Friday, May 31, 2019


Today we have a “not so missing” 1971 card for two-year Major League pitcher Ray Jarvis of the Boston Red Sox, who played the last games of his Big League career in 1970 :

Jarvis appeared in 15 games for Boston in 1970, pitching to a record of 0-1 with an earned run average of 3.94 over 16 innings pitched.
The previous season he made his Big League debut, appearing in 29 games, with 12 of them starts, and finishing his rookie year with a record of 5-6, with an ERA of 4.75 in 100.1 innings of work.
He would spend all of 1971 in the California Angels Minor League system, going 4-4 with a bloated 5.88 ERA over 24 appearances, before retiring from pro ball.
All told, he finished his MLB career with a record of 5-7 over 44 appearances, with an ERA at 4.64 over 116.1 innings pitched, along with two complete games and a save, all for the Red Sox.

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Love creating cards for players like today’s subject, one-year Major Leaguer Frank Snook of the San Diego Padres, with a BONUS “Washington” edition as well:

Snook, who happened to hail from the same Central New Jersey area that I moved to (Somerville), appeared in 18 games for the Padres in 1973, going 0-2 with an earned run average of 3.62 over 27.1 innings of work including a save, all out of the bullpen.
But that 1973 action would end up being the sum total of his Big League tenure, as he would go on the spend the next two years in the Minor Leagues, split between the Padres and New York Yankees organizations.
I couldn’t help but create a “Washington National League” version as well, celebrating that debacle that was the close call with the Padre franchise moving to the Nation’s capitol, yet never happened.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Time to go and give former All-Star shortstop Larry “Gnat” Bowa a “Nicknames of the 1970’s” card in my long-running series through the wind decade:

Bowa is really kind of overlooked these days when it comes to his playing days, taking home a couple of Gold Gloves and being named to five All-Star games during the 1970’s.
He was part of a resurgent Philadelphia Phillies team that also had guys like Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Dave cash and Greg Luzinski, helping the organization head to the post-season for the first time since 1950.
It’s funny to think that Bowa was given a nickname like “Gnat”, or even “Pee Wee” considering the man was 5’10” tall. In my neighborhood of Italian-Americans at the time of his playing days that made you one of the taller dudes!
Nevertheless, by the time Bowa hung up the cleats after 16-years, he finished with over 2000 hits, 300 stolen bases and just under 1000 runs scored.
I loved his time as a coach for the New York Yankees, and to be honest I was hoping he’d be the guy to take over for Joe Torre back in 2008, the gig that eventually went to Joe Girardi.
Oh well.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former San Diego Padre third baseman Dave Hilton, who turns out played the last games of his Major League career during the 1975 season:

Hilton, who was picked first overall in the January amateur draft back in 1871 after coming out of Rice University, appeared in four games for San Diego in 1975, going hitless in eight at-bats.
He only played parts of four seasons in the Big Leagues, spanning 1972 through 1975, never living up to that early promise coming out of College.
He’d go on to play another four years of professional ball through the 1981 season but never get the call back up, retiring by the age of 30.
It’s also worth mentioning that in 1977, two years after his last MLB action, Hilton was given a spot in Topps’ baseball card set airbrushed into a Toronto Blue Jays uni after being purchased by the new franchise along with Dave Roberts and John Scott, yet never playing for them.
Just part of the madness that was expansion for Topps that year!
All told, Hilton finished his Big League career with a career .213 batting average over 161 games and 506 at-bats, with 108 hits, 40 runs scored and 33 runs batted in.

Monday, May 27, 2019


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1973 card for former California Angels pitcher Dave Sells, who made his Big League debut during the 1972 season:

Sells had a nice first taste of the Majors, going 2-0 with a 2.81 earned run average over 10 appearances and 16 innings of work.
He’d go 7-2 in 1973 with a 3.71 ERA over 51 appearances, including 10 saves over 68 innings pitched, all which would end up being career highs.
He would pitch another two seasons in the Big Leagues, going a combined 2-5 with both the Angels and five games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1975, which would end up being the last of his career.
All told he finished his time in the Majors with a record of 11-7, posting an ERA of 3.90 over 90 appearances and 138.1 innings pitched, with 12 saves.

