Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, June 30, 2011

1976 Hostess #49 - Willie Stargell


  • Willie's seasons from 1971-1973 constitute a great three-year run
  • Willie should have been MVP in either 1971 or 1973 (or both)
  • At this point in his career, Stargell was starting to struggle with injuries. He played in only 117 games in 1976 and 67 games in 1977
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? after peak, but he still had a few good years left in him


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1976 Hostess #36 - Brooks Robinson




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1976 Hostess #33 - Rod Carew


  • Those are some really nice batting averages -- especially the last three years
  • Rod won four straight batting titles (1972-1975)
  • Carew barely missed out on a fifth straight batting title in 1976 --- he batted .331 and finished two points behind batting champion George Brett (.333)
  • Rod won two more titles in 1977 (.388) and 1978 (.333)
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? peak


Monday, June 27, 2011

1976 Hostess #22 - Johnny Bench


  • Look at all those RBIs!!!
  • This set of stats doesn't show his monster 1970 season (.293, 45 HR, 148 RBI) in which he won the NL MVP award
  • Bench was also the MVP in 1972 and finished fourth in MVP voting in 1974 and in 1975
  • This shows the end of Johnny's peak. Injuries started to catch up with him in 1976 and he was used more often at other positions
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? after peak



Sunday, June 26, 2011

1976 Hostess #16 - Thurman Munson


  • Thurman Munson had his best season to date in 1975.
  • Munson had a very similar season (.302, 17 HR, 105 RBI) in 1976 and was the AL MVP
  • His three best years were 1975-1977.
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? peak


Saturday, June 25, 2011

1976 Hostess #7 - Lou Brock


  • This is a pretty consistent run of five seasons
  • Brock made the NL All Star team in 1971, 1972, 1974, and 1975
  • Lou led the NL in stolen bases each year from 1971-1974
  • He set the major league record for stolen bases with 118 in 1974
  • Lou would have another good season in 1976 before hitting the decline phase of his career
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? after peak (or perhaps just at the end of it)


Friday, June 24, 2011

1976 Hostess #11 - Robin Yount


  • Robin Yount was only 20 years old but already was entering his third major league season in 1976
  • Robin's numbers weren't all that impressive in his first two years, but he was still very young and would improve greatly
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? before peak


1976 Hostess #5 - Bob Watson


  • Bob Watson was in a great time in his career. He batted over .300 three times in the previous five years, and he came pretty darned close a fourth time.
  • This five-year stretch included two All-Star appearances (1973 and 1975)
  • Bob was the starting LF from 1971-1973 before moving to 1B in 1974
  • Watson would go on to have a few  more good years with the Astros from 1976-1978
  • Before peak, peak, or past peak? peak (right at the end of it)


Thursday, June 23, 2011

1976 Hostess #4 - Gaylord Perry


  • It looks like Perry didn't do much in 1975 since it was split between two teams, but he was 18-17 with a 3.24 ERA in 37 starts
  • Perry had two (maybe even three) peaks in his career. This five-year period looks like a good one -- he won between 16 and 24 games each year.
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? end of second peak


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1976 Hostess #3 - Phil Niekro


  • Phil had some pretty consistent stats during this five-year time frame
  • Niekro led the NL in wins (20) and in complete games (18) in 1974. He was 3rd in NL Cy Young Award voting that year.
  • Before peak, peak, or past peak? peak

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1976 Hostess #2 - Joe Morgan


  • I'll post about the other twelve cards in the Kellogg's set once I get my hands on them.
  • Hostess put cards on the bottoms of boxes of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and other assorted snack foods from 1975-1979. I remember beating the heck out of those boxes to find the cards I wanted. We didn't eat nearly enough of the things to complete a set.
  • I don't really like "partial stats" on cards, but it does have an upside. One can see whether a player is at his peak, past his peak, or if he is in the early part of his career.
  • Joe Morgan was at the peak of his career when this card was made. He had his highest batting average and his highest RBI total to date. Joe would have his career  high in RBI (127) during the 1976 season.
  • Before peak, peak, or past it? peak


Monday, June 20, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #45 - Jorge Orta


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Batted over .300 for the second straight year in 1975 (.304 in 140 games)
    • Had double figures in doubles (25), triples (10), and HR (11) in 1975
    • Was an AL All Star in 1975 but did not get in the game
    • Was the White Sox' best hitter in 1975
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Batted .274 in 158 games
    • Split time between the outfield and 3B after spending the last couple of years as the starting 2B for the White Sox



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thanks Dad

  • My father introduced me to baseball cards in 1974. I was seven years old at the time. 
  • I remember getting a "Hank Aaron Special" card in the first pack. I think it was card #4
  • We watched Aaron break the home run record on TV at a neighbor's house

  • My dad tried to get me to realize that keeping cards in good shape was important, but it didn't really sink in for a few years. We used to beat the heck out of our cards by flipping them and just handling them a lot. 




  • He also tried to tell  me about which cards were more important and valuable. At the time I just liked to get the cool-looking "in action" types of cards

  • During that summer my parents were trying to teach me how to swim. My father was in the pool at O'Neil Park and tried to get me to jump in. I was scared and wouldn't do it. He said that he would buy me 50 baseball cards if I would jump in. I still resisted. He increased the offer incrementally until I finally took the plunge at 200 cards. I couldn't find a picture of the pool, but above is a picture of the field where I played a lot of little league games.


