I’ve done this type of post before as a way to do a quick post that requires little thought, but also gives me a chance to revisit cards from my first five (and favorite five) baseball card sets.
I said “Requires little thought” but in truth I had to do some math… I was going to stick to my theme of using the Julian date, but card #18 from these sets includes 2 team cards which didn’t give me much to talk about, so I extended 2017: 18 + 365 = 383.
…And it’ll actually be *six* cards when I’m done, but “Fast Six” doesn’t have the alliteration going for it.
Card #383 from 1974 Topps – Phillies Team
…and of course I start with a team card. The 1974 Phillies went 80-82 under Danny Ozark. The best players were Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton… I’ll leave it to someone else to find those two in the photo.
Card #383 from 1975 Topps – Jim York
Jim York was a reliever who spent most of his career splitting seasons between the Majors and AAA.
I can’t find a whole lot to say about him – sorry, Jim – other than this: Searching on “Jim York Baseball” brings up everybody named ‘Jim’ who ever played baseball for a New York team.
Card #383 from 1976 Topps – John Ellis
John Ellis played 13 seasons in the Majors and was the Indians’ first designated hitter. He was traded to the Rangers during the Winter Meetings in December, 1975…
…which leads to the “Bonus Card” for this post…
Card #383T from 1976 Topps Traded – John Ellis
The Topps airbrush guy got a break with this one… he basically had to change the Indians’ navy blue to the Rangers’ royal blue. Ellis was traded for Ron Pruitt and Stan Thomas.
Card #383 from 1977 Topps – Stan Bahnsen
Stan Bahnsen was the 1968 A.L. Rookie of the Year, going 17-12, 2.05 with the Yankees that year. Bahnsen would pitch for 16 years with 6 teams.
Bahnsen’s nickname was “The Bahnsen Burner”… I’d never heard that before, but I really like that.
The cartoon from the back of Bahnsen’s 1977 card is a bit… racier… than you’d expect on a baseball card.
All of the adolescent boys were probably thinking “Hmmm… ‘Damn Yankees’, huh? I’ll have to check that out…”
Card #383 from 1978 Topps – Mario Mendoza
As soon as I saw this card, the first thing I wanted to know is whether Mario Mendoza hit above The Mendoza Line in 1978.
Yep, he batted .218 in 57 games. He was traded to the Mariners for the 1979 season, played a career-high 148 games… and batted .198. Needless to say, he was an exceptional defender.
…and after 40 years I’m still not sure how I feel about those Pirates gold and black pinstripes…