Friday, November 30, 2018


Time to go and add “Stretch” Willie McCovey, who recently passed away on Halloween day, to the growing “1975 In-Action” sub-set I’ve been creating over the past couple years:

McCovey was beginning to enter the twilight of his Hall of Fame career which spanned 22 seasons between 1959 and 1980.
Over that time he took home a Rookie of the Year when he burst onto the Major League scene with a .354 average and 13 homers in 52 games in 1959, an MVP in 1969 when he led the league with 45 homers, 126 runs batted in, a .453 OBP and a .612 slugging percentage, while getting six All-Star nods.
By the time he hung them up for good, he finished with 521 homers, 15555 RBIs, 1229 runs scored and 2211 hits playing for the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and a brief 11-game stretch with the Oakland A’s at the end of the 1976 season.
In 1986, in his 1st year of eligibility, he was voted into the Hall with 81.4% of the vote, an easy first-try inductee for the man from Mobile, Alabama.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1975 card for former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jerry Bell, who finished up a brief four-year Major League career with five appearances during the 1974 season:

Bell, who originally came up to the Big Leagues with eight appearances in 1971, pitched to a 1-0 record in 1974, with a nice 2.57 earned run average over 14 innings of work.
The previous season had him see the most action in any one season, making 31 appearances, with 25 of them starts, going 9-9 with a 3.97 ERA in 183.2 innings along with eight complete games and a save.
But for whatever reason, he never made it back to the Big Leagues again, spending all of 1975 in the Minors before retiring when the year was over.
For his career, Bell finished at 17-11, with a nice 3.28 ERA over 69 games and 283 innings pitched, striking out 89 with eight complete games and a single save.
Some of you may remember Bell from the 1972 Darrell Porter rookie card with the images swapped, with Bell always signing over “Darrell Porter” on the card years later. Hilarious.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1977 card for a two-game Major Leaguer, former White Sox catcher George Enright, who despite nine years in the Minor Leagues, only got the briefest of Big League action:

Enright finally made it up to the Majors in August of 1976 after five seasons of Minor League ball, then getting into his second, and last, game about a month later, going 0-1 at the plate while spending seven innings behind the plate.
Sadly for him that would all he’d get, as he’d be back in the Minors for 1977, where he’d stay through the 1980 season before retiring for good at the age of only 26.
Nevertheless, he got to taste that Big League magic for two games, more than any of us can say. Cheers George!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


It’s about time I get around to creating a “Nicknames of the ‘70’s” card for Red Sox all-star outfielder Dwight “Dewey” Evans, who formed a third of what was an extraordinary young outfield for the Boston franchise in the late-70’s/Early-80s:

Evans was part of the amazing outfield comprised of himself, Jim Rice and Fred Lynn who all came up in the mid-70’s and went on to excellent Major League careers.
For Evans, it was a career that lasted 20-years, all but one, his last in 1991 with the Baltimore Orioles, with Boston.
This was a career that included eight Gold Gloves and three All-Star nods, while finishing in the top-10 in American League MVP voting four times, while finishing up with 2446 hits, 385 home runs and 1384 runs batted in, all with a .272 average in over 2600 games and just under 9000 at-bats.
Let’s not forget that the man had an absolute gun for an arm out in right-field while being one of the top outfielders in the Junior Circuit over the course of his career.
Often overshadowed by teammates throughout his career, Evans would end up as a borderline Hall of Famer, outplaying many of the very guys that got the spotlight.

