Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1976 Topps #284 - Steve Ontiveros

  • Steve Ontiveros played for the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs from 1973-1980. He was drafted by the Giants in 1969 and made his way through the Giants' system from 1969-1973. He had a great season at AAA Phoenix in 1973 (.357, double figures in 2B, 3B, and H$, 84 RBI) and was voted Minor League Player of the Year by The Sporting News. He made his major league debut on August 5, 1973. Steve was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter in '73 and batted .242 in 33 at bats.
  • In 1974 Ontiveros was used at the corner infield and outfield positions. He batted .265 with 4 HR and 33 RBI in 343 AB. Steve had a similar role in 1975 and improved his average to .289 in 325 AB.
  • Steve got very little playing time in 1976. The Giants had Ken Reitz at third base and Willie Montanez/Darrell Evans at first base. Ontiveros played in only 24 games, batting .176 in 74 at bats. After the 1976 season Steve was traded with Bobby Murcer and a minor leaguer to the Cubs for Bill Madlock and Rob Sperring.
  • In 1977 Steve was given the starting third base job. He played in a career-high 156 games and batted .299 with 10 HR and 68 RBI. Ontiveros also walked 81 times and had a .390 on base percentage.
  • Steve was injured in 1978 and didn't play after July 24. He batted .243 with one HR in 82 games. Ontiveros bounced back in 1979 and played in 152 games. He batted .285 with 4 HR and 57 RBI.
  • In 1980 Ontiveros tailed off considerably. He was batting .208 in 31 games when the Cubs released him on June 24. He signed with the Seibu Lions of the Japanese league and played there from 1980-1985. Steve had a lifetime .312 batting average in Japan.

  • Liked to face: J.R. Richard (.370 in 27 AB); Ron Reed (.370 in 30 AB); Tom Seaver (.500 in 18 AB); Fred Norman (.370 in 27 AB)
  • Hated to face: Steve Carlton (.172 in 29 AB); Bob Knepper (.148 in 27 AB); Andy Messersmith (.190 in 21 AB); Burt Hooton (.158 in 19 AB)


  1. Awesome action card. Bonus points for Mike Schmidt in the background.

  2. and another in a long line of Cubs 3B who were supposed to replace Santo (or Madlock).

  3. This card commanded a premium in the NJ/Philly area in the '80s because of the Schmitty cameo. It was one of the last cards I needed to complete the '76 set because I could never find it in with the rest of the commons.

  4. oohh awesome card!! & you can pin a date for it... Aug 10, 1975 - http://baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI197508100.shtml ...I love datable cards.

  5. One of the great cards from this great set. The photography and design of this set make it one of the best ever.

  6. The fact that Schmidt is there and the card is datable makes it a classic.

  7. 1976 was a big collector year for me too, after falling in love with the game during the 75 Series. still have all my cards too. let me know what you need.

    Neverless33 on ebay.