Thursday, November 28, 2013

#762 Wayne Simpson (out of sequence*)

Every once in a while you get a pitcher who has a career like Wayne Simpson's....Wayne came out of nowhere in a rookie and dominates most games…an amazing 14-3 record, 2nd in ERA, and an all star appearance in 1970…Extra surprising given he lost almost twice as many games as he won in the minors in ’69…then the bottom fell out… the first sign was in 1970, when lost 3 out of the last 4 decisions and did not pitch in the last two months or playoffs….Follow up in 1971 was an utter disappointment a 4-7 record and a return to the minors…1972 brought a minor comeback in a winning record but not significant to stave off a trade to KC...not much success afterwards …joins company with Mark Fidrych, and Wally Bunker as the one season rookie phenoms of the late sixties and early seventies.

*Screw up on my part, I write most of my entries on word and somehow the Wayne's entry got in after #761.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#761 1972 A.L.-N.L. Rookie Card

A rare trans-league Rookie Card with two future star...(Sorry Ben I'm a little light on your bio)

 Ron Cey:  One of the mainstays of the Dodgers for next decade, then the Cubs…ROY…A consecutive six time all star …In 1972 Ron came off an incredible AAA season in Spokane(32Hr,123-RBIs, .328 Avg).  For whatever reason the Dodgers kept him down another where Ron basically repeated his performance in Albuquerque (23Hr,102-RBIs, .329 Avg).  This is odd given the Dodgers problems at third base at the time…Playing for Spokane was a natural for the native of Washington and attend school at nearby Washington State…his stint in Albuquerque was a return to where he played in the Texas league…A model of consistency in both bat and field...Next year Cey’s card is paired with Mike Schmidt, a card highly valued by collectors...Spent 4 years with the Cubs as vital cog in the club resurgence in 1984.

Ben Oglivie:  Unlike Cey Ben stay with the big club in 1972…but was only a bit player for both the Red Sox and then Detroit…stardom came with a trade to the Brewers although he never obtained the Cey’s notoriety and press billing.... but did hit more home runs in a season than the Penguin…had a career year in 1980 leading the AL in Home Runs plus an all star appearance and Sliver Slugger Award.

Bernie Williams: Bernie wasn’t even close to put the numbers of his card mates…See more information on the 1973 card blog site:  Williams career with the Giants was a case of bad timing for Gary Matthews and Garry Maddock were in the wings

Saturday, November 23, 2013

#763 Ron Hansen

A short career in KC…  This serious man who would only make 30 plate appearances for the Royals… Last card…What is interesting he was acquired by the Royals April 5th, the photo looks un-airbrushed so it must be from spring training in taken in a 10 day span from to April 15th opener …Was released June 27th.
Know for a only player to complete an unassisted triple play from 1927 to 1992…Took place on July 30, 1968 in very interesting three  days;  performed the feat with the Washington Senators, proceeded to strike out six consecutive times over the triple play game and the next, comes back to hit a grand slam on the third day , and on the fourth day is traded back to White Sox for one of the same players he was traded before season began….Since 1992 it has now been done 6 times…All unassisted have been completed the same way…a caught ball at shortstop, a step on second, and tag out of the oncoming runner… Rookie of the Year 1960…. In his prime he was something very rare a shortstop with power….career was hampered by injuries and commitment to military service, resulting in inconsistency. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#764 Dusty Baker

Young man whose big league cups of coffee are finished…The Braves organization was patient with this prospect giving four call ups between 1968 to 71…in 1972 he delivers big time hitting .321 with 17 home runs and he stays for good…Despite many fine season some have argued that he did not live up to expectations… Hailed as a the new Hank Aaron.... minor league performance did not indicate subsequent MLB  power numbers…Was the Dodgers best home run hitters in late 70's to early 80's....A two time all star relatively late in his career…Hit 242 homers, 1013 RBI,plus a .278 AVG…. Later a manager famous for the World Series where his young son serving as bat boy nearly got run over at home plate…Rules were changed after that incident…It  over shadowed the fact he is a three time manager of the year and won 103 in his first year....has managed at the big league for 19 of last 20 years...and rumored to be Tigers new skipper.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

