Today's blog post has me beginning a thread over the next couple of months spotlighting cards from my "Whole Nine Yards" custom set released a few months back, focusing on cards from the 1950's through the 1980's that I normally wouldn't create for the blog, beginning with a 1958 Topps base card for St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial:
Thursday, March 31, 2022
CUSTOM SPOTLIGHT- "MISSING IN ACTION" 1958 STAN MUSIAL
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1976 LARRY MURRAY
Today's blog post has yet another "not so missing card" for former outfielder Larry Murray, who appeared in a scant six games for the New York Yankees during the 1975 season:
He also scored 19 runs while stealing 12 bases while getting the first real taste of significant play after never getting any playing time with New York in the previous three years.
However, in 1978 he’d only play in eleven games, hitting .083 with a single hit over twelve at-bats, while coming back in 1979 and get the most playing time he’d see over a season when he appeared in 105 games, hitting .186 with 42 hits over 226 at-bats.
That action would get him his first Topps card in the 1980 set, only to never appear in a Major League game again.
After only 13 games in the Minor Leagues during the 1980 season, he’d be finished with pro ball, only 27 years of age.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
GIMMIE A DO-OVER: 1972 JIM MALONEY
On the blog today, wanted to give former flame-thrower Jim maloney a do-over on his 1972 card, reflecting his time with the California Angels in 1971, the last season of his very nice 12-year career:
Granted when you’re up against guys like Koufax, Marichal, Drysdale and Gibson, it’s easy to see why.
Nevertheless, in Maloney’s seven full seasons of Major League ball, he posted five seasons of sub-3.00 ERA, four 200+ strikeout years, and six 15+ win seasons, with two of them topping 20.
The guy was a machine! 29 of his 30 lifetime shutouts were in those seven years, with four seasons of five or more.
And consider this: until Major League officials changed the rules of what a no-hitter was years later, Maloney was considered as one of the few to throw THREE or more such gems.
In 1965 Maloney not only threw a 10-inning no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs on August 19th, in which he became the first pitcher to go more than nine-innings and complete a no-hitter, he also, earlier in the season on June 14th against the New York Mets, LOST a no-hitter in the 10th inning when Mets player Johnny Lewis led off the 11th with a homer, thus handing Maloney a loss after going ten innings with a no-no.
Then, as if all of that wasn’t enough, Maloney went and threw a no-hitter on April 30th of 1969 against the Houston Astros, this time mercifully given a huge lead, eventually winning the game 10-0.
So while credited with two “official” no-hitters for his career, he came ever so close to three.
1963 can arguably be considered his best year on a big league mound, when he posted a 23-7 record with a 2.77 ERA and 265 K’s to go along with six shutouts over 33 starts and 250.1 innings pitched.
Sadly for him there was a guy named Koufax dominating the world of baseball that year, easily taking home not only a Cy Young Award but an MVP Award as well.
By the time Maloney wrapped up his career after the 1971 season because of injuries at the young age of 31, he finished with a very nice 134-84 record, with a 3.19 ERA and 1605 strikeouts over 302 games and 1849 innings pitched, and a reputation as one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the game during the 1960’s.eryone down.
Two seasons later, he pitched one “official” and one “unofficial” no-hitter, going 20-9 with an ERA of 2.54 (his career best), with 244 strikeouts over 33 appearances and 255.1 innings of work.
Monday, March 28, 2022
SPECIAL REQUEST- 1979 DEDICATED ROOKIE MIKE COLBERN
Today's blog post has a special request custom created for my buddy Max, who wanted a 1979 "dedicated rookie" for former Chicago White Sox catcher Mike Colbern:
Sunday, March 27, 2022
EXPANDED LEAGUE LEADERS: 1975 A.L. RUNS BATTED IN
Next up in my ongoing "Expanded League Leaders" series is the 1975 A.L. Runs Batted In leader card featuring the top three RBI men of the 1974 season for the Junior Circuit:
Saturday, March 26, 2022
WTHBALLS CUSTOM NEGRO LEAGUE SET: JOSE MENDEZ
Today we celebrate a grossly-overlooked star of the Cuban and Negro Leagues, Jose Mendez, who was a dominant pitcher and threw some legendary games against Major and Minor league teams in the early part of the 20th Century, with a closer look at the card I created for him in me "Negro League Legends" custom set from last Summer:
Mendez, whose career spanned 20 seasons between 1907 and 1926, put up some monster years in the Cuban League, posting documented records of 15-6, 11-2, 10-0 and 7-0 while winning three pennants in six years with Almendares.
