Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Saturday, July 3, 2010

1976 Topps #480 - Mike Schmidt

  • Mike Schmidt is widely considered to be the greatest third baseman in baseball history. This is his 4th-year card and he was coming into his own during this time. Schmidt was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1971. Mike was in the minors in 1971 and 1972 and was ready for the majors after batting .291 with 26 HR and 91 RBI for AAA Eugene. Schmidt batted .206 in 34 at bats as a late-season call-up in 1972.
  • Schmidt became the Phillies' starting third baseman in 1973. His batting average was low (.196) and he struck out a lot (136), but he hit 18 home runs in 367 at bats. 
  • Mike had his first big year in 1974. He made his first of 12 NL All Star teams and he led the NL with 36 HR and a .546 slugging percentage. Mike also led the NL in strikeouts with 138 and batted .282 with 116 RBI. Schmidt finished sixth in NL MVP voting (he would finish in the top-10 nine times in his career). Schmidt set the record (which still stands) for assists by a third baseman with 404. A Power Hitter Blossoms in Philly - September 1974 Baseball Digest
  • Mike's stats dropped a little in 1975. He led the NL with 38 home runs and batted .249 with 95 RBI. Schmidt again led the NL with 180 strikeouts. 
  • Schmidt led the Phillies to their first NL East title in 1976. Mike led the NL in homers (38) again, batted .262 with 107 RBI, made the All Star team, and finished third in NL MVP voting. Mike batted .308 in the NLCS. Schmidt hit four home runs in one game on April 17, 1976. Schmidt also won a Gold Glove award. He was the NL Gold Glove winner at third base every season from 1976-1984.
  • Before the 1977 season Schmidt signed a five-year contract for $560,000 per year. In 1977 Mike batted .274 with 38 HR and 101 RBI. He was an All Star and finished 10th in MVP voting. Schmidt went only 1 for 16 in the 1977 NLCS. Mike Schmidt: The Complete Ballplayer - September 1977 Baseball Digest
  • The 1978 season was probably Mike's worst year until 1988. He batted .251 with 21 HR and 78 RBI. Mike batted .200 in the 1978 NLCS. Schmidt bounced back in 1979 with 45 HR, 114 RBI, and a .253 average. Mike was also the starting 3B for the NL in the All Star game. Mike Schmidt: The Struggle for Hitting Consistency - October 1979 Baseball Digest.
  • Schmidt's best year was probably 1980. He was the NL MVP in a unanimous vote and the World Series MVP as he led the Phillies to their first world championship. Schmidt also won the first Silver Slugger Award at 3B (he would win every year from 1980-1984 and again in 1986). During the regular season Mike batted .286, hit 48 HR to lead the NL, and also led the NL with 121 RBI and a .624 slugging percentage. Mike batted .208 in the NLCS but he batted .381 with 2 HR in the World Series.
  • Mike was the NL MVP again in 1981. He batted a career-high .316 and led the NL with 31 HR and 91 RBI. Schmidt batted .250 during the 1981 NLDS. After the 1981 season Schmidt signed a six-year contract for $11.4 million.
  • In 1982 Mike "slipped" to sixth in MVP voting as he batted .280 with 35 HR and 87 RBI. Mike Schmidt of the Phils: Player of the 80s! - May 1982 Baseball Digest. Schmidt was third in MVP voting in 1983 and helped the Phillies to the NL pennant. He batted .255 with a league-leading 40 HR and 109 RBI. Mike batted .467 (7 for 15) in the NLCS but went 1 for 20 in the World Series.
  • Schmidt led the NL in home runs (36) and RBI (106) while batting .277 in 1984. In 1985 Mike spent most of the season at first base (the Phillies were trying out Rick Schu at 3B) and batted .277 with 33 HR and 93 RBI.
  • Mike was the NL MVP for the third time in 1986. He batted .290 and led the NL in home runs (37) and RBI (119). Schmidt's last big season was in 1987. He batted .293 with 35 HR and 113 RBI. Mike Schmidt Climbs to No. 2 on Home Run Title Chart - March 1987 Baseball Digest
  • Schmidt had rotator cuff problems in 1988 and missed the last seven weeks of the season. He batted .249 with 12 HR and 62 RBI. Mike started off poorly in 1989 (.203 with 6 HR in 42 games) and suddenly announced his retirement on May 28.  Farewell to Mike Schmidt, One of Game's All-Time Great Third Basemen - September 1989 Baseball Digest
  • Schmidt was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995 with 96.5% of the vote. Mike Schmidt Joins Elite Hall of Fame Vote Leaders - April 1995 Baseball Digest. He was selected to the All-Century team in 2000. Mike comes to spring training to coach for a few weeks each season. He managed the single-A Clearwater Thrashers in 2004. Schmidt was the third base coach for the USA team in the World Baseball Classic in 2009. Mike sponsors the Mike Schmidt Bahamas Winner's Circle Invitational golf tournament that raises money for charity.
  • Liked to face: Rick Reuschel (.403 in 129 AB); Bob Knepper (.402 with 9 HR in 82 AB); Jerry Reuss (.393 with 10 HR in 89 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dennis Martinez (.000 with 5 strikeouts in 11 AB); Scott Garrelts (.050 with 10 strikeouts in 20 AB); Charlie Hough (.100 in 20 AB)
  • Mike's All Star appearances:
    • 1974 - reserve 3B - 0 for 0 with 2 BB
    • 1976 - reserve 3B - 0 for 1
    • 1977 - reserve - appeared as a pinch runner
    • 1979 - starting 3B - 2 for 3 with a double and a triple
    • 1980 - selected but did not play
    • 1981 - starting 3B - 2 for 4 with a double and a home run
    • 1982 - starting 3B - 0 for 1
    • 1983 - starting 3B - 0 for 3 with 1 strikeout
    • 1984 - starting 3B - 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts
    • 1986 - starting 3B - 0 for 1 with 1 BB
    • 1987 - starting 3B - 1 for 2
    • 1989 - voted starting 3B by fans but didn't play (he had retired earlier in the season)
  • Mike announces his retirement in 1989

  • Mike's anti-cocaine PSA in 1986

1 comment:

  1. I'm drooling over the pristine condition of Schmidt's card here. If memory serves, Danny Ozark used to bat Mike deep in the lineup at either 6th or 5th when he wasn't hitting well. Behind The Bull and Dick Allen. I may be wrong. His RBI total was a little low considering he had Cash scoring over 100+ runs and Larry Bowa's 78. BTW, Richie Ashburn predicted that Bowa would hit over 300. this year .... and he did even though he was injured. Shame. It was a breakthrough year for Larry - my fave all time player next to Rick Manning.