Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1976 Topps #631 - Atlanta Braves


  • The Atlanta Braves were having a rough time in the mid and late 1970s. This was after the Henry Aaron era and before the Dale Murphy era. 
  • Dave Bristol managed the club in 1976. He also had two stints with the club in 1977. The Braves had a 130-192 (.404) record during Bristol's time with the team. Bristol also managed the Cincinnati Reds from 1966-1969, the Milwaukee Brewers from 1970-1972, and the San Francisco Giants from 1979-1980. 
  • Team Record: 70-92 (6th in NL West, 32 games behind Cincinnati)
  • Attendance: 818,179 (10th in NL)
  • Team Batting: .245 (11th in NL)
  • Team Home Runs: 82 (9th in NL)
  • Team Stolen Bases: 74 (11th in NL)
  • Team ERA: 3.86 (10th in NL)
  • Team Fielding: .974 (10th in NL)
  • Team Batting Leader: Willie Montanez (.321)
  • Team HR Leader: Jim Wynn (17)
  • Team RBI Leader: Jim Wynn (66)
  • Team Stolen Base Leader: Jerry Royster (24)
  • Team Victories Leader: Phil Niekro (17)
  • Team Losses Leader: Dick Ruthven (17)
  • Team ERA Leader (starters): Andy Messersmith (3.04)
  • Team ERA Leader (relievers): Adrian Devine (3.21)
  • Team Saves Leader: Adrian Devine (9)
  • League Leaders: Jim Wynn (walks - 127); Rod Gilbreath (sac hits - 20); Dick Ruthven (losses - 17); Phil Niekro (wild pitches - 14)
  • NL All Stars: Dick Ruthven

.

Monday, November 29, 2010

1976 Topps #630 - Chris Speier


  • Chris Speier had a 19-year career as a shortstop in the major leagues. Speier was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1970. He spent only one season in the minors before being brought up to become the starting shortstop for the Giants.
  • Speier batted .235 with 8 HR in 157 games for the Giants as a rookie in 1971. Chris batted .357 (4 for 15) in the 1971 NLCS.
  • In 1972 Chris was an NL All Star for the first of three straight seasons. Speier was 0 for 2 with a sacrifice hit in the 1972 game. Speier batted .269 with a career-high 15 home runs in 1972.
  • Chris batted .249 with 11 HR and 71 RBI in 1973 and was 0 for 2 as the starting shortstop in the All Star Game.
  • In 1974 Speier batted .250 with 9 HR and 53 RBI. He was on the team but didn't play in the 1974 All Star Game.
  • Speier batted .271 with 10 HR and 69 RBI in 1975.
  • Chris had an off year in 1976 and batted only .226 in 145 games. Speier started the 1977 season with the Giants (.176 in six games) but was traded to the Montreal Expos for shortstop Tim Foli on April 27. Chris batted .235 in 139 games for the Expos in 1977.
  • Speier was the starting shortstop for the Expos from 1977-1982. He batted .251 in 150 games in 1978. In 1979 Chris missed some time with injuries in July and in September. He batted .227 in 113 games in 1979.
  • Chris batted .265 in 128 games in 1980. In 1981 Speier batted .225 in 96 games. Chris was 5 for 16 (.400) in the 1981 NLDS and was 3 for 16 (.188) in the 1981 NLDS.
  • In 1982 Speier batted .257 in 156 games. Speier played in only 88 games in 1983 and batted .257.
  • Chris played for three teams in 1984. He started with the Expos (.150 in 25 games) and was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 1. Speier spent about seven weeks with the Cardinals (.178 in 38 games) before being traded to the  Minnesota Twins on August 19. Chris batted .212 in 12 games for the Twins to finish the 1984 season.
  • Speier became a free agent after the 1984 season. Chris was signed by the Chicago Cubs at the end of spring training in 1985. Speier spent two seasons as a utility infielder with the Cubs, batting .243 in 106 games in 1985 and .284 in 95 games in 1986.
  • Chris became a free agent after the 1986 season and signed with the Giants. In 1987 Speier played in 111 games and batted .249 with 11 home runs. Speier went 0 for 5 in three games in the 1987 NLCS.
  • Speier batted .216 in 82 games in 1988 and .243 in 28 games in 1989. Chris retired after the 1989 season. 
  • Speier coached and managed in the minors after his playing career. He also coached in the majors and  was a coach with the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. Chris is now the bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Chris has a son Justin who was a reliever in the majors from 1998-2009.
  • Liked to face: Rawly Eastwick (.500 in 18 AB); Nino Espinosa (.448 in 28 AB); Tommy John (.400 in 50 AB)
  • Hated to face: Silvio Martinez (.000 in 17 AB); Greg Minton (.063 in 16 AB); Charlie Hough (.094 in 32 AB)

.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1976 Topps #629 - Sandy Alomar


  • Sandy Alomar was heading to the end of a long career when this card came out. Alomar was originally signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1960 as a 16-year-old. After playing in the minors for five years Sandy was brought up to the majors in September 1964 and bated .245 in 19 games.
  • Alomar spent the 1965 and 1966 seasons splitting time between AAA and the Braves. Sandy batted .241 in 67 games for the Braves in 1965 and batted .091 in 31 games in 1966.
  • After the 1966 season Alomar was traded to the Houston Astros, who turned around and traded hi to the New York Mets during spring training. Sandy split time between AAA and the Mets (.000 in 22 AB) in 1967. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox on August 15 and went 3 for 15 (.200) to finish the 1967 season.
  • Sandy was a utility player for the White Sox in 1968, mostly playing second base. Alomar batted .253 with 21 stolen bases in 133 games for the White Sox in 1968.
  • In 1969 Alomar started with the White Sox (.224 in 22 games) and was traded to the California Angels on May 14. Sandy became the starting second baseman for the Angels and had his best years with that ballclub. Alomar batted .250 in 134 games for the Angels in 1970.
  • Alomar was an AL All Star in 1971 (he went 0 for 1 in the game) and batted .251 with 35 stolen bases. In 1972 Sandy batted .260 with 39 stolen bases. He led the AL in games played in both of those seasons and also led the AL in at bats in 1972.
  • Sandy batted .238 in 136 games in 1973. Alomar started the 1974 season with the Angels (.222 in 54 at bats) but he had lost his starting second base job to Denny Doyle and was being used as a utilityman. Sandy was sold to the New York Yankees on July 8. Alomar started at second base for most of the rest of the 1974 season and batted .269 in 76 games.
  • The 1975 season was Alomar's last as a full-time player. He started at 2B for the Yankees and batted .239 in 151 games. In 1976 the Yankees acquired Willie Randolph to play second base and Alomar became a utility player. Sandy batted .239 in 163 at bats in 1976. He was 0 for 1 with a caught stealing in two games in the ALCS. Sandy wasn't used in the 1976 World Series.
  • After the 1976 season Alomar was traded to the Texas Rangers. Sandy played just about every position except pitcher and catcher in 1977 and batted .265 in 83 at bats. In 1978 Alomar was a utilityman again and batted .207 in 29 AB. Alomar was released after the 1978 season and retired at the age of 34.
  • Alomar coached in Puerto Rico and in the minor leagues after his playing career. Sandy became the Mets' bench coach in 2005. He also coached at first base and third base for the Mets and became the bench coach again in 2008. He was let go along with manager Jerry Manuel after the 2010 season.
  • Sandy is the father of former catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. and former second baseman Roberto Alomar.
  • Liked to face: Dean Chance (.444 in 27 AB); Earl Wilson (.438 in 16 AB); Reggie Cleveland (.429 in 21 AB)
  • Hated to face: Fergie Jenkins (.000 in 14 AB); Milt Wilcox (.056 in 18 AB); Jim Slaton (.071 in 28 AB)

