The 1970’s, A To Z: Ron Bryant To Wally Bunker

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.


RON BRYANT

1974 Topps #104

Played 1967 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Giants, Cardinals

1970’s Highlights:
Bryant had a very good season, a career season and then a few other seasons where he never had more than 7 wins. In 1972 he went 14-7 with a career best 2.90 ERA. In 1973 he had a breakout season, tying for the MLB lead with 24 wins against 12 losses, and had a 3.53 ERA and 143 strikeouts, was named the Sporting News NL Pitcher of the Year and finished 3rd in Cy Young voting behind winner Tom Seaver (winner) and Mike Marshall; His 24 wins in 1973 remains the best by a San Francisco lefty; His sole postseason outing was 2 innings against the Pirates where he allowed a 2-run homer to Bob Robertson, plunked Richie Hebner, walked Al Oliver and retired the other 6 batters (including a called third strike against Roberto Clemente);


BILL BUCKNER

1975 Topps #244

Played 1969-1990
1970’s Teams: Dodgers, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
Named as an outfielder on the 1971 Topps All-Star Rookie Team and was a well-regarded hitter on his way up through the Dodgers’ system;  Got MVP votes in 1974 and 1978; Played in postseason in 1974; Had 7 RBI in the Cubs’ wild 22-23 loss to the Phillies 5/17/79

Career Highlights:
Lead the league with a .324 average in 1980, twice lead the league in doubles and had three seasons with 100+ RBI

Fun Stuff:
Guest starred on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Card Stuff:
Buckner appeared on two “Rookie Stars” cards before getting solo card complete with an All-Star Rookie trophy; 1977 Topps shows Buckner with the Dodgers, but 1977 Hostess has him airbrushed into a Cubs cap


DON BUFORD

1971 Topps #328

Played 1963 – 1972
1970’s Teams: Orioles

1970’s Highlights:
Lead the league with 99 runs in 1971;  Named to the 1971 All-Star team;  Played in Japan for the Lions and Hawks from 1973 to 1976

Career Highlights:
Appeared in 15 World Series Games from 1969 to 1971;  Went from the White Sox to the Orioles in a trade involving HOFer Luis Aparicio; Has a career .362 On-Base percentage; Inducted into the Orioles Hall Of Fame in 1993

Fun Stuff:
Don was born on Groundhog’s Day, 1937;  Father of Damon Buford, who played for the Orioles, Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs and Mets from 1993 to 2001;

Card Stuff:
That World Series Game #2 card is clearly a matter of Topps starting with the photo – check out the Johnny Bench cameo! –  and then working around that.  Buford singled in the first but didn’t score, he flied out to deep right in the 3rd, singled and eventually scored in the 5th, grounded out in the 6th and walked in the 9th without scoring.  The Orioles won the game 6-5 and won the series 4 games to 1.


AL BUMBRY

1978 Topps #188

Played 1972 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Orioles

1970’s Highlights:
Bumbry was the 1973 AL Rookie of the Year, but oddly enough was not a Topps All-Star Rookie (outfielders were Gary Matthews, Johnny Grubb and Bumbry’s teammate Rich Coggins);  Also in 1973 he lead the league with 11 triples and tied a major league record by hitting 3 triples in one game; Played in the postseason in 1973, 1974 and 1979

Career Highlights:
Was an All-Star in 1980; Inducted into the Orioles HOF in 1987;  Known for his speed, Bumbry had 254 career stolen bases and is 4th on the Orioles/Browns all-time list

Fun Stuff:
Earned a Bronze Star as a platoon leader in Vietnam; Was the first of two Virginia State University alumni to play in the Majors (the other was Clay Rapada 2007- 2013)


WALLY BUNKER

1970 Topps #266

Played 1963 – 1971
1970’s Teams: Royals

Career Highlights:
Shut out the Dodgers in Game 3 of the 1966 World Series;  As a 19-year-old rookie in 1964, Bunker lead the league with a .792 winning percentage (17-5) but finished a distant 2nd to Tony Oliva in Rookie of the Year voting;  Was an original Kansas City Royal, threw the first pitch in team history and finished with a winning record (12-11) on that 93-loss team;  Was named the RHP on the 1964 Topps All-Star Rookie team

1970’s Highlights:
Was the Royals’ Opening Day starter in 1970, but shoulder injuries took their toll and he retired during the 1972 season while pitching at AAA Omaha

4 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Ron Bryant To Wally Bunker

  1. My goal is to binge watch Curb Your Enthusiasm this summer. I watched maybe the first six seasons and loved it. Looking forward to seeing the newer stuff. Don’t remember seeing Buckner, so either my memory sucks (which it does) or it was in one of the seasons I haven’t seen.

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