Saturday, August 15, 2009

1976 Topps #48 - Dave Concepcion

  • A few days ago I got a package from the Dean family (1980 Topps Blog). It had a lot of SF Giants cards that I needed for my team set project. Also in the pack was this nice 1976 Dave Concepcion card. Now I'm only one card (#525 Billy Williams) from completing the set. Thanks a lot for the card! :)
  • Dave Concepcion was a great shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds in the 70s and 80s. He spent his whole career (1970-1988) with the Reds. I think Dave may merit some consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He had nine All Star selections (five as a starter) and five Gold Glove awards. There are several "Concepcion for Hall of Fame" pages out there.
  • Dave signed with the Reds as an amateur free agent and played in the minors in 1968 and 1969. He made the Reds in 1970 and batted .260 in 265 at bats in his rookie season. His hitting fell off in 1971 (.209) and 1972 (.205).
  • Concepcion was off to a great start in 1973 and made his first All Star team. Two days before the All Star game he broke his ankle and missed the rest of the season. I wonder if the Reds would have been able to win it all in 1973 if Dave would have been there. He played in 89 games and batted .287 with 22 stolen bases.
  • Dave played in 160 games in 1974 and won his first Gold Glove. He batted .281 with 14 HR and 82 RBI. It was the only year from 1973-1982 that Concepcion didn't make the All Star team. Here is an August 1974 Baseball Digest article about "The Making of Dave Concepcion"
  • From 1975-1982 Concepcion had solid seasons. There are a lot of AS and GG abbreviations in his baseball reference stat sheet. He usually batted between .280 and .306, usually had 10-20 stolen bases, and about 25-30 doubles a year. In 1982 Dave homered in the All Star game and wsa named the game's MVP. It was his last All Star game. Here is a December 1979 Baseball Digest article about "The Best All-Around Shortstop"
  • Dave usually did well in the postseason. He had a lifetime .297 average in 101 post season at bats. He batted .455 in the 1975 NLCS, .357 in the 1976 World Series, and .429 in the 1979 NLCS.
  • In 1982 Dave had shoulder surgery. The surgery and an elbow injury affected his performance in 1983 (.233 in 143 games). He continued to start at shortstop through the 1985 season but he didn't hit as well. Then Barry Larkin came along. Dave became a utilityman and even pitched an inning in his last season (1988).
  • Dave was inducted into the Reds' Hall of Fame in 2000 and had his #13 retired by the Reds in 2007.

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