The 1970’s, A To Z: Tim McCarver to Sam McDowell

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.


TIM McCARVER

1971 Topps Super #34

Played 1959 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Phillies, Cardinals, Expos, Red Sox

1970’s Highlights:
Caught no-hitters thrown by Bill Stoneman (Expos, 10/2/72) and Rick Wise (Phillies, 6/23/71)

Career Highlights:
Was an All-Star in 1966 and 1967 while with the Cardinals; lead the NL with 13 triples in 1966, the first catcher in NL history to do so; Finished 2nd to Orlando Cepeda in the 1967 NL MVP voting (although he got no first place votes); Won two World Series with the Cardinals (1964 and 1967); Is among the few who played in four different decades; In the 1964 World Series he batted .478 and stole home in Game 7

Fun Stuff:
Has been a baseball broadcaster since 1980; Had a small role in the movie The Naked Gun; Was a high school teammate of Phil Gagliano

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


WILLIE McCOVEY

1974 Topps “Washington Nat’l Lea.” variation #250

Played 1959 – 1980
1970’s Teams: Giants, Padres, A’s

1970’s Highlights:
Reached 500 homers on 6/30/78 with a shot off the Braves’ Jamie Easterly; was the starting NL 1st baseman in the 1971 All-Star Game; Was named the 1977 NL Comeback Player of the Year; Became the first player to hit 2 homers in an inning twice — in the 4th inning on 4/12/73 and 6th on 6/27/77

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Basball Hall of Fame in 1986; Was named the 1959 NL Rookie of the Year; Was named the 1969 NL MVP; His #44 has been retired by the Giants; 6-time All-Star and the 1969 All-Star Game MVP; Lead the league in homers and slugging percentage 3 times; lead the league in RBIs twice

Fun Stuff:
The inlet beyond the right field wall at San Francisco’s Oracle Park is called “McCovey Cove” in his honor

Card Stuff:
Appeared in every Topps flagship set of the 1970s; Giants fans will probably think it outrageous that I featured a card showing Stretch with the Padres, but I pulled this card from a pack in 1974 and if I were forced to make my collection fit in a team bag, this card would be in there


TOM McCRAW

1971 Topps #373

Played 1963 – 1975
1970’s Teams: White Sox, Senators, Indians, Angels

1970’s Highlights:
Was the first DH in Angels history; On 10/3/71 he was caught stealing 2nd to make the final Senators out in team history

Career Highlights:
After retiring he had a long career as a Major League batting coach, serving in that position for the Indians, Giants, Orioles, Mets, Astros, Expos and Nationals

Fun Stuff:
Set a record in 1966 for the fewest at-bats by a player who appeared in 150+ games… his 389 AB’s would not have qualified him for a batting title

Card Stuff:
Appears in 1972 Topps as a Texas Ranger, but he was traded to Cleveland just before the start of the 1972 season


LINDY McDANIEL

1970 Topps #493

Played 1955 – 1975
1970’s Teams:
Yankees, Royals

1970’s Highlights:
Had 29 saves with the 1970 Yankees, good for 2nd in the AL; I wasn’t able to verify if this is still the case, but as of 6 years ago McDaniel was the last Yankees pitcher to hit a home run, having done so on 9/28/72 at Tiger Stadium; Was traded to the Royals late in 1973 with Lou Piniella being one of the two players heading to the Yankees

Career Highlights:
Generally considered to be among the most dominant relievers of his era; Had Saves been an official statistic before 1969, McDaniel would have lead the NL in Saves three times; Was an All-Star in 1960; Won a career-high 15 games as a starter in 1957; Broke into the Majors as a 19-year-old ‘bonus baby’ in 1955; When he retired his 987 games were second-most in Major League history after Hoyt Wilhelm

Fun Stuff:
His brother Von pitched for the Cardinals in 1957 and 1958


SAM McDOWELL

1971 Topps Super #16

Played 1961 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Indians, Giants, Yankees, Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
1970 Sporting News AL Pitcher of the Year (he got 4 first place votes in a split Cy Young vote that saw 7 different pitchers get first place votes… winner Jim Perry got 4); In that 1970 season he went 20-12 with a 2.92 ERA and 304 strikeouts (tops in the AL); Was named to the All-Star team in 1970 and 1971; After the 1971 season he was traded to the Giants for HOFer Gaylord Perry and shortstop Frank Duffy

Career Highlights:
Was inducted into the Indians HOF in 2006; In 1965 he lead the league with a 2.18 ERA and lead in strikeouts with 325 (a career high); In total, he lead the league in strikeouts five times and was an All-Star 6 times; Over his career he had nearly as many strikeouts (2453) as innings pitched (3492.1)

Fun Stuff:
Nickname is “Sudden Sam”

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