Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1976 Topps #624 - Tony Taylor

  • Tony Taylor had a 19-year career in the major leagues. Taylor was signed by the New York Giants in 1954. After playing four seasons in the Giants'  minor league system Tony was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 draft despite having batted only .217 in AA Dallas in 1957. Taylor became the Cubs' starting second baseman in 1958 and batted .235 in 140 games. Tony stole 21 bases in his rookie season, which was a high number for that era.
  • Taylor improved his batting average to .280 and had 23 stolen bases in 150 games in 1959. In 1960 Tony started the season with the Cubs (.263 in 19 games) and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on May 13. Taylor made the NL All Star team in 1960. He appeared as a pinch runner in the first game and singled in a pinch hitting appearance in the second game. Taylor finished the 1960 season with a .284 batting average and had 26 stolen bases.
  • Taylor missed five weeks of the 1961 season with an injury. Tony played in 106 games and batted .250. In 1962 Taylor batted .259 in 152 games.
  • Tony finished 16th in MVP voting in 1963. He batted .281 with 10 triples and 20 stolen bases in 1963. Taylor batted .251 with a league-leading 13 times hit by a pitch in 1964. 
  • Taylor slumped to a .229 batting average in 1965 and lost his starting second base job to Cookie Rojas. Tony was a backup second baseman and third baseman in 1966 and batted .242 in 125 games. In 1967 Tony played all four infield positions and batted .238 in 132 games.
  • Taylor was the starting third baseman for most of the season in 1968 and batted .250 with 22 stolen bases in 145 games. In 1969 Tony was a utility infielder and batted .262 in 138 games.
  • Tony had one of his better offensive seasons in 1970. He hit nine home runs (a career high) and batted .301 in 124 games as a utility infielder and outfielder.
  • Taylor started the 1971 season with the Phillies. He was batting .234 in 36 games when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for two minor leaguers on June 12. Tony batted .287 in 55 games for the Tigers in 1971.
  • Tony was a backup infielder for the Tigers for the next two seasons. In 1972 Taylor batted .303 in 78 games but was only 2 for 15 (.133) in the ALCS. Tony slumped to a .229 average in 84 games in 1973.
  • After the 1973 season Taylor was released by the Tigers. Tony signed with the Phillies and spent the last three seasons of his career with the club.
  • Taylor was mostly a pinch hitter and occasional fill-in infielder during his second stint with the Phillies. Tony batted .328 in 64 at bats in 1974 and batted .243 in 103 at bats in 1975. 
  • Taylor had only 23 ABs in 1976 and batted .261. There was a controversy at the end of the 1976 season when Dick Allen said he would refuse to play for the Phillies in the NLCS unless Taylor was part of the 25-man playoff roster. The dispute was smoothed over when Taylor was added as a coach, but several teammates and fans were not happy with Allen.
  • Tony was released after the 1976 season and he retired with 2007 career hits and a career .261 batting average. He holds the Phillies team record for games played at second base with 1,003.
  • After his playing career Tony had several stints as a first base coach and bullpen coach for several teams and also managed in the Phillies' system from 1982-1987. 
  • Liked to face: Al Worthington (.500 in 14 AB); Vern Law (.489 in 47 AB); Ray Washburn (.424 in 33 AB)
  • Hated to face: Sammy Ellis (.045 in 22 AB); Robin Roberts (.053 in 19 AB); Jim Brosnan (.080 in 25 AB)
  • Taylor 


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