Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Please allow me to indulge with posting this fantastic photo of the great Dave Parker, aka "Cobra" holding none other than my 1978 "Nickname" card that was created for this blog years ago:

Such a great moment for me to have one of my favorite players of my childhood with one of my cards honoring him!

Thank you Dave Jordan ( @instreamsports) for this!

Dave Jordan has helped Dave Parker with his new biography "Cobra.  A life of Baseball and Brotherhood". 



Up on the blog today we have a do-over for Chuck Dobson and his 1975 card, which originally had him airbrushed into a California Angels uni:

Over the years I came across a nice photo of him in an actual Angels uniform, so I figure why not recreate it?
For those that don't remember what the original looked like, here you go:

Dobson appeared in nine games for California in 1975, going 0-2 with a 6.75 earned run average over 28 innings of work.
It was his second year with the Angels after coming over from the Oakland A’s, who released him just before the 1974 season started.
I always felt bad for him since he actually wasn’t a part of the Oakland A’s championship teams playing his last full season in 1971 when he posted an excellent 15-5 record with a 3.81 ERA over 30 appearances, all starts.
Because of arm injuries he missed 1972, though he did appear in nine games down in the Minor Leagues, and appeared in one solitary Big League game for Oakland during the 1973 season, pitching a total of 2.1 innings.
So he started his Major League career in 1966 with the (then) Kansas City Athletics at the age of 22, put in a very nice string of six seasons where he posted double-digit wins, even leading the American League in shutouts in 1970 with five, only to miss out on the three straight championships his teammates went on to have between 1972 and 1974.
That had to hurt!
Kind of reminds me of Lee May, who had to watch all of the guys he came through the system with in the 1960’s go on to become the “Big Red Machine” while he was down in Houston after the Joe Morgan trade.
Nevertheless, Dobson had himself a nice nine-year career that saw him go 74-69, with an ERA of 3.78 over 202 appearances, with 11 shutouts and 49 complete games.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Really fun card to add to the blog today, a "not so missing" 1979 card for one-game Major league first baseman Hank Small, who had his day in the sun as a September call-up in 1978:


Small played his one game on September 27th of 1978, going 0-4 at the plate while manning first base after spending three years toiling in the Minors for the Atlanta Braves franchise.

He was tearing up the International League in 1978, with 25 homers and 101 runs batted in before getting the call.
However, you know how this goes, as he would spend all of 1979 in the Minors again, retiring at season's end.
I don't know why he didn't stick around longer as he was still only 24 years of age,so I'm hoping perhaps someone out there has a deeper story into it?
Please let me know if you do.
Sadly I see that in 2010, at the age of only 54, Small died as a result of a fall at his home in Griffin, Georgia.

R.I.P. Sir...


Monday, March 29, 2021


On the blog today, my second "not so missing" card for former catcher Kevin Pasley, this one a 1975 edition,marking his MLB debut the season prior with the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Pasley appeared in one single game for the Dodgers in 1974, getting some time behind the plate without a plate appearance himself at the age of 20.
He'd spend all of 1975 in the Minors before making it back in 1976 with 23 games for L.A., hitting .231 with 12 hits over 52 at-bats.
He'd appear in only six games in 1977, two for the Dodgers and four for the new Seattle Mariners franchise, hitting a combined .375 with six hits in 16 at-bats.
1978 would see him play in a career-high 25 games for Seattle, hitting .241 with 13 hits, including the only home run of his career, while scoring three and driving in five.

He would go on to play four years in the Minors after this, but never get a shot in the Big Leagues again, finishing his MLB career with a .254 average, with 31 hits in 122 at-bats spread out over 55 games between 1974 and 1978.


Sunday, March 28, 2021


On the blog today we have another addition to my long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" sub-set, this one for All-Star Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Willie Davis:


Davis was absolutely tearing up the Pacific Coast League pitching when this image was taken back in 1960, when the 20-year-old hit .346 with 216 hits, 43 doubles, 26 triples and 12 homers in 147 games and 624 at-bats.