.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1976 Topps #628 - John D'Acquisto



  • John D'Aquisto pitched in the majors from 1973-1982. John was a first round draft choice of the San Francisco Giants in 1970. D'Acquisto had a 100 mph fastball when he started his career.  D'Acquisto pitched in the minors from 1970-1973 and earned a chance at the majors when he was 16-12 with a 3.57 ERA in AAA Phoenix in 1973. John was 1-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 7 games (3 starts) for the Giants at the end of the 1973 season.
  • D'Acquisto was a starting pitcher for the Giants in 1974 and was 12-14 with a 3.57 ERA. John hurt his arm throwing one of his fastballs, damaged his nerves,and missed most of the 1975 season. He ended up 2-4 with a 10.29 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) in 1975.
  • John struggled for the Giants in 1976. He was 3-8 with a 5.35 ERA in 28 games (19 starts) during the season. After the 1976 season D'Acquisto was traded with Mike Caldwell to the St. Louis Cardinals for John Curtis, Willie Crawford, and Vic Harris.
  • D'Acquisto was with the Cardinals for a short time in 1977 -- he started two games and had a 4.32 ERA. On May 17 he and Pat Scanlon were traded to the San Diego Padres for Butch Metzger. John was up and down between AAA and the Padres for the rest of the 1977 season. He had a 1-2 record with a 6.95 ERA in 17 games (12 starts) for the Padres in 1977.
  • The Padres used John mostly as a reliever in 1978 and he had a good year. D'Acquisto was 4-3 with 10 saves and a 2.13 ERA in 45 games (3 starts).
  • John didn't have a real good year in 1979. He was 9-13 with a 4.92 ERA in 51 games (11 starts). D'Acquisto started the 1980 season with San Diego and was 2-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 39 games. On August 11 John was traded with cash to the Montreal Expos for Randy Bass. D'Acquisto was 0-2 with 2 saves in 11 games and had a 2.18 ERA for the Expos in 1980. 
  • After the 1980 season D'Acquisto became a free agent and signed a 4-year $1.2 contract with the California Angels. John pitched in six games (0-0, 10.71 ERA) for the Angels in 1981. He also pitched for AAA Salt Lake City in 1981 and had an 8.32 ERA in 18 starts. 
  • John was released at the end of spring training in 1982. He signed with the Atlanta Braves and pitched for a couple of months for AAA Richmond but was released by the Braves in July. D'Acquisto was picked up by the Oakland A's, pitched for a short time for AAA Tacoma, then pitched in 11 games (0-1, 5.29 ERA) for the A's at the end of the 1982 season. John pitched in AA (edit: it was actually for the AAA Denver club in the White Sox organization -- see comments) for the Chicago White Sox in 1983 but retired after pitching in six games.
  • He also pitched in the Senior Professional League in 1989 and in 1990.
  • After his playing career John became an investment banker but he had his license revoked after being sentenced to 63 months in prison after being convicted of investment fraud. It was later found that D'Acquisto was used by others and set up. Here is a site where John tells his side of the story. The other people are now serving time in prison. John has since earned a doctorate in Exercise Science and Physiology.

.

Friday, November 26, 2010

1976 Topps #627 - Bill Plummer


  • Bill Plummer played in ten seasons from 1968-1978. He is best known as the backup for Johnny Bench for most of the early to mid 1970s.
  • Plummer was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965. He played in the minors from 1965-1967 and then was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 draft. Bill had to stay on the Cubs' roster for the entire 1968 season but played in only two games and went 0 for 2.
  • Plummer was in the minors for the entire 1969 season. After the 1969 season Bill was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. Plummer was in the minors for most of the 1970 season. He played in four September games for the Reds and went 1 for 8 (.125). 
  • Bill was with AAA Indianapolis for most of the 1971 season and batted .266 with 17 home runs. Plummer played in ten games for the Reds at the end of the 1971 season but was 0 for 19.
  • Plummer backed up Bench for the next six seasons (1972-1977). Bill batted above .200 in only two of those seasons (.225 in 1974 and .248 in 1976).
  • Plummer didn't appear in any NLCS or World Series games during that time, although the Reds were in the playoffs in four of those six years.
  • After the 1978 season Bill became a free agent and signed with the Seattle Mariners. Plummer spent some time in AAA during the 1978 season and  batted .215 in 41 games for the Mariners.
  • Bill spent the 1979 season in the minors and was released after the season.
  • Plummer coached and managed in the minors during the 1980s. He was the third base coach for the Mariners in 1991 and was named the Seattle manager in 1992. The Mariners finished in last place in 1992 and Bill was replaced as manager after the season.
  • Plummer has been working for the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2000. He managed in the Arizona system from 2000-2008 and is now the team's catching instructor.


.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

1976 Topps #626 - Bob Sheldon



  • Bob Sheldon was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1972. Sheldon played in the minors in 1972 and 1973 and got a chance to play in the majors in the beginning of the 1974 season. 
  • Sheldon played in ten games for the Brewers in April and May of 1974 but was sent back to the minors after batting only .118 in those games. Bob batted .332 for AAA Sacramento during the remainder of the 1974 season.
  • Bob started the 1975 season with Sacramento and was brought up to Milwaukee in June. Sheldon batted .287 in 53 games for the Brewers in '75.
  • Sheldon played for AAA Spokane for the entire 1976 season. There may have been an injury involved since Bob played in only 75 games in 1976.
  • Bob batted .353 for Spokane in 1977. Sheldon was with Milwaukee from about mid-May to mid-July and batted .203 in 31 games, mostly as a designated hitter. Sheldon retired after the 1977 season.


.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1976 Topps #625 - J.R. Richard



