Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1976 Topps #25 - Mike Torrez

Mike Torrez won 185 games in an 18-year career with seven different teams. He started out with the Expos in 1967. He was traded to the Orioles along with Ken Singleton before the 1975 season (what a steal for the Orioles -- they gave up an end-of-career Dave McNally and a couple of spare parts).
When this card was printed, he was coming off of his only 20-win season (20-9, 3.06 with Baltimore). He and Don Baylor were traded to Oakland before the 1976 season for Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman. He won 16 games with the A's and then was traded to the Yankees in April 1977. He won 14 games with the Yankees and had two complete-game victories in the '77 Series.
Mike signed with Boston as a free agent after the 1977 season and pitched for the Sox for five years. Mike was famous (or infamous) for giving up the Bucky Dent homer in the 163rd game of the 1978 season. He finished up his career with the Mets (1983 and 1984) and the A's (1984).
Here is a nice "catching up" article about Torrez.

Monday, March 30, 2009

1976 Topps #24 - Cesar Geronimo

Cesar Geronimo was the center fielder for those great Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s. He was known primarily for his glove, but he had his best season in 1976 (.307, 22 steals). He won four straight gold gloves (1974-1977).
He came to the Reds as part of the deal that also brought Joe Morgan and Jack Billingham over from the Astros.
One interesting fact: Cesar was the 3000th strikeout victim of both Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan.
He was inducted in the Reds Hall of Fame in July 2008.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1976 Topps #23 - Brian Downing

In 1976 Brian Downing was just another one of those long-haired guys that probably wouldn't be around very long. His stats weren't very impressive. He suffered a major knee injury on the first pitch of the first inning of his first major league game in 1973. He came back from the injury but struggled in his years with the White Sox
He was traded to the Angels before the 1978 season in part of one of the many Bobby Bonds trades of the decade. He didn't do a whole lot in '78, but he started a weight-training program and had an All-Star season in 1979, batting .326. He broke his ankle in 1980 and subsequently was converted to the outfield. He wasn't known for his defense, but he was sure-handed with what he could get to. He was a productive player for the Angels through the 1990 season, hitting at least 20 homers in 6 of 7 seasons from 1982-1988. He finished his career as a DH with Texas in 1991 and 1992. He will be inducted to the Angels Hall of Fame on 4/7/2009.
Someone wrote a very nice little piece about what Brian Downing meant for him. It is found here.

1976 Topps #22 - Bill Russell

Bill Russell was the shortstop for the famed Dodger infield of the 1970s. He was the only one to stay with the Dodgers for his entire career. It's interesting that the only categories he ever led the league in were games played (162 in 1973) and intentional walks (25 in 1974). One doesn't think of Bill Russell as the type of guy who was feared enough to put on first base. He was probably batting 8th and was walked a lot in order to get to the pitcher's spot in the order and force Walter Alston to make a pinch-hitting decision.
Bill was coming off of his worst season. He had surgery before the 1976 season to remove calcium and a bone chip from his right shoulder, which was like the reason for his low numbers in 1975. He bounced back to hit .274, play in 149 games, and be selected to the 1976 All-Star team. He was selected to three All-Star teams (1973, 1976, and 1980) in his career.
After his playing career he coached and managed in the Dodgers system and then succeeded Tommy Lasorda as the manager of the Dodgers. He lasted a couple of seasons before being let go after a change in ownership. He now works for Major League Baseball in the umpiring division.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Baseball Wantlist

I haven't gotten around to posting my wantlist for Topps cards yet--so here goes! Please send any info to curseyouredbaron@hotmail.com. Thanks! :)

Updated 3/24/10

1960 Topps (70 cards total)
043 Washington Senators
074 Walt Moryn
160 Rival All-Stars (Mantle/Boyer)
173 Billy Martin
209 Ron Blackburn
210 Harmon Killebrew
212 Walter Alston
227 Casey Stengel
247 Gil McDougald
248 Del Rice
250 Stan Musial
258 Dick Groat
270 Bob Turley
300 Hank Aaron
312 Charley Lau
315 Bobby Shantz
341 Carroll Hardy
345 Don Newcombe
354 Bob Lillis
386 WS Game 2
442 Joe Pignitano
450 Orlando Cepeda
461 Tigers Coaches
464 Braves Coaches
465 Yankees Coaches
466 Phillie Coaches
468 Cardinals Coaches
496 Bill Virdon
502 Jim Bunning
509 Tommy Davis
511 Kent Walters
515 Stan Lopata
516 Marty Kuryna
517 Charlie James
519 Ed Roebuck
520 Don Buddin
521 Mike Lee
522 Ken Hunt
523 Clay Dalrymple
524 Bill Henry
525 Marv Breeding
526 Paul Giel
529 Norm Sherry
530 Mike McCormick
531 Sandy Amaros
533 Lu Clinton
534 Ken MacKenzie
535 Whitey Lockman
537 Boston Red Sox
538 Frank Barnes
539 Glenn Baker
540 Jerry Walker
541 Tony Curry
543 Elio Chacon
544 Bill Monboquette
545 Carl Sawatski
546 Hank Aguierre
547 Bob Aspromonte
548 Don Mincher
550 Jim Landis
554 Willie McCovey AS
556 Charlie Neal AS
557 Frank Malzone AS
559 Luis Aparicio AS
563 Mickey Mantle AS
564 Willie Mays AS
565 Roger Maris AS
566 Hank Aaron AS
568 Del Crandall AS
570 Don Drysdale AS

