Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Up on the blog today is my third card creation for former catcher Art Kusnyer here on the blog, this one a 1977 “not so missing” edition:

Kusnyer appeared in 15 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976 after spending all of 1974 and 1975 in the Minor Leagues.
Over that limited playing time he hit .118 with four hits over 34 at-bats, with two runs scored and three runs batted in.
Kusnyer was yet another of those players I read about in a SABR article that spoke of guys who posted the most career at-bats or innings pitched who were not represented on a Topps card (in this case, a card of their own).
Kusnyer came up for a cup-of-coffee in 1970 with the White Sox after getting picked in the 37th round of the 1966 amateur draft.
After four games and ten at-bats with Chicago in 1970, he was traded to California in March of 1971 for a couple of minor players, appearing in only six games for the season.
However 1972 would fare much better for the young catcher, as he would go on to play in a career high 64 games, good for 198 plate appearances.
For the year he batted .207, getting 37 hits in 179 at-bats with two doubles, a triple and two homers.
However this wasn't enough to get him more playing time the following season, as the Angels already had Jeff Torborg and John Stephenson ahead of him in the depth chart for the position, so all Kusnyer would see as far as playing time in 1973 would be 41 games, good for 67 plate appearances and an anemic .125 batting average.
However, not all was a lost-cause for the youngster, as on July 15th of that year Kusnyer would have perhaps the biggest thrill of his Big League career, catching Nolan Ryan's second career no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium.
But when 1974 rolled around, Kusnyer found himself struggling to find a spot for himself in the Milwaukee Brewers organization after being traded by California in October of 1973 in a nine-player swap between the two clubs.
He'd end up toiling in the Minors for the next two seasons before finding his way back into a Major League game in 1976, getting into those 15 games for the Brewers.
His last hurrah on the Major League level would be in 1978 with the Kansas City Royals, playing in nine games and getting three hits in 13 at-bats, good for a .231 average.
He'd scratch out another season of Minor League ball for the White Sox in 1979 before calling it a career and eventually moving into coaching work for the Sox and the Oakland A's over the next 28 years.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020


The blog today offers up a “not so missing” 1979 card for eight-game Major League outfielder Luis Silverio of the Kansas City Royals, who was a September call up in 1978 in what turned out to be the only Big League action he’d see:

Silverio hit a blistering .545 in his short time up, collecting six hits in 11 at-bats, with two doubles and a triple along with seven runs scored and three RBI’s!
His slugging was an eye-opening .909 with an OPS of 1.524! Hilarious, and an incredible showing for the young 21-year-old!
Funny enough, when you check out his Minor League career spanning 1974 through 1982, he never hit .300 in a season, generally stuck around .250 year after year.
He would end up playing another four years in the Kansas City organization, but never get that chance to play in the Majors again, retiring after the 1982 season.


Monday, September 28, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1971 card for two-game Major League pitcher Ray Peters, who played the entirety of his Big League career in June of 1970:

Peters’ two games were not that successful, as he was pounded for seven earned runs over two innings of work, but nevertheless he made it to the “Big Show”, even if it was for only two days.
That performance left him with a career 0-2 record, with an earned run average of 31.50, with five walks and seven hits allowed.
He would spend the 1971 season in the Minors playing for both the Milwaukee and Philadelphia Phillies organizations, but he would retire after that, still only 24 years of age.



