I'm going to make an attempt to collect as many baseball cards as possible from 1976. I was 9 when the 1976 Topps baseball cards came out. I have most of those cards, but I'd like to expand and get the other cards from this great year.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
1976 Topps #353 - Sixto Lezcano
Sixto Lezcano was a major leaguer from 1974-1985. Lezcano was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970 and started playing in their minor league system in 1971 when he was 17. Sixto made steady progress in the minors and was deemed ready for the big leagues in 1974 after batting .325 with 34 HR and 99 RBI for AAA Sacramento. Lezcano played in 15 games for the Brewers in September 1974 and batted .241 in 54 at bats.
Lezcano became the starting right fielder for Milwaukee in 1975. He batted .247 with 11 HR and 43 RBI in 134 games. In 1976 Sixto batted .285 with 7 HR and 56 RBI in 145 games.
Sixto was injured in 1977 and played in only one game between late July and early September. He batted .273 with 21 HR and 49 RBI in 109 games. Lezcano batted .292 with 15 HR and 61 RBI in 138 games in 1978.
Lezcano's best season was 1979. He won a Gold Glove Award in the outfield (he was especially known for a strong arm) and was 14th in MVP voting. Sixto batted .321 with 28 HR and 101 RBI in 138 games in '79. He was still only 25 years old and it looked like he would keep getting better.
Sixto had a hard fall in 1980. His batting average dipped to .229 and he hit 18 HR and had 55 RBI. He didn't play after August 31 due to an injury. After the 1980 season Lezcano was involved in a multi-player trade that sent him (and others) to the St. Louis Cardinals and sent Rollie Fingers and Ted Simmons (and others) to the Brewers.
Lezcano played only the 1981 season with the Cardinals. In 72 games he batted .266 with 5 HR and 28 RBI. After the 1981 season Sixto was involved in another multi-player trade. He and others went to the San Diego Padres and the Cardinals got Ozzie Smith (and others). This was the second time in two seasons that Sixto would be involved in trades for future Hall of Famers.
Sixto bounced back to have a good year with the Padres in 1982. He batted .289 with 16 HR and 84 RBI and had a .388 on base percentage. In 1983 Lezcano started with the Padres (.233 with 8 HR and 49 RBI in 97 games), lost his job to Tony Gwynn, and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for the stretch run on August 31. Lezcano batted .282 in 18 games for the Phillies. He batted .308 in the 1983 NLCS and .125 in 8 at bats in the World Series. The Game I'll Never Forget - Baseball Digest January 1986.
Lezcano was a pinch hitter and fourth outfielder for the Phillies in 1984. He played in 106 games and batted .277 with 14 HR and 40 RBI in 256 at bats. After the 1984 season Sixto became a free agent and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Sixto played in 72 games in 1985 and batted .207 in 116 at bats. He was released at the end of spring training in 1986 and that was it for his career. He played in Japan in 1987 but wasn't successful there.
Lezcano has been a hitting coach in the minors for several years. He is now the batting coach for the Rookie League Danville Braves.
Liked to face: Vida Blue (.429 in 21 AB); Mike Flanagan (.412 in 34 AB); Joe Coleman (.381 in 21 AB)
Hated to face: Dave Stieb (.000 in 18 AB); Dennis Martinez (.133 in 30 AB); Nolan Ryan (.143 in 35 AB)