The 1970’s, A To Z: Pete LaCock to Dave LaRoche

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.

Today we’re starting into the letter “L”


PETE LaCOCK

1978 Topps #157

Played 1972 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Cubs, Royals

Pete LaCock is here for two reasons:

Reason #1: Pete LaCock hit his only career Grand Slam off of Bob Gibson on September 3, 1975. The story often goes that the slam was on Gibson’s last pitch, but he did face Don Kessinger after LaCock… but it was Gibson’s last outing, as he figured that giving up a grand slam to LaCock was sufficient evidence that he was done. A few years after that, the two players faced off in an Oldtimers game and Gibson hit LaCock with his first pitch.

Reason #2: Ralph Pierre “Pete” LaCock Jr is the son of former Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall (whose real name was Ralph Pierre LaCock Sr.)


LEE LACY

1976 SSPC #78

Played 1972- 1987
1970’s Teams: Dodgers, Braves, Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
Refered to by Tommy Lasorda as his “SuperSub”, Lacy played in 13 World Series games spread over 1974, 1977, 1978 and 1979; Hit three consecutive pinch-hit homers in 1978; Played half a season with the Braves in 1976 before being included in a trade back to the Dodgers; During the 1970s he played 2nd, Short, 3rd and all three outfield positions

Career Highlights:
In 1986 while with the Orioles, Lacy hit 3 home runs in one game against the Yankees

Fun Stuff:
His first name is Leondaus; his daughter Jennifer Lacy played in the WNBA and won a league championship in 2007 with the Phoenix Mercury


KEN LANDREAUX

1979 Topps #619

Played 1977 – 1987
1970’s Teams: Angels, Twins

1970’s Highlights:
In 1976, as a college player with Arizona State, he was named as an All-American and to the College World Series All-Tournament Team; Set NCAA records (since broken) for hits, runs and RBI; Was drafted 6th overall in June, 1976; Named the 1977 Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year; Was among the four players traded from the Angels to the Twins for Rod Carew; In 1979 he hit .305 with 15 homers, 81 runs and 83 RBI

Career Highlights:
Holds Twins record with a 31 game hitting streak in 1980; Was named to the All-Star team in 1980; Was inducted into the ASU Hall of Fame; Won a World Series with the 1981 Dodgers

Fun Stuff:
Is a distant cousin of Enos Cabell; At ASU he was a teammate of Floyd Bannister, Bump Wills, Ken Phelps, and Bob Horner


RICK LANGFORD

1978 Topps #327

Played 1976 – 1986
1970’s Teams: Pirates, A’s

1970’s Highlights:
Was named the August, 1979 AL player of the month after winning 5 games for a very bad A’s team… For the month he had a 2.72 ERA and struck out 31; Lost 19 games for the 1977 A’s, a team that lost 98 overall; Was the A’s Opening Day starter in 1978 and 1979; Went 12-16 for an 1979 Oakland team which lost 108 games

Career Highlights:
In 1980 he got 19 wins and lead the league with 28 complete games and 290 innings pitched; Didn’t commit an error until his 5th season, setting a record for pitchers with 230 consecutive errorless chances; Got a win against the Royals in the 1981 American League Division Series

Fun Stuff:
In his first Major League at-bat he got a double off of Larry Dierker and would score a run

Card Stuff:
He pitched a dozen games for the Pirates in 1976, but never appeared on a baseball card with Pittsburgh


DAVE LaROCHE

1976 SSPC #510

Played 1970 – 1983
1970’s Teams: Angels, Twins, Cubs, Indians

1970’s Highlights:
Was an All-Star with the Indians in 1976 and 1977; In 1979 he became the career saves with the Angels, an honor he would hold until he was passed by Bryan Harvey in 1990

Career Highlights:
Was known for his eephus pitch, called “LaLob”; Was originally signed as an outfielder

Fun Stuff:
Is the father of former Major Leaguers Adam and Andy LaRoche; Gave up Brooks Robinson’s final home run (#268 in 1977); In a 1972 game against the Brewers he gave up 2 runs in the 7th to tie the game at 3-3… the Brewers would win that game 4-3 in 22 innings

2 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Pete LaCock to Dave LaRoche

  1. Langford was part of that A’s rotation from my childhood. My first memories of attending A’s games involved guys like him, Steve McCatty, Mike Norris, and Matt Keough.

  2. A player named Carney Lansford also played for the A’s from 1983 thru 92, the team & fans must of gotten the 2 confused at times, Carney played 1st base & 3rd base.

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