17 July 2010

trolling for 71's

the collective troll sent me a bunch of beautiful black bordered 1971 topps cards from my want list recently.  i had sent him a bunch of rays and vintage as a show of 'blogger generosity' after some rat bastard stole a bunch of cards from him.  anyway, he came back with some great cards.

like lowell palmer.
international man of mystery.  this post at the fleer sticker project may be one of the best baseball card posts ever, thanks to the images and the comments.  it is most interesting to consider that lowell 'dated' a woman during the second game of a double header.

larry brown
brown was a middle infielder for cleveland who wound up with the a's in the latter part of 1971.  he was with them when they won it all in 1972, although he didn't appear in the postseason until 1973 when he was with the orioles.

al fitzmorris
and roger nelson
fitzmorris and nelson combined to go 7-6 in 1971 for the royals.  all of the wins and 5 of the losses belonged to fitzmorris, though.  nelson had his best season the following year, however, winning 11 with a 2.08 era and an incredible 0.87 whip in 173.1 innings.

rafael robles
robles didn't appear in the big leagues in 1971, although he had appeared in a couple dozen games in 1970.  two interesting things about this card - the player in the background is positioned so that it appears that he might be an action figure stuck in robles' hip pocket, and robles' signature includes an 'r' for his middle name.  according to baseball reference, his middle name is 'orlando'.

ken suarez
suarez, who didn't appear in the majors in 1970, was a member of the indians' organization from 1968 through 1971.  prior to that, he was with the (then kansas city) a's.  i am guessing topps went back in time and pulled a picture from his kansas city days since there is no reason to black out the logo on his hat otherwise.  unless he was wearing a carling brewery cap.

luke walker
walker was a member of the 1971 world champion pirates, although his lone start (an appearance) in the fall classic was less than stellar.  he gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and an intentional walk in two-thirds of an inning in game 4.  the pirates came back to win, however, 4-3.

marty martinez
marty's first name is really orlando.  but orlando martinez isn't as catchy as marty martinez, and you couldn't expect his teammates back then to call him by his real name.  anyway, martinez was your typical early 70's infielder excpet that he once pitched in a game against the giants.  on july 9, 1969, he finished a blowout by pitching the last two-thirds of an inning.  he sandwiched a flyout and a groundout around a dick dietz home run.

ray jarvis
it's a final tribute!  jarvis was traded with tony c. from the red sox to the angels for doug griffin and the tatum brothers (not really related).  strangely enough, one of the tatums was named jarvis.  anyway, jarvis spent all of 1971 at the angels' aaa club in salt lake but never made it back to the bigs.  for his career, he was 5-7 with a 4.64 era.

mike ryan
slightly miscut, but that's ok!  mike ryan was tim mccarver's backup in the early 70's.  he wasn't much of a hitter, but i guarantee i would rather listen to ryan call a game on tv than mccarver any day of the week and twice on sundays.

mike nagy
after finishing 2nd in the 1969 al roy voting with a 12-2 record and an era of 3.11, nagy was mediocre in 1970 and worse in 1971.  he appeared in 12 games (7 starts) in '71, winning 1 and losing 3.  he appeared in just 1 game in 1972 and was traded to saint louis prior to the start of spring training in 1973.  the cardinals flipped him in march of '73 to the rangers but in june, they sent him back to the cards who kept him until the end of the season, after which they sent him off to the astros.

phil gagliano
gagliano had spent 1970 with the cardinals and cubs who pulled off a (rare?) trade in may of 1970.  he joined the red sox in the offseason when the cubs traded him for carmen fanzone.  with the sox, gagliano hit .324 in limited action in 1971, so they kept him around for 1972.  but, after he hit just .256 with slightly more playing time, they shipped him off to the reds.  gagliano was a member of the 1967 world champion cardinals.

freddie patek
patek is probably best known for being short. listed at 5'5", he was a beacon of hope for the vertically challenged kids in my neighborhood growing up.  this card shows him in his pirates' uniform, although he was traded to the royals after the 1970 season.  unfortunately for patek, he missed out on the pirates' 1971 world championship, but he had himself a great year anyway.  he tied for the lead league in triples and had 49 steals, finishing 6th in the mvp voting.  a few seasons later, in 1977, he would lead the league in steals while playing for some very good royals teams.

