The 1970’s, A To Z: Clay Carroll to Norm Cash

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

1970’s Highlights:
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

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1980


1976 Kellogg’s #34

Played 1974 – 1992
1970’s Teams: Expos

1970’s Highlights:
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;

Career Highlights:
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

Fun Stuff:
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

Card Stuff:
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

1970’s Highlights:
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

Career Highlights:
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.

Card Stuff:
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

1970’s Highlights:
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

Fun Stuff:
Was the last Expos player to wear #30 before Tim Raines

Card Stuff:
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

1970’s Highlights:
Was an All-Star in 1971 and 1972;

Career Highlights:
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;

Fun Stuff:
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

12 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Clay Carroll to Norm Cash

  1. I didn’t know about Carty’s card being airbrushed in Topps but not in OPC. There are certainly other examples of a photo being used for two versions of the same card where one is airbrushed/photoshopped and the other is not (Ruben Tejada in 2016 comes to mind–he’s on the Mets in Opening Day but put into a Cardinals uniform in the same photo in flagship series 2), but is there any other where the airbrushed version came first?

    • This type of thing happens more often now that Topps pays per photo, rather than hiring their own photographers… but I don’t know of any other examples where it went from airbrushes to original. Maybe someone else can add a comment about this.

      I’m not sure I knew about that OD Tejada… I’ll have to check to see if I have both versions!

  2. I always thought it was odd that the Expos had catchers on the Topps All Star Rookie team two years in a row with Barry Foote in 1974 and Carter in 1975. Obviously Foote didn’t block Carter very long…

    • Foote was drafted #3 overall in 1970 and it was clear that the Expos didn’t want to give up on him. Getting Traded to the Phillies, who already had Bob Boone and Tim McCarver, was not a good situation for Foote to be in

      • Barry Foote was always a decent backup catcher for the expos, phils, cubs & yanks. I always thought that for someone barry’s size he would be more of power hitter. Gary Carter also played for the mets, 1 year each for the dodgers & giants before finishing up with expos.

  3. Yesterday I learned that Joe Montana received a basketball scholarship from NC State. Today it’s Carter receiving a football scholarship from UCLA. Love sports trivia.

  4. Legend (and Jim Bouton in Ball Four) had it that Rico Carty carried his wallet with him when he played because he was afraid of it getting stolen in the clubhouse. Bouton’s quote: “So that big lump you see in his back pocket during baseball games is his wallet,”

    • lol… I don’t remember that story, but it’s been too long since I read Ball Four. I can relate to that though, Back in my softball days I never knew what to do with my wallet and keys (this was before I had an iPhone to worry about as well)

  5. I’m surprised the Mets haven’t officially retired Carter’s #8. Also I somehow don’t have his ’77 OPC variation & I should really try to change that soon.

    • Mets manger Yogi Berra also wore #8 who helped the Mets to the 1973 world series versus the A’s, the Mets could retire #8 for both Yogi Berra & Gary Carter.

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