1976 SSPC “Exclusives”, Part 4

For those who missed Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, this series looks into cards in 1976 SSPC which show players with a team that you didn’t see on a ‘solo’ Topps card (but may have on a multi-player rookie card).

Dave Bergman

Cups of coffee with the Yankees in 1975 and 1977 was the only Major League action that Bergman saw before a November, 1977 trade sent him to Houston. He spent some time with the Astros, Giants and Phillies before ending up with the Tigers where he’d stick around for 9 years and win a World Series. He appeared on a 1978 Topps “Rookie Outfielders” card with an airbrushed Astros cap, but got a solo card with a spring training photo in the 1978 Burger King Astros set.

Gary Roenicke

According to the back of this SSPC card, Roenicke was a September call-up in 1975, but he never appeared in a game. The 8th overall pick in the 1973 draft, he was blocked from the Majors by the Expos’ good young outfield of Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine and Warren Cromartie. A late 1977 trade sent him to the Orioles, he played some in 1978 and then became the O’s starting left fielder in 1979, which got him a card in 1980 Topps. He was a member of the 1983 World Champion Orioles.

Jack Heidemann

A 19-year-old when he made his 1969 debut, Jack Heidemann was Cleveland’s starting shortstop in 1970 and appeared on Topps cards from 1971 to 1973. He spent most of 1972 and all of 1973 and 1974 in AAA, which is why he was missing from 1974 Topps. He reappeared with the Cardinals in 1975 Topps, even though he’d been traded to the Mets in December, 1974. Missing from 1976 Topps, Heidemann was traded to Milwaukee during the 1976 season and had his last Topps card in 1977 Topps… but appeared in only 5 more Major League games that season and remained in AAA until 1979.

Tim Blackwell

Several years before he’d appear on a 1978 Topps card, Tim Blackwell backed up Carlton Fisk in 1974 and 1975. It wasn’t until he was purchased by the Phillies and then traded to the Expos that he made his way onto mainstream cardboard. What makes it more interesting is that he appeared in more games in 1974 (44 games) or 1975 (59 games) than in 1976 and 1977 combined (21 games), yet he got his rookie card in 1978. Such is Topps.

Rodney Scott

The back of this Rodney Scott card reflects that he’d been sold to the Expos for the 1976 season. As a rookie with the Royals he was used mainly as a pinch-runner and he’d play only 7 games in that first go-round with Montreal before being traded to the Rangers in spring training of 1977… and then being flipped to the A’s 11 days later. He appeared on a 1978 Topps card with the A’s but was traded to the Cubs in 1978 spring training, and then traded back to the Expos after the 1978 season. It was with Montreal that Scott lead the league with 13 triples – 9 more than he got in any other season – and hit career highs with 84 runs and 63 stolen bases.

Mick Kelleher

“Good glove, no bat” applies to Mick Kelleher, who never hit a home run in over 1000 at-bats. He came up with the Cardinals, made a brief appearance in Houston, but it wasn’t until after he’d established himself as a regular with the 1976 Cubs that he got his “true” rookie card in 1978 Topps.

Wayne Simpson

Holy Toledo!  Yes, that’s a Toledo Mud Hens uniform that Wayne Simpson is wearing on this 1976 SSPC card…. there were a handful of players and coaches depicted in their minor league uniforms towards the end of the set.

A two-hit shutout in your Major League debut is an excellent way to start one’s career, and Simpson followed that up with a rookie season all-star appearance, plus he lead the league with a .825 winning percentage (14-3) and finished 2nd to Tom Seaver with a 3.10 ERA. Simpson appeared on a 1971 Topps “ERA Leaders” card (1st series) before he had a “solo” Topps card (1971 3rd series).  He also appeared in 1971 oddball sets like Kellogg’s, Milk Duds and the Topps Coins inserts.  Arm injuries derailed his career, however, and even though he pitched through the 1978 season, he last showed up on a Topps card in 1973 and this SSPC card is his last cardboard appearance.  FYI, the Mud Hens were the Phillies’ AAA team at the time, and Simpson did get a brief look with the Phillies in 1975

There are still more cards like these, plus players who got their only cards in 1976 SSPC, and also former Major Leaguers who appeared as coaches in this set (most famously Duke Snider with the Expos), but I think four posts on this subject is enough for now.

