The 1970’s, A To Z: Dave McNally to Mario Mendoza

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.


DAVE McNALLY

1975 Hostess #150

Played 1962 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Orioles, Expos

1970’s Highlights:
Lead the AL with 24 wins in 1970 and got five 1st place votes in AL Cy Young voting, but finished second to Jim Perry; One of three Orioles to win 20 games in 1970; Was the first pitcher to hit a grand slam in the World Series, doing so against the Reds in the 1970 Series; In 1971 he lead the Orioles with 21 wins and was one of four O’s to win 20 games (Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson being the other three); Was traded to Montreal in what would be a lopsided deal, bringing Ken Singleton and Mike Torrez to Baltimore in exchange for Rich Coggins and 12 games of Dave McNally before he retired; Was the Orioles Opening Day starter in 1970, 1971 and 1973, and the Expos’ opening day starter in 1975; Was an All-Star in 1970 and 1972

Career Highlights:
Won 184 career games and had a 7-4 record in the postseason; Shut out the Dodgers in Game 4 of the 1966 World Series; Won 20+ games in 1968 and 1969; Was named to the 1969 All-Star team; Set two Orioles single-season records in 1968: a 0.84 WHIP in 1968 and a .182 Batting Average Against; Inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1978

Fun Stuff:
In 1974 he gave up Al Kaline’s 3000th hit and Robin Yount’s first Major League hit

Card Stuff:
It’s probably blasphemy to feature a card of McNally with the Expos, but I’ll remind you that I feature my favorite card, and I love me some oddballs. This card is the only one from during his career that showed him with Montreal


HAL McRAE

1975 Topps #268

Played 1968 – 1987
1970’s Teams: Reds, Royals

1970’s Highlights:
Hit a Royals team record 54 doubles in 1977; Tied a MLB record with 6 extra base hits (5 doubles and a home run) on 8/27/74; In 1976 he lost the batting title by one point (.333 to .332) to teammate George Brett and Rod Carew was one point behind McRae; Was an All-Star in 1975 and 1976

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1989; Won a World Championship with the Royals in 1985; In 1982 he was an All-Star and lead the league with 46 doubles and 133 RBI; Managed the Royals and the Devil Rays and was a hitting coach with several teams

Fun Stuff:
Hal is the father of Brian McRae who played with the Royals, Cubs, Mets and other teams from 1990 to 1999; Hal was Brian’s manager in KC for four years

Card Stuff:
Appeared in every Topps flagship set of the 1970s (although his 1970 card is a combined “Reds Rookie Stars” card with Vern Geishert and Wayne Simpson); Was also in all 5 1970s Hostess sets


GEORGE “DOC” MEDICH

1974 Topps #445

Played 1972 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Yankees, Pirates, A’s, Mariners, Mets, Rangers

1970’s Highlights:
Was named to the Baseball Digest Rookie All-Star team in 1973; Won 19 games for the 1974 Yankees; Was the Yankees opening day starter in 1975 and the Pirates in 1976; Was named the July 1974 AL Player of the Month when his 7 starts resulted in a 1.88 ERA, 2 shutouts, 6 complete games and 5-2 record; The Yankees sent Medich to the Pirates in a trade that nobody in the Bronx regrets, obtaining prospect Willie Randolph as well as Ken Brett and Dock Ellis

Career Highlights:
Lead the AL with 4 shutouts in 1981

Doc’s whirlwind 1977 season
Medich moved around a lot in 1977… He was traded from the A’s to the Pirates during spring training, sold to the Mariners in mid-September (where he went 2-0 in 3 starts), and was selected off waivers by the Mets and made one more start with them (taking the loss). In November he signed with the Rangers as a free agent and is shown in 1978 Topps with an airbrushed Rangers’ cap

Fun Stuff:
“Doc” isn’t just a nickname, Medich became a medical doctor during his Major League career and when he was with the Rangers he went into the stands to administer CPR to a fan

Card Stuff:
His 1977 OPC card has a different and airbrushed photo to show him on the A’s


BILL MELTON

1975 Hostess #8

Played 1968 – 1977
1970’s Teams: White Sox, Angels, Indians

1970’s Highlights:
In 1970 Melton set a White Sox team record with 33 home runs, and he tied that record (plus lead the league) in 1971; Was the first White Sox batter to lead the league in home runs; He was named an All-Star in 1971; Went 3-for-6 with a double, homer, 3 runs, 4 RBI in White Sox 22-13 win over Red Sox 5/31/70; At the time he was traded to the Angels (after the 1975 season), he was the White Sox career leader with 154 home runs… he currently ranks 9th

Card Stuff:
Although he came up through the White Sox system, his 1969 rookie card shows him without a cap and his 1970 card shows him in an airbrushed cap


MARIO MENDOZA

1978 Topps #383

Played 1974 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Pirates, Mariners

1970’s Highlights:
Got an RBI in the 1974 NLCS; Was a regular with the Mariners after being acquired in a December, 1978 trade; Set a record for most games played by a sub-.200 batter (148 game and a .198 average); Pitched two innings of mop-up relief a 13-3 loss in the second game of a doubleheader in 1977

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000

Fun Stuff:
Mendoza has been immortalized through the phrase “The Mendoza Line”, which refers to a batting average of .200… although he did bat a career-best .245 over 277 at-bats in 1980; He played 9 seasons with a career .215 batting average, and just from that you can tell that he was well-regarded for his defense; His nickname was “Manos de Seda”, which translates to “silk hands” (according to Google Translate, anyway)

8 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Dave McNally to Mario Mendoza

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