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:

You see, Mitchell was on three straight multi-player rookie cards between 1976 and 1978, and rightfully so to be honest, as he appeared in 1,1 and 2 games respectively in each season between 1975 and 1977.
But since I came across a nice image of him I figured let's give the guy his own card and celebrate the five games he appeared in during his Big League career!

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:

Smith, one of the most feared hitters in Negro League history, was called one of the greatest hitters by none other than Satchel Paige.
His career .434 batting average is 50 points ahead of the #2 player, Hall of Famer Larry Doby, while also finishing with a .335 career average in Cuban Winter play.
For a better idea of his hitting accomplishments, please click this link for his Baseball_Reference page, as it certainly does more justice to the man than I could here:

Sadly, in one of the great "what could have been" tales of the game, Smith contracted Yellow Fever in 1932, still only 29 years of age, and passed away, leaving behind an already stellar career but full of "what if's" we can only dream about.


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:

Love the fact that the new image has some serious facial hair going on!
For those that don't remember the original, as released by Topps, here you go:

Wallace was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Bronx during the 1974 season, and really pitched well, posting a 6-0 record with a 2.41 earned run average over 23 games, one of them a start, after going 1-0 with the Phils.
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:

Peraza's entire Big League career spanned April 9th to July 4th of 1969, not factoring in a decision while throwing nine innings, pitching to a 6.00 earned run average.
He'd miss all of 1970 before making it back to pro ball in 1971, still in the Phillies Minor League organization, but he'd never take the mound in a Major League game again, pitching in the Mexican League in 1973 at the age of 31 before calling it a career.


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.



In addition, everyone who orders this pack gets a little extra “special” something thrown in their package in appreciation for the support (not pictured here. It's a surprise!)!

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:

If you have any questions please email me at this email address as well! 

Thank you all and be safe and well!

Take Care



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:

Zahn entered the fourth year of his Big League career that season, already 30 years of age, and had a season to forget, going 0-1 with a 10.80 earned run average over 8.1 innings of work for the Cubbies.
However 1977 would see his career turn for the better, as he would find himself as a Minnesota Twin and go 12-14 over 34 appearances, all but two starts, pitching just under 200 innings.
He would remain a solid starter over the next eights years, pitching through the 1980 season with the Twins before playing the last five years of his career with the California Angels, where he'd have his best year in 1982 when he posted a record of 18-8 with a 3.73 ERA over 34 starts, with four shutouts.

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:

As a kid I remember Baseball Digest running a small article about the 1977 season and how it had a home run explosion, from George Foster becoming the first Big League batter to reach 50+ homers since Willie Mays in 1965, to the Chicago White Sox "South Side Hitmen" team with Richie Zisk, Oscar Gamble et all almost reaching 200 homers (when that was actually something special).
And let's not forget the Boston Red Sox, who slammed a very impressive 213 home runs that year, let by American League leader Jim Rice who hit 39, followed by first baseman George Scott's 33 and third baseman Butch Hobson's 30.
It always stuck with me so I though creating a sub-set of the 19 players who hit 30 or more homers that year would be fun!
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.
Nevertheless, Foster's amazing 1977 sadly overshadowed a man who had the year of his career that very same season, Jeff Burroughs, who hit a career-best 41 for the Atlanta Braves, but is somewhat forgotten in light of perhaps the season of the decade as far as power hitters go in the 1970s.

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:

Killebrew put in 70 games for Charlotte in 1956, hitting 15 homers and hitting a cool .325 before he finished the year at the Big League level with the Washington Senators.
He would also spend some time in both 1957 and 1958 toiling in the Minors before sticking "for good" in the Majors in 1959, which would also be the first of his six home run titles and first of eight 40+ home run campaigns!
If you know anything about me from my blog, you know I have a soft spot in my heart for certain players: Vada Pinson, Frank Howard, Dave Parker and "Killer" Harmon Killebrew!
I will take any excuse to create cards for these players, and I truly love each and every creation in their honor.
What does anyone need to be reminded of regarding Killebrew?
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.
The man was amazing!