1976 SSPC “Exclusives”, Part 3

For those who missed Part 1 and Part 2, this series looks into cards in 1976 SSPC which show players with a team that you didn’t see on a ‘solo’ Topps card (but may have on a multi-player rookie card).

Art Howe

An infielder, and later a manager of the Astros, A’s and Mets, Art Howe started out in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization but even though he appeared in 63 games for the Bucs in 1975, he didn’t appear on a Topps card until 1978.  In the meantime, SSPC featured Howe in his one-and-only appearance in Pittsburgh black and gold.  Howe was traded to the Astros as the player-to-be-named-later in a deal that sent Tommy Helms from Houston to Pittsburgh (and got Helms in the 1976 Topps Traded set).

Gene Michael

The Yankees’ starting shortstop from 1969 to 1973, and later the team’s manager and general manager, Gene “Stick” Michael played the 1975 season with the Tigers and hooked up with the Red Sox for 1976, but got released in May without having appeared in a game.  His final Topps card came in 1975 and showed him with the Yankees.

Terry Whitfield

Terry Whitfield appeared on multi-player “Rookie Outfielder” Topps cards in 1975 and 1976, both times with the Yankees.  In 1976 he played in just one Major League game, and during spring training in 1977 he was traded to the San Francisco Giants where he was able to play regularly.  His first solo Topps (and Hostess) cards came in 1978.  Whitfield went to Japan in 1981 to play for the Seibu Lions when he was still in his baseball prime, played 3 seasons and came back to the States to serve as a backup for the Dodgers.

Cecil Upshaw

Upshaw was a reliever with the Braves for 7 seasons, but then bounced around towards the end of his career.  Like with Gene Michael his final Topps card in 1975 showed him with the Yankees, but he had been traded to the White Sox late in 1974.  After a season with the Chisox in 1975, he was released in 1976 spring training, ending his career.

Ed Brinkman

Brinkman, who spent parts of 10 seasons with the Senators and then 4 with the Tigers (where he got a Gold Glove and his only All-Star appearance), was trying to hang on to a Major League job in 1975.  He played 28 games with the Cardinals, 1 with the Rangers, and finished the season with the Yankees.  He was back with the Yankees for spring training in 1976, but got released at the end of March, ending his playing career.  His last Topps card was his 1975 card which showed him with Detroit.

Sonny Siebert

Siebert was an All-Star with the Indians and Red Sox and played for four teams over his final three seasons.  He spent 1975 with the Padres and A’s and retired after the season.  His last Topps card came in 1975 and showed him with the Cardinals, the team he’d pitched for in 1974.

Milt Wilcox

Wilcox came up with the Reds, was traded the Indians where he spent a few seasons and then was traded to the Cubs early in 1975 – too late to be reflected on his 1975 Topps card, which showed him with Cleveland.  Wilcox struggled in 1975, so while SSPC showed him with the Cubs, Topps left him out of their 1976 set.  Wilcox was spent 1976 in AAA, was purchased by the Tigers partway through the season and re-established himself with Detroit in 1977.  He’d be back on a Topps card in 1978 and through the rest his career, as well as on several “Senior League” cards… although his last stop with Seattle in 1986 never made it to cardboard.

Willie Randolph

20 year old Randolph played in 30 regular season games and 2 postseason games with the Pirates in 1975, and then was sent to the Yankees in a December, 1975 trade which sent him, Dock Ellis and Ken Brett to the Bronx for George “Doc” Medich, who had at least 14 wins in each of his first three seasons.  The Yankees would give Willie the starting job at second base, and he stayed there for 13 years.

Randolph appeared with the Pirates in 1976 Topps as part of a “Rookie Infielders” card and was given a solo card in 1976 Topps Traded.


I was going to let this series end after three parts, but as I was wrapping this post up I realized there were a couple of players I could’ve featured… so be on the lookout for Part 4 next week, and THEN I’ll wrap it up.

1976 SSPC “Exclusives”, Part 2

For those who missed Part 1 and don’t want to click on this link to go back and read it, this series looks into cards in 1976 SSPC which show players in a uniform that didn’t show up on a ‘solo’ Topps card (but may have on a multi-player rookie card).

