Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Up on the blog today, a fun card to add to the collection, a 1976 “not so missing” card for 18-year Major League veteran Denny Walling, who appeared in the first games of his Big League tenure during the 1975 season:

Walling played in six games for the Oakland A’s, hitting .125 with a hit over eight at-bats, that being a double that drove in two runs.
He would go on to put in a very nice 18-year Big League career that saw him play through the 1992 season, finishing up with a .271 batting average, with 799 hits over 2945 at-bats, most for the Houston Astros for whom he played between 1977 and 1988.
The most action he ever got in any one season would be 1986, helping the Houston Astros reach the National League championship series against the New York Mets, which was epic.
That season all Walling did was hit a career high .312 with 119 hits over 382 at-bats, the only time over his career he’d reach triple-digits in hits.
A man of all positions, Walling played all three outfield slots while also putting in substantial time at third base and first base, with third seeing the most action over his career.

Monday, March 30, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1971 card for former St. Louis cardinals pitcher Santiago Guzman, who played in parts of four seasons between 1969 and 1972:

Guzman appeared in eight games for the Cardinals during the 1970 season, the most action he’d see in any of his Big League campaigns.
Over those eight appearances he posted a record of 1-1 with an earned run average of 7.24 in 13.2 innings of work, with three starts and a complete game thrown in.
Originally up in 1969 as a 19-year-old, Guzman appeared in only 12 games over his four seasons, with a high of those eight in 1970 when he picked up his only Major League win.
After pitching in the Chicago White Sox organization during the 1973 season, Guzman was out of Pro Ball for good, finishing up with an MLB record of 1-2 with an earned run average at 4.50 over 32 innings of work, all for St. Louis.

Sunday, March 29, 2020


Today on the blog we have the fourth and final 1978 “fantasy” card of former slugger Dave Kingman, celebrating his whirlwind 1977 season when he played for four different teams, each one in a different league or division.
This one is the California Angels edition:

Kingman only appeared in ten games for the Angels before getting moved once again , this time to the eventual World Champion New York Yankees.
In his time with California, he hit two homers over 36 at-bats, driving in four and hitting .194 with seven hits, two of them doubles.
With all of that he still hit 26 homers that season, with 78 runs batted in and a “Dave Kingman-like” .221 batting average along with 143 strikeouts in 439 at-bats.
Of course he’d be “Kong” once again the following year with the Chicago Cubs, hitting 28 homers before leading Major League ball in 1979 with 48 bombs, a career-high, and another HR title in 1982 when he hit 37 for the New York Mets.
I was mesmerized and still am somewhat that the guy’s final year in the Majors produced 35 home runs and 94 RBI’s, only to walk away after being signed as a Free Agent by the San Francisco Giants that never led to anything after some Minor League action.
The enigma that is “Kong”.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


Today on the blog we have a 1972 “traded” card for long-time Major League catcher Tim McCarver, who found himself shipped North of the Border to the Montreal Expos on June 14th of 1972:

McCarver started the year with the Philadelphia Phillies, for whom he played the previous two seasons, and would only play this half season with Montreal before heading back to his original MLB team, the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973.
For his career, McCarver played in 1909 games, hitting .271 with 1501 hits over 5529 at-bats, with his best years in the mid-60’s with the St. Louis Cardinals when he even finished second to teammate Orlando Cepeda for National League Rookie of the Year and led the league with 13 triples the year before.
He’d play through the 1980 season, good for 21 years as a Big Leaguer, before going on to an even more successful career as a baseball broadcaster/commentator for almost 40 years, especially known for his analytical approach.
One of my favorite quotes about him; “If you ask Tim McCarver what time it is, he’ll explain how a watch works.”-Sports Writer Norman Chad.

