The 1970’s, A To Z: Milt Pappas to Bill Parsons

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.


MILT PAPPAS

1974 Topps #640
Played 1957 – 1973
1970’s Teams: Braves, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
No-hit the Padres and came within one batter of a perfect game, 9/2/72; Got Cy Young votes in 1972 when he went 17-7, 2.77

Career Highlights:
Inducted into Orioles HOF in 1985; Was an All-Star in 1962 and 1965; Was a key player sent to the Reds when the Orioles traded for Frank Robinson in December, 1965

Fun Stuff:
Was the first pitcher to earn 200 career wins without ever winning 20 games in a season


DAVE PARKER

1977 Topps #270

Played 1973 – 1991
1970’s Teams: Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
Was the 1978 NL MVP after batting a league-leading .344 with 30 homers, 117 RBI and 102 runs; Was the starting right fielder in the 1977 and 1979 All-Star Games, and was the MVP of the 1979 Game; Won Gold Gloves from 1977 to 1979; Lead the league with a .338 average, 215 hits and 44 doubles in 1977; Finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1975 and 1977; During the 1979 postseason (NLCS vs. the Reds, World Series vs. the Orioles) he batted .341 with 4 runs and 6 RBI

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame; Holds the Brewers single-season mark with 14 sacrifice flies; Won a World Series with the 1989 A’s; Over his career he was a seven-time All-Star

Fun Stuff:
Famously had a football facemask added to his batting helmet in 1978 to protect a broken cheekbone; His 1978 MVP season was the only season from 1977 to 1981 where he was *not* an All-Star

Card Stuff:
The same photo was used on his 1975 Topps and his 1976 Hostess cards


WES PARKER

1972 Topps #265

Played 1964 – 1972
1970’s Teams: Dodgers

1970’s Highlights:
Was a Gold Glove 1st baseman every year from 1967 to 1972 (his last in the Majors); In 1970 he lead the league with 47 doubles and had career highs with a .319 average, 111 RBI and 84 runs; Hit for the cycle against the Mets, 5/7/1970; After sitting out the 1973 season he made a comeback with Japan’s Nankai Hawks in 1974

Career Highlights:
Was named to the Rawlings All-Time Gold Glove Team in 2007

Fun Stuff:
Appeared in a number of TV shows… most famously The Brady Bunch (as himself while also the boyfriend of Greg’s teacher), but also on Emergency, McMillan & Wife, Police Story, Six Million Dollar Man and Days of our Lives

Card Stuff:
Appeared in 1973 Topps but he’d announced his retirement in November, 1972


LARRY PARRISH

1977 O-Pee-Chee #72

Played 1974 – 1988
1970’s Teams: Expos

1970’s Highlights:
Was named to the 1975 Topps All-Star Rookie team and got a vote for NL Rookie of the Year; Was an All-Star in 1979; Set an Expos team record (since broken) with a .551 slugging percentage in 1979

Career Highlights:
Managed the Tigers in 1988 and 1989; Was an All-Star in 1987 with the Rangers; Played in the postseason with the 1981 Expos and the 1988 Red Sox

Fun Stuff:
Played two seasons in Japan with the Yakult Swallows and Hanshin Tigers

Card Stuff:
The photo on his 1977 O-Pee-Chee card is cropped tighter than the Topps card


BILL PARSONS

1973 Topps #231

Played 1971 – 1974
1970’s Teams: Brewers, A’s

1970’s Highlights:
In his 1971 rookie season he went 13-17 for the 92-loss Brewers, lead the team with 12 complete games, was named the Sporting News AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year, was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team and finished 2nd to Chris Chambliss in 1971 AL Rookie of the Year voting; Was the Brewers’ opening day starter in 1972; Was 2nd on the Brewers in wins in both 1971 and 1972

Fun Stuff:
Was drafted in 1968 by the Seattle Pilots

Card Stuff:
Had a card in the 1972 Kellogg’s set; Is included in 1975 Topps but would spend the year in the minors before retiring; The 1973 card featured above made an impression on me as a kid because he looks so tall and slender

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