Saturday, February 29, 2020


Nerd alert!
Recently on twitter I saw something about the “only two players in MLB history with the surname Moyer (Jamie and a guy named Ed from 1910)” and thought, “wasn’t there a guy in the 1972 Topps set with that last name?”
Anyway, turns out I had a post ready that was about that very player, James (Jim) Moyer, who never played in the Majors but was airbrushed for a spot in the 1972 set on a multi-player rookie card, so here goes:

If you look closely you can tell that the fine people at Topps airbrushed the pitcher into a Cleveland uniform from a San Francisco Giants one.
Moyer, who began his pro career back in 1966 with the Giants, was just picked up by Cleveland before the 1972 season started, hence the artistic necessity.
Turns out Moyer would go on to pitch another three years in Minor League ball, all in the Cleveland organization, before calling it a career after 1974.

Friday, February 28, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a career-capping “not so missing” 1979 card for former New York Mets pitcher Bob Myrick, who turned out played the last of his Major League games in 1978:

Myrick appeared in 17 games for the Mets during the 1978 season, going 0-3 with a nice 3.28 earned run average over 24.2 innings of work.
But just after the 1979 season started he was part of a small package of two pitchers traded to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Dock Ellis, so his time out at Shea was over.
Turns out, after pitching in the Minors over the next couple seasons, he decided to call it a career without ever getting back to a Big League mound again, finishing up with a record of 3-6 and an ERA at 3.48 over 82 appearances and 139.2 innings, all for the Mets between 1976 and 1978.

Thursday, February 27, 2020


Time to go and create a 1973 “not so missing” card for former outfielder Curt Motton, who was left out of the Topps set after only 48 games played during the 1972 season:

Motton began the 1972 campaign as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, for whom he hit .167 over just six games, going 1-for-6 at the plate with a couple of runs batted in and a run scored.
On may 26th, he was traded to the California Angels for pitcher Archie Reynolds, and he went on to hit .154 over 42 games, collecting six hits in 39 at-bats for his new team.
It would be his only time with the California franchise, as by the time the 1973 opened he was back with his original team, the Baltimore Orioles, who he came up with in 1967.
Between 1973 and 1974, Motton would appear in only 12 combined games for the O’s, going 2-for-14 at the plate with four RBIs before calling it a career.
Over his eight-year MLB tenure, he hit .213 with 121 hits in 567 at-bats, but most importantly was a member of the juggernaut Oriole teams between 1969 and 1971, with a World Championship in 1970.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1974 card for outfielder Tony Scott, who made his Major League debut in 1973 with the Montreal Expos:

Scott, who would go on to play eleven seasons in the Big Leagues, went 0-1 at the plate with two runs scored for the Expos in his debut season, while stealing a base and collecting a walk.
He’d see pretty much the same action in 1974, but this time he’d collect two hits over seven at-bats, hitting .286 with five more stolen bases and 19 runs scored.
Turns out after a couple of “cups of coffee” with Montreal in 1973 and 1974, Scott played in 92 games in 1975, good for 159 plate appearances with 26 hits over 143 at-bats, giving him a .182 average.
He’d miss the 1976 season stuck in the Minors, but then go on to play on through to 1984 in the Big Leagues after appearing in 45 games with, who else, the Montreal Expos.
In between he played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros, giving him an 11-year career that saw him bat .249 with 699 hits in 2803 at-bats, playing in 991 games before his career ended.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d go ahead and redo former pitcher Rich Robertson’s 1972 Topps card since he never even ended up playing for the Chicago White Sox, and it would negate the hilarious airbrush job.
Check out the original White Sox card and what I came up with, and what I switched it to:

Robertson was purchased by the Chicago White Sox on February 7th of 1972, and it was a wonderful accomplishment for Topps to scramble and get him in a White Sox uni (via airbrushing) for his card in the ‘72 set.
Only problem was that Robertson was RETURNED to the San Francisco Giants about a month later, which in turn had him released by the end of March, thus ending his Big League career.
So turns out the action he saw during the 1971 season would be the last of his MLB career, which was spent entirely with the Giants between 1966 and 1971.
The 1970 season would be his best, as he posted career-highs across the board due to extended action, with a record of 8-9 along with an earned run average of 4.85 over 41 appearances and 183.2 innings pitched.
He finished his career with a record of 13-14, with an ERA of 4.94 over 86 appearances and 302.1 innings, with a shutout and two saves thrown in.

