The 1970’s, A To Z: Vic Harris to Dave Heaverlo

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.


VIC HARRIS

1976 SSPC #321

Played 1972 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Rangers, Cubs, Cardinals, Giants

1970’s Highlights:
Harris was named the May 9, 1976 NL Player of the Week after batting .464 with 7 RBI, 5 runs, a double and a triple; Was sent from the Rangers to the Cubs in the deal that also involved Fergie Jenkins and Bill Madlock

Career Highlights:
Played 3 seasons for the Kintetsu Buffaloes in the 1980s

Fun Stuff:
Played every position but pitcher, catcher, first; Was seen as having “superstar potential” early in his career; Did not get a hit until his 13th Major League game, going 0-for-36 to start his career


RORIC HARRISON

1976 SSPC #507

Played 1972 – 1978
1970’s Teams: Orioles, Braves, Indians, Twins

1970’s Highlights:
Harrison was the last American League pitcher to homer before the DH rule went into effect for the 1973 season, having hit one off of Cleveland’s Ray Lamb on 10/3/72; Six of his fifteen career hits were homers and three more were doubles; Despite the fact that I’m listing only hitting highlights for a pitcher, Harrison’s career average sits at .121

Fun Stuff:
Is the only Major Leaguer with the name ‘Roric’; While a minor leaguer, he was involved in the trade that all fans of Ball Four know: Jim Bouton to Houston for Dooley Womack and Roric Harrison… Harrison never played for the Pilots or Brewers, he made his Major League debut after another trade sent him to the Orioles organization

Card Stuff:
Was airbrushed in a Tigers cap in 1978 Topps, but never played for Detroit… he was released in spring training and pitched that season for the Twins, his final Major League outings


ANDY HASSLER

1978 Topps #73

Played 1971 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Angels, Royals, Red Sox, Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Made his Major League debut as a 19-year-old in 1971 and was the third-youngest player in the Majors that season; Had the third-best ERA (2.61) in the AL in 1974 but still finished with a 7-11 record; Started games in the 1976 and 1977 ALCS vs. the Yankees; One-hit the Indians on 7/2/77

Fun Stuff
Although Hassler played for six different teams and did two stints with the Angels, he was never traded for another player… He was either sold to another team or signed elsewhere as a free agent


FRAN HEALY

1974 Topps #238

Played 1969 – 1978
1970’s Teams: Giants, Royals, Yankees

1970’s Highlights:
Caught both of Steve Busby’s no hitters, vs Tigers 4/27/73 and vs Brewers 6/19/74

Career Highlights:
Selected in the 1968 Expansion draft from the Cleveland Indians; Was a broadcaster for the Yankees and Mets

Fun Stuff:
Healy’s father played in the Cardinals organization and his uncle, Francis Healy, played 42 games for the New York Giants and Cardinals in the 1930s

Card Stuff:
The featured 1974 card shows Thurman Munson sliding into home… a couple of years later, Healy would be the backup to Munson; Healy’s photo was mistakenly used on Steve Busby’s 1975 card


DAVE HEAVERLO

1978 Topps #338

Played 1975 – 1981
1970’s Teams: Giants, A’s

1970’s Highlights:
In 1975 he was a non-roster invitee with the Giants and not only did he make the team, but his 2.39 ERA lead the team that season; Went from Giants to the A’s in a cross-bay deal that sent Vida Blue to San Francisco; His 10-saves for the 1978 A’s was second only to closer Elias Sosa; Made 60+ appearances in four of his seven seasons

Fun Stuff:
Heaverlo seems like an interesting guy… He stuck with the non-roster uniform number he was assigned when he first made the Giants (#60) — one of his cards and a cartoon on Al Fitzmorris’ 1977 card referenced this as the highest in the Majors; He was the first player I was aware of to shave his head… Not surprisingly, his nickname was ‘Kojak’

4 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Vic Harris to Dave Heaverlo

  1. 1978 sure provides some nice action shots. The 74 Healy isn’t too shabby either. That being said… I’m not familiar with any of these guys. I feel like I’ve heard of Vic Harris, but I couldn’t tell you anything about him.

  2. Got some great in action cards from 74 & 78 Topps. Looking forward to what Topps is doing with 72 heritage this year.

    • I’m both excited and apprehensive… They haven’t done a great job in the past of replicating 1972 designs for teams like the Marlins and Nationals, I’m hoping they had plenty of time to sort out all those issues

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