On December 16th, 1976 there was a trade made between the Montreal Expos and the Cincinnati Reds. This trade happened too late for Topps to maake any changes to their 1977 set, but O-Pee-Chee went to press later and – in the inaugural year for the Toronto Blue Jays – made an effort to update player who got missed by Topps.
The Reds traded Tony Perez and Will McEnaney to the Expos for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray. I’ve already featured the Perez cards here, and Dale Murray didn’t appear in the 1977 O-Pee-Chee set, but today I’m going to feature both the Topps and O-Pee-Chee versions of the Will and Woodie cards.
…And just for fun I’ll discuss how each player did in the 1977 season with their new teams.
Here are the Topps Will & Woodie cards that many of you are familiar with.
On his OPC card, Will McEnaney looks like a guy who’s satisfied about having been updated without being airbrushed (many of the Expos and Blue Jays photos used exclusively by OPC were taken in Spring Training).
McEnaney was a reliever who didn’t have a huge amount of success with the 75-87 Expos. He was 3-5 with a 3.95 ERA. Interestingly enough, he finished 32 games and yet had only 3 saves.
McEnaney was one-and-done with the Expos; just before the 1978 season he was traded to the Pirates.
Woodie Fryman was coming off an All-Star season with the Expos, going 13-13 for a team which lost 107 games. He also looks less-than-thrilled to be airbrushed into a Reds cap and a generic jersey (which isn’t even the pullover the Reds wore at the time).
Woodie was 5-5 for the Reds when he suddenly retired mid-season, later deciding to return only if he was traded away from Cincinnati. During the off-season he got his wish and was traded to the Cubs.
Dale Murray went from the Expos to the Reds and, as I’d mentioned before, did not appear in the 1977 O-Pee-Chee baseball set. You’ll have to make do with the Topps card which shows Murray still in the Expos’ rouge, blanc et bleu.
Murray worked out of the Reds’ bullpen and went 7-2 with a 4.94 ERA. He lasted slightly longer than a season with the Reds, as he was traded to the Mets the following May.
Also involved in that trade was Tony Perez:
When I went to compare the 1976 and 1977 stats for Tony Perez, the numbers were so weirdly similar that I thought it was some sort of glitch with baseball-reference.com. Perez improved his batting average from .260 to .283 and scored fewer runs, 71 down from 77. Here’s where the freaky-deaky part comes in: In both 1976 and 1977, he had 32 doubles, 6 triples, 19 homers and 91 RBI. The exact same numbers in four prominent categories. But I’ve confirmed it using several sources, so I’ll just go with and and proclaim it to be weird as anything.