Sunday, June 30, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #560 - Dave Concepcion

  • Dave Concepcion won his fourth straight Gold Glove in 1977. Dave's offense dropped a bit in 1977, but he was an All Star for the NL for the fourth time. In his career Concepcion would be on the NL All Star team nine times.
  • 1977 Stats: .271, 8 HR, 64 RBI in 156 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1976 Hostess, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988

Saturday, June 29, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #559 - Alan Bannister

  • Alan Bannister was a star at Arizona State University. Alan was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1973 (he was the first player taken in the draft). 
  • Alan spent most of the next three years in the minors. He received brief trials in 1974 (.120 in 26 games) and in 1975 (.274 in 24 games).
  • Bannister wasn't able to beat out Larry Bowa, so after the 1975 season he was traded (with Dick Ruthven and Roy Thomas) to the Chicago White Sox for Jim Kaat and Mike Buskey. Interestingly, Ruthven was the first player taken in the special phase of the 1973 draft. That's the only trade I've seen in which two players who were the first players taken in a draft were traded at the same time.
  • Alan split the 1976 season between AAA Iowa (.241 in 32 games) and the White Sox (.248 in 73 games). He played six different positions - SS, 3B, 2B, and all three OF positions.
  • In 1977 Bannister was given the starting shortstop job after Bucky Dent was traded to the New York Yankees. Alan batted .275 and scored 87 runs in 139 games. The White Sox traded for shortstop Don Kessinger in late August because of concerns over Bannister's defense (Alan had made 30 errors). Alan still played most of the games at shortstop in September, but he led AL shortstops with 40 errors.
  • Bannister had shoulder problems in 1978. He said he needed surgery in May, but the White Sox demurred until July. Alan played his last game in 1978 on July 26 and had surgery that ended his season. Bannister batted .224 in 49 games in 1978.
  • Kessinger had become the starting shortstop in Bannister's absence, but Alan came back in 1979 to have a good season as a utility man. He batted .285 in 136 games while playing five different positions.
  • Bannister started the 1980 season with the White Sox, but after a slow start (.192 in 45 games) he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Ron Pruitt on June 13. It was thought that Alan would become the starting 2B for the Indians, but he played six different positions for the club. Bannister hit a lot better once he went to Cleveland, batting .328 in 81 games.
  • Alan batted .263 in 68 games in the strike-shortened 1981 season.
  • Bannister was used as a utilityman in his last two seasons with the Indians. He batted .267 in 101 games in 1982 and batted .265 in 117 games in 1983.
  • During spring training in 1984 Bannister was purchased by the Houston Astros. Alan didn't play much with the Astros (.200 in 9 games) and on May 25 he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Mike Richardt. Bannister batted .295 in 47 games for the Rangers in 1984.
  • Alan's final season was in 1985. He batted .262 in 57 games. He became a free agent after the 1985 season but he didn't sign with anyone and retired.
  • After his playing days Bannister had some success as a manager in the low minors. He managed for two years (1988 and 1989) in the Montreal Expos organization and for three more years (1992-1994) in the San Francisco Giants organization.
  • 1977 Stats: .275, 3 HR, 57 RBI in 139 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986

Friday, June 28, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #558 - Elias Sosa

  • Elias Sosa did a great job as a Dodger setup man in 1977. He had a rough start, allowing at least one earned run in four of his first five appearance (his ERA was 7.00 on May 22). But Sosa righted the ship and eventually ended up with a 1.98 ERA. Sosa was used mostly in games where the Dodgers were losing -- the team was 8-36 in his appearances. Something happened in the playoffs and Sosa got hit hard in the NLCS and the World Series. After the 1977 season Sosa was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates on waivers.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Regular season: 2-2, 1 save, 1.98 ERA in 44 games
    • NL Championship Series: 0-1, 10.13 ERA in 2 games
    • World Series: 0-0, 11.57 ERA in 2 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • July 10 - Pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless ball and struck out six batters in a losing cause (7-5) against the San Diego Padres.
  • Other card blogs: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983

Thursday, June 27, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #557 - Jerry White

  • Jerry White spent the 1977 season in AAA Denver. White was recalled in September and spent the rest of the year in Montreal. He was used primarily as a pinch hitter.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Montreal Expos: .190 (4 for 21) in 16 games
    • Denver Bears (AAA): .313, 14 HR, 57 RBI in 123 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #556 - Doug Bird