  • My dad did a lot for me. He taught me to read at a very early age. He tried to get me interested in a lot of things. Some of them took (reading and baseball) while others didn't quite stick (hunting and fishing). 
  • But the important thing is that he loved me and cared about me. He did a lot that helped make  me who I am today. Thank you Dad and happy Father's Day!




1976 Kellogg's #44 - Ken Griffey


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Batted .305 with 95 runs in 132 games in 1975
    • Batted .333 (4 for 12) with 3 stolen bases in the 1975 NL Championship Series
    • Batted .269 (7 for 26) in the 1975 World Series
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Batted .336 with 111 runs scored
    • Lost the NL Batting Title on the last day of the season to Bill Madlock
    • Was 1 for 1 with a run and a RBI in the All Star Game
    • Finished 8th in NL MVP voting
    • Batted .385 (5 for 13) in the NL Championship Series
    • Didn't do as well in the World Series (1 for 17, .059)


Saturday, June 18, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #31 - Fred Lynn


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • This was probably the most sought-after card in the set. Fred could do no wrong in 1975
    • Lynn was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year in 1975
    • Fred batted .331 with 21 HR and 105 RBI in 1975
    • Led the AL with 103 runs, 47 doubles, and a .566 slugging percentage
    • Went 0 for 2 in the 1975 All Star Game
    • Won the first of his four Gold Gloves 
    • Batted .364 (4 for 11) in the AL Championship Series and .280 (7 for 25) in the World Series
  • 1976 Highlights
    • Batted .314 with 10 HR and 65 RBI
    • Was 1 for 3 with a solo HR as the AL starting CF in the All Star Game



Friday, June 17, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #23 - Al Hrabosky


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Finished 3rd in NL Cy Young Award balloting and 8th in MVP voting in 1975
    • Led the NL with an .813 winning percentange and 22 saves
    • Had a 13-3 record with an ERA of 1.66 in 1975
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Went 8-6 with 13 saves and had an ERA of 3.30 in 68 games
    • Signed a 3-year contract on July 10 -- he was only the third Cardinal after Stan Musial and Ted Simmons to be offered such a lengthy contract.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #18 - Greg Luzinski


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Batted .300 with 34 HR and a league-leading 120 RBI in 1975
    • Finished second in NL MVP voting in 1975
    • Was on the 1975 NL All Star team (struck out in his only at bat)
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Batted .304 with 21 HR and 95 RBI
    • Was the starting LF in the All Star Game (went 0 for 3)
    • Batted .273 (3 for 11) in the NL Championship Series


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #10 - Jim Rice


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Had a great rookie season in 1975, batting .309 with 22 HR and 102 RBI
    • Finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting and third in MVP voting in 1975
  • 1976 Highlights
    • Batted .282 with 25 HR and 85 RBI
    • Led the AL with 123 strikeouts (not sure if that is much of a highlight)
    • Struggled to keep his average above .260 for much of the season before having a late-season surge.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #15 - Dave Parker


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Parker batted .308 with 25 HR and 101 RBI in 1975
    • Finished third (behind Joe Morgan and Greg Luzinski) in NL MVP voting in 1975
    • Led the NL with a .541 slugging percentage
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Batted .313 with 13 HR and 90 RBI



Monday, June 13, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #14 - Joe Morgan


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Was the NL MVP in 1975
    • Batted .327 with 17 HR and 94 RBI
    • Led the NL with 132 walks and a .466 on base percentage. Also stole 67 bases
    • Was the starting second baseman in the All Star Game and was 1 for 4
    • Won the third of five straight Gold Glove awards
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Repeated as NL MVP
    • Batted .320 with 27 HR and 111 RBI
    • Led the NL with a .444 on base percentage and a .576 slugging percentage
    • Was 1 for 3 with a run scored as the NL starting 2B in the All Star Game
    • Was hitless in 7 AB in the NL Championship series, but batted .333 in the World Series


Sunday, June 12, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #12 - Ken Singleton


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • In his first season in Baltimore Ken finished 10th in AL MVP voting
    • Singleton batted .300 with 15 HR and 118 walks in 1975
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Batted .278 with 13 HR in 154 games
    • It was an "off year" compared to 1975 and 1977-1981.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #16 - Dave Cash


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Dave hit over .300 for the second straight year in 1975
    • He batted .305 with 40 doubles and 111 runs scored in '75
    • Led the NL with 213 hits in 1975
    • Was on the NL All Star team and went 0 for 1 in the game
  • 1976 Highlights:
    • Batted .289 and led the NL with 666 at bats and 12 triples
    • Was 1 for 1 with a run scored in the All Star Game
    • Batted .308 (4 for 13) in the NL Championship Series
    • Left the Phillies after the season and signed with the Montreal Expos
  • Today is Dave's birthday---Happy Birthday Dave!


Friday, June 10, 2011

1976 Kellogg's #5 - Jim Hunter


  • What did he do to deserve a 1976 Kellogg's card?
    • Catfish had his fifth straight 20+ win season in 1975 -- he led the league with 23 wins
    • Jim had a 23-14 record with a 2.58 ERA and led the AL with 30 complete games
    • Finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting
    • Took the loss in the 1975 All Star Game (allowed two runs in two innings)
  • 1976 Highlights
    • Jim had his last full season in 1976
    • Hunter was 17-15 with a 3.53 ERA in 36 starts
    • Allowed two runs in two innings in the All Star Game
    • Started two games in the AL Championship Series -- won game 1 and lost game 4
    • Started game 2 of the World Series and took the loss on an unearned run with two out in the 9th inning -- Tony Perez singled in Ken Griffey