Monday, February 24, 2020


Time to go ahead and give former pitcher Bill Singer a career-capping 1978 card celebrating his 14-year Big League career, which came to an end with 13 appearances in 1977 as an “original” Toronto Blue Jay during their inaugural season:

Singer went 2-8 for Toronto over those 13 appearances, 12 of them starts, pitching to an earned run average of 6.79 over 59.2 innings of work.
Still only 33, arm troubles led him to retiring after that season, finishing up his career with a record of 118-127, with a nice 3.39 ERA over 322 appearances, with 24 shutouts and 1515 strikeouts.
During his career he posted two 20-win seasons and three 200-strikeout seasons, including 241 in 1973, which helped set a new record along with teammate Nolan Ryan’s 383 for most strikeouts by teammates with 624.
He also struck out 227 batters in 1968 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a career-high 247 the following season for L.A., which was also his 1st 20-win campaign.

Sunday, February 23, 2020


Today’s blog post has an admittedly “fantasy” 1975 Highlight card that of course would have been a stretch for Topps to create.
But I always wanted to have a card celebrating the teenage Robin Yount and his Major League debut with more than just a “regular” card:

A nice photo of the “Boy Wonder” getting ready to put together a 20-year Hall of Fame career that saw him take home two American League Most Valuable Player Awards, three All-Star nods (that’s it!?!?), three Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove.
Yount broke into the Majors in 1974 at the age of 18, appearing in 107 games and hitting .250 with 86 hits over 344 at-bats, scoring 48 runs with 26 RBIs.
A Milwaukee Brewer for life, Yount finished his great career with 3142 hits, 1632 runs scored, 251 homers and 271 stolen bases, and still retired at the age of “only” 37.
I loved him as a kid and was in awe of the Brewers’ combo of Yount and Paul Molitor, watching them put in year after year of solid stats.
It’s amazing to realize that when he had his first true All-Star season in 1980, after what was already seven years in the Big Leagues, Yount was STILL only 24 years of age!
He was on cruise-control from then on, elevating his game to become one of the elite players in the American League, with 1982 the high point when he led the Brewers to the World Series and taking home his first MVP Award.
I just realized I have to create a “nickname” card for him, “The Kid”!
Keep an eye out for that one soon!

Saturday, February 22, 2020


Next up on the blog we have my 1971 traded card for long-time Major League second baseman Tony Taylor, who found himself traded to the Detroit Tigers after starting the season with the Philadelphia Phillies:

Taylor was unceremoniously traded for two Minor Leaguers on June 12th, at the time hitting .234 for the Phils, for whom he’d played the previous ten seasons after coming over from the Chicago Cubs in 1960.
He performed well for Detroit the rest of the way, hitting .287 in more of a spot-start role at both second and shortstop, with 27 runs scored and 19 runs batted in over 55 games.
Taylor had a very solid 19 year career, finishing with over 2000 hits (2007), 1005 runs scored, and 234 stolen bases. I'd say 1963 was his finest year, as he hit .281 with 102 runs scored and 180 hits for the Phillies, the latter two stats being career highs.
He also made what some call the toughest play in teammate Jim Bunning's 1964 perfect game against the New York Mets.
In the fifth inning of that game, Mets catcher Jesse Gonder hit a ball between first and second base, where Taylor made a diving stop, just in time to get Gonder at first.
I nice little anecdote to it all is that years later, Bunning mentioned in an article that he and Taylor would call each other every year on the anniversary of the game, June 21st, to reminisce about the game and play.
Love hearing stuff like that.