For this part I thought it would be fun to focus on players who would be with the expansion 1977 Blue Jays and Mariners.  Because SSPC featured a number of younger players, a decent number of them showed up in that set with their original organization.

Bob Bailor
Bailor was an infielder in the Orioles organization who was stuck behind Mark Belanger, Bobby Grich and Brooks Robinson.  He was the Blue Jays first pick in the 1976 expansion draft.

His first Topps card shows him as a Blue Jays rookie in on a multi-player 1977 Topps rookie card.  1977 O-Pee-Chee gave him a solo card in a Blue Jays uniform

Rick Cerone
He was a first round draft pick in 1975 and was traded to the Blue Jays late in 1976 as part of a deal to bring Rico Carty back to Cleveland – Carty had been selected from the Indians in the expansion draft.

Cerone appeared in 1977 Topps on a multi-player rookie card and in 1977 O-Pee-Chee as a solo airbrushed Blue Jay.

Mike Willis
This card is interesting as Willis never appeared in a regular season game with the Orioles.  According to the back of the SSPC card, he got a September callup but never made it into any games.  Willis was selected in the expansion draft and in 1978 he became one of just 3 pitchers to beat Ron Guidry during his Cy Young-winning 25-3 season.

Willis appeared on a multi-player rookie card in 1977 Topps and had his own 1977 O-Pee-Chee card.

Otto Velez
Drafted from the Yankees in the expansion draft, Velez would play six years in Toronto. He appeared on a multi-player rookie card in 1974 Topps and – something that raised an eyebrow for me – was included in the 1974 Topps Stamps set… but I’m not going to count that as a ‘solo card’.

Here is his 1977 Topps and O-Pee-Chee cards:

John Scott
The Blue Jays purchased John Scott from the Padres before the expansion draft, as he’s one of the players that new Jays manager Roy Hartsfield was familiar with from having managed the Padres’ AAA team. Scott appeared with the Padres in a multi-player 1975 Topps card (along with Jim Rice) and on this 1976 SSPC card.

In 1977 he’d appear on a Topps multi-player card (along with Andre Dawson) and got his own card in 1977 O-Pee-Chee

He also playted for the Yakult Swallows from 1979 to 1981 and appeared in the 1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball set.

Tommy Smith
Outfielder Tommy Smith played a career-high 55 games with the 1976 Indians and was selected from Cleveland in the expansion draft.

He appeared on multi-player rookie cards in 1974 and 1975 Topps, and got solo cards in 1977 Topps and 1977 O-Pee-Chee


I got a little “deeper” into the list of player because of the theme, but I’m thinking that going forward I’m going to feature players who appeared on a few more baseball cards than some of these guys.

1976 SSPC Exclusives, Part 1

In last week’s “1970s: A-Z” post, I featured this 1976 SSPC card of Craig Reynolds:

…and mentioned that this is Reynolds’ only ‘solo’ card with the Pirates. He was on two multi-player rookie cards with the Pirates in 1976 and 1977, but it wasn’t until after he was traded to the Mariners that he appeared on his own card in 1978.

In the comments of that post, NPB Card Guy (who writes the Japanese Baseball Cards blog and is on Twitter) said “IIRC Willie Randolph’s only ‘solo’ card showing him with the Pirates was also from that SSPC set. Wonder if there are any others”.

He is correct, Willie Randolph had three cards in 1976;  His SSPC card which shows him on the Pirates (although the back of the card reflects the December 1975 trade to the Yankees), his 1976 Topps “Rookie Infielders” card which he shares with 3 other players, and his 1976 Topps Traded card which shows him airbrushed into a Yankees uniform.

I thought this might be a good topic for a post, and once I started researching it realized it was too much to cover all at once… at least it is if you include veteran players shown in uniforms that are unfamiliar from the fronts of Topps cards.

Among the most famous examples of 1976 SSPC showing a veteran in the ‘wrong’ uniform is the card of Harmon Killebrew. Killer was a long-time star with the Senators and Twins, but was released in January 1975 and hooked up as the Royals’ DH in 1975. He retired at the end of the 1975 season, something that’s acknowledged on the back of the card.

