Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1976 Topps #74 - Oscar Gamble

The afro. Is there anything more iconic for 1970s baseball cards than Oscar Gamble's afro?
Oscar Gamble was a good-hitting platoon outfielder for seven teams from 1969-1985. He started out with the Cubs and was traded to the Phillies after the 1969 season. He stayed with Philadelphia as a reserve outfielder for three seasons and then was traded to Cleveland before the 1973 season.
His best season for Cleveland was probably 1974 when he batted .291 with 19 homers. The Yankees acquired Gamble in a trade with the Indians before the 1976 season. George Steinbrenner wouldn't let Oscar have a uniform until he got rid of the afro. He spent 1976 with the Yankees but didn't have a real good year (.232 with 17 homers). He was traded to the Chicago White Sox (with $200,000, LaMarr Hoyt, and a minor leaguer) after the season for Bucky Dent.
Oscar bounced back with a good year in 1977, batting .297 with 31 homers and 83 RBI. He was granted free agency after the season and signed with the Padres. He played one year in San Diego and then was involved in a multi-player trade with the Rangers. He played part of the 1979 season with Texas and then was traded back to the Yankees. He had a great year for those two teams in '79 -- .358 with 19 homers.
He stayed with the Yankees through the 1984 season, usually getting 200-300 at bats and hitting 10-19 homers. After the '84 season he signed as a free agent with the White Sox but was released in August 1985.
Here is a 2008 "where are they now" article about Gamble.
"When I'm at bat, I'm in scoring position." - Oscar Gamble


  1. If Oscar Gamble had the kind of season he had in 1977 now, everyone would suspect steroids.

  2. I wish there was a 1977 Topps photo of Gamble as part of the "South-Side Hitman"!

  3. That would be nice. I wonder if one of the bloggers can photoshop one.

  4. Sorry for the delay in this one. Hope that people get to see it

  5. Oscar G is one of my favorite players of all time. Love the hair!