1976 SSPC: Joe Hoerner, Lou Piniella And Ted Martinez

Today’s first card is one of the most famous – or infamous? – cards in the 1976 SSPC set. Joe Hoerner was a reliever who pitched 493 games in the Majors and none of them were starts. He made the All-Star game with the Phillies in 1970, won a World Series with the 1967 Cardinals, and pitched until he was 40.
This card shows Hoerner in his second stint with the Phils; the first was from 1970 to 1972, and the second stint was just for the 1975 season. He signed as a free agent with the Rangers for the 1976 season.

Baseball-card-wise, Hoerner shared two “Rookie Stars” cards with players from two different teams. He was on a 1964 Colt .45’s Rookie Stars card and a 1966 St. Louis Cardinals Rookie Stars card.

Ted Martinez is known to Mets fans as a promising infielder who couldn’t break through, and to Dodger fans as a versatile utility player.  He also put in short stints with the Cardinals and A’s.
Teddy didn’t play for the A’s in 1976; he was released in May, signed with the Reds and spent the season at AAA Indianapolis. After the season he was taken by the Dodgers in the Rule V draft, which made me do a double-take. These days players taken in the Rule V draft are guys in the minors who haven’t even sniffed the Majors, and here’s Ted Martinez being drafted after parts of 6 seasons with several teams.  I’m guessing that part of the difference is that guys like Ted Martinez would more likely be a free agent these days than be on someone’s AAA roster.

Lou Piniella is generally associated with the Yankees from his 11 years in the Yankees outfield and his 2.5 seasons managing the Bronx Bombers, that it’s easy to forget that his biggest accomplishments as a player – Rookie Of The Year, All-Star appearnace – came with the Royals.
Piniella played 4 games with the Orioles in 1964, 6 games with the Indians in 1968 and was taken by the Seattle Pilots in the 1969 expansion draft. Just before the season, Piniella was traded to the Royals for John Gelnar and Steve Whitaker. Piniella was the Rookie Of The Year.

In between his debut and his official rookie season, Piniella played three years with the AAA Portland Beavers.

Royals fans must know this but I didn’t; Piniella batted leadoff on opening day, hit a double in his first at-bat and was driving in by #2 batter Jerry Adair… meaning that Piniella had the first hit, double and run of Royals history.


I’m pretty sure Joe Hoerner’s at Shea, but I’m not confident.  The other two I have no doubts about.

Shea: 65
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 12
Can’t tell: 19
Not Shea: 8

1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends

I’m putting Hoerner and Piniella down for sideburns, and since Lou’s hair touches his collar, I’ll label that as long.

Total Cards: 103
1970’s Sideburns: 58
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 36
Afro: 1
Perm: 2
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 26


4 thoughts on “1976 SSPC: Joe Hoerner, Lou Piniella And Ted Martinez

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