This was after a 1959 season that saw him hit .352 for the Reno Silver Sox and Green Bay Blue Jays, collecting 191 hits and scoring 135 runs in just 124 games as a 19-year-old.
He made his MLB debut at the end of the 1960 season, hitting .318 over 22 games, scoring 12 and driving in 10, but the tables were set for him to become a top-notch ballplayer for years to come.
What an underrated career for the three-time Gold Glove outfielder: 2561 hits, 1217 runs scored, 182 home runs, 398 stolen bases and 1053 runs batted in over 18 seasons, 14 of which were with Los Angeles.
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).

"3-Dog" was certainly overshadowed by some of his contemporaries, but nevertheless put together an excellent 18-year Major League career.


Saturday, March 27, 2021


Good day everyone!

On the blog today is yet another 1977 "fantasy" card for Chicago White Sox great Minnie Minoso, who made a gimmick of a return to the Big Leagues in 1976 with some at-bats at the age of 50:

Now, I already created both a "not so missing" and "coach" card for him here on the blog years ago, but when I found this image of him I couldn't resist another creation in honor of the man.
Minoso, aka the “Cuban Comet”, is arguably a Hall of Famer, and I always felt the stunts in 1976 and 1980 may have even hurt his chances of getting into Cooperstown.
From 1951 to 1961 he had a wonderful Major League career, leading the league in stolen bases three times, triples three times, and hits and doubles once each, while also driving in over 100 runs four times and topping 20 homers four times.
Eight times in that span he would top a .300 batting average, and in 1951 many consider him the true American League Rookie of the Year when he his .326 split between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, while topping the league in triples with 14 and stolen bases with 31.
Along the way he was named to seven All-Star games, winning three Gold Gloves as well, funny enough finishing fourth in the A.L. MVP race four times.
Of course, 12 years after his last playing days, in 1976, he ended up going 1-for-8 at the plate as a 50 year-old, then coming back in 1980 at the age of 54 and going hitless in two at-bats.
Nevertheless, Minoso finished his career with a .298 average, with 1963 hits over 6579 at-bats, along with 186 homers and 205 stolen bases while also topping 1000 runs scored and RBIs, 1136 & 1023 respectively.

Friday, March 26, 2021


Six years ago on the blog I created a "missing" 1975 career-capper for former infielder Horace Clarke, who finished up a nice Big League career with a few dozen games as a San Diego Padre in 1974.

I recently came across a nice Topps image of him during his San Diego stint, which is much better than the original image I used, so I thought it was a perfect time to re-do the card with a proper photo:

Clarke appeared in 42 games with the Padres after starting the year with the New York Yankees, playing in 24 games before his relocation out West.
That quarter season with the Padres was the only time Clarke played for anyone other than the Yankees in his ten-year career, spanning 1965 to 1974.
Playing during those post-dynasty Yankees "dark days", Clarke endured some lean years in the Bronx with guys like Bobby Murcer, Mel Stottlemyre and Joe Pepitone.
A "typical" middle infielder of the era, Clarke was a nice-fielding/light-hitting player who had some nice years for the Yanks.
Between 1967 and 1973 Clarke, aka "Hoss", was the Yankees full-time second baseman, topping 600 plate appearances each and every year.
His average hovered around the .250 mark, with a high of .285 in 1969 when he had perhaps his best season as a Major League player: 183 hits, 82 runs, 33 stolen bases and seven triples.
He retired after 1974 with a lifetime .256 average, with 1230 hits, 548 runs, 304 runs batted in and 151 stolen bases.
Oddly the man never won a Gold Glove even though he topped the American League in putouts four times, double-plays turned twice, fielding once and assists six times.
Just one of those decent guys that got lost in the Bronx before the "Bronx Zoo" and a guy named Steinbrenner rolled in a short time later.

