The 1970’s, A To Z: Buddy Bell To Yogi Berra

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.


BUDDY BELL

Played 1972 – 1989
1970’s Teams: Indians, Rangers

1970’s Highlights:
1972 Topps All-Star Rookie outfielder; His first MLB home run was a grand slam; Was an All-Star in 1973 and was named by manager Alvin Dark to the 1975 All-Star team, but Buddy declined, saying that other players deserved it more than he did; Had a career-high 200 hits, 89 runs and 101 RBI in 1979

Career Highlights:
Inducted into Rangers HOF 2004; won six Gold Gloves and was named an All-Star five times

Fun Stuff:
Son of former Major Leaguer Gus Bell; Father of former Major Leaguers Mike Bell and David Bell (who is the current Cincinnati Reds manager); Went to the same Cincinnati high school as Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Larkin and Buddy’s sons.

Card Stuff:
There were no great 1970’s cards of Buddy Bell, so I went with 1975 Hostess


JOHNNY BENCH

Played 1967 – 1983
1970’s Teams: Reds

Career Highlights:
Many say that this Hall-Of-Famer is the greatest catcher of all time;  NL Rookie of the year in 1968;  Holds Reds career records with 389 homers, 1376 RBI and 90 Sac Flies; 10-time Gold Glove;

1970’s Highlights:
National League MVP in 1970 and 1972; was named MVP of the 1976 World Series after going 8 for 15 (.533) with 4 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 homers and 6 RBI;  Started in the All-Star Game from 1970 to 1977 and also in 1979; Lead the league in homers 1970 and 1972, RBI in 1970, 1972 and 1974; Broke Frank Robinson’s record for homers by a Cincinnati Reds player in 1979

Fun Stuff:
Hosted “The Baseball Bunch” and also appeared on “Hee Haw”, “Mission: Impossible”, “The Partridge Family”, “Mr. Belvedere”, “Married… With Children” and other shows.

Card Stuff:
This 1976 Topps card is a lock for anybody’s “Top cards of the 1970s” list;  His 1971 card called him a “future HOFer at 23”;


JUAN BENIQUEZ

Played 1971 – 1988
1970’s Teams: Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees

1970’s Highlights:
Won a Gold Glove with the Rangers in 1977; Traded from Red Sox to Rangers in a deal which brought Fergie Jenkins to Boston; Went from the Rangers to the Yankees in a ten-player trade that also involved Sparky Lyle and then-minor leaguer Dave Righetti; Played for the Red Sox in the 1975 World Series

Career Highlights
Played every position except pitcher and catcher (just one game at 2nd in 1976)

Fun Stuff:
Came up as a shortstop but was converted to an outfielder in 1973; Played in the Senior Professional Baseball Association

Card Stuff:
The featured card is a 1979 Burger King card – his regular 1979 Topps card shows him with the Rangers


DAVE BERGMAN

Played 1975 – 1992
1970’s Teams: Yankees, Astros

1970’s Highlights:
Hit his first Major League home run off of Phil Niekro, September 26, 1979

Career Highlights:
Played in the postseason three times, once with the Astros and twice with the Tigers;

Fun Stuff:
The Yankees protected him in the Expansion Draft for the Blue Jays and Mariners, and then named him as the “player to be named later” in a deal with Houston.

Card Stuff:
If I owned it, the featured card would be a 1978 Burger King Astros card… Bergman appeared in 1978 Topps, but on a four-player Rookie Outfielders card and airbrushed into an Astros cap; Appeared with the Yankees in the 1976 SSPC set (again, one I don’t have yet)


YOGI BERRA

Played 1946 – 1965
Managed 1964, 1972 – 1975, 1984 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Mets

1970’s Highlights:
In 1973 he became the second manager to ever win a pennant in both leagues when his 82-79 Mets upset the Big Red Machine in the NLCS, then took the A’s to 7 games before losing; Was named the Mets manager before the 1972 season when Gil Hodges suffered a fatal heart attack while playing golf in Florida; After being fired by the Mets late in the 1975 season, Yogi became a coach for the Yankees in 1976 and was in uniform throughout the 1970s.

Career Highlights (As a player):
Inducted into Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1972; Three-time MVP, Eighteen-time All-star, ten-time World Champion

Update:
I originally had semi-intentionally not mentioned Yogi’s son Dale under the mistaken idea that he did not play in the Majors in the 1970’s… but I was wrong, and so…

In 1975, Yogi’s son Dale was drafted 20th overall by the Pirates. He made his MLB debut in 1977, split time between the Bucs and AAA in 1978 and 1979, and in the 1980s he played for the Pirates, Yankees and (very briefly) Astros. Since Dale’s only 1970’s card was a shared 1979 Topps “Pirates Prospects” card, this is likely the last mention of Dale Berra in this series.

Card Stuff:
Yogi’s son Tim, a wide receiver with the Baltimore Colts, has a card in 1975 Topps Football.

13 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Buddy Bell To Yogi Berra

  1. Greetings. One minor correction; the manager of the 1975 American League all star team was Alvin Dark, not Alvin Davis.

  2. You can never go wrong with Hostess… but Bell has a few decent 70’s Topps cards. I like the father/son card they did in 1976. His 75 and 77 cards aren’t action packed… but his posed swing photos aren’t too shabby. But like I said. You can’t go wrong with Hostess.

    • My official line of reasoning is that I’m featuring my favorite card of each player, which is not necessarily the best or most popular. If the photos don’t excite, I go for favorite sets and/or oddballs. If I started from scratch on these, I might use the 1976 Father/Son card… I’m likely going to use one when I get to Bob Boone.

  3. You mentioned Yogi’s NFL son Tim, but your description did not include any reference to his son Dale, an infielder who played 11 MLB seasons and was the Pirates 1st round pick in the 1975 Draft. What I find most amazing about Yogi’s playing days is his uncanny ability to put his bat on the ball, striking out only 414 times 8,350 at bats. Yogi had nearly as many HRs (358) as strikeouts in his career. Pretty amazing by today’s standards.

    • Guilty as charged regarding Dale. I didn’t include him because I thought he wasn’t in the Majors until the 1980’s, and I failed to double-check his stats. I’ll add a note to Yogi’s entry when I get a chance.

      The more I know about Yogi’s baseball abilities, the more impressed I get. If it’s possible for a HOF to be underrated, then Yogi is underrated.

  4. It’s spelled BALTIMORE Colts. All caps, always. Preferably in Colts Blue. I’ll let it slide this time. But watch yourself. Thank you.

    signed,
    Commish ‘You’re damn right I’m still bitter’ Bob

  5. excellent card selection! I actually watched Bench on Hee Haw not that long ago. I grew up on that show. I did not know about Tim Berra. Was he as good at football as Dale in baseball? One card makes me think “no”.

    • Tim played just the 1974 season in the NFL, and although his card says “Wide Receiver”, he played only on special teams, returning kicks and punts. I’m thinking that if he were “Tim Quackenbush”, he doesn’t get a Topps card in the first place.

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