  • J.R. Richard had an abbreviated career, but he was one of the most feared pitchers of the mid to late 1970s. 
  • Richard never lost a high school game and was the second player taken in the 1969 draft by the Houston Astros. J.R. pitched in the minors from 1969-1971 and was called up to the Astros in September 1971. Richard was was 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts for Houston in 1971.
  • For the next three seasons Richard split time between the minors and the Astros. In 1972 J.R. was 1-0 with a 13.50 in four games for the Astros. Richard was 6-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 1973 and  was 2-3 with a 4.18 ERA in 1974.
  • Richard joined the Houston rotation in 1975. He led the NL in walks and wild pitches and went 12-10 with a 4.39 ERA in 1975.
  • J.R. had his only 20-win season in 1976. He had a 20-15 record with a 2.75 ERA in 1976. Richard followed his 1976 season with a good year in 1977 (18-12, 2.97 ERA).
  • Richard led the NL with 303 strikeouts, 16 wild pitches, and 141 walks in 1978. He had a record of 18-11 with a 3.11 ERA and finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting. J.R. Richard of the Astros: He Specializes in Smoke - December 1978 Baseball Digest.
  • J.R. led the NL in ERA (2.75), strikeouts (313), and wild pitches (19), had an 18-13 record, and was third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 1979.
  • Richard started the 1980 All Star Game for the National League. J.R. Richard of Astros Long Overdue for National Recognition - June 1980 Baseball Digest. He pitched two scoreless innings in the game. J.R. was 10-4 with a 1.90 ERA when he suffered a stroke during pre-game warmups on July 30. 
  • Richard tried to come back in 1981 and was placed on Houston's 40-man roster in September, but manager Bill Virdon didn't put him in any games. Richard was also recalled in September 1982 but didn't get in any games.
  • J.R. pitched in the minors in 1982 and in 1983 but although he had recovered from the stroke, the risk of future problems was too great for him to continue pitching. Richard was released by the Astros in 1984.
  • After his playing career J.R. went into some business ventures in his native Louisiana, but he lost close to a million dollars in a bad oil venture and in a divorce settlement. He married and divorced again, this time losing his home near Houston and most of the rest of his money.
  • In 1994 Richard was homeless and destitute in Houston. He started collecting his pension in 1995, started working for an asphalt company, and became a minister.
  • Resurrection: The J.R. Richard Story is a movie about Richard made in 2005.
  • Here is a tribute to Richard on Astros Daily.
  • Here is a 2009 article about J.R..
  • Liked to face: Barry Bonnell (.000 in 15 AB); Ken Reitz (.063 in 32 AB); Steve Yeager (.083 in 48 AB)
  • Hated to face: Ed Ott (.476 in 21 AB); Ralph Garr (.429 in 21 AB); Al Oliver (.417 in 24 AB)

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 

.

Monday, November 22, 2010

1976 Topps #623 - Bob Allietta




  • Bob Allietta had a short major league career -- 21 games in 1975. Allietta was drafted by the California Angels in the first round (7th overall) in 1971.
  • Bob worked his way up the Angels' organization from 1971-1974. Allietta started the 1975 season with AAA Salt Lake City and was brought up to the majors in May.
  • Allietta went up and down from California to Salt Lake City during the 1975 season. Bob batted .178 in 21 games for the Angels in 1975.
  • Bob started the 1976 season at Salt Lake City and moved on to AAA Toledo (in the Houston Astros' organization) later in the season.
  • Allietta played in AAA for two teams in 1977. From 1978-1980 Bob played in AAA in the Cleveland Indians' organization. He never made it back to the majors in spite of batting over .300 in 1979 and 1980. Bob retired after the 1980 season.
  • Bob is now an insurance agent in Falmouth, MA and also coaches American Legion baseball.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1976 Topps #622 - Rick Auerbach


  • Rick Auerbach was an infielder who played in 11 seasons in the majors from 1971-1981. Auerbach was drafted by the Seattle Pilots in 1969. Rick came up to the  majors with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1971 after batting over .300 for two teams in the minors in 1970. Auerbach was with Milwaukee for a few months and then was up and down for the remainder of the season. Rick batted .203 in 79 at bats for the Brewers in 1971.
  • Auerbach was the starting shortstop for the Brewers in 1972 and batted .218 in 153 games. Rick started the 1973 season with Milwaukee (2 for 10 in six games) and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 24 for Tim Johnson. Rick played in AAA Albuquerque for the rest of the 1973 season.
  • Rick played sparingly in 1974, batting .342 in 73 at bats. Auerbach doubled in a pinch hitting appearance in the 1974 NLCS and got into game 3 of the World Series as a pinch runner.
  • Auerbach was a backup infielder for the Dodgers in 1975 (.224 in 85 games) and in 1976 (.128 in 36 games). After the 1976 season Rick was traded to the New York Mets for Hank Webb and a minor leaguer.
  • Rick started the 1977 season with AAA Tidewater. He was traded to the Texas Rangers as part of a deal for Lenny Randle on May 20. Auerbach didn't get into any games for the Rangers and on June 15 was sold to the Cincinnati Reds. Rick didn't get much playing time for the Reds in 1977 -- he batted .156 in 33 games.
  • Auerbach batted .327 in 55 at  bats for the Reds in 1978. In 1979 Rick batted .210 in 64 games for the Reds during the regular season. Auerbach went 0 for 2 in two games in the 1979 NLCS.
  • Rick went 11 for 33 (.333) in 1980 for the Reds. Auerbach was sold to the Rangers on July 19 but didn't get into any games for the Rangers during the season.
  • Before the 1981 season Rick was traded to the Seattle Mariners as part of an ten-player deal. Auerbach batted .155 in 38 games for the  Mariners in 1981 and was released after the season.
  • Someone is selling Rick's 1980 Topps card for $2.95!

.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1976 Topps #621 - Tom Hall


  • Tom Hall was an unheralded pitcher who had a penchant for striking out batters. Hall's lifetime strikeouts per nine innings average was 8.4 and he struck out an average of over nine batters per nine innings four times in his career.
  • Tom Hall was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1966. Hall had dominating stats in the minors from 1966-1968 and first came up to Minnesota in June 1968. Tom pitched in eight games for the Twins and was 2-1 with a 2.43 ERA.
  • In 1969 Tom pitched in 31 games (18 starts) and was 8-7 with a 3.33 ERA. Hall pitched two thirds of an inning and got both batters out in one game in the 1969 ALCS.
  • Hall had one of his  best years in 1970. Tom struck out 184 batters in 155 innings and was 11-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 52 games (11 starts). Hall started and lost game 2 of the 1970 ALCS.
  • Tom's stats dropped off a bit in 1971. Hall was 4-7 with 9 saves and had a 3.33 ERA in 48 games (11 starts). After the 1971 season Hall was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Wayne Granger.
  • Hall had his other really good year in 1972. Tom was 10-1 with 8 saves and had a 2.61 ERA in 47 games (7 starts). It was also Hall's third year in a row of striking out more batters than innings pitched. Tom relieved Jack Billingham in game 2 of the 1972 NLCS and earned the win. Hall had a 1.23 ERA in 7.1 innings in the NLCS. Hall pitched in four games in the 1972 World Series, allowed no runs in 8.1 innings, and earned the save in game 6.
  • Tom was 8-5 with 8 saves and had and ERA of 3.47 in 1973. Hall got rocked in three games in the 1973 NLCS -- he pitched 0.2 innings and allowed four runs (54.00 ERA).
  • Hall was mostly a reliever in 1974 -- he appeared in 40 games and had one start. Tom went 3-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 1974. 
  • Hall started the 1975 season with the Reds but was traded to the New York Mets for Mac Scarce after pitching in two games for the Reds. Tom pitched in 34 games (4 starts) for the Mets in 1975 and was 4-3 with a 4.75 ERA.
  • Tom was on the move again in 1976. He started the season with the Mets (1-1, 5.79 ERA in 5 games) and was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a minor leaguer and cash on May 7. Hall was 1-1 with a 4.45 ERA in 31 games for the Royals. Tom wasn't used in the postseason.
  • Hall pitched in six games for the Royals in 1977 (0-0, 3.52 ERA) and was released on June 5. Tom was  picked up by the  Twins and pitched in AAA Omaha. Hall retired after the 1977 season at the age of 29 due to injuries.
  • Liked to face: Mike Epstein (.000 in 14 AB); Willie Davis (.042 in 24 AB); Jay Johnstone (.041 in 21 AB)
  • Hated to face: Mike Andrews (.700 in 10 AB); Rennie Stennett (.571 in 14 AB); Reggie Smith/Roy White (.409 in 22 AB)

.

