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 #111
Played 1964 – 1978
1970’s Teams: Reds, White Sox, Cardinals, Pirates
All-Star in 1971 and 1972; Was named the “Leading Fireman” in 1972 and set what was then a record with 37 saves; Earned two wins and a save in World Series play
Inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1980
1976 Kellogg’s #34
Played 1974 – 1992
1970’s Teams: Expos
Was the catcher on the 1975 Topps All-Star Rookie team and The Sporting News named him the NL Rookie of the Year; Got a first-place vote in the 1979 NL MVP voting, but finished well behind co-winners Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell;
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Canadian Baseball HOF, the Expos HOF and the Mets HOF; An 11-time All-Star, a 3-time Gold Glove, a 5-time Silver Slugger and a 2-time All-Star Game MVP; Broke Al Lopez’ NL mark for games caught (2,056); Lead the league with 106 RBI in 1984; The Expos retired his #8, and although the Mets have not officially retired #8, nobody has worn it since 2001
Was offered a football scholarship to UCLA before signing with the Expos; Hit his first Major League homer off of Steve Carlton; During his 1975 rookie season he played more games as a right fielder than as a catcher; His brother Gordon played for Giants A-ball Fresno team in 1972 and 1973
His 1977 OPC card features a different photo than his Topps card… Here’s his 1977 Topps card (#295)
…and his 1977 O-Pee-Chee (#45)
1976 Topps #156
Played 1963 – 1979
1970’s Teams: Braves, Rangers, Cubs, A’s, Indians, Blue Jays
Lead the league in batting in 1970 with a .366 average and also lead with a .454 On-Base Percentage; Had a 31 game Hitting streak that same year, which stood as a Braves team record for 41 years, and was the starting Left Fielder in the 1970 All-Star Game; Was the first DH in Rangers history
Went 3-for-10 with 4 runs scored in the 1969 NLCS vs. the Mets; He was inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame and the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame.
In November, 1976, the Blue Jays took Rico Carty from Cleveland with the 10th pick of the expansion draft. Topps dutifully airbrushed Carty into a Blue Jays uniform…
…But on March 15, 1977, Carty was traded back to the Indians for Rick Cerone and John Lowenstein. O-Pee-Chee was able to go back and use the original photo of Carty, sans airbrushing. The best part about all of this is that the Indians traded Rico back to the Blue Jays in March, 1978.
1976 Kellogg’s #16
Played 1969 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Pirates, Phillies, Expos
Was an All-Star from 1974 to 1976; Named to the 1970 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Set a single-season record (since broken) in 1975 with 699 AB’s; Took part in a triple play vs. Braves 7/9/71; Got the first hit in Olympic Stadium, 4/15/77; Was the Expos stolen base leader in 1977; Lead the league in AB’s for 3 seasons straight; Lead league in hits in 1975 and triples in 1976
Was the last Expos player to wear #30 before Tim Raines
Was released by the Padres at the end of 1981 spring training and didn’t play in the Majors again, so all three of his 1981 baseball cards have his full career stats.
1974 Topps #367
Played: 1958 – 1974
1970’s Teams: Tigers
Was an All-Star in 1971 and 1972;
In 1961 he lead the league in batting (.361), hits (193) and On-Base Percentage (.487) while hitting 41 homers, scoring 119 runs and getting 132 RBI ; Batted .385 with a homer, 5 runs scored and 5 RBI in the 1968 World Series;
Started his career with the White Sox, played in the 1959 World Series and was traded to the Indians after the season… but at the beginning of the season, before he took the field for Cleveland, he was traded to Detroit, where he’d spend 15 years