For those that would like a small hint as to the next pack, see attached image.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
SPOILER ALERT! A SMALL HINT AS TO THE NEXT WTHBALLS PACK! (DON'T LOOK AT IMAGE IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED)
The next player added to my long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" lineup is former Detroit Tigers slugger Willie Horton, who tends to get overlooked for his era:
Friday, February 26, 2021
Here's a card I knew I'd be tackling one day, a 1974 fantasy card featuring a "dedicated rookie" for four-time batting champ Bill Madlock, the catch of course showing him as a member of the team he came up with in 1973, the Texas Rangers:
Is he a Hall of Famer?
I’d say he falls a bit short, but then again, if there are NO other four+ batting title holders not in the Hall, does that raise the argument for Madlock?
Perhaps it does...
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Today on the blog, I am finally "fixing" a card that I'm sure many of you would NOT want fixed, the classic 1978 card for former pitcher Mike Paxton, who had himself quite an airbrush job.
Looking at it, I’m assuming it was either a Minor League color image, or a black and white image that was colorized.
Classic Topps from the era!
Paxton had himself a very nice rookie year for the Red Sox in 1977, going 10-5 with a 3.83 ERA over 29 appearances, 12 of them starts.
Of course, the ultimate irony is that Paxton didn’t even PLAY for the Red Sox in 1978, as he was part of the Dennis Eckersley deal in March of 1978, sending him to the Cleveland Indians, where he had another nice year that saw him post a record of 12-11 with a 3.86 ERA in 33 appearances, 27 of which were starts, with two shutouts and a save.
Sadly for him, he developed arm trouble the following season, seeing his ERA balloon to 5.92 while going 8-8 before managing to appear in only four games in 1980 before calling it a career.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Today's blog post has a "not so missing" 1979 card for former pitcher Odell Jones, who appeared in only three games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1978 after seeing significant playing time the year prior:
Coming off a 1977 season which saw him appear in 34 games, with 15 of them starts, for the Pirates, Jones was limited to only three games in 1978, going 2-0 with a 2.00 earned run average over nine innings.
All told, Odell finished his nine-year Major League career with a record of 24-35 over 201 appearances, posting an ERA of 4.42 over 549.1 innings of work, with four complete games and 13 saves along the way.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
On the blog today we have a nice 1976 "dedicated rookie" for "The Jet", Chet Lemon, who was just starting a very nice 16-year Big League career in 1975 at the age of 20:
Lemon was featured on a multi-player rookie card in my favorite all-time set, 1976, as he appeared in nine games for the Chicago White Sox in 1975, hitting .257 with nine hits over 35 at-bats.
Lemon was only 23 when he made the first of three All-Star teams during
his career in 1978, a career that saw him play for the Chicago White Sox
and Detroit Tigers between 1975 and 1990.
Over that time he hit .273, with 215 home runs while being a part of the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers team that steam-rolled to the championship when they ran 1st place from wire-to-wire.
Never putting up any gaudy numbers, Lemon was just a great consistent player who put in solid statistics year in and year out.
He did lead the American League with 44 doubles in 1979, while also leading the league with hit-by-pitches four times between 1979 and 1983, but it was his reliable, steady performance that made him a valuable player over his 16-year Big League career.
A little fun fact I picked up this morning that I never realized: Lemon’s last career game, on October 3rd of 1990, was a game I attended and will always remember because that was the highly anticipated final game of the year against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and we all wondered if breakout slugger Cecil Fielder could hit his 50th homer of the season to become the first since George Foster in 1977 to reach that mark.
Of course, as we all know, Fielder did not disappoint as he crushed TWO bombs that game, settling on 51 homers in his first season back to the Majors after a year in Japan.
Monday, February 22, 2021
On the blog today we have a re-do for Joe Lis and his 1977 Topps card, which was originally part of the expansion madness that led to some memorable airbrushing.
The most he ever played in any one season was in 1973 while with the Minnesota Twins when he appeared in 103 games, hitting .245 over 286 plate appearances, with nine homers and 25 RBIs.
He’d eventually end his career with nine games playing fore the inaugural 1977 Seattle Mariners before playing a season in Japan in 1978, returning for one last Minor League season in 1979, his last as a pro.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
This week we add the "Baby Bull" Orlando Cepeda to my ongoing 1971 "Minor League Days" thread, shown here as an 18-year-old with the St. Cloud Rox in his first season of professional ball in 1956:
Nevertheless, by the time he retired, he posted final numbers of: 379 homers, 1365 runs batted in, 2351 hits and a .297 average, with a Rookie of the Year (1958) and M.V.P. award (1967) thrown in.