1966 Topps

oo1 Willie Mays
036 Jim Hunter
050 Mickey Mantle
052 Power Plus (Covington/Callison)
062 Merritt Ranew
067 Rookie Stars (Jones/Selma)
068 Hal Reniff
069 Ken Hamlin
070 Carl Yastrzemski
072 Tony Perez
075 Tommy Davis
079 Joe Pepitone
091 Bob Uecker
092 New York Yankees
094 Matty Alou
101 Checklist 89-176
103 Dick Groat
104 Alex Johnson
110 Ernie Banks
117 Jake Gibbs
120 Harmon Killebrew
121 Ray Herbert
124 Tug McGraw
125 Lou Brock
127 Ken Berry
138 Roger Repoz
140 Jim Maloney
154 Chuck Hiller
156 D.P. Combo
160 Whitey Ford
171 Nick Willhite
172 New York Mets
181 Al Worthington
183 Checklist 177-264
186 Ruben Amaro
188 Al Luplow
189 John Roseboro
191 Darrell Sutherland
194 Washington Senators
195 Joe Morgan
198 Mickey Stanley
199 White Sox Clubbers
200 Eddie Mathews
202 Clay Dalrymple
204 Chicago Cubs
205 Tom Tresh
207 Frank Quilici
208 Bob Miller
209 Rookie Stars (Fisher/Hiller)
210 Bill Mazeroski
212 Ed Kranepool
220 AL RBI Leaders
222 AL ERA Leaders
223 NL Pitching Leaders
224 AL Pitching Leaders
226 AL Strikeout Leaders
229 Hank Bauer
232 Glenn Beckert
233 Dom Zanni
234 Rookie Stars (Beck/White)
237 Billy O'Dell
238 Los Angeles Dodgers
241 Dennis Ribant
242 Jesus Alou
243 Nelson Briles
246 Ed Bailey
255 Willie Stargell
262 Jack Hamilton
263 Tom Egan
264 Rookie Stars (Kosco/Uhlaender)
266 Pedro Gonzalez
270 Claude Osteen
272 Jack Baldschun
273 Astro Aces (Aspromonte/Staub)
275 Tim McCarver
276 Jim Bouton
278 Calvin Koonce
282 Johnny Lewis
284 Bobby Wine
285 Luis Tiant
287 Jack Aker
288 Rookie Stars (Singer/Sutton)
289 Larry Sherry
291 Moe Drabowsky
292 Jim Coker
293 Mike Shannon
294 Steve Ridzik
295 Jim Ray Hart
296 Johnny Keane
297 Jim Owens
299 Lew Burdette
300 Roberto Clemente
301 Greg Bollo
302 Ernie Bowman
303 Cleveland Indians
304 John Herrnstein
305 Camilo Pascual
306 Ty Cline
308 Tom Haller
309 Diego Segui
310 Frank Robinson
311 Rookie Stars (Helms/Simpson)
314 Hector Valle
315 Norm Cash
316 Jack Fisher
317 Dalton Jones
318 Harry Walker
320 Bob Gibson
323 Ray Barker
325 Vic Davalillo
326 Atlanta Braves
327 Bernie Allen
328 Jerry Grote
329 Pete Charton
330 Ron Fairly
333 Senators Rookies
337 Fred Gladding
338 Dal Maxvill
339 Del Crandall
340 Dean Chance
341 Wes Westrum
346 Mike de la Hoz
347 Phil Regan
348 Baltimore Orioles
349 Cap Peterson
350 Mel Stottlemyre
353 Al McBean
356 Rookie Stars (Johnson/Sanders)
357 Gerry Arrigo
358 Charlie Smith
359 Johnny Briggs
360 Ron Hunt
361 Tom Satriano
362 Gates Brown
364 Nate Oliver
365 Roger Maris
366 Wayne Causey
367 Mel Nelson
368 Charlie Lau
369 Jim King
370 Chico Cardenas
372 Harvey Kuenn
375 Donn Clendenon
384 Al Downing
385 Ken Boyer
386 Gil Hodges
390 Brooks Robinson
397 Bill White
402 Jim Hickman
410 Al Kaline
415 Max Alvis
420 Juan Marichal
421 Roy McMillan
422 Ed Charles
430 Don Drysdale
439 Pedro Ramos
440 Deron Johnson
443 Bill Wakefield
446 Mack Jones
447 Dick Ellsworth
448 Eddie Stanky
449 Joe Moeller
450 Tony Oliva
452 Joe Azcue
453 Ron Kline
454 Jerry Buchek
455 Mickey Lolich
456 Red Sox Rookies
457 Joe Gibbon
458 Manny Jiminez
459 Bill McCool
460 Curt Blefary
461 Roy Face
463 Philadelphia Phillies
464 Larry Bearnarth
465 Don Buford
466 Ken Johnson
467 Vic Roznovsky
469 Yankees Rookie Stars
470 Sam McDowell
471 Bob Skinner
472 Terry Fox
473 Rich Rollins
474 Dick Schofield
475 Dick Radatz
476 Bobby Bragan
477 Steve Barber
478 Tony Gonzalez
479 Jim Hannan
480 Dick Stuart
481 Bob Lee
482 Cubs Rookies
483 Joe Nuxhall
484 Wes Covington
485 Bob Bailey
487 Al Ferrara
488 George Banks
489 Curt Simmons
490 Bobby Richardson
491 Dennis Bennett
492 Kansas City Athletics
493 Johnny Klippstein
494 Gordon Coleman
495 Dick McAuliffe
496 Lindy McDaniel
497 Chris Canizzaro
498 Pirates Rookies
499 Wally Bunker
500 Hank Aaron
501 John O'Donoghue
502 Lenny Green
503 Steve Hamilton
506 Bo Belinsky
508 Steve Hargan
509 Jake Wood
510 Hoyt Wilhelm
511 Rookie Stars (Barton/Fuentes)
513 Camilo Carreon
514 Hal Woodeshick
515 Frank Howard
516 Eddie Bressoud
517 Checklist 507-598
518 Rookie Stars (Hippauf/Umbach)
519 Bob Friend
521 John Wyatt
522 Phil Linz
523 Bob Sadowski
524 Giants Rookies
525 Gary Bell
526 Minnesota Twins
527 Julio Navarro
528 Jesse Gonder
529 White Sox Rookies
530 Robin Roberts
531 Joe Cunningham
532 Aurelio Montegudo
533 Jerry Adair
534 Rookie Stars (Eilers/Gardner)
535 Willie Davis
536 Dick Egan
537 Herman Franks
538 Bob Allen
539 Astros Rookies
540 Denny McLain
541 Gene Oliver
542 George Smith
543 Roger Craig
544 Cardinals Rookies
545 Dick Green
546 Dwight Siebler
547 Horace Clarke
548 Gary Kroll
549 Rookie Stars (Closter/Cox)
550 Willie McCovey
551 Bob Purkey
552 Birdie Tebbetts
553 Major League Rookies
554 Jim Northrup
555 Ron Perranoski
556 Mel Queen
557 Felix Mantilla
558 Red Sox Rookies
559 Roberto Pena
560 Joel Horlen
561 Choo Choo Coleman
562 Russ Snyder
563 Twins Rookies
564 Bob Chance
565 Jimmy Piersall
566 Mike Cuellar
567 Dick Howser
568 Athletics Rookies
569 Orlando McFarlane
570 Art Mahaffey
571 Dave Roberts
572 Bob Priddy
573 Derrell Griffith
574 Mets Rookies
575 Earl Wilson
576 Dave Nicholson
577 Jack Lamabe
578 Chi Chi Olivo
579 Orioles Rookies
580 Billy Williams
581 Tony Martinez
582 Garry Roggenburk
583 Detroit Tigers
584 Yankees Rookies
585 Tony Taylor
586 Claude Raymond
587 Dick Bertell
588 Rookie Stars (Dobson/Suarez)
589 Lou Klimchock
590 Bill Skowron
591 NL Rookies
592 Andre Rogers
593 Doug Camilli
594 Chico Salmon
595 Larry Jackson
596 Astros Rookies
597 John Sullivan
598 Gaylord Perry