Friday, November 19, 2010

1976 Topps #620 - Al Oliver



  • This guy could hit. He wasn't known for his power, but he was usually in double figures in home runs,  hit .300 often, and could have been a Hall of Famer  if he would have had a better decline part of his career.
  • Al Oliver was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1964. Oliver played in the minors from 1964-1968 and got a short look by the Pirates at the end of the 1968 season. Al went 1 for 8 (.125) in four games for the Pirates in '68.
  • Oliver finished second to Ted Sizemore in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1969. Al played first base for most of the 1969 season but also saw some action in the outfield that season. Oliver batted .285 with 17 HR and 70 RBI in 129 games in 1969.
  • Al split time between first base and the outfield in 1970 and batted .270 with 12 HR and 83 RBI in 151 games in 1970. Oliver went 2 for 8 (.250) during the 1970 NLCS.
  • Oliver was the starting center fielder for the Pirates for most of the 1971 season. Al batted .282 with 14 HR and 68 RBI during the regular season. Oliver went 3 for 12 (.250) in the NLCS and was 4 for 19 (.211) in the World Series. Al Oliver - Another Superstar for the Pirates? - April 1971 Baseball Digest
  • Oliver made his first NL All Star team in 1972 (he went 0 for 1 in the game) and finished 7th in MVP voting. Al batted .312 with 12 HR and 89 RBI in the 1972 season.
  • In 1973 Oliver batted .292 with 20 HR and 99 RBI.
  •  Oliver spent about 2/3 of his time in center field and 1/3 of the time at first base in 1974. Al batted .321 with 11 HR and 85 RBI in 1974. Oliver went 2 for 14 (.143) during the 1974 NLCS.
  • Oliver was on the NL All Star team again in 1975 (he doubled and scored a run) and batted .280 with 18 HR and 84 RBI. Oliver was 2 for 11 (.182) in the 1975 NLCS.
  • Al batted .323 with 12 HR and 61 RBI in 121 games in 1976. He was in the 1976 All Star Game and went 0 for 1.
  • The 1977 season was Al's last one in Pittsburgh. Oliver batted .308 with 19 HR and 82 RBI. After the 1977 season Al was sent to the Texas Rangers as part of the complicated four-team trade that brought Bert Blyleven to Pittsburgh.
  • When he got to Texas Oliver switched his number to "0." I think he and Ken Burrough (#00) of the NFL Houston Oilers were the first guys I remember with that type of number. Al batted .324 with 14 HR and 89 RBI in his first year in the American League.
  • Oliver batted .323 with 12 HR and 76 RBI in 1979. In 1980 Oliver led the AL with 163 games played. He batted .319 with 19 HR and 117 RBI and was an American League All Star. Oliver went 0 for 1 in the 1980 All Star Game.
  • In the strike-shortened 1981 season Oliver batted .309 in 102 games. Al went 0 for 1 in the 1981 All Star Game.
  • Before the 1982 season Al was traded to the Montreal Expos for Larry Parrish and Dave Hostetler.
  • Oliver had a big year in 1982. He led the NL in batting average (.331), RBI (109), hits (204), and doubles (43). Al was 2 for 2 with a double in the 1982 All Star Game.
  • Al had another good year in 1983, batting .300 with an NL-leading 38 doubles. He was an All Star for the last time in 1983 and was 1 for 2 with a walk and a double as the starting first baseman.
  • Before the 1984 season Al was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Fred Breining, Max Venable, and Andy McGaffigan.
  • Oliver played less than a full season with the Giants. He was batting .298 for the Giants when he was traded with Renie Martin to the Philadelphia Phillies on August 20 for Kelly Downs and George Riley. Oliver demanded the trade so that he would have a better chance at his pursuit of 3000 hits. Al batted .312 for the Phillies in the last six weeks of the 1984 season.
  • Before the 1985 season Al was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pat Zachry. Oliver batted .253 in 35 games for the Dodgers in 1985. On July 9 Oliver was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Len Matuszek. Al batted .251 in 61 games for the Blue Jays in 1985. Oliver went 3 for 8 (.375) in the 1985 NLCS.
  • Al became a free agent after the 1985 season. Oliver wasn't signed by anyone (possibly due to collusion) and he retired.
  • Al Oliver Deserved More Recognition in His Career - December 1992 Baseball Digest
  • Al Oliver's official website. Oliver is now a motivational speaker.
  • Liked to face: Don Carrithers (.611 in 18 AB); Frank Pastore (.542 in 24 AB); Randy Jones (.419 in 43 AB)
  • Hated to face: Mark Thurmond (.000 in 11 AB); Tom House (.045 in 22 AB); Ross Baumgarten (.045 in 21 AB)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

1976 Topps #619 - Bill Butler



  • Bill Butler played in seven seasons in the majors from 1969-1977. Butler was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1965. Bill pitched in the Detroit organization from 1965-1968 and then was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft.
  • Butler appeared in 34 games (29 starts) for the Royals in 1969 and was 9-10 with a 3.90 ERA. Bill was up and down between AAA and the Royals in 1970 and in 1971. Butler went 4-12 with a 3.77 ERA in 25 starts for the Royals in 1970 and was 1-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 14 games (6 starts) in 1971.
  • Bill started the 1972 season with AAA Omaha. On July 11 Butler was sold to the Cleveland Indians. Bill was in the minors for a while and then came up to the Indians at the end of the 1972 season. Butler pitched in six games (two starts) and had a 1.54 ERA for the Indians in 1972.
  • Butler was in the minors in 1973 and after the season was traded to the Minnesota Twins. Butler started the 1974 season in AAA but came up to Minnesota after going 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts. Bill had a 4-6 record with a 4.10 ERA in 26 games (12 starts) for the Twins in 1974.
  • Butler stayed in the majors for the entire 1975 season and was 5-4 with a 5.95 ERA in 23 games (8 starts).
  • Bill was in AAA for the entire 1976 season and for the beginning of the 1977 season. Butler came up to the Twins in mid-June and stayed for about a month. Bill was 0-1 with a 6.86 ERA in six games (four starts) during his stint with the Twins. Butler was involved in a controversy in 1976 while playing for the Tacoma Twins. The Hawaii Islanders stadium had a ban against metal cleats. Butler ignored the ban and warmed up with the cleats on. Stadium officials turned off the lights and the game was forfeited to Tacoma since the home team was responsible for field conditions. The PCL president upheld the forfeit but Minor League head Bobby Bragan ordered the game to be replayed.
  • After the 1977 season Butler was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Rex Hudson. The Dodgers tried to make Bill a reliever. Bill had a 7.14 ERA in 47 games for AAA Albuquerque in 1978 and retired after the season.

