Saturday, October 31, 2020


After I recently added Hall of Famer Robin Yount to my long-running 1975 “In-Action” series, I figured it’d only make sense to add another future HOFer, the great George Brett, who was just starting out his stellar career with his first full season in 1974:

Brett finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year race in 1974, hitting .282 with 129 hits, 49 runs scored and 47 runs batted in over 133 games for the Kansas City Royals.
He’d have his breakout season quickly, leading the league with 195 hits as well as 13 triples in 1975 before winning his first batting title a year later when he hit .333 with a league-leading 215 hits and 14 triples.
The man was born to hit, and would finish his career with 3154 hits, a .305 average, 317 homers and let’s not forget the 201 stolen bases and 137 triples!
The 13-time all-star was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1993, getting named to 98.2% of the ballot, while taking home the MVP in 1980 after his magical .390 hitting season, while finishing second twice and third once.


Friday, October 30, 2020


Been meaning to add this “not so missing” card to the blog for some time now, a 1977 Terry Whitfield edition for the former outfielder:

Whitfield appeared in one single game for the New York Yankees during the 1976 season, playing out in left field for two innings without getting a plate appearance.
Turns out it would be the last appearance for Whitfield as a Yankee before finding himself out West playing for the San Francisco Giants, for whom he’d play through the 1980 season, getting legitimate playing time.
Over those next four years with the Giants he never hit below .285, with a high of .296 in 1980 before taking his talents to Japan where he would play the next three years with Seibu.
In 1984 he’d be back in the Majors, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he would play the final three years of his Big League career, though never more than the 87 games in ‘84 before dropping to 79 and finally 19 games in 1986.
He would go on to play another two years in the Minors, but never get a shot back in the Big Leagues, finishing up his 10-year career with a very nice .281 average, with 537 hits over 1913 at-bats, along with 33 homers and 179 RBIs in 730 games between 1974 and 1986.


Thursday, October 29, 2020


Up on the blog today I give you a “not so missing” 1970 card for a guy who also got two other “missing” creations here over the years, former California Angels player Winston Llenas:

Llenas appeared in 34 games for the Angels in 1969, this after playing the first 16 games of his Big League career in 1968 at the age of 24.
Over his 34 games of 1969 he hit .170, with eight hits over 47 at-bats, scoring four runs while collecting two doubles, playing third base on the defensive side of things.
He would spend the 1970 and 1971 seasons in the Minors before returning to the Majors in 1972, hitting .266 over 44 games, with 17 hits over 64 at-bats, this time also playing second base and left field in addition to third.
Never more than a spot player, Llenas played every position on the field but shortstop, center field & catcher over his six year career, all for the Angels, finishing up with a .230 career average, with 122 hits over 531 at-bats in 300 big league games, with 50 runs scored and 61 runs batted in.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Today’s blog post has a “not so missing” 1978 card for the ever-famous two-time #1 overall amateur draft pick Danny Goodwin, who didn’t actually get a Topps card until the 1979 set:

Goodwin appeared in 35 games for the California Angels in 1977, this after a scant four games for his first taste of the Big Leagues in 1975 at the age of 21.
Over his 35 games of 1977 Goodwin hit .209 with 19 hits over 91 at-bats, hitting his first MLB home run while driving in eight, scoring five himself.
By now anyone who is into recent baseball history, more specifically the June amateur draft, knows that there has only been one player that was TWICE drafted #1 overall on two separate occasions: Danny Goodwin.
In 1971, Goodwin was the overall #1 pick by the Chicago White Sox as a catcher out of Peoria Central High School in Illinois, but he decided to pursue a college career instead, leaving Chicago high and dry as he went off to Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana, alma mater of Hall of Famer Lou Brock.
For Chicago, it wasn't necessarily the biggest loss, since the first round of the 1971 draft only yielded one future star of the game, Jim Rice.
However Rice went at #15, getting picked by the Boston Red Sox, so it seems highly probable that the White Sox would have picked some other relative "bust" had they not chosen Goodwin.
Just as a point of reference, the players picked between #2 and #5: Jay Franklin, Tommy Bianco, Condredge Holloway (what a name!) and Roy Branch.
After four years at college, Goodwin still impressed scouts enough that the California Angels decided to pick him #1 again in the 1975 draft.
Sadly for the Angels, it was also not as fruitful a pick, as Goodwin never did pan out on the big league level.
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.
He DID have some fine 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.
On a much finer note, in 2011 Goodwin was honored as the very first college 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.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Hot on the heels of yesterday’s re-do of former catcher Alan Ashby, the blog follows up today with another former catcher getting the “do-over” treatment, a 1975 edition for Ken Rudolph:

