Sunday, December 31, 2017


I am psyched to have Bob Jonas contribute yet another awesome World Series sub-set, this time his 1973 edition, with seven great cards that should have been a part of that great 1973 set!
Here they are:

While Topps’ actual Series sub-set wasn’t terrible, actually pretty good, they seemed to miss some of the classic moments of the Fall Classic, sometimes using images that really could have been better.
I love these revised cards!
Of course, the 1972 series was the beginning of TWO dynasties in a sense.
We had what would become the first of three straight championships for the Oakland A’s, who had stars like Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Catfish Hunter and Joe Rudi anchoring their team, and on the other side we had what was already turning out to be one of the greatest teams ever, with the “Big Red Machine” gaining steam, eventually taking home two straight World Series wins in 1975 and 1976.
Keep’em coming Bob!!! I’ll happily post them as you create them!

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Here’s a 1979 card for two-year Major League first baseman Skip James, who played for the San Francisco Giants during the 1977 and 1978 seasons:

During the 1978 season James batted .095 with two hits over 21 at-bats, scoring five runs while driving in three over 41 games.
That would be the last Major League action he’d see in his brief career, as he’d spend the 1979 season in the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system before playing out his pro career in Japan for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1980.

Friday, December 29, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1971 card for former infielder Lou Klimchock, who wrapped up a 12-year career in 1970 with 41 games for the Cleveland Indians:

Klimchock batted .161 with nine hits over 56 at-bats for the Indians while filling in at first and second base, with some pinch-hitting duties thrown in.
The previous year he saw the most action in any one Big League season, appearing in 90 games for Cleveland while collecting 258 at-bats.
He hit a very respectable .287 with 74 hits, setting career-highs across the board with 26 runs, six homers and 26 runs batted in.
He finished his career with 155 hits over 318 games and 669 at-bats, hitting .232 with 13 homers and 69 ribbies and 64 runs scored.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Back in November of 2014, as part of my “1976 Project” for my buddy Jim, I created a “missing” Dick Sharon card using the best image we had available at the time.
Since then a couple of better Topps images were released, and we updated the card, yet I never posted it here on the blog, so here goes:

Here’s the original write-up on Sharon as well:

“After appearing the previous two years in Topps sets as a Detroit Tiger, Sharon was left out of the 1976 set, even though he played in 91 games for the Padres, good for 191 plate appearances.
His numbers for the year: a .194 batting average, with 31 hits in 160 at-bats.
Among his hits were seven doubles and four homers to go along with 14 runs scored and 20 runs batted in.
As it turned out it would be the final year of Sharon's brief three-year career, and he finished up with a lifetime .218 batting average with 13 homers and 102 hits over 242 games.
But his story doesn't end there!
I came across this article on Sharon as I was looking over his career for this post.
Seems he was one of those characters that graced the game in the 1970's, and the article is an entertaining read for those interested:

He even commented on the article! (scroll down to the bottom of the article for his post).
You have to love a guy like this!”

Just one more step to getting my all-time favorite set fully represented!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Was going through my 1972’s recently and the Bobby Pfeil caught my eye because of the airbrush job.
So when I looked up his career to see if he even played after that (for a possible “not really missing in action” card), I saw he never even played for Boston, and never even played in another Major League game again:

After coming up to the Majors at the right time, as a member of the 19769 New York Mets, playing in 62 games and batting .232 with 49 hits over 211 at-bats, he’d spend all of 1970 in the Philadelphia Phillies system after being traded there for Ron Allen.
Making it back to the Big Leagues in 1971, he’d play in 44 games for the Phillies, batting .271 with 19 hits over 70 at-bats while playing seven different positions.
However, after being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in February of 1972, then getting purchased by Boston a little over a month later, he’d spend the entire 1972 season playing for the Louisville Colonels,  Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, putting in a very nice year with a solid .272 average with 134 hits and 65 runs scored.
But that would be it for his career, as he was out of pro ball for good after that season, leaving us with one of many quirky cards of the era of guys pictured as members of a team they never actually ended up playing for.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