1969 Topps (128 cards total)

003 AL RBI Leaders
021 Jose Santiago
025 Roy White
031 Rookies (Gentry/Otis)
047 Paul Popovich
049 Rookies (Jones/Rodriguez)
050 Roberto Clemente
071 Steve Whitaker
077 Ron Perranoski
088 Rich Nye
090 Jerry Koosman
095 Johnny Bench
099 Rookies (Morris/Nettles)
100 Hank Aaron
102 Jim Davenport
106 Jim Hannan
107 Checklist 110-218
110 Mike Shannon
121 Joe Grzenda
128 Tommie Aaron
130 Carl Yastrzemski
135 Tommy Davis
136 Rookies (Huntz/Torrez)
147 Leo Durocher
148 Lee Stange
150 Denny McLain
151 Clay Dalyrmple
152 Tommie Sisk
163 WS Game 2
166 WS Game 5
168 WS Game 7
207 Roy Face
208 Donn Clendenon
213 Gerry Arrigo
234 Dave Bristol
244 Rookies (Fosse/Woodson)
248 Bob Priddy
260 Reggie Jackson
273 Ron Willis
288 Ken Holtzman
290 Jim Kaat
291 Vern Fuller
292 Al Downing
294 Jim Lemon
305 Dick McAuliffe
308 Wade Blasingame
311 Sparky Lyle
312 Lee Elia
313 Bill Robinson
330 Tony Conigliaro
375 Harmon Killebrew
405 Lee May
410 Al Kaline
419 Rod Carew AS
421 Brooks Robinson AS
425 Carl Yastrzemski AS
426 Curt Flood AS
427 Tony Oliva AS
428 Lou Brock AS
429 Willie Horton AS
430 Johnny Bench AS
431 Bill Freehan AS
432 Bob Gibson AS
439 Rookies (Herrmann/Lazar)
440 Willie McCovey
441 Dennis Higgins
442 Ty Cline
444 Joe Moeller
445 Bobby Knopp
447 Ralph Houk
449 Paul Lindblad
450 Billy Williams
451 Rich Rollins
452 Al Ferrara
454 Phillies Rookies
457 Dalton Jones
461 Mike Epstein
464 Dave Marshall
465 Tommy John
468 Rookies (Dal Canton/Robertson)
470 Mel Stottlemyre
471 Ted Savage
473 Jose Arcia
476 Red Sox Rookies
482 Jim Gosger
483 Ted Abernathy
485 Gaylord Perry
486 Paul Casanova
491 Rookies (Crider/Mitterwald)
493 Wes Parker
500 Mickey Mantle
501 Tony Gonzalez
502 Minnie Rojas
505 Bobby Bolin
510 Rod Carew
511 Diego Segui
512 Cleon Jones
516 Earl Weaver
527 Al Lopez
530 Cesar Tovar
533 NolanRyan
539 Ted Shows How (Epstein/Williams)
564 Gil Hodges
565 Hoyt Wilhelm
570 Ron Santo
572 Giants Heroes (McCovey/Marichal)
583 Checklist 589-664
584 Don Mason
597 Rookies (Floyd/Burchart)
600 Tony Oliva
609 Phil Gagliano
610 Jim Hardin
618 RamonWebster
624 NL Rookies
626 Gene Michael
627 George Stone
630 Bobby Bonds
634 Andy Etchebarren
640 Fergie Jenkins
642 John Hiller
648 Bobby Wine
650 Ted Williams
653 aurelio Rodriguez
655 Mike Hershberger
657 Bobby Murcer
658 Rookies
660 Reggie Smith
661 Jim Merritt