It took a little while, but he was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 after being selected by the Veteran's Committee.
What a power trio San Francisco had in Cepeda, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey! Power to the ultimate degree!”
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Next card up in my "On-Card All-Star" fix is a 1970 Rico Petrocelli, celebrating the slugging shortstop's starting spot in the 1969 All-Star game:
Friday, February 19, 2021
On the blog today we have a "not so missing" card for former pitcher Silvio Martinez, who started his career with 10 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1977:
He would pitch until 1981 when he posted a record of 2-5 with a 3.99 ERA over 18 games, but after a season in the Cleveland Indians Minor League system in 1982 he would call it a career, finishing with a record of 31-32, with a 3.88 ERA over 107 appearances, with four shutouts and a save.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Here's a fun one for the blog, the airbrushed image used for former pitcher Ken Reynolds' 1973 card, a paint-job that ended up being all for nothing:
By the time he retired from Big League play after 19 games with the San Diego Padres in 1976, Reynolds ended up with a record of 7-29, with an ERA of 4.46 over 103 appearances and 375.2 innings, with 51 of those appearances starts.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a career-capping "not so missing" 1977 card for former pitcher Harry Parker, who played what turned out to be the last of his Big League games in 1976 as a member of the Cleveland Indians:
Over that time he had two stints with the Cardinals, along with two-plus seasons with the New York Mets and those last three games with the Indians.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Fun card to add to the "WTHBALLS" checklist, a 1975 "not so missing" card for one-game Major League pitcher Erskine Thomason of the Philadelphia Phillies:
Monday, February 15, 2021
Way back on October 9th of 2015 I created a "missing" 1977 card for Jim Dwyer, using an image of him with the New York Mets that wasn't 100% the quality I normally like to use.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
had to give two time batting champ Tommy Davis, a fellow Brooklynite, a
card in my long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" sub-set since I feel
the man is a bit overlooked.
One last thought: interesting to remember that between 1949 and 1998,
Tommy Davis was the ONLY Major League player to reach 150+ runs batted
in for a season, when he did so in 1962, funny enough the ONLY time he
even topped 100 in his 18-year career.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Next up in my on-going "On-Card All-Star" parade is a small "fix" for Hall of Famer Rod Carew's 1970 card, celebrating what was his third straight All-Star nod as a Big Leaguer since coming into the league in 1969:
A clear-cut Hall of Fame player, he was inducted on his first year of eligibility in 1991 when he garnered 90.5% of the vote, which leaves me with the question: who the hell are the 9.5% who DIDN’T vote for him!!!???
He was a God to me growing up!
Friday, February 12, 2021
Up on the blog today is my fourth "not so missing" card for former outfielder/first baseman Doug Howard, who put in parts of five seasons in the Big Leagues and never got a card (except a 1977 OPC card as an expansion Toronto Blue Jay).
The following season he would appear in 39 games for the Cleveland Indians, and batted .211 with 19 hits in 99 official at-bats.
It was the most time he saw in any of his five seasons in the big league, and his only season as an Indian.
All told he finished with a career .212 batting average, with 46 hits over 217 at-bats in 97 games, with 19 runs scored and 22 runs batted in.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a career-capping 1977 card for former San Diego Padres slugger Nate Colbert, who finished his Big League career with a short stint as an Oakland A's player at the tail-end of the 1976 season:
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
On the blog today, a card I never realized should have been created, a 1979 "not so missing" card for former outfielder Charlie Spikes, who spent a year in the Motor City, appearing in 10 games for the Detroit Tigers during the 1978 season:
Spikes hit .250 in that limited play, going 7-for 28 at the plate with a run scored and two runs batted in.
All told, he finished his Big League career with a .246 average, with 65 homers and 256 RBIs over 2039 at-bats in 670 games between 1972 and 1980.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Today on the blog we have a "not so missing" 1973 card for former Chicago Cubs infielder Dave Rosello, who made his Big League debut with a handful of games in 1972:
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.
Monday, February 8, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a do-over for former reliever Ken Sanders' 1975 Topps card, which goes from a classic airbrush-job to a nice clean image that I came across some time ago:
|Re-done for blog|
|Original by Topps|
From the front of his jersey on the original you can barely see the fact that he’s
wearing a Cleveland Indians uni, from where he came over during the
1974 season after being released in June.
Funny enough he’d go on to spend all of 1975 with the New York Mets, putting in another good year with a record of 1-1 along with a 2.30 ERA with five saves in 30 appearances and 43 innings of work.
After that he’d one more season under the Big League sun, splitting 1976 with the Mets and Kansas City Royals, appearing in 31 games and again posting a sub-3.00 ERA, this time at 2.70.