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Time for yet another “missing” card for a guy who I have already created a couple of others over the years, former catcher Tim Blackwell, who started off his Major League career with the Boston Red Sox in 1974 but didn’t get a spot in Topps 1975 set:

Blackwell appeared in 44 games for the Red Sox in 1974, hitting .246 over 122 at-bats, collecting the first 30 hits of what turned out to be a 10-year career.
Never really a full-time player, the bulk of his MLB tenure was with the Chicago Cubs between 1978 and 1981, where he had his best year, in 1980 when he played in 103 games, hitting .272 with 87 hits and setting personal bests in pretty much every category because of the extra playing time.
After a couple of years with the Montreal Expos in 1982 and 1983, he retired, finishing up with a career .228 average, with 238 hits in 1044 at-bats in 426 games.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


Today we’re looking at the airbrush job Topps gave Terry Crowley for his move from one league powerhouse to another, the Baltimore Orioles to the Cincinnati Reds in 1975:

Along with Merv Rettenmund, Crowley had the extreme pleasure of playing for both the American League’s and National League’s top winning teams of the 1970’s, the 1970 Baltimore Orioles team and the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.
Not too shabby!
However Crowley, who originally came up with Baltimore in 1969, was purchased by the Texas Rangers in December of 1973 before being purchased by the Reds in March of 1974, which leads me to this question: why didn’t Topps have an image of him suited up with the Reds since played in 84 games for them in ‘74?
Odd that they needed to go ahead and airbrush an image after over a half a season’s worth of action the year before.
Nevertheless, Crowley got to be a part of the “Big Red Machine’s” 1975 championship team before moving on to the Atlanta Braves for seven games at the beginning of 1976 before getting released in May, then picked up by his original team, the Orioles, for whom he’d play through the 1982 season.
He would play his final year in 1984 with the Montreal Expos, appearing in 50 games, before retiring with a .250 career average with 379 hits over 1518 at-bats in 865 games.
Never more than a fill-in/pinch hitter, Crowley never had more than 283 plate appearances in any one season through his career, with only two years of more than 200.
But he lasted 15-years in the Big Leagues, playing on two World Champ squads, and five Pennant winners.

Friday, May 24, 2019


Here was a really fun card to add to my 1977 collection, a “not so missing” edition for one-game Major League pitcher Al Autry of the Atlanta Braves:

Autry got his spot in the Big League sun on September 14th of 1976, starting and throwing five innings, striking out three while giving up three runs for an ERA of 5.40.
It was good enough for the win! So he earned a victory in his MLB debut, which sadly for him turned out to be the sum total of his Big League tenure.
He would end up spending all of 1977 in the Minor Leagues for the Atlanta organization, before moving on to the St. Louis Cardinals system in 1978, where he was used mainly out of the bullpen.
He would call it a career after that, spending 10 years in pro ball between 1969 and 1978, including that one solitary game in the Fall of 1976, walking away with a win.

Thursday, May 23, 2019


The next no-hitter through the 1970’s that gets a spotlight in my long running thread is the gem tossed by young “cocky” San Francisco right-hander John Montefusco:

The reigning National league Rookie of the Year came into the 1976 season with high expectations and didn’t disappoint, culminating with a 9-0 win over the Atlanta Braves, keeping them hitless and giving the Major Leagues their fourth no-hitter of the Bicentennial season.
Coming into the game with a 15-14 record, Montefusco came within one pitch of a Perfect Game, settling for the no-hitter that only had a walk to lead-off hitter Jerry Royster .
He struck out four while completing his no-no in just under two hours, at one hour and 59 minutes to be exact. Can you imaging a game these days coming in under two hours?
The no-hitter gave Montefusco an NL leading six shutouts for the season, finishing up with a 16-14 record, along with an ERA of 2.84 with 11 complete games and 172 strikeouts in 253.1 innings of work.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1979 card for former reliever Ed Farmer, who made it back to the Majors after struggling for a few years, now with the Milwaukee Brewers:

Farmer, who was originally up to the Majors in 1971 with the Cleveland Indians but eventually spent all of 1975 and 1976 in the Minors before one appearance with Baltimore in 1977, appeared in three games for the Brewers in 1978, going 1-0 with a sparkling 0.82 earned run average over 11 innings.
It was indeed the beginning of a comeback for the righty as he went on to play for another five seasons in the Big Leagues, even making the American League All-Star team in 1980 when he had his best season, saving 30 games for the Chicago White Sox, pitching to an ERA of 3.34 over 64 appearances.
By the time he retired after the 1983 season he finished up with a record of 30-43, with 75 saves over 370 appearances and 624 innings pitched over 11 Major League seasons.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Let’s go and give long-time catcher Rick Demspey a “not so missing” 1973 card to help fill-out his incredible 24-year run in the Majors:

Dempsey appeared in 25 games for the Minnesota Twins during the 1972 season, hitting an even .200 with eight hits over 40 at-bats.
It was already his fourth taste of the Big Leagues at just 22 years of age, initially up during the 1969 season as a 19-year-old when he saw action in five games.
Of course, we know know that he would go on to play in four decades, playing 24 years between 1969 and 1992, mainly for the Baltimore Orioles, as well as short stints with the New York Yankees, Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers.
Never a full-time player, he was an important platooning or “off the bench” catcher that would be a part of two World Championship teams (1983 Orioles and 1988 Dodgers), even taking home the 1983 World Series MVP when he hit .385 for Baltimore in their win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
By the time he retired, he ended up with a career .233 average, with 1093 hits in 4692 at-bats over 1765 games, while also being a huge jokester cracking fans up along the way.
I’ll always remember his rain-delay act with over-stuffed uniform as he “slip and slid” across the tarp while with the Orioles some time during the early-80’s.
Great career.

Monday, May 20, 2019


Time to add to the “missing” Roger Freed cards of the 1970’s, this time with a 1975 edition depicting his brief time with the “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds:

Freed only appeared in six games for the Reds during the 1974 season, hitting .333 with two hits over six at-bats, before going on to spend another full season in the Minor Leagues in 1975.
It was the story of his professional career as he would produce monster numbers in the Minors (twice being named Minor League Player of the Year) but never getting that full-time chance in the Big Leagues.
He’d play parts of eight seasons in the Majors, hitting .245 with 22 homers and 109 runs batted in over 344 games and 717 at-bats, before retiring for good after another year in the Minors in 1980.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


I just had to create a 1970 “special” card when I came across this image of the 1969 American League starting line-up for the All-Star game, which was held in Washington D.C.:

How fitting that the towering player smack in the middle of the Junior Circuit’s squad is the Senators’ slugging star Frank Howard, aka “Hondo”, surrounded by guys like Rico Petrocelli, Sal Bando, Bill Freehan, Boog Powell, Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew.
I’ll take that line-up any day of the week!
Completing the line-up was starter Mel Stottlemyre of the New York Yankees, though sadly for them they would fall to the National League 9-3 thanks in large part to Willie McCovey’s two home runs and Johnny Bench adding one of his own, accounting for five RBIs between them.
Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy these “specials”, as I love creating them, wishing Topps did the same through the 1970’s giving their sets a little extra character.

Saturday, May 18, 2019


Always love adding to my long-running “nicknames of the 1970’s” thread, and today I do so with a 1973 card for former pitcher Stan Bahnsen of the Chicago White Sox:

Bahnsen, aka the “Bahnsen Burner”, was coming off of his only 20-win season as a Major Leaguer when he went 21-16 in 1972, starting 41 games and appearing in 43 while throwing 252.1 innings.
He was already the 1968 American League Rookie of the Year when he came up with the New York Yankees and posted a stellar earned run average of 2.05 to go with a record of 17-12 with 162 strikeouts before getting traded to the Pale Hose for Rich McKinney in December of 1971.
Never really understood that trade since Bahnsen did nothing but perform well for the Yanks over his first four full MLB seasons between 1968 and 1971.
He would eventually pitch 16 seasons in the Big Leagues, posting a career record of 146-149 with an ERA of 3.60 over 574 appearances between 1966 and 1982.

