1974 Topps Cards That Should’ve Had A Rookie Cup (Weigh In #74)

OK, so this post is two things:

  • A summary/expansion of something that I wrote over multiple posts 10 years ago
  • The 74th entry in my “Weigh In” series, something that I’ll explain in a moment

Since Weigh-in #71 I’ve been sharing cards from the year that matches the weigh-in number… 1971s for Weigh-In #71, 1972s for Weigh-In #72, etc. This time around I am featuring the 1974 Topps cards of those players who were named to the 1973 Topps All-Star Rookie team. Just for fun, I’ll also compare the Topps All-Star Rookie team to the Baseball Digest All-Star Rookie team. Who knew there were competing All-Star Rookie teams?

Oh, and I should point out that in 1974 Topps did not include the Rookie All-Star cup on the cards of the 1973 All-Star Rookie teammates… That’s the main point of interest here.

Before I get into the Weigh-In aspect of this post, I’ll share the infield of the 1973 All-Star Rookie team:

1st Base:  Gary Thomasson – did not get any votes in NL Rookie of the Year voting
Thomasson batted .285 with 35 runs and 30 RBI. He was not Baseball Digest’s choice at 1st, as we’ll see in a moment.

2nd Base:  Davey Lopes – tied for 6th in NL ROY voting
Lopes batted .285 with 77 runs and 37 RBI. He played 135 games at second, but also put in appearances at 3rd base, short, center field and right field.

Shortstop:  Jerry Terrell – did not get any votes in NL Rookie of the Year voting
Batted .265 with 43 runs and 42 RBI, playing the majority of his time at short but also playing games at 2nd and 3rd… Weirdly enough, Topps listed him as a 2B-SS but he played more at 3rd than 2nd in 1973 and split his time pretty equally between SS, 2B and 3B in 1974.  He was not the Baseball Digest selection at short.

3rd Base:  Dan Driessen – tied for 3rd in NL ROY voting
Driessen batted .301 with 49 runs and 47 RBI. He also 87 games at 3rd and 36 at 1st, which gave Baseball Digest an opening to select him as the *1st baseman* for their Rookie All-Star team

We’ll be back with more after this “commercial break”…

For those wondering what the deal is with a “Weigh-In”, here is my official Mission Statement: Posting updates on the organizing and streamlining of my collection gives me a look at the big picture, keeps me honest and helps with motivation and/or guilt.

Changes in the 1st quarter of 2022 (from 1/13/2022 to 4/6/2022):

Net change in the collection: +211 (225 added, 14 removed)
Net change to the # of cards in the house: +411 (414 came in, 3 went out)

No cards came in to or out of my house in January and February, as I was working organizing my collection. The logjam broke in the middle of March when I found a blaster of 2022 Topps Opening Day. I also bought a blaster of Heritage plus a few random packs just to have something to open

Let’s resume the All-Star Rookie team with the catcher, lefty and righty pitchers

Catcher: Bob Boone – tied for 3rd in NL Rookie of the Year voting
Batted .261 with 42 runs and 61 RBI. He was not the Baseball Digest selection at catcher.

RHP Steve Rogers – 2nd in NL ROY voting
Rogers went 10-5 with a 1.54 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 17 games. He was not the Baseball Digest RHP. In 1974 Rogers would accomplish the interesting feat of being named an All-Star *and* being tied for the league lead with with 22 losses.

LHP Randy Jones – Did not receive any NL ROY votes

Pitching for a Padres team which lost 102 games, Jones went 7-6 with a 3.16 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 20 games. Fascinatingly, Jones was the pitcher who tied Rogers for the National League lead with 22 losses in 1974, but he’d turn things around and win the Cy Young Award in 1976.

…and now, a brief message from the fine folks at “Weigh-In”…

Totals since I started tracking on 10/16/2011:
Total # of cards purged from the collection, to date: 15,785
Net change to the collection, to date: +6,666

Total # of cards which have left the house, to date: 54,615
Net change to the number of cards in the house, to date: -13,176

This was a good quarter for organizing, but it wasn’t great for streamlining my collection. Still, it was time very well spent

Size of the collection:
Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 72,543
Number of cards that make up the sets flagged as completed in my Access database: 11,591

…which means I’ve got at least 84,134 cards in my collection

Money spent on cards:
This does not count money spent on show admission, shipping, supplies, etc.

1st quarter, 2022: $57.19

Average per month for 1Q 2022: $19.06
Average per month for 2021: $35.64
Average per month for 2020: $76.66
Average per month for 2019: $80.38
Average per month for 2018: $79.03
Average per month for 2017: $43.63
Average per month for 2016: $36.11

I didn’t track my spending before 2016. In 2016 and 2017 I didn’t go to as many card shows because there weren’t any local shows, and I made the 5 hour round trip to a regional card show only once or twice a year.

