In 1974, Topps didn’t use a cup… That is to say, they didn’t use the golden “All-Star Rookie” cups on the cards which feature members of Topps 1973 All-Star Rookie team. Since Topps didn’t honor those players, I will. Today we’ll be looking at the final outfield spot on that team.
Al Bumbry was the 1973 AL Rookie Of The Year, he batted .337 with 7 homers, 34 RBI and 23 stolen bases. He lead the American League with 11 triples and on 9/22/73 he tied a Major League record by hitting three triples in one game.
…so it goes without saying that the third outfielder on the Topps All-Rookie team would be the Baltimore Orioles’ own…
Wait, WHAT??? <sound of a needle scratching across a record>
Rich Coggins batted .319, with 7 homers, 41 RBI and 17 stolen bases, was 4th in the AL with 9 triples, and finished 6th in the AL ROY voting. Like Al Bumbry, he was listed at 5’8″, 170 lbs. It’s interesting how similar both players were at the start.
Shoot, even both their cards are the same pose in foul territory in the old Yankee Stadium.
Coggins would be traded to the Expos with Dave McNally for Mike Torrez and Ken Singleton. You know how some trades take years to play out? For this trade… ehhhhh, not so much. The Expos sold Coggins to the Yankees in May of 1975, and McNally went 3-6, 5.24 for the 1975 Expos (in his last year in the majors). Meanwhile, Torrez went 20-9 in his one year with the Orioles, and Kenny Singleton would play 1,446 games over 14 years with the Orioles, appear in 3 All-Star games and be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1986.
It’s not uncommon for any sort of all-rookie team to have some debatable choices. Who gets selected depends on who you’re asking and what your definition of “all-rookie” is. Is it the guy who had the best rookie season? Is it the guy who has the biggest upside?
But if you’re picking an all-rookie team and the American League Rookie Of The Year gets left off?
If his place is taken by his teammate instead?
If Topps left the rookie cups off the 1974 cards so as not to draw attention to the fact that the AL RoY didn’t have a little cup – and to be clear, that’s sheer conjecture on my part – I guess you can’t fault them for that.
By the way, Baseball Digest picked Bumbry for their All-Star Rookie team.
Next time, on an all-new “Without A Cup”: One of the greatest all-time Expos.