.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1976 Topps #618 - Jack Brohamer


  • Jack Brohamer played second base (and some third base) for three teams from 1972-1980. Brohamer was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1967. Jack was in the minors for five seasons before coming up to Cleveland in 1972. Brohamer had his career high in games (136) in 1972 and batted .233.
  • Brohamer started most of the time at second base in 1973 (.220 in 102 games) and in 1974 (.270 in 101 games).
  • In 1975 Duane Kuiper became the regular second baseman for the Indians and Brohamer was expendable. After batting .244 in 69 games in 1975 Jack was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Larvell Blanks.
  • Jack batted .251 in 119 games for the White Sox in 1976. Brohamer didn't play as much in 1977 since the White Sox moved Jorge Orta to second base and acquired Eric Soderholm to play third base. Brohamer backed up at both positions in 1977 and batted .257 in 59 games. On September 24, 1977 Brohamer hit for the cycle.
  • After the 1977 season Jack became a free agent and signed for a multi-year six-figure bonus with the Boston Red Sox. Jack was promised that he would be an everyday player when he signed, but the Red Sox acquired Jerry Remy ten days after Jack signed. Brohamer backed up at second base and third base and batted .234 in 81 games in 1978 and .266 in 64 games in 1979.
  • Brohamer started the 1980 season with the Red Sox and batted .316 in 21 games. Jack was sold to the Indians in late June and batted .225 in 53 games. Brohamer retired after the 1980 season. 
  • After his retirement Jack worked with his father and brothers in a sheet metal shop in California.

.

Tom Seaver - happy 66th birthday!



Mr. Seaver was one of my favorite players back in the 70s. Here are a few videos of Tom Terrific

Light n Lively yogurt commercial



Tom Seaver strikes out the first batter he faces in the 1972 season



Tom Seaver throws the last picth in Shea Stadium 2008

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1976 Topps #617 - Darold Knowles


  • Darold Knowles had a 16-year career as a left-handed reliever. Knowles was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 1961. Darold was a starting pitcher in the minors and won 16 games in AA in 1963. After pitching in the minors from 1961-1964 Knowles started the 1965 season with Baltimore. Darold got hammered in a couple of relief outings and was sent back to AAA. Knowles came back up in September and in all had an 0-1 record with a 9.20 ERA in five games in 1965.
  • After the 1965 season Knowles was traded with Jackie Brandt to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jack Baldschun. Darold had a good year with the Phillies in 1966 (6-5, 13 saves, 3.05 ERA in 69 games) but was traded to the Washington Senators after the season for Don Lock.
  • Knowles pitched for the Senators from 1967 until May 1971. He had several effective seasons and was an AL All Star in 1969. Knowles faced two batters in the third inning after Blue Moon Odom allowed five runs and retired  both of them. 
  • Darold's records while with Washington:
    • 1967 - 6-8, 14 saves, 2.70 ERA
    • 1968 - 1-1, 2 saves, 2.18 ERA (did not pitch after July 12)
    • 1969 - 9-2, 13 saves, 2.24 ERA
    • 1970 - 2-14, 27 saves, 2.04 ERA
    • 1971 - 2-2, 2 saves, 3.52 ERA
  • On May 8, 1971 Knowles was traded to the Oakland A's in a multi-player deal. Darold became an important part of the Oakland bullpen during the dynasty years. Knowles went 5-2 with 7 saves and had a 3.59 ERA for Oakland in 1971. Darold appeared in one game in the 1971 ALCS and pitched 1/3 of an inning.
  • In 1972 Knowles pitched in 54 games and was 5-1 with 11 saves and had a 1.37 ERA. He was not used during the 1972 post season due to a finger injury.
  • Darold was 6-8 with 9 saves and had an ERA of 3.09 in 1973. Knowles was not used in the 1973 ALCS but as the back of this card says, he was used in all seven games in the 1973 World Series. Darold had two saves and didn't allow a run in 6.1 innings.
  • Knowles and his teammates weren't very pleased with the quality of their 1973 World Series rings. Darold took the A's to arbitration after the '73 season and won his case.
  • Knowles wasn't quite as effective in 1974. He had a 3-3 record with 3 saves and had a 4.22 ERA. Darold was not used during the 1974 post season. After the 1974 season Knowles was traded with Bob Locker and  Manny Trillo to the Chicago Cubs for Billy Williams.
  • Darold was with the Cubs for two seasons. He didn't have a real good year in 1975 (6-9, 15 saves, 5.81 ERA), but he bounced back in 1976 (5-7, 9 saves, 2.89 ERA). After the 1976 season Knowles was traded to the Texas Rangers for Gene Clines and cash.
  • Knowles spent one season (1977) with Texas and was 5-2 with four saves and had a 3.22 ERA. After the 1977 season Knowles was purchased by the Montreal Expos.
  • Darold was with the Expos for one season. Knowles went 3-3 with six saves and had a 3.30 ERA for the Expos in 1978. After the 1978 season Darold became a free agent and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Knowles had a 2-5 record with six saves and had a 4.07 ERA in 1979. Darold pitched in only two games in 1980 (0-1, 10.80 ERA) and was released on May 9. Knowles retired after his release from the Cardinals.
  • After his playing career Darold was a pitching coach in the minors and in the majors (Philadelphia Phillies from 1988-1989 and St. Louis Cardinals in 1983). He is now the pitching coach for the Dunedin Blue Jays.
  • Liked to face: Ted Simmons (.000 in 11 AB); Danny Cater (.074 in 27 AB); Carl Yastrzemski (.077 in 26 AB)
  • Hated to face: Pete Rose (.588 in 17 AB); Thurman Munson (.444 in 18 AB); Brooks Robinson (.417 in 24 AB)

.

Monday, November 15, 2010

1976 Topps #616 - Buck Martinez


  • Buck Martinez is probably more famous as a broadcaster, but he also had a 17 year career (1969-1986) as a backup catcher for three teams. Buck was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1967. He was taken by the  Houston Astros in the Rule 5 draft in 1968, and then was traded to the Kansas City Royals in a four-player deal.
  • Buck shared time with Ellie Rodriguez at catcher in 1969 and batted .228 in 72 games. Martinez played in six games in August and September in 1970 and went 1 for 9. 
  • Buck was in the minors for most of the 1971 season and batted .152 in 22 games for the Royals. Martinez was in the minors for the entire 1972 season and for most of the 1973 season. Buck batted .250 in 14 games for the Royals in 1973.
  • Buck was a backup catcher in 1974 (.215 in 43 games) and in 1975 (.226 in 80 games). In 1976 Martinez shared time behind the plate with Bob Stinson and batted .228 in 95 games. Buck went 5 for 15 (.333) during the 1976 ALCS.
  • Buck's last season with the Royals was in 1977. He batted .225 in 29 games and on December 8 was traded with Mark Littell to the St. Louis Cardinals for Al Hrabosky. Later that same day Buck was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for George Frazier.
  • Martinez and Charlie Moore split the catching duties from 1978-1980. Buck batted .219 in 89 games in 1978, .270 in 69 games in 1979, and  .224 in 76 games in 1980. 
  • Martinez didn't play for the first five weeks of the 1981 season. Buck was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 10, 1981 for Gil Kubski. From 1981-1986 Martinez backed up Ernie Whitt at catcher. Buck had his best power years in 1982 and 1983--he hit ten homers in each of those seasons. 
  • Buck fractured his leg while participating in a strange double play in July 1985. Martinez tagged out a runner trying to score on a throw from right field and fractured his leg on the play. Buck made an errant throw to third base. The left fielder backed up the play and  threw back to the plate. Buck was sprawled out in front of the plate but managed to tag out the runner trying to score.
  • Buck retired after the 1986 season and became a broadcaster for the Blue Jays. Martinez later did some broadcasting for ESPN until November 2000. Buck was hired to be the Toronto manager for the 2001 season. He managed the club until May 2002. Toronto was 80-82 in 2001 (.494) but was playing at a .377 clip when Buck was let go as manager.
  • Martinez returned to the broadcasting booth after being fired as manager. He has broadcast for TBS and for the Blue Jays. Buck also managed Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