Thursday, March 25, 2021


I just realized I haven't added images here on the blog for my last couple of pack-sets, Series 5 and my 1960's "Career-Cappers" special, so here you go:




On the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1977 card for long-time Big League reliever Doug Bair, who was just starting his career with a few games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1976:

Bair appeared in four games with the Pirates that year, not factoring in a decision while pitching to a 5.68 earned run average over 6.1 innings of work.
The following year he would find himself a member of the Oakland A's, going 4-6 with a 3.46 ERA over 45 appearances and 83.1 innings, along with eight saves.
He'd have his finest year in 1979 with the Cincinnati Reds, going 11-7 over 70 appearances with a brilliant 1.97 ERA and 28 saves in 100.1 innings.
He would go on to pitch through the 1990 season, good for 15 Major League seasons, appearing in 584 games with seven teams, going 55-43 with a 3.63 ERA and 81 saves over 909.1 innings of work.
He was a member of two Championship teams, the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals and 1984 Detroit Tigers, going 0-2 in Postseason play in six games and 4.2 innings.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Came across this nice image of former pitcher Paul Doyle suited up as an Atlanta Brave and figured it'd make a nice "do-over" for his 1970 card, which originally depicted him with the team he was going to play for that new season, the California Angels, so here goes:

For those that don't remember the original, here you go:
Doyle came up to the Big Leagues in 1969 and went 2-0 with a very nice 2.08 earned run average for the Western Champ Braves, appearing in 36 games while picking up four saves.
After the season he was purchased by the Angels, where he would go 3-1 with a 5.14 ERA over 40 games before finding himself finishing the 1970 season with the San Diego Padres, going 0-2 the rest of the way with a 6.43 ERA.
He would only appear in another two games in the big leagues, as an Angel again in 1972, before closing out his short three-year career, finishing with a 5-3 record with a 3.79 ERA in 87 games and 90.1 innings with 11 saves.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Up on the blog today we have a 1973 "not so missing" card for Ron Clark, who has already gotten two "missing" creations over the years at "Casa de WTHBALLS":

Clark split the 1972 season with the Oakland A's and Milwaukee Brewers, appearing in 36 games and hitting .203 with 14 hits over 69 at-bats.
He would spend the next two years in the Minors before appearing in one game during the 1975 season for the Philadelphia Phillies, the last Big League action he'd see.
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.


Monday, March 22, 2021


Thought I would have a little fun on the blog today and post my "not so missing" 1972 card for former pitcher Gerry Janeski, who played for the Washington Senators in 1971 and got the "Topps treatment" for a 1972 card:

Like so many others moving with the franchise to Texas, becoming the Rangers, I airbrushed all identifying "Senators" markings as Topps would have done and left it at that (Think Hal King, etc).
Janeski appeared in 23 games for the Rangers in their inaugural season, going 1-5 with a 4.96 earned run average over 61.2 innings of work.
After coming up as a rookie with the Chicago White Sox in 1970 and posting a 10-17 record over 35 starts and 205.2 innings pitched, Janeski was traded in February of ‘71 for former “Bonus Baby” Rick Reichardt.
Janeski would pitch three years in the big leagues, finishing up with a 11-23 record over 62 games, 46 of which were starts, including a 4.73 earned run average, a shutout and a save, with 105 strikeouts over 280 innings.


Sunday, March 21, 2021


Today we come to the last player to get the "All-Star Fix" on their 1970 Topps card, Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, who made a splash during the 1969 season, meeting all expectations after being drafted #2 overall in 1966:


Jackson had it all going on in 1969, finishing the year with a career-best 47 home runs along with a league-leading 123 runs scored, paired up with 118 runs batted in and a .275 average for the Oakland A's.

