Thursday, April 30, 2020


On the blog today is a special 1977 “traded” card for a man who could rake at the plate, “Shake ‘n Bake” Bake McBride, who found himself in the city of Brotherly Love come June of that year:

McBride, who came up to the Big Leagues and spent all his time thus far with the St. Louis Cardinals, was dealt along with Steve Waterbury to the Philadelphia Phillies on June 15th for Rick Bosetti, Dane Iorg and Tom Underwood after alleged tension between he and recent managerial hire Vern Rapp, who was knows as a disciplinarian.
McBride made an immediate splash in the Majors, hitting .302 in limited play in 1973 before coming back and taking home the 1974 National League Rookie of the Year Award when he hit .309 with 173 hits and 30 stolen bases.
Sadly, even though he would keep that average around .300 for the rest of his career, he was repeatedly dealing with injuries, ranging from knee and shoulder ailments, to missing almost an entire season because of eye problems relating to contact lenses.
Over his 11-year career he managed to play a full season only four times, with three of those years coming consecutively between 1978-1980.
In that last of consecutive full years, he helped the Phillies win the 1980 World Series, defeating the Kansas City Royals and giving the team their first title.
After that, he played three more years in the Big Leagues, never more than 70 games in any one season, finishing up with a .299 batting average over 1071 games and 3853 at-bats, with 1153 hits and 183 stolen bases.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020


On the blog today, a “not so missing” 1972 card for former outfielder Von Joshua, who appeared in just under a dozen games for the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 1971 season:

Joshua went 0-7 at the plate with two runs scored for the Dodgers in that brief action, this after hitting .266 the previous year when he appeared in 72 games, collecting 29 hits over 109 official at-bats.
He’d spend all of 1972 in the Minors before making it back for good in 1973, going on to play until 1980 when he appeared in 53 games for the San Diego Padres.
His finest season would have to be 1975 when he hit .318 for the San Francisco Giants, pretty much setting career highs across the boars with runs, hits, average, doubles, triples and stolen bases.
Overall, over his ten seasons in the Big Leagues, Joshua finished with a .273 average, with 610 hits in 2234 at-bats over 822 games.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1975 card for former infielder Pete Mackanin, who appeared in a scant two games for the Texas Rangers during the 1974 season:

After coming up for the first time in 1973 and appearing in 44 games for Texas, Mackanin got into only two games in 1974, going 1-for-6 at the plate while getting some time at shortstop.
He’d find himself a member of the Montreal Expos in 1975, getting some full-time action by appearing in 130 games and hitting .225, and pretty much matching those numbers across the boards the following season when he appeared in 114 games, hitting .224.
He would end up playing through the 1981 season after two years with the Minnesota Twins, putting in nine years under the Major League sun and finishing up with a .226 batting average over 548 games and 1570 at-bats.
He’d go into coaching after his playing days, eventually getting some managerial work in with interim gigs with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005 and Cincinnati Reds in 2007, before heading the Philadelphia Phillies for the second half of 2015 and all of 2016 and 2017.

Monday, April 27, 2020


On the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1974 card for former pinch-hitter extraordinaire Jose Morales, who started off his Major League career with a split season between the Oakland A’s and Montreal Expos in 1973:

Morales appeared in the first six games of his career with the Oakland A’s, going 4-for-14 at the plate before being purchased by the Expos on September 18th, going on to play another five games for his new team, going 2-for-5 before season’s end.
Of course if any of you remember the 1977 set, you’ll remember that Morales set a new Major League record for pinch-hits in a season in 1976 when he collected 25, breaking the record held by Dave Philley and Vic Davalillio, appearing on a “Record Breaker” card in the set.
He would play twelve seasons in the Big Leagues, finishing up with a nice .287 career batting average with 375 hits over 1305 at-bats between 1973 and 1984.

