Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, July 29, 2010

1976 Topps #509 - Bill Hands


  • Bill Hands' career was already over when this card came out. Hands (aka "Froggy") pitched in the majors from 1965-1975. He was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1959 and spent seven seasons in the minors. After going 17-4 with a 2.19 ERA for AAA Tacoma in 1965 Bill finally got  his shot in the majors. He pitched in four games (two starts) for the Giants in 1965 and was 0-2 with a 16.50 ERA. After the season Hands was traded with Randy Hundley to the Chicago Cubs for Don Landrum and Lindy McDaniel.
  • The Cubs got the better of that trade as Hundley became their starting catcher and Hands had a few good years as well. In 1966 Bill was 8-13 with a 4.58 ERA in 41 games (26 starts). Bill went 7-8 with six saves in 49 games (11 starts) in 1967. 
  • Hands was known as a good control pitcher. In 1968 he led the NL by walking only 1.3 batters per nine innings. Bill was 16-10 with a 2.89 ERA and walked 36 batters in 258.2 innings pitched. He also led the NL with 26 home runs allowed.
  • Bill had a great season for the Cubs in 1969. He was 20-14 with a 2.49 ERA in 41 starts and had 300 innings pitched. The Game I'll Never Forget - Baseball Digest July 1995. 
  • Hands pitched a lot in 1970 (18-15, 3.70 ERA in 38 starts) and in 1971 (12-15, 3.42 ERA in 35 starts) but wasn't quite as effective. Why Bill Hands Is So Tough to Beat - January 1970 Baseball Digest.
  • Bill's last year with the Cubs was 1972. He started 28 games and was 11-8 with a 3.00 ERA. After the 1972 season he was traded (with Joe Decker and a minor leaguer) to the Minnesota Twins for Dave LaRoche.
  • Hands was in the starting rotation for the Twins until mid June of 1973. Bill missed a few weeks and when he came back in early July he became a reliever. Hands was 7-10 with a 3.49 ERA in 39 games (15 starts) in 1973. In 1974 Hands was 4-5 with a 4.44 ERA in 35 games (10 starts) when he was placed on waivers in early September. The Texas Rangers selected him off of waivers on September 9 and Bill went 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts to finish the 1974 season.
  • Bill went 6-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 18 starts for the Rangers in 1975. He missed three weeks in June and pitched his last game on August 20.
  • Hands was traded to the New York Mets for George Stone before the 1976 season. Bill retired before the season started.
  • Bill owns a service station and retail oil business in Orient, NY. Here is a "where are they now" article from 2006.
  • Liked to face: Bill North (.000 in 17 AB); Carl Taylor (.077 in 13 AB); Len Gabrielson (.105 in 19 AB)
  • Hated to face: Bob Watson (.455 in 22 AB); Oscar Gamble (.450 in 20 AB); Manny Sanguillen (.444 in 36 AB); Garry Maddox (5 for 9 with 3 HR)

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