  • For much of the 1977 season Doug Bird was a setup man and sometime closer for the Kansas City Royals. Doug was used as a starter for a few weeks in late May and early June. He was roughed up in his four starts during that time, giving up 21 earned runs in 17 innings. Bird was moved to the closer's role in August and all 14 of his saves were in the final two months of the season.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Regular season: 11-4, 14 saves, 3.88 ERA in 53 games (5 starts)
    • AL Championship Series: 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 3 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • Aug 20 - Pitched three scoreless innings and got the save in Kansas City's 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.
    • Sept 2 - Saved the game for starter Andy Hassler by pitching two shutout innings as the Royals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1.
  • Other card blogs: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #555 - Dan Ford

  • Dan Ford was the starting right fielder for the Minnesota Twins in 1977. His numbers weren't all that impressive, especially in a hitter's year like 1977, but Dan would rebound to have better seasons in 1978 and 1979.
  • 1977 Stats: .267, 11 HR, 60 RBI in 144 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986

Monday, June 24, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #554 - Bruce Kimm

  • Bruce Kimm was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1969. Bruce played in the minors in the White Sox organization from 1969-1972.
  • After the 1972 season Kimm was traded to the California Angels. He never played for the Angels -- during spring training in 1973 Bruce was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Bobby Brooks.
  • Bruce played in the Detroit system from 1973-1975.
  • In 1976 Bruce and rookie sensation Mark Fidrych developed a great rapport. Kimm was Mark's personal catcher for much of the season. Bruce batted .263 in 162 at bats in his rookie season.
  • Kimm didn't fare nearly as well in 1977. He caught Fidrych's six consecutive wins in June, but after Fidrych went down with a rotator cuff injury, the Tigers sent Bruce to AAA. Bruce ended up batting .080 in 14 games for the Tigers. Note: All six of Fidrych's wins were complete game victories -- no wonder he hurt himself.
  • Kimm spent 1978 and most of 1979 in AAA Evansville. On August 30, 1979 Bruce was purchased by the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Cubs in September and batted .091 (1 for 11) in nine games.
  • After the 1979 season Bruce was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the Rule 5 Draft. Kimm got more playing time in 1980 than he did in all of his previous major league seasons combined. Bruce played in 100 games and batted .243.
  • Bruce hurt his shoulder in winter ball after the 1980 season. The White Sox dropped Kimm from the major league roster. Kimm's shoulder wasn't healed yet, so he retired from baseball. Bruce spent 1981 driving a delivery truck and selling life insurance.
  • The Tigers hired Bruce to manage in the minors in 1982. In 1983 he managed the Cedar Rapids Reds of the Midwest League.
  • The Reds brought Bruce to the major league club as a  coach in 1984. He was the bullpen coach under manager Vern Rapp in 1984. Bruce stayed on after Rapp was fired and Pete Rose was hired as manager. Kimm was the bullpen coach for three years and then was promoted to third base coach in 1987. Bruce coached third base for the Reds in 1987 and in 1988.
  • Kimm was the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates under Jim Leyland in 1989 and 1990. He then coached third base for the San Diego Padres in 1991 and 1992.
  • Kimm managed in the minors from 1993-1995, then became the bench coach under Leyland in Florida in 1996. Bruce remained as the bench coach of the Marlins through the 1997 season.
  • Kimm was the bench coach for the Colorado Rockies in 1999 and then was an advance scout for the club in 2000. Bruce went back to the minors to manage in 2001. His Des Moines Cubs finished 83-60 and Kimm was named the Best Minor League Managerial Prospect by the Sporting News.
  • The Cubs got off to a bad start in 2002. Manager Don Baylor was fired and Bruce was named as the Cubs manager on July 5. The Cubs went 33-46 under Kimm and he wasn't retained after the season.
  • Bruce was the third base coach for the White Sox in 2003. He retired from baseball after the season.
  • Kimm was one of the founding owners of Perfect Game, a scouting and college preparatory enterprise. A video from the company is below:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #553 - Jack Heidemann

  • Jack Heidemann had some good years in AAA, but he wasn't as successful at the major league level. Jack started the 1977 season with the Brewers, but Heidemann didn't see much action and was sent to AAA in May. Heidemann continued to play in the minors through the 1979 season, but didn't get back to the majors.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Milwaukee Brewers - .000 (0 for 1) in 5 games
    • Spokane Indians (AAA) - .315, 1 HR, 64 RBI in 102 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • June 22 - Hit a home run in the bottom of the 7th inning to give Spokane a 5-1 win over the Salt Lake City Gulls.
    • Aug 19 - Singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 7th in Spokane's 2-1 victory over the Hawaii Islanders.
  • Other card blogs: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #552 - Pepe Mangual

