Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1976 Topps #646 - John Lowenstein


  • John Lowenstein played in the majors for 16 years and was a valuable utilityman and platoon outfielder for several of those seasons. Lowenstein was drafted by the Clevleand Indians in 1968. John got his first chance to play in the majors as a September call-up in 1970 and batted .256 in 17 games.
  • Lowenstein started the 1971 season with Cleveland but was up and down between AAA Wichita and the Indians all season. John batted .320 in Wichita but batted only .186 in 58 games for Cleveland.
  • John batted .212 in 68 games in1972. In 1973 he had his first good offensive season, batting .292 in 98 games.
  • Lowenstein appeared in a career-high 140 games in 1974 and batted .242 with 8 home runs. John batted .242 again in 1975 and homered 12 times in 91 games.
  • John batted .205 in 93 games in 1976. After the 1976 season Lowenstein was traded with Rick Cerone to the Toronto Blue Jays for  Rico Carty. The Blue Jays turned around and traded Lowenstein back to Cleveland for Hector Torres.
  • Lowenstein batted .242 in 81 games in 1977. After the 1977 season John was traded with Tom Buskey to the Texas Rangers for David Clyde and Willie Horton.
  • Lowenstein spent one season in Texas and batted .222 in 77 games. John was placed on waivers after the 1976 season and was selected by the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Orioles' manager Earl Weaver decided to platoon Lowenstein and Gary Roenicke in left field in 1979. It was an effective platoon -- Lowenstein batted .254 with 11 HR and Roenicke batted .261 with 25 HR. In the ALCS John went 1 for 6, but his one hit was a huge one --- he homered in the bottom of the 10th inning of game 1 to win it for the Orioles. Lowenstein went 3 for 13 (.231) in the World Series.
  • Lowenstein was mostly a pinch hitter and substitute outfielder in 1980 and batted .311 in 196 at bats.
  • John is listed as the starting LF in 1981, but he had only 189 at bats in 83 games. Lowenstein batted .249 with 6 HR in 1981.
  • Lowenstein played more regularly in 1982 and batted a career-high .320 in 122 games. In 1983 Lowenstein and Roenicke combined to hit 34 HR and knock in 124 runs. Lowenstein  batted .281 with 15 HR during the regular season. John was 1 for 6 (.167) in the 1983 ALCS and went 5 for 13 (.385) in the World Series.
  • John's hitting started to tail off in 1984 as he batted .237 in 85 games. Lowenstein went 2 for 26 (.077) in 13 games in 1985 and was released on May 21.
  • Lowenstein was a color commentator on Orioles' broadcasts from 1986-1995. John now lives in Las Vegas.
  • John was good for a quote from time to time:
    • "I flush the john between innings to keep my wrists strong (fitness tip for designated hitters)."
    • "The secret to keeping winning streaks going is to maximize the victories while at the same time minimizing the defeats"
  • Liked to face: Steve McCatty (.476 in 21 AB); Rick Langford (.452 with 3 HR in 31 AB); Albert Williams (.429 with 3 HR in 14 AB)
  • Hated to face: Ross Grimsley (.000 with 6 strikeouts in 13 AB); Rick Sutcliffe (.077 in 26 AB); Pat Dobson (.108 in 37 AB)

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