As I mentioned in my last post, I’m breaking this long Team Set post into two parts because for all the time it’s taken me to do what was meant to be “a fun and relatively quick post”, I want to get one day’s worth out of it.
I just love this candid shot of Greg Luzinski sitting in the dugout. I like the Carlton and Bowa cards (from the prior post) as well, but this one is top of the heap.
Greg Luzinski played only 85 games in 1974 due to injuries, but he broke out in 1975, hitting 34 homers and leading the league with 120 RBI.
Catcher Mike Ryan
Best Rookie Card
Dick Ruthven, just because he had a decent career and he’s faking a pitching pose in front of the Shea Stadium bullpen.
In 1973 Ruthven had gone straight from Cal State–Fresno to the Phillies. He didn’t pitch in the minor leagues until 1975, when he spent a good chunk of his 3rd pro season at AAA Toledo. He’d go on to pitch in 14 seasons with the Phils, Braves and Cubs.
Best Name, Front Of The Card
Aurelio Monteagudo is referred to on the back of the card as a “journeyman reliever”. He was acquired from the Angels in an early December trade.
He would never pitch for the Phillies, or appear in the Majors after 1973, but still…
Best Name, Back Of The Card
Mac Scarce is a pretty good name…
…but “Mac Scarce” hasn’t got anything on “Guerrant McCurdy Scarce”!
Two Best Variations
There are two Rookie Pitchers cards which include Phillies and have variations; the variations don’t involve the Phillies pitchers, but I’m going to share these here anyway.
Because it involves a Mets pitcher, the best variation is the one where Bob Apodaca’s name is misspelled “Apodaco”.
Mike Wallace would pitch for four teams over five seasons, and was traded to the Yankees in May, 1974. He appeared on three Topps cards in his career, and this is the only one which isn’t airbrushed; In 1975 Topps he was airbrushed into a Yankees cap, and in 1977 Topps he was airbrushed into a Rangers cap. He did appear in 1976 SSPC in a Cardinals uniform.
The second-best variation is the card which labels Dave Freisleben as being with “Washington”. This is, of course, part of the whole “Washington Nat’l. Lea.” thing.
Ron Diorio made 23 appearances in 1973 and 2 in 1974, all in relief. He did pitch well in 1973, flashing a 2.33 and 1.241 WHIP while getting a save.
OK, one of the “Traded” cards would probably qualify as a better insert, but the unnumbered team checklist card will also do nicely.
Don’t forget to check out the series that I didn’t realize I was “borrowing” from: Night Owl’s “Joy Of A Team Set”!