  • Pepe Mangual was in AAA for almost all of the 1977 season. He had a nice year for Tidewater, but it probably wasn't noticed as much then as it would be now. It's hard to walk 126 times in a season, but Pepe managed to do it.
  • Mangual was brought up to the Mets as a September call-up. The eight games he appeared in were the last games of his major league career. Pepe continued to play in the minors from 1978-1984 without making it back to the majors.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Tidewater Tides (AAA) - .252, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 126 BB, 40 SB in 140 games
    • New York Mets - .143 (1 for 7) in 8 games
  • Other card blogs: 1975, 1976

Friday, June 21, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #551 - Bill North

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #550 - Randy Jones

  • Randy Jones had a big drop-off from his wonderful 1975 and 1976 seasons. Randy had an operation on his arm at the end of the 1976 season. Jones had a sore biceps muscle and missed six weeks from mid-June to late July. There was doubt in early July about whether or not he would pitch again in 1977. Randy's career might have been better served by listening to the Padres team doctor and resting his arm.
  • 1977 Stats: 6-12, 4.58 ERA in 27 games (25 starts)
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1976, 19761976 Kellogg's, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #549 - Jerry Royster

  • Jerry Royster started the 1977 season as the Braves' third baseman. In May he moved to shortstop and played there until mid June. Royster then came off the bench for a couple of months (mostly at third base). Jerry spent most of September at second base.
  • Royster led the Braves with 28 stolen bases, but he had a rough year at the plate (.216 batting average, .278 on base percentage).
  • 1977 Stats: .216, 6 HR, 28 RBI in 140 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #548 - Joel Youngblood

  • Joel Youngblood was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. Youngblood spent six seasons (1970-1975) in the minors before finally getting into the majors in 1976. Joel played several positions (OF, 3B, SS, and 2B) during his time in the minors.
  • Youngblood finally  made it to the majors in 1976. He didn't play much for the powerhouse Reds that year. Joel played six different positions and got into 55 games, but he had only 57 at bats. Youngblood batted .193 during the 1976 season and was not included on the postseason roster.
  • On March 30, 1977 Youngblood was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for reliever Bill Caudill. Joel didn't get much playing time in St. Louis (.185 in 27 at bats) and on June 15 he was traded to the New York Mets for Mike Phillips. Youngblood got more playing time for the Mets and batted .253 in 70 games.
  • Joel played six different positions in 1978 and batted .252 in 113 games.
  • In 1979 Youngblood became the Mets' starting right fielder. He had his best season to date, batting .275 with 16 HR and 60 RBI in 158 games.
  • Joel had a similar year in 1980, except the home run total was lower. He batted .276 with 8 HR and 69 RBI in 146 games.
  • Youngblood made the NL All Star team in 1981. He was leading the league with a .359 average at the time of the strike in June. On June 8 (three days before the strike) Youngblood sprained his knee and was placed on the disabled list. When play resumed in August, Joel was on the All Star team (he appeared as a pinch hitter and fouled out in the 2nd inning), but he would play in only five more games after that. He reinjured his knee ligaments on August 14 and was out for the rest of the year.
  • In 1982 Joel started the season with the Mets. His offense was down from previous years (.257 in 80 games). On  August 4, Youngblood made history by playing for two different clubs on the same day. After he got the game-winning hit (a home run in the third inning) for the Mets, Joel found out he was traded to the Montreal Expos. He got on a plane and played for the Expos on the same day. Joel batted .200 in 40 games for the Expos to finish the 1982 season.
  • Youngblood became a free agent after the 1982 season and signed with the San Francisco Giants. Joel became a valuable role player for the Giants during their wilderness years (1983-1985) and during their resurgence later in the 1980s. He had his best year with the Giants in 1983, batting .292 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI. 
  • Joel's playing time decreased later in the 1980s. In 1986 Youngblood filed a grievance against the Giants after they tried to insert a drug-testing clause into his contract offer at the  last minute. The Giants withdrew the offer. The Giants were later forced to honor the offer, but the clause remained in the contract (the players union contested this clause in a grievance).
  • Youngblood was mostly a pinch hitter and an occasional outfielder in 1987 and 1988.
  • After the 1988 season Youngblood was not offered a contract by the Giants. He signed with the Reds and played one season with them in 1989. The Reds let Joel become a free agent after the 1989 season. He went to spring training with the Houston Astros in 1990, but the Astros cut him at the end of spring training.
  • Youngblood coached in several organizations from 1992-1999. He then left baseball to work for a computer company. Joel returned to baseball in 2007 in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He now serves as the minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • St. Louis Cardinals - .185 in 27 at bats
    • New York Mets - .253 in 70 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • Aug 1 - Appeared as a pinch hitter in the 12th inning and singled in the winning run to lead the Mets to an 8-7 win over the LA Dodgers.
    • Oct 2 - Went 3 for 4, including a 2-run triple that was the eventual game winner, as the Mets beat the Cardinals 6-4 in the final game of the season.
  • Other card blogs: 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988