Those numbers got him a fifth-place finish in the MVP race at season's end, and we all know he was FAR from finished.
Truly one of the eternal icons of the game, the man was just destined for baseball greatness since his days at Cheltenham High School in Pennsylvania.
Recruited by pro teams and colleges alike, he went on to Arizona State where he was actually on a football scholarship.
Of course we all know the story of the 1966 amateur draft, where the New York Mets held the #1 pick, and opted for high school catcher Steve Chilcott instead of who many considered the true #1 overall amateur, Jackson.
With the second pick, the Kansas City Athletics (later Oakland) picked the slugger and the rest is history, as he would eventually lead the organization to three straight championships between 1972-1974 before being traded in a blockbuster to the Baltimore Orioles where he’d play for one season in 1976.
As a highly coveted free agent before the 1977 season, Jackson signed with the New York Yankees, and with Reggie in NYC, the legend exploded as he helped the Yankees to two championships in 1977-78.
With his larger than life persona, New York ate it up and before you knew it, he was known around the world, even getting his own candy-bar by the end of the decade.
For a kid like me growing up in Brooklyn in the ‘70’s, Reggie was like a God, larger than life, and before he finished up his career in 1987, putting in 21 seasons, he would put together a Hall of Fame career with 563 homers, 1702 runs batted in, an MVP Award in 1973, and five championships.
Add to that 14 all-star nods, four home run titles, a legendary homer in the 1971 All-Star Game against Dock Ellis, his 1977 World Series performance, and you can see why he goes down as one of the most well-known baseball personalities the game has ever seen!

Saturday, March 20, 2021


It has been years since I posted one of my "Long Time No See" subjects, and today we have Wally Wolf, who appeared on a Topps rookie card in 1963 and then again on a rookie card in the 1970 set:


Turns out those would be the only cards the former pitcher would appear on, making his Big League debut in 1969 as a member of the California Angels.

Originally signed by the Chicago Cubs as a 19-year-old, he played for Cubs, Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds systems before finally getting to the Big Show as an Angel in '69.
In that initial taste of the Majors he appeared in two games, not factoring in a decision while pitching to an ERA of 11.57 over 2.1 innings of work.
The following season he appeared in four games for California, again not factoring in a decision while posting an ERA of 5.06 over 5.1 innings,

Turns out he would retire soon after, never even pitching in the Minors again after the 1970 season.finishing with a six-game MLB career of 7.2 innings, with a 7.04 ERA and no record.


Friday, March 19, 2021


On the blog today, a card entirely created because of a wonderful photo I stumbled upon,a re-done 1971 card for former infielder Joy Foy:


Originally Topps has a late-series card for Foy in their 1971 set showing him with his new team, the Washington Senators, for whom he was yet to play.

However, I wanted to use this image so I figured a nice redone card showing him with the Mets, who he played the 1970 season with, would still fly.
Definitely think it was the right choice! Nice image of him interacting with fans in the stands either before or after a game.
Foy came up to the Big League in 1966 with the Boston Red Sox and really had an underrated rookie year, scoring 97 runs while hitting 15 homers and driving in 63 with a .262 batting average.
Over the next two seasons he’d pretty much keep those numbers consistent, giving the Red Sox a very good young shortstop for the future.
However, left unprotected in the 1969 expansion draft, the Kansas City Royals picked him as the fourth overall pick. So it was straight to the “second division” for Foy, where he once again had a solid year, batting .262 with 37 stolen bases and 72 runs scored for the new Major League team.
Of course, he would then become a part of one of those lopsided trades in the early-70’s, as the New York Mets acquired him for a young outfielder named Amos Otis, giving the Royals a player who would be a mainstay in the outfield over the next decade, while Foy fizzled out, hitting only .236 in Queens during the 1970 season, before that last season for Washington.
It seems that Foy developed some problems during his tenure with the Mets, apparently even showing up to games high on marijuana, thus leaving the Mets no choice but to leave him unprotected once again, enabling the Senators to take one last chance on the young infielder to no avail, when he hit .234 in a limited role.

That turned out to be his last year in the Majors, spending all of 1972 in the Minors before calling it a career, finishing with a .248 batting average, with 615 hits, 355 runs scored and 291 RBIs over 716 games and 2484 at-bats, with 99 stolen bases.


Thursday, March 18, 2021


Now today on the blog comes a card I have been wanting to create for a long while, a "not so missing" 1973 card for one of the Allen brothers, Ron, who played seven games in his Major League career, all with the St. Louis Cardinals in August of 1972:


Ron, the youngest of the Allen brothers (Hank and should-be Hall of Famer Dick) collected one hit over 11 at-bats with the Cardinals during his brief Big League time, scoring two runs and driving in one on a homer.