Like Craig Reynolds, Bob McClure showed up on 1976 and 1977 multi-player rookie cards before getting his first solo Topps card in 1978. In McClure’s case his first solo card came after he was sent to Milwaukee during spring training of 1977. His 1976 SSPC card featured a rookie Royals pitcher who at that point had a 1.000 winning percentage (1-0) and a 0.00 ERA after 12 appearances and 15.1 innings pitched.

Willie Davis was a center fielder for the Dodgers from 1960 to 1973, but he closed out his career with five different teams from 1974 to 1979. Topps reflected stops in Montreal and San Diego, but he also played for the Rangers, Cardinals and Angels. Davis’ 1976 SSPC card shows a photo with the Cards but the back shows that he’d been traded to the Padres.

There’s also a 1975 SSPC “sample card” which shows Willie with the Rangers, but I don’t have that one yet.

This is Jerry Cram’s only solo card, period.  He broke in with the 1969 Royals, appeared on a 1971 Topps “Rookie Pitchers” card even though he didn’t pitch in the Majors from 1970 to 1973 and put in a handful of games from 1974 to 1976.  He pitched 8 scoreless innings in a 25-inning game where the Cardinals beat the Mets.  Cram followed his pitching career with a long stint as a minor league pitching coach up through 2017.

Iván deJesus lead the National League with 104 runs in 1978 and was the starting shortstop for the Cubs and Phillies.  For some he may be best known as the player heading from Chicago to Philadelphia for Larry Bowa and a prospect named Ryne Sandberg.

Trapped behind Bill Russell with the Dodgers, he would be traded to the Cubs in a 1977 deal which also saw Bill Buckner and Rick Monday swapping teams.  His “official” rookie card would be in 1978 Topps.

There are plenty more cards like these in 1976 SSPC, but I’ll save them for other posts.

 

1976 SSPC: Tom Seaver, Fritz Peterson, Paul Lindblad

I’d done only two of these 1976 SSPC posts since the end of 2017; I’m going to try to streamline my process a bit to get them done more often.

Paul Lindblad was a lefty reliever whose 3.29 career ERA and 1.270 career WHIP might be more valued today than in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

He pitched 14 season in the Bigs, mostly with the A’s.  On 9/28/75 he pitched the 7th inning of what would be a combined no-hitter (the other three pitchers were Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott and Rollie Fingers).

Is he in Shea? Yep.


1976 would be the last season of Fritz Peterson’s career; he’d pitch 9 games for the Indians and 4 for the Rangers and end up going 1-3, 5.08 on the season. Prior to that, however, Peterson was a 20-game winner and twice won 17 games with the Yankees.

Fritz pitched 9 years with the Yankees without playing in the postseason; this is among the longest stretches among any Yankees.

It’s fun to get a look at the team’s warmup jacket, since they don’t often show up on cards.

Is he in Shea? No way to tell.


This card saw Tom Seaver coming off a Cy Young-winning year and coming back down to earth a little bit; he went from 22-9 in 1975 to 14-11 in 1976. Tom Terrific did lead the league in 1976 with 235 K’s;  he was 3rd in the Majors behind the Angels devastating tandem of Nolan Ryan (327) and Frank Tanana (261).

1976 would be Seaver’s last full season with the Mets before being traded to the Reds in the infamous 1977 “Midnight Massacre”.

Is he in Shea? You betcha.


Shea-o-meter totals:
Shea: 84
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 15
Can’t tell: 24
Not Shea: 9

1976 SSPC: Mike Torrez, Bob Montgomery, Fernando Arroyo

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.


Shea-o-meter:
Montgomery is definitely at Shea;  Arroyo goes under “pretty sure”;  Torrez falls in the “Can’t tell” category.
Shea: 82
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
Afro: 2
Perm: 3
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 32

1976 SSPC: Mike Tyson (No, Not That One), Dale Murray & Steve Stone

From when I was a kid and up until I was in my 20’s, when you spoke of “Mike Tyson”, you meant this guy.

“The Original Mike Tyson” was a middle infielder with the Cardinals and Cubs from 1972 to 1981, and he was a starter in many of those seasons.  I think Mike has a pre-production sample of “Big League Chew” stuffed in his cheek.


Dale Murray pitched in 518 games over his 12 year career, and started just one of those (more on this in a bit).  In 1975 he went 15-8 as a reliever… I don’t know what that says about him or the 1975 Expos.  Murray pitched for both Canadian teams (Expos and Blue Jays) and both New York teams (Mets and Yankees).