1976 Topps #615 - Mike Cubbage


  • Mike Cubbage was drafted by the Washington Senators in 1971. Mike played in the minors from 1971-1974 and got a chance to play in the majors with the Texas Rangers at the end of the 1974 season. Cubbage played in nine games and went 0 for 15 (.000).
  • Mike started the 1975 season in AAA Spokane and batted .313 with 10 HR in 56 games. Cubbage was brought up to the Rangers in mid-June. Mike batted .224 in 58 games for the Rangers in 1975.
  • Cubbage started the 1976 season with the Rangers and batted .219 in 14 games. On June 1 Mike was sent to the Minnesota Twins as part of the big trade that brought Bert Blyleven to Texas. Cubbage played in 104 games for the Twins in 1976 and batted .260.
  • Mike was the starting third baseman for the Twins for the next two years. He had decent batting averages and on base percentages, but he didn't supply as much power as the Twins would have liked. In 1977 Cubbage batted .264 with 9 HR in 129 games and in 1978 he batted .282 with 7 HR in 125 games.
  • The Twins decided to start John Castillo at third base in 1979. Castillo had about the same kind of year that Cubbage had the previous year. Mike became a utility player and batted .276 with a .371 on base percentage in 94 games.
  • Cubbage was a utility guy again in 1980 and batted .246 in 103 games. After the 1980 season Mike became a free agent and signed with the New York Mets
  • Mike was with the Mets for only one season. Cubbage batted .213 in 80 at bats in 1981. Mike was cut at the end of spring training in 1982. Cubbage played for AAA Tidewater in 1982 but didn't get back to the majors. He had signed a 3-year, $1  million contract before the 1981 season.
  • After his playing career Mike managed in the Mets' system from 1983-1989. Mike was the third base coach for  the Mets in 1990 and managed the club for the last seven games of the 1991 season. Cubbage was the third base coach for the Mets for several more seasons before being hired as third base coach by the Houston Astros in 1996.
  • Mike later moved on to become the third base coach for the Boston Red Sox. Cubbage served as the interim manager for the Red Sox for six days during spring training in 2002 after Joe Kerrigan was fired. Cubbage suffered a diabetic seizure during a game on April 11, 2003 and had to be taken from the field on a stretcher. Cubbage now scouts for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Here is Mike's TTM information.
  • Liked to face: Bob Stanley (.500 in 14 AB); Lary Sorensen (.429 in 28 AB); Dennis Leonard (.400 in 30 AB)
  • Hated to face: Mike Norris (.000 in 16 AB); Gaylord Perry (.059 in 17 AB); Don Aase (.105 in 19 AB)


.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1976 Topps #614 - Fernando Arroyo



  • Fernando Arroyo pitched for three teams in eight seasons from 1975-1986. Arroyo was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1970. Fernando pitched in the minors from 1970-1975 and got his chance at the majors after having a good start of the season with AAA Evansville. Arroyo pitched in a total of 14 games (2 starts) with the Tigers in 1975 and was 2-1 with a 4.58 ERA.
  • Arroyo was in Evansville for the entire 1976 season. Fernando stayed in Detroit for the entire 1977 season and was 8-18 with a 4.17 ERA in 38 games (28 starts).
  • Fernando spent most of the 1978 and 1979 seasons in Evansville. He pitched in two games for the Tigers in 1978 (0-0, 8.31 ERA) and six games in 1979 (1-1, 8.25 ERA). Arroyo was traded to the Minnesota Twins for Jeff Holly after the 1979 season.
  • Arroyo spent the first two months of the 1980 season in AAA Toledo and came up to the Twins in June after going 6-1 with a 1.62 ERA in eight starts in Toledo. Fernando was 6-6 with a 4.68 ERA in 21 games (11 starts) for the Twins during the last four months of the 1980 season.
  • Fernando stayed in the majors for the entire 1981 season. He had a record of 7-10 with a 3.93 ERA in 19 starts.
  • Arroyo started the 1982 season with the Twins but was sent down to AAA after going 0-1 with a 5.62 ERA in six games. Fernando was released on May 18 and signed with the Oakland A's on May 25. Arroyo was up and down between AAA and Oakland for the next two months. Fernando had a 5.64 ERA in ten games with the A's and was released on July 27. He was signed by the  Chicago White Sox a few days later and spent the rest of the 1982 season in AAA.
  • Fernando was in AAA for the entire 1983 and 1984 seasons. Arroyo was released after the 1984 season and pitched in the Mexican League in 1985. Arroyo was pitching in the Mexican League in 1986 when he was signed by Oakland on May 29. Fernando spent some time in the minors and then came back to Oakland at the end of the season to pitch in one game. That was it for Arroyo's career.
  • After his playing career Arroyo was a pitching coach and a manager in the minor leagues.
  • Arroyo was the pitching coach for manager Jerry Royster on the Korean Baseball Organization's Lotte Giants. Arroyo was hired for the 2008 season. Royster left the club after the 2010 season and the coaching positions are all listed as vacant now.

.

Friday, November 12, 2010

1976 Topps #613 - Tim Johnson



  • Tim Johnson played in the majors from 1973-1979. Tim was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1967. Johnson played in the Dodgers' system from 1968-1972. In 1973 Tim started the season in AAA Albuquerque but was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Rick Auerbach on April 24. Johnson became the Brewers' starting shortstop and batted .213 in 136 games.
  • In 1974 an 18-year-old Robin Yount came up to the Brewers and Johnson was relegated to utility duty. Tim batted .245 in 93 games in 1974 and .141 in 38 games in 1975.
  • Johnson was used a lot at second base in 1976. He had his best season, batting .275 in 105 games while playing all four infield positions.
  • Tim played very sparingly in 1977. Johnson went 2 for 33 (.061) in 30 games during the season. 
  • It's interesting to see some of the salary data on Baseball Reference. Johnson went to arbitration after the 1977 season. The Brewers offered $62,000 while Johnson asked for $92,500. The arbitrator ruled in Johnson's favor. How did someone who batted .061 manage to win an arbitration case? Does anyone have any insight on this one?
  • Tim started the 1978 season with the Brewers. The Milwaukee infield was crowded during this time. Robin Yount was firmly entrenched at shortstop, Paul Molitor came up and played second base, and they had Don Money and Jim Gantner to back up. Johnson was the odd man out and was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on April 28 for Tim Nordbrook after going 0 for 3 in three games. Johnson batted .241 in 79 at bats for the Blue Jays in 1978.
  • Johnson batted .186 in 86 at bats for the Blue Jays in 1979. Tim became a free agent after the 1979 season but didn't sign with anyone.
  • After his playing career, Johnson scouted, coached, and managed in the  minors. He managed for various minor league clubs from 1987-1997. 
  • Tim managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998 and the club had an 88-74 record (3rd in AL East). He didn't get along with pitching coach Mel Queen and several of his players. Johnson admitted after the 1998 season that stories he had told his players about serving in the Vietnam War weren't true. The Blue Jays initially stood by Johnson but questions arose about his credibility and ability to hold the team together and he was fired on March 17, 1999.
  • After he left the Blue Jays Johnson managed in the Mexican League from 1999-2002 and then managed in various independent leagues from 2004-2010.

