Recap: I’m going through all of the notable and somewhat notable players and managers of the 1970’s and I’m basically making like it’s an all-encompassing 1970’s throwback baseball card set. For the “card front”, I’m sharing my favorite 1970’s card of that guy. I’m also including a card back’s worth of information and thoughts about him and his cardboard.
Played from 1976 to 1989
1970’s teams: Pirates, A’s
Tony Armas would blossom into an All-Star slugger in the 1980’s, but he got his start with the A’s in the late 1970’s after a 4-game stint with the Pirates in 1976; Made two putouts in a triple play vs. Rangers, 6/23/79
Held the record for home runs by a Venezeulan player (251) which was broken by Andres Gallaraga and is currently held by Miguel Cabrera; Father of Tony Armas, Jr. who pitched for the Expos, Nationals, Pirates and Mets from 1999 to 2008
His one baseball card appearance as a Pirate came on his 1977 rookie card, which he share with Steve Kemp and two other outfielders.
Played 1973 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Reds
As a minor leaguer he was traded from the Astros to the Reds in the same deal which brought Joe Morgan, Cesar Geronimo and Jack Billingham to Cincy and sent Lee May to Houston; Played in the postseason several years and is possibly best remembered for his 1975 World Series sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning of Game 3 – Ed got tangled up with Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, who then threw the ball into center field, which allowed Cesar Geronimo to advance to third and later score.
Among the first players born in the Bahamas
He appeared on 3 combo rookie cards (’72, ’74, ’75) before his first solo card in 1976
Here’s that controversial bunt by Armbrister in 1975:
Played 1973 – 1989
1970’s Teams: Indians, Blue Jays, Astros
Became starting catcher for 1977 Blue Jays after an injury to Rick Cerone; acquired by Jays in an expansion draft-day trade which sent the just-drafted Al Fitzmorris to Cleveland; traded to Houston after the 1978 season
Ashby caught three no-hitters with the Astros in the 1980’s, thrown by Ken Forsch, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott.
The featured 1977 O-Pee-Chee card has a Spring Training photo, while Ashby’s Topps and Hostess cards were airbrushed. Since I never did a “Contrast and Compare” post featuring Ashby, here’s the corresponding Topps card:
Played 1956 – 1971
1970’s Teams: Braves, Mets
Was the Mets starting 3rd Baseman in 1971, but hit just .225 with 21 runs and 33 RBI and got released after the season. (A little “What If” for you… if Aspromonte had worked out for the Mets, they might not have traded Nolan Ryan for 3rd Baseman Jim Fregosi in 1972).
Last Major Leaguer to have played for Brooklyn; An original Colt .45, Aspromonte was the team’s first batter and got the first hit, run and stolen base in franchise history and became the first Astro to homer in the Astrodome; Bob & His brothers owned a Coors distributorship in Houston from 1975 to 2000;
His 1972 Topps card (which I don’t have) shows him with the Reds, but he was a non-roster invite to Spring Training, didn’t make the team and that would end his career.
Managed the Indians from 1972 to 1974
Best finish was a 77-85 finish in 1974, after which he was replaced by Frank Robinson
Played in Japan for 3 years; Just about 7 years older than his brother Bob; both brothers went to Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, where Sandy Koufax, John Franco, Al Ferrara, Pete Falcone and (boo) Fred Wilpon also went.
Both he and brother Bob appeared in the 6th series of 1972 Topps (but, as I mentioned, Bob didn’t play in 1972)