1976 SSPC: Ron LeFlore, Bobby Grich, Rogelio Moret

LeVar Burton starred in a 1977 made-for-TV movie called “One In A Million: The Ron LeFlore Story”. Ron LeFlore’s story *is* the kind one makes movies about.
LeFlore never played baseball until he was in prison for armed robbery, but word of his talent made its way to Tigers manager Billy Martin, who arranged to get him a tryout. When LeFlore was released from prison he signed with the Tigers, and he quickly moved up to be the starting center fielder in Detroit.

LeFlore was an All-Star in 1976, lead the league in runs in 1978 and twice lead the league in stolen bases.

Getting back to “One In A Million”…  At the time, LeVar Burton was known only for playing Kunta Kinte in “Roots”;  this was well before “Reading Rainbow” or “Star Trek:  The Next Generation”.  Appearing as themselves in “One In A Million” were Billy Martin, Bill Freehan, Norm Cash, Al Kaline and Jim Northrup

Bobby Grich was the 19th overall pick in the 1967 draft, would play 17 years, mostly at second base, for the Orioles and Angels, was named an all-star 6 times, Gold Glove 4 times and Silver Slugger once.
In the strike-shortened 1981 season he lead the league with 22 homers and a .543 slugging percentage. Bobby was inducted into the Orioles Hall Of Fame in 1998.

Rogelio “Roger” Moret was a swingman who pitched 9 seasons in the majors, primarily with the Red Sox. Prior to this card coming out, Moret lead the league with a .824 win-loss percentage (14-3).
He was just 20 when he made his debut. For 1976, Moret found himself in Atlanta, having been traded for Tom House… The back of this card lists him with the Braves. He’d last just one year with the Braves before being included in a package of 5 players sent to Texas for Jeff Burroughs.

Grich is at Shea; LeFlore looks to be at Shea, but I can’t tell for sure because it’s dark; Moret is most definitely not at Shea. I won’t even hazard a guess at where he is, I’m sure someone else will know definitively.
Shea: 63
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 11
Can’t tell: 19
Not Shea: 8

1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends
I’m going to put these guys down as two mustaches and two pair of sideburns.  Grich’s hair is kind of long, but not really by 1970’s standards so I’m leaving him out of that count.

Total Cards: 100
1970’s Sideburns: 56
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 36
Afro: 1
Perm: 2
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 25


11 thoughts on “1976 SSPC: Ron LeFlore, Bobby Grich, Rogelio Moret

  1. Would you believe I’d never known LeFlore’s story nor had I ever heard of the One in a Million movie? I feel so uncultured now. Forget scary movies, I’m queuing up LeVar Burton tonight!

    • I can’t believe I hadn’t watched it in 1977… But we only had the one TV then, So maybe I got overruled.

      There’s little that makes me feel as old as saying “I couldn’t watch it because we had only one TV”. Maybe it’s my generation’s “walk uphill through the snow to get to school”.

  2. I hadn’t heard the LeFlore story either before posting a LeVar Burton autograph on my blog a couple months ago and guys were talking about it in the comments. Just checked out a few clips on YouTube.. Pretty cool, in a cheesy 70s made-for-tv way.

  3. I’m pretty sure Moret’s photo is from the pre-renovation Yankee Stadium. IIRC some of the SSPC cards used photos that were older than 1975. That photo would have to be from no later than 1973.

    I must be the only one who remembers watching “One In A Million” when it aired. God, I’m old…

  4. LeFlore was at least the second modern Tigers player to make the bigs after a prison stretch. Gates Brown was a pinch hitting specialist on the Tigers teams of the 60s and 70s.

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