After earlier creating “not so missing” 1974 and 1976 cards for former Red Sox second baseman Buddy Hunter, it’s time to finish it off and present a 1972 “not so missing” card, thus having a card for each season he played, albeit brief, in the Major Leagues:

Hunter appeared in eight games in his first taste of the Big Leagues, going 2-for-9 with two runs scored, good for a batting average of .222.
He’d play in 13, then one game respectively in 1973 and 1975, all for Boston, representing the entirety of his MLB action, finishing with five hits in 17 at-bats, good for a very respectable .294 career average over 22 games.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Merry Christmas everyone!!! And may 2018 be a banner year for all of us!!!
Here’s a “not so missing” 1974 card for a guy who pitched a total of four innings the year before, spread over two appearances, Mike Thompson:

Thompson was back in the Major Leagues after spending all of 1972 in the Minor Leagues, not factoring in a decision in that brief action for St. Louis.
In 1971 he had his first taste of the Majors, going 1-6 for the Washington Senators with a 4.86 earned run average.
He would go on to split the 1974 season between St. Louis and the Atlanta Braves, posting a record of 0-3 before finishing up his four year career in 1975 going 0-6 for Atlanta.
All told the numbers weren’t pretty, finishing with a career 1-15 record over 54 appearances and 164.2 innings pitched, with a 4.86 E.R.A.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Forgive me for forgetting, but some time ago someone asked if I’d re=do the 1974 Billy Martin card, since it had a killer airbrush job.
Well, here it is! But first the original:

Now for the re-do:

I still for the life of me cannot figure out why Topps didn’t have a proper image of him as a Texas Ranger manager since he actually finished up the previous season leading them over the last 23 games.
Strange that they wouldn’t have a good shot of him to use on his 1974 card.
Regardless, Martin would lead the Rangers to a strong showing in 1974, finishing in second place and producing the league’s MVP in Jeff Burroughs and Rookie of the Year in Mike Hargrove.
As a matter of fact, they almost pulled off the trifecta with their ace, Fergie Jenkins, finishing in second place in the Cy Young voting! Pretty amazing!
Martin himself would manage for 16 tumultuous seasons in the Major Leagues, leading four different teams to first place finishes, and winning a World Championship along the way in 1977 with the New York Yankees.
A huge baseball personality that sadly died way too soon on Christmas day in 1989. RIP Billy.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


Time to go and give Bill “Soup” Campbell a “Nickname of the 1970’s” card in my long-running series through that colorful decade we all love:

Campbell was putting together two straight monster seasons out of the bullpen, the first for the Minnesota Twins, the second with the Boston Red Sox, in 1976 and 1977 respectively.
In 1976 with Minnesota, he posted an incredible record of 17-5 with a 3.01 earned run average over 78 appearances and 167.2 innings pitched, all out of the ‘pen. That performance would get him both Cy Young and MVP attention, and rightly so.
After being granted free agency in the Winter of ‘76, he’d bring his talents to Boston where he’d continue his success, going 13-9 with a league-leading 31 saves and a 2.96 ERA over 69 appearances.
30 wins and 51 saves in two seasons and 307 innings! Just amazing how relievers were used back then.
He’d end up putting in 15 years as a Major Leaguer, finishing with exactly 700 appearances along with a 83-68 record and 126 saves.