Sunday, September 27, 2020


It’s been a long while since I added a card to my long-running “Highlights of the 1970’s” thread, one of my oldest here on the blog, but today we honor one of the greats of the game, Frank Robinson, and his landmark managerial position in 1975, making him the first African-American to hold the position in Major League ball:

Robinson was actually a player-manager his first two years at the helm in 1975 and 1976, going a combined 160-158, good for consecutive fourth-place finished in the American League East.
He would go on to manage for parts of 16 years between 1975 and 2006, when he managed the Washington Nationals at the age of 70.
Robinson is perhaps the “greatest underrated player” in Major League history.
A two-time Most Valuable Player, and the first to do it in both leagues, Robinson also took home a Triple Crown in 1966, was a twelve time All-Star, finished in the Top-4 in MVP voting outside his two wins, and oh yeah, as mentioned earlier was also the first African-American Manager in league history.
When he retired as an active player in 1976, Robinson was in the top-5 in so many offensive categories he was in the company of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.
Yet oddly enough, perhaps because of the era he played in, he would get buried in the “all-time greats” conversation in lieu of the aforementioned players along with guys like Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente and Ted Williams.
I would say he and Stan Musial are the TWO greatest “underrated” players of all-time, and you could arguably throw in others like Bob Feller for good measure.
Just an all-out legend in so many ways.


Saturday, September 26, 2020


Today on the blog we go and add all-time great Hank Aaron to my “Minor League Day’s” 1971 sub-set, as we celebrate the legend before he went on to have one of the greatest careers the game has ever seen:

All the 19-year-old Aaron did in 1953 with the Jacksonville Braves was hit a torrid .362 with 208 hits, 36 doubles and 22 home runs over 137 games, along with 14 triples and 338 total bases in his last season of Minor League ball.
Just a glimpse of what was to come as he’d go on to do just about everything over the next quarter of a century in the Big Leagues.
Let his numbers do all the talking: 2174 runs scored, 3771 hits, 624 doubles, 98 triples, 755 home runs, 2297 runs batted in, a .305 batting average no less than 21 all-star selections!
Just tremendous!
He also had eight top-5 finishes for MVP, including taking home the award in 1957, as well as three Gold Gloves won consecutively between 1958-1960.
It's incredible to look at his 15 years of topping 100 or more runs scored, 11 seasons of 100 or more runs batted in, five more seasons of 90+ RBI's, and TWENTY STRAIGHT years of 20 or more home runs.
Almost hilarious to look at! Just incredible…


Friday, September 25, 2020


OK, so today on the blog we have a long overdue “do-over”, a redone and CORRECTED 1973 card for former All-Star Oakland A’s outfielder Joe Rudi, who was given the disservice of having fellow All-Star teammate Gene Tenace pictured on his card.
So here’s a redone card with a nice shot from the 1972 World Series featured:

Rudi had two second-place MVP finished during his great run during the middle part of the decade, in 1972 and 1974, while also taking home three straight Gold Gloves between 1974 and 1976.
He led the league with 181 hits and nine triples in 1972 along with doubles (39) and total bases (287) in 1974 while also giving the A’s a flexible fielder that could play all three outfield positions as well as first base.
Such a solid player teamed up with others like Sal Bando and Gene Tenace that made the A’s much more than just superstars like Reggie Jackson and Jim “Catfish” Hunter.
By the time Rudi retired, he finished up with a career .264 average, with 179 homers and 810 RBIs over 1547 games and 5556 at-bats playing for the A’s, California Angels and Boston Red Sox between 1967 and 1982.
By the way, for those not familiar, here’s the original as-released card mentioned earlier:




Thursday, September 24, 2020


How ‘bout we go and give former catcher and fellow Italian-American Chris Cannizzaro a “not so missing” 1974 card shall we?
Well here you go:

Cannizzaro appeared in 17 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1973, hitting .190 while serving as a back-up catcher defensively.
He would have one more season of Major League ball left, playing for the San Diego padres in 1974 before calling it a career at the age of 36, playing 13 years between 1960 and 1974.
Over that time he finished with a .235 batting average, with 458 hits in 1950 at-bats, appearing in a total of 740 games, and was even an “original Met” when he appeared in 59 games during their inaugural 1962 season.
He then was an original San Diego padre, even making the All-Star team in THEIR inaugural 1969 season, the only season he was a full-time player.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020