Friday, March 27, 2020


Here’s a nice “not so missing” card to add to the collection, my 1978 slab for 21-year Major League pitcher Rick Honeycutt, who started off his Big League tenure with 10 appearances in 1977:

Honeycutt went 0-1 for the new Seattle mariner team in the Summer of 1977, posting a 4.34 earned run average over 29 innings as a 23-year-old, with three starts.
He would go on to pitch through the 1997 season, 21 years as both a starter and a reliever, almost evenly split between the first half and second half of his career respectively.
In 1983 he led the American League with a 2.42 ERA while with the Texas Rangers in a season that saw him finish with the Los Angeles Dodgers in a year that saw him post a career high 16 wins combined.
By the time he retired, he finished with a record of 109-143, with a 3.72 ERA over 797 appearances and 2160 innings of work, with 11 shutouts and 38 saves along the way.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Here’s a career-capping not so missing 1975 card for former All-Star and Rookie of the Year runner up Jim Ray Hart, who finished up his Big League tenure with 10 games as a New York Yankee in 1974:

Hart collected only one hit over 19 at-bats for an unsightly .053 batting average, closing out a career that actually started off wonderfully with five excellent seasons between 1964 and 1968.
Over those seasons he topped 20 home runs every year, averaging 90 runs batted in and hitting around .285 for the San Francisco Giants.
Between 1969 and 1974 he never played more than a part-time role, playing with the Giants into the 1973 season before moving on to the Yankees for the last two years of his career.
All told, he finished his 12-year career with 170 home runs, with a .278 batting average and 578 runs batted in over 1125 games, collecting 1052 hits in 3738 at-bats.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Up on the blog today I have a 1972 “not so missing” card for former San Francisco Giant pitcher Jim Willoughby, who made his Major League debut in 1971 with two scant games:

The 22-year-old went 0-1 over those two games, pitching four innings to a 9.00 earned run average, with one of those appearances being a start.
He’d go on to play eight years in the Big Leagues, finishing up with a career 26-36 record, with an ERA of 3.79 over 238 appearances, 28 of those starts, with a shutout and 34 saves thrown in.
His best season could arguably be 1972 when he appeared in eleven games, all starts, and completed seven games, going 6-4 with an ERA of 2.36 over 87.2 innings pitched.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Today’s blog post presents my 1974 “not so missing” card for former pitcher Mike Garman, who appeared in 12 games for the Boston Red Sox in 1973:

Garman didn’t factor in a decision for the BoSox in 1973 while posting an earned run average of 5.32 in 22 innings of work.
To that point he played in parts of four seasons in the Big Leagues, all with Boston, never pitching more than those 22 innings in any one year.
He would pitch for nine-years in the Major Leagues, collecting 42 saves and 22 wins (against 27 losses) generally out of the bullpen, as only eight of his career 303 games were as a starter.
He’d also finish with a 3.63 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 433.2 innings, with his only postseason action coming in 1977 as a member of the National League champ Los Angeles Dodgers.

Monday, March 23, 2020


Today’s post has a 1979 “not so missing” card for former San Diego second baseman Mike Champion, who played the last of his Big League games during the 1978 season:

Champion appeared in 32 games for San Diego that season, hitting .226 with 12 hits over 53 at-bats.
It was a far cry from the previous year when he was their full-time second baseman, playing in 150 games and hitting .229 with 116 hits in 507 at-bats.
In 1976 he made his Major League debut as a 21-year-old, appearing in eleven games for the Padres, hitting .237 with nine hits over 38 at-bats.
All told, he’d play in 193 games over his three-year career, hitting .229 with 137 hits in 598 at-bats, with 42 runs scored and 49 runs batted in between 1976 and 1978.