His career record in the Cuban League was an incredible 76-28, good for a sparkling .731 winning percentage.
In the very first Negro League World Series in 1924, pitching for the Kansas City Monarchs, he appeared in four games against the Hilldale Club, going 2-0 with a shutout in the final game.
An early member of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, elected in 1939 1939, he would add to that honor by being inducted to the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Friday, March 25, 2022
SPECIAL SPOTLIGHT: "LOST" 1963 FLEER SECOND SERIES: MICKEY MANTLE
Today I start a fun new thread, profiling each card I created for my custom "Lost" 1963 Fleer set I produced a few months back, beginning with my Mickey Mantle card:
Thursday, March 24, 2022
1970 IN-GAME ACTION: ERNIE BANKS
The next baseball star featured in my on-going 1970 "In-Game Action" sub-set is none other than Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks:
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1972 DARYL PATTERSON
On the blog today, we have a "not so missing" 1972 card for former pitcher Daryl Patterson, who split the 1971 season across three teams, the Detroit Tigers, Oakland A's, and finally St. Louis Cardinals:
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1974 JORGE ROQUE
Today's blog post has a career-capping 1974 card for four-year Major League outfielder Jorge Roque, who put in 25 games with the Montreal Expos in 1973:
All told, his MLB tenure finished with a career .137 batting average, with 19 hits in 139 at-bats over 65 games between 1970 and 1973.
Monday, March 21, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1978 RAFAEL LANDESTOY
On the blog today, a "not so missing" 1978 card for former Big League infielder Rafael Landestoy, who made his Major League debut in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers:
Sunday, March 20, 2022
EXPANDED LEAGUE LEADERS- 1975 N.L. RUNS BATTED IN
Moving on to the National League and their top three Runs Batted In kings of 1974 celebrated on my 1975 "Expanded League Leaders" thread today:
Saturday, March 19, 2022
WTHBALLS CUSTOM NEGRO LEAGUE SET: JOHN "POP" LLOYD
The next "Negro League Legends" card from my custom set released last Summer to get the spotlight is a whopper, all-time great John "Pop" Lloyd, elite shortstop and manager:
On top of that, he was often referred to as the “Black Honus Wagner”, to which Wagner himself is quoted as stating “It’s an honor to be compared to him”.
Coming up he played for none other than Negro League icon Sol White, before moving on to play for yet another legend, Rube Foster, where he led a team some consider the greatest of all-time, the Chicago Leland Giants.
Depending on what research you believe, Lloyd batted between .337 and .343 in league play before moving on to playing semi-professional ball in Atlantic City, New Jersey up until 1942.
Of course, once the greats of the Negro Leagues were considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame in the 1970’s, Lloyd eventually given his rightful place in Cooperstown, getting elected by special committee in 1977.
Friday, March 18, 2022
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NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1976 JERRY MUMPHREY
Up on the blog today, we have a "not so missing" 1976 card for former outfielder Jerry Mumphrey, who appeared in a scant eleven games for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1975 season:
In 1980 he’d have arguably his best year, playing with the San Diego Padres and hitting .298 with a career-high 168 hits and 52 stolen bases.
By the time he retired after the 1988 season he finished with a very nice .289 career average, with 1442 hits in 4993 at-bats over 1585 games, stealing 174 bases and scoring 660 runs, with one All-Star nod, that in 1984 while with the Houston Astros when he drove in a career-high 83 runs.
I was a fan of his while he played for the New York Yankees between 1981 and the first part of 1983, as he hit over .300 while giving the Yanks a bit of speed on the base paths with some pop every now and then.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 KEITH DRUMRIGHT
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
REVISITING AN OLD POST-DEDICATED "ROOKIE CARDS" #4: 1975 JIM RICE OCTOBER 26, 2013
Thought it'd be fun today (especially for the new followers out there) to revisit my post from October, 2013 celebrating the great Jim Rice, when I posted a "Dedicated Rookie" card for the former MVP.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1971 JOSE SANTIAGO
On the blog today, a career-capping "not so missing" card for former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jose Santiago, who finished up a nice 8-year Major League career with eight games in 1970:
Monday, March 14, 2022
NICKNAMES OF THE 1970's: "CHICKEN" FRED STANLEY
On the blog today, a card that I should have tackled a long time ago, a "Nickname" card for former infielder Fred Stanley, aka "Chicken":
He’d start the year with the Indians, but get shipped off to San Diego after only nine games, appearing in another 39 games for the mustard and brown clad Padres where he’d bat an even .200 with 17 hits over 85 at-bats.
