18 September 2012

broken down bus

i recently came across an auction for a here-to-fore unknown (to me) 1974 greyhound heroes on the basepaths issue.  of course, there is a davey lopes card in the booklet, as he finished second to lou brock that year on the national league leader board in stolen bases.
i had previously picked up a copy of the 1976 lopes card at the local card show, as well as complete 1975 and 1976 booklets online.  unfortunately, i didn't read this auction description closely enough, and i assumed i was bidding on the whole lot, as shown below.  
i wasn't - i wound up winning only the lopes card, and so i missed out on the card that featured both maury wills and lopes.

that got me thinking, though.  why was wills included in the 1974 booklet?  he hadn't played since 1972.  maybe since brock broke his record in 1974, he was included?  but then, why the other players? they weren't next on the career leader board. plus, there was that panel full of american league players.
what gives?

i spent a fair amount of time looking through baseball reference and found the following.

after the 1974 season, lou brock had a career total of 753 steals with 118 coming in 1974.  he led the league in steals from  1966-69, and again from 1971-74.  he was 2nd in 1964, 1965, and 1970.

maury wills had 586 career steals with 104 in 1962.  he led the league from  1960-65, and was 2nd in 1967 and 1968.

bobby tolan's career total was 171, and he had led the league in 1970.

joe morgan had 378 career steals, but had never led the league in that category.  he was 2nd in 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1973.

sonny jackson was at 126 career steals with a 2nd place finish in 1966.

jose cardenal had 263 steals and finished 2nd in 1965 and 1968 (he was in the american league that year)

and then there was davey lopes, who had just 99 steals to his credit, 59 of which came in 1974 when he was 2nd to brock.

i won't bore you with what i found for the american league players, although it was more of the same.  i should have gone straight to the source - my copy of the 2010 standard catalog of baseball cards.  there, i found out that these were the winners and runners up from each league since 1965.  there was half an hour of my life wasted.

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