Murray lead the Majors by pitching in 81 games in 1976;  that ties him with a bunch of other pitchers for 74th best all-time.

His one and only start came while pitching for the Reds on July 28th, 1977.  The Reds scored 6 runs before Murray took the mound, but he pitched 1+ innings and gave up 6 runs, including home runs to Bill Buckner, Bobby Murcer and George Mitterwald, and doubles to Ivan deJesus and opposing pitcher Ray Burris.  Burris would also have a bad start, giving up 8 runs in 2+ innings.  The Cubs would win 16-15 in 13 innings; the two teams would combine for 43 hits.

One of these days I’m going to cave in and just admit that I’m looking to collect any card which shows a player in the Expos’ tri-colored cap (which they wore from 1969 to 1991).


Steve Stone is looking very Seventies on this card.

He’s probably best known as a broadcaster with the Cubs and White Sox, but he won the A.L. Cy Young Award as he went 25-7, 3.23 with the Orioles in 1980.


Shea-o-meter:
Tyson and Stone are probably both in Shea, but it’s not like anything I decide would hold up in a court of law.  I’m declaring those two “Can’t Tell” and the Dale Murray Card as “Shea”.
Shea: 81
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 14
Can’t tell: 22
Not Shea: 9

1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends
Steve Stone seems to have pretty wavy hair based on his later cards, but I’m going to go ahead and declare this a perm.
Total Cards: 125
1970’s Sideburns: 73
Fu Manchu: 5
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 40
Afro: 2
Perm: 3
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 31

1976 SSPC: Carew, Cardenas & Currence

I’m overdue for another batch of 1976 SSPC cards… I’ll start with HOFer Rod Carew. I’ll let you write your own caption to this picture, because I made several attempts and figuratively crumpled and tossed each one into the trash.

1976 was Carew’s first season as the Twins’ first baseman, and while he did make the All-Star team, 1976 was the only season between 1972 and 1978 that Carew didn’t lead the league in batting average… Carew batted .331, Hal McRae batted .332 and George Brett batted .333.  Carew also didn’t lead the league in hits, OBP or any other major category that he was known for;  it says a lot that batting .331 with 200 hits, 90 RBI and 97 runs could be argued to have been an off year.

Leo “Chico” Cardenas is a player who often gets overlooked when people talk about the 1960’s or 1970’s. Over his 16-year career primarily as a shortstop, he won a Gold Glove, was a five-time All-Star and got MVP votes in a number of seasons.

Cardenas would be released by the Rangers at the end of Spring Training in 1976, and that would be the end of his career.

I’d just mentioned Lafayette Currence (and his awesome name) in a post last week. He started his career in promising fashion, getting Brooks Robinson to pop out to right, Mark Belanger to ground out and Ken Singleton to strike out in a 1-2-3 ninth inning of a game the O’s won 10-5.

Unfortunately, that was the highlight of his career; he’d struggle through many of his 8 appearances in 1975 and wouldn’t appear in the Majors again.

Shea-o-meter:
Carew and Cardenas are definitely Shea; Currence looks like Shea, but as dark as it is I’m hesitant to commit 100%
Shea: 80
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 14
Can’t tell: 20
Not Shea: 9

1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends
This post features two sets of sideburns and a mustache.
Total Cards: 122
1970’s Sideburns: 71
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 39
Afro: 2
Perm: 2
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 30

1976 SSPC: Bill Gogolewski, Bob Stinson And Billy Smith

Bill Gogolewski is from Oshkosh, WI (b’gosh!) and pitched 19 games of relief in 1975 to finish his pitching career.  Before that, he pitched six seasons, mainly for the Senators/Rangers, and bbref.com lists his main accomplishment as a 1-hitter he pitched against Nolan Ryan and the Angels in 1972.  This SSPC card was his final baseball card, and I just like the shot of him doing a fake pitching pose with all those people behind him.

Gogolewski’s grooming habits are unusual for the mid 1970’s….  Short hair?  Clean shaven?  If it weren’t for the powder blue Chisox unis, you’d be hard-pressed to identify this as a 1970’s photo.  I think the player wearing #22 behind him might be Buddy Bradford, but Jerry Hairston Sr. also wore #22 during part of 1975.  Any input from someone more familiar with either/both of those players?

