The 1970’s, A To Z: Mike Hargrove to Bud Harrelson

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.


MIKE HARGROVE

1978 Topps #172

Played 1974 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Rangers, Padres, Indians

1970’s Highlights:
Was named the 1974 AL Rookie of the Year and also the first baseman on the 1974 Topps All-Star Rookie team; An All-Star in 1975; Lead league in walks in 1976 and 1978; Was Involved in a triple play vs. A’s on 8/8/77

Career Highlights:
Lead the league with a .424 on-base percentage in 1981; Holds Rangers career mark with .399 OBP; Managed the Indians from 1991 to 1999, the Orioles from 2000 to 2003 and the Mariners from 2005 to 2007 and made the postseason five times; Inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall Of Fame in 2008

Fun Stuff:
His nickname was “The Human Rain Delay” because of number of times he stepped out of the batter’s box and took pitches; Was a three-sport star in high school, but didn’t play for the school baseball team

Card Stuff:
Appeared in all five of the 1970s Hostess sets, and his 1975 Hostess is a rookie card; On the featured 1978 card, the #4 and black armband on Hargrove’s sleeve was for Danny Thompson, an active Texas Ranger who died of Leukemia at the age of 29 in December 1976


TERRY HARMON

1972 Topps #377

Played 1967 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Phillies

1970’s Highlights:
Did not have a plate appearance in the 1976 NLCS but did score a run after pinch-running for Bob Boone; set a Major League record for 2nd basemen with 18 chances in a 9 inning game, 6/12/71; his .284 average in 1972 was best on the Phillies; the first of his four career homers was an inside-the-park home run on 8/30/72

Card Stuff:
Shares a high #ed 1969 rookie card with Darrel Cheney and Duffy Dyer; Although he was a utility player his entire career, he appeared in every Topps set from 1969 to 1978


TOMMY HARPER

1970 Kellogg’s #74

Played 1962 – 1976
1970’s Teams: Brewers, Red Sox, Angels, A’s, Orioles

1970’s Highlights:
In 1970, Harper became the American League’s first-ever 30/30 player (31 homers, 38 stolen bases); Was named to the All-Star team in 1970; Receieved a first-place vote in 1970 AL MVP voting; Was the first batter in Brewers history and scored the first Brewers run; Lead the league with 54 stolen bases in 1973

Career Highlights:
In 1969 he lead the league with 126 runs; His 73 stolen bases in 1969 lead the league and established a still-standing Pilots/Brewers team record; Lead the league with 126 runs scored in 1965; Stole 408 career bases; Was named to the 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Was the third player taken in the 1968 American League expansion draft

Card Stuff:
Played for the Angels for the first half of the 1975 season but never appeared on a baseball card with that team; His 1977 Topps card has his complete career statistics, as he was cut by the A’s during spring training and retired to become a minor-league instructor with the Yankees


TOBY HARRAH

1976 SSPC #264

Played 1969 – 1986
1970’s Teams: Senators, Rangers, Indians

1970’s Highlights:
Was the starting shortstop for the American League in the 1976 All-Star Game; Was the starting shortstop in the first-ever Texas Rangers game; Was the Rangers’ first-ever All-Star in 1972; His 109 walks lead the league in 1977; On August 27, 1977, Harrah and Bump Wills hit inside-the-park home runs on consecutive pitches by the Yankees’ Ken Clay; Involved in triple play vs. A’s 8/8/77

Career Highlights:
Was a four-time All-Star; Inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2009; Managed the Rangers for the 2nd half of the 1992 season

Fun Stuff:
On June 25th, 1976, Harrah played an entire double-header without a single fielding chance; Was the last member of the expansion Senators to be playing in the Major Leagues; Threw a no-hitter in American Legion ball

Card Stuff:
Appeared in all five 1970s Hostess sets; His 1977 O-Pee-Chee card does not have the “AL ALL STAR” banner that the Topps card does; His name is incorrectly printed in black ink on his 1976 Topps card (this is an uncorrected error)


BUD HARRELSON

1970 Topps #634

Played 1965 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Mets, Phillies

1970’s Highlights:
Was the starting shortstop for the 1971 National League All-Star Team and was also an All-Star in 1970; In 1970 he tied a Major League record for shortstops by playing 54 consecutive games without an error; Won a Gold Glove in 1971; Was a member of the pennant-winning 1973 Mets; Is famous for the fight he had with Pete Rose in the 1973 NLCS; His 95 walks in 1970 was a team record until Keith Hernandez broke it in 1984

Career Highlights:
Was a key member of the 1969 “Miracle Mets” team; Inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1986; Managed the Mets in 1990 and 1991; Harrelson is part-owner of the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks, and was the team’s first manager

Fun Stuff:
Appeared in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond; One of many ballplayers to appear in a 1980 movie called “It’s My Turn”; Had an uncredited appearance in the 1968 Odd Couple movie

Card Stuff:
Appeared in every Topps flagship set of the 1970s; His 1971 Topps card has a ‘cameo appearance’ by Nolan Ryan; Had three cards in 1972 Topps (base, In Action, Boyhood Photos)

9 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Mike Hargrove to Bud Harrelson

  1. Nice job! I especially like the selection of the ’72 Topps Harmon and ’70 Kellogg’s Harper. Now I’m gonna have to check out “It’s My Turn” and “The Odd Couple”.

  2. Joe Posnanski just wrote about Toby Harrah the other day:

    ” Harrah was a pretty fantastic player. That was easy to miss at the time because he did not do many of the obvious things that you expected from pretty fantastic players. He was a lifetime .264 hitter. He hit with some power — topping out at 27 homers in a season — but not anything that would get his name on the leaderboards. He wasn’t a notable defender; he never won a Gold Glove. His teams never won. Harrah played on one 90-win team in his entire career, and that Rangers team finished a distant second to the Kansas City Royals in the division.

    But here’s what he did do: He played every infield position. He walked a ton — once leading the league in walks — so his on-base percentage was 100 points better than his batting average. He was an excellent baserunner who not only stole a lot of bases but aggressively took extra bases. He twice scored 100 runs in a season. And he played every day, six times playing 150-plus games.

    So, point one is, yes: All hail Toby Harrah.”

    The second point, which is a bit lengthy, is that the Rangers are like Harrah: they’ve had a lot of success, but it’s easy to miss because they don’t have a clear identity.

    • That’s a great description of Toby Harrah, thanks for sharing!

      My reaction to the “no clear identity” part was “Well maybe if they had ever had interesting uniforms or logos, it would help with the identity part”. Obviously that’s a major issue I’ve had with the Rangers for pretty much their entire existence.

  3. One inside-the-park home run is rare enough – to think of watching a game and seeing *consecutive* inside-the-parkers is just about mind-boggling.

  4. Terry Harmon was a career back-up player, he played any infield position when needed or someone got injured, not like players of today where they feel they need to play all the time. The game has changed a lot since the ’70’s. Like the Tom Harper in the Seattle Pilots uniform.

  5. Tommy Harper sure had a lot of cool stories to pass down to his grandkids. And that’s pretty cool about Hargrove being a 3-sport athlete… and baseball not being one of them. As for Harrah… I remember liking him after he hit over .300 in the early 80’s. That kinda stuck with me and made him a star in my eyes.

  6. Man, I didn’t realize Mike Hargrove had such a solid career. My favorite piece of info from this post is that Toby Harrah played an entire double-header without a fielding chance — and at shortstop, no less!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.