The 1970’s, A To Z: Dan Meyer to John Milner

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.


DAN MEYER

1978 Topps #57

Played 1974 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Tigers, Mariners

1970’s Highlights:
Was the Mariners’ starting first baseman for their first two seasons and stayed with the team longer than any other original Mariner; Got the first RBI in Mariner history during the team’s 3rd game, as the M’s had been shut out by Frank Tanana and Nolan Ryan in the first two games; Was the first Mariner to be named the AL Player of the Week (Aug, 7, 1977) and the first to be named Player of the Month (June 1979 after batting .369/.417/.730, 9 HR, 23 RBI over 28 games)

Card Stuff:
Shares a rookie card with Gary Carter and two others


GENE MICHAEL

1971 Topps #483

Played 1966 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Yankees, Tigers

1970’s Highlights:
A light-hitting defensive player, Michael was the Yankees’ starting shortstop from 1969 to 1973; Signed with the Red Sox for the 1976 season but never played another game in the Majors

Career Highlights:
Is best known as the manager and General Manager of the Yankees in the 1980s and 1990s, but also managed the Cubs in the late 1980s

Fun Stuff:
His nickname was “Stick”; Pitched 3 innings without giving up an earned run (although he gave up 5 unearned runs)

Card Stuff:
I associate Gene Michael so thoroughly with the Yankees that I’m forever weirded-out by this 1976 SSPC card which shows him with the Tigers


FÉLIX MILLÁN

1978 Topps #505

Played 1966 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Braves, Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Set a Mets team record with 185 hits in 1973 and broke his own record with 191 in 1975 (Lance Johnson would break that record with 227 in 1996); Holds a Braves team record by getting 6 hits in a 9-inning game on 7/6/70; Got the first hit at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium and then scored the first run when Hank Aaron followed up with the first Riverfront home run, 6/30/70; In a 25-inning game in 1974, the longest game of the 1970s by innings played, he tied a record for the most plate appearances in an extra-inning game (12) and went 4-for-10 with a run scored;  Played for Japan’s Yokohama Taiyo Whales from 1978 to 1980

Career Highlights:
A three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner; Considered a tough batter to strike out, Millán never whiffed more than 35 times in a season (and that was over 652 ABs)

Fun Stuff:
Was known for choking way up on his bats, something every kid in my neighborhood imitated while playing Wiffle Ball;  In a game in 1975 he singled in four straight at-bats and each time Joe Torre immediately grounded into a double play

Damning with faint praise:
The text on the back of his 1974 Kellogg’s card starts off “Felix’s 1973 output proves all Mets’ deals aren’t bad”. OUCH!

Card Stuff:
That’s Dave Parker sliding into 2nd on the featured card; Millán was included in the 1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball set


RICK MILLER

1976 SSPC #416

Played 1971 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Red Sox, Angels

1970’s Highlights:
A dependable fielder, he won a Gold Glove with the Angels in 1978; Had been the Red Sox starting center fielder in 1973, but would come to lose time to young prospects Fred Lynn and Jim Rice

Fun Stuff:
Married Janet Fisk, teammate Carlton Fisk’s sister


JOHN MILNER

1978 Topps #304

Played 1971 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Mets, Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
Got a vote for 1972 NL Rookie of the Year (teammate Jon Matlack was the winner) and was named the 1st baseman on the 1972 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Like Felix Millan in the same game (see above), he is tied for the record for most plate appearances in an extra inning game; Set a Mets record with 5 career Grand Slams (Mike Piazza holds the currrent record with 6);  Won a World Series with the 1979 Pirates

Career Highlights:
Has a .306 career World Series batting average (1973 and 1979)

Fun Stuff:
His nickname was “The Hammer”; His cousin Eddie Milner played for the Reds and Giants

Card Stuff:
He and Rick Miller share this rookie card

1 thought on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Dan Meyer to John Milner

  1. Millan and Milner in the same post certainly brings back childhood memories. And, wow, Kellogg’s throwing big-time shade!

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