Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1978 card for former New York Mets third baseman Roy Staiger, who played in about a quarter of the season in 1977:

Staiger batted a respectable .252 for the Mets, with 31 hits over 123 at-bats, with a couple of homers, 16 runs scored  and eleven runs batted in exactly 40 games.
The previous season he had some substantial time in Queens, playing in 95 games, ending up with a .220 batting average based on 67 hits over 304 at-bats with career-highs in runs (23) and RBI’s (26).
After a trade to the New York Yankees for Sergio Ferrer in the off-season, he’d end up playing four more season of pro ball, all in the Yankees system, though he did appear in four games during the 1979 season, collecting three hits in 11 at-bats for a .273 average.
That would be all for his MLB tenure though, as he would end up with a batting average of .228, with 104 hits in 457 at-bats over 152 games in his four-year career.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Here’s a 1973 card for former pitcher Tom Dukes, who finished up a six-year career in 1972, appearing in seven games with the California Angels:

Dukes posted a record of 0-1 for the Angels, with a sparkling 1.64 earned run average over 11 innings pitched with eight strikeouts and nary a walk.
But that would be it for the 29 year-old pitcher in the Big Leagues, after coming up with the Houston Astros in 1967 he’d end up going 5-16 over his career, appearing in 161 games with 22 saves and an ERA of 4.35, all out of the bullpen for Houston, San Diego padres, Baltimore Orioles and Angels.

Monday, February 26, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1978 card for a four-year Major League pitcher who never actually got a card by the time he was done with pro ball, the Expos Gerry Hannahs:

Hannahs appeared in eight games for Montreal in 1977, going 1-5 with a 4.86 earned run average over 37 innings of work, all but one of those games as a starter.
His first taste of the Big Leagues was the year before, going 2-0 over three starts, with a bloated 6.75 ERA in 16 innings pitched.
He’d find himself with the pennant winning Los Angeles Dodgers in 1978, appearing in a single game, throwing two innings and getting hit hard, allowing three hits and two earned runs, though he did strikeout five of the six batters he faced.
In 1979, he’d appear in what would turn out to be the last four games of his Major League career, going 0-2 for the Dodgers with a 3.38 ERA over 16 innings pitched, finishing up with a career record of 3-7, along with an ERA of 5,07 over 16 games and 71 innings pitched.
It’s worthy to note that back in 1976, before being called up to Montreal, he had a fantastic Minor League season with the Quebec Metros of the Eastern League, going 20-6 with a 2.39 ERA and five shutouts over 26 starts.
After a couple of Minor League seasons in 1980 and 1981, including a nice 15-9 campaign with the Albuquerque Dukes in ‘80, he called it a playing career.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


We move on to the 1978 set and an imagined 1977 Cy Young Winners card in my running series of award-winners through the 1970’s, with Steve Carlton and Sparky Lyle:

In the National League, Carlton was once again on top of the NL pitching world, winning his second Cy Young with a brilliant 1977 campaign, leading the league with 23 wins while posting a 2.64 earned run average and 198 strikeouts over his 36 starts and 283 innings pitched.
Of course, he would go on to win two more awards, becoming the first pitcher ever to do so since the award was established in 1956, on his way to becoming one of the greatest lefty-pitchers of all-time with 329 wins and 4136 strikeouts over 24 seasons of Big League ball.
Needless to say Cooperstown was a lock by the time he was eligible, getting picked on 436 of 456 ballots in 1994, ensuring his place in baseball immortality.
Over in the American League, it was a bit of a “first”, as Sparky Lyle of the New York Yankees became the first relief pitcher in that league’s history to win the award, edging out two-time reigning king Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles.
Lyle had an amazing season for the eventual World Champs, posting a record of 13-5 with a 2.17 earned run average and 26 saves over 72 games and 137 innings pitched, all out of the bullpen of course.
As a matter of fact all of his 899 Major League appearances over his 16-year career would be out of the ‘pen, as he’d finish his career with a record of 99-76, with a very nice 2.88 ERA and 238 saves between 1967 and 1982.
It was a bit of a bittersweet award win for Lyle however, as the Yankees would soon acquire another all-star reliever, Rich Gossage.
This would lead to one of the great baseball quotes of the decade when third baseman Graig Nettles said to Lyle: “You went from Cy Young to Cy-onara”.
Classic, and true, as Lyle was shipped off to the Texas Rangers after the 1978 season in a trade that would net them, among others, a young pitcher named Dave Righetti, ironically enough the arm that would take over for Rich Gossage out of the bullpen years later.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Today I wanted to focus on the 1978 card for former St. Louis Cardinal’ pitcher Buddy Schultz, with its typical 1970’s Topps paint-job:

Nothing terribly out of the ordinary as far as airbrush jobs went for the era, however I never understood why it was even necessary since Schultz played with the Cardinals in 1977, appearing in 40 games with 37 of them out of the bullpen, pitching a total of 85.1 innings.
As a matter of fact he had a very nice season for St. Louis, going 6-1 with a 2.32 earned run average! So why wouldn’t Topps have an image of him suited up in the Cardinals uniform?
As for Schultz, he would pitch five years in the Majors, appearing in 168 games with his only starts being the aforementioned three in 1977.
He’d finish his career with a nice 15-9 record, along with a 3.68 ERA over exactly 240 innings pitched, with 12 saves and 193 strikeouts.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Today I post up a re-done card that truly, I would never dare replace since the original is one of the greatest cards of the decade, but nevertheless to keep the “Expansion 1977 Do-Overs” going, here it is, Chuck Hartenstein:

Re-done, yet still "trucker-licious"
Original card as released by Topps

Hartenstien, who last appeared in a Major League game in 1970 with the Boston Red Sox, would get drafted in the expansion draft in 1976 by the Toronto Blue Jays, which would lead to the great card you see above, airbrushed, and a great job I might add, showing him looking like some trucker ready to throw in a Merle Haggard 8-track while part of some convoy somewhere.
I have always loved this card. The shades, the sideburns, and especially knowing what he looked like years earlier, it’s the perfect card reflecting the era.
His “comeback” would be short however, as he would get hammered over his 13 appearances, going 0-2 with a bloated 6.59 earned run average, giving up 20 earned runs over 27.1 innings.
I was always also into cards of guys that hadn’t appeared in a Topps set for a while. Brock Davis, Danny Murphy, Vincente Romo also come to mind.
Anyway, seems Hartenstein’s pro career was over with the last game he appeared in with the Blue Jays, as it seems he never even pitched in a Minor League game again.
But long live the original Topps card and all it’s 70’s glory!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Here’s a “career-capping, not so missing” 1971 card for former catcher Don Bryant, who just wrapped up a brief three year Major League career, the last two of which were with the Houston Astros:

Bryant, who originally came up with the Chicago Cubs in 1966 and appeared in 13 games, missed out on the 1967 and 1968 seasons while he put in time in the San Francisco Giants Minor League system.
He’d make it back to the Big Leagues in 1969, appearing in 31 games for the Astros and batting .186 with eleven hits over 59 at-bats, followed by what would end up being the final 15 games of his MLB career in 1970, faring a little better at the plate with a .208 average while filling in at catcher.
In 1971 he’d find himself in the Boston Red Sox system, playing out the final three years of his pro career with the Louisville Colonels and Pawtucket Red Sox before retiring as a player after the 1973 season.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Came across this image of “Jay” Kelly, which turns out is none other than one-year wonder (and future long term Major League manager) Tom Kelly, and decided to make a 1970 card with it, since you can never have enough Seattle Pilots cards out there:

Kelly, who I still cannot find out whether he went by “Jay” at that time since the image was named this, was actually drafted by the Seattle organization back when he was a 17-year-old in 1968.
He put in a few seasons in their Minor League system before getting released in April of 1971, then getting signed by the organization for which he’d spend his long MLB life with, the Minnesota Twins less than a month later, on April 28th, 1971.
Basically a career-Minor Leaguer, Kelly would get the only taste of Major League playing time in 1975 when he appeared in 49 games for Minnesota, batting .181 with 23 hits over 127 at-bats.
He’d play another five years in the Minors, before retiring as a player in 1980 and moving on to coaching/managing soon after.
In 1986 he would become the Twins manager with only 23 games left in the season, a gig that would last another 15 years, guiding the team through two World Championships in 1987 and 1991.
He’d spend 16 years as a manager, all with the Twins, winning 1140 games and being the American League Manager of the Year in 1991.
Neat to find this image of the young teenager, almost 20 years before he’d find Major League glory with a championship, leading a team with stars like Puckett, Hrbek, Viola and Blyleven.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1976 card for former San Diego Padres outfielder John Scott, who appeared in 25 games during the 1975 season:

Scott would actually get his only Topps card as part of the 1978 set, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, for whom he played 79 games during their inaugural 1977 season.
But in 1975, he went 0-9 over those 25 games, though scoring nine runs with two stolen bases in pinch-running duties in his second taste of the Big Leagues.
In 1974 he appeared in 14 games for the Padres, collecting a single over 15 at-bats in his first Major League action, with three runs scored and a stolen base.
That aforementioned 1977 season with Toronto would be the last of his career, batting .240 with 56 hits in 233 at-bats, with 26 runs and 15 runs batted in, finishing up his brief three year career with a .222 batting average before moving on to Japan for a few seasons before calling it a career in 1982.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Here’s a “missing” 1977 card for former pitcher Eddie Solomon, “Buddy J”, who appeared in 26 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976:

Solomon posted an even 1-1 record during the Bicentennial year, pitching 37 innings with a 4.86 earned run average and 19 strikeouts.
He’d go on to pitch in the Majors through the 1982 season, finishing up with a record of 36-42 with a 4.00 ERA over 191 appearances, 95 of them starts, seeing the most action with the Atlanta Braves between 1977 and 1979.
Sadly, in 1986 at the age of only 34 he passed away in an automobile accident in Macon, Georgia, having last pitched in a pro game during the 1983 season in the Yankees Minor League system.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Next up in my long-running “Nicknames” series is Hall of Famer “Little Louie” Aparicio, shortstop extraordinaire and spark-plug over the course of his 18-year career:

Nowadays, we have a guy like Jose Altuve leading the way for players that are not built like mountains, and Aparicio fit that bill between 1956, when he took home the American League Rookie of the Year Award, through the 1973 season, when he retired with over 2600 hits, 1300 runs and more than 500 career stolen bases.
From 1956 through 1964 he led his league in steals every single time, that’s nine straight years, with a high of 57 in 1964 playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
He was both a member of the “Go-Go” Chicago White Sox in 1959, helping them reach the World Series, as well as the surprising 1966 World Champion Orioles, who shocked the world by sweeping the reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
The ten-time All-Star also took home nine Gold Glove Awards, teaming up with Nellie Fox to form one of the greatest double-play combos of all time.
He led the AL in fielding percentage eight straight years, between 1959 and 1966, while also leading in assists seven times, putouts four times and double-plays twice.
In 1984 he was selected for Cooperstown by the BBWAA, joining former teammates like Frank & Brooks Robinson & Early Wynn, with others like Nellie Fox and Jim Palmer joining him later on.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Next in the fun on-going 1970’s sub-set Awards series are the 1976 rookies of the year for the 1977 set, featuring three players since the National league had a tie:

In the N.L., two pitchers topped the voting for the rookie award, the Reds’ Pat Zachry and the Padres’ Butch Metzger, a starter and a reliever.
Beginning with the starter Zachry, how sweet it must have been to come up with the “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds in 1976, post a record of 14-7 with a sweet 2.74 earned run average, while your team was steamrolling to their second straight championship with a sweep of the New York Yankees in the World Series.
Zachry appeared in 38 games, 28 of which were starts, and put in 204 innings of work for the champs, with 143 strikeouts and a shutout along with six complete games.
For Metzger, (who I admittedly had to use his actual 1977 card image since there was no other usable shot to use), he had an equally impressive debut season, appearing in 77 games for the Padres, posting 16 saves while going 11-4 with a 2.92 E.R.A.
Typical of the era, even though all of his appearances were out of the bullpen, he still logged 123.1 innings of work, striking out 89 batters while finishing a league-leading 62 games.
In the American League, we all know who took home the award, an icon of 1970’s baseball, Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, who became a cultural phenomenon on his way to a freshman record of 19-9 with a league=leading 2.34 E.R.A. and completing an astounding 24 of 29 starts!
Those numbers not only got him the rookie award, but also had him start the 1976 All-Star game for the A.L., while also finishing runner-up to Jim Palmer for the Cy Young Award.
Sadly for him (and Detroit), Fidrych developed arm troubles and could never reach that level of success in the Majors again, pitching parts of the following four seasons, winning only 10 more games before calling it a career.
Nevertheless, the mark he left on the game will never be forgotten, joining a select few who would become a symbol of an era beyond the scope of sports.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Here’s a new one for the blog: I wanted to create a “not so missing” 1972 card for former Twin and future manager Chuck Manuel, but realized I had an image better suited for a 1973 card, which I already produced a while back. When I went and saw the previous 1973 card, I realized it actually had a better image for a 1972!
So I swapped images, and we end up with what you see here:

Manuel appeared in only 18 games for the Twins in 1971, batting .125 with two hits over 16 at-bats. He’d get a lot more playing time the following season, playing 63 games, but would end up playing in the Minors the entire 1973 season before making a brief MLB comeback in 1974 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, albeit only four games.
After another brief season with the Dodgers in 1975, Manuel would go and take his talents to Japan, where he would downright mash the ball between 1976 and 1981.
From 1977 to 1980, his home run totals were 42, 39, 37 and 48, while driving in no less than 94 runs for Yakult and Osaka Kintetsu.
Of course, we all now that after his playing days, he’d become a long time coach and manager in the Big Leagues, guiding the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies to the Post Season, winning it all with the Phillies in 2008 while taking home the NL Pennant the following year.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


It’s been a while since I whipped up a coach card, so today I’ll post a 1972 card for Hall of Famer and former AL MVP Nellie Fox, who was lending his expertise to the Texas Rangers after their relocation from Washington in the early-70’s:

Fox put together a brilliant Major League career, first as a Hall of Fame second baseman mainly for the Chicago White Sox, then as a coach later on, a true baseball life before sadly passing away at the young age of 47 in 1975.
He led the AL in hits four times in the 1950’s, and of course would lead the Chicago White Sox to the 1959 World Series, taking home the league’s MVP Award for his efforts.
By the time he retired as a player after two years with the Houston Astros in 1964-65, he finished with 2663 hits and a .288 batting average, with twelve all-star nods and three Gold Gloves.
Defensively, it’s incredible to see he led the American League in putouts every single season between 1952 and 1961, while leading the league’s second basemen in fielding percentage six times, double-plays five times and assists six times.
In 1997, the Veteran’s Committee selected Fox for the Hall of Fame, joining former teammates Luis Aparicio and Early Wynn from that 1959 pennant winning team.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Posted today is a “not so missing” 1975 card for former pitcher Barry Raziano, who appeared in 13 games for the California Angels during the 1974 season:

Raziano, whose first Major League games were the two he appeared in for the Kansas City Royals in 1973, posted a 1974 record of 1-2 for California, with a not-so-pretty 6.48 earned run average over 16.2 innings of work.
Turns out those would be the final games of his Big League career, sticking it out in the Minor Leagues through the 1977 season before retiring as a player for good after eleven seasons, with the aforementioned two on a Major League mound, 15 games, all out of the bullpen.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Here’s a “missing” 1973 card for a guy who finished up his career with 72 games with the World Champion Oakland A’s in 1972, infielder Tim Cullen:

Cullen hit a respectable .261 for the A’s while playing second, short and third, collecting 37 hits over 142 at-bats, with 10 runs scored and 15 runs batted in.
It was the only season he played out West with the A’s, spending 5 1/2 of his seven-year career with the team he came up with, the Washington Senators, with a partial season with the Chicago White Sox before going back to D.C. in 1968.
All told, Cullen finished up his career with a .220 batting average, with 387 hits in 1761 at-bats in exactly 700 MLB games between 1966 and 1972, with the final games of his career coming in the only Post Season action he’d see as a player, going 0-1 in the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Here’s a “career-capping” 1978 card for nine-year Major League veteran Luis Alvarado, who finished up his career with two games with the Detroit Tigers:

Alvarado only got into three total games in 1977, the first one being with the New York Mets after playing in 16 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976.
The bulk of his Big League playing time was with the Chicago White Sox, for whom he played between 1971 through part of the 1974 season, when he’d collect over 200 plate appearances in each campaign, topping out with 278 in 1971.
Never a starter in any of his Major League stops, he finished his career with a .214 batting average, with 248 hits in 1160 at-bats in 463 games while playing second, short and third.

Of course, we will also always remember perhaps the greatest card of the 1970's, which happened to be his 1973 slab. The stuff of legends!

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I have been meaning to add a proper “Career-Capper” for Joe Torre in the 1978 for a long time, and figured today would be as good a day as any to do it, so here goes:

Of course, Torre was closing out a very nice 18-year playing career in 1977 as Player-Manager of the New York Mets, and would get one of those sweet manager cards in the 1978 set (one of my favorite Topps lay-outs of all-time), but since I came across this image of him during that last season, I figured a dedicated “player card” would fit the bill.
The Brooklyn-native put together a career that had him take home an MVP Award in 1971 when with the St. Louis Cardinals, then as a third baseman.
But it’s easy to forget how he came up as a catcher and had some monster years for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves between 1961 and 1968 before being traded to St. Louis for Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda right before the 1969 season opened.
Five times he would top 100 runs batted in, while topping 200 hits twice, 20 home runs six times and a .300+ batting average five times on his way to career numbers of 1185 RBIs, 2342 hits, 252 homers and a very nice .297 MLB average.
He finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year race in 1961 behind future Hall of Famer Billy Williams, and was named to nine all-star teams over the course of his career.
Of course, though not necessarily Hall of Fame numbers, once he moved on to managing, particularly when he took over duties with the New York Yankees in 1996, his path to Cooperstown was laid out in front of him, leading the Bronx Bombers to World Series wins four times, including three in a row between 1998-2000, with the ‘98 team considered one of the best teams of all-time, winning 114 regular season games along with 11 more, steam-rolling through the San Diego Padres for a world championship.
Over 29 seasons as a manager, Torre finished with 2326 wins along with a nifty .538 winning percentage. Looking at his Yankee tenure, he finished an incredible 1173 and 767, good for a sparkling .605 percentage, averaging just under 100 wins a season!
So of course, in 2014 he made it into the Hall, being selected by the Veteran’s Committee after a combined 47 years in Major League ball as a player or manager.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


If I’m doing a 1975 “In Action” sub-set, you know I have to have a Hank Aaron card in there, so here it is, celebrating the new all-time home run king:

Aaron passed the great Babe Ruth with his 715th home run in April of 1974, and needless to say was the man of the hour when this card would have come out in 1975.
Of course, the man was such a legend of the game that he’s more than just the 715th homer. It’s easy to forget that he totaled 3771 hits, 2174 runs, 2297 runs batted in and finished his career above .300 with a .307 number over his 23 seasons in the Major Leagues.
The man was an all-star 21 years in a row, while taking home the National League MVP in 1957, with seven top-5 finishes as well.
“Hammerin’ Hank” topped 20 homer 20 consecutive years, topped 100-RBIs eleven times, copped two batting titles and scored over 100 runs an incredible 15 times!
I love just bringing up his career on Baseball-Reference to gawk at the incredible numbers year after year, even decade after decade.
Just amazing.

