Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Sunday, December 26, 2010

1976 Topps #657 - Roy Smalley

  • At the time this card was produced Roy Smalley was a promising young shortstop. Roy was the first player taken in the 1974 draft. Roy spent the 1974 season in the minors. Smalley started the 1975 season in AAA Spokane and was promoted to the Rangers in late April. Roy batted .228 in 78 games for the Rangers in 1975.
  • Smalley started the 1976 season with the Rangers and batted .225 in 41 games. On June 1 Roy went to the Minnesota Twins in a huge trade that brought Bert Blyleven to Texas. Smalley batted .271 in 103 games for the Twins in 1976.
  • Smalley was the starting shortstop for the Twins for the next few years. In 1977 Roy batted .231 in 150 games. Smalley developed some power in 1978 -- he batted .273 with 19 HR and 77 RBI.
  • Roy was an AL All Star in 1979 (he started the game and was 0 for 3 with a walk) and led the AL with 162 games played and 729 plate appearances. Roy batted .278 with 24 HR, 95 RBI, 94 runs scored, and 80 walks. Roy Smalley: Good Field, Good Hit Shortstop - November 1979 Baseball Digest
  • Smalley played in 133 games in 1980 and batted .278 with 12 HR and 63 RBI. After the 1980 season Smalley signed a 4-year, $2.4 million contract.
  •  In 1981 Roy had two stints on the disabled list. Along with the strike, Smalley's playing time was limited to 56 games. Roy batted .263 during the season. Roy started to suffer from spondylolysis (a lower back condition) that hampered his play.
  • Roy played in only four games for the Twins in 1982 before being traded to the New York Yankees on April 10  for Greg Gagne, Ron Davis, and Paul Boris. Smalley batted .257 with 20 HR in 142 games for the Yankees in 1982.
  • Smalley batted .275 with 18 HR in 1983. Roy started the 1984 season with the Yankees (.239 in 67 games) before being traded to the Chicago White Sox for Doug Drabek and Kevin Hickey on July 18. Smalley batted .170 in 47 games for the White Sox to finish the 1984 season.
  • Before the 1985 season Smalley was traded to the Twins for Randy Johnson (no not that Randy) and a minor leaguer. By this time Roy was playing more as a DH than as an infielder. 
  • In 1985 Roy batted .258 with 12 HR in 129 games. Smalley batted .246 with 20 HR in 1986.
  • Smalley's last season was 1987. It was a good year for him to go out, as the Twins won the World Championship that year. Roy contributed with a .275 batting average and 8 homers in 110 games. Smalley wasn't used in the ALCS, but he played in four games in the World Series and went 1 for 2.
  • After the 1987 season Roy was sent back to the White Sox. A clause in the transaction that brought Smalley to the Twins in 1985 stipulated that the  Twins had the right to send him back at any time. Smalley retired in early April without playing for the White Sox.
  • Smalley now works for FSN North analyzing Minnesota Twins games. He also owns a restaurant near Target Field.
  • Liked to face: Paul Mitchell (.483 in 29 AB); Mike Parrott (.467 in 15 AB); Milt Wilcox (.444 in 27 AB)
  • Hated to face: Joe Cowley (.000 in 13 AB); Marty Pattin (.040 in 25 AB); Ed Figueroa (.069 in 29 AB); Nolan Ryan (.114 with 20 strikeouts in 35 AB)


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