red sox rookies - bob montgomery and doug griffin
bob montgomery spent his entire career, spanning the entire decade of the 1970's, with the red sox backing up carlton fisk behind the plate.  he got one at bat in the 1975 world series, and it was a big one: pinch hitting for denny doyle in the bottom of the 9th of game 7, with one out and the red sox trailing by a run.  sadly, there was no joy in boston, montgomery grounded out.

doug griffin was part of the aforementioned tony c. trade.  he would become the red sox' primary 2nd baseman for the early 1970's, even winning a gold glove in 1972.  like montgomery, he received just one at bat in the 1975 world series, although without as much pressure.  with two outs in the top of the 8th, down 5-1, griffin hit for jim willoughby and lined out.  denny doyle's two errors in game 7 led some to second guess why griffin wasn't given a chance, claiming that doyle's throwing error on johnny bench's double play ball extended the reds' 6th, allowing tony perez to hit a two-run home run to start the scoring for cincinnati.

speaking of which, here's bill lee
it was the spaceman who started game 7 and gave up that home run to perez.  in 1971, lee won 9 games and had an era of 2.74.  i am not sure about his middle name - he signed it 'frances' but baseball reference claims it is 'francis' which would, quite 'frankly', make more sense.

tony taylor
for some strange reason, taylor, an infielder, is striking a pitcher's pose on his card.  taylor had some solid seasons for the phillies during the 1960's.  he was an all star in 1960 and finished 16th in the mvp voting in 1963.  in 1971, he spent about half the season in philadelphia and then was traded to the tigers for a couple of minor leaguers.  the phillies brought him back in 1974, but not before taylor had (finally) had a taste of the postseason with detroit in 1972.

clyde wright
wright was coming off a great season in 1970 when this card came out.  he had won 22 games, finished 6 in the cy young voting, hit his first 2 career home runs and even pitched in the all star game (so what if he was the losing pitcher?).  he pitched well in 1971, too, although his record didn't necessarily reflect it.  he won 16 games but lost 17 even though his era was just 2.99 and his whip was 1.10.

eddie leon
leon hit a career high .261 for the indians in 1971.  i appreciate the fact that he actually looked down at the ground as though there were a ball to be fielded for his photo.

cal koonce
koonce pitched in 13 games for the red sox in 1971, his final season in the majors.  he lost his only decision, and in his final game, he was pinch hit for by our friend shown above, phil gagliano.

willie mccovey
stretch looks pretty pissed that someone wrote on his card.  1971 was a down year for mccovey as he hit just 18 home runs and appeared in only 105 games.

ken harrelson
i am definitely not a fan of the hawk's.  i will say, however, that i 'can check it off my liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiist - eeeeeeeeee-yes!'  1971 was harrelson's last season and he hit just a buck-ninety nine.  he gone.

ted williams
teddy ballgame, who managed the senators to a better than .500 finish in 1969 saw them lose 96 games in 1971.  i have to imagine it was pretty frustrating for him, wondering why the players didn't just hit the ball like he did when he was a player.

tom bradley
a magic hat!  tom bradley was the mayor of los angeles during my formative years.  not this tom bradley, though.  that tom bradley was also the best man at steve yeager's wedding.  this tom bradley, however, was traded to the white sox with jay johnstone from the angels after the 1970 season.  he won a career high 15 games in both of his seasons with chicago (1971 and 1971) with a sub-3.00 era both years.  he was traded to the giants for steve stone after the 1972 season, and pitched in san francisco for the remainder of his career.

cardinals rookies - bob chlupsa, bob stinson, al hrabosky
chlupsa appeared in one game in 1971, and it was his last.  he had made 14 appearances in 1970, all in relief.  the last batter he faced in the majors was johnny bench, who grounded out.

you notice how envious chlupsa is of bob stinson's magic hat.  such is the allure of hats made of the finest silks and resins known to man.  stinson, of course, is shown in his dodger uniform although, in a sort of surprise, it's not the same photo topps used on his 1970 rookie card.  stinson was sent to the dodgers as part of the ted sizemore/dick allen deal.  he appeared in 17 games for the cardinals during the 1971 season, after which he was traded to the astros for our friend from above, marty martinez.

hrabosky is better known as the mad hungarian.  like chlupsa, he appeared in just one game in 1971, but unlike chlupsa, hrabosky was brought back in 1972 and then some.  he had a fantastic season for the cardinals in 1975 when he won 12 games and saved 22 others.

thanks marck!

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