1971 Topps (233 cards total)

001 Baltimore Orioles
007 Jim Holt
010 Claude Osteen
012 Johnny Callison
014 Dave Concepcion
015 Andy Messersmith
023 Oscar Gamble
063 AL RBI Leaders
065 AL Home Run Leaders
066 NL Home Run Leaders
072 NL Strikeout Leaders
090 Joe Pepitone
105 Tony Conigliaro
113 Jerry Crider
123 Checklist 133-263
133 Mickey Lolich
134 Jose Arcia
146 Ralph Houk
150 Sam McDowell
158 Jerry Reuss
159 Jarvis Tatum
167 Tom Grieve
168 Bruce Dal Canton
187 Ted Abernathy
195 AL Playoffs Game 1
217 Ed Stroud
225 Gary Peters
226 Bill Russell
236 Bob Humphreys
241 Dave Nelson
242 Jim Ray
246 Tony Taylor
253 Bill Sudakis
254 Cal Koonce
264 Joe Morgan
265 Jim Northrup
268 Philadelphia Phillies
269 Gail Hopkins
270 Rico Carty
271 Bill Zepp
272 Tommy Helms
273 Pete Richert
278 Jerry Grote
280 Fergie Jenkins
281 Danny Walton
282 Jose Pagan
283 Dick Such
285 Sal Bando
286 Jerry McNertney
287 Mike Fiore
290 Tony Oliva
291 George Culver
292 Jay Johnstone
295 Bobby Bonds
297 Johnny Briggs
299 Ed Kirkpatrick
300 Brooks Robinson
303 Lindy McDaniel
305 Reggie Smith
308 St Louis Cardinals
310 Tommie Agee
314 Jeff Torborg
317 Rookies (Driscoll/Mangual)
324 Graig Nettles
327 WS Game 1
328 WS Game 2
329 WS Game 3
331 WS Game 5
335 Jerry Koosman
336 Detroit Tigers
338 Gene Tenace
341 Steve Garvey
343 Rookies (Acosta/May)
350 Billy Williams
354 Don McMahon
355 Bud Harrelson
357 Cincinnati Reds
361 Don Sutton
370 Joe Torre
380 Ted Williams
385 Maury Wills
386 Boston Red Sox
388 Al Oliver
389 Ed Brinkman
398 Howie Reed
402 Los Angeles Dodgers
439 Rookies (Luzinski/Reid)
450 Bob Gibson
457 Willie Smith
497 Horacio Pina
502 Chicago Cubs
513 Nolan Ryan
520 Tommy John
522 Minnesota Twins
525 Ernie Banks
530 Carl Yastrzemski
535 Curt Flood
543 New York Yankees
544 Vida Blue
560 Rusty Staub
563 San Francisco Giants
567 Walter Alston
570 Jim Palmer
574 Jim Bunning
580 Tony Perez
582 Dave Cash
583 Ron Cook
584 Cleveland Indians
585 Willie Davis
586 Dick Woodson
587 Sonny Jackson
592 Randy Hundley
596 Mike Jorgenson
599 Norm Cash
600 Willie Mays
603 Pittsburgh Pirates
605 Orlando Cepeda
609 Leo Durocher
617 Clay Dalyrmple
619 Checklist 644-752
624 Oakland Athletics
630 Roberto Clemente
635 Bobby Murcer
640 Frank Robinson
641 New York Mets
644 Jim Stewart
645 Jim Maloney
646 Bobby Floyd
647 Juan Pizarro
648 Rookies (Folkers/Martinez/)
649 Sparky Lyle
650 Richie Allen
651 Jerry Robertson
652 Atlanta Braves
653 Russ Snyder
654 Don Shaw
655 Mike Epstein
656 Gerry Nyman
657 Jose Azcue
658 Paul Lindblad
659 Byron Browne
660 Ray Culp
661 Chuck Tanner
662 Mike Hedlund
663 Marv Staehle
664 Rookies (Reynolds/Reynolds/)
665 Ron Swoboda
666 Gene Brabender
667 Pete Ward
668 Gary Neibauer
669 Ike Brown
670 Bill Hands
671 Bill Voss
672 Ed Crosby
673 Gerry Janeski
674 Montreal Expos
675 Dave Boswell
676 Tommie Reynolds
677 Jack DiLauro
678 George Thomas
679 Don O'Riley
680 don Mincher
681 Bill Butler
682 Terry Harmon
683 Bill Burbach
684 Curt Motton
685 Moe Drabowsky
686 Chico Ruiz
687 Ron Taylor
688 Sparky Anderson
689 Frank Baker
690 Bob Moose
691 Bobby Heise
692 Rookies (Haydel/Moret/)
693 Jose Pena
694 Rick Renick
695 Joe Niekro
696 Jerry Morales
697 Rickey Clark
698 Milwaukee Brewers
699 Jim Britton
700 Boog Powell
701 Bob Garibaldi
702 Milt Ramirez
703 Mike Kekich
704 JC Martin
705 Dick Selma
706 Joe Foy
707 Fred Lasher
708 Russ Nagelson
709 Rookies (Baker/Cey/Paciorek)
710 Sonny Siebert
711 Larry Stahl
712 Jose Martinez
713 Mike Marshall
714 Dick Williams
715 Horace Clarke
716 Dave Leonhard
717 Tommie Aaron
718 Billy Wayne
719 Jerry May
720 Matty Alou
721 John Morris
722 Houston Astros
723 Vincente Romo
724 Tom Tischinski
725 Gary Gentry
726 Paul Popovich
727 Ray Lamb
728 Rookies (Redmond/Lampard/)
729 Dick Billings
730 Jim Rooker
731 Jim Qualls
732 Bob Reed
734 Lee Maye
735 Mike Shannon
736 Mel Queen
737 Preston Gomez
738 Russ Gibson
739 Barry Lersch
740 Luis Aparicio
741 Skip Guinn
742 Kansas City Royals
743 John O'Donoghue
744 Chuck Manuel
745 Sandy Alomar
746 Andy Kosco
747 Rookies (Severinsen/Spinks/Moore)
748 John Purdin
749 Ken Szotkiewicz
750 Denny McLain
751 Al Weis
752 Dick Drago