On the blog today we have a “not so missing” card that could almost be considered “missing” considering the amount of games this player played in during the 1976 season, outfielder Glenn Adams of the San Francisco Giants:

Adams did appear in 69 games in 1976, though only accumulating 75 plate appearances, thus the grey area between missing and not-so-missing, but hey, it’ll get you a card here on the blog either way!
Originally up for the first time in 1975 with 61 games, Adams hit .243 his second year under the Big League sun, with 18 hits in 74 official at-bats.
He would move on to the Minnesota Twins in 1977 and hit a very impressive .338 over 95 games, with 91 hits in 269 at-bats along with 49 runs batted in and 32 runs scored. Not bad at all!
He’d stay in Minnesota through the 1981 season before one last year in the Big Leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1982 when he hit .258 in limited play, 30 games worth and 66 at-bats.
Overall, and I have to say I didn’t realize this even though I remember him well, Adams finished his Major League career with a very admirable .280 batting average over his eight-years, with 452 hits in 1617 at-bats, with 225 RBIs and 152 runs scored.
I just had to go look at his Minor League numbers and man this guy could rake!
Over his professional career he had seasons of .335, .352, and .330, hitting an overall .311 in his eight years of Minor League ball, including a .334 clip in Triple-A over four seasons!


Tuesday, September 22, 2020


On the blog today, we have a ‘not so missing” 1973 card for former Minnesota Twins pitcher Bob Gebhard, who appeared in 13 games during the 1972 season:

Gebhard, who made his Big League debut a season earlier with 17 appearances and a 1-2 record, went 0-1 in 1972, with a bloated 8.57 earned run average over 21 innings pitched.
He would spend all of 1973 in the Minor Leagues before moving on to the Montreal Expos, where he’d make it all the way back to a Major League mound with one last appearance, pitching two innings and giving up a run, not factoring in a decision.
He would play the 1975 season in the Minors for Montreal, putting in a decent season out of the bullpen, going 4-3 with a nice 2.67 ERA over 44 appearances, but retire right after that at the age of 32.
All told, in his brief three seasons in the Major Leagues, Gebhard finished with a 1-3 record over 31 games, with an ERA of 5.93 in 41 innings, all out of the bullpen as a reliever.

Monday, September 21, 2020


Up on the blog today to start the new work week, a 1972 career-capping “not so missing” card for former catcher Jim French, who played the last of his Big League games in 1971 with the Washington Senators:

Now, yes he was never an official member of the Texas Rangers, and was released by Washington at the end of the 1971 season, but hey, I figured with this unique situation where a player finished his career while his team became another franchise during the immediate off-season, why not make up a card like this?
French played the entirety of his seven-year Major League career with the Senators, beginning in 1965 through the 1971 season when he only appeared in 14 games, hitting .146 with six hits in 41 at-bats over that limited rolse.
Never a full-time player, the most action he ever saw in one season was 69 games in 1970, with 63 games the season prior.
It seems he retired from professional ball as he has no Minor League play after 1971, thus finishing his career with a .196 batting average with 119 hits in 607 at-bats, spread out over 234 games, with five home runs, 53 runs scored and 51 runs batted in.


Sunday, September 20, 2020


Haven’t added to my long-running “1975 In-Action” series in a while, so let’s go and add “Mick the Quick” Mickey Rivers to it today shall we:
Take a look:

Mickey was coming off his first full year in the Big Leagues, leading the American League with 11 triples in 1974 while batting .285 with 133 hits in 466 at-bats while stealing 30 bases.
1975 would see him lead the American League once again in triples, this time with 13, while also topping the Junior Circuit with 70 steals while hitting .284 on 175 hits in 616 at-bats.
Man, "Mick the Quick" was a player I loved when I first got seriously into baseball in 1976 or so. He was that New York Yankee with the speed and flash that my six-year-old mind latched on to back then.
He put together a nice 15-year career that saw him lead the league in stolen bases once and triples twice, while topping 200 hits in 1980 with the Rangers when he hit .333.
He even managed to retire from the game hitting .300 his final year in the big leagues, playing for Texas in 1984.
He'd finish with a .295 batting average with 1660 hits and 267 stolen bases, as well as those two World Championships in the Bronx in 1977 and 1978.