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:

Coming off of a very nice 1974 season that saw him collect 180 hits and bat .295 with 89 runs batted in for the Expos, Davis was traded to the Rangers on December 5th of '74 for Pete Mackanin and Dan Stanhouse.
He would end up playing in only 42 games for Texas before being traded yet again on June 4th to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ed Brinkman and Tommy Moore.
Back in the National League, he'd hit .291 the rest of the way, driving in 50 runs over his 98 games there.
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).


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:

Blackwell appeared in 49 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1978, hitting .223 with 23 hits over 103 at-bats, with eight runs scored and seven runs batted in.
It was his first year with the Cubs after splitting the 1977 season with the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos after coming up with the Boston Red Sox, playing for them in both 1974 and 1975.
Never really a full-time player, the bulk of his MLB tenure was with the Chicago Cubs between 1978 and 1981, where he had his best year, in 1980 when he played in 103 games, hitting .272 with 87 hits and setting personal bests in pretty much every category because of the extra playing time.
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:

Oscar made his Big League debut during the 1969 season, appearing in seven games for the West Champion Atlanta Braves and going 1-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored.
Brown would go on to finish up a brief five-year career in 1973, appearing in 22 games, with 62 plate appearances and 58 official at-bats.
He batted .207 with 12 hits, three of them doubles, and three runs scored that season, and finished his career with a .244 batting average, with 77 hits, 14 doubles, two triples, four homers and 28 runs batted in over 160 games, all with Atlanta.

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.

However he would be back in the Minors in 1974, having a disastrous season that saw him appear in 18 games, 12 of them starts, and pitching to an eye-opening 10.05 earned run average.
His 1975 season wasn't any better, going 1-11 in the Minors with a 6.87 ERA over 22 games, and he would play just one more year before retiring for good after the 1976 season.

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


On the blog today, I am giving myself a do-over of an earlier "missing" 1975 card I created for the blog, one for former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jesus Hernaiz:

Originally posted up here around five years ago, the original image I used was a bit sub-par, so when I found this Topps image, I figured it would be a good time to "fix" it.
In his one season in the big leagues, Hernaiz posted a 2-3 record with a 5.88 earned run average over 27 games and 41.1 innings pitched during the 1974 season, never to appear in another game at the top level again.

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.

Richards led the White Sox to a record of 64-97 in 1976, sadly a last place finish.
His first managerial position in the Majors was with the White Sox themselves, leading the team from 1951 through 1954, with a fourth place finish and three third place finishes.
In the 1976 set Topps had Chuck Tanner shown as the team manager on the team card, and then had enough time to have Richards' replacement on their 1977 team card, Bob Lemon.
So there you go!

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.

Well today I wanted to post up a second such nickname card, since the man was so amazing he had two great nicknames, this one "The Franchise". So here you go:

For the New York Mets, this man certainly was the franchise, as it was he who began the turn-around from cellar-dwellars to miracle World Champions in 1969, just seven years after joining the league.
Seaver was a star baseball player before he was even a pro, commanding HUGE attention during his college days, eventually leading to some controversy when he originally signed with the Braves in 1966, only to have the signing voided, allowing the New York Mets to make arguably the best pick in franchise history in the 1966 amateur draft.
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).
He was in prime form in the mid-70’s, putting together nine straight 200 strikeouts seasons while getting tabbed to ten all-star teams in his first eleven seasons.
God I loved Tom Seaver when I was a kid. More than any other pitcher of that era I was in awe of this man. He just seemed like a "super-hero" to me.

"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:

Often overshadowed by his teammate Satchel Paige (who wouldn't be?!), Smith Played for the Monarchs from 1936 through 1948, officially posting a record of 71-31 with a 1.68 earned run average, while making six all-star teams and winning the Negro League championship in 1942.
According to Negro League Museum Director Bob Kendrick, the old saying was, "...if you were going to hit anything, you better hit it off Satchel because you weren't going to touch Hilton Smith."
The reason for this was because there were many games where the great Satchel Paige would start and pitch about three innings to appease the crowd before Smith would come in to finish the last six innings,often with great results.
Fellow Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, who played in both the Negro Leagues and big leagues, said: “He (Smith) had one of the finest curveballs I ever had the displeasure to try and hit. His curveball fell of the table. Sometimes you knew where it would be coming from, but you still couldn’t hit it because it was that sharp. He was just as tough as Satchel was.”
But he was also a very good hitter, posting a career .323 batting average over his career.