Friday, February 21, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1975 card for former outfielder Larry Murray, who made his MLB debut during the 1974 season with the New York Yankees:

Murray appeared in six games for the Yanks in 1974, going 0-1 at the plate in his only plate appearance while filling in at all three outfield positions.
His 1975 season would be a mirror-image, appearing in another six games while again going 0-1 at the plate, and once again fielding all three outfield spots.
He’d finally collect his first Big League hit in 1976, though he went 1-for-10 at the plate with two runs scored and a couple of stolen bases for the American League champs before finding himself a member of the Oakland A’s in 1977.
Murray hit .179 with 29 hits over 162 at-bats for the A’s that season after coming over from the New York Yankees as part of the deal that got them Mike Torrez.
He also scored 19 runs while stealing 12 bases while getting the first real taste of significant play after never playing more than eight games with New York in the previous three years.
In 1978 he’d only play in eleven games, hitting .083 with a single hit over twelve at-bats, but he’d come back in 1979 and get the most playing time he’d see over a season when he appeared in 105 games, hitting .186 with 42 hits over 226 at-bats.
That action would get him his first Topps card in the 1980 set, only to never appear in a Major League game again.
After only 13 games in the Minor Leagues during the 1980 season, he’d be finished with pro ball, only 27 years of age.
Go figure.

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Not too long ago someone asked me why I never created a 1972 card celebrating Reggie Jackson’s mammoth All-Star game home run off of Dock Ellis, to which I really had no clear answer.
So here we go:

Sadly I could NOT find a suitable color image of the at-bat, but it didn’t really matter since all my other 1972 Highlight cards had black and white images with a slight tint on them anyway, so the image I did find suited the thread.
As we all remember, the American League entered the bottom of the third inning trailing the National League 3-0 after home runs by Johnny Bench and Hank Aaron.
After a lead-ff single by Luis Aparicio to start the inning, Oakland’s young slugger was called upon to pinch hit for starter Vida Blue, and what followed was historic, as Jackson sent the pitch soaring into the light tower above the roof of Tiger Stadium, cutting the lead to 3-2.
By the time the inning was over, the A.L. took the lead 4-3 thanks to another two-run homer by yet another future Hall of Famer, Frank Robinson after a walk to Rod Carew.
When you look back at this All-Star game, it was about as loaded a game with superstars as ever, with Hall of Famer after Hall of Famer making up the roster. Just amazing.
Although Reggie Jackson already made his mark in the Majors by the time this home run happened, it was for many the first time they really noticed the young slugger on such a national stage.
I’ve always been in awe of the footage, with Jackson running the bases like a King among men, knowing of course what the future was bringing very shortly: three straight championships beginning in 1972 with the Oakland A’s, followed by two more while with the New York Yankees in 1977/1978, with the birth of the “Mr. October” moniker.
It’s as if the phrase “larger than life” was created for him as he marched towards a Hall of Fame career through the 1970’s and 1980’s, whether you loved him or hated him.
Me? I loved him as a kid growing up in Brooklyn at the time he brought his talents to the Bronx. I still do!
It really is a shame Topps didn’t celebrate iconic events in baseball through their baseball card sets over the years, like this homer or Carlton Fisk’s 1975 World Series homer, etc.
Then again, gives me the opportunity to do stuff like this right here decades later!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Today I give you a “not so missing” 1972 card for former slugger Eric Soderholm, who made his MLB debut the previous season for the Minnesota Twins:

Soderholm played in 21 games for the Twins during the 1971 campaign, hitting only .156 as a 22-year-old, with 10 hits over 64 at-bats, with a home run and four runs batted in.
Though he played in 93 games the next year, his batting average didn’t quite make much headway as he hit at a .188 clip, though he did pop 13 homers with 39 at-bats over 287 at-bats.
He performed decent enough for Minnesota over the next few seasons before missing the entire year of 1976 because of a knee injury, which led to the Chicago White Sox taking a flyer on him and signing him as a Free Agent for 1977, and he paid off big time, having what turned out to be the best year of his career with 25 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .280 batting average for the “South Side Hitmen”.
That performance got him the American League “Comeback Player of the Year” Award, which he followed up in 1978 with another solid year, hitting 20 homers with 67 RBIs.
Sadly for him however, injuries, particularly to his knees, took it’s toll, and by 1980 he was out of baseball for good at the age of 31 after 95 games with the New York Yankees.
All told, in nine seasons, he finished with a career .264 batting average, with 102 homers and 383 runs batted in, with 764 hits over 2894 at-bats in 894 games.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Up on the blog today is a “not so missing” 1974 card for former pitcher Dave Pagan, a player who I’ve created a couple of other cards through the years:

Pagan made his MLB debut in 1973 with four appearances for the New York Yankees, one of those a start, not factoring in a decision while posting a nice 2.84 earned run average over 12.2 innings.
Overall he had a five-year career, finishing with a 4-9 record, along with a 4.96 E.R.A., one shutout, four saves and 147 K's over 232.1 innings of work spread over 85 games pitching for the Yanks, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates.
One last note on Pagan: he hails from the relatively remote town of Nipawin, Saskachewan, Canada.
Check out the location! As far as a baseball player goes, man that is remote!
A good friend of mine lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the Winters there are insane. THIS town of Nipawin is a few hundred miles NORTH of that! So I can't even imagine what it's like up there…

Monday, February 17, 2020


Really fun card to add to the virtual “collection”, here’s my 1977 “not so missing” card for two-game Major League pitcher Joe Keener of the Montreal Expos, who had his day in the sun as a September call-up in 1976:

Keener’s two-game Big League career totaled 4.1 innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits for a bloated 10.38 earned run average, with both appearances being starts for Montreal.
It would be the only Major League action of his professional career, which spanned 1973 through 1979, all for Montreal, for whom he had some really nice MiLB seasons, especially 1974 when he posted a record of 16-6 with a sparkling 1.77 ERA over his 27 starts between A and Triple-A ball.
Nevertheless, he finished his career with a record of 0-1 over those two games, walking eight (ouch!) with one strikeout over 27 batters faced through those 4.1 innings.

Sunday, February 16, 2020


Time to finally go and add a Roberto Clemente “nickname” card to my long-running thread, celebrating one of the all-time greats, aptly tagged with the nickname “The Great One”, not only for his on-field heroics but his incredible life off the field:

I know his other nickname was “Arriba”, but I felt this one is more suitable for the legacy of the man, as he really was “The Great One” for so many Puerto Ricans who looked up to him at a time when Latin players were not as appreciated as they are today.
Clemente was just incredible. As a hitter, as an outfielder, and as a man who was always helping others, which as we all know tragically led to his death as he was helping Nicaraguans after an earthquake, trying to deliver supplies on December 31st, 1972.
It’s incredible to think that the only reason he even needed to get on the plane himself to accompany the much needed supplies to Nicaragua was because the first THREE supply planes had the supplies diverted by the corrupt government there, leading Clemente to think that if he went there personally the government would allow the supplies to reach the people who needed them most. Think about that. Just awful.
Just an amazing player I wish I had gotten a chance to see first hand.
Indeed “The Great One”.

Saturday, February 15, 2020


Today’s blog post looks at the great airbrushing job the fine folks at Topps did for former pitcher Bill hands and his 1973 card. Take a look:

Granted, the ivy covered wall in the background is the dead giveaway that he was at Wrigley Field, but what a great job of getting him into a Minnesota Twins uni for the card!
If my eyes aren’t deceiving me, the airbrush artist even went as far as touching up the outfielder to match him up as well in the correct uniform. THAT is some dedication!
Hands was traded to the Twins from the Cubs on November 30th of 1972 along with two others for Dave LaRoche, which kind of mystifies me since Hands was a steady starter for the Cubs for five seasons at that point, while LaRoche was a solid reliever, though nothing spectacular. So why did the Cubs give up three players for him?
Nevertheless, Hands retired with a 111-110 record and 3.35 E.R.A in 374 career games between 1965 and 1975, pitching for the Giants, Cubs, Twins and Rangers.
The high point of his career was easily 1969 while pitching for the Chicago Cubs.
That season he teamed up with Fergie Jenkins, forming a 20-game winning one-two punch, going 20-14 with a nice 2.49 E.R.A. while starting 41 games, good for 300 innings on the nose.