Saturday, September 19, 2020


Let’s go and give versatile pitcher Tom Hall, aka “The Blade”, a 1973 nickname card, adding to my long-running “Nicknames of the 1970s” thread started here many years ago:

Hall, who was as thin as a “blade of grass”, had himself quite a season in 1972 for the Cincinnati reds, going 10-1 for the National League champs, with a 2.61 ERA over 47 appearances, seven of them starts.
His career would play through the 1977 season, with seven games for the Western Division champ Kansas City Royals, finishing off a nice 10-year stint that saw him go 52-33 with an excellent 3.27 ERA and 797 K’s over 358 games and 852.2 innings.
That 1972 season would be considered his best when he went 10-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 124.1 innings for the National League Champion Cincinnati Reds.
But his 1970 year would not be too far behind, when he went 11-6 with a 2.55 ERA and a career high 184 strikeouts over 155.1 innings and 52 games for the Minnesota Twins.
Not too shabby!



Friday, September 18, 2020


Up on the blog today we have the third “not so missing” card on this blog for former catcher Tom Lundstedt, though he did appear on a multi-player rookie card in the 1974 set.
I just came across this nice image of him and figured “why not”?, thus closing out his brief three-year MLB career with three dedicated cards:

Lundstedt made his Big League debut in 1973 with four games, going 0-5 at the plate over the course of the last month of the season with the Chicago Cubs.
He collected the first three hits of his career in 1974, spread out over 32 at-bats and 22 games with the Cubs for an average of .094 along with a run scored.
Over the off-season he'd be traded to the Minnesota Twins for Mike Adams, and he'd go on to appear in 18 games, batting .107 with another three hits, this time over 28 at-bats, with two runs scored and an RBI while filling in behind the plate.
Turns out it'd be the last of his playing days, Majors OR even Minors, as I cannot find any other playing time for him according to Baseball_Reference after that 1975 activity.
Nevertheless, in his brief three year Major League career, Lundstedt played in 44 games, batting .092 with six hits in 65 at-bats, scoring three runs and driving in one.


Thursday, September 17, 2020


Up on the blog today we have the great Gaylord Perry added to my long-running “Minor League Days” 1971 sub-set, celebrating the man’s fantastic professional career that spanned over four decades:

This image showing him as a Tacoma Giant was taken in the first couple of years of the 1960’s, before he went on to become a solid starter for San Francisco between 1962 and 1971.
Gaylord Perry for me growing up in the late-70’s/early-80s pre-teen was the stuff of legend since he was the first player I remember reaching 3000 strikeouts, which at the time made him only the THIRD player to do so behind Walter Johnson and Bob Gibson.
He was also (and I remember this vividly) the first pitcher to reach 300 wins since Early Wynn, which was a 20 year gap, the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues, which he did with the Indians in 1972 and the Padres in 1978.
That 1978 season saw him take home the award after a fantastic year that saw him go 21-6 with a 2.73 earned run average at the age of 39 after coming over from the Texas Rangers.
People may also forget that for a relatively brief moment he was the all-time strikeout king before a couple of guys by the name of Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton caught up soon after.
He posted 5 20-win seasons, finished with 314 for his career, along with 53 shutouts and 3534 strikeouts over a 22-year Big League career, tossing 300+ innings six times.
Is it safe to say that he’s almost a forgotten all-time great?




Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1975 card for three-game Major League pitcher Randy Sterling, who made it to the “Big Show” as a 23-year-old as a September call-up in 1974:

The Key West, Florida native went 1-1 over that time, with an earned run average of 4.82 in 9.1 innings pitched, with two of those appearances starts.
Sadly for him his 1975 season was spent entirely in the Minors, where he posted a record of 10-11 with a 3.57 ERA over 29 games, all but one starts, before retiring though still only 24 years old.
I can’t find any other information on why he retired from professional ball though still seemingly an effective pitcher, perhaps someone out there knows?
He spent all of his seven pro seasons in the New York Mets organization, winning 10+ four of those years, with career-highs of 12 wins in both 1972 and 1974.



Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1979 card for two-year Major League infielder Mike Eden, who played the last of his Big League games in 1978 with the Chicago White Sox:

Originally up for five games with the Atlanta in 1976 in which he went 0-8 at the plate with a run batted in, Eden played in 10 games for Chicago in his return a couple of years later, collecting what turned out to be the only two hits of his career over 17 official at-bats, along with four base on balls.
He would go on to play two more years in the Minors before retiring in 1980, playing for the Baltimore organization and hitting about .260.
When I looked at his pro career, I found out the guy was a solid .300-hitter while playing in the San Francisco system between 1972 and 1976, as well as in 1977 while in the Atlanta system.
While he finished his brief MLB tenure with a batting average of .080 based on his two hits over 25 at-bats, his nine year Minor League career average was a very nice .295.


Monday, September 14, 2020


Now here is a card I have been meaning to get created and on the blog for a long time now, a “missing” 1970 manager card for the only manager the Seattle Pilots ever had, Joe Schultz:

When the 1970 Topps set came out, kids were “treated” to a Dave Bristol manager card for the Pilots, though in actuality they were already the Milwaukee Brewers when the season opened up.
But it was Schultz who guided the one-year team in 1969, and by-gum he should have had a card, so I’m happy to be bringing it to you today.
Over that one season, Schultz led a team of characters (see the book “Ball Four”!) to a record of 64 and 98, good for a sixth-place finish in the newly former West Division during Major League baseball’s first year of division play.
He’d get another shot at managing, when he took over for Billy Martin in Detroit for the last month or so of the 1973 season, going 14-14.
Now one thing I need to point out: Joe Schultz is ONE YEAR YOUNGER on this card than I am sitting here today, and though I am far from some Matinee Idol, Holy Cow he looks like he’s in his mid-60s!
Sorry Joe!



Sunday, September 13, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a 1975 “Nickname” card for Wilbur Wood, aka “Wilbah”, who had himself quite a run in the early part of the 1970’s:

The reliever-turned-starter strung four straight 20-win seasons for the Chicago White Sox after some pretty amazing years coming out of the bullpen in the late-60’s, with three top-5 Cy Young finishes between 1971-1973.
His 1972 season is the stuff of legends, as he started 49 games, knuckling his way through an astounding 376.2 innings!!!
The following season he worked another 359.1 innings on 48 starts, equaling his 24 wins from the year prior and leading the American League once again.
I’ve also always been fascinated with his 1968 season when, appearing in 88 games, all but two as a reliever, he went 13-12 with a microscopic 1.87 earned run average, with 16 saves over 159 innings pitched.
The man was incredible no matter where how team used him!
Sadly for him however, when you’re pitching during the same era as Jim Palmer, Jim Hunter, etc, you’ll tend to get lost in the shuffle, thus the Cy Young snubs each year.
By the time he retired after the 1978 season, Wood finished with a 164-156 record, appearing in 651 games, with 297 of them starts.
He’d have a final ERA of 3.24, with 24 career shutouts, 1411 strikeouts and 57 saves over 2684 innings pitched.
He led his league in pitching appearances three times, all consecutive, then went on to lead the league in starts four years in a row soon after.