Friday, December 22, 2017


Here’s a 1975 card for Randy Elliott, who played in 13 games for the San Diego Padres in 1974, his second stint as a Major League player:

Elliott first came up during the 1972 season as a September call-up with San Diego before playing all of 1973 in their Minor League system.
Making it back in 1974, Elliott batted .212 with seven hits over 33 at-bats with a couple of runs batted in and his first MLB home run.
He would spend the entire 1975 season in the Minors again, and though I can’t seem to uncover why, he would miss all of 1976 before going straight to the Majors in 1977, this time with the San Francisco Giants, where he’d see the most action of his brief career, appearing in 73 games and batting.240 with 40 hits in 167 official at-bats.
Once again, he would miss the following season, this time for what Baseball-Reference has listed as “voluntarily retired”, which seemed to end in 1980 since he made it all the way back to the Majors, now with the Oakland A’s.
After just 14 games with Oakland in 1980, he retired for good, finishing up with a .215 batting average over four spread-out seasons between 1972 and 1980.
Strange career.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1972 card for former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher John Lamb, who appeared in just two games for the eventual World Champs the year before:

Lamb had his first taste of the big leagues in 1970, going 0-1 with a nice 2.78 earned run average over 23 appearances and 32.1 innings pitched, all in relief.
In 1971 he didn’t factor in a decision while pitching 4.1 innings of scoreless ball in his brief time up in Major League ball.
He’d spend the entire 1972 season in the Minors, but would make it back in 1973 in what would end up being his last taste of the Majors, going 0-1 over 22 appearances and 29.2 innings, with a bloated 6.07 ERA with a couple of saves.
He’d be back toiling in the Minors the following year, and would stay there through the 1974 season before retiring for good, leaving the Majors with an 0-2 record over 47 games and 66.1 innings, with an ERA of 4.07.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


I am MORE than happy to bring you a 1976 World Series sub-set graciously contributed by Bob Jonas, who sent these to me a little while back.
I just had to post them up here so we could FINALLY have a decent World Series sub-set in the 1976 set since Topps really dropped the ball after such an incredible Fall Classic:

After a World Series that gave us dramatic moments in almost every game, from the all-time post-season blast from Carlton Fisk, to the Ed Armbrister “non-interference” bunt, to Tony Perez’s two-homer game. All leading to the first of two straight championships by the “Big Red Machine”, this World Series was instantly one of the classics.
Yet when the (glorious) 1976 set game out, we were given this lame post-season sub-set that left you wondering where on earth the fine folks of Topps were during the month of October in 1975!
Hey Bob! I decided to go with the original Game 7 card you designed, with the awesome photo of Will McEnaney in Johnny Bench’s arms. The look on his face is priceless!!!
Thanks to Bob for these! Hope you all like them as much as I do!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Time to go ahead and spotlight another classic Hostess photo, courtesy of Topps, the George Scott image used for their 1977 set:

“Boomer’ was on his way back to Boston after spending the past five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, bringing his thunderous bat to Fenway.
Of course, that meant that the people at Hostess had to get it “right” for their upcoming set, so off we went yet again to “airbrush” and the neon goodness you see here.
What a wild color job for the helmet! I love it!
Always cool to see how they would do ONLY the amount of painting needed to get on the card, with odd finishing points leaving the original showing underneath.
I guess the OCD designer in me would just finish the whole thing!
Scott would not disappoint the fine folks of Boston, clubbing 33 homers along with 95 runs batted in for the powerful Red Sox team that also had Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Yaz and company.
He’d retire after the 1979 season, finishing up with 271 homers and 1051 RBIs, with a .268 batting average and just under 2000 hits (1992).

Monday, December 18, 2017


Here’s a “not so missing” 1970 card for a pitcher who appeared in the only seven Major League games of his career in September of 1969, Gary Taylor:

Taylor came up for his cup-of-coffee with the Detroit Tigers at the age of 23 and went on to post a record of 0-1 with an earned run average of 5.23 over 10.1 innings.
It would be his only time spent on a Big League mound as he’d return to the Minors in 1970, where he’d play the final two years of his Pro career in Detroit’s system before retiring for good.
Before his call-up in 1969 he had a nice year in the Minors, going 15-8 with a 3.41 ERA over 37 games, 17 of which were starts. Easily his finest season of his six-year professional career.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Among all the other crazy cards we’ve seen in the 1977 Topps set with the addition of Toronto and Seattle to the Majors, we also have Grant Jackson, who Topps managed to get in with his “new” team after finishing off the 1976 campaign as a member of the New York Yankees:

Once again however, as we’ve seen with other players who were picked in the expansion draft of 1976, Jackson ended up never playing for the team that drafted him, as Seattle turned right around and traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates about a month later, right after Topps had their 1977 set finalized.
Drafter by Seattle with the 11th pick in the expansion draft on November 9th of 1976, Jackson just finished an excellent run for the American League champ Yankees after he came over from the Baltimore Orioles.
Helping them down the stretch, he put together a record of 6-0 with a brilliant 1.69 earned run average over 21 appearances, eight of them starts.
Already a 12-year veteran of the Majors, I don’t know why the Yanks didn’t try to keep him for the following season.
Anyway, after being selected by the new organization, they turned right around on December 7th and traded him to the Pirates, where he’d play the next four and a half years, including their championship season of 1979, where he went 8-5 with a 2.96 ERA over 72 games, along with 14 saves.
He’d finish his career after the 1982 season, putting in 18 years on a Major League mound, with a nice 86-75 record with a 3.46 ERA over 692 appearances, 83 of them starts, and 1358.2 innings pitched.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Today I serve up a “not so missing” 1979 card for former Mariners pitcher Tom Brown, who appeared in the only six games of his brief career in September of 1978:

Between September 14th and October 1st, Brown threw 13 innings for Seattle, not figuring in a decision along with a 4.15 earned run average, with eight strikeouts and four base on balls.
He would never make it back on a Major League mound, pitching the next three years in the Minors for the Texas, Cleveland and Toronto organizations.
While looking into his short career I noticed that he originally started his pro career in 1971 in the Kansas City Royals system as a 21-year-old, yet seemed to be off the map until he hooked up with the Baton Rouge Cougars of the Gulf Coast League in 1976.
I can’t find anything regarding those missed years in between, and what led him to the GCL five years later.
Anyone have more info on him? I tried Google but didn’t come up with anything.


Friday, December 15, 2017


Been a little while since I added to my running “coach card” thread, so today I’ll post a 1974 card for baseball lifer Jimmie Reese.
If there was ever a definitive figure for the term “lifer”, Reese was it:

Beginning his professional playing career in the Pacific Coast League way back in 1924 with the Oakland Oaks, he would make it up to the Major leagues in 1930, suiting up for the New York Yankees as a back-up second baseman for Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri, famously being Babe Ruth’s roommate, or as he liked to put it, “Babe Ruth’s suitcase’s roommate”.
After two years with the club, Reese was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals where he’d play in 1932 before returning to the PCL where he remained an active player through the 1938 season.
After World War II, where he served in the Army in 1942 & 1943, he began his incredibly long career as a scout and coach, a tenure that would take him all the way to 1994, the last 22 years of which were served as coach for the California Angels.
70 years as a professional baseball figure, and often referred to as the “nicest man in baseball”.
Just amazing to think of all he saw or was a part of.
An incredible life.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Here’s a “missing” 1972 Tommy Dean card to close out his brief four year career, three of which were the first three years of the San Diego franchise:

Dean originally came up in 1967 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, appearing in 12 games towards the end of the season and batting .143 with four hits over 28 at-bats.
After spending 1968 in the Minors, he was traded by the Dodgers along with Leon Everitt to the Padres for pitcher Al McBean, and got some consistent playing-time at shortstop, though he hit for a low .176 batting average over 308 plate appearances.
In both 1970 and 1971 he saw limited action, 61 and 41 games respectively, filling in at short, second and third while batting under .200 combined.
For the 1971 season, his last, he hit .114 with eight hits over 70 at-bats, all singles, with an RBI and two runs scored.
Oddly, I have no record of him playing in any level of Pro ball after this MLB time in 1971, according to Baseball-Reference.
Curious to know what, if anything, happened.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