Of course, by the time the new season started in 1973 he found himself as a member of the New York Yankees, where he would go on to play the next eight years, including two championship seasons in 1977 and 1978.
He’d finish off his 14-year career with two seasons in Oakland, playing through the 1982 campaign before retiring with a career .216 batting average, along with 356 hits over 1650 at-bats while generally playing short and second with some third base work thrown in through the years.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
EXPANDED LEAGUE LEADERS- 1975 A.L. HOME RUNS
Good day everyone!
Saturday, March 12, 2022
1970 IN-GAME ACTION: TOM SEAVER
Friday, March 11, 2022
GIMMIE A DO-OVER: 1977 JOE RUDI
Time to go ahead and add Joe Rudi to my recent run of recreating the 1977 Oakland A's stars who fled Charlie Finley for greener pastures elsewhere:
Such a solid player, he teamed up with the likes of Sal Bando and Gene Tenace that made the A’s much more than just superstars like Reggie Jackson and Jim “Catfish” Hunter.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
GIMMIE A DO-OVER: 1971 MIKE MARSHALL
Up on the blog today, thought it'd be fun to finally go ahead a re-do his 1971 Topps card, which originally showed him airbrushed into a Montreal Expos uni:
Of course, John did so and eventually the surgery would end up being so associated with him that it took on his name, “Tommy John Surgery”, and extending John's baseball career an astounding 14 years!
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1973 HUGH YANCY
Today on the blog, yet another "not so missing" card for former Chicago White Sox infielder Hugh Yancy, who made his Big League debut in 1972, appearing in three games:
For Yancy and his career, as I mentioned earlier he saw three games in 1972 and just one game in 1974, giving him a career total of seven games played, with two hits over 19 at-bats for a .105 batting average.
He would go on to play in the Minor Leagues through the 1979 season but never make it back to a Major League game.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
SERIES 9 NOW AVAILABLE! PLUS AN EXTRA SURPRISE RELEASE!
Hope you are all well and safe.
Series Nine is now available to purchase!
Adding to the previous eight card packs, it features 15 card selections from the blog over the years, along with an added glossy insert held together in the customary wrapper.
Sadly, as with everything else these days, my costs were jacked up a bit by my printer, so packs now are $13 each, with a one-time postage fee of $4.50. Sorry about this! Nothing I could do…
Remember, no matter how many packs you buy the postage stays the same.
Also something new for 2022: I wanted to start creating one-off special releases, and to keep prices as low as possible (saving on added postage), I’ll be releasing them at the same time as my “regular” packs so if anyone wants to pick any up, there will be NO added postage fees.
The very first of these special releases will be a “Missing” 1971 Milk Duds complete box of Mickey Mantle, celebrating his career that ended just a few years before these collectible boxes were released.
These Mantle Milk Duds boxes are true to the originals in size, color and card stock, and are in limited number.
The full, folded box
comes inside a rigid holder with special sticker, and kept safe inside a
team bag with small color card (see photos). If anyone wants to
purchase any, they are $7 each and can be added
to your Series Nine order.(No extra postage!)
I plan on a few of these special edition releases, focusing on oddball sets from the past, and already have a few of them completed and ready! Very fun stuff to be adding to the WTHBALLS stable! These are all creations that don’t “fit” the usual releases either in size or theme.
As usual, all paypal payments can be made to the usual email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for the continued interest and support! It is very much appreciated!
AIRBRUSHING THROUGH THE 1970's: 1971 BOB ASPROMONTE
On the blog today, a closer look at the (slightly) airbrushed image Topps used for Bob Aspromonte and his 1971 card, designating him a New York Met after a couple of seasons with the Atlanta Braves:
Monday, March 7, 2022
NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 MAXIMINO LEON
On the blog today, a career-capping "not so missing" 1979 card for Atlanta Braves reliever Maximino Leon, who appeared in a handful of games during the 1978 season:
Sunday, March 6, 2022
EXPANDED LEAGUE LEADERS- 1975 N.L. HOME RUNS
On the blog today, we return to my on-going "expanded league leaders" thread, going through the 1970's and expanding on the years that Topps only had the top performer of each league for a particular category on a league-leader card.
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