Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1976 Topps #412 - Toby Harrah

  • Toby Harrah was an infielder in the major leagues from 1969-1986. Harrah was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966. He went undrafted because teams assumed he would attend college. When a Phillies scout found Harrah working in a factory he signed Toby. Harrah played in the minors in 1966 and then was drafted by the Washington Senators in 1967 in the minor league draft. Toby played in the minors for several more years. He got a brief look in 1969 (8 games, 1 at bat) but didn't come up to the big leagues to stay until 1971.

  • Harrah played for the Senators in 1971 in their last season before moving to Texas. He was at the plate in the Senators' last game in Washington when the club's last out was made (a caught stealing) and later ended up being the last player from that club to retire from the majors. Toby became the regular shortstop and batted .230 in 127 games.

  • In 1972 Toby represented the Texas Rangers in the All Star Game, but he didn't play in the game. Harrah batted .259 in 116 games.  He was injured and missed almost a month in August and early September. Toby played in 161 games in 1973 and batted .260 with 10 homers. In 1974 Harrah started to show the power that was rare for shortstops of that era. He hit 21 homers and batted .260.

  • Harrah made the AL All Star team again in 1975 but didn't get in the game. Toby finished 15th in AL MVP voting as he batted .293 with 20 HR and 93 RBI. Harrah finally got to play in an All Star Game in 1976 -- he started at shortstop and was 0 for 2. He batted .260 with 15 HR in '76. On June 25 Toby had a strange game. He played shortstop for the entire game without getting a single fielding chance. Toby Harrah: The Power Shortstop -- December 1976 Baseball Digest.

  • The Rangers signed Bert Campaneris in 1977 and Toby moved to third base. Harrah batted .263 with 27 HR and 87 RBI and also led the AL with 109 walks. Toby developed a great eye at the plate and had 80 or more walks eight times during his career. Harrah had a big drop-off in 1978 as he batted .229 with 12 home runs. After the 1978 season Toby was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Buddy Bell.

  • In 1979 Harrah batted .279 with 20 HR and 77 RBI. He scored 100 runs in 1980 and batted .267 with 11 HR and 72 RBI. In the strike-shortened 1981 season Toby batted .291.

  • Harrah returned to the All Star Game in 1982 but again didn't get into the game. He had his best season as a Cleveland Indian as he played in 162 games and batted .304 with 25 HR and 78 RBI. Toby slipped in 1983 and batted .266 with 9 HR in 138 games. After the 1983 season he was traded to the New York Yankees.

  • Toby was a part-time player with the Yankees in 1984 and batted a career-low .217 in 88 games. After the 1984 season Toby was traded with a minor leaguer to the Rangers for Billy Sample.

  • Harrah was the starting second baseman for the Rangers in 1985 and batted .270 with 9 HR in 126 games. In 1986 Toby played second base and batted .218 in 95 games. He became a free agent and retired after the 1986 season after he wasn't signed by anyone.

  • Liked to face: Dick Bosman (.450 in 20 AB); Vida Blue (.424 in 59 AB); Jim Kaat (.404 in 52 AB)
  • Hated to face: Rich Gale (.077 in 26 AB); Dave Rozema (.080 in 25 AB); Dave Righetti (.083 in 24 AB)

1 comment:

  1. As a young Ranger fan in the 70's it was REALLY frustrating when only one of your players made it to the All Star game, and then didn't even sniff an at bat or play in the field for the whole game. I invested my whole evening to see my one player and got shut out!!!!!

    Also, one of the few individuals that you can spell his last name forwards and backwards. What's that called again? A palindrome or something?