Bob Stinson was a backup catcher for the Royals in 1975 and 1976.  Although I would never advocate the chaw in his cheek, I like the 1970’s of it… and by the way, you can tell from the twin light towers, the blurry parking lot light pole and outfield dimensions  just about his shoulders that this is, in fact, Shea Stadium.

Bob Stinson’s first three baseball cards – all “Rookie Stars” cards – showed him with three different teams, the Dodgers, Cardinals and Astros, and he had short stints with all three teams.  It wasn’t until he was with the Expos in 1973 that he exceeded 100 plate appearances, and he didn’t become a starter until he was an original Seattle Mariner.

“Billy Smith” makes me think of the New York Islanders goalie of the 1970’s and 1980’s.  This Billy Smith started with the Angels – this is his only card with that team – and became a regular for the 1977 Orioles.

He’d play two more seasons for the O’s, play in the minors and then made a brief appearance with the Giants in 1981.

Here’s the Billy Smith I’m more familiar with… This is a recent dimebox acquisition from 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee Hockey:

Shea-o-meter:
All three of these SSPC cards were photographed at Shea.  (The OPC Hockey card was not.)
Shea: 78
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 13
Can’t tell: 20
Not Shea: 9

1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends
Total Cards: 119
1970’s Sideburns: 69
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 38
Afro: 2
Perm: 2
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 30

1976 SSPC: Chris Arnold, Mike Ivie, Andy Messersmith

This SSPC post features players from the Giants, Padres and Dodgers, giving a California flair to the proceedings…

1976 was Chris Arnold’s last year in the Majors, and his stats for that year momentarily threw me for a loop. The first thing I noticed was that he’s listed as playing every infield position… Then I noticed that he appeared in 60 games, but played 8 at 2nd, 4 at 3rd, 1 at 1st and 1 at short. Then I went back and noticed 76 plate appearances in 60 games… so…  pinch hitter? With a .276 OBP?

The Giants released Chris Arnold early in 1977 and he signed with the Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Pacific League in Japan. It so happens that I have his card from the 1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball set, so it’s “bonus coverage” time.

BTW, the card is misscanned, not miscut.


Mike Ivie was a high school catcher who was drafted 1st overall in 1970.  While he wasn’t the superstar one hopes for with the first overall pick, he was a solid player for 5 seasons, and he appeared in 11 seasons overall.

In 1976, Ivie lead the team with a .291 average and 70 RBI.

Check out the entire first round in that June 1970 draft;  there’s very little in the way of “star power”, with one exception: Mike Ivie, Steve Dunning, Barry Foote, Darrell Porter (the exception), Mike Martin, Lee Richard, Randy Scarbery, Rex Goodson, Jim Haller, Paul Dade, Jim Browning, Dave Cheadle, John Bedard, Chip Maxwell, Gary Polczynski, Jimmie Hacker, John D’Acquisto, Dan Ford, Gene Hiser, Terry Mappin, Ron Broaddus, Bob Gorinski, George Ambrow, James West.

Yikes.


Andy Messersmith is probably best known these days as a pioneer of free agency, but he was a two-time 20 game winner, a four-time all-star, a two-time gold-glover and in 1975 he got 19 wins while leading the league in Complete games and shutouts in 1975.

Messersmith signed a 3-year, $1 Million contract with the Braves before the 1976 season, and while he did make the all-star team for a fourth and final time, his numbers were down across the board, finishing the season 11-11, 3.04 (to be fair, the ’76 Braves lost 92 games).  Messersmith was also part of the late 1972 Angels/Dodgers trade that involved Frank Robinson, Bobby Valentine and four other players.

Although Messersmith looks a little uncomfortable with the bat on this card, he did bat .240 in 1974 and went 2-for-4 in that year’s World Series.

Shea-o-meter:
All three are at Shea.
Shea: 75
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 13
Can’t tell: 20
Not Shea: 9

1970’s Census: Keeping track of all the instances of 1970’s trends
Total Cards: 116
1970’s Sideburns: 67
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 37
Afro: 2
Perm: 2
Aviators: 8
Long Hair: 29