Monday, November 26, 2018


Today we have a 1979 “not so missing” card for former Seattle Mariners infielder Jose Baez, who finished up a brief two-year Major League career in 1978:

Baez was originally up with the 1977 inaugural Mariner team, getting his first taste of the Big Leagues and appearing in 91 games for the new franchise, hitting .259 with 79 hits over 305 official at-bats.
In 1978 he fell to only 23 appearances, batting .160 with eight hits in 50 at-bats, generally playing second base with a few games at third.
Turns out that would be it for him in the Majors, as he would go on to play another season of Minor League ball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization before going on to two seasons of Mexican League ball until 1980 before retiring.
For his MLB tenure, Baez finished with a .245 average, collecting 87 hits over 355 at-bats in 114 games, all for the Mariners.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


Time to go and give former speedster Larry Lintz a “not so missing” 1978 card after another season of a “designated running” for the Oakland A’s in 1977:

Lintz, who didn’t quite get the full-on “D.R.” action that Herb Washington had before him, did play in 41 games, with only 40 plate appearances, stealing 13 bases while scoring 11 runs for Oakland.
The previous year, his first with the A’s, Lintz appeared in 68 games, yet had only four plate appearances, scoring 21 runs while stealing 31 bases for the go-go team that stole over 300, 341 to be exact!
But Lintz’s MLB days were coming to a close, as he’d find himself with the Cleveland Indians the following year, appearing in only three games before being out of Big League ball for good.
All told, he played in 350 games during his career between 1973 and 1978, hitting .227 while scoring 137 runs and stealing 128 bases in 616 at-bats and 756 plate appearances.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Super-fun card to create today, my 1972 card celebrating the great Bob Gibson and his no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 14th of 1971:

For Gibson, he came into the game at 10-10 for the season, just one year removed from picking up his second Cy Young Award.
But on this day he had everything working for him against the eventual World Champion Pirates, who had a line-up of heavy hitters.
Over the next 2 hours and 22 minutes, Gibson would set the Pirates down one by one, allowing only three walks while striking out 10, while also staked out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning thanks in part to a three-run home run by Joe Hague.
Joe Torre and Ted Simmons both went 4-for-6 at the plate, while Gibson helped himself as well with a 1-for-4 game with three runs batted in.
He’d go on to finish the year at 16-13, with a 3.04 ERA while leading the league with five shutouts over 31 starts and 245.2 innings of work.
Of note, he also finished the season with 185 strikeouts, the first time he didn’t reach 200 in a non-injury season (1967) since 1961.
Nevertheless, he also collected his seventh Gold Glove that season, while also finishing fifth in the Cy Young Race.
What a career.

Friday, November 23, 2018


Today we have a “not so missing” 1974 card for former Atlanta Braves pitcher Jimmy Freeman, he of a brief two-season Major League career in the early part of the decade:

Freeman saw Big League action in both the 1972 and 1973 seasons, albeit only six and 13 games respectively.
While he posted a record of 2-2 with a 6.00 earned run average in 1972 as a September call-up, he went 0-2 in 1973, with an ERA at 7.71 over 13 appearances, five of them starts, in 37.1 innings pitched.
He’d go on to pitch another three years in the Minors, for the Atlanta,  Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals organizations before retiring for good after the 1976 season.
All told, he finished his MLB career with a record of 2-4, with an ERA at 6.87 over 19 appearances and 73.1 innings pitched

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Today I post up a “not so missing” 1970 card for former outfielder Bill McNulty, who played his first Major League games in 1969:

McNulty didn’t quite have a debut to remember, as he would appear in five games for the Oakland A’s and go hitless over 17 at-bats, striking out 10 times. Ouch.
He’d spend the next two years in the Minors before making it all the way back in 1972, albeit for four games, going 1-for-10 along with a couple of walks.
That would be it for him on a Major League field, as he’d go on to play three more years in the Minors before some time in Japan before retiring as a player after the 1975 season.
But get this. His 1974 season for Sacramento in the Milwaukee Brewers system was one of the top seasons of the decade, in ANY leagues!
That year, in 144 games and 526 at-bats, McNulty hit 55 homers with 135 runs batted in, along with 135 runs scored.
He slashed a .329/.438/.690 line for the year and it’s really something that he didn’t get a chance to join the other Brewer sluggers on the Big League level.
As a matter of fact, McNulty hit 20 or more homers the final seven years of his pro career, dating back to 1969.
Even in his last season of 1975, he finished with 24 homers, in only 104 games, with 63 RBIs and 54 runs scored.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Here’s a “not so missing” 1971 card for former Third Baseman Terry Hughes, who made his Major League debut in 1970 with three games for the Chicago Cubs:

Hughes was drafted #2 overall by Chicago in the 1967 Amateur Draft, and would have some decent years in the Minors before making it up to the Big Leagues as a September call-up.
Sadly for him however, he’d be back in the Minors all of 1971 and 1972 before getting another shot on a Major League field, now as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1973 with eleven games, in which he hit .214 with three hits over 14 at-bats.
The following year he’d see the most action in his brief three-year career, playing in 41 games for the Boston Red Sox, enough action to get him a Topps card in the 1975 set.
He hit .203 for the Red Sox in 1974, but once again would go on to play another two full seasons in the Minors before retiring for good as a player after a Triple-A season with Tulsa in the St. Louis system.
All told, Hughes hit .209 over 54 games, collecting 18 hits, including a homer, with seven RBI’s and six runs scored.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Way back in June of 2015 I created a “missing” 1976 card for former San Diego Padres third baseman Steve Huntz for the long-running “1976 Project” for my buddy Jim.
Recently, I came across a much better image to use for the card, so I went ahead and re-did the card using the better photo:

Here’s what I originally wrote for the blog-post back then:

“After playing in 35 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1971, Huntz bounced around in the Minors before coming back up to the "Big Show" in 1975 with the San Diego Padres.
He appeared in 22 games, good for 62 plate appearances.
He tallied eight hits in 53 at-bats, good for a .151 batting average, with four doubles, four runs batted in and three runs scored.
It would turn out to be the last of his Major League playing time, as he'd suit up for the Padres Triple-A Hawaii team in 1976 and 1977 before retiring for good.
Could have been a decent "Long Time No See" card since he last appeared in the 1972 set.
One final note, Huntz was part of the trade that brought slugger Dick Allen to the North Side of Chicago when he was traded along with Tommy John to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the "Wampum Walloper" in December of '71.

Monday, November 19, 2018


Up on the blog today is a 1973 card for a guy who’ll get a few “missing” cards on this blog before I’m done, first baseman Joe Lis:

Lis appeared in 62 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972, batting .243 with 34 hits over 140 at-bats, certainly enough action to warrant a card in the 1973 set.
He would end up putting in eight seasons in the Major Leagues, batting .233 with 182 hits in 780 at-bats over 356 career games, with 32 homers, 92 runs batted in and 96 runs scored.
The most he ever played in any one season was in 1973 while with the Minnesota Twins when he appeared in 103 games, hitting .245 over 286 plate appearances, with nine homers and 25 RBIs.
He’d eventually end his career with nine games playing fore the inaugural 1977 Seattle Mariners before playing a season in Japan in 1978, returning for one last Minor League season in 1979, his last as a pro.

Sunday, November 18, 2018


I’ll use any reason to post up about one of the great underrated players of the era, Vada Pinson, so today I’m taking a look at his 1970 card and wondering: was this card airbrushed?

I keep going back and forth, never really deciding for sure either way.
Pinson was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals on November 21st of 1969 for Jose Cardenal, so I don’t believe even with a later-series card in the 1970 set Topps would have had a chance to shoot him in an Indians uni, especially with the photography problems they had at that time.
So what this looks like is an older shot of him with the Cincinnati Reds, and they very cleverly took the “C” logo and gently outlined it in “Indians-blue”.
Genius. Very simple, but very effective.
As for Pinson, I’ve always loved his career, and wonder had he not played the bulk of his Big League time in the shadows of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente and Frank Robinson, would he have made it all the way to the Hall of Fame.
Four-times he’d collect over 200 hits, seven times over 20-home runs, nine times over 20-stolen bases, and the man only made two All-Star teams!
Just an awesome career that saw him finish with over 2700 hits, 250 homers and 300 stolen bases, while also collecting over 480 doubles and 120 triples.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Though he began his Major League career later in the decade, I have to add Andre Dawson, aka “The Hawk” to be long-running “Nicknames of the 1970’s” thread:

Dawson came up and took home the National League Rookie of the Year in 1977 and just kept on putting in All-Star seasons for over the next 20 years, punching his ticket for the Hall of Fame.
Eight-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove, 1987 N.L. MVP, the man was one of the best in the game, and yet incredibly was STILL overlooked through much of his career, playing up North with the Montreal Expos.
The five-time 20/20 guy stole as many as 39 bases in a season (1982), while hitting as many as 49 homers (1987), twice finishing second in the MVP race (1981 and 1983).
By the time he retired after the 1996 season he finished with 438 homers with 314 stolen bases, 2774 hits and 1591 runs batted in, finally making it into Cooperstown in 2010.
What a player...

Friday, November 16, 2018


On the blog today we have a 1978 “not so missing” card for former infielder Jim Morrison, who made his MLB debut in September of 1977, on his way to a nice 12-year career:

Morrison appeared in five games for the Philadelphia Phillies in that 1977 call-up, batting a robust .429 with three hits in seven at-bats with three runs scored.
He would go on to put together a very respectable career, mainly with the Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom he played ten seasons combined.
Over his career he only had the chance at a full season twice, and he put in very good years both times:
In 1980 he appeared in all 162 games for the White Sox and hit ..283 with 171 hits, 40 doubles and 15 home runs, along with 57 runs batted in and 66 runs scored.
Then years later in 1986, now with the Pirates, he played in 154 games and went on to post career highs with 23 home runs and 88 runs batted in, while also batting .274 with 35 doubles.
Those are some really good numbers for a guy that was really a platoon player most of his career.
By the time he retired after the 1988 season, he finished with a .260 batting average, with 876 hits and 112 homers, with 371 runs scored and 435 RBIs in 1089 games.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


On the blog this morning we have a special “No-Hitter” card for one of the great games of the decade, Rick Wise and his gem on June 23rd of 1971, when he not only held the powerful Cincinnati Reds line-up hitless, but he helped his own cause with TWO two-run home-runs. Just amazing:

I wrote about this game a while ago on the blog, so I’ll use that here:
“Wise's incredible game took place on June 23 (43 years to the day I am writing this actually!), 1971, and as I mentioned earlier, was against the freakin' "Big Red Machine" of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez et al!
Talk about an extra "oomph" of an accomplishment!
The guy goes out and no-hits a killer line-up, and also slams TWO home runs, good for three of the four runs the Phillies score that day (a Roger Freed double accounting for the other)!
It's easy to forget that the guy put together a really solid Major League career, finishing with a 188-181 record to go along with a 3.69 earned run average, 30 shutouts and 1647 strikeouts over 506 games (455 starts) between 1964 and 1982.
Yes he'll always be remembered for being the "wrong" side of the Steve Carlton trade (ironically enough during the off-season after his no-hit year), but if not for an injury-plagued season in 1974 while with the Red Sox, he could have been a 200-game winner.”
It’s also worth remembering that the Reds, well on their way to the “Big Red Machine” days, were no-hit twice in the month of June, by Wise and by Ken Holtzman just three weeks before.
Go figure...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Here’s a fun card to create, a 1976 Ron Clark for the former infielder, who made it back to the Big Leagues for one single game in 1975 after spending the previous two years in the Minors:

Clark, who last played in the Big Leagues in 1972, splitting the season with the Oakland A’s and Milwaukee Brewers, made it all the way back in late-September and got in what was to be his last appearance, striking out in his one at-bat against the New York Mets on September 26th.
Between 1966 and 1971 he played for the Twins, Seattle Pilots, and A’s before that split season of ‘72, generally as a shortstop and third baseman.
Sadly, the man was never able to get above the “Mendoza Line”, his average never getting above .193. Ouch.
Turns out that one at-bat with the Phillies in 1975 would be the last at-bat as a pro, deciding to retire rather than continue on in the Minors after 1975.
He’d finish his career with a .189 batting average, with exactly 100 hits in 530 at-bats in 230 games, with 40 runs scored and 43 runs batted in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Up on the blog this morning, a “not so missing” 1978 card for a guy who played in only seven games during his Major League career, Craig Cacek, whose entire Big League tenure took place in July of 1977 with the Houston Astros:

Cacek collected one hit over 20 at-bats, with a run batted in, during his brief taste on a Major League field, but don’t let that fool you.
Looking at his Minor League career really leaves me wondering why he never got a legitimate shot since he had some solid years between 1972 and 1982.
Playing the bulk of his pro career with the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates, Cacek showed some “pop” in his bat while consistently driving in runs and having a batting average around .300.
You’d think someone along the way would have at the very LEAST called him up to see what he could contribute.
Five times he topped a .300 average, with a high of 324 in 1976, with as many as 102 runs batted in, which he did during the 1980 season while in the Pittsburgh organization.
Instead, he was left with those seven games in the Summer of 1977, with that .050 average down in history.
He finally retired for good at only 27 years of age after a season in the California Angels’ system in 1982, again putting up decent numbers.

Monday, November 12, 2018


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1975 card for former Phillies pitcher Ron Diorio, who had a two-year Major League career encompassing 25 games between 1973 and 1974:

Diorio played in only two games during the 1974 season, with the rest during his MLB debut in 1973.
Over those two seasons he did not factor in a decision, while sporting an earned run average of 3.10.
His 1973 season was pretty good considering he fashioned an ERA of 2.33 over 19.1 innings with a save, striking out 11 batters while walking six.
Nevertheless, between 1975 and 1977 he’d toil in the Minors for the Montreal Expos and New York Yankees, never getting that change back up in the Big Leagues again, retiring for good at the age of 30.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Time to go an add should-be Hall of Fame catcher Ted Simmons of the St. Louis Cardinals to my ongoing 1975 “In-Action” thread:

“Simba” was smack in the middle of an incredible run for ANY catcher in Major League history, collecting over 190 hits twice, driving in over 100 runs twice, while hitting as high as .332, getting named to the National League All-Star team three straight years between 1972-1974.
The man went on to have one of the greatest MLB careers for catchers, playing 21-years for the Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves, hitting .285 with 248 home runs and 1389 runs batted in and scoring 1074 runs, with 2472 hits and 483 doubles.
Along the way he made eight All-Star teams while getting MVP consideration seven seasons, yet unbelievably, when it was time for him to get some Hall of Fame love in 1994, he only received 3.7% of the vote, knocking him of the ballot after only one year. Just ridiculous.
Seriously, this was one of those moments when I realized how much of a joke the HOF is, and I’ve been sour on it ever since.
Anyway, Ted Simmons, if not under the shadows of Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, would be in, and had an amazing career that should be appreciated a lot more.

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Just had to venture North to profile an OPC 1977 airbrush job for former catcher Joe Ferguson, who got the neon-treatment from Topps on this card:

After splitting the 1976 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, Ferguson was traded over to Houston in November for Jerry DaVanon and Larry Dierker.
Not having a chance to get him in that beautiful Astros uniform, the people at Topps went to work and gave us (as in Canada) this gem, a seemingly hand-drawn orange blob of a cap with v-neck piping to cover up what I am assuming is a Dodger uni.
Gotta love it!
As for Ferguson, he had himself a nice 14-year Major League career, really acting as a back-up or platooning catcher, with only two seasons seeing him get as many as 500 plate appearances: 1973 with L.A. and 1977 with Houston.
His 1973 season with the Dodgers got him some MVP consideration, as he hit .263 with 25 homers and 88 runs batted in, along with 87 walks and 84 runs scored. Not bad at all!
For his career, he finished with a .240 average with 122 homers and 445 RBIs, with 719 hits over 3001 at-bats.

