The 1970’s, A To Z: Paul Lindblad to Jim Lonborg

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.


1974 Topps #369

Played 1965 – 1978
1970’s Teams: A’s, Senators, Rangers, Yankees

1970’s Highlights:
In the 1973 World Series, Lindblad got the win after pitching two scoreless relief innings in Game 3;  In that same game he was the last pitcher to face Willie Mays, getting him to ground out in a pinch-hit at bat; Combined with Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott and Rollie Fingers to no-hit the Angels on the last day of the 1975 season;  was on three World Championship teams (1973 & 1974 A’s, 1978 Yankees);  would’ve gotten the last win in Senators history had the game not been forfeited because of fans rushing the field;  His 66 appearances in 1972 was the most in the American League

Career Highlights:
Had 385 consecutive errorless games

Card Stuff:
Appears in every flagship Topps set of the 1970s; Appeared in 1979 Topps with the Yankees, but had been purchased by the Mariners in November 1978 and then cut at the end of 1979 spring training


1970 Topps #249

Played 1965 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Brewers, A’s, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
Won a World Championship with the A’s in 1972; In the fall of 1972 Locker was traded from the A’s to the Cubs for Bill North… a year later he was traded back to the A’s for Horacio Pena… a year after that he went back to the Cubs as part of a package for Billy Williams; Got the first save in Brewers history in an 8-4 win over the White Sox 4/11/70

Career Highlights:
Pitched in 576 career games without a single start;  lead the AL with 77 appearances in 1967;  pitched for the Seattle Pilots and moved with the team to Milwaukee

Card Stuff:
Locker’s 1973 card has him airbrushed into a full Cubs uniform… but very clearly without a number on his back; Because he ‘rode the shuttle’ between the A’s and Cubs, his 1974 Topps Traded card has an actual photo of him in an A’s uniform, rather than the typically airbrushed uniform. Similarly, his 1975 card has him in a Cubs uniform while the other three players in the same deal are all airbrushed


1976 Topps #166

Played 1969 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Brewers, Angels, Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Was a starting pitcher with the Brewers but was converted to a reliever when he was traded ot the Angels; His 19 saves with the Mets in 1976 was 2nd-most in the NL; Was part of a 9-player trade between the Brewers and Angels in October 1973

Career Highlights:
Broke into the Majors in 1965 as an 18-year-old “Bonus Baby” infielder with the Kansas City A’s and was converted to a pitcher in 1968

Card Stuff:
Appears in every flagship Topps set of the 1970s; Shares a 1965 rookie card with Jim Hunter and John Odom; His 1975 card has a note on the back about his being traded to the Yankees, but he never played for the Bronx Bombers, instead having been released at the beginning of the season; Appeared in 1981 Topps and Donruss, but not 1981 Fleer


1975 Hostess #6

Played 1963 – 1979
1970’s Teams: Tigers, Mets, Padres

1970’s Highlights:
Had two 20-win seasons and two seasons where he lead the league in losses; In 1971 he won 25 games, lead the league with 308 strikeout and got 9 first place votes while finishing 2nd to VIda Blue in AL Cy Young voting; His 300 K’s that year is still a Tigers’ single-season record; In 1972 he won 22 games, struck out 250 and finished third behind Gaylord Perry in Cy Young voting; Got a Save in the 1971 All-Star Game; In 1975 he passed Warren Spahn as the lefty with the most career strikeouts and he finished with 2,832, but has since been passed by Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson; Lolich retired after the 1976 season with the Mets, but came out of retirement to pitch in relief for the Padres in 1978 and 1979

Career Highlights:
Was named the MVP of the 1968 World Series after winning 3 complete games and finishing with a 1.67 ERA and 21 strikeouts; Holds Tigers career records with 459 Games Started, 2,679 strikeouts and 39 Shutouts; Won 217 career games; Held a Tigers record with two 16 strikout outings, a record since broken by Anibal Sanchez

Fun Stuff:
Was a natural righty, but learned to throw lefty as a boy because of a broken right arm; Played “First Security Guard” in a 1977 movie called “The Incredible Melting Man”; His one career home run came in the 1968 World Series; His cousin Ron Lolich was an outfielder and appeared on a 1971 Topps White Sox “Rookie Stars” card

Card Stuff:
Because he was retired in 1977, he did not appear in 1978 Topps, but he otherwise appeared in every Topps flagship set from 1964 to 1980


1974 Topps #342

Played 1965 – 1979
1970’s Teams: Red Sox, Brewers, Phillies

1970’s Highlights:
Pitched just one season for the Brewers sandwiched between two large multi-player deals, but Lonborg left a mark on the team… He had a team-high 14 wins and 143 strikeouts; He was the last Brewers pitcher to bat before the implementation of the DH; Pitched a scoreless 22nd inning to get the save in the Brewers 22-inning 4-3 win over Twins 5/12/72; Had a resurgence with the Phillies, winning 17 games in 1974 and 18 games in 1976

Career Highlights:
Won the 1967 Cy Young award while he was with the Red Sox… That season he went 22-9, 3.16 with 246 strikeouts, 15 complete games and 2 shutouts and lead the league in wins and Strikeouts; Had 2 CG wins in the 1967 World Series; Was inducted into the Stanford University Hall of Fame

Fun Stuff:
Got a degree in dentistry after he retired as a player, and maintained a practice until 2017; In the TV show “Cheers”, the photo behind the bar that was supposed to be Sam Malone during his playing days was actually a picture of Lonborg

Card Stuff:
Appears in every flagship Topps set of the 1970s

5 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Paul Lindblad to Jim Lonborg

  1. Another excellent post, Joe. Particularly liked the insights on Jim Lonborg, as I had totally forgotten about his resurrected pitching career with Phillies. I remembered his Cy Young season with Bosox, but I believe arm woes limited his success the rest of that decade. To be reminded of his resurgence with the Phillies was most enlightening. I would’ve never guessed he enjoyed a 15-year career. And that he became a dentist after his MLB career is a tribute to his intellect.

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