I don't know why he retired from the game after this time, considering he was in the Minor Leagues between 1964 and 1972 before finally getting the call-up to the "Big Show".
When you look at his Minor League career, he had some solid numbers, hitting .271 with 135 homers and 592 runs batted in over nine seasons, so I don't understand why he retired shortly after finally making it.
Does anyone know? I looked him up and could not find anything that would explain. He didn't go to Japan or Mexico to play, so I'm at a loss as to why he left pro ball when he did.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021



On the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1979 card for former National League Rookie of the Year Butch Metzger, who sadly developed arm problems and was out of the Majors three years after his award winning season:

Metzger appeared in 25 games for the New York Mets in 1978, going 1-3 with an earned run average of 6.51 in 37.1 innings.
Just two seasons earlier with the San Diego Padres he was co-R.O.Y. when he appeared in 77 games as a Freshman, saving 16 games while posting a record of 11-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 123.1 innings pitched.
Sadly he soon developed arm problems and saw his 1977 season split between the Padres and St. Louis Cardinals, going 4-2 with a 3.59 ERA over 115.1 innings, with seven saves.
After a full season in the Atlanta Braves system in 1980, he would call it a career, ending up with a record of 18-9 with an ERA of 3.74 over 191 appearances and 293.1 innings pitched in parts of five seasons between 1974 and 1978.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Found a nice image of former pitcher Steve Barber as a member of the California Angels,so I figured I'd re-do his 1974 card, replacing the original version which had him in an airbrushed Milwaukee Brewers uni, a team he never ended up playing for:

For those that have forgotten what the original looked like, here you go:


The former All-Star starter with the Baltimore Orioles was at the tail-end of his career by 1973, appearing in 50 games for the Halos and picking up four saves with a 3.53 earned run average.

In 1974 he would actually play with the San Francisco Giants in what turned out to be his last action on a Big League mound, going 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA over 13 games and 13.2 innings pitched.
His best years were as a Baltimore Oriole, with whom he came up with in 1960, and for whom he posted a 20-win season in 1963, three seasons of sub-3.00 ERA, and leading the American League with eight shutouts in 1962.
Once he left Baltimore he became somewhat of a journeyman pitcher both as a starter and an arm out of the bullpen, pitching for the New York, Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, California Angels and Giants.
He finished his career with a 121-106 record, with a 3.36 ERA, 21 shutouts, 14 saves and 1309 K’s over 466 games and 1999 innings.


Monday, March 15, 2021


On the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1978 card for former infielder Jimmy Sexton, who made his Big League debut with the Seattle Mariners during their inaugural 1977 season:

Sexton appeared in 14 games with the new Seattle franchise, hitting .216 with eight hits over 37 official at-bats, scoring five runs and driving in three.
He would find himself a member of the Houston Astros in 1978, and he would appear in what turned out to be a career-high 88 games that year, hitting .206 with 29 hits, 17 runs and six RBIs while stealing 16 bases.
In 1979 he'd play in 52 games before playing all of 1980 in the Minors, making it back to the Majors in 1981 as a member of the West Champion Oakland A's, though playing in only seven games before bumping up to 69 games in 1982.
In 1983, he'd be on the move again, now with the St. Louis cardinals, where he appeared in only six games in what turned out to be the last Major League action he'd see, collecting one hit over nine at-bats.
The dude was a stolen base machine in the Minors, finishing his career with 335 steals while adding another 36 in the Majors for a total of 371 stolen bases over his pro career.

Nevertheless, his Big League totals looked like this: a .218 batting average over 236 games, with 81 hits in 372 at-bats, with 53 runs scored and 24 RBIs between 1977 and 1983.



Sunday, March 14, 2021


This week we have the final starting 1969 All-Star to get their 1970 "fixed" with an All-Star banner, the great Frank Robinson, closing out a fun thread that started way back with Johnny Bench:

Robinson put in what turned out to be his last 100-RBI season in 1969, helping the juggernaut Baltimore Orioles make it to the World Series where they were stunned by the "Miracle Mets", before bouncing back in 1970 with a championship over the upcoming Cincinnati Reds.
That's not to say he didn't have anything left in the tank after 1969 as a player however, as evidenced by five more 20+ home run seasons, and two more 90+ RBI campaigns.
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, March 13, 2021


For any of you that have been following the blog for some time, you know that I love Vada Pinson and think he is criminally overlooked.