1973 Topps (63 cards total)

050 Roberto Clemente (upgrade needed)
054 Checklist 1-132
160 Jim Palmer
255 Reggie Jackson
340 Nate Colbert
351 Jimmy Stewart
368 Bill Buckner
389 New York Mets
400 Gaylord Perry
453 Checklist 397-528
471 Ty Cobb
472 Lou Gehrig
473 Hank Aaron
474 Babe Ruth
475 Ty Cobb
483 Dal Maxvill
500 Oakland A's
503 Phil Niekro
521 Atlanta Braves
527 Dan Mcginn
529 M ilt May
530 Jim Kaat
535 John Callison
538 Jim Hart
545 Orlando Cepeda
548 Don Durham
550 Dave Johnson
553 Mickey Scott
554 Dave Concepcion
556 New York Yankees
560 Frank Howard
563 Larry Haney
564 Mike Thompson
567 Bob Fenwick
569 Walter Alston
574 Bob Didier
578 Ken Wright
582 Darrell Porter
583 Bill Grief
585 Joe Niekro
588 Checklist 529-660
591 Mike Hedlund
594 Vic Harris
595 Don Gullett
596 Boston Red Sox
598 Phil Roof
601 Rookie Catchers
603 Rookie 3B
604 Rookie Pitchers
605 Rookie 1B
606 Rookie OF
609 Rookie 2B
610 Rookie Pitchers
613 Rookie Catchers
614 Rookie OF
615 Rookie 3B (Schmidt/Cey)
616 Rookie Pitchers
620 Tommy Harper
626 Bob Barton
628 Jim Slaton

1975 Topps (3 cards)

126 Checklist 1-132
327 Jerry Hariston
576 Phil Roof

1976 Kellogg's (22 cards)

01 Steve Hargan
02 Claudell Washington
03 Don Gullett
05 Jim Hunter
08 Reggie Jackson
10 Jim Rice
12 Ken Singleton
13 Don Sutton
14 Joe Morgan
15 Dave Parker
16 Dave Cash
18 Greg Luzinski
19 Dennis Eckersley
23 Al Hrabosky
31 Fred Lynn
32 Tom Seaver
37 Jim Palmer
40 Lou Brock
53 Thurman Munson
54 Steve Garvey
55 Pete Rose
57 Ted Simmons

1976 Topps (complete)
--- Traded Checklist (thanks Johngy)
4 Davey Lopes Record Breaker (thanks Johngy)
27T Ed Figueroa traded (thanks Johngy)
28T Dusty Baker traded (thanks Johngy)
44T Doug Rader traded (thanks Johngy)
45 Boog Powell (thanks Johngy)
48 Dave Concepcion (thanks Dean family)
54 Dave Rader (thanks Johngy)
80T Jim Kaat traded (thanks Johngy)
99T Lee Lacy traded (thanks Johngy)
120T Rusty Staub traded (thanks Captain Canuck)
146T George Medich traded (thanks Johngy)
147 Houston Astros (thanks Johngy)
158T Ken Reitz traded (thanks Johngy)
194 AL Home Run Leaders (thanks Johngy)
197 NL Stolen Base Leaders (thanks Johngy)
202 AL ERA Leaders (thanks mrhaverkamp)
284 Steve Ontiveros (thanks Johngy)
304 California Angels (thanks Johngy)
306 Rod Gilbreath (thanks Captain Canuck)
345 Babe Ruth ATG (eBay)
348 Mickey Cochrane ATG (thanks mrhaverkamp)
350 Lefty Grove ATG (thanks mrhaverkamp)
385T Mickey Lolich traded (thanks Johngy)
432 Tom Veryzer (thanks Captain Canuck)
463 Steve Hargan (thanks Johngy)
464T Ken Henderson traded (thanks Johngy)
474 Ray Corbin (thanks Captain Canuck)
475 Joe Rudi (thanks Johngy)
500 Reggie Jackson (thanks Carl Crawford Cards)
504 Pittsburgh Pirates (thanks Johngy)
524T Pete Falcone (thanks Johngy)
525 Billy Williams (thanks Dean Family)
528T Dock Ellis traded (thanks Johngy)
531 New York Mets (thanks Johngy)
552 Terry Humphrey (thanks Johngy)
558 Clarence Gaston (thanks Johngy)
579 Clay Kirby (thanks Johngy)
592 Rookie Infielders (Randolph, etc.) (thanks Johngy)
592T Willie Randolph traded (thanks Johngy)
625 J.R. Richard (thanks Johngy)
631 Atlanta Braves (thanks Johngy)
643 Checklist 529-660 (thanks Johngy)
650 Thurman Munson (eBay)
657 Roy Smalley (thanks Johngy)
660 Davey Lopes (thanks Johngy)