Friday, May 17, 2019


Here’s a “not so missing” 1977 card for former Chicago Cubs pitcher Ken Crosby, who appeared in what turned out to be the final MLB games of his brief two-year career during the 1976 season:

Crosby appeared in seven games, not factoring in a decision while posting a 12.00 earned run average over 12 innings pitched.
The previous season he appeared in nine games, going 1-0 while posting an ERA of 3.24 over 8.1 innings, striking out six while walking seven.
I couldn’t find any more information on his career being that it seems he never pitched in any level of Pro Bal after those last MLB games of 1976.
Anyone know what happened?

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Here was a fun card to create, a 1971 “not so missing” card for former pitcher Bill Laxton, who would have to wait until the 1977 Topps set to see his mug on a card:

Laxton had his first taste of the Big Leagues during the 1970 season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, for whom he’d appear in two games for, not factoring in a decision with a bloated 13.50 earned run average over two innings pitched.
He’d appear in 18 games for the San Diego padres in 1971, going 0-2, before playing in the Minors through the 1973 season, finally getting back to the Majors in 1974 with 30 appearances, posting a record of 0-1 with an ERA at 4.03 in 44.2 innings.
He’d spend all of 1975 in the Minors again before appearing in 26 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1976, going 0-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 94.2 innings pitched.
That Winter, he’d be selected by the new Seattle Mariners franchise as the 50th pick in the expansion draft, which would finally give him a Topps card, a 70’s style airbrush jammie that left a lot to be desired.
Nevertheless, Laxton had himself a card, and would go on to post a record of 3-2 over 43 games before getting traded to the Cleveland Indians in September for catcher Ray Fosse.
In what turned out to be the last Big League action he’d see, Laxton appeared in two games for Cleveland in that last month of the 1977 season, throwing 1.2 innings to a 0-0 record and 5.40 ERA, closing out his time in the Majors.
All told, he finished with a record of 3-10 along with an ERA at 4.73 over 121 appearances and 243.1 innings of work.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Here’s a 1973 “not so missing” card for former catcher Joe Nolan, who started his career with four games during the 1972 season before eventually getting his first Topps card years later in the 1978 set:

Nolan went 0-10 at the plate over that first taste of the Big Leagues, but he’d do a bit better than that over the course of what turned out to be a nice 11-year career spanning 1972 and 1985 as a catcher off the bench, mainly for the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles, with stints for the Mets and Cincinnati Reds.
By the time he retired after the 1985 season he finished with a .263 career average, with 382 hits over 1454 at-bats in 621 games.
He was also a member of the 1983 World Champion Orioles, contributing nicely with a .277 batting average while filling in behind the plate for Rick Dempsey.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Next up in my No-Hitters through the 1970’s thread is the gem spun by fellow-Brooklyn native John Candelaria of the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 9th of 1976 against the Los Angeles Dodgers:

The 22-year-old lefty was having himself a great season so far, coming into the game with a 10-4 record in his first full-season of Major League ball.
Against a powerful Dodger line-up that included Steve Garvey, Ron Cey et. al, he went on to strike out seven batters against one walk, beating fellow starter Doug Rau.
With the game scoreless going into the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates got a some men on base for third baseman Bill Robinson, who drove in what ended being the only two runs of the game with a double.
Candelaria took care of the rest, pitching the final four innings and securing his place in MLB history with the no-hitter.
He would go on to pitch 19-seasons in the Big Leagues, winning 177 games with a very nice 3.33 earned run average over 600 appearances, with 13 shutouts and 1673 strikeouts along with 29 saves.

Monday, May 13, 2019


Time to go and give former California Angels pitcher Luis Quintana his second, and final, “not so missing” card since his two-year MLB career was totally ignored by Topps. This time it’s a 1975 card:

Quintana made his Big League debut during the 1974 season, appearing in 18 games and posting a record of 2-1 with an earned run average of 4.26 over 12.2 innings of work.
The following season he appeared in only four games, which would be his last, closing out his career with a record of 2-3 over 22 appearances, with an ERA of 5.03 over 19.2 innings, all out of the bullpen, striking out 16 and walking 20.
He would stick around and pitch in the Minor Leagues through the 1983 season, mainly in the Montreal Expos organization, but would never get the chance to get back on a Big League mound again.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