Now if you remember, Topps’ 1975 airbrush job showing Rudolph with his new St. Louis Cardinal team was one for the ages. Take a look:

What a doozy! It was actually part of a slew of unbelievable Cardinals airbrush jobs that I covered on the blog a long time ago:

But for Rudolph, he played in 57 games for the San Francisco Giants during the 1974 season, hitting a career-best .259 with 41 hits over 158 at-bats, along with 11 runs scored and 10 runs batted in.
It was his only season out West after starting his career with the Chicago Cubs, playing for them 1969 through 1973.
Never more than a back-up catcher, he would see the bulk of his MLB action between 1972 and 1974, appearing in 173 of his career 328 Big League games, playing for the Cubs, Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Orioles.
By the time he retired after the 1977 season, he finished with a career average of .213, with 158 hits in 743 at-bats, along with 64 runs batted in and 55 runs scored with six homers thrown in.


Monday, October 26, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a 1977 do-over for long-time Major League catcher Alan Ashby, who was originally airbrushed into a Toronto Blue Jays uni by the fine people at Topps for their set:

I originally had this image to be used for a “not so missing” 1975 card, but obviously the Cleveland uniform is clearly from 1976 and later, not from 1974 or even 1975.
Nevertheless, I figured I’d use it here to show the team he actually played for the season prior instead of the new franchise he’d suit up for in 1977.
Ashby appeared in 89 games for the Indians in 1976, hitting .239 with 59 hits over 247 at-bats, scoring 26 runs while driving in 32.
After being traded to the Jays from the along with Doug Howard for pitcher Al Fitzmorris in November of 1976, Ashby would go on to put in two seasons for the expansion team before moving on to play for the Houston Astros for the next eleven years.
I never realized that his career took him all the way to the doorsteps of the 1990 decade, finishing up with 22 games for the Astros in 1989 after 17-years as a Major League catcher.
In those 17 seasons he batted .245 while playing in 1370 games, collecting 1010 hits with 90 home runs and 513 runs batted in over 4123 official at-bats. After his baseball career ended as a player he hung around the game as a coach in the Astros system as well as a broadcaster for the Astros in both radio and television.


Sunday, October 25, 2020


Time to add to my on-going “Minor League Days” thread, celebrating the stars of 1971 by showing them back when they were still in the Minors.
Today we add the great Juan Marichal to the set:

Marichal was a 22-year-old about to embark on a Hall of Fame career in 1960, playing for the Tacoma Giants before making his Major League debut later in the season.
During his time with the team he posted a record of 11-5 with a 3.11 earned run average, completing 12 of his 18 starts while tossing three shutouts.
Once called up to the big show he would go 6-2 over 11 starts, with a 2.66 ERA and six complete games, including a shutout in his 1st MLB start.
As much as Marichal is celebrated as an all-time pitching legend, you still have to feel for the guy when you consider the timing of all his banner years in the big leagues.
In 1963 he has his breakout year, going 25-8 with a 2.41 E.R.A., but takes a back seat to another guy who has a breakout year, Sandy Koufax.
In 1966 he wins 25 games again, but again takes a backseat to a now dominating Koufax, who wins 27 along with a bunch of other eye-popping numbers.
In 1968 he sets a career high of 26 wins to go along with a 2.43 earned run average, but wait, a guy named Bob Gibson has a year for the ages, winning both the Cy Young Award and the M.V.P.
But when you look at the decade as a whole, there wasn't a better pitcher in the game from 1960-1969, as Marichal went on to win 191 games, winning 25 or more wins three times, post seven sub-3.00 E.R.A. seasons,  top 200+ strikeouts six times , and get selected as an all-star every year between 1962-1969.
What a BEAST on the mound!
Easily would have been the first 3-time Cy Young winner if not for Koufax and Gibson.
Ah well, I’m sure his spot in Cooperstown makes it a bit easier to take.