1978 Topps (17 cards)
007 Reggie Jackson Record Breaker
016 Roy White
049 Ed Kranepool
089 Ken Clay
113 Don Carrithers
122 Dennis Eckersley
143 Keith Hernandez
220 Pedro Borbon
268 Gil Flores
280 Buddy Bell
289 Checklist 243-363
342 Aurelio Rodriguez
345 Luis Tiant
535 Checklist 485-605
610 Garry Maddox
660 Jason Thompson
694 Elias Sosa (thanks Dean family)

1983 Topps (25 cards total)
002 Rickey Henderson RB
003 Greg Minton
060 Johnny Bench
095 Alan Trammell
163 Cal Ripken
306 Tom Lasorda
325 Von Hayes
330 Buddy Bell
350 Robin Yount
358 Jerry Garvin
391 Rickey Henderson AS
430 Kirk Gibson
482 Tony Gwynn
500 Reggie Jackson
501 Reggie Jackson SV
505 Garry Templeton
509 Lou Whitaker
517 Gary Ward
519 Terry Bulling
524 Tom Brennan
550 Carl Yastrzemski
552 Tim Wallach
600 George Brett
603 Joe Morgan
716 Tony Perez SV

1976 Topps #21 - Dave LaRoche

Dave LaRoche was a left-handed reliever who pitched for six teams from 1970-1983. He had some up and down years, but had a career mark of 65-58 with a 3.53 ERA and 126 saves. Dave was an All-Star in 1976 and 1977. I don't know how he got selected in 1977, since he went 8-7, 3.51, 17 saves for Cleveland and California. It may have been one of those "each team needs a representative" things.
Dave gained noteriety for his eephus pitch, which he called "LaLob." Since his career ended, he became a pitching coach (mostly in the minors) from 1984-1995 and from 2002-present. He has two baseball-playing children, Adam (1B for the Braves and Pirates) and Andy (3B for the Dodgers and Pirates).

1976 Topps #20 - Bob Watson

The first time I noticed Bob Watson (besides as a card I needed) was when he scored baseball's "millionth run" in 1975. This number only includes runs scored in the NL and AL.
Bob Watson had a solid 18-year career mostly with the Houston Astros. He bounced between the bigs and the minors from 1966-1969 and stuck with the Astros in 1970. He was at the peak of his career in the mid-70s. He probably would have had more homers if he were playing anywhere else but Houston. He was still good for 15-20 homers a year and was consistently near the .300 mark. With Boston in 1979 he was the first player to hit for the cycle in both leagues.
After his playing career he became a baseball executive. He became the first African-American general manager after the 1993 season when he got the job with Houston. Bob was Houston's GM until 1995, then he moved over to the Yankees and was their GM until 1998. He is now the vice-president in charge of discipline for Major League Baseball.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

1976 Topps #19 - George Brett

George Brett had a great season in 1976. He won the AL batting title with a .333 average and appeared in the first of his 13 straight All-Star games. He was second in MVP voting. He played a big part in the Royals' first division title.

I noticed that although he finished his career with 3154 hits, he had over 200 hits in a season only twice (215 in 1976 and 212 in 1979). I thought that was a little strange, so I checked all of the 3000-hit men to see how many 200-hit seasons they had.

Out of the 27 players who had 3000 or more hits, 14 of them had two or fewer seasons of 200+ hits. I guess it isn't as strange as I thought. (I made a nice table with the player, # of hits, and # of 200-hit seasons, but I couldn't get it to format properly in here) :(

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1976 Topps #18 - Dale Murray

Funny how this card came up next. I just played a Strat-O-Matic game (Mets @ Expos) and Murray took the loss in the game. I'm doing a 1976 replay and will be posting results on my other blog every couple of weeks (or when something major happens).
Dale Murray had a 12-year career as a reliever for five teams. He pitched his first three seasons with Montreal and put up some pretty good numbers, especially considering how awful the Expos were. He and Woody Fryman were traded to the Reds after the 1976 season for Tony Perez and Will McEnaney. That was the first trade that I remember getting upset about. I was a big Reds fan at the time and didn't want to see Tony go.
It looks like he had some injury problems in 1980 and 1981, as he only pitched a total of 44 2/3 innings. He bounced back with probably his best year for Toronto in 1982 (8-7, 11 saves, 3.16 ERA, 111 IP). He then went to the Yankees in a trade that netted the Blue Jays Fred McGriff. The Yankees also threw in $400,000 in the trade! Rob Neyer has a piece about this trade in his Big Book of Baseball Blunders. Murray pitched a couple more seasons with the Yankees and Rangers before retiring in 1985.
At least Dale can brag that he's been traded for both Tony Perez and Fred McGriff.

1976 Topps #17 - New York Yankees

Aargh! I hate looking at my old cards and finding marked checklists like this. I didn't mark this one, but I remember getting it from a neighbor kid who stopped collecting when he started high school. I was a couple of years younger and was still collecting, so he sold me a bunch of his cards for $20. I had a paper route that helped support my habit. :)
The Yankees won their first AL East title in 1976. They played the KC Royals in the League Championship Series. I remember being bummed out when Chris Chambliss hit that home run to win it for the Yanks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1976 Topps #16 - Bob Apodaca

Bob Apodaca spent five years with the Mets (1973-1977), compiling a 16-25 record with a 2.84 ERA and 26 saves. His best season was 1975 when he was 3-4 with 13 saves and a 1.49 ERA. He had an elbow injury that caused him to miss the '78 season. He pitched 2 games in AAA in 1979--the Mets released him after the season. He didn't pitch in 1980, then tried to come back in AA in 1981. He pitched six games before retiring.
After his pitching career, he spent several years as a pitching coach in the Mets organization. He was the pitching coach for the Mets from 1996-1999 and for the Brewers from 2000-2001. Bob has been the pitching coach for the Colorado Rockies since 2003.