Sunday, March 22, 2020


I’m sure this one will hurt Cincinnati Reds fans a bit, but today’s blog post has a 1973 “traded” card for All-Star Hal McRae, who went on to have a very nice 19-year Major League career, 15 of those with the Kansas City Royals, where he was traded from the Reds on November 30th of 1972 for Roger Nelson and Richie Scheinblum:

Granted, Nelson was coming off a very surprising season where he posted one of the lowest WHIPs in Major League history along with a sparkling 2.08 earned run average, and McRae was a 26-year-old who didn’t really show all that much so far in parts of four Big League seasons.
But all McRae would end up doing is put in a 15-year run where he became one of the best hitters in the league, with three All-Star nods, six .300+ batting average seasons, and MVP consideration four times.
Definitely one of the more lopsided trades looking back for the era.
But with what the Reds were about to embark on, becoming the “Big Red Machine” juggernaut with the straight championships in 1975/1976, they’re not looking back with too much pain at this one.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Today we take a look at the original airbrushed image Topps used for former MLB catcher Tom Haller’s 1973 card, as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies:

Now, I could be wrong but it seems that the image is actually an older one showing him as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he played between 1968 and 1971.
In 1972 Haller actually suited up for the Detroit Tigers, from where the Phillies purchased him on October 25th of 1972 along with Don Leshnock.
Well, funny thing is it turned out Haller never ended up playing for the Phillies anyway, as he was released on February 14th, 1974 without ever getting into an MLB game.
Thing is, I can’t seem to find any Minor League action for Haller during the 1973 season, leaving me wondering what went on that season.
Anyone know?

Friday, March 20, 2020


About time I go and give former All-Star shortstop Bill Russell of the Los Angeles Dodgers a “nickname” card as part of my long-running” thread, for his “Ropes” moniker:

Russell came up with the Dodgers along with their other All-Star infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes and Ron Cey, a rare instance that was really fun to witness as a baseball fan through the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Originally up as a 20-year-old in 1969, he’d go on to play through the 1986 season before eventually getting a chance to manage the team for parts of three seasons between 1996 and 1998.
For his playing career, Russell hit .263, with 1926 hits and 796 runs scored, with three All-Star nods over 2181 games, again, all with the Dodgers.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Time to go and give former Major League catcher Jim Campanis a “not so missing” 1971 card for his handful of games for the Kansas City Royals during the 1970 season:

Campanis appeared in 31 games for the Royals in what was only their second season as a Major league team, collecting seven hits over 54 at-bats for a forgettable .130 batting average.
Originally with the Los Angeles Dodgers between 1966 and 1968, he moved on the Kansas City for their inaugural season of 1969 followed by 1970, be fore putting in Minor League time until he made it all the way back in 1973 for six games with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Funny enough, Topps decided those six games was good enough for a slot in their 1974 set, which I wrote about a long time ago on this blog, almost seven years ago:


Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former pitcher Fred Beene, who closed out his seven-year Big League career with 19 games with the Cleveland Indians in 1975:

Beene went 1-0 for the Tribe during the 1975 campaign, with a bloated 6.94 ERA over 46.2 innings of work with one start and a save thrown in.
His finest season would be 1973 while with the New York Yankees when he went 6-0 out of the bullpen with a sparkling 1.68 ERA over 91 innings, with a save and four spot starts sprinkled in.
By the time he finished his Big League career, he ended up 12-7, with an ERA of 3.63 over 112 appearances and 288 innings of work, with eight saves and six starts along the way between 1968 and 1975.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Up on the blog today is the FIFTH card I have created for Marvin Lane, former outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, who put in a generally part-time five-year Big League career between 1971 and 1977. This card closes out that career, a 1973 edition:

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, March 16, 2020


Thought it’d be fun to create a 1974 coach card for former All-Star catcher John Roseboro since I found this image recently. So here goes:

Before I get into his bio, please let me explain why it will be so short. With all the stuff going on regarding the Coronavirus, and all the terrifying news blasting us 24/7 lately, I’m really trying my hardest to stay motivated to keep this blog and Twitter feed going, much to my dismay.
Anyway, without getting into the intense anxiety enveloping me with it all, seems the only way I can keep it going is with creating the cards, and just posting them up. The bio’s will suffer a bit.
My apologies, but here we go.