Saturday, September 12, 2020


Came across this image taken during the 1969 season and thought it would make a fun 1970 “special”, a young reigning National League batting champ Pete rose being held at first by the established clear-cut Hall of Famer Ernie Banks:

Just a wonderful images in the sun of these two legends during a game, which always brings a smile to my face when I sit down to put a custom creation together.
With Rose, the future MLB hit king, along with three batting titles and an MVP in 1973, while being a spark plug for one of the great juggernauts the game has ever seen, the “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds of the mid-70s.
With Mr. Banks, you have a two-time MVP who strung together four 40+ home run seasons on his way to 512 blasts over his amazing 19-year career. One of the most well liked players of any generation.
Just a card I wanted to create and add to the 1970 custom stable on the blog.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Friday, September 11, 2020


Next up in my fun “Minor League Days” 1971 thread, the great Frank Robinson, quite possibly the most underrated Major League legend the game has ever seen.
Here he is as a 17-year-old with the Ogden Reds in 1953, just about to have one of the greatest careers in major League history:

The fresh-faced kid hit .348 that year, with 17 home runs in just 72 games before embarking on a 21-year Big League career that saw him win Rookie of the Year in 1956 when he smashed a then record-tying 38 home runs as a rookie, win the NL MVP in 1961 when he helped the Cincinnati reds make it to the World Series, then become the first player to win the award in both leagues when he helped the Baltimore Orioles shock the world by sweeping the reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966.
Oh yeah, he also won the Triple Crown that year, leading the American League in runs, homers, RBIs, batting, on-base-percentage, slugging percentage and total bases.
Just a killer year for a guy that was already established as one of the best players in the game.
Funny thing is that this was arguably NOT even his best season as a big leaguer at that point!
Just look at some of his season’s slugging and hitting his way through the first ten years of his career with the Reds!
Though he won the National League MVP in 1961, I always thought his 1962 season was the best of his career, when he hit .342 while collecting 208 hits, leading the league with 134 runs scored and 51 doubles, hitting 39 home runs and driving in 136, while throwing in 18 stolen bases and leading the league with a .421 OBP and .624 slugging! HUGE!
And to think that was only good for FOURTH in MVP voting that year, behind winner Maury Wills, Willie Mays and Tommy Davis.
But that 1966 season was extra special because it also gave Robinson a World Championship, as the Orioles and their young pitching staff went on to surprise everyone and SWEEP the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
Nevertheless, his Big League resume: 586 home runs, 1812 ribbies, just under 3000 hits, Rookie of the Year, and two M.V.P. awards (one in each league). You know his resume, I'm sure.
I was just too young to really be following the papers back then, but I wonder if there was any talk about continuing as a player to get to the 3000 hits. Anyone out there know?
2943 was so enticingly close to the magic hit number, but I'm assuming he really didn't have much left in the tank after only 53 hits his final three seasons.



Thursday, September 10, 2020


I came across this great image of former pitcher Ron Schueler suited up with the Minnesota Twins and figured it’d make a nice re-do of his 1978 card, which originally had him airbrushed into a Chicago White Sox:

And for those who don’t remember the original, here you go:

Schueler had a nice season for the Twins in his lone year there, going 8-7 in 1977 with an earned run average of 4.41 over 52 appearances, seven of them starts, with three saves in 134.2 innings of work.
He’d go on to Chicago where he ended pitching the last two seasons of his eight-year Big League career, going a combined 3-6 over 38 games and 101.1 innings pitched.
Playing for the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies between 1972 and 1976 before heading to the American League, Schueler was used primarily as a starter, and would finish his career with a record of 40-48 over 291 appearances, with two shutouts, 11 saves and an ERA of 4.08, pitching 912.2 innings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


I have wanted to cover this for so long I almost forgot about it entirely!
In the 1979 Topps set Stewart was prominently given a “Record Breaker” card for his incredible Major League debut where he struck out seven straight batters in his first Big League game.
Pretty nifty!

Yet much to my (then) nerdy baseball-loving self, I could not find his card anywhere. It was my cousin who pointed out that Stewart’s place in that set was on one of those dreadful black-and-white rookie cards, which blew me away.
I remember thinking “Damn, you get a record breaker card but not even a “regular” card?!”