It wasn’t until April that I bought *any* 2022 baseball cards; I didn’t find any in the stores, but I also didn’t seek any out through other means. I’ll spoil the surprise and tell you that I’m over $150 spent in April and May.

We now return you to the 1973 Rookies, already in progress.

The Outfield of the Topps All-Star rookie team has a bit of scandal, as we’ll see in a minute.

Gary Matthews – The NL Rookie of the Year
Matthews batted .300 with 74 runs and 38 RBI. His 11 votes were well above 2nd place Steve Rogers’ 3 votes.  This is one of my favorite 1974 cards… The action took place at Shea Stadium, the 3rd baseman is the Mets’ Wayne Garrett and the 3rd base coach is John McNamara.

Johnny Grubb – tied for 6th in NL ROY votiing
Batted .311 with 52 runs and 37 RBI.  He’d be named to his only career All-Star team in 1974.

Rich Coggins – 6th in AL ROY voting
Coggins got one ROY vote after batting .319 with 54 runs and 51 RBI. He was not part of the Baseball Digest outfield.

So we’ve gotten to the end of the Topps All-Star Rookie lineup, and some of you may be saying “Hey, what about the AMERICAN LEAGUE Rookie of the Year?”

What about him, indeed. We’ll find out more… after this:

Size of my MS Access card database:
I track my collection in a Microsoft Access database of my own creation. There’s quite a bit of work involved in keeping it up-to-date, so I like to satisfy my own curiosity by finding out how much information is currently in my database.

My database currently contains 1,027 set definitions (up 20 from the last weigh-in) and
255,434 card definitions (up 5,648 from the last weigh-in).

It’s important to point out that this is merely the number of sets and cards which are represented within my database; Although I have no cards from 1949 Bowman, that set represents 1 set definition and 240 card definitions.

We now return you to the exciting conclusion of our blog post!

Al Bumbry was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1973, his 13 votes easily outpaced 2nd place Pedro Garcia (who we haven’t mentioned yet). Baseball Digest had Bumbry as their Rookie Right Fielder, but as we already mentioned Topps went with Coggins as their 3rd outfielder. Oops. Bumbry lead the league with 11 triples, plus he batted .337 with 73 runs and 34 RBI.

Other notable 1973 rookies who didn’t make the 1973 Topps Rookie All-Star team…

2B Pedro Garcia finished 2nd in AL ROY voting. He batted .245 with 67 runs and 54 RBI, and lead the league with 32 doubles. He’d never hit more than 17 doubles in any other season of his 5 year career. He was also an original Blue Jay, having signed as a free agent before the Jays’ inaugural 1977 season.

RHP Steve Busby tied for 3rd in AL ROY voting, went 16-15 with a 4.23 ERA while striking out 105 batters.

RHP George “Doc” Medich also finished tied for 3rd and was named the Baseball Digest rookie RHP. He went 14-9 with a 2.95 ERA and 145 strikeouts.

C Darrell Porter also also finished tied for 3rd in AL ROY voting, and was the named the Baseball Digest Rookie catcher. After “cups of coffee” in 1971 and 1972, he batted .254 with 50 runs and 67 RBI. He’d also be an All-Star in 1974, not that any of the 1973 voters would’ve known that.

RHP Elias Sosa finished 3rd in NL ROY voting after pitching 71 games (70 in relief), going 10-4 with 18 saves and a 3.28 ERA. He struck out 70 batters in 107 innings pitched.

3B Ron Cey finished tied for 3rd in ROY voting with Johnny Grubb and Davey Lopes, plus Cey was the Baseball Digest rookie third baseman. Cey batted .245 with 60 runs and 80 RBI.

OF Richie Zisk finished 6th in NL ROY voting. He had the unenviable job of playing right field for the Pirates after the death of Roberto Clemente, and after an experiment with Manny Sanguillen in right didn’t pan out. Zisk batted .324 with 44 runs and 54 RBI.

In addition to the players who got votes…

Rich Troedson is an interesting choice as the Baseball Digest Left-handed rookie pitcher. He went 7-9 in a mix of starts and relief for an awful Padres team, had a 4.25 ERA and would not pitch in the Majors past 1974.

…and finally Tim Johnson was the Baseball Digest rookie shortstop. He batted .213 with 39 runs and 32 RBI and played a career-high 136 games in his only year as a starter.

4 thoughts on “1974 Topps Cards That Should’ve Had A Rookie Cup (Weigh In #74)

  1. Wow. That was a well researched post. Great job. There were a few guys I wasn’t familiar with. I was also surprised at how well some of those rookies hit. Rich Coggins is one of those guys who fell into both of these categories. Never heard of him, but .319 with 51 RBIs isn’t too shabby. After doing some research of my own (on Baltimore’s 1973 Baseball Reference page), the Orioles had one heck of an outfield rotation that season. Coggins, Bumbry, Blair, and Baylor all had solid numbers in the batter’s box.

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