On the blog today we have a career-capping "not so missing" 1973 card for former California Angels outfielder/first baseman Bill Cowan:
Monday, May 17, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021
A short while ago a few of you asked or requested that I tackle the fact that over some years during the 1970's Topps created a simpler league leader card that featured two players, each leagues leader in a particular hitting or pitching category instead of expanded cards with the top three or so in each league, like the 1976 sub-set or 1972.
We'll do this by category so the next card in the thread will be the American League batting leaders, with another player who may surprise some of you.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
My apologies, but I will always create Hank Aaron cards, even if I already created one for a particular year, as with today's card, yet another 1974 redo, this time as a portrait layout adding to my previous landscape orientation:
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.
Rest in Peace to one of the absolute greats of the game, Mr. Henry Aaron...aka "Hammerin' Hank"!
Friday, May 14, 2021
Though I am actually a fan of the CLASSIC 1977 Topps airbrush job on Manny Sanguillen's card, I am finally creating a do-over, using the catcher actually suited up in Oakland's finest, so here you go:
Now, for those that really need a refresher on the original, here you go:
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Just a quick note to let you all know I've disabled the comment section until I can figure out how to prevent those annoying spam comments that have really gotten out of control.
Once I figure out how to do all that I'll have it back up!
Sorry about that! So freaking annoying!
Adding to my 1975 "missing" cards, today I throw in a "not so missing" card for former Detroit Tigers catcher John Wockenfuss, who also got a 1977 edition here on the blog a couple years back:
Wockenfuss was one of those players who was “always there” during my childhood, as I pulled his cards out of packs well into the 1980’s.
He put in twelve seasons in the Major Leagues between 1974 and 1985, playing all but his last two years with the Tigers before finishing up with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1984 and 1985.
Never a full-time player, the only time he topped 100 games in a season was in 1981 when he played in 126 games for Detroit, setting personal bests across the board with the extra playing time.
He’d retire after the 1985 season with a .262 batting average, with 543 hits over 2072 at-bats, with 267 runs scored and 310 runs batted in over 795 games.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Waaaaay back in June of 2013, about a month after I started this blog, I created a "missing" 1970 card former pitcher Jim Bouton, using an action photo, something the 1970 set did NOT use.
But when you then realize that we're talking about Jim Bouton, bad-boy ex-Yank and author of one of the all-time classic baseball books: "Ball Four", as well as being an established player who posted a 20+ win season for the Yanks in 1963, you have to wonder what was up with being left out of the card set.
Though his book wasn't "officially" released until June of 1970, it wasn't a secret as to what was in there, and Bouton certainly pissed off many in the Major League baseball world who found out about his tell-all tome.
Perhaps Topps could be included as those who had Bouton on their "persona-non-grata" list?
I can't really find anything on this, but I went ahead and created my own version of a "card that shoulda' been".
If I do go ahead and create more of these, I'll limit this to cards of players that had substantial playing time the season before, did NOT retire over the off-season, yet had no cards issued the following year.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Fun card to add to the blog today, a "not so missing" 1979 card for future NL Rookie of the Year and Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe of the Los Angeles Dodgers:
Monday, May 10, 2021
Up on the blog today, we have a "not so missing" 1978 card for former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mike Dimmel, who played parts of three seasons in the Big Leagues, totaling 39 games between 1977 and 1979:
Sunday, May 9, 2021
On the blog today, we have an addition to one of my favorite series I've created for the blog, my 1971 "Minor League Days" set, with the great and vastly under-rated Bill Freehan added:
Freehan was a 19-year-old stud just starting out with the Detroit system in 1961 when this photo was taken, as he would hit .310 over 77 games with 11 homers and 55 runs batted in for the Knoxville Smokies.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
The next card in my new 1978 special sub-set, "1977 30 Home Run Club" is Atlanta Braves thumper Jeff Burroughs, former A.L. MVP and overall #1 pick:
Sure, we all know that George Foster led the Majors with his monster 52 home run season in 1977, but how many know that the second-most home runs hit by a player were the 41 by Burroughs?