1976 Topps #15 - George Scott

George Scott was a big dude who had a great glove and good power. "Boomer" won eight gold gloves in his career. George started his career in 1966 with Boston, where he was popular with fans and players alike. George was only the second rookie firs baseman to start an all-star game (Walt Dropo was the first). He had several battles with manager Dick Williams about his weight during this time.
He went to Milwaukee in 1972. He had a great year in 1975 (he led the league in HR with 36 and in RBI with 109). After the 1976 season he was traded back to Boston for Cecil Cooper. He played two more seasons with Boston before finishing his career with the Yankees and Royals in 1979. After his major league career was over, he played and managed in the Mexican League. He later managed in various independent league teams until 2002. He is now retired and is living in his hometown of Greenville, Mississippi. Here is a nice biography of the Boomer.
"When you're hitting the ball, it comes at you looking like a grapefruit. When you're not, it looks like a black eyed pea." - George Scott in Baseball's Greatest Quotes (1982)

Monday, March 23, 2009

1976 Topps #13 - Johnny Wockenfuss

Johnny Wockenfuss was still at the "bounce between AAA and the bigs" stage of his career at this time. Johnny spent eight years in the minors before finally sticking with the Tigers for good in 1976. He was a versatille player who could catch, play first and third, and the outfield. His best years were 1979 and 1980, when he provided some good pop off of the Tiger bench.
After his playing career ended in 1985 he managed in the minors for several years in the 80s and 90s.

1976 Topps #14 - Gene Garber

Gene Garber had a 19-year career as a reliever, mostly with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. When he retired in 1988, he ranked 5th all-time in appearances with 931. He now ranks 17th on that list. Garber is often remembered for his exuberant reaction after striking out Pete Rose to end Rose's 44-game hitting streak in 1978. Here is a good Baseball Digest article from 2004 about Gene's memories of that game and his career.
Out of the players who had over 30 plate appearances against Garber, the guys who hit him best were Johnny Bench (.385, 4 HR), Phil Garner (.406), and Dusty Baker (.385). Batters who didn't do well against him included Steve Garvey (.193), Ron Cey (.191), and Davey Lopes (.143).
He is a farmer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and is chairman of the Lancaster County Agricultural Preservation Board. He and his sons raise poultry for eggs, emus for "Emu Oil," and grow corn, wheat, soybeans, and barley.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

1976 Topps #12 - Richie Zisk

Richie Zisk was a good-hitting outfielder in the 70s and early 80s. Richie replaced Roberto Clemente in RF in 1973 and then moved to LF in 1975 to accomodate Dave Parker. He had four nice years with the Pirates from 1973-1976 before being traded to the White Sox with Silvio Martinez for Goose Gossage and Terry Forster. Apparently Pirate manager Danny Murtaugh thought Zisk was "a lazy dreamer."
He hit 30 homers and started the 1977 All Star game in LF for the American League. He left the Sox after the season and signed with Texas as a free agent (he signed a 10-year contract!). He started the 1978 All Star game in RF for the AL and had three good years with the Rangers. He was then traded to Seattle, where he finished his career in 1983. He was exclusively a DH with the Mariners. Multiple knee operations and a wrist injury hastened the end of his career. The Mariners didn't officially release him until January 1985.
Sports Illustrated in 1982 had a little blurb about strange items players kept in their lockers. Zisk kept a voodoo doll in his locker.

1976 Topps #11 - Jim Hughes

I couldn't find much information about Jim Hughes. When I typed his name into Google, I got all sorts of non-baseball hits. The first baseball hit I got was for a Jim Hughes who played in the 1950s. I had to type in "Jim Hughes Minnesota Twins" in order to get anything about this Jim Hughes.
He spent several years in the minors before coming up to the Twins in 1974. His best season was in 1975 when he won 16 games for the Twins. He fell off a bit in 1976 (9-14, 4.98). He didn't pitch much at all after that. He appeared in 4 games in 1977, then pitched in 8 games for AAA Tucson in 1978 and in 17 games for AAA Albuquerque in 1979.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1976 Topps #10 - Lou Brock

This story has to do with 1975, but I'll mention it anyway.
It was September and I was very close to completing my 1975 Topps set. It was my first year of trying to complete a set. I had spend many allowances at the nearby Circle K on baseball cards and Wacky Packages stickers. For some reason, Lou Brock was really hard to get. Early one Saturday morning I went across the street to Jimmy's house. In the window screen I saw two Lou Brock cards. Jimmy was a real wheeler-dealer, and itt cost me a lot of football cards to get one of those Lou Brocks. I didn't care -- it was only football. :)
I still have that card. I've since upgraded, but I'll always remember how hard it was to get my '75 Lou Brock.

1976 Topps #9 - Paul Lindblad

Paul Lindblad had a pretty nice career as a middle reliever. Here's his Wikipedia entry:
Paul Aaron Lindblad (August 9, 1941January 1, 2006) was an American left-handed middle-relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played primarily for the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics (1965-71, 1973-76). He also played for the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers (1971-72, 1977-78) and New York Yankees (1978). At the time of his retirement in 1978, he had recorded the seventh-most appearances (655) of any left-hander in history.

Lindblad was born in
Chanute, Kansas. A member of three World Series championship teams, he was a solid left-handed specialist in the American League for 14 seasons. A very fine fielder as well, he set a major league record by going from 1966 to 1974 without making an error in 385 games.