.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1976 Topps #612 - Joe Lahoud


  • Joe Lahoud was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1966. Joe showed some pretty good batting stats in the minors from 1966-1968 and was particularly adept at drawing walks. Lahoud was mostly an outfielder and DH during his career.
  • Lahoud started the 1968 season with Boston but was sent down at the end of April. He was rushed to the majors to replace the injured Tony Conigliaro. Joe came back up in June but was sent back down at the end of June and stayed in the minors for the rest of the season. Lahoud batted .192 in 29 games for the Red Sox in 1968. Here is an August 9, 1968 Life magazine article about the Boston Red Sox that mentions Joe.
  • Joe spent the entire 1969 season with Boston and batted .188 in 101 games. Joe hit three home runs in one game against the  Minnesota Twins on June 11, 1969.  Lahoud was in the minors for most of the 1970 season and batted .245 in 17 September games for Boston.
  • Lahoud batted .215 with 14 HR in 107 games for the Red Sox in 1971. After the 1971 season Joe was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in a large multi-player trade that involved George Scott and Jim Lonborg going to Milwaukee and Tommy Harper going to Boston.
  • Joe batted .237 with 12 HR in 111 games for the Brewers in 1972. Lahoud slumped to a .204 average with 5 HR in 96 games in 1973. After the 1973 season Joe was sent to the California Angels in another multi-player deal.
  • Lahoud had his best year in 1974. He batted .271 and drew enough walks to have a .367 on base percentage. Joe also showed some power by hitting 13 HR in 325 at bats. In 1975 Joe batted .214 but had a .372 on base percentage.
  • Joe started the 1976 season with the Angels. Lahoud batted .177 in 42 games and was sold to the  Texas Rangers on June 15. Joe batted .225 in 38 games for the Rangers in 1976. 
  • Lahoud was released by the Rangers during spring training in 1977. Joe signed with the Kansas City Royals and started the season in AAA Omaha. Joe was called up to Kansas City in mid July after batting .317 with 19 HR in 84 games for Omaha. Joe batted .262 with a .364 on base percentage in 34 games for the Royals in 1977. Lahoud played in one game in the 1977 ALCS and was 0 for 1 with two walks and scored two runs.
  • Joe didn't produce much in 1978 (.125 in 16 at bats) and was released on June 2.
  • Lahoud was inducted into the Henry Abbott Technical High School Hall of Fame in April 2010.
  • Liked to face: Dick Woodson (.462 in 13 AB); Gaylord Perry (.393 in 28 AB)
  • Hated to face: Sonny Siebert (.000 in 13 AB); Jim Perry (.087 in 23 AB); Jackie Brown (.095 in 21 AB)


.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1976 Topps #611 - Rich Folkers



  • Rich Folkers was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round in 1967. Rich pitched in the minors in 1967 and in 1968 and then did a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969. Folkers started four games for AAA Tidewater in 1970 and then came up to the Mets in June. Rich pitched in 16 games for the Mets in 1970 and was 0-1 with a 6.44 ERA.
  • Folkers was in Tidewater for the entire season in 1971. After the 1971 season Rich was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals in a multi-player deal.
  • Rich split the 1972 season between the minors and St. Louis. Folkers went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in nine late season games with the Cardinals in 1972.
  • Rich started the 1973 season in the minors and came back to St. Louis in late April. Folkers was 4-4 with three saves and had a 3.61 ERA in 34 games (9 starts) for the Cardinals in 1973.
  • Folkers was a reliever for the entire 1974 season. Rich appeared in 55 games and was 6-2 with two saves and had a 3.00 ERA.
  • Rich was traded to the San Diego Padres after the 1974 season in a multi-player deal. Folkers appeared in 45 games, 15 of them starts, in 1975 and was 6-11 with a 4.15 ERA.
  • Folkers pitched in 33 games (3 starts) and was 2-3 with a 5.28 ERA in 1976.
  • Rich was placed on waivers during spring training in 1977. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Folkers and assigned him to AAA Spokane. Rich came up to Milwaukee briefly in May and June and pitched in three games (0-1, 4.26 ERA). 
  • After the 1977 season Folkers was traded with Jim Slaton to the Detroit Tigers for Ben Oglivie. Rich didn't make the Detroit ballclub in 1978 and was released during spring training.
  • Folkers coached at Eckerd college in the late 1980s and early 1990s and lives in St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Liked to face: Richie Hebner (.063 in 16 AB); Cesar Geronimo (.111 in 18 AB); Joe Morgan (.118 in 17 AB)
  • Hated to face: Willie Montanez (.667 in 18 AB); Johnny Bench (.467 with 3 HR in 15 AB); Manny Sanguillen (.444 in 18 AB)

.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1976 Topps #610 - Greg Luzinski