“Groove”, what an awesome nickname, and that’s the moniker given to one of my favorite Yanks during my high school years, former slugger and good-guy Don Baylor:

Of course, by the time he came to the Bronx he was already an established star of the game, even taking home the American League MVP in 1979 after a monster year where he led the league with both 120 runs scored and 139 runs batted in.
Heck, the guy even stole as many as 52 bases one season, back in 1976 in his only year with the Oakland A’s after getting sent there from Baltimore as part of the blockbuster Reggie Jackson deal.
I just always loved his quiet way about things, especially during the insane George Steinbrenner years!
I hated that the Yanks traded him to Boston (of all places) straight up for Mike Easler. Not knocking Easler by any means! But Baylor was well-liked by a ton of us kids in NYC back then.
Anyway, I chose the 1979 format for his nickname card to celebrate his MVP year.
While looking over his career I was shocked, and STILL am, that he was named to only ONE all-star team over his excellent 19-year career! Can you believe that?
Only during his 1979 season was Baylor on the all-star team, which to be seems unbelievable since he was consistently a very good hitter, and well-liked around the league.
How he was never even a reserve over the years baffles me.
The late, great Don Baylor, who sadly passed away this past year at the age of only 68. Here’s to you “Groove”!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Here’s a card that I actually created a while ago, as well as a card subject many others have done before, the “missing” 1973 Fred Stanley card:

Stanley, aka “Chicken”, originally came up with the Seattle Pilots in their lone 1969 season, moving with them to Milwaukee in 1970 before playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1971,
He’d start the year with the Indians, but get shipped off to San Diego after only nine games, appearing in another 39 games for the mustard and brown clad Padres where he’d bat an even .200 with 17 hits over 85 at-bats.
Of course, by the time the new season started in 1973 he found himself as a member of the New York Yankees, where he would go on to play the next eight years, including two championship seasons in 1977 and 1978.
He’d finish off his 14-year career with two seasons in Oakland, playing through the 1982 campaign before retiring with a career .216 batting average, along with 356 hits over 1650 at-bats while generally playing short and second with some third base work thrown in through the years.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Hey, I know I’m straying a bit here, but thought it’d be fun to look at the 1978 image that was used on the Dave Kingman Hostess card, showing the paint job executed to have him suited up as a Chicago Cub, his new team after an insane 1977 season that saw him suit up for four OTHER teams:

Actually not really a bad job I have to say. I like the lighting/shadowing done on the batting helmet! Great work there.
“Kong”, the enigma. After slugging for the Mets, Padres, Angels and Yankees in 1977 he found somewhat of a home on the North Side of Chicago where he’d play for three years before returning to Queens in 1981.
The poster child for “all or nothing”, he’d finish his career with 442 homers, including a whopping 35 in his final MLB season in 1986, along with 1816 strikeouts in only 6677 at-bats, which paired up with his .236 career average tells you where his game was at!
But I loved the guy. Really an odd bird as far as players are concerned, and I’m all for that!
Seems today’s game could use some “Dave Kingmans” sprinkled throughout the league.
I’ll be covering some other Hostess cards from the 1970’s, as they had some whoppers of paint-jobs on the images used. Just too good to pass up!

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Why not go and give former Hall of Fame pitcher Bob “Hoot” Gibson a nickname card? After all, any chance to create another card for the fire-balling right-hander is more than welcomed!
So here’s my 1971 “Nickname” card:

Gibson just posted his second Cy Young winning season in 1970, posting a career-high 23 wins along with 274 strikeouts and a 3.12 earned run average.
It was his fifth 20-win season in six years, eventually settling for 251 wins as a Big League ace, along with 3117 strikeouts (only the second pitcher ever to reach that mark), 56 shutouts and a brilliant 2.91 E.R.A.
Let’s not forget that the man could field as well, as seen by his nine Gold Gloves, along with the fact that he could hit too, with 24 homers and 144 runs batted in over his 17-year career!
A legend of the game, he was a “gimmie” for the Hall of Fame once eligible in 1981, getting named on 337 of 401 ballots cast.
Stories of Gibson’s fierce competitive streak are legendary, and I love each and every one of them!

