Contrast & Compare: 1977 Topps & O-Pee-Chee George “Doc” Medich

1977 was the first year that O-Pee-Chee baseball started wandering far afield of its Topps counterpart. Today we’ll look at the Doc Medich card that OPC was able to update because they went to press well after Topps did.

Doc is from western Pennsylvania and went to the University Of Pittsburgh, but unfortunately only got to spend one year in the Pirates’ black & gold.
1977 Topps George Medich
During Spring Training of 1977, he was sent to Oakland in a 9 player trade that also involved Phil Garner, Tony Armas, Rick Langford and Mitchell Page.

I don’t know when the OPC set was “put to bed”, but perhaps the last minute aspect of the trade would account for this airbrushing job:
1977 OPC George Medich
Doc was in his “walk year”, and moved around a lot in 1977. He went 10-6 for Oakland but was sold to the Mariners in mid-September. He made three starts for the M’s and went 2-0 before being claimed on waivers by the Mets. Medich gave up 6 hits and 3 runs and took the loss in his only game for the Mets. After the season he signed with the Rangers as a free agent, and was airbrushed into a Rangers cap on his 1978 card.

I’m not sure how I missed Medich’s one game Mets stint when I did my two-part series on “Short-Term Mets“… At some point I may have to do a follow-up to those posts.

Without A Cup, Part 9: Right-Handed Pitcher

In 1974, Topps didn’t use a cup… That is to say, they didn’t use the golden “All-Star Rookie” cups on the cards which feature members of Topps 1973 All-Star Rookie team. Since Topps didn’t honor those players, I will. Today we’ll be looking at the right-handed pitcher on that team.

Steve Rogers had an impressive career;  so much so that you can’t help but wonder what his numbers would’ve been like had he been on a winning team before his 7th season.

Steve went 10-5, 1.54 in 1973 and finished second to Gary Matthews in the NL Rookie Of The Year voting.  He threw three shutouts that year, the first two coming in his second and third Major League starts…  and one of those was a one-hitter!  Steve was a five-time All-Star, two-time NL Shutout leader, and is the only player with a career longer than 5 years to have spent  his whole career with the Expos.

Rogers would lead the NL in losses twice:  22 in 1974, 17 in 1976.  You’ve got to be a good pitcher to lose that many games; otherwise they wouldn’t keep trotting you out there.

George “Doc” Medich was the Baseball Digest RHP (14-9, 2.95 with the Yankees)

Next time, on an all-new “Without A Cup”:  A player who had his number retired