The 1970’s, A To Z: Rich Hebner To Steve Henderson

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.


RICH HEBNER

1978 Topps #26

Played 1968 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Pirates, Phillies, Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Got the first hit ever in Three Rivers Stadium, 7/16/70; Was involved in turning two triple plays; 6/6/70 vs. Dodgers, and 7/9/71 vs. Braves

Career Highlights:
Hit over 200 homers over his career; Played in the NLCS eight different times but only played in one World Series (1971)

Fun Stuff:
In high school he was a star hockey player and almost signed with the Boston Bruins; Was the last Pittsburgh Pirate to wear #20 before it was retired for Pie Traynor in 1972; Was known for having an offseason job digging graves

Card Stuff:
His photo was in 1977 O-Pee-Chee was an airbrushed version of his 1977 Topps photo; Appeared in every Topps set of the 1970’s (as compiled by Night Owl)


MIKE HEGAN

1976 Topps #377

Played 1964 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Brewers, A’s, Yankees

1970’s Highlights:
Started at first base in the first-ever Milwaukee Brewers game; Set a Major League record (since broken) with 178 consecutive errorless games at first base; Won a World Championship with the 1972 A’s; Hit for the cycle 9/3/76 vs Tigers; Was involved in turning a triple play against the Red Sox, 4/28/71

Career Highlights:
Was named an all-star with the Seattle Pilots in 1969 but had to be replaced due to an injury; Was the first-ever player on the Pilots roster, having been purchased from the Yankees on 6/14/68 (he would spend the rest of the 1968 season with AAA Syracuse)

Fun Stuff:
Hegan was the last batter at original Yankee Stadium (9/30/73) and the last Brewers player to wear #4 before Paul Molitor; His father, Jim Hegan, was a Major League catcher in the 1940s and 1950s


TOMMY HELMS

1970 Topps #159

Played 1964 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Reds, Astros, Pirates, Red Sox

1970’s Highlights:
Won Gold Gloves in 1970 and 1971;  Hit the first Reds home run at Riverfront Stadium in 1970 (his only homer that season); Lead the league in Fielding Percentage three times, in putouts in 1971 and in assists in 1972; Inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1979;  Helms and Lee May went from the Reds to the Astros in the famous 1971 trade that brought Joe Morgan and César Gerónimo to Cincinnati

Career Highlights:
Was the 1966 NL Rookie of the Year; Was named an All-Star in 1967 and 1968

Fun Stuff:
Tommy is the uncle of former Major League infielder Wes Helms

Card Stuff:
After being sold to Oakland in November 1976, Helms shows up in 1977 Topps with an airbrushed A’s batting helmet but he never played for that team because he was sent back to Pittsburgh in a Spring Training trade; Appears with the Red Sox in 1978 Topps, but he was released during Spring Training that year and didn’t play after that


KEN HENDERSON

1972 Topps #444

Played 1965 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Giants, White Sox, Braves, Rangers, Mets, Reds, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
Was named the August 1972 NL Player of the Month after hitting in 18 consecutive games and batting .409 for the month with 28 runs, 28 RBI, 11 homers and a .800 slugging percentage; batted .313 in the 1971 NLCS; Lead the 1974 White Sox with 176 hits, 35 doubles, 5 triples, 95 RBI, 66 walks and was named the White Sox Player of the Year; Scored 104 runs in 1970

Career Highlights:
Broke into the majors as a 19-year-old

Fun Stuff:
His cousin, Kerry Dineen, had cups of coffee with the Yankees and Phillies

Card Stuff:
Another player who appeared in every Topps set of the 1970’s… he appeared on 1970s cards with five different teams


STEVE HENDERSON

1978 Topps #134

Played 1977 – 1988
1970’s Teams: Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Finished a close second to Andre Dawson in 1977 NL Rookie of the Year voting; Lead the 1977 Mets with 65 RBI and lead the 1978 Mets with 83 runs; Originally drafted by the Reds, he was one of four players traded to the Mets when the Reds acquired Tom Seaver

Career Highlights:
Between playing and coaching, Henderson spent 46 years in baseball

Fun Stuff:
His nickname is “Stevie Wonder”; Is the only player from Jack Yates High School (Houston, TX) to play in the Majors

3 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Rich Hebner To Steve Henderson

  1. With three guys who had relatives in the majors, I think this week’s theme song is by Sly & The Family Stone…”…it’s a family affair.”

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