Lindblad was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in
1962, who moved to Oakland in 1968. His most productive season came in 1969, when he posted career highs with nine wins and nine saves. A year later he followed with a 8-2 mark, and in the 1971 midseason he was traded to the Washington Senators, who became the Texas Rangers a year later. With Texas, he led American League pitchers with 66 appearances in 1972. He returned to Oakland at the end of the season.

Lindblad was the winning pitcher for Oakland in Game Three of the
1973 World Series against the New York Mets, by working shutout baseball in the ninth and tenth innings. In the 10th, he became the last pitcher faced by future Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who grounded out as a pinch-hitter.

In 1975, Lindblad had a 9-1 record with seven saves. On the final day of the regular season, he combined with
Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott and Rollie Fingers on a no-hitter against the California Angels. He appeared in two games against the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.

Lindblad came back to Texas for part of two seasons and made his final majors appearance with the Yankees in Game One of the
1978 World Series. He finished his career with a 68-63 record and 64 saves in 665 games. He posted a 3.29 ERA and struck out 671 batters in 1213 2/3 innings pitched.

Following his playing career, Lindblad joined the
minor league baseball system as a pitching coach, and also worked as a custom homebuilder for several years.

Lindblad died from
Alzheimer's disease in Arlington, Texas at the age of 64.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

1976 Topps #8 - Tito Fuentes

I like that "TITO" on his helmet. They probably didn't let him wear it during games.
He started off playing several years for the Giants, but bounced around a bit after being traded to the Padres before the 1975 season. Tito had a good year (probably his best) for Detroit in 1977, but he wasn't brought back. The Tigers had Lou Whitaker ready to go at second base. He played a bit with Oakland in 1978 but was released after hitting only .140.
The San Francisco Chronicle had an interesting article about him a few years ago. He's still doing Spanish language broadcasting for the SF Giants. He's living in Reno, NV.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

1976 Topps #7 - Jim Umbarger

This was a big dude. According to his card, he was a 6'6" lefty. He had his best year in 1976 (10-12, 3.15). He was traded to Oakland along with Rodney Scott for Claudell Washington after the 1976 season. He was shipped back to Texas in August 1977. He pitched in 1978, but would never pitch in the majors again. He pitched in the minors until 1983.
Jim pitched for Arizona State University from 1972-1974 (go Devils!).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

1976 Topps #6 - Rennie Stennett Record Breaker

What a game that must have been!
It would be hard to be a Cub fan, come to Wrigley Field, and see your team pummelled 22-0.
The attendance was only 4,932, but there were probably a lot more fans who later said, "I was there" for the game.
Here's the boxscore (courtesy of baseball-reference.com). I couldn't copy/paste it here -- too many problems with formatting. :(
Rick Reuschel lasted only 1/3 of an inning and gave up 8 earned runs. The Cubs managed only three hits with no walks for the whole game.

1976 Topps #5 - Tom Seaver Record Breaker

Tom Seaver would strike out 235 batters in 1976, but that was the last season in his streak. He barely missed striking out 200 in 1977 (he whiffed 196) and then struck 0ut 226 batters in 1978. He would never again come close to striking out 200 in a season.
It looks like this record will be a hard one to break. It takes a rarely-seen combination of ability and durability.I looked at some other recent strikeout pitchers to see if anyone broke this record. I checked Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens. None of them came close to nine straight years of 200 or more strikeouts. Did I miss anyone?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

1976 Topps #3 - Mickey Lolich Record Breaker

When seeing these "record breaker" cards, I sometimes wondered how long the record would stand up.
"Most strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher" is a relatively obscure record. Mickey Lolich ended his career in 1979 with 2832 strikeouts. Since then only two pitchers have surpassed this record: Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson. I think Carlton passed Lolich sometime in 1980. Johnson passed Lefty sometime in 2004. So Lolich didn't keep his record for very long, but Carlton held on to the record for about 25 years. Lolich does still hold the AL record for most strikeouts by a left-hander.
Lots of interesting names on this card. I liked to look up stats on names on the backs of these cards to find out more about them. I had a McMillan Baseball Encyclopedia that got a lot of use during those hot Arizona summer days when I didn't feel like going outside to roast in 110 degree heat.
Rube Waddell was a great strikeout pitcher, but his career was pretty short. Lefty Grove was another great strikeout pitcher. I'm surprised he didn't have more strikeouts in his career.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

1976 Topps #2 - Bobby Bonds Record Breaker

Bobby Bonds set two records in '75. I didn't know who several of the players on the back were. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Lou Brock were well-known, but who was Jimmy Ryan?
Why did Bobby Bonds move around so much? He was traded an awful lot. Did the pressure of being the "next Willie Mays" get to him? He still had a nice career, but I wonder what could have been?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1976 Topps #1 - Hank Aaron Record Breaker

This is the third straight Topps set to have Hank Aaron as card #1. It's a nice action shot of Hank in a Brewers uniform taking a swing.

The back is quite interesting. The list of players is a who's who of great hitters up until the mid seventies.

My first table top baseball game was Superstar Baseball. My father bought it for me when I was 8 years old in 1975. It had 96 of the greatest players who had played through the 1973 season. They missed a few (probably due to licensing issues), but they got most of them right. All of the players on the back except for two (DiMaggio and Goslin) were featured in the game. I had a lot of fun playing games with the old timers and learning about the history of the sport. Seeing the list of players on the back of this card brought back some memories.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Current Want List

For now, I'm going to put my want list here. Eventually I'll figure out how to put it in one of the sidebars.

How many 1976 cards can I collect?

I'm going to try to collect as many cards as possible from 1976. My want list will be on this blog. I'd prefer to trade if possible. I'll post my progress on this blog.