After Roseboro’s very nice 14-year MLB career as an All-Star catcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators, he went on to coaching, with a stint for the California Angels in the mid-70’s.
One of the games better defensive backstops in the 1960’s, he took home two Gold Gloves while making the All-Star team four-times.
As a member of the Dodgers, Roseboro was a 3-time World Champion (1959, 1963 and 1965), getting to catch Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton during the Dodger hey days of the decade.
Check out Roseboro’s career statistics here:


Sunday, March 15, 2020


The next “nickname” card in my long time thread is a 1976 edition for former manager and rookie of the year player Al Dark, aka “Swamp Fox”, who was leading the Oakland A’s at the tail-end of their magnificent run of championships in the mid-70s:

Dark was coming off of two straight first-place finishes when this card would have seen the light of day in 1976, with the A’s winning 90 and 98 games respectively in 1974 and 1975.
In 1974 he led them to what was their third straight World Series championship when they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, securing them as one of the great baseball dynasties.
Funny enough, after that 1975 season that had them win 98 games, Dark was let go as manager after the team was beaten in the A.L. Championship series by the Boston Red Sox, and with Free Agency looming, the Oakland A’s would see themselves go from elite team to cellar-dwellers overnight.
As a player, Dark cannot be overlooked, as he was a versatile player who played almost every position throughout his 14-year Big League career, winning the 1948 Rookie of the Year Award while finishing third in MVP voting.
He’d end up collecting over 2000 hits, hitting .289 and scoring 1064 runs, all while entering the league at the age of 26 (after 15 games in 1946) because of World War II. If not for the war he had a decent shot at 3000 hits, among other milestones like 1500 runs and 500 doubles.

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Thought it’d be fun to re-do the 1972 Ron Perranoski card, since the original had a rather funny “airbrush” job done to it. Take a look:

Looks like the fine people at Topps went over the photo negative with a Sharpie, then painted on the classic Detroit “D”.
Anyway, here’s what I came up with after finding this nice photo of him in a Detroit uni:

Perranoski really made a name for himself with his tenures for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins, which spanned 1961 through the 1970 seasons before playing out the final three years of his career with the Detroit Tigers, Angels, and a brief return with L.A.
He had some really good seasons during his career, including 1963 with the Dodgers when he went 16-3 with a 1.67 ERA and 21 saves over 69 appearances and 129 innings pitched. Those numbers were good enough for a fourth place finish in the National League’s MVP race that year.
Some years later he would end up leading the American League in saves with 31 and 34 in 1969 and 1970 respectively, giving the Twins a solid closer as they were fighting for the newly formed American League West championship.
By the time he retired after that 1973 campaign, Perranoski finished with a record of 79 and 74, with 178 saves and a very nice 2.79 ERA over 737 appearances and 1174.2 innings of work.
All but one of those appearances were out of the bullpen.

Friday, March 13, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1974 card for “Pig Pen” Jim Dwyer, his third card on this blog over the years, one representing his Big League debut of 1973 with the St. Louis Cardinals:

Dwyer appeared in 28 games for the Cardinals over the Summer of 1973, hitting .193 with eleven hits over 57 at-bats, with seven runs scored.
He would go on to play 18 seasons in the Majors, hitting .260 generally as a guy off the bench for no less that seven teams: Orioles, Cardinals, Twins, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Giants between 1973 and 1990.
By the time he retired after the 1990 season, he appeared in 1328 games with 271 at-bats and 719 hits, good for a lifetime .260 average.
The highpoint of his career had to be as an often worked platoon guy off the bench for the 1983 World Champion Baltimore Orioles, when he hit .286 for the O's with 17 doubles and eight home runs in only 196 at-bats.

