 388 hits over 1505 at-bats, and was on the 1968 American League All-Star team in what would be the only full-time season of his MLB tenure.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Here’s another “Nickname of the ‘70’s” card to add to the collection, a card for one of the preeminent pitchers of the era, Jim “Cakes” Palmer:

Apparently, Palmer got the nickname while still a young player, as he always ate pancakes on the day he was to pitch.
And here I thought he got that nickname as a shortened “Beefcake” for this unsettling underwear ads he did! As a kid growing up in NYC during the 1970’s, I totally remember a giant billboard in Times Square with Palmer sporting the speedos!
I used a 1973 template with the syrupy flapjacks icon since he was smack in the middle of a historic run of EIGHT 20-win seasons in nine years.
Just amazing to think he rattle off 175 wins in nine seasons between 1970 and 1978 while picking up three Cy Young Awards along with two E.R.A. titles along with 10 shutouts during the 1975 season, currently the last American League pitcher (and the last ever?) to do so.
I love seeing that 2.86 career earned run average over 19 Big League seasons!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1974 card for former two-year pitcher Jim McKee of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who appeared in the last 15 games of his brief career during the 1973 season:

McKee, who had a very short two-game cup-of-coffee at the end of the 1972 season, came back the following year and got to throw 27 innings over the aforementioned 15 games, posting a record of 0-1 with a 5.67 earned run average.
That would even out his career record, finishing up with a 1-1 record as a Big League pitcher, with a 4.78 E.R.A., with 17 strikeouts over 17 appearances and 32 innings of work.
All but one of those appearances were out of the bullpen, starting the one game of his career during the 1973 season.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Here’s a “missing” career-capper for long-time Major League third baseman Paul Schaal, who finished up a nice 11-year career with 53 games with the California Angels in 1974 after starting the season with the Kansas City Royals:

Schaal batted a combined .236 with both teams, collecting 47 hits over 199 at-bats while hitting three homers and driving in 24 runs.
I’m sure with a guy like George Brett coming up, the Royals had no choice but to trade their third baseman since their inception in 1969 to make way for their new stud.
Turns out even though he was just 31, those 53 games with the Angels would be the last of his career, which ended up right where he started as he played the first five years of his career with the organization.
He finished up his career with a .244 batting average, along with 869 hits in 3555 at-bats, throwing in 323 runs batted in and 57 homers.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Today we have a “not so missing” 1979 card for former pitcher Gerry Hannahs, who put together a brief 4-year Major League career, yet never got a card, not even a spot on a multi-year rookie card:

Hannah appeared in only one game during the 1978 season, throwing two innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving up three hits and a couple of runs while not factoring in a decision.
1979 wouldn’t fare much better for the lefty from Binghamton, NY, as he’d appear in what would be the final four games of his career, posting a record of 0-2 with a 3.38 earned run average over 16 innings pitched.
Originally up with the Montreal Expos, he appeared in eleven games in 1976 and 1977 combined, going 3-5, including the very first win for an Expos pitcher at Olympic Stadium, which occurred on April 16th of 1977.
For his career, he appeared in 16 games, with 12 of them as starts, going 3-7 with a 5.07 earned run average over 71 innings pitched, with 42 strikeouts and 41 walks.
He’d stick around the Minor Leagues through the 1981 season, ending up in the Minnesota Twins organization, before retiring for good.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Next up in the Awards thread is a 1975 card for the 1974 Cy Young winners, Mike Marshall and Jim “Catfish” Hunter, who put together a couple of monster seasons in 1974:

Starting off with Marshall, he put in a season for the ages coming out of the bullpen for the Los Angeles Dodgers on their way to the National League Pennant, appeared in a (still) Major League record 106 games, posting a record of 15-12 with a 2.42 earned run average along with a league-leading 21 saves.
The man pitched an incredible 208.1 innings out of the bullpen, striking out 143 batters while closing out 83 games for L.A.
His performance even got him a third place finish in the league Most Valuable Player race, finishing behind winner (and teammate) Steve Garvey and stolen base guru Lou Brock.
Over in the American League, Catfish Hunter edged out the Texas Rangers’ Fergie Jenkins, taking home the Award based on his league-leading 25 wins and 2.49 earned run average, along with six shutouts over his 41 starts and 23 complete games as he anchored an Oakland staff that led the team to their third straight World Series win.
It was his fourth straight 20-win season, to which he’d add the following season as a New York Yankee after becoming the first big-time Free Agent in baseball’s new age.
It’s still amazing to remember that Hunter’s career was over by the time he was 33, even though he already had 224 wins under his belt.
Wonder just how many wins he could have racked up had he been able to stick around to his late-30’s.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I haven’t done a “Baseball Brothers” card in a while, so let’s kick-start it again with a 1974 card for the Brinkmans, Ed and Chuck:

Older brother Ed made it to the big leagues first when he made the “big show” as a nineteen-year-old third baseman with the Washington Senators in 1961, eventually carving out a nice 15-year career that closed out with 45 games as a New York Yankee in 1975.
Though he came up as a third baseman he’d make his mark as a slick-fielding shortstop, leading the league in various defensive stats in the mid-60’s to early 1970’s, even taking home a Gold Glove in 1972 while with the Detroit Tigers.
Younger brother Chuck put together a six-year Major League career as a catcher, playing for the Chicago White Sox for all but the last four games of his Big League tenure.
Never really getting the chance to play full-time, the most action he’d see in any MLB season was in 1973 when he appeared in 63 games with Chicago, backing up Ed Herrmann.
All told, by the time he retired after the 1974 season he finished with a .172 career average, collecting 46 hits in 267 at-bats in 148 games.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Here’s a “career-capping” card for former big league catcher Ken Rudolph, who played the last 11 games of his nine-year career with the Baltimore Orioles after starting the season with the San Francisco Giants:

Rudolph played the first five years of his career with the Chicago Cubs, coming up during that tumultuous 1969 season, and would see the bulk of his MLB action with the organization.
Never more than a back-up catcher, he would see the bulk of his MLB action between 1972 and 1974, appearing in 173 of his career 328 Big League games, playing for the Cubs, Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Orioles.
By the time he retired after the 1977 season, he finished with a career average of .213, with 158 hits in 743 at-bats, along with 64 runs batted in and 55 runs scored with six homers thrown in.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Today we celebrate a grossly-overlooked star of the Cuban and Negro Leagues, Jose Mendez, who was a dominant pitcher and threw some legendary games against Major and Minor league teams in the early part of the 20th Century:

Mendez, whose career spanned 20 seasons between 1907 and 1926, put up some monster years in the Cuban League, posting documented records of 15-6, 11-2, 10-0 and 7-0 while winning three pennants in six years with Almendares.
His performance in 1908 made him a legend when he pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds including a one-hitter, then a few days later throwing a couple of shutouts including a no-hitter against a Minor League All-Star team, giving him 43 consecutive shutouts innings pitched.
His career record in the Cuban League was an incredible 76-28, good for a sparkling .731 winning percentage.
In the very first Negro League World Series in 1924, pitching for the Kansas City Monarchs, he appeared in four games against the Hilldale Club, going 2-0 with a shutout in the final game.
An early member of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, elected in 1939 1939, he would add to that honor by being inducted to the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame  in 2006.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Here’s a great card to add to my roster of missing-cards, a “not so missing” 1970 card for former outfielder Wayne Redmond of the Detroit Tigers, who ended up sporting a brief nine game career spread over two seasons, the last being 1969:

Redmond played what would turn out to be the last five games of his career in ‘69, going 0-for-3 at the plate in pinch-hitting roles.
In 1965 he would see the only other Major League action of his career when he was a September call-up and promptly went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in that time.
Curiously, he would actually have a Topps card, a shared multi-player card in 1971, two years after his last MLB appearance, AND depicted as a player on a team he wouldn’t end up playing for, Major or Minor, the Philadelphia Phillies!
According to he stuck around in the Pros until the 1973 season, playing for the Angels’, White Sox and Padres organizations before leaving the game for good.
Love stuff like this!


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