As stated earlier he would take home the 1974 A.L. MVP Award when he hit 25 homers and led the league with 118 runs batted in along with a .301 batting average, arguably his finest season in the big leagues.
A #1 pick in the amateur draft of 1969 out of Long Beach, California, he would be one of the first members of the 30-home runs-in-both-leagues club (30 with the Rangers in 1973/41 Braves in 1977), and actually one of the most successful #1 over-all picks at the time.
At the tail end of his career during the early-1980’s he was a potent bat off the bench for teams like the Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays.
Friday, May 7, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1979 card for former Philadelphia Phillies reliever Kevin Saucier, who made his MLB debut in 1978 with one single appearance:
All told, he finished his five year career with a record of 15-11 over 139 appearances, with an ERA of 3.31 in 203.2 innings pitched, saving 19 games.
Thursday, May 6, 2021
On the blog today we have a re-done 1978 card for former pitcher Paul Mitchell, who found himself North with the new Seattle Mariners franchise after starting the year with the Oakland A's:
For those that need a refresher on what the original Topps airbrush looked like, here you go:
Mitchell appeared in five games for the A's before he was purchased by Seattle on August 4th of 1977.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a third "not so missing" card creation for former pitcher Frank LaCorte of the Atlanta Braves, this time a 1979 edition to go with his 1977 and 1978 customs:
All told, he finished his career with a record of 23-44 along with an ERA of 5.01 and 26 saves over 253 appearances and 490 innings of work.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
On the blog today, a "not so missing" 1976 card for former infielder Rodney Scott, who made his Big League debut with the Kansas City Royals during the 1975 season:
Scott appeared in 48 games for K.C. that year, going 1-for-15 at the plate while putting in time at short and second base.
1977 would see him as a member of the Oakland A’s, where he saw the first full-time action of his young career, playing in 133 games and hitting .261 with 33 steals.
Another year, another team, as 1978 saw him suit up for the Chicago Cubs, where he played in only 78 games during the 1978 campaign, hitting a respectable .282 with 64 hits over 227 at-bats, stealing 27 bases in only a half-seasons’ worth of play. Not bad.
In 1979 he’d be back with the Expos and see two straight seasons of full-time work, having his best season as a Big Leaguer in 1980 when he led the National League with 13 triples, while also stealing a career-high 63 bases and scoring 84 runs.
Sadly for him, with the strike season the very next year, he hit only ..205 with Montreal, though he still stole 30 bases over his 95 games, scoring 43 runs, but it was a far cry from the previous year.
As it was, though still only 28, 1982 would see Scott play in what turned out to be his last in the Majors, splitting the year between the Expos and New York Yankees, appearing in only 24 games and hitting a combined .236, with seven steals and 10 hits over 59 plate appearances.
He would spend all of 1983 in the Montreal Minor League system before taking his talents South of the border, playing in the Mexican League between 1984 and 1986 for three different organizations: Toluca, Puebla and Tabasco.
All told, he finished his MLB career with a .236 batting average, with 504 hits in 2132 at-bats, stealing 205 bases and scoring 316 runs in 690 games between 1975 and 1982.
Monday, May 3, 2021
Fun card to add to the WTHBALLS stable, a "not so missing" 1978 card for former pitcher Steve Kline:
All told, he finished his career with a record of 43-45, with a very nice 3,26 ERA over 129 appearances, 105 of those starts, with six shutouts and a save between 1970 and 1977.
Sunday, May 2, 2021
Time to go and add all-star catcher (and should-be Hall of Famer in my eyes) Bill Freehan of the Detroit Tigers to my "Then and Now" Super veterans series, celebrating the man's great Big League career:
1964, his first full year in the Majors, was arguably his finest season, as he hit .300 for the only time in his career along with 18 homers and 80 R.B.I.'s.
