Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1976 Topps #278 - Bernie Carbo

  • Bernie Carbo was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1965. He played in the minors through the 1969 season and showed his readiness for the majors by batting .359 for Indianapolis in '69. Carbo came up at the end of the season and was hitless in three at bats.
  • In 1970 Carbo was a close second to Carl Morton in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He batted .310 with 21 HR, 63 RBI, and 94 walks in 365 at bats. His .454 on base percentage and good power gave him one heck of a strat-o-matic card that year. Bernie was hitless in 14 at bats in the NLCS and the World Series. This was the only year Bernie would be a starter.
  • Carbo had a major sophomore jink in 1971. His batting average dropped to .219 and he hit only 5 HR in 310 AB. After a slow start in 1972 (.143 in 21 AB) Carbo was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on May 19 for Joe Hague. Bernie hit .258 for the Cardinals in 302 AB in '72.
  • Bernie batted .286 in 308 AB with an OBP of .397 in 1973. After the season he and Rick Wise were traded to the Boston Red Sox for Reggie Smith and Ken Tatum.
  • Carbo was a useful 4th outfielder/DH/pinch hitter for the Red Sox in '74 and '75. He batted .249 and hit 12 HR in 1974. Bernie did better in 1975, batting .257 with 15 HR and a .409 on base percentage. Carbo didn't play in the ALCS, but he had an excellent World Series against his former team (Cincinnati), hitting 2 HR and a double in eight at bats. His home run in the 8th inning of game 6 tied the game.
  • In 1976 Carbo split the season between the Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers. He played in 17 games for the Red Sox then was traded on June 8 for Bobby Darwin and Tom Murphy. For both teams Carbo batted .235 with 5 home runs in 238 AB. After the season the Brewers sent Carbo back to the Red Sox (along with George Scott) for Cecil Cooper.
  • Bernie had a good season as a backup in 1977, hitting 15 HR and batting .289 in 228 at bats. In 1978 Carbo again played for two teams. He started with the Red Sox and then was purchased by the Cleveland Indians on June 15. He batted .282 in 220 AB for the two clubs. Bernie became a free agent after the 1978 season and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Carbo played sparingly in 1979 (.281 in 64 AB mostly as a pinch hitter). In 1980 he was exclusively a pinch hitter. Bernie started with the Cardinals (.182 in 11 AB) and was released on May 27. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Carbo on September 1. He was 2 for 6 as a pinch hitter for the Pirates and then was released at the end of the season. Bernie tried to hook on with the Detroit Tigers in 1981 but hung 'em up after batting .190 in 19 games for AAA Evansville.
  • After his playing career Bernie spent some time as a hairdresser. Several years after the end of his career Carbo was able to kick drugs and alcohol and in 1993 he founded Diamond Club Ministry in Alabama. Here is a June 23, 2009 newspaper article about Carbo and his ministry.
  • Here is a "Where are they now" article about Carbo.

  • Liked to face: Bill Hands (.366 in 41 AB); Mike Torrez (.429 in 35 AB); Steve Blass (.333 in 33 AB)
  • Hated to face: Gaylord Perry (.167 in 54 AB); Jim Palmer (.147 in 34 AB); Pat Dobson (.148 in 27 AB)


  1. I loved that Bernie Carbo card. The dirt kicking up was cool, among other things.

  2. I was watching the 1970 World Series (Reds vs. Orioles) over the weekend, and the announcer said Carbo was the Reds' #1 draft pick the same year Bench was their #2 pick.