Friday, February 14, 2020


Time to go and add former pitcher George Culver to the long-running “career-capper” thread with this 1975 edition as he finished off a nine-year Big League career in 1974:

Culver appeared in 14 games for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1974 season, going 1-0 with a bloated 6.65 earned run average over 21.2 innings of work.
He would go and spend all of 1975 in the Minors, but never appear in a Major League game again, finishing his Big League tenure with a record of 48-49 with an ERA of 3.62 over 335 appearances and 788.2 innings pitched.
His best season would be 1968, as with many other National League pitchers, when he posted a record of 11-16 for the Cincinnati Reds along with an ERA of 3.23 over 42 appearances, 35 of those starts, with five complete games, two shutouts and two saves.
In doing the quick research for this post, I was amazed to see that Culver also had brief appearances in the Minors through the 1980’s, with two games in 1981 after not pitching pro-ball since 1975, one game in 1982 and another three appearances in 1985 at the age of 41, all in the Phillies system.
It was not pretty, as he got hammered each and every time with ERA’s of 13.50, 27.00 and 16.62 respectively, but I suspect he was making these appearances while serving as a coach in the Philadelphia system, so it was probably more gimmicky than anything else.
Anyone know?

Thursday, February 13, 2020


I don’t know about you, but the 1973 Johnny Bench card has always irked me. I hated the image they used for the reigning National League MVP and uber-star.
Today on the blog I went and created a new version with a nifty image I found that is era-perfect, showing not only the all-time great in-action, but we get a bonus shot of those sweet mustard San Diego Padres uniforms as well!
Here you go:

Have to say this is right up there as one of my favorite creations! May have to have this printed to add to the 1973 binder!
Of course, at the time this card would have been pulled from a pack we had Johnny Bench pretty much taking over the baseball world with his second MVP Award in three years, and STILL only 24 years of age, when he slammed a league-leading 40 home runs with 125 runs batted in while taking the Cincinnati Reds back to the World Series.
It was the beginning of the monster we’d get to know as the “Big Red Machine”, with other future Hall of Fame members like Tony Perez and Joe Morgan, along with Pete Rose. But it was Bench that was the on-field general leading the way for one of the all-time great runs by an organization.
He wasn’t all offense mind you, as evidenced by his fifth straight Gold Glove. His fifth, and again I have to mention he was only 24!
Incredible talent.
Genuinely a once in a lifetime player.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Here was a fun card to create, a “not so missing” 1972 edition for long-time MLB pitcher Orlando Pena, who was in the middle of a somewhat transitional period in his career:

Pena appeared in only five games for the Baltimore Orioles during their run to another American League Championship, going 0-1 with an earned run average at 3.07 over 14.2 innings.
He spent all of 1972 in the Minors before returning for three more seasons under the Big League sun, finally retiring after the 1975 season at the age of 41.
Originally up in 1958 with the Cincinnati Reds, he arguably had his finest seasons in the Majors with the Kansas City Athletics in 1963 and 1964, even though he led the American League in losses with 20 in 1963.
However the record was not true to his performance, as we’ve seen numerous times over the years, with Pena posting and ERA of 3.69 along with three shutouts for a team that went 73-89, good for an eighth-place finish.
All told, Pena pitched for 14 seasons in the Majors, finishing up in 1975 at the age of 41 with the California Angels, and ending up with a lifetime record of 56-77 with a 3.71 ERA over 427 appearances and 1202 innings of work.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Today’s blog post has a 1970 “not so missing” card for former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jerry Cram, who made his Big League debut during the 1969 inaugural season for the franchise:

Cram appeared in five games for the Royals, going 0-1 with a respectable 3.24 earned run average over 16.2 innings, with ten strikeouts against six base on balls.
He’d spend all of 1970 in the Minors, so of course Topps would give him a slot on a multi-player rookie card in their 1971 set. Makes sense doesn’t it?
As a matter of fact Cram wouldn’t make it back to a Big League mound until the 1974 season, now pitching for the New York Mets, when he appeared in a career-high 10 games, going 0-1 once again but with a sparkling 1.61 ERA over 22.1 innings.
You’d think this was enough to give him a card in 1974, but no, and I am trying to find images of him as a Met so I can create both a 1975 and 1976 card.
Anyway, in his two seasons with the Mets in 1974 and 1975, he posted identical records of 0-1, appearing in 14 total games while posting ERA’s of the aforementioned 1.61 and 5.40 respectively over 37.1 innings of work.
In 1976, he was back where it all began, Kansas City, where he worked what turned out to be the last four games of his MLB career, not factoring in a decision and posting an ERA of 6.23 over 4.1 innings.
He would go on to pitch in the Kansas City minor league system for another five years, through the 1981 season, before retiring for good, ending up with a record of 0-3, with a final ERA of 2.98 over 23 games and 48.1 innings.

Monday, February 10, 2020


Today on the blog we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for Mario Mendoza, he of the unfairly tagged “Mendoza-Line” infamy for his light hitting:

Mendoza appeared in 56 games for the Pirates in 1975, hitting .180 with nine hits over 50 at-bats while filling in at both shortstop and second base.
He became the go-to reference for hitting under .200, and appeared in 50 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1976 season, and, you guessed it, hit under .200 with a .185 figure based on his 17 hits over 92 at-bats.
Now granted, the man hit under the .200 threshold five times during his career, but he did end up with a career .215 average by the time he retired from Big League ball in 1982.
I guess you can say that in back-to-back seasons in 1980 and 1981 he was positively raking when he hit .245 and .231 for the Seattle mariners and Texas Rangers respectively.
Nevertheless, by the time he retired, he finished with 287 hits over 1337 at-bats spread out over 686 games between 1974 and 1982, good for the .215 average, with 106 runs scored and 101 runs batted in.
Some say (and I agree), that it was unfair to make HIM the poster child for the light-hitting set, and though I cannot at this very moment remember many of the players, there are a handful that were actually much worse at the plate than he, including who I consider the worst, former catcher Bill Bergen, who hit .170 over eleven seasons between 1901 and 1911, and the guy pretty much played full time.

Sunday, February 9, 2020


Time to go and give Jim Perry a 1973 traded card after his move from the Minnesota Twins to the Detroit Tigers just before the season began:

The elder Perry was traded over to the Tigers for cash and Danny Fife after a very nice ten-year run for the Twins, which included a Cy Young Award in 1970 when he led the league with 24 wins.
He’d end up putting in a solid year for the Tigers, going 14-13 over 35 appearances, with a 4.03 earned run average over 203 innings of work.
Nevertheless, after the season he was on the move again, going from the Tigers back to the team he came up with, the Cleveland Indians, which also allowed him to team up with his brother Gaylord.
Jim didn’t disappoint, going 17-12 with a 2.96 earned run average over 36 starts, tossing three shutouts, all at the age of 38 in his 16th season in the Big Leagues.
By the time he retired after 1975, he finished with those 215 wins, along with a 3.45 ERA and 32 shutouts over 630 appearances, winning 20 games twice, including his Cy Young winning 1970 season with the Twins when he won a career-high 24, teaming up with his brother to combine for over 500 MLB wins.

Saturday, February 8, 2020


On the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for Horace Speed, who you may remember as a member of the Cleveland Indians later in the decade, but who actually started his Big League career with the San Francisco Giants in 1975:

Speed appeared in 17 games for the Giants as a 23-year-old, hitting .133 over that limited time, with two hits over 15 official at-bats, with two runs scored and an RBI.
After spending all of 1976 in the Minors he signed with the Indians in December of 1977 as a Free Agent and made it back to the Major League level with 70 games in 1978, where he hit .226 with 24 hits, 13 runs scored and four RBIs.
He’d be back in 1979, albeit for only 26 games, hitting .143 with two hits in 14 at-bats, in what turned out to be the last games of his Big League career, spending the bulk of the season in the Minors.
In 1980 he’d be in the Atlanta Braves Minor League system, playing in both Triple and Double A ball, not finding much success with a combined .175 average, before calling it a career.
Overall, Speeds Big League time resulted in a career .207 batting average, with 28 hits over 135 at-bats, with 21 runs scored and six RBI’s over 113 games.