Thursday, March 12, 2020


Time to go and give former Major Leaguer Doug Howard his third “missing” custom here on the blog, with a 1976 edition for his brief time spent with the St. Louis cardinals in 1975:

Howard appeared in 17 games for the Redbirds in 1975, hitting .207 with six hits over 29 at-bats while putting in some First Base duties defensively.
The following season he would appear in 39 games for the Cleveland Indians, and batted .211 with 19 hits in 99 official at-bats.
It was the most time he saw in any of his five seasons in the big league, and his only season as an Indian.
He came up with the California Angels in 1972 and played for them three years before moving on to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975, but he never did appear in a Topps set, even with his 97 career games and 233 at-bats.
All told he finished with a career .212 batting average, with 46 hits over 217 at-bats in 97 games, with 19 runs scored and 22 runs batted in.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Fun card to add to the 1979 “not so missing” collection, a 1979 edition for former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Myron White:

White appeared in seven games for the Dodgers during the 1978 season, which ended up being the sum total of his Big League tenure.
After starting his pro career in 1975 as a seventeen year old in the Los Angeles system, White finally got the call and played his first game on September 4th of 1978, and proceeded to go 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI.
But come 1979 it was back to the Minors for him, which is where he stayed for the next three seasons, all in the Dodgers system, until he retired after 1981.
Aside from those seven games in 1978, he spent the entirety of his pro career in the Dodgers Minor League system between 1975 and 1981.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Came across a nice image of former infielder Billy Grabarkewitz in a Chicago Cubs uniform, so I thought it’d be fun to do-over his 1975 Topps card, since the original was a classic airbrush job. So here you go.
But first the original as-issued card:

And now my re-do:

Grabarkewitz was unknowingly at the tail-end of his Major League career, starting the 1974 season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies before moving on to the Cubs after being purchased on July 10th.
After hitting a combined .226 for both teams over 184 plate appearances, he’d play in only six games the following season with the Oakland A’s, going 0-2 at the plate, which would end up being the last of his Major League tenure.
Oddly enough, in a career that lasted seven seasons, all but one was as a platoon or part-time player, never appearing in more than 87 games, except for 1970.
In that 1970 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Grabarkewitz was an All-Star when he hit .289 with 17 homers, 19 stolen bases, 92 runs scored and 84 runs batted in while playing every infield position but First Base.
In a terrible case of bad luck, the Dodgers had an entire infield of future All-Stars just about coming up in Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Bill Buckner  and Steve Garvey, so it seems Grabarkewitz was squeezed out.
Nevertheless, he finished his career with a .236 career average, with 28 homers and 141 RBIs over 466 games and 1161 at-bats, with 274 hits and 189 runs scored between 1969 and 1975.

Monday, March 9, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1971 card for former pitcher Tom Hilgendorf of the St. Louis Cardinals:

Hilgendorf just completed his second season as a Big Leaguer, appearing in 23 games for the Cards and posting a record of 0-4 with an earned run average of 3.92, all out of the bullpen.
He’d spend the 1971 season in the Kansas City Royals Minor League system before making it back to a Big League mound in 1972 as a member of the Cleveland Indians.
For the ‘72 season Hilgendorf appeared in 19 games, five of which were starts, while posting a 3-1 record with a nice 2.68 earned run average over 47 innings pitched.
Those three wins would be the first of his career after starting off 0-4 while with ther St. Louis Cardinals in 1969/1970, and he would go on to collect 16 more wins before his brief career was up after the 1975 season with the Philadelphia Phillies.
All told Hilgendorf finished with a 19-14 record, with a 3.04 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 184 appearances and 313.2 innings, with 14 saves thrown in, very nice numbers for the short amount of time he had in the big leagues.

Sunday, March 8, 2020


Today’s blog post has a 1973 special celebrating the Texas Rangers and their 1st home game in franchise history, which is also the first official American League game played in Texas, which was on April 21st of 1972:

Fun card to create since I came across an photo of the pre-game ceremonies of that day, with none other than the great Ted Williams front and center, followed by Lenny Randle, Dave Nelson and “Hondo” Frank Howard , all wearing their cowboy hats!
They would go on to win that day, beating the California Angels 7-6 with Dick Bosman getting the win along with a save by Paul Lindblad, boosting the Rangers’ record to 2-3 at that time after starting the season with four road games.
The Rangers would go on to post a record of 54-100 for the season, with their top hitter being Toby Harrah and Larry Biittner hitting at a .259 clip, and their top pitcher being Rich Hand, who led the team with 10 wins while spot starter Mike Paul led the team with an excellent 2.17 ERA over 49 appearances and 161.2 innings pitched.