So anytime I can go ahead and create a card for him I will, and today I am happy to add a fantasy 1977 card showing him as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, for whom he almost played for during the 1976 season:

Pinson signed with the Brewers as a Free Agent in January of 1976 after a year with the Kansas City Royals.
Sadly, the Brewers released Pinson right as the season started on April 4th, deying us an extra season of the man trying to chase 3000 hits.
Nevertheless, I just came across this awesome photo of him suited up as a Brewer, so let's just imagine he played that last season with Milwaukee, leading to this beauty shall we?
I’ve always loved his career, and wonder had he not played the bulk of his Big League time in the shadows of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente and Frank Robinson, would he have made it all the way to the Hall of Fame.
Four-times he’d collect over 200 hits, seven times over 20-home runs, nine times over 20-stolen bases, and the man only made two All-Star teams!
Just an awesome career that saw him finish with over 2700 hits, 250 homers and 300 stolen bases, while also collecting over 480 doubles and 120 triples.


Friday, March 12, 2021


On the blog today, we have a "not so missing" 1975 card for 13-game Major League outfielder Danny Godby of the St. Louis Cardinals:

Godby's entire Big League career spanned about a month and a half between August 10th and September 25th of 1974, hitting .154 with two hits over 13 at-bats with two runs scored and a run batted in.
Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, he spent 1968 through 1974 in the Minors before his call-up, and sadly for him it would be the only taste of the Majors he'd have, as he would spend the next three years in the Minor League systems of the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros, retiring after the 1977 season.


Thursday, March 11, 2021


OK, now while I realize the 1974 Hank Aaron card is iconic, and a classic, hands-down, I have always wanted to create a 1974 card for the Home Run King in the "regular" format, so here's a landscape edition (with portrait version coming soon!):

I am a sucker for the landscape cards in the 1974 set, and to be honest this would be a wonderful addition to that collection if I do say so myself!
Of course all baseball talk was about Aaron at this time, with his overtaking Babe Ruth as the all-time Home Run champion as the 1974 season opened up, and rightly so!
The man was simply out of this world...
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.

Rest in Peace to one of the absolute greats of the game, Mr. Henry Aaron...aka "Hammerin' Hank"!


Wednesday, March 10, 2021


Up on the blog today we have a "not so missing" 1975 card for former catcher John Stearns, who made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974:

Stearns played in one game for the Phils in 1974, going 0-2 at the plate before finding himself as part of a package in a trade to the New York Mets that sent reliever Tug McGraw to the city of Brotherly Love.
Turns out he would spend the rest of his Big League career with the Mets, playing into the 1984 season, getting named to four All-Star teams along the way.
In that time however he only had three seasons of full-time work, with 1978 arguably his finest when he stole 25 bases while hitting .264 with 126 hits and 15 homers, while driving in 73 runs.
All told, he finished his career with a .260 batting average, with 696 hits over 2681 at-bats in 810 games, with 334 runs scored and 312 RBIs, and a very nice 91 stolen bases as a catcher.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021


Fun card to add to the WTHBALLS checklist, a "not so missing" 1974 card for Tony La Russa, who played the last of his Major League time as a player before embarking on one of the great Managerial careers the game has ever seen:

La Russa appeared in one game for the Chicago Cubs in 1973, apparently as a pinch-runner which led to him scoring a run without a plate appearance.
Before that the last action he saw in the Majors was during the 1971 season when he split the year with the Oakland A's and Atlanta Braves, appearing in 32 games and hitting .133 with two hits over 15 official at-bats.
He came up in 1963 for a brief cup of coffee with the Kansas City Athletics, but wouldn't make it back up to the big leagues again until 1968, when he appeared in only five games, good for three at-bats.
Actually, in his six year playing career, he never really got a chunk of playing time in any one season.
However, ironically enough, the MOST action he ever saw was during the 1970 season while still playing for the A's, when he got into 52 games at second base, good for 106 at-bats.
He didn't make much of the opportunity, batting .198 with 21 hits and six runs batted in.
However, if there was EVER a year where Topps should have given the guy a baseball card you think it would be the only year he scraped together more than 100+ plate appearances, no?
Yet Topps didn't have a LaRussa card in their 1971 set, even though he WAS included in their sets in 1964, 1968 and 1972.
So way back when on the blog I did create a "missing" 1971 card for him, almost eight years ago to be exact! Time sure flies!
As we all know, Tony LaRussa the "manager" is one of the all-time greats.
Between 1979 and 2011, a span of 33 years, he managed three teams (White Sox, A's and Cardinals) to 2728 victories, six pennants, three world championships, and 12 first place finishes.

Monday, March 8, 2021


On the blog today, we go and give Keith Moreland a "not so missing" 1979 card, after he made his MLB debut with a single game during the 1978 season:

Moreland went 0-2 at the plate in that debut, while putting in time behind the plate as catcher.
Of course, over the course of his career Moreland would put in time in the outfield, infield, just about anywhere his team needed him!
He would end up playing through the 1981 season with the Phillies before moving on to the Chicago Cubs where he would get solid playing time, giving the Cubs some very good seasons along the way.
His finest season would have to be 1985 when he drove in a career-best 106 runs, with a .307 average and 180 hits, also career-highs.
He would go on to play for the San Diego padres in 1988 before one last season split between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles in 1989.

Overall Moreland put together a very nice 12-year Big League career that saw him hit .279, with 1279 hits over 4581 at-bats in 1306 games, with 511 runs scored and 675 RBIs.


Sunday, March 7, 2021


On the blog today we add former Los Angeles Dodger MVP Maury Wills to my on-going 1971 "Minor League Days" sub-set:

Wills was just about to come up to the Big Leagues for good in 1959 when this photo was taken, showing him suited up with the Spokane Indians where he played for a couple of seasons.
He would steal 25 bases each season for Spokane, hitting .253 and .313 respectively, giving everyone a sense of what to expect once he hit the Major League base paths.
Of course the pinnacle of his career is the 1962 season where he took home the National League MVP Award after setting the new single-season stolen base record with 104 while collecting 208 hits and 130 runs scored for the Dodgers.
This was right in the middle of a six-year run of leading the league in stolen bases, while also appearing in five all-star games and taking home a couple of Gold Glove Awards.
Overall he retired with a .281 batting average based on 2134 hits in 7588 at-bats with 586 stolen bases and 1067 runs scored in 1942 games.


Saturday, March 6, 2021


Time to add the great Frank Howard to my on-going "On-Card All-Star" thread, celebrating "Hondo's" 1969 start in the Midsummer Classic representing the Washington Senators:


Howard was smack dab in the middle of an incredible run, topping 40 homers three straight seasons with a career best in 1969 of 48, while driving in over 100 with a high of 126 in 1970.

Those efforts got him top-10 finishes in the league MVP voting each year, finishing 8th, 4th and 5th respectively between 1968 and 1970.
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, March 5, 2021


Up on the blog today we have a 1978 "not so missing" card for two-year Big League pitcher Manny Seoane, who made his Big League debut in 1977 as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies:


Seoane appeared in two games for the Phils that year, not factoring in a decision while posting an earned run average of 6.00 over six innings of work.

The following season he would find himself on the North Side of Chicago as a member of the Cubs, where he would appear in seven games, finishing with a record of 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched.
Still only 23, he would spend the next three years in the Minors before calling it a career after the 1981 season.

For his brief career, Seoane finished with a record of 1-0, with an ERA of 5.65 over nine games and 14.1 innings between the Phillies and Cubs.