Saturday, October 24, 2020


Came across a nice image of Jim Beauchamp in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform and thought it’d make a nice “do-over” for his airbrushed 1972 card for the heck of it, so here goes:

Beauchamp played the 1971 season with St. Louis, hitting .235 over 77 games, but found himself part of a multi-player trade in October to the New York Mets.
This was early enough for Topps to get some artistic work done on his 1972 card, as seen here:

Not the worst thing in the world but certainly “off”.
Nevertheless, Beauchamp would go on to play what turned out to be the final two years of his Big League career in Queens, playing in 58 and 50 games respectively.
He finished his 10-year career with a .231 batting average, with 153 hits over 661 at-bats, appearing in 393 games between 1963 and 1973 playing for Houston, St. Louis, New York, Cincinnati and Atlanta.



Friday, October 23, 2020


The blog today offers up a 1971 “not so missing” card for former Chicago White Sox outfielder Jose Ortiz, who played in just over a dozen games during the 1970 season:

Ortiz appeared in 15 games to be exact, hitting a very nice .333 with eight hits in 24 at-bats, scoring four runs while driving in one.
1971 would see him across town playing for the Chicago Cubs in what turned out to be the last of his Big League action, appearing in 36 games and hitting .295 with 26 hits over 88 at-bats.
Sadly for him however, he would go on to play another five years in the Cubs Minor League system, but never get another shot at the Majors, retiring after the 1976 season and finishing up with a .301 career average, with 37 hits over 123 at-bats in 67 games.


Thursday, October 22, 2020


On the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1975 card for former pitcher Steve Dunning, who already has had a FEW creations here on the blog over the years:

Dunning appeared in only one single game during the 1974 season, throwing 2.1 innings for the Texas Rangers and getting hit hard, to the tune of a 19.29 ERA.
He would spend all of 1975 in the Chicago White Sox organization, putting up a nice season with a 15-9 record along with a 3.49 ERA and three shutouts.
That would get him a Big League return in 1976, splitting the year between the California Angels and Montreal Expos, going 2-6 over 36 appearances, with a 4.35 ERA.
All told, Dunning put together a seven-year MLB career between 1970 and 1977, finishing up with a record of 23-41 with an ERA of 4.56 in 136 appearances, 84 of them starts, pitching 613.2 innings with a save and a shutout thrown in.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1973 card for nine-game Major League pitcher Bob Terlecki of the Philadelphia Phillies:

Terlecki would make all nine appearances of his career at the tail-end of the 1972 season, not factoring in a decision while pitching to an earned run average of 4.73 over 13.1 innings of work, entirely out of the ‘pen.
Turns out that would be the only taste of a Big League mound he’d get over his 10-year professional career, which began in 1964 in the Chicago Cubs organization.
He would spend all of 1973 in the Minors before calling it a career, having only those nine games during the Summer of 1972 as his Major League tenure.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020


On the blog today is a fun card to add to the WTHBALLS stable, a re-done career-capping 1977 card for former pitcher Bill Greif, who turns out already played the last of his Major League games by the time this card would have been pulled out of packs:

Topps did have Greif as part of their 1977 set, but in an airbrushed Montreal Expos uni, a team he would never actually play for over his six-year career.
Here’s the original as-issued card:

Turns out he would be released by Montreal just before the 1977 season started after getting traded there in a multi-player deal in November of the previous year.
So since I found this nice image of him as a Cardinal, the team he finished up the 1976 season with, I figured it’d make a nice do-over.
For his career, Greif started off with seven games with the Houston Astros in 1971, going 1-1 before moving on the to team he’d play most of his Big League tenure for, the San Diego Padres.
Beginning in 1972, Greif would put in just over four season with San Diego, starting the first three before being moved to the bullpen in 1975.
His best year would be 1973 when he would go 10-17 on a hard-luck Padre team, pitching to a nice 3.21 earned run average over 36 appearances, 31 of them starts, tossing three shutouts while striking out 120 batters.
By the time he was done, he finished his career with a record of 31-67 over 231 appearances, with a 4.41 ERA in 715.2 innings, with five shutouts and 19 saves between 1971 and 1976.



Monday, October 19, 2020


Up on the blog today, we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former Atlanta Braves 1b-OF Bob Beall, who made his Big League debut in 1975:

Beall appeared in 20 games for Atlanta in 1975, hitting .226 over that time with seven hits in 31 at-bats, with two runs scored and a run batted in.
He wouldn’t be back to the Majors again until the 1978 season, when as it turned out, he saw the most action in any one year during his four-year career, playing in 108 games.
In that time he set career-bests across the board, hitting .243 with 45 hits in 185 at-bats, scoring 29 runs while driving in 16, with the only home run he’d ever hit.
After only 17 games in 1979, in which he hit .133, he appeared in only three games in 1980, now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 0-3 at the plate.
Turns out that would be it for Beall in the Big Leagues, finishing up with a career .231 average, with 54 hits over 234 at-bats in 148 games, all but three with the Braves.


Sunday, October 18, 2020


Ending yet another week here on the blog, today we add the great Johnny Bench to my “Minor League Days” thread, celebrating perhaps the greatest catcher the game has ever seen:

Bench was 19-years-old here, suited up for the Buffalo Bisons in 1967, his last Minor League stop before beginning his eventual Hall of Fame career towards the end of the season.
In 98 games for Buffalo, he hit .259 with 23 homers and 68 runs batted in over 344 at-bats before getting the call and making his debut with the Reds, appearing in 26 games as a teenager before the year was up.
Of course as we all know, he would go on to put together a career rarely seen by ANY player, let alone a catcher: TWO N.L. MVP Awards, 14 all-star games, 10 Gold Gloves, two home run titles and three RBI titles, all while donning the “tools of ignorance” for 17 seasons, all with the Reds.
As a kid growing up in the 1970’s, this man was a mythic figure, a “god”.


Saturday, October 17, 2020


Now, today on the blog I may be stretching it a bit, but I’ll go ahead and add Milwaukee Brewers all-timer Robin Yount to my long-running 1975 “In-Action” thread:

Yount just played the first season of his brilliant Hall of Fame career in 1974, bursting onto the baseball spotlight as an 18-year-old.
Incredibly, he performed admirably, hitting .250 with 86 hits over 344 at-bats, scoring 48 runs and driving in 26, making his Big League debut not even a year after being drafted third overall in the 1973 draft.
A Milwaukee Brewer for life, Yount finished his great career with 3142 hits, 1632 runs scored, 251 homers and 271 stolen bases, taking home two A.L. MVP Awards and incredibly only making three All-Star teams. How on earth?!
Anyway, it’s amazing to realize that when he had his first true All-Star season in 1980, after what was already seven years in the Big Leagues, Yount was STILL only 24 years of age!
He was on cruise-control from then on, elevating his game to become one of the elite players in the American League, with 1982 the high point when he led the Brewers to the World Series and taking home his first MVP Award.
What a player!  