Friday, November 9, 2018


Today on the blog I have a “not so missing” 1974 card for Designated Hitter Don Castle, who appeared in only four games during the 1973 season, the only Major League games he’d play in for his career, though he had a productive eleven year career in the Minors between 1968 and 1978:

In those four appearances Castle hit .308 with four hits over 13 at-bats, with a double and two runs batted in for the Texas Rangers as a September call-up.
This was after toiling in the Rangers’ system for six years, finally getting that break and making a very nice first impression.
Sadly for him however, he never got that chance again and I’ve always wondered why considering he went on to have another five good seasons in the Minors through the 1978 season.
In 1974, still with Texas, he hit .256 with 17 homers and 72 runs batted in before finding himself with the New York Yankees, where he played in their system for the final four years of his pro career.
While in the Yankees system he put up some nice numbers, hitting as many as 24 homers with 78 RBIs (1977), and hitting as high as .279, which happened to be his last season as a pro in 1978.
Strange that no one could have used his bat somewhere in that time, especially in the offensive “dead era” of the mid-70’s in the American League.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1975 card for former Minnesota Twins pitcher Danny Fife who had a brief two-year Major League career between 1973 & 1974:

Fife appeared in only four games for the Twins in 1974, not factoring in a decision while sporting an earned run average at 17.36 over 4.2 innings.
Turns out those would be the last appearances on a Big League mound for the righty, who made his debut in 1973 when he went 3-2 with an ERA at 4.35 over 10 appearances and 51.2 innings of work.
After only eight appearances in the Minor Leagues during the 1975 season where he went 3-1 with a 3.56 ERA, he called it a career.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Admittedly, today’s card is a bit of a cheat since he wasn’t really an active player in 1977, but I couldn’t resist creating a “Then & Now” card for the great Minnie Minoso, who made his historic appearance as a player during the 1976 season:

As I stated recently when I posted his “Nickname of the 1970’s” card about a week ago, I always felt the appearances he made in both 1976 and 1980 may have actually hurt him as far as Hall of Fame selection in the future, with the circus-like feel of the promotional gimmicks.
Nevertheless, the man’s career is incredibly underrated, and perhaps in the future he’ll find his way into Cooperstown, though sadly after his passing.
Of course we remember that Minoso had a card in the 1977 set as a “Record Breaker” for becoming the oldest player to collect a hit when he did so over eight at-bats at the age of 50, hence the 1977 template for this card.
Definitely a fun card to add to the collection! I would have been in awe of seeing a 1952 card way back then, at the age of eight. Probably didn’t see one until a couple years later.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Today I post up a 1977 “not so missing” card for career Detroit Tigers outfielder Marvin Lane, who played the last of his MLB games during the 1976 season:

Lane appeared in 18 games that year, batting .188 while collecting nine hits over 48 at-bats, driving in five while scoring nine.
It was a return to a Big League field after spending all of 1975 in the Minors, the first year without any MLB action since 1970.
Between 1971 and 1974 he played 72 games, the bulk of which was in 1974 when he played in 50 games, batting .233 with 24 hits and 16 runs scored while driving in nine, all career-highs.
He actually spent all nine years of his pro career in the Detroit organization, and when when he retired for good after the 1977 season he finished with a Major League batting average of .207, with 37 hits in 179 at-bats, with three homers and 17 RBIs, scoring 23 runs.

Monday, November 5, 2018


Today’s blog post has a “not really missing” 1973 card for former pitcher Tommy Moore, who made his MLB debut in 1972 with three appearances for the New York Mets:

Moore put together a nice 2.92 earned run average over 12.1 innings of work for the Mets,striking out five, though not factoring in a decision in his first taste of the Big Leagues.
He’d appear in another three games the following season, with much different results, sporting a bloated 10.80 ERA over 3.1 innings pitched, taking one loss against no-wins.
He’d spend all of 1974 in the Minors before making it back to a Big League mound in 1975, starting the season with the St. Louis Cardinals before moving on to the Texas Rangers, going a combined 0-2 with a 6.13 ERA over 39.2 innings.
Again, he would spend an entire year in the Minor Leagues, this time the Bicentennial year of 1976 before being purchased by the new Seattle Mariner organization, going on to appear in what would be his last Major League games, 14 to be exact, during the team’s inaugural season of 1977.
He went 2-1 for Seattle, with an ERA of 4.91 over 33 innings, starting one of those appearances, striking out 13 while walking 21.
All told, he finished his brief career with a record of 2-4, along with an ERA of 5.40 over 42 appearances, three of them starts, and 88.1 innings pitched.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