Sunday, April 26, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a 1970 “special” celebrating Major League baseball’s entry into the Canadian market, as the Montreal Expos play their first game on April 8th, 1969:

The Expos came out victorious in a slugfest against the eventual World Champ New York Mets, winning 11-10 out at Shea Stadium, holding off a Met ninth-inning rally that saw them score four runs to bring the game down to a single run.
In the fourth inning Montreal pitcher Dan McGinn hit the first home run in franchise history with a blast off of Mets starter Tom Seaver, while Rusty Staub and Coco Laboy added shots in the 8th as well.
Jim “Mudcat” Grant started the game for Montreal but lasted 1.1 innings before giving way to four relievers, with Don Shaw picking up the win and Carroll Sembera picking up the save.
On the Mets side, Tom Seaver threw five innings, giving up two earned runs, but didn’t factor in a decision as Cal Koonce picked up the loss with two innings of work, giving up three earned runs.
Managed by Gene Mauch, the Expos finished up their inaugural season with a record of 52-110, finishing last in the newly formed NL East.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a career-capping “not so missing” 1977 card for former pitcher Jim York, who played in a handful of games for the New York Yankees during the 1976 season:

York, who was coming off four straight seasons pitching for the Houston Astros, appeared in only three games for the Yankees in 1976, going 1-0 and pitching to a 5.59 earned run average in 9.2 innings of work.
York put in seven years in the Big Leagues, appearing in 174 games and throwing 285 innings, all but four appearances out of the bullpen.
Over that time he finished with a career 16-17 record, with an ERA of 3.79 and 10 saves pitching for the Kansas City Royals, Astros and those three games with the New York Yankees.

Friday, April 24, 2020


Over five years ago I created a “Missing” 1978 card for former infielder Ken McMullen, who closed out a nice 16-year MLB career in 1977 after a stint with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Since then I’ve found a much nice photo, this one a Topps photograph, and am taking the opportunity to recreate the card to make it more “authentic”:

I’ll always jump at the chance to use actual Topps photos to create cards, and this was a nice improvement over my initial effort.
As I stated earlier, McMullen wrapped up a nice 16-year Major League career in 1977, appearing in 63 games, good for 151 plate appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .228 with five homers and 19 R.B.I.'s.
It was the only year for him in Milwaukee after two stints of three years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, five-plus years with the Washington Senators, three years with the California Angels and a season with the Oakland A's.
McMullen was a solid player who finished his career with a .248 lifetime average, 156 home runs, 606 runs batted in and 568 runs scored over 1583 games with 5131 at-bats.
The most success he had were his years in Washington, which saw him as their full-time third baseman between 1965-1970.
The 1969 season was arguably his best year as he hit .272 with 19 homers and 87 R.B.I.'s along with 83 runs scored and 25 doubles.
One last tidbit: he hit a pinch-hit home run in his last Major League at-bat.
Not a bad way to go out!

Thursday, April 23, 2020


Time to go and give former outfielder Rowland Office a “not so missing” 1973 card to celebrate his first taste of the Big Leagues, which came in 1972:

Office appeared in two games for the Atlanta Braves during the 1972 season as a nineteen-year-old, collecting two hits over five at-bats for a nifty .400 batting average with a run scored.
After a full year in the Minors for 1973, he’d be back in the Majors for good in 1974, appearing in 131 games and going on to play through the 1983 season with two games for the New York Yankees.
In between, he played the bulk of his career with the Braves, good for seven seasons, before putting in three years with the Montreal Expos, leading up to that aforementioned brief Yankees stint.
Overall, Office played for eleven years, finishing up with a .259 batting average on 626 hits in 2413 at-bats over 899 games, scoring 259 runs while driving in 242.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


On the blog today is my 1970 re-do of former pitcher Stan Williams’ Topps card, which was originally a capless image that served its purpose of having him tagged with his new team, the Minnesota Twins.
But since I had a nice photo of him in a 1969 Cleveland Indians uniform, the team he suited up for that year, I wanted to create an alternate version.
First up, the original as issued by Topps:

Now for my re-do:

Nice image of Williams in the 1969 Cleveland Indians uni, for whom he pitched before heading over to the Twins as part of a trade that also had Luis Tiant heading to the Twins for Dean Chance, Graig Nettles and two others.
Originally a starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers between 1958 and 1962, Williams even made the All-Star team in 1960 and gave the team a solid arm paired up with the likes of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.
By the time the 1970 season was opening up, his career was in flux, but he found his groove as a reliever that season, going 10-1 with a brilliant 1.99 earned run average over 68 appearances and 113.1 innings of work.
At the age of 33, you’d think he was starting a second phase of his career, but sadly he’d only be in the Majors another two seasons, pitching for the Twins, St. Louis Cardinals and finally the Boston Red Sox in 1972, making only three appearances and getting lit up to a 6.23 ERA.
After taking 1973 off, he did pitch in the Minors for Boston in 1974, and performed very well, going 2-0 with a minuscule 0.47 ERA over five appearances and 19 innings pitched, but that would be it for his Pro career, finishing up with a 109-94 record over 14 seasons, with a nice 3.48 ERA and 1305 strikeouts in 482 appearances and 1764.1 innings, throwing 11 shutouts while collecting 42 saves along the way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Time to go and post up my “not so missing” 1972 card for long-time pitcher Mike Caldwell, who made his MLB debut in 1971 with six appearances for the San Diego Padres:

Over those six appearances Caldwell posted a record of 1-0 without giving up a single earned run, throwing 6.2 innings of scoreless ball as a 22-year-old.
He would go on to pitch another two seasons with the Padres before moving on to the San Francisco Giants in 1974, having his first successful year with a record of 14-5 and a 2.95 ERA over 31 appearances, 27 of them starts.
He’d struggle over the next two years before starting the 1977 season with the Cincinnati Reds, appearing in 14 games as a reliever before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for two Minor Leaguers on June 15th.
In Milwaukee he would find his groove, going on to pitch seven-plus years for the “Brew Crew”, posting double-digit win totals six times including his magnificent 1978 campaign, which saw him go 22-9 with a 2.36 ERA over 34 starts, completing 23 of them and tossing six shutouts.
If it were not for a man named Ron Guidry that season, Caldwell would have taken home the American League Cy Young Award, finishing second while also finishing twelfth in the MVP race.
By the time he retired after the 1984 season, Caldwell ended up with a career 137-130 record along with a 3.81 ERA in 475 appearances, 307 of them starts, with 23 shutouts, 18 saves and a brilliant 1982 World Series performance in a losing cause when he went 2-0 over three games, posting a 2.04 ERA including a shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Monday, April 20, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1979 card for former Detroit Tigers pitcher Sheldon Burnside, who had more of a corporate CEO name than a Big Leaguer:

Burnside made his MLB debut during the 1978 season, appearing in only two games and giving up four earned runs over four innings of work, with both of those games out of the bullpen and not figuring in a decision.
He’d be back on a Major League mound in 1979, appearing in 10 games for Detroit, going 1-1 over 21.1 innings pitched, with a 6.33 ERA, again with all his appearances out of the ‘pen.
In 1980, he’d find himself a member of the Cincinnati Reds after a trade for Champ Summers, and would end up playing the last of his Big League games with seven appearances, going 1-0 with a very nice 1.93 ERA over 4.2 innings, closing out his career with a 2-1 record, posting a final 6.00 ERA over 19 appearances and 30 innings.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


I came across a nice Topps image for Brant Alyea as an Oakland A’s player and figured I’d go and re-do one of my “missing” customs from over four years ago, his 1973 edition, so here goes:

Anytime I come across a nice Topps image for a card that I created years ago using some other random image, I feel I should go back and replace it with the “authentic” version.
Makes for a more realistic card overall.
As for Alyea, he played in 33 games during the 1972 season, starting off with 10 for the A’s before being traded to St. Louis where he’d suit up for 13 games, before being returned of all things BACK to the A’s where he would play the final 10 games of his career.
Alyea combined for a .180 average in 1972, with nine hits over 50 at-bats with a single home run while playing the outfield.
For his career, he ended up with a .247 batting average with 214 hits over 866 at-bats, along with 38 homers and 148 runs batted in. Not bad production for the limited play when you do the math.
His finest season was in 1970 while with the Minnesota Twins, when he hit .291 with 16 homers and 61 RBI’s in just 94 games and 258 at-bats.