I came across this great image of the 1977 Dodgers 30-home run club and decided it was perfect to re-do one of my own, my 1978 “Highlights of the 1970’s” card that was created for the blog a long time ago:

For those who never saw it, this was the “original” I created some five years ago:

Though the feat has been accomplished since this groundbreaking feat in 1977, it is STILL a rarity.
Here’s my original write-up of it all from that initial entry in 2014:
“Here's a highlight from the 1970's that always wowed me as a kid: the 1977 Dodgers with FOUR players hitting 30 or more home runs in the same season.
Not until these four sluggers achieved this was it ever accomplished in Major League history.
Call me nuts, but this feat deserved a card in the mighty 1978 set in my book.
Think of all the classic slugging teams throughout history up until that point ('27 Yanks, '61 Yanks, '56 Reds, '64 Twins), and this team was the first to do it.
Steve Garvey, Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker and Ron Cey.
Four "thumpers" who powered the Dodgers into the World Series against the Yankees by combining for 125 homers and 398 runs batted in all on their own!
Not until the home run days of the late 1990's/early 00's did another team also match the 1977 Dodgers.
In 1995 the Rockies accomplished this feat in the first of what would be FOUR TIMES in the next five years, with the 1997 Dodgers also having four players attain those lofty numbers.
Since then, a handful of other teams have reached the now watered-down milestone in team-power, but when the 1977 Dodgers did it, it was big stuff.
Big enough for the Los Angeles team to even feature a picture of the four sluggers under the L.A. Scoreboard with "30" emblazoned in lights.
You think Topps could have found a little room to fit a card like this in their set instead of an Oscar Zamora or Dennis Blair! (No offense to those ex-players).

Saturday, May 11, 2019


Today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former Houston Astros pitcher Paul Siebert, who had a spot on a 1975 Topps rookie card but was left out the following year’s set:

Siebert only appeared in seven games for Houston during the 1975 season, performing very well though, going 0-2 but with an earned run average of 2.95 over 18.1 innings of work, even picking up a couple of saves.
He would go on to play another three years in the Major Leagues, with Houston, the San Diego Padres and finally with the New York Mets, never really more than an arm out of the bullpen, ending up with a Big League record of 3-8 and an ERA of 3.77 over 87 appearances and 129 innings pitched, along with three saves and a complete game.

Friday, May 10, 2019


Time to go and give former Chicago Cubs infielder Carmen Fanzone a “not so missing” 1972 card, one year before Topps would have a first card for him in their 1973 set:

Fanzone played in a dozen games for the Cubs during the 1971 season, batting .186 with eight hits over 43 at-bats with a couple of homers and five runs batted in.
He originally had his first taste of the Big Leagues in 1970 after coming up and playing in 10 games with the Boston Red Sox, for whom he batted an even .200 with three hits in 15 at-bats.
He would go on to play through the 1974 season, all with the Cubs, generally as a man off the bench, filing in at third, first and even second base and batting around .240 combined over those last three seasons.
All told, he would finish his five-year career with a .224 batting average, collecting 132 hits in 588 at-bats over 237 lifetime games, spanning 1970 and 1974.

Thursday, May 9, 2019


When I came across this image a long while back, I always knew I wanted to create a 1971 “special” card showing two icons of the game, Ted Williams and Reggie Jackson:

While Williams was now a manager for the Washington Senators, some ten years removed from his Hall of Fame playing days, the young Reggie Jackson was just beginning to lay down HIS Cooperstown resume.
Perhaps the greatest hitter who ever lived talking to the greatest clutch performer the game has ever seen.
You can imagine that anything Williams would talk to you about, as a young budding superstar, you whole-heartedly soaked up, word for word.
Today, almost 50 years after this image was taken, both legends of the game are Hall of Famers and remembered as two of the greatest to put on a Major League uniform during their eras.
I just love images like this and hope to keep producing special cards for the blog along these lines. Hope you enjoy them!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Time to go and give two-year Major League first baseman Skip James a “not so missing” 1978 card for his first taste of the Big Leagues the previous season:

James came up to the Majors for 10 games during the 1977 season, hitting .267 with both three runs scored and driven in.
The following year he’d appear in 41 games for the San Francisco Giants, though hitting only .095 with two hits over 21 at-bats.
Well, as quickly as he came in, he was out, as those aforementioned games represent the sum total of his Major League career, as he would spend all of 1979 in the Minor Leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers organization before calling it a day.
All told, James hit .167 over the course of his 51 game career, with six hits in 36 at-bats, driving in six with eight runs scored.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Following the combined four-pitcher No-Hitter the A’s threw in 1975 that I previously profiled here on the blog, I offer up a “No-Hitter”-thread version of the combined two-pitcher gem spun by John “Blue Moon” Odom and Francisco Barrios of the Chicago White Sox some 10 months later:

As with the A’s no-no, I originally profiled the White Sox no-hitter for my earlier “Highlights of the 1970’s” thread from years ago, but I wanted to include it in my recent “No-Hitter” thread that I started last year.
And as I did with the Oakland card, I pictured the man who closed it out, in this case Francisco Barrios, who relieved John Odom in the sixth inning, pitching the final four innings and closing out this bit of history.
What follows below is the original text from my first post on August 12th, 2014:

“White Sox pitchers John Odom (an Oakland A's pitcher up until the prior season), and Francisco Barrios teamed up to stifle the A's on July 28th, 1976, with Odom keeping Oakland hitless for the first five innings, and Barrios wrapping it up the final four.
While it was a no-hitter, it certainly was not perfect, as Odom managed to walk NINE A's batters in his five innings of work, and future Hall of Famers Billy Williams scoring the lone A's run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Claudell Washington stole second, allowing Williams to score on a bad throw from catcher Jim Essian.
All told, Odom and Barrios walked a combined eleven batters, while striking out five and allowing three stolen bases.
But in the end it was (and is) an official no-hitter, and would end up being the last combined no-hitter until the California Angels pulled the trick on April 11, 1990 when Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined to no-hit the Mariners.
Just a year later in 1991 there would be TWO more combined no-hitters, spun by the Baltimore Orioles and then the Atlanta Braves.
Since then there have been two more combined no-no's, the July 12th effort by the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Houston Astros in 1997, and the June 11, 2003 no-hitter thrown by SIX Houston Astros against the New York Yankees.
Ironically enough, the 1976 combined no-no would end up being one of Blue Moon Odom's last Major League games, as he was out of the Majors after only eight games in 1976, finishing off a 13-year career.”

Monday, May 6, 2019


Here’s a “not so missing” 1979 for former Chicago Cubs player Ed Putman, who could play the infield while also spotting you behind the plate:

Putman, who you may remember from the 1980 Topps set while a member of the Detroit Tigers, appeared in 17 games for the Cubs during the 1978 season.
He hit .200 with five hits over 25 at-bats, driving in three while scoring two himself, while playing third, first and catcher out in the field.
Originally up for five games in 1976 with Chicago, he’d go on to play in 21 games with the Tigers in 1979, which turned out to be the last action he saw on a Major League field.
He finished his brief three-year Big League career with a .239 average, collecting 17 hits over 71 at-bats in 43 games, suiting up for the Cubs and Tigers between 1976 and 1979.

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Let’s go and give former All-Star Ken “Hawk” Harrelson a “Nicknames of the 1970’s” card in my long-running thread, using the 1970 template:

Harrelson was coming off an excellent 1969 campaign that saw him start off with 10 games for the Boston Red Sox before getting traded to the Cleveland Indians, finishing up with 30 home runs and 92 RBI’s along with a career-high 17 stolen bases and 89 runs scored.
This was coming off his finest Major League season in 1968 when he finished third in the AL MVP race after hitting 35 homers for the Red Sox while leading the league with 109 RBI’s.
However he would only play 17 and 52 games respectively over the 1970 and 1971 seasons because of a broken leg sustained during Spring Training in March of 1970 before retiring for good.
He finished his nine-year MLB career with 131 homers, 421 RBIs and 374 runs scored over 900 games and only 2941 at-bats.
Of course, Harrelson is truly remembered by all fans as a broadcaster, something he has done for over 40 years with a General Manager break in the mid-80’s with the Chicago White Sox.
A true baseball character, the out-spoken Harrelson has had quite the interesting career in baseball, as a player and broadcaster, leading to some funny and sometimes controversial moments.
Worth a quick read-up if you have a minute and are not familiar.