Time to add to my “Traded” series through the 1970’s with a 1971 edition for former All-Star Felipe Alou, who found himself with the New York Yankees just after the season started after a trade from the Oakland A’s for Rob Gardner and Ron Klimkowski:

Alou did not disappoint, hitting .289 for the Yanks the rest of the way driving in 69 runs while playing the outfield with some first base thrown in.
The 36-year old was winding down an excellent 17-year Major League career that saw him make three All-Star games, top the National League in hits twice with 218 in 1966 and 210 in 1968, runs with 122 in ‘66 and total bases with 355 that same season.
By the time he retired after a few games with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1974 he finished with 2101 hits and 206 homers with 985 runs scored and 852 RBIs, with a very nice .286 batting average.
Of course we all also remember him going on to becoming a Major League manager, leading the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001 before taking over the San Francisco Giants in 2003, managing them until 2006, while also being a part of that baseball family that included brother Matty and Jesus, son Moises, cousin Jose Sosa and nephew Mel Rojas.
Just amazing.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Today we take a good look at another great airbrush gem from Topps during the wild-70’s, that of former Detroit Tigers outfielder Jim Northrup,,who found himself finishing up a very nice career in Baltimore as a member of the Orioles after eleven-years in the Motor City:

Actually Northrup came over to the Orioles after a brief stint with the Montreal Expos, for whom he played 21 games for before playing eight with the O’s at the end of the 1974 season.
Obviously you can see that the Topps artists simply took an image of him in a Tigers’ uni and went to town on his cap, seemingly using all the orange he could find to make that bill and logo POP!
Turns out he’d play in 84 games in his final Major League season of 1975, batting .273 with five homers and 29 runs batted in over 194 at-bats.
During his time with the Tigers he topped 20-homers three times while giving Detroit some excellent seasons in the late-60’s/early-70’s.
By the time he retired, he finished with a career .267 average with 153 home runs and 610 RBIs, with 603 runs scored and 1254 hits.
Incredibly, I never realized he never made an All-Star team, not even as a substitute during his entire career.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Today I post up a “not so missing” 1974 card for former Houston Astros first baseman Rafael Batista, who appeared in 12 games in 1973 of what would be a brief two-year career:

Batista hit .267 with four hits over 15 at-bats for the Astros as a 27-year old making it to the Big Leagues for the first time toiling for nine years in the Minors.
After spending all of 1974 in the Minors yet again, he made it back in 1975 with 10 games, collecting three hits, all as a pinch-hitter .
Sadly for him that would be all as far as his Major League career went, though he would go on to play nine seasons in the Mexican League until the age of 38 playing mainly for the Cordoba Cafeteros.
For his Big League tenure, Batista finished with a .280 average, with seven hits in 20 at-bats with two runs scored and two RBIs.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Here’s a 1978 “not really missing” card for former Chicago White Sox outfielder Nyls Nyman, who appeared in a single game during the 1977 season, his last game as a Big Leaguer:

Nyman capped-off a brief four-year Major League career which really encompassed the 1975 season when he played in 106 games. That’s 106 of the lifetime 120 games he played in his entire tenure in the Majors.
Originally up for five games in 1974, he then played eight games in 1976 before that last single game in 1977.
In that game he went 0-1 at the plate before returning to the Minor Leagues for the rest of the season, where he’d remain for another two seasons before retiring for good at the end of 1979.
All told, Nyman finished his career with a .238 average with 85 hits over 357 at-bats in 120 games, with 43 runs scored and 33 runs batted in.


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