Though he passed away in 1983, thankfully this baseball great was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021


On the blog today, we have a career-capping "not so missing" 1970 card for former outfielder Dick Simpson, who played the last games of his seven year career in 1969, splitting the season between the New York Yankees and Seattle Pilots:

Simpson played in a combined 32 games, hitting .194 with 12 hits over 62 at-bats, hitting a couple of homers while driving in nine runs.
Never a full-time player, Simpson originally came up in 1962, getting into six games as an 18-year-old with the Los Angeles Angels, going 2-for-8 at the plate.
After a 1963 season in the Minors, he was back for good in 1964, playing parts of the next six years with the Angels, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Yankees and finally Pilots.

All told, he finished with a .207 batting average over 288 games, collecting 107 hits in 518 at-bats,scoring 94 runs while driving in 56, playing all three outfield spots along the way.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021


On the blog today we have a do-over for Tom Underwood and his 1978 Topps card, which originally was an airbrush by the fine folks at Topps, now fixed to an actual image of him suited up with the St. Louis Cardinals:

For those that don't remember the original card issued by Topps, here you go:
Ironically, all that fine airbrushing work was all for naught as Underwood would be pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays come the 1978 season.
Nevertheless, after a fine rookie season in 1974 that saw him go 14-13 with a 4.14 ERA for the Philadelphia Phillies, he followed that up with a record of 10-5 in 1975, lowering his ERA to 3.53 over 33 appearances, 25 of those starts, with the first two shutouts of his career.
After starting the 1977 season with a 3-2 record, he was traded to the Cardinals as part of the Bake McBride trade, and Underwood would go 6-9 the rest of the way for a combined 9-11 seasons, with an ERA at an even 5.00 over 33 games.
He would move on to the Blue Jays for two seasons, going a combined 15-30 with an ERA around 4.00 before finding himself with the New York Yankees in 1980, having arguably his finest year in the Big Leagues, going 13-9 over 38 appearances, with a 3.66 ERA and two shutouts for the American League East champs.
He would move on to the Oakland A's during the 1981 season, traded along with Jim Spencer for Dave Revering and two Minor Leaguers, where he would play another two seasons before one last year with the Baltimore Orioles in 1984.

All told, he finished his career with a record of 86-87, with an ERA of 3.89 in 379 appearances, 203 of them starts, along with six shutouts and 18 saves.




Monday, April 12, 2021


On the blog today we have a clear-cut "late-season" not so missing 1977 update card for former speedster Miguel Dilone of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who appeared in a handful of games in each season 1974 through 1977:

Dilone appeared in 16 games for the Pirates in 1976, then on to 29 games for them in 1977, the latter number enough to get him a spot on a multi-player rookie card in the 1978 Topps set.
Of course, the reason I mention "update 1977 set" earlier is because his uniform is clearly from 1977, so it wouldn't be possible to have this photo for the base 1977 set.
Nevertheless, it wasn't until 1978 when he found himself playing with the Oakland A's that he'd see any amount of playing time, appearing in 135 games though only collecting 292 plate appearances, stealing 50 bases and scoring 34 runs while only collecting 59 hits.
After a 1979 season that saw him suit up for the A's and Chicago Cubs, for a combined 73 games, he had his best Major League season in 1980 when he hit an impressive .341 with 61 stolen bases, collecting 180 hits over 528 at-bats for the Cleveland Indians, even getting some MVP attention at the end of the year.
In 1981 he did hit .290 for the Indians during the strike year, appearing in 72 games for the Tribe,
but between 1982 and 1985 he would play parts of each season for no less than five teams: Indians, White Sox, Pirates, Expos and Padres, never getting a full-time gig again.

All told, between 1974 and 1985 Dilone appeared in 800 games, hitting .265 with 530 hits over 2000 at-bats, stealing 267 bases while scoring 314 runs.