Friday, February 9, 2018


Today I post up a 1979 “not so missing” card for two-year Major League player Dave Machemer, who played the first ten games of his Big League career with the California Angels in 1978:

Machemer would bat a very respectable .273 with six hits over 22 at-bats for the Angels, collecting a homer and a double while driving in two runs while scoring six himself.
The following season he’d find himself in Detroit with the Tigers, as they drafted him from Baltimore in the Rule 5 Draft in December of 1978.
Sadly for him it didn’t translate to more time, as he’d only appear in 19 games for the Tigers, hitting .192 with five hits over 26 at-bats, in what turned out to be the final at-bats of his Major League career.
He’d stick around through the 1982 season in the Minor Leagues, the last two and a half in the Minnesota system, before retiring as a player.
Looking over his Minor League years, the man was a stolen base machine, topping 45 three different seasons while also adding in 36 in another, scoring over 100 runs twice and hitting as high as .324 in 1978 for the Salt Lake City Gulls in Triple-A ball.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1976 card for former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Larry Harlow, who made his MLB debut in 1975, appearing in four games:

Harlow went 1-for-3 in those four games with a run scored, but he’d have to put in another full year in the Minor Leagues in 1976 before making it back up for good.
After appearing in 46 games for the Orioles in 1977, he’d get his “real” rookie card in the 1978 set, sporting that nice orange O’s jersey.
He’d go on to put in six-years in the Big Leagues, batting .248 with 271 hits over 1094 at-bats, with 159 runs scored and 72 runs batted in for the Orioles and California Angels, for whom he’d play the final two and a half years of his career.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Time for the next entry in my long-running “Awards” thread with the 1976 MVPs on a 1977 card, two heavy-weights of 1970’s baseball, Joe Morgan and Thurman Munson:

In the National league, Morgan took home his second consecutive MVP with another incredible season that saw him hit .320 with 27 homers and 111 runs batted in, those last two numbers being career highs for the future Hall of Fame member.
As if that wasn’t already enough, he also stole 60 bases while scoring 113 runs for the “Big Red Machine”, who went on to win their second straight World Series, this time against the New York Yankees and THEIR MVP, catcher Thurman Munson.
For Munson, who also won the A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1970, he had what anyone would consider a “typical” Munson year, as he once again hit over .300 (.302), with a career-high 105 runs batted in and 17 homers while collecting 186 hits and scoring 79 runs.
Surprisingly, he also swiped 14 bases while only striking out 38 times over 616 at-bats while getting named to his fifth all-star team.
Of course, we know hat tragically, just less than three years later, Munson would die in a plane crash August of 1979, leaving many to wonder if he would have made the Hall of Fame like his 1976 MVP mate Joe Morgan.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Another fun card to whip up, here’s a 1971 “not so missing” Sam Parrilla card for a guy whose entire Major League career was exactly one month, from April 11th to May 11th of 1970 with the Philadelphia Phillies:

Parrilla played left field with some pinch-hitting duty thrown in during his brief time as a Major Leaguer, batting .125 with two hits over 16 official at-bats.
He began his pro career in 1963 in the Cleveland Indians’ organization, putting up some decent numbers before moving on to the Phillies system and his only action in the Big League.
He’d stick around in the Minors through the 1972 season before playing a year in the Mexican League with the Chihuahua Dorados, the last professional season of his career.
On a side note, his daughter is actress Lana Parrilla, who has starred in shows like Spin City, Once Upon A Time and “24”.
Sadly, in 1994 after a traffic accident, he was murdered after an argument ensued between he and someone involved in the car that rear-ended him in Brooklyn, NY, actually not too far from where I lived for some time.
The shooter was only 15-years-old.

