Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

1976 Topps #596 - Rookie Infielders (Reynolds, Johnson, LeMaster, Manuel)


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  • Craig Reynolds
    • Drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971
    • Played briefly for the Pirates in 1975 (.224 in 76 at bats) and in 1976 (1 for 4 in seven games)
      • Went 0 for 1 in the 1975 NLCS
    • Traded with Jimmy Sexton to the Seattle Mariners after the 1976 season for Grant Jackson
    • Started at shortstop for the Mariners in 1977 (.248 in 135 games) and in 1978 (.292 in 148 games)
    • Made the AL All Star team in 1978 but he didn't play in the game
    • Traded to the Houston Astros after the 1978 season for Floyd Bannister
    • Was an All Star for the NL in 1979 and went 0 for 2 in the game
    • Batted .265 in 146 games in 1979 and led the NL with 34 sacrifice hits
    • In 1980 Reynolds batted only .226 in 137 games
    • Went 2 for 13 (.154) in four games in the 1980 NLCS
    • Batted .260 in 87 games and led the NL with 12 triples in 1981
    • Went 1 for 3 in two games in the 1981 NLDS.
    • Had a stint on the disabled list in 1982 and lost his starting SS job to Dickie Thon
      • Batted .254 in 54 games in 1982
    • Backed up Thon at shortstop in 1983 and batted .214 in 98 at bats
    • Regained his starting job in 1984 after Thon was beaned early in the season. Batted .260 in 146 games
    • Batted .272 in 107 games in 1985
    • Played in a utility role in 1986 and batted .249 in 114 games
    • Went 4 for 12 (.333) in four games in the 1986 NLCS
    • Was a starter for the last time in 1987 and batted .254 in 135 games
    • Was a utility player for the last two years of his career and batted .255 in 78 games in 1988 and .201 in 101 games in 1989
    • Retired after the 1989 season
    • Craig and his wife now serve on the staff of Pro Athletes Outreach. Reynolds is currently the Preaching & Teaching Pastor at Second Baptist Church North Campus in Houston, TX.
  • Lamar Johnson
    • Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1968
    • Played in the minors for eight seasons (1968-1975) and had a lifetime .302 batting average.
    • Batted .336 with 20 HR in AAA Denver in 1975.
    • First played in the majors in 1974 and batted .345 in ten games.
    • Played in eight games in 1975 and batted .200 in 30 AB.
    • Was a designated hitter and played some first base and left field during his career.
    • 1976 -- batted .320 in 82 games
    • 1977 -- Batted .302 with 18 HR in 118 games 
    • Sang the national anthem before the game on June 19, 1977 and hit two home runs in the game, which were the only two White Sox hits of the day (Chicago won 2-1)
    • 1978 -- Batted .273 with 8 HR and 72 RBI in 148 games.
    • 1979 -- Batted .309 with 12 HR and 74 RBI in 133 games
    • 1980 -- Batted .277 with 13 HR and 81 RBI
    • 1981 -- slowed by injuries and the strike and batted .276 in 41 games
    • Became a free agent after the 1981 season and signed with the Texas Rangers
    • 1982 -- Batted .259 with 7 HR and 38 RBI in 105 games
    • Didn't make the Texas ballclub in 1983 and was released at the end of spring training
    • Played in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989 and 1990
    • Coached for several teams in the 1990s and 2000s.
  • Johnnie LeMaster
    • Johnnie LeMaster was always a favorite of mine. It started one day in 1974 or 1975 when LeMaster was playing for the AAA Phoenix Giants. My dad took me to a game and Johnnie made an error. A drunk guy a few rows behind us yelled, "You *@^&#!! Do you have a hole in your glove?" I felt bad for Johnnie and he became my favorite player on the team
    • Was the first pick (6th overall) of the San Francisco Giants in 1973
    • Played in the minors from 1973-1977
    • First came up at the end of the 1975 season after batting .292 in 143 games for Phoenix.
    • Hit an inside-the-park home run in his first major league at bat.
    • He split time at shortstop with Tim Foli (1977) and Roger Metzger (1978 and 1979) during the first few years of his career
    • Became the Giants' starting shortstop in 1980 and held the job through the 1984 season
    • Johnnie wasn't in there for his offense -- he batted above .250 only twice in his career and he had a lifetime .222 batting average
    • He wasn't a huge glove man either -- Johnnie's fielding percentages were usually a few points below league average.
    • LeMaster lost his starting job to Jose Uribe in 1985 and was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Scott Bailes on May 30, 1985
    • Johnnie was cut loose by the Pirates at the end of spring training in 1986. He signed with the Montreal Expos in June and played for AAA Indianapolis for a couple of weeks before being released again.
    • LeMaster signed with the Oakland A's in 1987 and was up and down between Oakland and AAA. He was released in the middle of the 1987 season, ending a 12-year career.
    • LeMaster now lives in Paintsville, KY and is an elder in the Paintsville Church of Christ
    • Here is a card tribute with all of Johnnie's Topps Giants cards.
  • Jerry Manuel
    • Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first round in 1971
    • Was a minor leaguer for most of his playing career (1971-1984)
    • Went 1 for 18 (.056) in six games in 1975
    • Batted .140 in 43 AB in 1976
    • Traded to the Montreal Expos in 1980 for Duffy Dyer
    • Went 0 for 6 in seven games for the Expos in 1980
    • Batted .200 in 55 games in 1981
    • Started at second base in the 1981 NLDS but was replaced for the NLCS by Rodney Scott after going 1 for 14 in the NLDS
    • Traded to the San Diego Padres in May 1982 and batted .200 (1 for 5) in two games
    • Traded back to Montreal in June 1982 and spent the rest of his playing career in the minors
    • Coached and scouted in the minors from 1985-1989
    • Started managing at AA in 1990 and managed in AAA in 1991
    • Became the Montreal Expos' third base coach in 1991 and continued in that position through 1996
    • Was the bench coach for the World Champion Florida Marlins in 1997
    • Managed the Chicago White Sox from 1998-2003
    • Was a first base coach and bench coach for the New York Mets from 2005-2008
    • Managed the New York Mets from 2008-2010

3 comments:

  1. Big Lamar rocked the Red pinstripes of the White Sox!

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  2. Lemaster in 1985 hit .128 for three total teams: Giants (0 for 16), Indians (3 for 20, .150) and the Pirates (9 for 58, .155 one home run.) this was so inspiring that the A's brought him back to the majors in 1987 to hit .083 (2 for 24).

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  3. Johnny Lee LeMaster became my favorite player after Willie Lee McCovey retired. It really had nothing to do with me having the same middle name. A friend of mine who is also a church elder played at Giants fantasy camp with LeMaster, as did several of that God Squad team. I met Johnny at the Wall of Fame day.

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