  • For a few years in the  mid 1970s Greg (The Bull) Luzinski was a very dangerous hitter. Greg was the first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1968. Luzinski got a brief taste of the majors (2 for 12 in eight games) at the end of the 1970 season.
  • Luzinski was in the minors for most of the 1971 season. Greg was called up to the Phillies at the end of the season and batted .300 in 28 games.
  • Greg became the starting LF for the Phillies in 1972 at the age of 21. In his first full season Luzinski batted .281 with 18 HR and 68 RBI. Greg had a better season in 1973, batting .285 with 29 HR and 97 RBI. Greg Luzinski: 'I've Got to  Make Good' - February 1973 Baseball Digest
  • Luzinski was out from June 5 to August 26 with a torn knee ligament in 1974. Greg ended up batting .272 in 85 games in '74. The Phillies were leading the NL East at the time of Greg's injury but ended up in 3rd place in the NL East. The  Majors' Next Home  Run King? - June 1974 Baseball Digest
  • Greg made the first of four straight NL All Star teams in 1975 (he struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance). Luzinski batted .300 with 34 HR and a league-leading 120 RBI in 1975. Greg finished second behind  Joe Morgan in NL MVP voting that year. Greg Luzinski: The Maturing of a Major League Slugger - November 1975 Baseball Digest
  • Luzinski started in LF for the National League in the 1976 All Star Game and went 0 for 3. Greg batted .304 with 21 HR and 95 RBI during the regular season and went 3 for 11 (.273) with a home run in the NLCS.
  • Greg started in LF in the All Star Game again in 1977. He hit a 2-run homer off of Jim Palmer in the first inning of the game. Luzinski batted .309 with 39 HR and 130 RBI in 1977. Luzinski finished second to George Foster in NL MVP voting in '77. Greg went 4 for 14 (.286) with a home run during the 1977 NLCS. APBA Baseball Game Ad - September 1977 Baseball Digest. Greg Luzinski: Who Says Major Leaguers are Greedy? - November 1977
  • Luzinski's batting average dropped off (.265) in 1978, but he hit 35 homers and had 101 RBI. Greg batted .375 (6 for 16) with two homers during the 1978 NLCS.
  • Greg's offense dropped again in 1979 as he batted .252 with 18 HR and 81 RBI.
  • Greg missed about seven weeks in 1980 with a knee injury. Greg had 15 HR before the injury but hit only four homers after he came back in August. Luzinski ended up batting .228 with 19 HR and 56 RBI during the 1980 season. Greg batted .294 (5 for 17) with a home run and 4 RBI during the 1980 NLCS. Luzinski went 0 for 9 with five strikeouts during the 1980 World Series. Greg Luzinski: A Slugger on the  Comeback Trail - July 1980 Baseball Digest
  • Greg was sold to the Chicago White Sox during spring training in 1981. Luzinski spent the last four years of his career as a designate hitter and occasional first baseman.
  • Luzinski batted .265 with 21 HR and 62 RBI during the 1981 strike season. In 1982 Greg batted .292 with 18 HR and 102 RBI.
  • Greg's last big HR year was in 1983. Luzinski batted .255 with 32 HR and 95 RBI during the regular season and went 2 for 15 (.133) during the 1983 ALCS.
  • Luzinski's last year in the majors was 1984. Greg batted .238 with 13 HR and 58 RBI in 1984. He became a free agent after the 1984 season and didn't sign with anyone. Greg announced his retirement in February 1985. There were rumors that Greg's weight was a major concern. Luzinski had peaked at 285 pounds before the 1985 season and his normal playing weight was about 240 pounds.
  • After his retirement Greg coached freshman baseball at Holy Cross High School in Delran, NJ. Luzinski coached football and baseball there for several years.
  • Greg opened "Bull's Barbecue" at Citizens Bank Park when the ballpark opened in Philadelphia. Greg now lives in Florida
  • Liked to face: Doc Medich (.529 in 17 AB); Dan Petry (.428 in 54 AB); Andy Messersmith (.441 with 6 HR in 34 AB)
  • Hated to face: Rollie Fingers (.000 in 17 AB); Skip Lockwood (.059 in 17 AB); John Montefusco (.070 with 22 strikeouts in 43 AB)

Greg Luzinski in a Bic commercial in 1981



Link to a 1988 Miller Lite commercial (embedding was disabled on this one)

Phillies Fever (1976)

.

Monday, November 8, 2010

1976 Topps #609 - Fred Norman


  • Fred Norman pitched in the majors for 16 years. His biggest years were for the Cincinnati Reds in the mid-late 1970s. Norman was signed by the Kansas City A's in 1961. Fred pitched in the minors for the A's from 1961-1963. Norman had brief stints with Kansas City in 1962 (0-0, 2.25 ERA in two games) and in 1963 (0-1, 11.37 ERA in two starts).
  • Norman was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Nelson Mathews before the 1964 season. Fred started the 1964 season with the Cubs but was sent down after going 0-4 with a 6.54 ERA in 8 games (5 starts). Fred was in the minors for the rest of the 1964 season and for the entire 1965 season.
  • Norman was also in the minors for most of the 1966 season. He pitched in two games for the Cubs late in 1966 and allowed two runs in four innings.
  • Fred pitched in one game for the Cubs (0 runs in 1 inning) in 1967 before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dick Calmus on April 26. Norman was in the minors for the rest of the 1967 season and stayed in the minors in 1968 and in 1969. 
  • Norman pitched in 30 games (2-0, 5.14 ERA) for the Dodgers in 1970. Fred was waived in late September and picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals. Norman pitched in one game for the Cardinals before the end of the 1970 season.
  • Fred started the 1971 season with the Cardinals and pitched in four games (0-0, 12.57 ERA) before being sent to the minors. On June 11 Norman was traded to the San Diego Padres. Fred became a starting pitcher with the Padres and was 3-12 with a 3.32 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) to finish the 1971 season.
  • Norman pitched in 42 games (28 starts) in 1972 and was 9-11 with a 3.44 ERA. In 1973 Fred started the season 1-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 11 starts for the Padres. Norman was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on June 12 for two players and cash. Fred turned it around with the Reds and was 12-6 with a 3.30 ERA in 24 starts. Norman started game 4 of the 1973 NLCS and allowed one run in five innings (he didn't get a decision in the 12-inning game).
  • Norman turned in several solid seasons as a starter and reliever for the Reds. In 1974 Fred was 13-12 with a 3.14 ERA. Fred was 12-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 1975. Norman started and won game 2 of the 1975 NLCS. Fred went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two games in the 1975 World Series. He started and lost game 4 when he allowed five runs in the 4th inning).
  • Fred had a 12-7 record with a 3.09 ERA in 1976. Norman started game 2 of the World Series but wasn't involved in the decision.
  • Norman was 14-13 with a 3.38 ERA in 1977 and went 11-9 with a 3.70 ERA in 1978. 
  • In 1979 Fred was 11-13 with a 3.64 ERA. Norman pitched two innings in the 1979 NLCS and allowed four runs. After the 1979 season Fred became a free agent and signed with the Montreal Expos.
  • Norman was mostly a reliever for the Expos in 1980. Fred appeared in 48 games (8 starts) and 4-4 with four saves and had a 4.13 ERA. Fred didn't make the Montreal team in 1981 and was released at the end of spring training.
  • Liked to face: Rod Gilbreath (.045 in 22 AB); Bobby Murcer (.065 in 31 AB); Joe Ferguson (.093 in 43 AB)
  • Hated to face: Manny Trillo (.500 in 22 AB); Roberto Clemente/Jerry Martin (.455 in 22 AB); Bob Bailey (.450 in 40 AB)

.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

1976 Topps #608 - Vic Correll



  • Vic Correll was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1967. Correll played in the Cleveland system from 1967-1970 and was released by the Indians at the end of spring training in 1971. Vic signed with the Chicago White Sox and played in the Chicago minor league system in 1971. Correll was then taken by the Boston Red Sox in the minor league draft.
  • Correll played in AAA Louisville in 1972. Vic played in one game for the Red Sox at the end of the 1972 season and went 2 for 4 in the game.
  • Vic was in the minors in 1973 and then was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Chuck Goggin before the 1974 season. Correll batted .238 in 73 games for the Braves in 1974.
  • Correll was the starting catcher for much of the 1975 season before being replaced  by rookie Biff Pocoroba. Correll batted .215 with 11 home runs in 103 games in 1975. 
  • Vic shared time behind the plate with Pocoroba and Earl Williams in 1976. Correll batted .225 in 69 games in 1976.
  • Correll backed up Pocoroba in 1977 and batted .208 in 54 games. Vic was released during spring training in 1978. Correll signed with the Cincinnati Reds and split time between the Reds and AAA Indianapolis. Vic batted .238 in 52 games for the Reds in 1978.
  • In 1979 Correll batted .233 in 48 games.
  •  Vic didn't play  much in 1980 due to an Achilles' tendon tear suffered during spring training. Correll went 8  for 19 (.421 ) in ten late season games and was released after the season.