Today is the 270th day of 2018, so I’m featuring card #270 from seven different 1970’s sets.
I do these posts because I enjoy pulling out cards from the very core of my collection (1974 to 1978 were my first five years of collecting), but I also enjoy the randomness of saying “I think I’ll do a Card Number post on Thursday… what day of the year is that?” When used my little Excel spreadsheet formula to determine that 9/27 is the 270th day of 2018, I knew that we’d have some good cards because Topps traditionally assigns card numbers ending with zero to good players.
…But in this case, not the absolute BEST players. The six or seven tippity-toppest players get the card numbers which are divisible by 100 (100, 200, 300, etc.), the next tier generally gets the “fifties” (150, 250, 350… ) and so on. Anybody on a card with a number like 270 are generally among the best players in the game, but weren’t THE TOP PLAYERS.
Because it was a card number ending in zero (and because I happened to have the appropriate cards), I decided to add in 1972 and 1973 this time.
…and so we’ll start off with Card #270 from 1972 Topps: Jim Palmer
What Jim Palmer did the year before to earn a card number ending in zero: In 1971 “Cakes” won 20 games, making him the fourth member of the Orioles rotation to win 20 games. That’s just amazing, especially considering that there won’t be four pitchers in all of the Majors to win 20 games in 2018. As for Palmer in 1971, he was an All-Star, but didn’t win an award or lead the league in any particular category… probably the epitome of “divisible by 10-ness”
Card #270 from 1973 Topps – Luis Tiant
Tiant always looks strange to me without his trademark Fu Manchu mustache.
What Luis Tiant did the year before: Went 15-9, lead the league with a 1.91 ERA and got Cy Young and MVP votes. More importantly, he re-established himself as a starting pitcher and won the Comeback Of The Year Award.
I enjoyed the cartoon on the back of El Tiante’s card:
Card #270 from 1974 Topps – Ron Santo
What Ron Santo did the year before: He batted .267 with 65 runs and 77 RBI and was an All-Star… but there’s probably a significant element of “He gets one of these numbers because he’s Ron bleeping Santo”.
Here’s a freaky little fact: Ron Santo batted .267 in three of the four seasons from 1970 to 1973, and in 1970 and 1971 he had the exact same number of hits and at-bats. This seemed so unlikely that I went to a couple of different sources to verify these numbers.
After the 1973 season, Santo was traded to the White Sox, to the dismay of Cubs fans everywhere.
Before Ron Santo was traded across town, a trade had been worked out to send him to the Angels; however, Santo vetoed it. Several years ago I’d shared a card which I’d received in an interdimensional PWE from my counterpart in an alternate universe:
I haven’t heard anything from Alternate Universe Joe in a while, I’ll have to reach out to him.
Finally, Santo’s card had a good cartoon:
Card #270 from 1975 Topps – Ron Fairly
Had there been a Traded set in 1975, Ron Fairly would’ve likely been featured in a badly-airbrushed Cardinals cap. In the December 1974 Winter Meetings, Fairly was traded to St. Louis for two minor leaguers.
What Ron Fairly did the year before: Ron Fairly batted .245 with 35 runs and 43 RBI, and he had been an All-Star in 1973… I’m thinking that Fairly got his semi-star card # by being good for quite a long time – he played 21 years over his career, spanning 1958 to 1969 with the Dodgers, 1969 to 1974 with the Expos, and 1975 to 1978 with the Cardinals, A’s, Blue Jays and Angels.
One other fun Fairly fact: He was the Toronto Blue Jays’ first All-Star.
Card #270 from 1976 Topps – Willie Stargell
What Willie Stargell did the year before: By this point in his career, you couldn’t really give “Pops” just any old number… But Stargell got MVP votes while batting .295 with 22 homers, 90 RBI and 71 Runs
Card #270 from 1977 Topps – Dave Parker
What Dave Parker did the year before: Parker was still a fairly new player and when this card initially came out he had yet to be an All-Star, an MVP or a Gold Glove winner, but he did bat .313 with 90 RBI and 82 Runs.
Card #270 from 1978 Topps – Carlton Fisk
What Carlton Fisk did the year before: Obviously, Fisk was an All-Star. He batted .315 with 102 RBI, 26 homers and 106 runs. He was also the 1972 Rookie of the Year and a 1975 World Series hero.