Friday, October 16, 2020


On the blog today, we have a career-capping “not so missing” 1974 card for former first baseman/outfielder Joe Hague, who played what turned out to be the last games of his six-year Big League career in 1973 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds:

Hague, who came over to the Reds during the 1972 season after playing the first four-and-a-half years of his career with the St. Louis cardinals, hit .152 over 19 games in 1973, with five hits in 33 at-bats, with two runs scored and an RBI.
Over his career, the only full-time action he saw was in 1970 and 1971 when he appeared in 139 and 129 games respectively, with 1970 the best year of his career, hitting .271 with 122 hits, 58 runs scored and 68 RBIs, all career-bests.
All told, by the time he retired, he finished with a .239 average, with 286 hits in 1195 at-bats over 430 games between 1968 and 1973.


Thursday, October 15, 2020


Today the blog offers up a “missing” 1975 card for former infielder Dave Rosello, who was just coming off his third season of Major League baseball, albeit a small taste:

Rosello appeared in 62 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1974, certainly enough to warrant a card in 1975 I believe, hitting .203 over 148 official at-bats, with 30 hits.
He did have a spot on a multi-player rookie card in the 1974 set after appearing in 16 games the year before, so I wonder why he was left out of the ‘75 set considering the amount of playing time he got.
Nevertheless, he’d go on to play with the Cubs through the 1977 season before spending all of 1978 in the Minors, making it back to the Big Leagues in 1978, now a member of the Cleveland Indians, for whom he’d play the next three years, the last of his nine-year career.
Overall, Rosello played in 422 games, hitting .236 with 206 hits in 873 at-bats, scoring 114 runs and driving in 76 between 1972 and 1981, playing second, short and third.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Today the blog offers up a career-capping “not so missing” 1971 card for former pitcher Cisco Carlos, who played the last of his Big League games during the 1970 season with the Washington Senators:

Carlos, who began his career with the Chicago White Sox in 1967, appeared in only five games for Washington in 1970, not factoring in a decisions but pitching very well, to the tune of a 1.50 earned run average over six innings of work.
Over his four seasons under the Big League sun, Carlos was mainly an arm out of the ‘pen, though in 1968 he did start 21 of his 29 appearances, going 4-14 with a 3.90 ERA over 122.1 innings, by far the most action he ever saw in any one year.
All told, even though he’d pitch another four years in the Minors, he’d never get another chance at the Majors, so he finished his career with a record of 11-18, with an ERA at 4.25 over 73 appearances and 237 innings pitched. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020


Today’s blog post has a 1972 “not so missing” card for former infielder Rudy Meoli, who began what turned out to be a six-year Big League career with a handful of games for the California Angels in 1971:

Meoli played in seven games as a September call-up in 1971, going 0-3 at the plate while putting in some time pinch-running.
He’d spend all of 1972 in the Minors before coming back in 1973, seeing the most action in any one season for his career with 120 games, hitting .223 with career-bests across the board, including runs, hits, doubles, homers, RBIs and walks while playing second, third and shortstop.
A part-time player in parts of another four seasons from here on in, he’d play for the Angels, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies before retiring after the 1979 season.
All told, Meoli hit .212 in the Big Leagues, with 133 hits in 626 at-bats, with 69 runs scored and 40 RBIs over 310 Major League games.


Monday, October 12, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1975 card for former third baseman Roy Howell, who began his Major League career with the Texas Rangers in 1974:

Howell appeared in 13 games for Texas that Summer, hitting .250 with 11 hits over 44 at-bats, including his first double and home run, along with two runs scored and three RBIs.
He’d play for Texas until 1977 when he was traded to the new Toronto Blue Jays franchise just about a month into the season, and he did very well, hitting .316 for them over 96 games, combining for a .302 average on the year.
The next season would see him get tabbed for an All-Star slot, the only time he’d make the squad, and he would go on to hit .270 over a full season with eight homers and 61 RBIs, along with a career-best 67 runs scored.
In 1981 he’d find himself playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he would play the final four years of his 11-year career before retiring after the 1984 season, still only 30-years-of-age.
All told, Howell hit .261 over his career, with 991 hits in 3791 at-bats, with 80 homers and 454 RBIs to go along with 422 runs scored over 1112 Big League games.