Sunday, April 11, 2021


Adding to my long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" sub-set, today the blog offers up a card for Rusty Staub, who was a 20-year-old who already had some full-time Big League action when this photo was taken in 1964:

Staub actually already played a season and a half of Major League ball before being sent down to the Minors in 1964, spending time with the Oklahoma City 89ers, where he hit .314 over 71 games before making it back to the "Big Time" for good in 1965.
He started out as a 19 year old kid in Houston in 1963 and went on to play for Montreal, Detroit, Texas  and the New York Mets for two stints, with whom he retired with after the 1985 season.
And for those last five seasons with the Mets, he became one of the top pinch-hitters in the game and endeared himself to the Met faithful, even opening up a couple of well-liked restaurants in NYC along the way.
A few little "extras" about his career: Staub is one of three players (along with Ty Cobb and Gary Sheffield) to hit home runs as a teenager and as a 40-year old, and he is also the only player to amass 500 hits with four different teams (Astros, Mets, Expos and Tigers).
He was also the first player to play all 162 games in a season strictly as a Designated Hitter, which was for Detroit in 1978.
Lost in the crowd that was Rose, Bench, Jackson, Carew, etc. was this player who built a 23 year career, finishing up with over 2700 hits, 292 homers, 1466 R.B.I.'s, and six all-star appearances.

To me, he is a Hall of Famer who deserves a spot in Cooperstown.


Saturday, April 10, 2021


On the blog today is a card I have wanted to create for some time, a 1973 "In Memoriam" card for the great Jackie Robinson, after his death on October 24th of 1972:

Granted times have changed a great deal since he passed away, but it would have been nice if Topps would have remembered the trailblazer in 1973, celebrating his life and what he meant to the game.
It still crushes me when I remember that the man was still only 53 years of age when he passed away, imagining if he would have lived another 20, 30 years and gracing us into the 21st Century.
What needs to be stated at this point regarding his Hall of Fame career?
He broke the color-line, which I cannot even begin to imagine the difficulty in that alone, yet still managed to put in 10 great years as a Major League all-star second baseman, winning Rookie of the Year in 1947, league MVP in 1949, six all-star nods, and a batting title in 1949 when he hit .342.
At this point talking about statistics seems trivial in relation to the sheer impact he had to the sport and American culture.
It's a shame Topps missed this opportunity back in 1973, honoring a man who made it possible for "current" stars like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, et al to come along years later.


Friday, April 9, 2021


Up on the blog today we have a career-capping "not so missing" 1971 card for former pitcher Bill Faul, who made it back to a Big League mound during the 1970 season after spending the previous three seasons in the Minors:

Faul, who last pitched for the Chicago Cubs in 1966 when he appeared in 17 games, made it all the way back to the Majors, now with the San Francisco Giants, appearing in seven games, not factoring in a decision while pitching to a 7.45 earned run average.
Turned out it would be the last action of his career as he would be back in the Minors in 1971 and 1973, before retiring for good.
Originally up with the Detroit Tigers in 1962, he would spend three years with them before moving on to the Cubs, where he would play in 1965 and 1966.
Never a full-timer, the most action he would see in any one season was in 1963 with Detroit when he appeared in 28 games, with 10 starts, throwing 97 innings while going 5-6 with an ERA of 4.64.

Overall for his career he appeared in 71 games, 33 of those starts, posting a record of 12-16 with a 4.72 ERA in 261.1 innings, tossing three shutouts and saving two along the way.



Thursday, April 8, 2021


Up on the blog today we have a career-capping "not so missing" 1975 card for former infielder Bobby Floyd, who played the last of his Big League games during the 1974 season:

Floyd appeared in 10 games for Kansas City in 1974, going 1-for-9 at the plate while playing second, short and third.
Originally up as a Baltimore Oriole in 1968, he'd play for the O's two years before finding himself in Kansas City in 1970, where he'd play the final five years of his career.
I also created a "missing" 1973 card for him back in 2015, wondering why Topps left him out of that set after he saw the most action he'd see in any of his MLB seasons, 61 games.
Yet Topps gave him cards in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974, after much LESS action the previous seasons. Go figure!
He was out of the Major Leagues after the 1974 season, and his final numbers were: a .219 batting average with 93 hits, 18 doubles and a triple over 425 at-bats in 214 games.