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Here’s a card I’ve wanted to created for a long time, a 1978 “re-do” for Richie Zisk, showing him as a member of the Chicago White Sox as well as getting that All-Star medallion on there, which Topps inexplicably left off his original card:

I remember as a kid my friends and I trying to figure out why there was a missing all-star card when this set came out.
I was in the third grade and we were trying to complete our sets, ripping packs open and never getting that third American League All-Star outfielder.
Of course a year later we’d be trying to figure out the American League All-Star shortstop, as Topps pulled the same boner move and for some reason forgot to put that sweet all-star banner on Freddie Patek’s card as well.
Zisk arguably had his best Major League season in 1977, slamming 30 home runs along with a .290 batting average, with 101 runs batted in and 78 runs scored, giving him a starting all-star berth and some MVP consideration.
That 1977 White Sox team was a good one, based in large part to the fire power they had in their line-up, as they finished 90-72 for the season.
Besides Zisk and his 30 homers, they also got strong contributions from Oscar Gamble (31 homers), Eric Soderholm (25 homers), Chet Lemon (19 homers), Jim Spencer (18 homers), and Lamar Johnson (18 homers).
As a team the ChiSox ended up hitting 192 homers for the year, very nice muscle display!
As for Zisk, he'd end up playing for 13-years, hitting 207 home runs with 792 RBI's and 681 runs scored with a nice .287 batting average over 1453 games and 5144 at-bats.

Friday, April 17, 2020


Finally getting around to created a “not so missing” 1971 card for slugger Darrell Evans, who appeared in a dozen games for the Atlanta Braves during the 1970 season, his second in the Big Leagues:

Evans hit a very nice .318 in his limited action, collecting 14 hits over 44 at-bats with nine runs batted in for the Braves, with a double and a triple, but still no home runs.
Nevertheless, we would all be getting a taste of what he would go on to produce through the 1989 season playing for the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers.
Through it all he was a consistent hitter, topping 20 homers 10-times and collecting over 2000 hits and 1300+ runs scored and RBI’s.
In 1973 he hit 41 home runs for the Braves, becoming the first trio along with Hank Aaron and Davey Johnson to do so as teammates in the same season.
Twelve years after that, now a member of the Detroit Tigers, he would lead the American League with 40 homers, becoming the first player to top 40+ homers in both leagues.
In 1987, at the age of 40, he would blast 34 homers with 99 RBI’s and 100 walks for Detroit, easily one of the best age-40 season we’ve seen come along.
By the time he retired, he would hit 414 home runs, while hitting .248 with two all-star game berths in 2687 games and over 10000 plate appearances.
Watch for my “nickname” card for “Howdy Doody”, which should be up on the blog within the month!

Thursday, April 16, 2020


On the blog today, a fun card to create, a “not so missing” 1973 card for nine-game Major League pitcher Steve Simpson, who played the entirety of his Big League career during the last month of the 1972 season:

The 23-year-old made his MLB debut on September 10th, 1972, throwing two scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves, and went on to finish with a record of 0-2 with a 4.76 earned run average over 11.1 innings of work.
Sadly for him that would be it for the Big Leagues, as he’d put in another two seasons in the Minor Leagues before calling it a career.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former pitcher Ed Glynn, who made his Major League debut in 1975 with three appearances for the Detroit Tigers:

Glynn went 0-2 over that time with a 4.30 earned run average, pitching 14.2 innings with a start thrown in, striking out eight along with eight walks.
He’d go on to pitch for 10 Big League seasons, moving on to the New York Mets, then Cleveland Indians before a final stop for only three appearances with the Montreal Expos in 1985.
All told, Glynn ended up with a career 12-17 record, with a 4.25 ERA over 175 appearances and 264.2 innings pitched, along with 12 saves and one complete game.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1970 card for pitcher Jim Colborn, who made his MLB debut during the 1969 season with six appearances and 14.2 innings with the Chicago Cubs:

Colborn posted a 1-0 record with an earned run average of 3.07, with two of those six appearances being starts, striking out four while walking nine.
He would find his groove after a trade to the Milwaukee Brewers  in 1972, posting a 20-win season in 1973 and making his only All-Star team before moving on to the Kansas City Royals in 1977 and posting a solid year that saw him go 18-14.
By the time he’d retire after the 1978 season, Colborn finished with a record of 83 and 88, with an ERA at 3.80 over 301 appearances and 1597.1 innings of work.

Monday, April 13, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a career-capping “not so missing” 1971 card for former catcher Doc Edwards, who made it back to the Big Leagues after spending the previous four years in the Minors:

Edwards appeared in 35 games for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1970 season, hitting .269 with 21 hits over 78 at-bats.
It was the first Major league action for the backstop since the 1965 season when he split the year between the Kansas City Athletics and New York Yankees, appearing in 51 games combined.
Turns out, even though he was still only 33 years of age, those 35 games in 1970 would end up being the last of his Major League career.
He would finish his five year career with a .238 batting average, with 216 hits in 906 at-bats over 317 games, hitting 15 homers with 87 runs batted in and 69 runs scored.
Between 1987 and 1989 he would manage the Cleveland Indians, finishing up his managerial tenure with a record of 173 and 207.

Sunday, April 12, 2020


Here’s a card I’ve been meaning to create for some time now, a “missing” 1974 manager card for the New York Yankees, which Topps left out of their set since I’m assuming they didn’t know who the new manager was yet at the time of printing:

What I decided to do was create a card representing the Yankee manager of 1973, which was Ralph Houk, who actually had a card in the 1974 set, but as the newly hired manager of the Detroit Tigers.
You can see he is clearly wearing a Yankee uniform in the airbrushed photo.
Anyway, Houk just came off his eleventh season of managing the Yanks, leading them to a record of 80-82 before heading West to manage the Tigers, a job he’d have for the next five seasons.
Houk put in an eight-year Major League career as a player in the late-40’s/early 50’s as a back-up catcher with the New York Yankees, but had a much more effective Big League career as a manager, putting in 20 seasons, including his five years with the Tigers.
Of course, everyone will remember that he was the Tigers’ manager before Sparky Anderson took over in 1979 on his way to an historic run.
For Houk, it was a rough time leading Detroit, with four sub-.500 seasons before finishing on a high-note in 1978 when the team went 86-76.
But don’t feel bad for the guy, as he started as a Big League manager when he took over the Yankees before the 1961 season, yep, the year the Yankees went on to win 109 games, straight to a World Championship, and have Mantle and Maris fight for the “race to 61”.
By the time he retired as a manager after the 1984 season after four years managing the Boston Red Sox, Houk finished with a 1619-1531 record, with two championships, and three American League pennants.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


It is time to go and add former All-Star Richie Zisk to my long running thread of “dedicated rookies”, this one a 1970 edition for the Brooklyn-born slugger:

Zisk wouldn’t actually make his MLB debut until 1971 with seven games before coming back in 1972 with 17 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But in 1973 he made quite the impression, hitting a cool .324 over 103 games, giving everyone an idea of what was to come.
He would end up playing 13 seasons under the Big League sun, for the Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners between 1971 and 1983, hitting 207 homers, with 792 RBIs and 681 runs scored, hitting .287 over 1453 games and 5144 at-bats.
I will ALWAYS be bothered by the fact that Topps screwed up his 1978 card, forgetting to place the All-Star emblem on his card, which would have given him two straight All-Star cards in 1978/1979.
But keep an eye out next week for my re-done 1978 Zisk card, with All-Star emblem as well as White Sox fix!

