My Favorite Card Of The Moment: 1976 Kellogg’s Frank Tanana

My favorite recent acquisition was one I got on COMC because it was a cheap Kellogg’s card. It wasn’t until after I saw it in person that I fell in love with this card.

It’s got a fake cloud background. It’s got a fake pitching pose. It’s made with technology which fakes a 3-D effect. And it is GENUINELY AWESOME.
1976 Kellogg's Frank Tanana
During the 1970’s, the Angels’ combination of Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana formed a righty/lefty combo that was feared throughout the American League. Tanana was a 3-time All-Star, lead the AL with 269 K’s in 1975 and a 2.54 ERA in 1977. Also in 1977, Tanana and Tom Seaver lead the Majors with 7 shutouts.

An arm injury ended Tanana’s flamethrowing days, but he reinvented himself, remained an effective pitcher for many years and had one of the better careers of any pitcher not in the Hall Of Fame. His 2,773 strikeouts ranks 21st, his 616 starts ranks 18th, his 4,118.1 innings pitched ranks 34th. According to Baseball-Reference.com, his 57.5 career WAR ranks above such notables as Mariano Rivera, Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, and Orel Hershiser.

Tanana’s 1977 Topps card pointed me towards a very interesting boxscore… On August 27th, 1976, Tanana and Catfish Hunter went toe-to-toe, each pitcher shutting out the opposing team’s batters for 13 innings. Hunter struck out 8, Tanana struck out 13 while giving up only 7 hits and 2 walks. Both teams went to the bullpen in the 14th and the Yankees scored 5 times in the 15th to win 5-0.

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5 thoughts on “My Favorite Card Of The Moment: 1976 Kellogg’s Frank Tanana

  1. Sing Ta na na
    Ta na na na
    She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
    She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
    <<>>

    that is a sweet Kelloggs’ card. I don’t remember ever seeing it before.

    13 inning double shutouts, sheesh. You are lucky to see both starters in a game go 6 these days. Oh, and get off my lawn.

    • Somewhere in one of my closets is a 1970’s issue of Baseball Digest which has an article about Tanana with a title that’s something like “A lefty heading right… to the Hall Of Fame!”. I’ll have to share that issue when it surfaces.

      • I he hadn’t wrecked his arm, and the Angels had been a better team during the ’70’s, I think he could have been a potential HOFer. Still, he did have a nice career, one that he can be proud of.

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