Here’s another in the sporadic series about the 1976 SSPC set…
Mike Torrez had 20 wins in 1975 while also leading the league with 133 walks. According to his baseball-reference.com bio, he’s the last pitcher to win 20 games while walking more batters than he struck out.
Despite the fact that all of his 1976 cards show him with the O’s, he pitched for the A’s in 1976, swapping teams in the famous Reggie Jackson / Don Baylor deal. Torrez spent only one season with Baltimore, having come from Montreal in a trade for Dave McNally.
Before I get into this card, I want to point something out: Right by Bob Montgomery’s hands you can see a Yankees logo on the Shea Stadium scoreboard. This was the matter of some discussion on a recent Night Owl blog post which briefly discussed the Yankees taking up residence in Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975.
Montgomery was such a mainstay with the Red Sox that I was a bit surprised to find that he never played more than 88 games in a season… but that’s largely because he played behind Carlton Fisk for most of his career. In some circles he’s best known as the last player to bat without a helmet.
Fernando Arroyo pitched for 3 different teams over 121 appearances and 8 seasons, but the only season where he had a winning record was his 2-1 rookie season of 1975. Despite this, he had 12 complete games and 2 shutouts. For some reason his SSPC card refers to him as “Fred”, even where other players have their full name listed.
Arroyo would spend all of 1976 in AAA Evansville. Evansville, IN had a AAA team through the 1970’s, but have been out of affiliated baseball since 1984. Since 1995 the city has been represented by the independent Frontier League’s Evansville Otters.
Montgomery is definitely at Shea; Arroyo goes under “pretty sure”; Torrez falls in the “Can’t tell” category.
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 15
Can’t tell: 23
Not Shea: 9
1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends
None of these three are excessively Seventies-looking. I’m going to file Arroyo under “Long Hair”.
Total Cards: 128
1970’s Sideburns: 73
Fu Manchu: 5
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 40
Long Hair: 32