Friday, February 7, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1979 card for former Cincinnati Reds first baseman/outfielder Arturo DeFreites, who made his MLB debut during the 1978 season with nine appearances as a September call-up:

DeFreites hit .211 over that brief time, collecting four hits over 19 at-bats, including his only MLB homer, with two runs batted in and a run scored.
He’d be back on a Big League field for 1979, albeit for only 23 games, hitting .206 with seven hits in 34 at-bats, scoring two while driving in four.
Turns out those two brief stints in the Majors would be it for him, as he will go on to play the rest of his professional career in the Mexican League, putting in seven years between 1980 and 1986 for a few organizations.
For his MLB career, he played in 32 games in two seasons, hitting .208 with 11 hits over 53 at-bats, with one homer and six RBI’s, with three runs scored.

Thursday, February 6, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former reliever Adrian Devine, who made it back to a Big League mound in 1975 after a full year in the Minors:

Devine, who made his MLB debut during the 1973 season with 24 appearances for the Atlanta Braves, spent all of the next season in the Minors before appearing in five games in 1975, going 1-0 with an earned run average of 4.41 over 16.1 innings of work.
He’d go on to have a nice season in 1976 when he finished with a record of 5-6 with a 3.21 ERA over 48 games, saving nine in 73 innings, before being included in a monster package shipped to the Texas Rangers for former A.L. MVP Jeff Burroughs on December 9th of that year.
He’d have his best year as a Big Leaguer in 1977, going 11-6 with 15 saves for the Rangers over 56 appearances, tossing 105.2 innings, setting career highs in games, wins, saves and innings pitched.
Funny enough, he was back in Atlanta for the 1978 and 1979 seasons, with a final season BACK in Texas in 1980, which turned out to be his last in the Majors, finishing with a record of 26-22 with an ERA of 4.21 over 217 appearances and 31 saves between 1973 and 1980.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Today’s blog post has a 1974 “not so missing” card for former infielder Mick Kelleher, the third card I’ve created for the man here:

Kelleher played in 43 games during the 1973 season, while only getting 44 plate appearances and 38 official at-bats, hitting .184 with seven hits, two of them doubles.
It can be argued that he easily could have appeared on a card, at the very least a multi-player rookie card, in any given year between 1974 and 1975, hence my two other creations for him (1973 and 1975).
As it was he didn’t appear in a Topps set until 1977 after a relatively full season with the Chicago Cubs the previous year.
Nevertheless, Kelleher hit .158 during the 1974 season, collecting nine hits over 57 at-bats while playing shortstop.
He would go on to play 11-years in his career, mainly with the Cubs where he’d see the bulk of his 622 lifetime games.
In those, he collected 230 hits in 1081 at-bats, good for a .213 average.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


Today we have a “missing” 1973 card, which also would serve as a nice career-capper, for long-time reliever Moe Drabowsky, who closed out his 17-year Major League career in 1972:

Now, I don't now what was going on in this photo around his mouth (bad airbrushing?), but nevertheless I have never found another usable image of him from this period so here you go!

The Poland-born Drabowsky appeared in 37 games during the 1972 season, the first 30 with the St. Louis Cardinals before finishing the season with seven games as a Chicago White Sox.
Overall the 36-year-old recorded a record of 1-1 with an earned run average of 2.57, with two saves and 18 games finished with only 35 innings of work in that time.
Turns out it would be the last Big League action he’d have, finishing up with a career 88-105 record with a 3.71 ERA over 589 appearances and 1641 innings pitched.
Originally a starter when he came up to the Big Leagues in 1956 as a Chicago Cub, he was converted to a reliever while with the Kansas City Athletics in the early-60’s, reaching his peak with the Baltimore Orioles between 1966 and 1968, when he went 17-9 with ERA’s of 2.81, 1.60 and 1.91 respectively.
Of course, his shining moment in the Majors would be his stand-out relief appearance for the Orioles in the 1966 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he came in for starter Dave McNally with one out in the third inning, only to go on and complete the game, 6.2 innings worth, allowing only one hit while striking out 11 to give the Birds the Game 1 victory, on their way to a shocking four-game sweep of the reigning champs.
Not bad!

