The 1970’s, A To Z: Bill Campbell to Buzz Capra

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.


1974 Topps #26

Played 1973 – 1987
1970’s Teams: Twins, Red Sox

1970’s Highlights:
Won the AL “Fireman” Award in 1976 and 1977;  In 1976 he lead the league with a .773 winning percentage (17-5) and games pitched (78); After the 1976 season he signed a big-for-the-day 5-year $1 million contract with the Red Sox; In 1977 he was an All-Star, lead the league with 31 saves and also got a first place vote in Cy Young voting (although he finished 5th overall)

Fun Stuff:
Those 17 wins in 1976 are the 2nd most in history for a pitcher who never started a game (Roy Face set the pace with 18 relief wins in 1959);

Card Stuff:
Campbell’s 1977 OPC card has a different, airbrushed photo than 1977 Topps; Since Campbell’s 1970s cards aren’t the most visually stimulating, I decided to feature his 1974 rookie card


1972 Topps #384

NOTE:  This is the Dave Campbell who was formerly on ESPN

Played 1967 – 1974
1970’s Teams: Padres, Cardinals, Astros

1970’s Highlights:
Lead NL 2nd Basemen in PO & Assists in 1970; lead Padres in steals in 1970;  Started his broadcasting career in 1972 after a season-ending injury

Career Highlights:
Batted just .213 over his career and in the one season he played enough to qualify for the batting title, he batted .219

Fun Stuff:
Did voice work for the “MLB: The Show” PlayStation game

Card Stuff:
His 1974 Topps card lists him as INF – OF, but he played only 4 games in the outfield over his career


1978 Topps #402

Played 1977 – 1978
1970’s Teams: Braves

1970’s Highlights:
Pitched 118 games over two seasons, all in relief; lead the 1977 Braves with 13 saves but only had 1 save in 1978 and was done in the Majors after that

Fun Stuff:
Born in Princeton, IN, hometown of Gil Hodges


1979 Hostess #86

Played 1975 – 1993
1970’s Teams: Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
No-hit the Dodgers on August 9, 1976 and became just the 2nd Pirate to throw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh; In 1977 he lead the league with a .800 winning percentage (20-5), a 2.34 ERA and he got a first place vote in the Cy Young voting but finished a distant 5th behind winner Steve Carlton; Pirates Opening Day starter in 1978; Lost Game 3 of the 1979 World Series but beat Jim Palmer in Game 6

Career Highlights:
Won 177 games over 19 seasons; After being traded to the Angels during the 1985 season, he was named the 1986 AL Comeback Player of the Year

Fun Stuff:
The Candy Man pitched in Class A Charleston, SC in 1973 and in AAA Charleston, WV in 1974 and 1975 – If I had the time and if my cartooning skills weren’t rusty, I would’ve made a fake card back cartoon based on this… A confused-looking Candelaria saying “Which Charleston is this Charleston?”


1976 Hostess #85

Played 1971 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Mets, Braves

1970’s Highlights:
After a couple of years in the Mets bullpen, Capra was sold to the Braves in March 1974 had a breakout season, leading the NL with a 2.28 ERA, winning 16 games (his only season with double-digit wins) and being named the June Pitcher of the Month; After Capra’s 1974 workload, arm issues all but derailed his career; Played for the 1973 NL Champion Mets but did not make a postseason appearance

Fun Stuff:
Capra’s first career RBI came off of HOFer Juan Marichal and got him a 1-0 victory over the Giants; According to Baseball Reference, Capra is the last Major Leaguer listed to go by the name “Buzz”

6 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Bill Campbell to Buzz Capra

  1. Or you could have a cartoon of Candelaria dancing the Charleston!

    I actually tutored a cousin of his, many years ago.

    • I keep wondering “If sports medicine was then what it is today, how much more could this guy have done?”

      Of course who knows what medical advances of 2060 could have done for today’s injured pitchers..

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