The 1970’s, A To Z: Gary Gentry to Dave Goltz

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.


GARY GENTRY

1973 Topps #288

Played 1969 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Mets, Braves

1970’s Highlights:
Threw two one-hitters with the Mets, with each hit by a future HOFer; in 1970 he one-hit the Cubs with the only hit coming on an Ernie Banks single in the 8th; In 1971 he one-hit the Pirates with Roberto Clemente hitting a run-scoring triple in the 6th; After being acquired in an offseason trade involving Félix Millan, Danny Frisella and George Stone, Gentry was the Braves Opening Day Starter, 1973; Injuries kept him from living up to the promise of his 1969 rookie season and college dominance

Career Highlights:
Was with the 1969 “Miracle Mets” and was the winning pitcher over Jim Palmer in Game 3 of the World Series, pitching 6.2 shutout innings and hitting a 2-run double; As a college pitcher in 1967, The Sporting News named Gentry the National Player of the Year after he struck out 229 batters (then a record), finished with a 17-1 record and a 1.14 ERA. In that year’s College World Series he pitched 23 innings over 2 starts, striking out 31 and giving up just 2 runs; Gentry has been inducted into the Arizona State and NCAA baseball Halls of Fame; Pitched a shutout against the Cardinals to clinch the NL East in 1969

Fun Stuff:
Was a college teammate of Larry Gura

Card Stuff:
Thanks to an article about Topps Cards in Dynamite Magazine, this 1973 card of Gentry was my introduction to the concept of Topps modifying an image (and a pretty decent job of it, too)


CÉSAR GERÓNIMO

1976 SSPC #45

Played 1969 – 1983
1970’s Teams: Astros, Reds

1970’s Highlights:
César Gerónimo, known for his glove and strong throwing arm, was the starting center fielder on the Big Red Machine teams of the 1970’s; He won four Gold Gloves from 1974 to 1977, played in 3 World Series and won World Championships in 1975 and 1976; Came to the Reds in the same 8-player deal which brought Joe Morgan and Jack Billingham from Houston

Career Highlights:
Inducted into Reds Hall of Fame in 2008

Fun Stuff:
Gerónimo was the victim of Bob Gibson’s 3000th strikeout in 1974 and would also be Ryan’s 3000th K in 1980;  Was originally in the Yankees organization until the Astros selected him in the 1968 Rule V Draft


BOB GIBSON

1970 Topps Super #33

Played 1959 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Cardinals

1970’s Highlights:
Won the 1970 Cy Young Award after going 23-7 with a 3.12 ERA and 274 strikeouts.. His 23 wins also lead the league; No-hit the Pirates, 8/14/71; Was the starting pitcher in the 1972 All-Star Game; Got his 3,000th strikeout on July 17, 1974, just the 2nd pitcher to reach that milestone; Was the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter each year he was active in the 1970s; Was the August 1970 NL Player of the month when he won all 6 of his starts with a 2.31 ERA, 55 strikeouts, a shutout and a 14-inning complete game

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981; Dominated hitters in 1968 when he won both the MVP and Cy Young awards, lead the Majors with a 1.12 ERA, won a Gold Glove and was an All-Star; Pitched in 3 World Series, has a 7-2, 1.89 World Series record with 2 shutouts, averaged 10.2 K’s per 9 innings and was the MVP of the 1964 and 1967 World Series; Holds a World Series record by striking out 17 Tigers in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series; Won 9 Gold Glove Awards; Holds the Cardinals career records with 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, 482 starts, 3,884.1 innings pitched, 56 shutouts and 255 complete games;

Fun Stuff:
A basketball start at Creighton University, Gibson played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the winter of 1957/58


DAVE GIUSTI

1974 Topps #82

Played 1962 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Pirates, A’s, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
Lead the league with 30 saves in 1970; Was named the 1971 NL Fireman of the Year by The Sporting News; Had 20 or more Saves in 4 straight seasons; Made the last pitch at Forbes Field 6/28/70; Got Cy Young votes in four seasons and MVP votes in two seasons

Career Highlights:
Won 15 games with the Astros in 1966; On August 21, 1966 Giusti drove in 6 runs and hurled a shutout in an 11-0 whitewashing of the Reds. The best part is that all six RBI came on a pair of two-out, bases loaded doubles, both times scoring Rusty Staub, Bob Aspromonte and Ron Brand

Fun Stuff:
Played for the 1961 Houston Buffs (AAA) before playing for 1962 Houston Colt .45s

His 1969 Season With St. Louis Deserves It’s Own Category:
The Cardinals acquired Giusti from the Astros in an October 1968 4-player trade, and then 3 days later they lost him to the Padres in the expansion draft. That December the Cardinals sent 4 players to San Diego to get Giusti back; Giusti’s 1969 Topps card lists him with the Padres on the front, shows him in an Astros uniform with the cap log blacked out and makes note of the trade back to St. Louis on the back of the card; The one nationally-issued card which shows Giusti in a Cardinals uniform is a 1989 Swell Baseball Greats card

Card Stuff:
Played in 1977 with A’s and Cubs, but his last card was 1977 Topps showing him with the Pirates; Had a solo Topps card every year from 1962 to 1977, even though he didn’t pitch in the Majors in 1963 and pitched just 8 games in 1964


DAVE GOLTZ

1978 Topps #249

Played 1972 – 1983
1970’s Teams: Twins

1970’s Highlights:
His 20 wins in 1977 tied Jim Palmer and Dennis Leonard for most in the AL; Got a 1st place vote in 1977 Cy Young voting, but finished 6th behind winner Sparky Lyle; Was the Twins Opening Day starter from 1977 to 1979; Threw a one-hit shutout of the Red Sox in 1977

Career Highlights:
Pitched in the postseason with the 1981 Dodgers and 1982 Angels

Fun Stuff:
Was the last Twins pitcher to bat before the implementation of the DH in 1973; Was the 8th native Minnesotan to play for the Twins

6 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Gary Gentry to Dave Goltz

  1. Interesting article Gibson was a good hitter in his day, when I checked on his batting stats. People seem to forget that pitchers were some of the best athletes on the field for batting, pitching & fielding. Today’s pitches are relegated to just pitching, especially in the AL, hope the NL does not go to the DH full time. Some pitcher in both leagues can swing a bat better than the DH imo. To me watching a pitcher bat is the most interesting part of the game.

    • I often look at a pitcher’s batting stats to add to the “Isn’t that interesting!” factor, but with Bob Gibson I left out some info just because I didn’t want his section to get any bigger than it was.

      I prefer not having the DH, but I’ve resigned myself to it going away in the NL

  2. >Played for the 1961 Houston Buffs (AAA) before playing for 1962 Houston Colt .45s

    I wonder how often a player has played both minor and major league ball in the same city? It must have happened pretty often but the only other time I can think of off hand is Jim Bouton who played for the Seattle Angels in 1968 and the Pilots in 1969.

    Have to think about whether I’d want to consider the members of the 1993 Bowie BaySox since they played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore that year.

  3. Wasn’t familiar with Gary Gentry, but he seemed like a superstar in the making. And that article in Dynamite Magazine sounds interesting. I remember reading that magazine when I was a kid.

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