Sunday, October 11, 2020


Up on the blog today, let’s go and include Joe Morgan to my fun 1971 “Minor League Days” sub-set, with an image of “Little Joe” as a 19-year-old playing for the Durham Bulls in 1963:

Morgan had a pretty good season for Durham that year, hitting .310 with 18 homers, 116 runs scored and 28 stolen bases in 140 games, with a staggering 143 base-on-balls.
He would also make his MLB debut later that year with the (then) Houston Colt .45’s, collecting six hits in 25 at-bats over eight games before truly embarking on his eventual Hall of Fame career in 1965 when he was ripped off the NL Rookie of the Year Award, hitting .271 with 100 runs scored, 163 hits, 22 doubles, 12 triples, 14 homers and 20 stolen bases with a league-leading 97 walks.
By the time he retired after the 1984 season at the age of 40, he finished with two MVP Awards, 10 All-Star nods, five Gold Gloves, 2517 hits, 1650 runs scored, 268 homers and a cool 689 stolen bases with 1865 walks.
One of the all-timers right there at second base!


Saturday, October 10, 2020


As many of you around my age can attest to, George Foster’s 1977 is the stuff of legend.
His incredible year for the Cincinnati Reds got him a National League MVP Award, and for good reason, as the man became the first player since Willie Mays in 1965 to hit 50+ homers, along with 124 runs scored and 149 RBIs, also league-topping numbers.
So when the 1978 Topps card of the man came out, I was a bit underwhelmed, as I was expecting the glorious type card like a 1977 Dave Kingman, Rusty Staub, or perhaps the 1976 Johnny Bench or Carl Yastrzemski.
You know, something that went “BOOM”!
Anyway, I’m not trying to say I matched those glorious cards here, but I think I did better than the original, so here goes:

George Foster demolished the league’s pitching in 1977 by leading in runs (124), home runs (52), runs batted in (149), slugging (.631) and total bases (388) while also collecting 197 hits and posting a .320 batting average.
The man was an absolute beast! So much so that it actually makes people forget he was runner up to the league’s MVP Award the previous season, losing out to teammate Joe Morgan.
I think a card showing him smashing a ball at the plate works a little better don’t you?
He’d go on to play 18 years in the Big Leagues, finishing in the top-3 in MVP voting three times, while making five All-Star teams and retiring with 348 home runs, 1239 RBIs and just under 2000 hits with 1925.
Not a bad Major League tenure!


Friday, October 9, 2020


Up on the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1970 card for former pitcher Tom Bradley, who was never shown on a Topps card with the team he originally came up with, the California Angels:

Bradley appeared in three games for the Angels in his first taste of the Big Leagues during the 1969 season, going 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in two-innings of work.
In 1970 he would go 2-5 over 17 games, pitching to a 4.13 ERA over 69.2 innings, with his 1st MLB shutout and complete game.
1971 was actually the first of three pretty good seasons for Bradley, as he went on to post a 15-15 record with a nice 2.96 E.R.A. and 206 strikeouts.
He started an amazing 39 games that year, enough for 285.2 innings even though he only completed seven games. But he DID post SIX shutouts in those seven complete games.
1972 was almost identical to 1971, as he went 15-14 with a 2.98 earned run average and 209 strikeouts while starting 40 games, good for 260.0 innings. Of those 40 starts he upped his complete games to eleven, though his shutout total dropped to two.
Nevertheless not a bad arm to have starting every fourth day!
1973 was a small step backwards, as he moved on to the San Francisco Giants, but decent when all was said and done: Bradley ended up with a 13-12 record over 34 starts, good for 224 innings and six complete games. His strikeout total dropped noticeably, totaling only 136, but perhaps it was a sign of things to come…
In 1974 he was not nearly as effective a starter, going 8-11 with a bloated 5.16 E.R.A. over the course of 21 starts and 30 appearances. He managed only 134.1 innings and notched only 72 K's. But he DID have two shutouts among his eight wins.
However, by 1975 he was pretty much done, as he managed to pitch in only 13 games, six of them starts. 
He ended his final year in the big leagues with a 2-3 record and eye-popping 6.21 E.R.A.
He appeared in his last game on September, 15th of '75, ended his career at the age of 28.
Bradley went on to a lengthy career as a college head baseball coach, leading Jacksonville University from 1979 to 1990 before moving on to his alma mater, the University of Maryland from 1991 through 2000.

