The 1970’s, A To Z: Don Sutton To Chuck Tanner

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.


1975 Hostess #7

Played 1966 – 1988
1970’s Teams: Dodgers

1970’s Highlights:
Four time All-Star; Finished in the top 5 of Cy Young voting five times, but never finished higher than 3rd; Was the starting pitcher and MVP of the 1977 All-Star Game; Was the Dodgers opening Day starter from 1972 to 1978

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998; Over his career he had 324 wins, 3574 strikeouts and a 3.26 ERA; Holds Dodgers career records with 52 shutouts, 233 wins, 181 losses and 3816.1 innings pitched… Sutton had also held the Dodger career record with 2696 strikeouts until Clayton Kershaw passed him in 2022; Had at least 10 wins in 21 of his 23 seasons; Lead the league with a 2.20 ERA in 1980; Named the 1966 NL Rookie Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News;  His #20 has been retired by the Dodgers; Inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame as a broadcaster in 2015; Was named to the Brewers Wall of Honor

Fun Stuff:
Appeared as a celebrity panelist on Match Game; Sutton and Steve Yeager played themselves in an episode of a Saturday morning Sid and Marty Krofft show called Wonderbug

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


1977 Topps #94

Played 1973 – 1984
1970’s Teams: Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Lead the NL in 1978 with a 2.43 ERA; Was the Mets opening day starter in 1979 and had a career-high 14 wins that season; As a pitcher with Arizona State University he was a 1972 All-American, was named to the 1972 College World Series All-Tournament team, and set an ASU career record with 47 wins

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 1981

Fun Stuff:
Was a college teammate of Jim Crawford, Larry Gura, Lerrin LaGrow and fellow Met Lenny Randle


1976 SSPC #319

Played 1974 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Cubs, Cardinals

1970’s Highlights:
Was the White Sox 1st round pick in the 1973 draft and later that year was sent to the Cubs as part of a package for Ron Santo; Was the catcher on the 1974 Baseball Digest All-Star Rookie Team;  Named to the 1976 NL All-Star team but didn’t appear in the game; Honored as the NL Player of the week on 5/16/75 after going 11-for-18 with a walk and two sacrifices

Fun Stuff:
His son Nick Swisher played for five teams from 2004 to 2015; Was a teammate of Mike Schmidt at Ohio University; Steve is the only Major Leaguer to come out of South High School in Parkersburg, WV

Moving on to T…


1976 Kellogg’s #30

Played 1973 – 1993
1970’s Teams: Angels

1970’s Highlights:
Tanana was one of the most dominant pitchers of the second half of the 1970s and combined with Nolan Ryan to make up a devastating lefty/righty combo; He was drafted 13th overall out of Cal State Fullerton in 1971; Was named to the 1974 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Was the Angels opening day starter from 1976 to 1979 (and I’ll point out again that Nolan Ryan was on those teams); Was an All-Star from 1976 to 1978; Lead the AL with 269 strikeouts in 1975; In 1976 he lead the AL with a 0.988 WHIP and won a career-high 19 games; Lead the AL with a 2.54 ERA and 7 shutouts in 1977; Pitched in the 1979 ALCS but got a no-decision

Career Highlights:
A fireballer when he started out, Tanana made adjustments after experiencing arm problems and won 240 games over 21 seasons

Fun Stuff:
His father was a minor league outfielder; Threw shutouts in the first games played in both Seattle’s Kingdome and Chicago’s new Comiskey Park (now called Guaranteed Rate Field); Was the winning pitcher in the last game played at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium; Is one of just two pitchers to give up home runs to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bondds (Rick Reuschel is the other)


1978 Topps #494

Played 1955 – 1962
Managed:  1970 – 1988
1970’s Teams: White Sox, A’s, Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
Managed every season of the 1970s for three different teams; Won a World Championship as the manager of the ‘We Are Family’ 1979 Pirates; Was named the Major Leagues Manager of the Year in 1972, when he took the White Sox to 87 wins and a 2nd place finish while using a 3-man rotation based on Stan Bahnsen, Tom Bradley and knuckleballer Wilbur Wood; Managed the 1976 A’s to a 2nd place finish during his only season in Oakland; After the 1976 season the A’s traded him to the Pirates for catcher Manny Sanguillen and $100,000

Career Highlights:
Played 8 seasons as an outfielder & pinch hitter for the Braves, Cubs, Indians and Angels; Made his Major League debut pinch hitting for Warren Spahn and hit a home run on the first pitch he saw

Fun Stuff:
His son Bruce Tanner pitched in 10 games for the 1985 White Sox

Card Stuff:
Appeared in at least one card set each year from 1971 to 1988… the only Topps set in that span where he did not get at least a thumbnail photo was 1982 Topps (which did not include managers) but he had a card in 1982 Donruss to keep his streak going


2 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Don Sutton To Chuck Tanner

  1. How quickly I had forgotten what a terrific hurler Don Sutton was during his career! Seeing his stats laid out — and knowing of the Drysdale/Koufax/Hersheiser/Kershaw legacy, his HOF selection is of no surprise. He left us too soon, just about 2 years ago.

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