…Answering the age-old question, “Who are these guys?”
Burt Hooton pitched 15 seasons, mainly for the Cubs and Dodgers. He threw a no-hitter in his first appearance of 1972… and right off the bat we can stop wondering about who the best player on this card is. He pitched in three World Series, was an All-Star in 1981, and finished a distant 2nd to Gaylord Perry in the 1978 Cy Young Award voting.
Burt Hooton is currently the pitching coach for the Class A Fort Wayne Tin Caps
Gene Hiser played for the Cubs from 1971 to 1975, generally splitting time between the Majors and AAA. The main exception to this pattern was 1973, where he played 100 games for the Cubbies despite a .174 batting average.
Hiser also appeared on a 1974 Topps card.
Earl Stephenson wasn’t a star for the Cubs in 1972; he didn’t even play for them that year. Instead, he was traded to the Brewers, with Jim Lonborg, for Jose Cardenal. After pitching a career-high 35 games, Stephenson was traded to the Phillies in a trade involving Lonborg (again), Ken Brett, and Don Money.
From 1973 to 1979, Stephenson was a mainstay in AAA, although he did make appearances with the Orioles in 1977 and 1978.
Closest To Being A Star: One would be severely misguided to suggest that anyone but Burt Hooton is the closest to being a star. The question could be put to rest after asking “Have any of you guys been on a Major League baseball card issued after 1974?”