Thursday, October 8, 2020


Today’s blog post has a 1971 “Nicknames of the 1970s” card for former slugger Darrell Evans, aka “Howdy Doody”, in what I am assuming was NOT a cherished nickname for the former All-Star:

I mean, when you look at the man as a fresh-faced rookie back then, I guess I can see it, though not fully endorsing it!
Nevertheless, Evans hit a very nice .318 in his limited action during his brief action in 1970, 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.
But 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.
“Howdy Doody” indeed!


Wednesday, October 7, 2020


On the blog today, we have a career-capping 1973 card for former infielder Chico Salmon, who finished up his nine-year Big League career with a handful of games as a Baltimore Oriole in 1972:

Salmon, who many of you will remember as a member of the Cleveland Indians between 1964 and 1968, played the last four years of his career with Baltimore, including the 17 games in what was his last hurrah on a Big League diamond.
Over those 17 games he hit .063 with one hit in 16 at-bats, scoring two runs while striking out four times, playing first and third.
Never a full-time player, the most action he ever saw in any one season was back in 1966 when he suited up for 126 games for Cleveland, hitting .256 with 108 hits in 422 at-bats, with 46 runs scored and 40 runs batted in, which were all career-bests.
By the time he retired, he finished with a career .249 average, with 415 hits in 1667 at-bats in 658 games between 1964 and 1972, with 202 runs scored and 149 RBIs.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020


Today on the blog we have a career-capping 1975 “not so missing” card for former Big League pitcher John Cumberland, who made it back to a Major League mound in 1974 after spending all of 1973 in the Minors:

Cumberland, who last pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972, was now a California Angel, and appeared in 17 games during the 1974 campaign, in what ended up being the last action he’d see in his MLB career.
Over those 17 games, Cumberland went 0-1 with an ERA of 3.74, all out of the bullpen, throwing 21.2 innings, walking 10 and striking out 12.
Originally up in 1968 as a member of the New York Yankees, Cumberland also pitched for the San Francisco Giants in addition to St. Louis and California, finishing up with a record of 15-16, with an ERA of 3.82 over 110 appearances and 334.1 innings, with 36 starts, two shutouts and two saves.



Monday, October 5, 2020


Here’s an interesting “not so missing” card for the blog, a 1971 edition for eight-game Big League pitcher Jim Rittwage, who saw all his MLB action as a September call-up in 1970:

Now, what makes this somewhat interesting is that he did have a Topps card, but in the 1965 set on a multi-player card!
Nevertheless, he didn’t make his Major League debut until September of 1970 and appeared in the aforementioned eight games, which ended up being the entirety of his career.
Over those eight appearances Rittwage posted a record of 1-1 with an earned run average of 4.15 over 26 innings, with 21 walks and 16 strikeouts.
He would be back in the Minors for the next four seasons, but never get the call again for the Big Leagues, retiring after the 1974 season at the age of 29.


