Over the past couple of years, I’ve been making a “fun run” at 1972 Topps. I completed several of the lower series, worked my way up, and now I find myself needing only High #’s and semi-high-numbered HOFers. This is where it comes back to “fun” part… I’m not super-serious about completing 1972, and at the moment the chase is more chore than fun, so I’m putting it on the back burner for the near future.
Instead, I decided to make a fun run at its two predecessors. I recently realized that the only thing which stood between me and a complete 1st series of 1971 was a checklist, so at the show I went to in October, I knocked that tiny little goal off my list…
That’s all you’re going to see of 1971, I was just determined to get this checklist into a post somewhere.
Far more progress was made on the 1970 fun run, which is mainly what I’m sharing today.
One card I’ve long desired but couldn’t find at the desired price point is the Thurman Munson rookie. I’d always had a deep respect for Munson, and his tragic death is very much a “Where were you when…” Moment.
But what of Dave McDonald, who shares this rookie card with Thurman Munson? He played 9 games for the Yankees as a September call-up in 1969 while wearing #55 (back before the Yankees had retired 63 numbers). He was traded to the Expos, traded to the Giants for Ron Hunt, and sold back to the Expos before having two cups of coffee with the Expos in 1971. He’d spend the rest of his career in with the AAA teams of the Expos and Mets. This looks like it may have been his only card.
Charlie Metro (real name Moreskonich) was a baseball lifer… an outfielder for the Tigers and A’s, he would later manage the Cubs and Royals.
Metro replaced original KC manager Joe Gordon, who decided not to return after one season. Metro didn’t last as long as that; he got fired in his first season with a 19-33 record.
Charlie was from the delightfully named town of Nanty Glo, PA… A town I “immortalized” on a Simon & Gintfunkel custom three years ago.
Gene Mauch managed the 1969 Expos to a 52-110 record and didn’t get fired. His team improved to 73-89 in his second season, a pretty durn impressive improvement.
Mauch was never out of work very long as a manager… The Phillies fired him, the Expos hired him. The Expos fired him, the Twins hired him. The Twins fired him, the Angels hired him… And best of all, the Angels fired him and then later hired him back.
And, as you can see above, he knew exactly where Topps should place the team name on his card.
I’m a day late for “Two-fer Tuesday”, but I’ve still got a double shot of Santo. I got the Santo All-Star card, a 4th series need…
…and an N.L. RBI leaders card which is 1st series.
The 1969 RBI race was pretty tight… McCovey had 126, Santo 123, Perez 122.
Let’s wrap up with the rookie card that won’t have to get into the “What happened to the other guy” backstory… One that features Vida Blue and Gene Tenace.
Both were key parts of the A’s dynasty of the early-to-mid 1970’s, both made at least one all-star team and both had long, distinguished careers.
I’ll wrap up with something I hadn’t realized: Gene Tenace was born Fiore Gino Tennaci.