Saturday, May 4, 2019


Time to go and add Los Angeles Dodgers speedster Davey Lopes to my long-running “Dedicated Rookies” thread, with a 1973 example to compliment his multi-player rookie card in the 1973 Topps set:

Lopes appeared in 11 games for the Dodgers in 1972, coming up along-side other future All-Stars Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and Bill Russell to give the organization a rock-solid foundation for years to come.
Lopes would go on to become a four-time All-Star who would lead the league in stolen bases twice while topping 1000 runs scored, 550 stolen bases and even hit 155 home runs, helping the Dodgers reach four World Series, winning it all in 1981.
By the time he retired after the 1987 season, he finished with a .263 batting average, collecting 1671 hits over 6354 at-bats and 1812 games.

Friday, May 3, 2019


Time to go and “fix” a card that has bugged me literally for decades, the 1977 Willie Crawford, which Topps had airbrushed to show him on the San Francisco Giants, a team he never actually even played for:

And for those not familiar or do not remember, here’s the original as issued by Topps 42 years ago:

Crawford spent the 1976 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, his first season NOT playing as a Los Angeles Dodger since he came up to the Big Leagues in 1964 as a 17-year old “local kid”.
He had a nice season for the Cardinals, hitting .304 over 120 games, with 50 runs batted in and 49 runs scored with 31 extra-base-hits.
On October 20th of 1976 he was traded to the Giants as part of a six-player trade that included John Curtis and Vic Harris going to San Fran, while Mike Caldwell, John D’Acquisto and Dave Rader came to St. Louis.
Understandably, Topps went to work to airbrush Crawford into a Giants uniform in anticipation of his playing there during the 1977 season.
Well on March 26th of 1977, just before the season started, Crawford was on the move again, getting traded to the Houston Astros, thus negating the work Topps did for their 1977 card.
On top of that, after just 42 games with Houston, Crawford found himself playing for the Oakland A’s after getting traded for Denny Walling and cash.
Turns out that time with Oakland playing out the 1977 season would be the last of his Big League career, as he would go on to play in the Mexican league over the next two years before retiring for good as an active player.
Over 14 MLB seasons, Crawford hit .268 with 921 hits over 3435 at-bats, playing in 1210 games between 1964 and 1977.

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Today we have a “not so missing” card for former Atlanta Braves pitcher Frank LaCorte, who appeared in 14 games during the 1977 season:

LaCorte went 1-8 over those games, with an ugly 11.68 earned run average over 37 forgetful innings, walking 29 batter, giving up 67 hits and 48 earned runs. Ouch!
However he would bounce back from that season and go on to pitch ten seasons in the Big Leagues, becoming a decent arm out of the bullpen for the Houston Astros between 1979 and 1983 before one last year under the Major League sun in 1984 with the California Angels.
All told, he finished his career with a record of 23-44 along with an ERA of 5.01 and 26 saves over 253 appearances and 490 innings of work.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


The next no-hitter chronologically profiled in my long-running thread through the decade, the Astros’ Larry Dierker’s gem spun against the Montreal Expos on July 9th, 1976:

Dierker came into the game with a record of 7-8, carrying an earned run average above 4.00, but he had his A-game going as he proceeded to strikeout eight batters against four walks.
He even helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly, contributing to the six runs that led to a 6-0 victory just days after the nation’s Bicentennial celebration.
The 29-year-old was already in his twelfth season in the Big Leagues, all with the Houston organization, and would finish the season with a record of 13-14 along with an ERA at 3.69 over 28 appearances, all starts, with four shutouts and seven complete games.
He’d finish his playing career the following year, with the St. Louis Cardinals, going 2-6 with a 4.58 ERA over 11 appearances before retiring with a record of 139-123 with a very nice 3.31 ERA over 356 games and 2333.2 innings pitched.


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