#765 Ken McMullen

The Man Who Kept Coming Back to southern California….Ken McMullen's picture is almost identical to Jim Fregosi’s….This veteran was the regular thirdbase for the Senator and Angel franchises…Was the best offensive player on a woefully underachieving 1971 Angels team....Lead team in home runs that year....
Ken had start out in the Dodger organization one of a rabble of prospective candidates for the thirdbase spot…A position the Dodgers had trouble filling from their Brooklyn days until the Ron Cey came along in 1973…Ironically Ken returned to the Dodgers in 1973 after over 1200 AL games, that year to compete with Cey for third base…Cey won the job hands down and McMullen became an exclusive pinch hitter… Had a reputation as a good fielder with above average power…His power numbers did not wane with diminished playing time…Best year was 1969 with the Senators….In their infinite wisdom traded him to the Angels with a month into the 1970 season for Rick Reichardt and Aurelio Rodriguez, another third baseman…one of series a misguided Senator/Ranger moves that buried to a period of last place finishes.   

Saturday, November 9, 2013

#766 Steve Hamilton

The Floater man  I think Steve Hamilton had fun a baseball player...At least twice he threw a slow motion high arching ball high called the Folly Floater that got Cleveland’s Tony Horton out on foul catch by Thurman Munson 7/24/70…captured by the miracle of Youtube … The Yankee Stadium crowd roared with delight…Horton is left crawling into the dugout…Maybe it’s the reason why Horton quit baseball next year (DK)…Also should be happy given he is in Giant’s uniform(airbrushed with a Cubs cap) having escaped early from the 1970 White Sox, a 106 game loser…Hamilton was the mainstay Yankee relief pitcher in the mid to late sixties…in 140 pinstripe appearances had a 34-20 record with 2.78 ERA, 36 saves…Like Ron Reed was also a NBA player Steve was a Minneapolis Lakers 1958-60…Prematurely grey which only added to a colorful career….Finished career with Cubs in 1972, 1-0 W-L, 4.76 ERA …Passed away in  1997 at age 63.

Friday, November 8, 2013

#767 Tom McCraw

Tom McCraw…(Not McGraw)  Texas Rangers…..or in the 1972 Topps world the team with the plain red cap….. with no insignia Tom and for that matter all the Texas Rangers who either had a camera up pose or had the Senator “W” air brushed …this would never go these days …It didn’t matter for McCraw who never was a Ranger anyway…Was traded to Cleveland on April 3, 1972 (before the late season began) and this is indicated on back of card (the advantages of the high number)…had a surprisingly long career given a generally low average and limited power…Sometimes was an outfielder….At the time of this card Tom was coming off two off years….unusual career trajectory for he hit best at the beginning and end of his career (as a pintch hitter deluxe)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#768 Denny Doyle

Denny Doyle  Red head working Hard to Meet Expectations….Great things were anticipated with Doyle coming out the Phillies Farm system in late 1969....was PCL MVP in 1969..Came up with Larry Bowa and expected to be the future of the Phillies infield…Doyle played several seasons under expectations….A total bust in 1970, stats improved somewhat in 1971...According to the write up in 1972 Baseball Guidebook (Yes I still have my original copy) by the time this card came out he was already trade bait…Low power, good glove…Slowly Doyle was able to improve his output in '72 and '73....After a short stint with the Angels, he eventually had the season that was expected of him with the 1975 Red Sox hitting .310 after coming over from a trade with California in June….the move ignited the Red Sox who vaulted to the historic 1975 World Series….Released after the 1977 season despite being the Red Sox regular second baseman and setting a personal best for RBI’s...Brother of Yankee Brian Doyle who wouldn't appear in the majors until Denny's playing days were over.   

Saturday, November 2, 2013

#770 Jim Wynn

Toy Cannon Jim Wynn…The face and offensive leader of the Astros, as opposed to the former Colt .45s…Jim held many of the early franchise records, now taken over by Berkman and Bagwell…He still remains 5th in Astro homers and 7th in RBIs…All done in the less than hitter friendly Astrodome….Became a full timer with the onset of the Astrodome era…1971 was a terrible year, especially in the power dept,  one in present day may have resulted exit from the club…Rebounded nicely in 1972…A subpar 1973 resulted in a trade to the Dodger where he became a major cog in pennant winning team…Twice the leader in base on balls the last year was being 1976 at the tail end of his career with Atlanta....Finished career with Milwaukee...Hit one of the longest home runs in history of MLB at Cincinnati Crosby’s field…the ball was last seen bouncing down the I-75 interstate over the left field wall…the grainy footage is seen here.