Wednesday, April 7, 2021


On the blog today we have another "not so missing" card for former San Diego Padres pitcher Dave Wehrmeister, who also got a 1978 edition here just about three years ago:

Wehrmeister appeared in four games for the Padres during the 1978 season, going 1-0 with a 6.14 earned run average in 7.1 innings of work.

The previous season he set playing time career-highs across the board when he played in 30 games, six of them starts, throwing 69.2 innings while going 1-3 with a 6.07 ERA.
He made his MLB debut in 1976, appearing in seven games while going 0-4 with a bloated 7.45 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched, with four of those games as a starter.
Sadly for him, as I mentioned earlier he’d only appear in four games during the 1978 season before spending 1979 and 1980 toiling in the Minors for both the Padres and New York Yankees organizations.
He’d make it back to a Big League mound in 1981, with the American League champ Yankees, appearing in five games , not factoring in a decision while throwing seven innings of work.
But again, he’d have to wait a few years before getting back to the Big Leagues, which he would do in 1984 with the Philadelphia Phillies where he got to appear in seven games for the reigning National League champs, pitching 15 innings without a decision.
In 1985, now finding himself in the South Side of Chicago with the White Sox, Wehrmeister would go 2-2 with a nice 3.43 ERA over 23 games, collecting the only two saves of his career while tossing 39.1 innings.
Yet again, the bump in action didn’t help him come the following season, as it turned out to be the last Big League action he’d see, pitching in Chicago’s Minor League system during the 1986 season, his last in pro ball.
All told, he finished his career with a record of 4-9 along with a 5.65 ERA over 76 appearances and 157.2 innings pitched.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021


Up on the blog today we have a card that really would have had to be in a "Traded" or "Update" set at season's end, a "dedicated rookie" for former New York Met Rookie of the Year pitcher Jon Matlack:

The reason I say all of that regarding a post-season set is obviously because Matlack didn't appear in a Big League game until the 1971 season, so for Topps to have an in-action shot of him for a card was 0out of the question.
However I wanted to create an action card resembling some of those other great action cards of the 1971 set (Lindy McDaniel, Chris Short, Nolan Ryan), so here you go.
Though only appearing in seven games for the Mets in 1971, it was 1972 before he got a full-time shot, and he made the most of it!
Matlack joined an already solid New York Mets staff and proceeded to post a 15-10 record in his rookie year, with a very nice 2.32 earned run average over 32 starts, including four shutouts.
Those numbers got him a Rookie of the Year Award, easily finishing ahead of second-place Dave Rader and fellow teammate John Milner, who finished third.
It would pretty much be the prototypical Matlack season as he’d go on to lead the league in shutouts twice, and average about 15 wins over the next seven years.
He’d split his time as a big league pitcher evenly between the Mets and Texas Rangers, and retire with an excellent 3.18 E.R.A., along with a final record of 125-126 and 30 shutouts in 361 appearances, 318 of them starts.


Monday, April 5, 2021


Up on the blog today, a card I have been wanting to create for some time now, and finally allowing myself to use a photo that is a little "sub-standard" for me, a "not so missing" 1975 card for 23-game Major League pitcher Rusty Gerhardt, who played the entirety of his career in 1974:

Gerhardt went 2-1 over his 23 games as a 23-year-old, throwing 35.2 innings and finishing up with a bloated 7.07 earned run average for the San Diego Padres.

Turned out it was his only Big League action, playing nine years in pro ball between 1972 and 1981, all for the San Diego organization, but never getting more than that one shot at the "Big Time".


Sunday, April 4, 2021


Time for another 1971 "Minor League Days" card to add to one of my favorite projects here on the blog, this time former ace Mike Cuellar:

Cuellar was pitching for the Havana Sugar Kings in 1959 when this images was taken, seeing the 22-year-old pitch to a record of 10-11 with a jnice 2.80 ERA over 29 appearances, all starts.

