1976 SSPC Returns To The Shlabotnik Report!

Readers who have been with me for more than a year may remember that I used to have a regular feature where I highlighted a sort of “1976 SSPC Card Of The Week”.  After a while I got a little burned out on it, and I “temporarily” stopped posting them.  As it turned out, “temporarily” meant that I stopped last April, posted one in August with a promise of reviving it, and then nothing happened again.

Hopefully there’s some pent up demand again, because I’m going to give it a  try under a new format… Two or three cards per post, only the front of the cards, and a bit less information about each player.

Larvell ‘Sugar Bear’ Blanks was an infielder who played for the Braves, Indians and Rangers between 1972 and 1980. According to the Baseball-Reference.com Similarity Scores, the 2nd most similar player is Darwin Barney. Larvell’s uncle Sid Blanks played in the AFL and his cousin Lance Blanks played in the NBA.
1976 SSPC #8 Larvell Blanks
In 1976, Larvell played for the Indians, mostly at short and second. Although he played for the Braves in 1975, his 1976 Topps Traded card says he was traded from the ChiSox because the Braves traded him and Ralph Garr to the White Sox, who then flipped Blanks to the Indians.

Dave Concepcion is asking the photographer “You OK, man? You were taking my picture and you just fell right over.”
1976 SSPC #34 Dave Concepcion
Concepcion is a 9-time all-star, 5-time Gold Glove, two-time World Champion, arguably the best shortstop of the 1970’s… yet not in the Hall.

In 1976, Dave was an All-Star, Gold Glove and was a key part of the Reds team that won 102 games and then swept the Phillies and Yankees in the postseason.

Ken Boswell says “Is this the photo shoot for the Panini cards? I’ve got my special ‘unlicensed’ batting helmet!”
1976 SSPC #55 Ken Boswell
Ken Boswell played from 1967 to 1977, mostly with the Mets.  He was a ’69 Miracle Met, and also played for the 1973 NL Champion team. His career World Series batting average is .667 (4 for 6) with 2 runs scored.

In 1976, Ken Boswell played in 91 games for the Astros and batted .262 while playing 2nd, 3rd and Left.

Shea-o-meter:  Every MLB team came through Shea Stadium in 1975 because Yankee Stadium was being renovated.  I’m keeping track of how many of these SSPC photos were taken at Shea.

All three of these photos were taken at Shea.
Shea: 56
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 8
Can’t tell: 15
Not Shea: 7

70’s Census
We’re tracking all the instances of 1970’s facial hair and other 1970’s trends… Sideburns, afros, mustaches, Aviator glasses…

I don’t view any of these guys as having long hair, and I’m going to make a judgement call and say that only Boswell and Blanks have true 70’s sideburns.

Total Cards: 85
1970’s Sideburns: 43
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 26
Afro: 1
Perm: 2
Aviators: 6
Long Hair: 18


9 thoughts on “1976 SSPC Returns To The Shlabotnik Report!

  1. I didn’t know much about the cards produced by TCMA until last year when I found some at a local antique store and picked ’em up. I’m always on the lookout for more around town.

  2. Yeah!!! I’ve missed these on your blog.

    from the ‘Now I’m Feeling Old’ Dept: I saw Sid Blanks play for the Oilers back in the day. They played at Rice Stadium. It seemed like a worn out dump then but the place still carries on!

    I’m going to put forth the notion that Concepcion has a perm. He always looked like he did anyway.

    • It helps to know they were missed, I’ll make much more of an effort to keep these posts going again.

      …And I got an Orioles team set on eBay a while ago, so they’ll be part of the rotation going forward.

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