Never an All-Star, he did have two straight seasons of sub-2.00 ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970 and 1971, with 1.75 and 1.91 respectively, along with a league-leading 31 saves in the latter season.
All told he finished up with a ten-year Major League career, appearing in 409 games and posting a record of 29-45, with 86 saves and a very nice 2.97 ERA over 656.2 innings, with only one start in his career, that for the K.C. Athletics way back in 1966.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
The next starting 1969 All-Star to get an All-Star banner on their 1970 card is the American League first baseman for that year's "Midsummer Classic", the Baltimore Orioles Boog Powell:
Always a fan-favorite in Baltimore, Boog can still be seen around Camden Yards at his "Boog's Barbeque" restaurant.
And who can forget those awesome Miller Lite commercials in the 1980's!? Those were great!
Saturday, February 6, 2021
****UPDATE: REVISED CARD WITH IMAGE REVERSED****
Thank you "Unknown" for the heads up on the Ryan Image! I never even realized it was flipped!
Here's the corrected card below.
On the blog today, a wonderful addition to my on-going 1971 "Minor League Days" sub-set, adding the great Nolan Ryan, celebrating his great career:
Ryan was a 20-year-old flame-throwing kid when this photo was taken in 1967 while with the Jacksonville Suns.
Friday, February 5, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a 1976 "not so missing" card for former Boston Red Sox third baseman Butch Hobson, who made his Big League debut in 1975:
Post-playing career Hobson went into coaching, before getting a chance to manage the Red Sox from 1992 to 1994, finishing his managerial career with a record of 207-232.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Came across this nice picture of former New York Yankee coach Jim Hegan along with his son Mike Hegan, who was also in the Bronx at the same time, so I figured why not make a 1974 "Special"? So here you go:
A baseball family indeed!
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Today the blog brings you a 1975 "not so missing" card for former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Sixto Lezcano, who started his Big League career with a handful of game during the 1974 season:
Lezcano appeared in 15 games that year, hitting .241 with 13 hits over 54 at-bats, hitting two homers and driving in nine.
All told, for his Major League career Lezcano hit an admirable .271 with 1122 over 4134 at-bats, with 148 homers and 591 RBIs in 1291 games.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Today's blog post has a "not so missing" 1979 card for two-game Major League catcher Brian Milner, who funny enough would go on to have slots in multi-player rookie cards in 1981 and 1982:
Monday, February 1, 2021
Up on the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1974 card for former pitcher Charlie Williams of the San Francisco Giants:
By the time he retired after the 1978 season at the age of 30, he finished his Big League career with a record of 23-22 over 268 appearances, with an ERA of 3.97 with four saves in 573.1 innings.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Up on the blog today is the first American League All-Star from 1969 to get a "fix" on their 1970 Topps card, starting All-Star catcher Bill Freehan, who in my opinion should be in the Hall of Fame as the best catcher in his league for a significant amount of time:
Saturday, January 30, 2021
It has been nearly three years since I've added a player to my "Negro League Legends" thread, so today I present a card for Ben Taylor, former first baseman and manager:
Friday, January 29, 2021
On the blog today we have a 1973 "not so missing" card for three-year Major League outfielder Jimmy Rosario, who barely saw any action during the 1972 season with the San Francisco Giants:
Thursday, January 28, 2021
On the blog today, we have a re-done 1972 card for former first baseman/outfielder Bob Burda, who was originally airbrushed into a Red Sox uniform for his upcoming tenure with his new team.
|Re-done for blog|
For his career Burda would play in 388 games, hitting .224 with 142 hits over 634 at-bats, scoring 53 runs and driving in 78.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
On the blog today, how about a "not so missing" 1977 card for former Chicago White Sox outfielder Nyls Nyman?
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Today's blog post has a "do-over" for former pitcher Don Rose's 1973 Topps card since I came across this nice image of him as a California Angel, as opposed to the airbrushed image Topps had to go with back then:
In 1971 he came up to the Majors with the New York Mets, appearing in a single game and pitching two scoreless innings before being a part of a pretty big trade in the off-season when he was included with a young flame-throwing Nolan Ryan in a deal with the California Angels to get perennial all-star shortstop Jim Fregosi.
Over those two games he didn’t factor in a decision, posting an earned run average of 9.00 in exactly one inning of work.
Monday, January 25, 2021
On the blog today we have a "not so missing" pre-rookie card for former New York Mets pitcher Roy Lee Jackson, who made his Major League debut during the 1977 season:
All told, in 10 Major League seasons, Jackson ended up with a career 28-34 record, with a 3.77 ERA and 34 saves over 280 appearances and 559 innings pitched.