Monday, June 17, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #547 - Willie McCovey

Sunday, June 16, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #546 - Baltimore Orioles / Earl Weaver

  • Earl Weaver never played in the major leagues. He was a minor league player in the Browns, Pirates, and Orioles organizations from 1948-1960. Except for part of a season in 1958, Earl never made it past the AA level as a player. Weaver was a player/manager from 1956-1959.
  • In 1961 Weaver started his full time minor league managerial career in Class B Fox Cities at the age of 30. The Orioles had been building a strong farm system. Weaver was very successful as a manager as he moved up the Orioles system, although GM Paul Richards had warned Weaver about how his fiery temper and frequent ejections were interfering with his ability to teach.
  • In 1968 Earl was brought up to the Orioles as a coach. Manager Hank Bauer was in trouble and most observers thought it was just a matter of time before Earl would become Baltimore's manager. At the All Star break Bauer was fired and Weaver became the manager of the Orioles. At the time the team was struggling at 43-37. After the break the Orioles went 48-34 and moved up to second place in the AL.
  • The Orioles won three straight AL East titles from 1969-1971. They won the ALCS in each of those years, but they won only one World Championship (1970).
  • The Orioles slumped to a third place finish in the AL East in 1972. They then won the division in 1973 and in 1974. They were beat by the Oakland A's in the ALCS in both of those seasons. Weaver was named the AL Manager of the Year in 1973.
  • In each of the next three seasons (1975-1977) the Orioles finished second in the AL East.
  • Here is an article from the August 8, 1977 Sports Illustrated about the Orioles and their surprise run at the AL East title.
  • On September 15 Weaver pulled his team off of the field and forfieted a game to the Toronto Blue Jays due to a dispute about the  maintenance of the two bullpens.
  • Weaver was the overwhelming choice for AL Manager of the Year in 1977.
  • In 1978 the Orioles slipped to 4th in the AL East, even though they won 90 games.
  • The Orioles won the AL East with 102 victories in 1979. They beat the California Angels in the ALCS and then lost the World Series to the "We Are Family" Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. Earl won his third Manager of the Year award in 1979. It was the last year that Earl would take the team to the playoffs.
  • For the next three seasons (1980-1982) the Orioles finished second in the AL East. Earl was arrested for drunk driving on August 31, 1981. In 1982 the Orioles trailed the Milwaukee Brewers by three games with four to play. Baltimore needed to sweep the four game series with the Brewers to win the division. The Orioles won the first three games to force a winner-take-all final game. Future Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Don Sutton were matched up in the game. Both starters struggled, but the Brewers prevailed to win the game and the division.
  • After the 1982 season Weaver decided to step down as manager of the Orioles. The team would win its last (to date) World Championship the next year (1983).
  • Earl was a part-time announcer for ABC from 1983-1985. The Orioles were struggling in June 1985 and the team dangled a $500,000 salary for Weaver to come back. He accepted the offer and managed the Orioles for the rest of the 1985 season and the 1986 season.
  • Weaver had the Orioles contending for the AL East as late as early August, but the team collapsed (14-42) the rest of the way and Weaver had his first losing record (and last place finish) as a manager. Earl retired after the season and this time he didn't come back.
  • Weaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996
  • Weaver died while he was on a team fantasy Caribbean cruise on January 19, 2013 of an apparent heart attack.
  • Here is Earl Weaver's SABR biography
  • Record: 97-64, .602, 2nd in AL East, 2.5 games behind New York Yankees
  • Attendance:  1,195,769 (10th in AL)
  • Team Batting: .261 (9th in AL)
  • Team HR: 148 (5th in AL)
  • Team Stolen Bases: 90 (8th in AL)
  • Team ERA: 3.74 (5th in AL)
  • Team Fielding: .983 (1st in AL)
  • All Stars: Jim Palmer (starting pitcher); