The 1970’s, A To Z: Juan Marichal to Dennis Martinez

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 #330

Played 1960 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers

1970’s Highlights:
Giants Opening Day Starter from 1971 to 1973; Was an All-Star in 1971; Pitched just two games for the Dodgers in 1975, giving up 9 runs over 6 innings

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983; Was a 6-time 20-game winner, an All-Star in 9 seasons and lead the league with a 2.10 ERA in 1969; In his first Major League game in 1960 he pitched a 1-hitter with 12 strikeouts against the Phillies; No-hit the Colt .45’s in 1963; was named the MVP of the 1965 All-Star Game

Fun Stuff:
Marichal is the father-in-law of former pitcher José Rijo

Card Stuff:
His final baseball card as an active player came in the 1974 Topps Traded set, after his contract was sold to the Red Sox


1975 Topps #330

Played 1967 – 1981
1970’s Teams: Astros, Expos, Dodgers, Braves, Rangers, Twins

1970’s Highlights:
Won the Cy Young Award in 1974, a season where he made a record-setting 106 appearances and lead the league with 21 saves, on top of his 15-12 record; The 106 games remains a Major League record; Came in a strong second to 1973 Cy Young winner Tom Seaver, getting 9 first place votes to Seaver’s 10; Won the 1973, 1974 and 1979 Fireman of the Year awards; Lead the league in Saves three times; Was an All-Star two times; Got MVP votes in four different seasons, a notable accomplishment for a reliever; Set still-standing team records for games in 1973 with the Expos (92 games) and in 1979 with th Twins (90 games)

Fun Stuff:
Has a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Michigan State University; Is related to current Rays pitcher Brent Honeywell; Started his career in the Phillies system as a shortstop

Card Stuff:
Was uncooperative with Topps photographers and Topps in general… Many of his cards feature either on-field shots taken from some distance or older, airbrushed photos (according to Keith Olbermann, his 1973 and 1974 Traded cards featured a photo taken in 1968 with the AAA Toledo Mud Hens); His final Topps card came in 1977, but he did appear in 1982 Fleer with the Mets

Fun stuff linking Marichal to Marshall: the featured cards for Marichal and Marshall are both card #330 from their respective sets, and they were briefly teammates with the 1975 Dodgers


1978 Topps #721

Managed 1969 – 1988
1970’s Teams: Tigers, Rangers, Yankees

1970’s Highlights:
Established a reputation for winning games and wearing out his welcome; Managed the Twins, Tigers and Rangers before famously managing the Yankees in five different stints between 1975 and 1988; Won a pennant with the 1976 Yankees and a World Championship with the 1977 Yankees; Won the AL East with the Tigers in 1972 and took the previously woeful 1974 Texas Rangers to 84 wins and a 2nd place finish

Career Highlights As A Manager:
Won six division titles and had a career winning record with three of his 5 teams, and the other two were nearly .500… He went 137-141 with the Rangers and 215-218 with the A’s; Was named the 1981 Manager of the Year; His uniform number (1) was retired by the Yankees in 1986

Career Highlights As A Player:
Played from 1950 to 1961, but missed all of 1954 and much of 1955 to military service; Was a star of the 1953 World Series, getting 12 hits in 6 games, including a double, two triples and two home runs… All told he scored 5 runs and drove in 8; Has a career .333 World Series batting average in 28 games over five seasons; Played for 7 different teams over the last 5 seasons of his playing career

Fun Stuff:
Played himself in the TV movie “One In A Million: The Ron LeFlore Story”

Card Stuff:
His notorious 1972 Topps card seems to show him giving the finger to the Topps photographer; Appeared on 1962 Topps and Post cards, but had been released at the end of spring training and decided to retire as a player


1978 Topps #119

Played 1976 – 1998
1970’s Teams: Orioles

1970’s Highlights:
Had five complete games in his 1977 rookie season; Lead the league in 1979 with 18 complete games and 292.1 innings pitched; Pitched for the Orioles in the 1979 ALCS and World Series

Career Highlights:
Was the first Nicaraguan in the Majors; Was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2002, the Latino Baseball HOF in 2011 and the Canadian Baseball HOF in 2016; In the strike-shortened 1981 season he lead the league with 14 wins, but had only 5 losses; Although he never won more than 16 games in a season he still totaled up 245 career wins, which had been a record for pitchers born in Latin America until it was broken by Bartolo Colon (Juan Marichal had 243, since I’m sure many of you are wondering that right now); Martinez was a four-time All-Star even though he was named to his first All-Star team at the age of 36

Fun Stuff:
His nickname is “El Presidente”

1 thought on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Juan Marichal to Dennis Martinez

  1. A. That 74T Marichal is awesome! It’s the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve seen that card on a blog this week.

    B. I wonder why Marshall didn’t want to cooperate with Topps.

    C. Billy aged a lot between 1978 and 1981. I remember him looking much older when he came to Oakland.

    D. Speaking of age… El Presidente looks so young in that photo.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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.