Wednesday, January 26, 2022


On the blog today, thought it'd be fun to take a look at the original airbrushed image used for former third baseman Ken Reitz's 1976 Topps card:

"Zamboni" would find himself traded to the San Francisco Giants from the St. Louis Cardinals straight up for pitcher Pete Falcone in December of 1975.
Reitz would have a nice 11-year career in the Majors, getting that Gold Glove in 1975 and making the National League All-Star team in 1980.
Of course, along the way he’d get the nickname “Zamboni” for his ability to suck up ground balls on the artificial turf of Busch Memorial Stadium playing the hot corner.
Six times in his nine full seasons of Big League ball would he go on to lead the N.L. in fielding percentage, which is amazing considering he played in the same era as contemporaries Mike Schmidt, Ron Cey and for a while even Pete Rose.
Talk about bum-timing! Kind of like being an excellent National League outfielder in the 1960’s when you had Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente keeping everyone back.
Nevertheless, by the time Reitz retired after the 1982 season, he finished with a .260 batting average, with over 1200 hits and as far as I can tell, at the time a fourth place spot as highest fielding percentage as a Third Baseman behind only Brooks Robinson, Floyd Baker and Rico Petrocelli (according to Baseball_Reference).
Not bad!



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