The 1970’s, A To Z: Bernie Carbo to Steve Carlton

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.


BERNIE CARBO

1976 Topps #278

Played 1969- 1980
1970’s Teams: Reds, Cardinals, Red Sox, Brewers, Indians

1970’s Highlights:
Named an outfielder on the 1970 Topps All-Star Rookie team, the 1970 Sporting News NL Rookie Player Of The Year and finished 2nd to the Expos’ Carl Morton for the ‘official’ Rookie of the Year award; In Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, he hit a game-tying 3-run pinch-hit homer which set the stage for Carlton Fisk’s famous extra innings homer; Also hit a pinch-hit homer in Game 3 of that series, becoming just the second player to have two pinch-hit homers in a World Series

Career Highlights:
Lead the minor leagues in 1969 with a .359 batting average and was the American Association MVP


JOSE CARDENAL

1975 Hostess #65

Played 1963 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Phillies, Mets

Career Highlights:
Was named an outfielder on the 1965 Topps All-Star Rookie Team; Tied a Major League record in 1968 by recording two unassisted double plays in the outfield

Fun Stuff:
Cousin of Bert Campaneris;  Played every defensive position except pitcher and catcher;  Tied with A-Rod, Kid Gleason and Ned Hanlon for 129th on the all-time stolen base list;  Among the last Cuban players to leave that country before the borders closed

Card Stuff:
Appeared in 1981 Topps with the Royals, but he’d already finished his career by playing in the 1980 World Series with Kansas City


LEO CARDENAS

1972 Topps #562

Played 1960 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Twins, Angels, Indians, Rangers

1970’s Highlights:
Named to his 4th and final All-Star game in 1971;  Involved in a triple play vs. Twins 6/27/72

Career Highlights:
Inducted into Reds HOF; Tied with Ted Kluszewski for most intentional walks in a season (25) in 1965; won a Gold Glove in 1965;  Held the Reds record for home runs by a shortstop with 20 in 1966… I couldn’t tell for certain who currently holds that record, but it’s probably Barry Larkin with 33 homers in 1996;  Hit a solo home run for the only run scored in Reds pitcher Jim Maloney’s 1965 10-inning no-hitter

Fun Stuff
As with Jose Cardenal, he was among the last Cuban players to leave before the borders closed

Card Stuff:
Topps listed him as “Chico” Cardenas from 1960 to 1969 and made the switch to Leo in 1970;  Didn’t appear in 1974 Topps and, not unrelated, played 73 games for the Indians in 1973 without having his time in Cleveland reflected on a baseball card (but he did appear on a 1973 Cleveland Indians postcard)


ROD CAREW

1979 Topps #300

Played 1967 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Twins, Angels

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991; Was a nearly-unanimous choice for 1967 AL Rookie of the Year receiving 19 of the 20 votes (Boston’s Reggie Smith got the 20th); Over his 19 year career he was named an All-Star 18 times, batted over .300 15 times; Finished his career with 3,053 hits and a .328 career average; In 1969 Carew stole 3 bases in the same inning and stole home 7 times

1970’s Highlights:
Voted the 1977 MVP and 1977 Sporting News AL Player of the Year in a season in which he lead the Majors in batting average (.388), on-base percentage (.449), runs (128) and hits (239), lead the American League in triples (16) and intentional walks (15) and had a career-high 100 RBI; His 1977 season set still-standing Twins/Senators records for batting average and hits; Started the All-Game at either 2nd or 1st from 1971 to 1978; Batted over .300 in every year of the 1970s and won the batting title 6 of those 10 years; Hit for the cycle 5/20/70 vs. Royals; Went 5-for-7 with 2 doubles, 3 walks and 2 RBI in the Brewers 22-inning 4-3 win over Twins, 5/12/72;

Fun Stuff:
His #29 was retired by both the Twins and Angels; Was the Opening Day 2nd baseman in his Major League debut and singled off of Dave McNally in his first career at bat

Card Stuff:
His 1977 O-Pee-Chee card does not have the “AL ALL STAR” banner at the bottom, and as a result you can see his left foot


STEVE CARLTON

1974 Topps #95

Played 1965 – 1988
1970’s Teams: Cardinals, Phillies

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994; Four-time Cy Young Award winner; A ten-time All-Star and 1981 Gold Glove winner; Had 329 career wins and 4,136 career strikeouts; Holds the Phillies career records with 241 wins, 499 Starts and 3031 K’s; His 4,136 career strikeouts ranks 4th all-time behind Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens; was the last pitcher to throw 300 innings in a season; Started and won the 1969 All Star Game and got a double

1970’s Highlights:
Was named the Sporting News NL Pitcher of the Year in 1972 and 1977; In 1972 he won the Cy Young, lead the Majors in wins (27) and complete games (30) and lead the National League in ERA (1.97), strikeouts (310) and innings pitched (346.1)… Also that season he became the second National League pitcher to top 300 K’s in a season; Won his second Cy in 1977 and ‘only’ lead the league in wins (23); Pitched a complete game for a win in the first game at Olympic Stadium, 4/15/77

The All-Time Strikeout Record:
As commemorated on a 1984 Topps card, Carlton, Nolan Ryan and Gaylord Perry all broke Walter Johnson’s career strikeout record in 1983. Perry retired after that 1983 season, but Carlton and Ryan continuously set new records and passed each other through the 1984 season. In 1985 Carlton had just 85 to Ryan’s 205 and Ryan had the record for good.

Fun Stuff:
His 27 wins in 1972 was 45.8% of the 59-97 Phillies’ team wins, the 2nd highest win totals on that team was 7 (Bucky Brandon); On September 15, 1969 Carlton struck out 19 Mets but lost 4-3… Future Royals star Amos Otis struck out 4 times in that game; Gave up Andre Dawson’s first Major League hit, 9/13/76; Appeared as himself on an episode of “Married… With Children”

6 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Bernie Carbo to Steve Carlton

  1. I wouldn’t call the Phillies’ 1972 season fun. But it was before I was born, so It doesn’t bother me too much.

    I saw Andre Dawson throw the batter out at first on what should have been a single. But I’ve never seen an OF turn a double play by himself.

  2. In 1972 the Phillies were 59-97 .378 37.5 game behind 6th place in NL east 11 games behind the Montreal Expos who were 70-86. Steve Carlton had almost 1/2 the teams total wins, next closest pitcher on the Phillies was Darrell Brandon who was 7-7. This information came from the 1991 Sports Encyclopedia of baseball. Rod Carew had a great career, but never made it to the world series.

  3. Bernie Carbo will always be the guy sliding home in Game One of the 1970 Series as Elrod Hendricks applies the phantom tag. It was a big deal then, but nowadays that play would have just exploded Twitter.

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