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Always love adding to the 1977 set, and today we have another, a card for former Cubs pitcher Ken Frailing, who pitched the last games of his five-year career in 1976:

Over six appearances, three of them starts, Frailing posted a record of 1-2 with a nice 2.41 earned run average in 18.2 innings.
That would give him a career 10-16 record on a Big League mound, all played in Chicago, with the White Sox in 1972 & 1973, then the Cubs the rest of the way, spread out over 116 appearances, 19 of which were starts.

Friday, December 8, 2017


Let’s cap-off the nice nine-year career of Mike Epstein with a “missing” 1975 card for the last 18 games of his MLB tenure, for which he played for the California Angels in 1974:

Epstein, slapped with what I am assuming was a time-appropriate nom-de-plume “Superjew”, batted .161 in his last taste of Major League action, with four homers among his 10 hits over 18 games.
He had a very nice year in 1969 when he slammed 30 homers for the Washington Senators, driving in 85 runs with a .278 batting average, even getting some MVP attention for his efforts.
The same would happen in 1972, now playing with the World Champ A’s, when he hit 26 homers with 70 RBIs along with a .270 batting average, easily his second best season in the Big Leagues.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get this guy in my 1975 “In-Action” series, but here you go, the great Nolan Ryan in the thick of his prime:

The man just reeled off his third 300+ strikeout season in 1974 with a monster 367 K total to go along with a career-high 22 wins for the California Angels, finishing third in the American League Cy Young race.
Incredibly enough it was his second straight 20-win season, and the only such seasons of his legendary 27-year Major League career, yet still ending up with 324 wins.
“The Ryan Express” also happened to walk a whopping 202 walks in 1974, a total he would actually top in 1977 when he issued 204.
Then, unbelievably in his MID-30’s, he harnessed that control to the point that when he struck out 301 batters in 1989 at the age of freakin’ 42, he “only” walked 98.
The man just wasn’t of this earth.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Time to give a Major League icon, Boston Red Sox long-time player and coach (and even manager) a 1976 coach card:

This was a man who put in about 73 years in the Major Leagues in one position or another: player, coach, manager, instructor. You name it, the man did it.
Incredible baseball life that started with him as a teammate of Jimmie Foxx, all the way through the Red Sox two World Series wins of 2004 and 2007.
As a kid I was always amazed by his 200+ seasons to start his career, with THREE years in between lost to the war!
He also scored 100+ runs each of the first six seasons of his career!
A career .307 hitter, he retired as a player after the 1954 season before moving on to coaching, and sticking around until his death in 2012.
Just amazing.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Here’s a card from the 1977 set that BEGS for a “re-do”, the oddly painted up Rick Jones card, which was originally a black and white image it seems.
Take a look at the Topps original out that Spring:

Now here's the re-done version I created for the blog:

Along with the 1978 Greg Minton and Mike Paxton cards, it’s a rarely seen tactic Topps used in the decade when it appears a color image wasn’t available (how, I will never know).
Jones appeared in 24 games for the Red Sox in 1976, putting in a nice performance as he posted a 5-3 record along with a 3.36 earned run average, starting 14 of those appearances.
Once onto Seattle however, he didn’t fair so well, going 1-4 with a 5.10 ERA over ten appearances, all starts and 42,1 innings of work.
The following year he’d make only three appearances for Seattle, starting two games and going 0-2 before spending 1979 and 1980 in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system, posting double-digit wins each year, yet leaving the game for good at the age of 25.
Interesting to see his 1975 minor league season, as he posted a record of 20-7 with a 2.67 ERA and 177 strikeouts over 29 starts and 226 innings at the age of only 20.