Saturday, March 7, 2020


Fun card to create for the blog here, a 1978 special featuring the Montreal Expos brilliant young outfield trio of Andre Dawson, Warren Cromartie and Ellis Valentine:

What a group of talented young players here!
With Cromartie the oldest at 23 years of age with the other two at 22, these guys were primed for some great seasons, and 1977 showed just that.
Andre Dawson marched straight to a National League Rookie of the Year with 19 homers, 21 stolen bases and a .282 batting average, Warren Cromartie also hit .282 with 175 hits, 41 doubles, 10 stolen bases and only 40 strikeouts in 662 plate appearances, and Ellis Valentine hit 25 homers, with 76 runs batted in, 13 stolen bases and a .293 average.
While Dawson went on to a Hall of Fame career, all three had nice careers, with Cromartie going to Japan after the 1983 season before making a comeback in 1991 at the age of 37 with the Kansas City Royals, hitting .313 over 69 games.
I’m sure any team would love to have these three anchoring their outfield!

Friday, March 6, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former catcher Tom Lundstedt, who played the last of his MLB games during the 1975 season:

Lundstedt appeared in 18 games for the Minnesota Twins in 1975 after playing the first two years of his career with the Chicago Cubs between 1973 and 1974.
In his 1975 action he batted .107 with three hits over 28 at-bats, collecting the one and only run batted in of his Big League tenure, with two runs scored.
Turns out he would retire from professional ball after 1975, finishing up with a career .092 batting average with six hits in 65 at-bats, with three runs scored, and RBI and nine walks.

Thursday, March 5, 2020


Time to go and create a 1975 “traded” card for long-time reliever Tug McGraw, who found himself moving on to the “City of Brotherly Love” with a December trade from the New York Mets:

McGraw was traded over to the division rival Philadelphia Phillies on December 3rd of 1974 along with Doh Hahn and Dave Schneck for Mac Scarce, John Stearns and Del Unser.
After putting in nine solid if not excellent seasons with the Mets between 1965 and 1974, McGraw would go on to turn it up a notch and play ten years for the Phillies, closing out his career after the 1984 season at the age of 39.
He would make the All-Star team twice, get MVP consideration three seasons, and finish fifth in the Cy Young race in 1980 after helping the Phillies to a World Championship.
In that season he had perhaps the best year of his career, posting a record of 5-4 with a miniscule 1.46 earned run average over 57 games, with 20 saves, before posting another four saves in the Post Season, including the final out of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals.
His final numbers were a career record of 96-92, with a 3.14 ERA over 824 appearances, with 180 saves and 1109 strikeouts in 1514.2 innings pitched.
I can’t believe it’s already been 16 years since he passed away on January 5th of 2004 from a brain tumor which was first diagnosed just about a year earlier.
A true character of the game, he was only 59 years old.
R.I.P. Tug.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020


Today’s blog post has a career-capping “not so missing” 1972 card for former Kansas City Royals infielder Rich Severson, who played the last of his brief two-year MLB career during the 1971 season:

Severson appeared in 16 games for the Royals in 1971, hitting an even .300 with nine hits over 30 at-bats along with four runs scored and an RBI while playing second, short and third on the defensive end.
His Big League debut was a year prior, during the Royals’ second season, where he played in 77 games, hitting .250 with 60 hits over 240 at-bats, both scoring and driving in 22 runs.
He would end up spending the next two seasons in the Royals and Philadelphia Phillies Minor League systems, retiring after the  1973 campaign.
All told, his two-year MLB career resulted in a .256 batting average, with 69 hits over 270 at-bats, with 26 runs scored and 23 RBIs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


