1976 SSPC: Frank Robinson, Dave Kingman And Larry Demery

I picked up a handful of 1976 SSPC cards during the COMC Black Friday promotion, and while I was scanning them, it inspired me to do another SSPC post.  None of these cards are ones I just got – I have a particular method to my posting that the new cards fit into just yet – but it got me doing a post, anyway.

Frank Robinson was the Indians manager at the time these cards were issued, but he was also an active player.  He mainly served as the DH, but did put himself in the field every now and then.  1976 was his last year as a player, and his last full season as the Indians’ manager – he’d be replaced by Jeff Torborg in June, 1977.
1976-sspc-525-frank-robinson
Frank is a HOFer who knows how to pose for a photo.  Aside from his many on-the-field accomplishments, he was the first African/American manager in the Majors;  In addition to the Indians he also managed the Giants and Expos/Nationals.  I probably knew this at the time, but have since forgotten;  he was replaced by Torborg in 1977, but he replaced Torborg as Expos manager in 2002 (although that was during the whole “We’re going to contract the Expos and Twins, oh, no we’re not” debacle.  Yay, Bud Selig!).

Dave Kingman hit 37 home runs in 1976… Which is a bit of a shame, as Mike Schmidt lead the league with 38.  1976 was also the first year that Kong made the All-Star team, and his last full season of his first tour of duty with the Mets (he also played for the Mets from 1981-1983).
1976-sspc-542-dave-kingman
Kingman was part of the June 15th, 1977 “Midnight Massacre”, a dark moment in Mets history.  Not only was Tom Seaver was traded to the Reds, but Kingman was traded to the Padres for Bobby Valentine and Paul Siebert.  That September, the Angels claimed him from the Padres on waivers, and traded him to the Yankees 9 days later.  After the season, he became a free agent and signed with the Cubs.

According to baseball-reference.com, Kingman was #20 on the career homer list at the time he retired and had, at one point, hit the most home runs of anyone not in the HOF.  Now he’s #42 on the career homer list and this past season he was passed by Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre.

Larry Demery pitched for the Pirates from 1974 to 1977, finishing his career with a 29-23 record and a 3.72 ERA.
1976-sspc-564-larry-demery
He pitched, although not terribly well, in the 1974 and 1975 NLCS. In 1976, he went 10-7, 3.17 with 2 saves. He pitched his last MLB game at the age of 24, but appeared in very scattered minor league games over the following seasons, so one would think he suffered some sort of injury, but I couldn’t find anything definitive.

I like Demery’s jacket and I was going to say that I didn’t remember seeing one like that before, but his 1975 card has him wearing the same (or identical) jacket.
1975-topps-larry-demery
This card always caught my attention because Demery looked like a kid… and he was 21 when the photo was taken, so he wasn’t terribly far removed from being a kid.

Just to be clear to anyone who might be wondering, this is not the Larry Demery who was convicted in the killing of Michael Jordan’s father.

Shea-o-meter:

There’s no way of telling where Larry Demery is.  The other two I have no doubts about.

Shea: 67
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 12
Can’t tell: 20
Not Shea: 8

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

Sideburns for F. Robinson and Kingman, Afro for Demery.

Total Cards: 106
1970’s Sideburns: 60
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 36
Afro: 2
Perm: 2
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 26

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One thought on “1976 SSPC: Frank Robinson, Dave Kingman And Larry Demery

  1. Frank could really wear a uni, couldn’t he? Even an ugly one. Those stirrups!!

    I’d push Demery towards the ‘Pretty Sure It’s Shea’ category. I just get the ‘Shea yellow seat vibe’ from that background.

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