Well, looking back and seeing that he only appeared in two games during the 1978 season makes it all a little more digestible, but barely!
Stewart struck out 11 batters over 11.1 innings in his two games, both starts ironically since he’d go on to be a solid reliever over his 10-year Major League career.
He would pitch into the 1987 season where he finished up with the Cleveland Indians after a sole season with the Boston Red Sox in 1986 (great timing!), and eight years with the Orioles.
He finished his career with a record of 59-48, with an ERA of 3.59 over 359 appearances and 956.2 innings, with 45 saves and a shutout thrown in.
I STILL can’t figure out who the rightful American League Earned Run Average champ is for the strike-shortened 1981 season.
While for many years the Oakland A’s Steve McCatty was given the honor for his 2.33 ERA over 185.2 innings pitched, now I see that Stewart is given the honor on based on his 112.1 innings, which I guess “technically” gives him the rightful title.
Then of course there a great left-handed New York Yankee rookie by the name of Dave Righetti who ended the season with a brilliant 2.05 ERA but fell about an inning or so short of the title himself!
What a crazy season!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020


Just about four years ago I posted a “missing” 1972 card for long-time pitcher Dick Hall of the Baltimore Orioles, with an action shot that really wasn’t something that Topps would have used for a base card.
Today I rectify that mistake with this beauty, a re-done edition with a more appropriate image:

Hall closed out a very respectable career in 1971, finishing with a 93-75 record along with a 3.32 earned run average over 495 appearances, collecting 71 saves along the way.
He originally came up as an outfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952, but by the time 1955 came around they realized he was better suited to the pitcher’s mound.
Turned out to be a smart move, as Hall found his niche in the bullpen by the time he joined the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he’d play nine of the final eleven seasons in the big leagues.
A member of two championship teams, Hall was a valuable arm to call on for the Birds, whether it was putting in long relief work or closing out games.
In the postseason you can see just how valuable he was, posting a 2-1 record over five games, with a perfect 0.00 ERA in 8.2 innings, finishing four of those contests.
And on a personal note, he was the very first 1970-card I ever got as a kid around 10 years old back in 1979 or so. I’ll always remember gawking at the back and seeing that long career dating back to the early ‘50’s, blew my mind.



Monday, September 7, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1978 card for former outfielder Denny Walling, who played in a half-dozen games during the 1977 season for the Houston Astros:

Walling hit a solid .286 with six hits over 21 at-bats for Houston, scoring a run and driving in six while hitting the first extra-base-hit of his career, a triple.
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.



Sunday, September 6, 2020


Here’s a fun card to add to the blog, a 1978 coach card for fellow New York City native Rocky Colavito, who was lending his expertise to the Cleveland Indians after a wonderful Major League playing career:

Colavito ended his playing days back in 1968 before immediately going into coaching, putting in a great MLB “lifer” career that began way back in 1955 when the 21-year-old debuted with the Indians.
Between 1956 and 1966 there were few Major League batters who hit homers as frequently as he, hitting 358 home runs playing for the Indians, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Athletics.
He topped 40+ homers three times, with a career-best 45 in 1961 while also leading the American League in 1959 with 42 blasts.
By the time he retired, he hit 374 homers with 1159 RBIs over 1841 games in 14-years, finishing Top-5 in MVP voting three times and making the All-Star team six times.
Took me a long time to find an adequate image of him during his coaching days to use on a card. So glad I finally did!