On the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1970 card for former “original Royal” player George Spriggs, who appeared in 23 games for Kansas City in their inaugural 1969 season:

Spriggs hit .138 over those 23 games, which was a return to the Big Leagues after spending all of 1968 in the Minors after playing parts of 1965 through 1967 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He would play in 51 games during the 1970 season, with 145 plate appearances, by far the most of any one season in his five-year Big League career, which would end up being his last.
In those 51 games he hit .208 with 27 hits and 12 runs scored and seven runs batted in before moving on to the New York Mets organization, where he’d play through 1972 in their Minor League system, before calling it a career.
All told, Spriggs’ MLB career resulted in a .191 batting average, with 43 hits over 225 at-bats, with 35 runs scored and 12 RBIs.

Monday, March 2, 2020


Created this card months ago and just realized that the player was actually on a multi-player rookie card in that set, so my error makes this a “dedicated rookie” instead of the intended “not so missing” card for former Detroit Tigers pitcher Jim Foor:

Foor was actually on card #257 in the 1972 Topps set along with Tim Hosley and Paul Jata, something that immediately occurred to me as I was putting this post together.
Nevertheless, I don’t want to “waste” the effort, so here’s a “dedicated rookie” for the 13-game Major League pitcher, who made his Big League debut during the 1971 season with three games.
Over those three games, Foor didn’t factor in a decisions and pitched to an eye-gouging 18.00 earned run average over one single inning, walking four and giving up two hits while also striking out two.
He’d be back in 1972 with seven appearances for Detroit, going 1-0 with an ERA of 14.73 over 3.2 innings, all out of the bullpen for the American League East champ Tigers.
In 1973 he’d find himself a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, appearing in three games and not factoring in a decision, throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless ball.
However, after another three seasons of Minor League work in the Kansas City, St. Louis and Oakland systems through the 1976 campaign he’d call it a career, finishing up with a record of 1-0 over 13 appearances, with an ERA of 12.00 in six innings of work, all out of the ‘pen.

Sunday, March 1, 2020


Up on the blog today, I wanted a shot a re-doing my much earlier “missing card” for Kansas City Royals pitcher Roger Nelson, which I created almost SEVEN years ago (time flies!):

Now the first one I created wasn’t all that bad, but this image here is an actual Topps photo, so it just completes what I wanted to accomplish for the guy who would go on to post one of the best WHIP-seasons of our lifetime!.
Here’s my original post written up on June 13th, 2013:

“Quick, if someone were to ask you to name the top 3 "WHIP" pitching seasons since 1970, I'm sure at some point you can guess the names Pedro Martinez or Greg Maddux if you don't already know the answer.
Martinez set the MLB record with a .737 WHIP in 2000 (unreal considering it was smack in the middle of steroid-era baseball), while Maddux turned in an incredible .810 WHIP in 1995. Both were Cy Young award winners those years, and both were already considered the top pitchers in the game.
Now, if you were to take a guess at #3 on the WHIP list post-1970, how long would it take for you to name Roger Nelson of the 1972 Royals!?
Yes, journeyman pitcher and one of the original Royals from their debut 1969 season, Roger Nelson.
He of the nine-year, 29-32 career, pulled off an amazing, yet unappreciated season in 1972 where he posted a 2.08 E.R.A.,  with 10 complete games out of 19 starts, for a team that went 76-78.
Yet despite the valiant effort, he ended up sporting a paltry 11-6 record by season's end, though six of those 11 wins were by shutout.
But what really set this season apart from so many others was his WHIP (Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched), which is so valued in today’s game.
In 1972 Nelson recorded an amazing .871 WHIP, easily finishing ahead of Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter, Gaylord Perry and Jim Palmer. Definitely one of those trivia questions that can win you some money in a bar one night!
Now, as if the poor guy's season isn't respected enough, turns out Topps didn't even have a card for him in the 1972 set even though he had cards from 1968-1971, and 1973-1975. But for his best season in the Majors, nothing. That is, until today.”


Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.