Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1976 Topps #590 - Rookie Outfielders (Cruz, Lemon, Valentine, Whitfield)




  • Henry Cruz
    • Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1971
    • Played in the  minors from 1972-1974. 
    • Batted .266 in 94 at bats for the Dodgers in the first three months of the 1975 season.
    • Sent back to AAA Albuquerque in late June and batted .310 in 71 games.
    • Played with Los Angeles for most of the 1976 season but didn't get many at bats. Henry batted .182 in 88 at bats for the Dodgers.
    • Sent back to Albuquerque in August and batted .305 in 24 games.
    • Batted .353 with 12 triples and 18 HR in 133 games at Albuquerque in 1977.
    • Cruz couldn't break into the Los Angeles outfield and was waived in September 1977. Henry was selected by the Chicago White Sox.
    • Batted .286 in 21 at bats for the White Sox to finish the 1977 season.
    • Started the 1978 season with Chicago and stayed with the  White Sox through the end of July.
    • Batted .221 in 77 at bats for the White Sox in 1978.
    • Sent down to AAA Iowa in August 1978 and never got back to the majors.
    • Continued to play in AAA for Iowa and Evansville through the 1981 season.
    • Played in the Mexican League from 1982-1985
    • Now coaches baseball in Puerto Rico
    • Henry's SABR biography
  • Chet Lemon
    • Played in the  majors from 1975-1990
    • Drafted by the Oakland A's in the first round in 1972
    • Traded with Dave Hamilton to the Chicago White Sox for Stan Bahnsen and Skip Pitlock
    • Went 9 for 35 (.259) in nine games for the White Sox at the end of the 1975 season.
    • 1976: Batted .246 in 132 games as he became the starting CF at the age of 21.
    • 1977: Batted .273 with 19 HR.
    • 1978: Batted .300 with 13 HR in 105 games. Late-inning defensive replacement in 1978 All Star Game. Missed most of August with injuries
    • 1979: Batted .318 with a league-leading 44 doubles and 17 HR. Went 0 for 2 with a run scored, a walk, and a hit by pitch in the All Star Game.
    • 1980: Batted .292 with 11 HR
    • 1981: Batted .302 with 9 HR in the strike-shortened season. Chet Lemon: The Struggle for 'A Spot in the Sun' - June 1981 Baseball Digest
    •  Traded to the Detroit Tigers for Steve Kemp after the 1981 season
    • 1982: Batted .266 with 19 HR
    • 1983: Batted .255 with 24 HR. Led the AL in times hit by a pitch for the fourth time in five years.
    • 1984: Batted .287 with 20 HR and 76 RBI. Went 1 for 2 with an RBI as the starting CF in the All Star Game. Was hitless in 13 AB in the ALCS and went 5 for 17 (.294) in the World Series.  How Sweet It Is for a Secure Chet Lemon - September 1984 Baseball Digest
    • 1985: Batted .265 with 18 HR
    • 1986: Batted .251 with 12 HR
    • 1987: Batted .277 with 20 HR. Went 5 for 18 (.278) in the ALCS.
    • 1988: Batted .264 with 17 HR as the starting RF (was the starting CF for every previous year)
    • 1989: Batted .237 with 7 HR. Chet Lemon: The Game I'll Never Forget - April 1989 Baseball Digest
    • 1990: Was a fourth OF for most of the year. Batted .258 in 322 AB. Retired after the 1990 season
    • Chet Lemon Recalls His Big League Career - January 2005 Baseball Digest
    • Organized a youth baseball organization in Florida after his major league playing career.
    • Liked to face: Matt Young (.571 in 21 AB); Ken Schrom (.481 in 27 AB); Allan Anderson (.452 in 31 AB)
    • Hated to face: Bob Welch (.000 in 13 AB); Juan Nieves (.048 in 21 AB); Greg Swindell (.080 in 25 AB)
  • Ellis Valentine
    • Drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1972
    • Appeared in 12 games at the end of the 1975 season (.364 batting average)
    • Played all three OF positions in 1976 and batted .279 in 94 games
    • Made the NL All Star team in 1977 (0 for 1 with a BB) and batted .293 with 25 HR in 127 games
    • Won a Gold Glove in 1978. His arm was considered by many to be the best in the game. Batted .289 with 25 HR
    • Batted .276 with 21 HR in 1979.
    • Was hit in the jaw by a pitch on May 30, 1980 and missed 40 games with a broken cheekbone. Valentine's injury probably cost the Expos the NL East title in 1980.
    • Batted .315 with 13 HR in 86 games in 1980.
    • Was batting only .211 in 22 games in 1981 for the Expos before he was traded to the New York Mets on May 29 for Dan Norman and Jeff Reardon.
    • Batted .207 in 48 games for the Mets to finish the 1981 season.
    • Batted .288 with 8 HR in 111 games in 1982.
    • Became a free agent and signed with the California Angels after the 1982 season.
    • Batted .240 in 86 games in 1983.
    • Did not play baseball in 1984 and was released after the 1984 season.
    • Signed with the Texas Rangers on July 10, 1985.
    • Spent some time in AAA and then played in 11 games (.211 average) for the Rangers in 1985.
    • Released after the 1985 season and never played again.
    • Ellis is now involved with "Baseball Against Drugs" (BAD)
    • Liked to face: Mark Lemongello (.571 in 14 AB); Jon Matlack (.471 in 17 AB); Steve Carlton (.404 in 47 AB)
    • Hated to face: Charlie Hough/Rick Sutcliffe (.091 in 11 AB); Ed Halicki (.133 in 30 AB)
  • Terry Whitfield
    • Drafted by the New York Yankees in the first round in 1971
    • Had a few stints with the Yankees from 1974-1976 but was unable to crack the Yankee lineup
      • 1974: 2 for 5 in two games
      • 1975: .272 in 81 at bats
      • 1976: appeared in one game without batting
    • Traded to the San Francisco Giants during spring training in 1977 for Marty Perez
    • Was a fourth OF for the Giants in 1977 and batted .285 in 114 games
    • Started at LF in 1978 and batted .289 with 10 HR in 149 games
    • Batted .287 in 133 games in 1979.
    • Played in 118 games in 1980 and batted .296
    • Sold to the Seibu Lions (Japanese Pacific League) in 1981 and played in Japan from 1981-1983.
    • Signed with the LA Dodgers in 1984.
    • Batted .244 in 87 games in 1984
    • Played in 79 games and batted .260 in 1985.
    • Went 1 for 14 (.071) in 17 games in 1986 and was released on May 24.
    • Played for various unaffiliated teams in Class A from 1986-1988
    • Liked to face: Mike Krukow (.591 in 22 AB); Doug Bair (.500 in 12 AB); Joe Niekro (.414 in 29 AB)
    • Hated to face: Bob Shirley (.071 in 14 AB); Dwight Gooden (.077 with 9 strikeouts in 13 AB); Pedro Borbon (.077 in 13 AB)

Ellis Valentine throws out a runner

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