Friday, April 10, 2020


Fun card to add to the WTHBALLS “collection”, a “not so missing” 1971 card for pitcher Jim Cosman, who saw the last of his Big League action in 1970:

Cosman, who came up in 1966 with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966 and pitched eleven for them in 1966/1967, spent 1968 and 1969 in the Minors before making it back to the Majors in 1970 for one single inning of one single game, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk.
That was all the action he saw for the season before spending all of 1971 in the Minor Leagues in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
For his MLB tenure, he ended up with a 2-0 record, along with a nice 3.05 earned run average over 12 appearances and six starts, throwing 41.1 innings and even tossing a shutout.
As a matter of fact, he tossed that shutout in his MLB debut, beating the Chicago Cubs on October 2nd of 1966 2-0, allowing only two hits and striking out five.
Not a bad way to make your debut!

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1972 card for former first/third baseman Ed Goodson, who just came off his second partial season in the Big Leagues with the San Francisco Giants:

Goodson appeared in 20 games during the 1971 season, hitting .190 with eight hits over 42 at-bats, with four runs scored and a run batted in.
Basically a player off the bench his entire career, he had a very nice 1973 season for San Fran when he batted .302 with 12 homers and 53 runs batted in over 102 games, easily his best season in the Major League.
Overall for his eight-year MLB career, Goodson finished with a .260 batting average, with 329 hits over 1266 at-bats, with 108 runs scored and 170 runs batted in, with 30 homers in 515 games between 1970 and 1977.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1978 card for seven-game Major League pitcher Barry Cort, who played the entirety of his Big League career between April and June of 1977:

Cort posted a record of 1-1 over those seven games, finishing up with a nice earned run average of 3.33 over 24.1 innings of work with three starts and a complete game.
Sadly for him however he’d be back in the Minors where he’d play over the next four years, never getting back to the Major League level again, finishing with one year in the Oakland A’s system in 1981.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Today on the blog we have a “missing” 1971 career-capper for former first baseman Greg Goossen, who played the last of his Big League games during the 1970 season:

Goossen finished his MLB career with a split season between the Milwaukee Brewers and finally the Washington Senators, playing in a combined 42 games and hitting .241 with 20 hits over 83 at-bats.
In 1969 with the Pilots he had his best year, hitting .309 in 52 games for the one-year organization, with a power surge of 10 homers in only 139 at-bats.
Over his six seasons under the Big League sun he hit .241 with 111 hits in 460 at-bats spread out over 193 games between 1965 and 1970, playing for the New York Mets, Seattle Pilots, Brewers and Senators.

Monday, April 6, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for 2x #1 overall draft pick Danny Goodwin, still the only player ever taken first twice in the Amateur Draft:

Goodwin made his major League debut as a 21-year-old during the 1975 season, appearing in four games and collecting one hit over ten at-bats, a single.
As many of you already know, Goodwin was first drafted #1 back in 1971 by the Chicago White Sox, but turned them down so he could attend Southern University and A&M.
After a successful college playing career, he was once again the top pick overall in 1975, this time by the California Angels.
All told, between the years 1975 and 1982 Goodwin averaged about 45 games a season for the Angels, Twins and A's, mainly as a designated hitter, ending up with a .236 lifetime average and 13 home runs to go along with 81 runs batted in over 252 games and 636 at-bats.
He DID have some good seasons in the minors, but just couldn't continue that performance in the Majors.
He even managed to get a season in Japan in 1986, playing for Nankai, but only batted .231 with eight homers and 26 ribbies in 83 games, and called it a career.
In 2011 Goodwin was honored as the very first player from a historically black university to be elected to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame after his stellar college career between 1971 and 1975.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


Adding to my long-running 1975 “In-Action” sub-set today, we have a bit of a swan-song for Hall of Fame third baseman Ron Santo, who finished up his excellent Big League career with one season out of a Chicago Cubs uniform, now as a cross town Chicago White Sox player:

Santo hit only .221 as mainly their Designated Hitter in what was his 15th and final Major League campaign, retiring soon after at only 34 years of age.
Of course it was his stalwart career with the Chicago Cubs that eventually got him his rightful place in Cooperstown, hitting .277 with 342 home runs and 1331 runs batted in while playing stellar third base.
Between 1963 and 1973 Santo was selected for nine All-Star games, received five Gold Gloves for his defensive work, and four-time finished Top-10 in the National League MVP race, with a high of fourth in 1967.
Post-playing career, Santo moved on to broadcasting, where he was a beloved color commentator over the years, working with guys like Harry Caray, Thom Brennaman and Steve Stone.
But it was mainly his working relationship with Pat Hughes on the radio that were enthusiastically known as the “Pat and Ron Show”.
Sadly, Santo would die from bladder cancer and complications from diabetes in December, 2010, and would not live to see himself selected for the Hall of Fame, as that would come almost a year later when he was the only player selected by the Golden Era Committee.
Just a crying shame if you ask me.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Today on the blog we have a 1978 “traded” card for “The Hammer” John Milner, who found himself part of a blockbuster trade on December 8th, 1977 after seven seasons as a New York Met:

Milner was part of a monster four-team trade between the Mets, Pirates, Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves that also saw Willie Montanez, Bert Blyleven, Al Oliver, Jom Matlack and six others on the move.
A Shea Stadium fan favorite during his Mets years, Milner hit as many as 23 homers in a season while playing both First Base and Left Field between 1971 and 1977.
He would play 12-years in the Big Leagues, finishing with 131 homers, a .249 batting average and 855 hits over 1215 games and 3436 at-bats between 1971 and 1982.
Sadly, Milner passed away at the age of only 50 from cancer on January 4th, 2000.

Friday, April 3, 2020


Today’s blog post has a 1971 custom celebrating the April 7th, 1970 debut of a new Major League franchise, the Milwaukee Brewers, who were brought East after one season as the Seattle Pilots the year prior:

Falling to the California Angels 12-0 on Opening Day in 1970, the Brewers began their franchise run as an American League West team before sliding into the East in 1972 to make room for the Texas Rangers.
Pretty much the Seattle team from 1969, their stars in their inaugural campaign were double-threat Tommy Harper, who would go on to have a 30-30 year with 31 homers and 38 stolen bases, Centerfielder Dave May, and reliever Ken Sanders.
A guy by the name of Bud Selig, the future joke of a Major League Commissioner, was their owner, who acquired the team in bankruptcy court, and would own the team in one form or another through 2004.
By the end of the 1970’s they were putting together loaded teams that would eventually make the World Series in 1982, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals, boasting line-ups with guys like Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Ted Simmons, Cecil Cooper and Gorman Thomas.
In 1998, the organization was moved to the National League (which still irks me), where they have been ever since, making the N.L. Championship Series in 2011 and 2018, losing both times.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


On the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1974 card for former New York Mets pitcher Hank Webb, who appeared in only two games during the 1973 season:

Webb didn’t factor in a decision over those two games, posting an earned run average of 10.80 in 1.2 innings pitched, both relief appearances.
The only season during his career that saw him play regularly was 1975 when he appeared in 29 games for the Mets, starting 15 of them and going 7-6 with a 4.07 ERA, three complete games and a shutout over 115 innings pitched.
He would pitch in the Majors over parts of six seasons (1972-1977), all but his last as a Met and finishing with five games as a Los Angeles Dodger, ending up with a career 7-9 record with an ERA at 4.31 in 53 games and 169 innings pitched.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1973 card for former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Cosgrove, who made his MLB debut during the 1972 season:

Cosgrove appeared in seven games in 1972, going 0-1 with a 4.61 earned run average over 13.2 innings of work as a 21-year-old.
His best year would easily be 1974 when he posted a record of 7-3 with a 3.50 ERA over 45 appearances, with two saves and 47 strikeouts in 90 innings.
He would go on to pitch five years in the Big Leagues, all for the Astros, ending up with a career record of 12-11 over 119 appearances, all but 20 of those out of the bullpen, with a 4.03 ERA in 274.2 innings pitched between 1972 and 1976.


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