The 1970’s, A To Z: Pete Falcone to Al Ferrara

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.


PETE FALCONE

1977 Topps #205

Played 1975 – 1984
1970’s Teams: Giants, Cardinals, Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Won 12 games with the Giants and Cardinals; In his rookie season he held the Braves hitless for 7.2 innings before a Rod Gilbreath single broke it up… Falcone would give up two runs in the 9th but got the win

Career Highlights:
In a 1980 game against the Phillies, he struck out the first 6 batters and tied a league record

Fun Stuff:
Went to Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, the same school attended by Sandy Koufax, Bob and Ken Aspromonte, John Franco… and one other player who appears later in this post and who I won’t mention yet (but whose last name obviously starts with ‘F’); Falcone’s second cousin is Joe Pignatano, former catcher and Mets coach

Card Stuff:
His 1977 O-Pee-Chee card (#177) features an airbrushed portrait for reasons unknown (he’d pitched 32 games for the Cardinals in 1976)


CARMEN FANZONE

1973 Topps #139

Played 1970 – 1974
1970’s Teams: Red Sox, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
Caught pop out to complete Milt Pappas’ no-hitter against the Padres, 9/2/72

Fun Stuff:
Plays the trumpet and the flugelhorn in jazz bands and played the Star Spangled Banner before a Cubs game; His wife, Sue Raney, is a jazz singer, has four Grammy nominations and also sang the anthem before Game 6 of the 1978 World Series in Dodger stadium

Card Stuff:
Appeared on three Topps cards from 1973 to 1975 and Fanzone tricked Topps into “correcting” his birth year each year, so he appears to have turned 32 three years in a row (his correct birthday is on his 1973 rookie card)


ED FARMER

1974 Topps #506

Played 1971 – 1983
1970’s Teams: Indians, Tigers, Phillies, Orioles, Brewers, Rangers, White Sox

1970’s Highlights:
In March 1974 he was part of a 3-team, 5-player trade (along with Jim Perry and Walt Williams) that sent him to the Yankees, and then two days later he was sold to the Phillies; Made one appearance in 1977 where he gave up a single and a walk before being pulled, and both batters scored giving him an infinite ERA (and that was his career with the Orioles, BTW)

Career Highlights:
An All-Star in 1980, a season where he had a by-far-career-high 30 saves and a White Sox club record at the time; In the All-Star game he pitched 2/3 of an inning, gave up no runs on one hit and got Pete Rose to ground into a DP to end the inning

Fun Stuff:
Was a member of the White Sox broadcast team from 1992 until his passing away this past April; Grew up a White Sox fan on the south side of Chicago; Was married at pitchers mound in Wichita 9-3-70


JOE FERGUSON

1972 Topps #616

Played 1970 – 1983
1970’s Teams: Dodgers, Cardinals, Astros

1970’s Highlights:
Played in the 1974 and 1978 World Series, and his 2-run homer in Game 2 of the 1974 Series put the Dodgers ahead to stay in the only win LA got in that series; Also, while playing the outfield, threw out Sal Bando at the plate in one of the more memorable moments of that series; Broke up Luke Walker’s no-hitter by leading off the 9th with a home run, 7/18/71; Started a 2-6-5-6 Triple Play against the Reds on 4/6/78

Fun Stuff:
Appeared in the movie “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training”

Card Stuff:
Ferguson’s 1977 O-Pee-Chee card has him airbrushed into the uniform of his new team, the Astros

The “other” Joe Ferguson:
There was another Joe Ferguson on Topps cards in the 1970s – he was the Buffalo Bills quarterback – and they “overlapped” from 1974 (Football Joe’s rookie card) until 1983 (Baseball Joe’s final card)


AL FERRARA

1971 Topps #214

Played 1963 – 1971
1970’s Teams: Padres, Reds

Career Highlights:
Was voted “Dodger of the Year” in 1967 after leading the team with a .277 average and 16 homers; Got a hit in his one at bat in the 1966 World Series, leaving him with a 1.000 postseason batting average; Was an original Padre, having been selected from the Dodgers in the expansion draft

Fun Stuff:
Al tried a career in acting and appeared on Gilligan’s Island, Baretta and several episodes of Batman; He was also a contestant on the TV game show Match Game ’74; Appeared as a solo pianist at Carnegie Hall as a teenager

Yes, he’s the other guy mentioned in Pete Falcone’s “Fun Stuff”:
Al Ferrara went to Lafayette HS in Brooklyn where he was a teammate of Bob Aspromonte

Card Stuff:
As one of the better players on the expansion Padres, he appeared in some insert sets from 1969 to 1971, including an “Al Ferrara Story” comic

4 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Pete Falcone to Al Ferrara

  1. It is REALLY weird that OPC went with that airbrushed photo of Falcone when the Topps issue shows him on the Cardinals without airbrushing. I wonder what the story is there.

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