But for the rest of his career Freehan put up solid numbers year after year, while taking care of a Detroit pitching staff that featured guys like McLain, Mickey Lolich and Earl Wilson.
He really was ahead of the rest of the pack as far as A.L. catchers during the decade.
As far as Major League catchers go, especially for that era, I feel he should be in the Hall, representing that era between Yogi Berra and Carlton Fisk in the American League.
Saturday, May 1, 2021
On the blog today, adding to my long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" thread with a card for Davey Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles, defensive wiz who had himself one of the most "where did this come from" seasons in baseball history years later with the Atlanta Braves:
Johnson was barely out of his teens when this photo was taken of him while playing for the Rochester Red Wings back in 1964.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Been meaning to create a "dedicated" card for former Oakland A's pitcher Craig Mitchell for years now, and today here it is, a 1978 "dedicated rookie" that also serves as a "career-capper", a first for the blog:
All told, Mitchell finished 0-2 over those five games, throwing 12.2 innings and posting a 7.82 earned run average with three strikeouts and four walks, all with the Oakland A's.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Time to add the great Negro League legend Chino Smith to my long-running 1972 sub-set celebrating the greats of the Negro Baseball Leagues:
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Fun card to re-do today, replacing one of those classic 1970's Topps airbrush jobs with a nice image of former pitcher Mike Wallace as a New York Yankee for his 1975 card:
Yet with that nice showing, the 1975 season was a wash for him, appearing in only 12 games between the Yanks and the St. Louis Cardinals, not factoring in a decision while pitching to a 6.23 ERA.
But a surprising note about this player was that he ended up with a very nice 11-3 career record over 117 games and 181.2 innings pitched, with a 3.91 ERA and three saves between 1973 and 1977, collecting three saves along the way.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Today's blog post is a fun one to add to the "collection", a "not so missing" 1970 card for eight-game MLB pitcher Luis Peraza of the Philadelphia Phillies:
Monday, April 26, 2021
OK my friends it’s that time again!
The newest “WTHBALLS” pack is now available for purchase!
SERIES SIX has 15 more card selections from the blog over the years plus a glossy insert, neatly wrapped in a “WTHBALLS” wrapper as seen above.
|SERIES 6 CARD SELECTIONS|
|BONUS ROBERTO CLEMENTE GLOSSY INSERT|
As usual packs are $10 each, with a one-time postage fee of $4.50 (no matter how many packs you buy).
The same Paypal address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions please email me at this email address as well!
Thank you all and be safe and well!
On the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1977 card for former pitcher Geoff Zahn, who had a bumpy 1976 season that saw him appear in only three games for the Chicago Cubs:
Overall, in his 13 year career he would win 111 games against 109 losses, with a 3.74 ERA and 20 shutouts over 304 appearances, tossing 1849 innings with 79 complete games between 1973 and 1985.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Fun new thread I'm starting today, as I have always been a fan of the 1977 Topps Football set with their "1000 Yard Rusher" designation, so Id decided to create a similar set for the 1978 baseball set, celebrating the 1977 baseball season and it's home run boom of sorts, beginning with the MLB leader, George Foster:
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.
So watch for my Jeff Burroughs "30 Home Run Club" card in the next week or so as we go back and celebrate the power-year that was 1977!
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Adding to one of my favorite sub-set creations on the blog today we have the great Harmon Killebrew as a fresh-faced 20-year-old suited up for the Charlotte Hornets back in 1956 before he tore up Major League pitching over the next 20 years or so:
He was an absolute BEAST at the plate, crushing 573 lifetime homers, MOST of them during the pitching-era of the 1960's into the '70's.
Eight 40+ home run seasons, nine 100+ runs batted in seasons, seven 100+ base-on-balls seasons, an M.V.P. in 1969 (with five top-5 finishes in M.V.P. voting as well), and a Hall of Fame induction in 1984.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a nifty 1975 "traded" card for "3-Dog" Willie Davis, who was heading South from the Montreal Expos to the Texas Rangers:
His best year in the Big Leagues was arguably his finest, collecting 198 hits and batting .309 while collecting the first of his three straight Gold Gloves.