Monday, December 4, 2017


Today we celebrate the 1975 Most Valuable Players, Joe Morgan and Fred Lynn, in my ongoing “Awards Sub-Set” through the 1970s:

In the National league, Morgan brought the MVP back to Cincinnati, following in the footsteps of teammates Pete Rose and Johnny Bench.
Morgan had a killer season for the “Big Red Machine”, as they were on their way to the first of two straight championships.
Really putting it all together that season after a great career already that had him get ripped off a Rookie of the Year in 1965, and getting named to five all-star teams, Morgan went on to bat a career high .327 with 107 runs scored, 17 homers, 94 runs batted in and a Major League leading 132 walks.
Oh yeah, he also “chipped in” 52 steals as well!
In the American League, it was something never seen before in the Majors, as the Boston Red Sox Fred Lynn BURST onto the big league stage in the biggest way possible, taking home both the Rookie of the Year Award as well as the MVP award, becoming the first player ever to do so.
That performance helped the Red Sox get to the World Series for the first time since 1967, facing off against the Joe Morgan led Reds.
Lynn’s season was awesome, as he batted .331 with a league-leading 103 runs scored and 47 doubles, along with 105 runs batted in and 21 homers.
Paired up with another rookie that season, Jim Rice, and it was easy to see why the Red Sox were such a powerhouse that season.
Two great players of the era taking home the hardware.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Today we have a “not so missing” 1978 card for Angel Torres, Cincinnati Reds pitcher who appeared in the only five games of his brief career during the last few weeks of the 1977 season:

Torres made his first appearance in a Major League mound on September 12th, 1977, and his last on October 2nd, pitching to a nifty E.R.A. of 2.16 without a record over 8.1 innings of work.
In that time he also issued eight walks while also whiffing eight, allowing only two earned runs all out of the bullpen.
With that decent initial showing you’d think he’d have another shot at a job the following year, but he would end up pitching the next three years in the Minors, never making it back to the Majors before calling it a career after a 2-7 record with a bloated 6.00 E.R.A. in 1980 with Indianapolis of the American Association.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


The latest creation for my long time “Nicknames” thread is “Mr. Tiger” Al Kaline, Detroit legend and Hall of Famer:

Kaline was an institution in the Motor City, coming up at the age of 18, winning a batting title at the age of 20, retiring after the 1974 season, all 22 years of his career with the same team.
The 15-time all-star topped 3000 hits, 1600 runs, 1500 runs batted in and came one home run short of 400 over his stellar career, which also included 10 Gold Gloves for his defensive prowess.
An easy Hall of Fame pick, he was inducted in his first year of eligibility in 1980 with 88.3% of the ballots cast.
“Mr. Tiger” indeed!

Friday, December 1, 2017


Came across the original airbrushed image of Darcy Fast that appeared in the 1972 set, and wanted to delve a little deeper into it.
First off, here’s the 1972 Padres rookie-card that showed up in packs in 1972:

Now, here’s the original negative that the people at Topps touched up to show Fast with his new team, though you can clearly see the Chicago Cubs uni on him:

Funny thing is, at that time Fast appeared in his ONLY Major League games back in 1968, with the Cubs as a 21-year old, and never made it back to a Big League mound.
In eight appearances during the 1968 season he posted a record of 0-1 with a bloated 5.40 earned run average in 10 innings of work, with a very nice 10 strikeouts but a not-so nice eight walks.
As a matter of fact, Darcy Fast didn’t even suit up with ANY organization in 1971, last pitching for the Padres minor league Salt Lake City Bees in 1970 after starting out the year with the Tacoma Cubs.
Strange that Topps didn’t have any other players to include in the set that year but a guy who not only didn’t play in the Majors the previous season, but the Minors as well!
Turns out Darcy would never see another pro game regardless of level again, making for an odd inclusion in the set, with a classic Topps paint-job to boot!


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