Monday, February 3, 2020


Today on the blog we have a “not so missing” 1971 card for the “Panamanian Express” Allan Lewis, a prototype of sorts of the “designated runner” the Oakland A’s would really utilize later in the mid-70’s:

Before Herb Washington, before Larry Lintz, Lewis put in a six season Major League career that saw him have more game appearances than at-bats, usually in the pinch-running role between 1967 and 1973, all with the Athletics organization.
In 1969, Lewis appeared in 12 games for Oakland, but getting only one hitless plate appearance while scoring two runs without a stolen base.
In 1970, Lewis appeared in 25 games, picked up eight at-bats, and collected two hits for s .250 aevrage, while stealing seven bases on eight attempts.
It was the common thread for him over his career, as he would end up with 156 games played in the Big Leagues while only collecting 31 plate appearances and 29 “official” at-bats, picking up six hits for a .207 batting average while scoring 47 runs and stealing 44 bases.
In his final MLB season of 1973, he appeared in 35 games, all as a pinch runner, scored 16 runs and stole seven bases, without a single plate appearance.
In 1966 while with Leesburg of the Florida State League he set a Minor League record with 116 stolen bases in 131 games, a record that stood until Alan Wiggins stole 120 in 1980.
Over his entire professional career between 1961 and 1973, he would steal 530 bases across all levels, with 486 of those in Minor League play.

Sunday, February 2, 2020


I never realized the 1975 card of Pat Bourque was “technically” off for a couple of reasons, mainly the fact that he finished the 1974 season as a member of the Minnesota Twins, followed by the fact that he never played professional ball ever again.
So why the 1975 card with him as an Oakland A’s player?

Well it turns out that Bourque was traded by the Twins on October 23rd of 1974 BACK to the Oakland A’s, for whom he played the first part of 1974, but never ended up playing for them again.
Nevertheless, Topps, trying to stay on top of the move, had him as an Oakland player in anticipation of his playing the 1975 season there.
Bourque played 73 games for the A’s to start the 1974 campaign before being traded to the Twins on August 19th for Jim Holt, ending up with a .225 batting average combined between the two teams.
Turns out he’d never play pro ball again, Majors or Minors, though I can’t seem to find out why.
He finished his four-year Major League career with a .215 average, with 87 hits over 405 at-bats, driving in 61 runs while scoring 36 himself between 1971 and 1974.

Saturday, February 1, 2020


Came across this image of former catcher Bob Stinson suited up for the St. Louis Cardinals and figured it’d make for a great 1972 re-do for his Topps card:

My re-do
As issued by Topps

Stinson was originally shown on a multi-player rookie card as a Houston Astro, though he played for the Cardinals in 1971, which wasn’t exactly wrong of Topps to do so, but since he never had a card for his time in St. Louis, I figured “why not?”.
Stinson appeared in 17 games for the Cardinals in 1971 after coming over from his original team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he played in 1969/1970, his first two seasons as a Big Leaguer.
In those 17 games, he hit .211 with four hits over 19 at-bats, while catching and playing both left and right field for the first time in his still-young career.
In 1972 he found himself a member of the Houston Astros, where he’d play for only one season. In his brief time with Houston, he hit .171 with six hits in 35 at-bats, driving in two runs while scoring three with a double and a walk.
He’d end up playing 12-years in the Big Leagues, finishing up with the Mariners in 1980 after two years with the Royals in 1975 and 1976, and two years with the Montreal Expos in 1973 and 1974, hitting .250 in 652 games, with 408 hits over 1634 at-bats, with 33 homers and 180 runs batted in.


Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.