24 March 2011

roy hartsfield, i hardly knew you

why it pays to study your team cards!  i have posted before about how i used to spend a lot of time analyzing team cards.  mostly from the 1978 topps set through the mid 1980 topps sets when i was at my zenith of collecting, although i did take note of don drysdale on the 1970 topps dodgers team card and dick allen on the 1972 version at an early age.  since then however, i have not spent nearly enough time with them except to definitively figure out who's who on the dodgers' 1978 topps team card.

anyway, i was looking at the 1972 topps dodgers team card again recently, and comparing it to the 1971 team photo posted at walteromalley.com. 
it's pretty close to the photo used by topps (i think the photos there from 1972 on are the same ones used on the topps cards) and the web site lists those featured which is just an awesome bit of information.  lo and behold, i read that roy hartsfield is shown sitting next to jim gilliam in the second row.  sure enough, hartsfield is to gilliam's left, leaning forward.  that's wes parker to his left.  if you're having trouble, just find bill buckner's eyebrows and go two people to his right.  that's hartsfield.

this surprised me.  i knew as a result of my ttm request that hartsfield managed in the dodgers' minor league system before giving way to tom lasorda, but i didn't know that he was on walter alston's coaching staff from 1969-1972.  so, i looked at the 1973 topps team card
and sure enough, there he is again in the second row, this time sitting to gilliam's right.  now, topps included coaches on the 1973 and 1974 managers' cards, but danny ozark and hartsfield were replaced by tom lasorda and monty basgall for the 1973 season, so neither one of them made the alston card.
so, what's my point?  well, roy hartsfield is one of the seemingly many dodger players/staffers to have passed away this year, as he died in january from liver cancer.  i had experienced the aforementioned ttm success with the former blue jays manager (which is how i thought of him), but i am disappointed that i didn't connect him to these team cards (and likely the 1970 and 1971 cards) and ask him to sign them as well.  i know when i wrote him i mentioned his time in the dodgers' organization, but it would have been nice to have let him know that, as a dodger fan, i appreciated his service to the big league team.  i regret that missed opportunity.

let that be a lesson to you autograph seekers - study your team cards!


Tony said...

Although I have received Roy's autograph on a couple of Jays cards, I regret the "missed opportunity" as well. I had a couple of great photos I wanted signed, one of him as a player with the Mil Braves and one of the Jays coaching staff from '77 with Bobby Doerr. It's the old lesson, "Get' 'em while they are here."

vmsgraphics said...

Was there ever a player by the name of Victor Soto that played on the 70-73 dodger roster, #29. He was from Dominican Republic and only played for a short time.

gcrl said...

@vmsgraphics - i can't find any record of victor soto with the dodgers