Thursday, March 4, 2021


On the blog today, we have a "not so missing" 1975 card for former San Diego Padres pitcher Joe McIntosh, who made his MLB debut in 1974:

McIntosh appeared in 10 games for the Padres in 1974, going 0-4 with a decent earned run average at 3.62 over 37.1 innings of work.
Half of those appearances were starts, something that would increase the following season when he would make 37 appearances, with 28 of those starts as well.
In that 1975 season, which turned o0ut to be the last of his brief Big League career, McIntosh went 8-15 with an ERA at 3.69 over 183 innings, with four complete games and a shutout.
Following that season he was part of a trade to the Houston Astros that got the Padres Doug Rader, but I can't seem to find any reason why he never played between 1976 and 1978, not even in the Minors.
He did return to professional ball in 1979, still in the Houston organization, appearing in four games for the Gulf Coast League Astros squad and pitching nine innings, but that would be it.

All told, his MLB time resulted in a record of 8-19, with a 3.68 ERA over 47 games and 220.1 innings pitched, with 93 strikeouts and 77 walks in parts of two seasons.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021


Today's blog post has a career-capping "not so missing" 1973 card for former Atlanta Braves infielder Gil Garrido, who finished up a six-year Big League career with 40 games in 1972:

Garrido hit what turned out to be a career-best .267 over those 40 games, with 20 hits in 75 official at-bats, scoring 11 runs and driving in seven himself.
A Brave since 1968, he never played a full season over that time, with a high of 101 appearances in 1970 when he hit .264 with 97 hits over 367 at-bats, all career-highs.
Back in 1964 he made his Big League debut with the San Francisco Giants as a 23-year-old, collecting 2 hits over 25 at-bats, (not so) good for a batting average of .080.
He would spend the three years in the Minors before joining the Braves in 1968, appearing in 18 games.

All told, Garrido played in 334 games during his career, hitting .237 with 207 hits over 872 at-bats, with 81 runs scored and 51 RBIs between 1964 and 1972.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021


On the blog today, a "not so missing" 1976 card for former New York Mets pitcher Nino Espinosa, who appeared in only two games the year prior, his second taste of the Big Leagfues in as many seasons:

Espinosa was still only 21 years of age when he went 0-1 with an 18.00 earned run average over three innings in those two games, giving up eight hits and six runs.
He would fare much better in 1976, going 4-4 with a respectable 3.67 ERA over 12 appearances, five of them starts, throwing 41.2 innings.
Over the next three years, he would be a solid starter for both the Mets in 1977 and 1978, then the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979 when he'd top 10+ wins each season, with a high of 14 in 1979, tossing over 200 innings each time.
Sadly for him though, 1980 would see him appear in only 12 games for the eventual World Champion Phillies, as he would finish with a record of 3-5 with a 3.77 ERA before splitting what turned out to be his last season in the Big Leagues in 1981.
In that final season, still only 27 years of age, he'd play for both the Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, appearing in 14 games, going 2-5 with an ERA of 6.15 over 73.2 innings of work, apparently leaving the game for good shortly after.

All told, he finished his Major League career with a record of 44-55 over eight seasons, with an ERA at 4.17 over 140 games and 820.1 innings pitched, with 24 complete games and five shutouts along the way.


Monday, March 1, 2021


Up on the blog today we have an expansion do-over for Tommy Smith and his 1977 card, originally showing him in an airbrushed Seattle Mariners uni in expectation of the upcoming inaugural season for the new franchise:

Understandably up against the wall, Topps had to scramble for both the Mariners and Toronto Blue Jay players in advance of their first seasons as member of the Major Leagues, which led to some classics as we all know.
Smiths wasn't one of the worst by far, but for those who don't remember the original, here you go:

In November of 1976 he would be drafted by the new Seattle Mariners organization as part of the expansion draft, where he would go on to play the last games of his career, 21 to be exact, where he hit .259 with seven hits in 27 at-bats.
In 1976 he’d see the most playing time of his five Major League seasons, appearing in 55 games for the Cleveland Indians, while hitting .256 with 42 hits in 164 at-bats, driving in 12 runs and scoring 17 himself.

All told, Smith played in 121 games in five seasons, hitting .232 with 63 hits, driving in 21 while scoring 28 over 271 at-bats between Cleveland and Seattle.




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