Sunday, October 4, 2020


Today’s blog post is purely a “just for the heck of it” creation that I normally never do, a card for a player suited up for a team he’d play for that season instead of the previous one, in this case a 1979 Wayne Twitchell card with him as a New York Met:

For some reason even though I was never big on the 1979 set I liked the New York Mets’ colors that Topps used, so anytime I can go and add to that I will, so voila!
Twitchell finished 1978 as a member of the Montreal Expos (miss that team!), and signed with the Mets just as the 1979 season was starting in April. So Topps understandably had him as a Montreal Expo. In case you don’t remember, here’s the original card:

He’d go 5-3 for them before finding himself with the Seattle Mariners for what turned out to be the last four games of his 10-year career, going 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in 13.2 innings.
His best season was easily 1973 when he made his only All-Star team while with the Philadelphia Phillies, going 13-9 with a 2.50 ERA over 34 games, 28 of them starts, with five shutouts and 169 strikeouts, all career-bests.
By the time he retired, he finished with a record of 48-65 over 282 appearances, with an ERA of 3.98 over 1063 innings, with six shutouts and two saves.



Saturday, October 3, 2020


Today we add Hall of Fame Baltimore Orioles legend Jim Palmer to my 1971 “Minor League Days” thread, celebrating the man’s incredible career:

Palmer’s road to Cooperstown was a bit rocky at first, with a couple of jumps and starts because of injuries between 1964 and 1968.
As a matter of fact we’d probably be looking at a 2300-game winner if not for over a season of missed time between 1967 and 1968.
Though he had a great first professional season in 1964 as an 18-year-old, going a combined 15-5 in the O’s system, he found himself on a Major League mound in 1966, still a teen, going 5-4.
In 1966 he’d improve to a record of 15-10 for the surprising eventual World Champs, shocking everyone with a sweep of the reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers, with Palmer contributing a complete game shutout.
But injuries derailed him until 1969 when he hit his stride, going 16-4 with a 2.34 ERA and six shutouts, completing 11 of 23 starts.
From there, all the man did was top 20-wins in eight of the next nine seasons, winning three Cy Young Awards, the first American League pitcher to do so, helping the Orioles to another championship in 1970, eventually finishing with a career 268-152 record along with a brilliant 2.86 ERA and 53 shutouts before he was done in 1984.


Friday, October 2, 2020


On the blog today we have a “not so missing” 1970 card for former Chicago White Sox pitcher Don Secrist, who made his MLB debut in 1969 with 19 appearances:

Secrist posted a record of 0-1 over those 19 games, pitching to an earned run average of 6.08 in 40 innings of work, with 23 strikeouts and 14 walks.
He’d be back on a Big League mound in 1970, albeit for only nine games, not factoring in a decision with a 5.52 ERA over 14.2 innings.
He would spend all of 1971 in the Minors, appearing in 27 games, but never get a shot at the Majors again, retiring after the season, still only 27 years of age.
All told, Secrist’s time in the Majors ended up with an 0-1 career record, with a 5.93 ERA over 28 appearances and 54.2 innings.


Thursday, October 1, 2020


Today’s blog post gives us a “not so missing” 1976 card for former California Angels First Baseman/Outfielder Dan Briggs, who made his MLB debut during the 1975 season:

The 22-year-old hit .226 in 13 games, collecting seven hits over 31 at-bats including a double and home run, with three runs scored and three runs batted in.
He’d see decent action in 1976, playing in 77 games and collecting 53 hits over 248 at-bats, good for a .214 batting average with 19 runs scored and 14 RBIs.
Briggs appeared in 59 games for the Angels in 1977, though only accumulating 83 plate appearances while hitting .214 with 12 hits over 74 at-bats.
Funny enough, after appearing in only 15 games in 1978 for the Cleveland Indians, he’d get a card from Topps in 1979, as well as 1980 and 1982.
All told, Briggs’ Major League career spanned 1975 through 1982, playing seven seasons where he hit .195 with 134 hits over 688 at-bats, hitting 12 home runs with 53 runs batted in and 67 runs scored in 325 games.



Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.