Monday, February 5, 2018


Today’s post has a “not so missing” 1976 card for former pitcher Bill Gogolewski, who wrapped up a six-year Major League career in 1975:

Gogolewski appeared in 19 games for the Chicago White Sox, his only season with the team, not factoring in a decision while posting an ERA of 5.24 over 55 innings.
The previous season was spent with the Cleveland Indians after spending the first four years with the Washington/Texas organization, finishing up with a career record of 15-24, all those decisions coming with the Senators/Rangers between 1970 and 1973.
His finest year would be 1971 when he posted a record of 6-5 with a nice 2.75 ERA over 27 games for the Senators, 17 of them starts with four complete games and a shutout.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Time to go and look at another fine airbrush job by the folks at Topps during the 1970’s, this time the 1973 card for Dave LaRoche, who came over to the Chicago Cubs from the Minnesota Twins just in time for this:

Now that is one nifty “C” on his cap!
Definitely not the worst job, but comical nonetheless with the darkened outline around the logo.
LaRoche would spend 14-years in the Major Leagues, generally as a relief pitcher, appearing in 647 games, with only 15 of them starts between 1970 and 1983.
Of course, he’d also be remembered for his “La Lob” pitch, especially for us kids watching Yankee games in the early 1980’s when he was pitching for them between 1981 and 1983.
Overall he had a nice career, finishing up with a record of 65-58 with a respectable 3.53 earned run average, with 126 saves and two All-Star game nods.
Later on, two of his sons would go on to play Big league ball as well, with Adam and Andy getting 18-years of MLB time in between them.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Next up with my 1977 “Expansion Do-Overs” is the Bill Stein card, which originally used the same image of him the previous year wearing a Chicago White Sox uni:


Topps decided to go and use an image they already had out the a year before, which amazes me since I would think they’d have a few images of each player.
Nevertheless, time being the great “fixer”, they would go on to take proper pics of him in a Seattle uniform so I went and “fixed” it just over 40 years later.
Stein would go on to put in 14 years in the Big Leagues, and 1977 would be the only one of them that was a true full-season, appearing in 151 games for the new organization, with exactly 600 plate appearances.
He put in a nice season, hitting .259 with 13 homers and 67 runs batted in, along with 144 hits and 53 runs scored.
All except the batting average were easily career-highs in a career that spanned 1972 through 1985.
He’d finish his career with a .267 average with 751 hits over 2811 at-bats, appearing in 959 games.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Here’s another fun card to create, a 1971 card for a guy whose Major League career was just over a month long, St. Louis Cardinals Jim Campbell:

Campbell, who was a first baseman/outfielder in the Minors, was solely used as a pinch-hitter during his month-long stay in the Big Leagues during the Summer of 1970.
Over the course of 13 games, he went 3-for-13, good for a ,231 batting average, with an RBI, all off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
He’d never again get to appear in a Major League game, spending what would be his final pro season, 1971, in the Boston Red Sox Minor League system before retiring.
Originally in the Phillies system coming up in 1962, he put up some nice seasons in the Minors, particularly his 1963 season at the age of 20 when he hit 25 homers along with 101 runs batted in and an even .300 batting average.
As recently as the 1969 season, now in the Baltimore Orioles organization, he hit 20 homers, with 76 RBIs and a .274 average before finding himself in the St. Louis system.
Nevertheless, that period between June and July of 1970 would be the only taste of the “Big Show” he’d get, leaving me to create this addition to that great black-bordered set all these years later.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Next up in my ongoing 1975 “In Action” card sub-set is Hall of Famer (I will say that until it’s true!) Steve Garvey, who was the reigning National League MVP when this card would have found its way in packs, ready for the world:

Garvey just led the Los Angeles Dodgers to the World Series, where they were over-matched by three-peat champs the Oakland A’s.
The 1974 season would be the first of his six 200-hits years, along with the first of his five 100-RBI, six 20+ Home Run, six .300 B.A. and four Gold Glove seasons.
The 10x All-Star would go on to retire in 1987 with 272 homers, 2599 hits, 1308 runs batted in and a .294 batting average over 19 seasons, with only 11 of them full seasons.
The man was solid, day in and day out, and for the life of me, even though baseball has been my passion for over 40 years now, I will not understand the arguments AGAINST him for the Hall of Fame.

The man was clearly a better player than about two dozen men in the Hall at the moment, the Veteran's Committee made sure of that.


Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.