Saturday, September 5, 2020


Time to go and add one of my favorite subjects here on the blog to the 1971 “Minor League Days” sub-set, “Hondo” Frank Howard, who was bashing the ball at every level of his professional career:

When this picture was taken, the young stud was wrapping up a 1959 season that saw him hit .342 for the Spokane Indians and Victoria Rosebuds, with 43 home runs and 126 runs batted in over 139 games combined between the two teams.
This was after a 1958 season, his first in pro ball, when he hit .333 with 37 homers and 119 RBIs over 129 games for the Green Bay Blue Jays.
An absolute beast at the plate, he would be the last Big League player until Jay Buhner (1995-97) to hit 40+ homers three years in a row from 1968-1970, with a high of 48 in 1969, though leading the league in 1968 and 1970 with 44.
He was also one of the early players to join the 30-home runs in each league club, hitting 31 with the Dodgers in 1962 before reaching the plateau again in 1967 when he slammed 36 taters.
All told, he finished his career with 382 homers over 16 seasons, before moving on to a coaching and managerial career, making him somewhat of a baseball lifer.
I loved him when he was with the New York Yankees later in his coaching career! I mean, how often do you get to appreciate a guy who was so nasty as a player that he had TWO great nicknames: “The Capital Punisher”, and “Hondo”!



Friday, September 4, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1974 card for former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Magnuson, who appeared in eight games during the 1973 season:

Magnuson went 0-1 over those eight appearances, pitching to an earned run average of 4.28 in 27.1 innings of work, all out of the bullpen.
Magnuson spent the previous year in the Minor Leagues, but was originally up to the Big Leagues in 1970 as a member of the Chicago White Sox, going 1-5 over 13 games with an ERA of 4.84 in 44.2 innings.
The following season he appeared in 15 games, going 1-1 with an ERA of 4.50 in exactly 30 innings of work, starting four of those games.
Turns out those eight games in 1973 would be the last of his MLB career, and from what I can tell the last of his professional career, retiring at the age of 26.
All told, he finished with a career 2-7 record over 36 games, with an ERA of 4.59 in 102 innings, starting 10 games while closing out 17.



Thursday, September 3, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1972 card for former infielder Ron Clark, who made it back to the Big Leagues in 1971, albeit for only two games with the Oakland A’s:

After spending all of 1970 in the Minors, Clark appeared in two games for Oakland in 1971, going 0-1 at the plate along with a base on balls.
Originally up in 1966 with the Minnesota Twins, he ended up playing parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues, with his 104 games played in 1968 a career high by a long shot.
Between 1966 and 1971 he played for the Twins, Seattle Pilots, and A’s before a split season of ‘72, generally as a shortstop and third baseman.
Sadly, the man was never able to get above the “Mendoza Line”, his average never getting above .193. Ouch.
He’d finish his career with a .189 batting average, with exactly 100 hits in 530 at-bats in 230 games, with 40 runs scored and 43 runs batted in.



Wednesday, September 2, 2020


Our submission for the blog today is a 1975 career-capping “not so missing” card for former outfielder Norm Miller, who finished off his 10-year Major League career with 42 games for the Atlanta Braves:

Miller, who played the first nine season for the Houston Astros between 1965 and 1973, hit .171 for the Braves over those 42 games during the 1974 season, collecting seven hits in 41 official at-bats.
Never truly a full-time player, the most action he ever saw in any one season was 119 games for the Astros in 1969, setting career-highs across the boards because of the amount of play.
Though still only 29 years of age, he called it quits after the 1974 season, finishing up with a batting average of .238 over 540 games and 1364 at-bats, with 325 hits and 166 runs scored with 159 RBIs.



Tuesday, September 1, 2020


On the blog today we have a 1978 “not so missing” card for former Minnesota Twins pitcher Mike Pazik, who appeared in three games during the 1977 season, all starts:

Pazik went 1-0 with a nice 2.50 earned run average over 18 innings in those three appearances, the last action he’d see as a Major League pitcher.
He would go on to pitch two more years in the Minors for the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations between 1978 and 1979.
Originally up in 1975 with the Twins, his scant three-year Big League career would encompass 13 games, with a final record of 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA over 46.2 innings pitched, all for Minnesota.




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