Of course, being a National League outfielder through the 1960’s in the age of Mays, Aaron, Clemente and Robinson kept him from All-Star nods, and he only made two of them, in 1971 and 1973.
Nevertheless, by the time he retired he had quite the Major League resume, including leading the league in triples twice, 13 seasons of 20+ stolen bases, and two World Championships (1963 and 1965).
Thursday, April 22, 2021
On the blog today we have a card that I never realized was "missing", though really "not so missing", and that is a 1979 card for former catcher Tim Blackwell, the subject of a few other creations here on the blog over the years:
After a couple of years with the Montreal Expos in 1982 and 1983, he retired, finishing up with a career .228 average, with 238 hits in 1044 at-bats in 426 games.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
On the blog today, a player who has been a subject of mine here on the blog a couple of times before, former outfielder Oscar Brown, brother of "Downtown" Ollie Brown, who today gets a "not so missing" 1970 card added to his resume:
Never a full-time player, the most action he ever saw in any one season was in 1972 when he appeared in 76 games, with 168 plate appearances, almost three-times as many as he would have in any of his other four years as a Big Leaguer.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Really fun card to create for the blog today, this one a "not so missing" 1974 card for one-game Major League pitcher Greg Heydeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who gets the landscape treatment for his custom:
Heydeman was a 21-year-old when he made his Big League debut on September 2nd of 1973, pitching two innings and giving up one run on two hits while striking out and walking one batter each.
I am always excited to create cards for players who have appeared in one single Major League game, so if there are any others out there I may have missed, let me know!
Monday, April 19, 2021
He did put in about 15 years in professional ball, from the Minors to the Mexican League, pitching through the 1983 season, but that brief glory in the Summer of 1974 would be it as far as any MLB time.
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Up on the blog today we fill a hole somewhat for a manager that, if you were solely following Topps cards in the 1970's instead of the game itself, you wouldn't even know who managed the Chicago White Sox in 1976, Paul Richards:
I could not pass up the opportunity to create a card for the baseball lifer, who came back to manage Big League ball after 15 years, last managing the Baltimore Orioles from 1955 through 1961.
A wrong has finally been made right!
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Some seven years ago here on the blog I created a nickname card for the great Tom Seaver, a "Tom Terrific" edition for one of the best to ever toe the rubber.
The man would end up 311-205 record with 61 shutouts and 3640 strikeouts along with a brilliant 2.86 ERA over 20-seasons and 656 appearances, 647 of which were starts, taking home three Cy Young Awards (and getting ripped off a fourth in 1981).
"The Franchise", "Tom Terrific", either way, one of the all-time greatest pitchers the game has ever seen.
Friday, April 16, 2021
On the blog today, we have a 1972 "dedicated rookie" for all-star pitcher Jim Bibby, who began his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972, while also getting a spot on a multi-player rookie card in the glamorous 1972 set:
Bibby put in 12 years in the Major Leagues, posting two seasons with 19 wins, 1974 with the Texas Rangers when he went 19-19 over a staggering 41 starts, throwing 264 innings, and in 1980 when he made his only All-Star team while with the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 19-6 with a 3.32 ERA over 35 appearances, finishing third in the Cy Young race at season's end.
By the time he was done after the 1984 season at the age of 39, he finished with a record of 111-101 over 340 appearances, with an ERA of 3.76, tossing 19 shutouts while picking up eight saves along the way, winning a championship in 1979 with the Pirates, the famed "We are family" squad led by the great Willie Stargell.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
On the blog today, always happy to add another Negro League great to my long-running "Negro League Legends" 1972 sub-set, celebrating the greats of the NBL who were never given the chance to play Major League Ball:
Though he passed away in 1983, thankfully this baseball great was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.