Earlier in the year he made his Big League debut with the Cincinnati Reds, appearing in two games while not factoring in a decision, though hit hard to the tune of a 15.75 ERA in four innings of work.
Cuellar ended up putting in a nice 15-year career that saw him win 185 games, post four 20+ win seasons, win a Cy Young Award (shared with Tigers pitcher Denny McLain in 1969) and post four sub-3.00 E.R.A. Seasons.
I never realized that even though he came up in 1959 with the Cincinnati Reds, appearing in two games as a 22-year old, he didn't make it back to the Major's until 1964 at the age of 27, now as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Considering his lifetime win total mentioned above, he could have possibly approached 250 wins had he not missed those four-plus years in the early-1960's.
His lifetime numbers nevertheless were impressive: the 185 wins mentioned above, a 3.14 lifetime E.R.A., 36 shutouts and 1632 strikeouts over 453 games, 379 of which were starts, completing almost half of them with 172.


Saturday, April 3, 2021


I misspoke last week when I stated that my 1970 Reggie Jackson "On-Card All-Star" was the final starter to be "fixed" here on the blog.

I forgot about the American League starting pitcher for the 1969 Midsummer Classic, New York Yankees ace Mel Stottlemyre:

Stottlemyre was on his way to his third and final 20-win season in 1969, finishing up with a record of 20-14 with a 2.82 ERA over 39 appearances, all starts, throwing a league-leading 24 complete games.
With a half-season in 1964 (his first year), and 1974 (his last), he put up nine full seasons in between, and all but one (1966) rock solid for some poor Yankee teams.
In nine full years on the mound, he posted three 20-win seasons (all while pitching during the Bronx "lean years"), five sub-3.00 ERA years, seven 15+ win seasons, nine 250+ innings seasons, and six years of four or more shutouts, topping out with seven in both 1971 and 1972.
How solid is THAT!?
A five-time all-star, I can't even imagine what his win totals could have been had he stayed healthy and pitched into the late-1970's/early-80's, or even if he wasn't starring for those bad Yankee teams post-dynasty between 1965-on.
Consider his numbers in the small amount of time he was a Major League pitcher: a 164-139 record, with a nice 2.97 ERA, 40 shutouts and 1257 K's in only 356 starts!
Those are really some seriously great numbers.
Sadly because of a rotator-cuff injury in 1974, he had to retire at the young age of only 32, leaving us to wonder "what could have been".
Of course we know that he later went on to become one of the most respected pitching coaches in the Majors from the 1980-s with the Mets on through to the "new" Yankee dynasty in the late-90's/early-00's, before retiring for good after the 2008 season.


Friday, April 2, 2021


Been meaning to create a "Nicknames of the 1970s" card for Lee Mazzilli, who was really a hot item around my parts in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in the late 1970's, known as the "Italian Stallion":


Mazzilli had himself quite a following back in his old neighborhood during his first tour with the New York Mets between 1976 and 1981.

Once Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman were shipped out Mazzilli was their star and future, giving the Mets some solid seasons between 1977 and 1980.
The Lincoln High School grad made his only All-Star team in 1979, arguably his finest as a Big Leaguer when he hit .303 with 181 hits and 79 runs batted in, all career-highs, along with 34 stolen bases and 78 runs scored.
He would go on to put in 18 seasons as a player before moving on to coaching, and eventually managing, which he did with the Baltimore Orioles in 2004 and 2005.
I remember when Joe Torre was out as Yankee manager after the 2007 season and my favorites for the job were Mazzilli or Larry Bowa.

Anyway, by the time Mazzilli retired as a player he finished with a .259 batting average, with 1068 hits over 4124 at-bats in 1475 games, stealing 197 bases, along with numerous young girls' hearts in my neighborhood!


Thursday, April 1, 2021


You know, I have no idea why it took me so long to create a "not so missing" 1974 card for Hall of Famer George Brett, but here you go after all these years:

Brett made his Big League debut in 1973 with 13 games for the Kansas City Royals, the only team he'd suit up for over his magnificent 21 year career.
In that initial showing he hit .125 with five hits in 40 at-bats, including two doubles and two runs scored.
The following season he'd be here to stay, finishing 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.



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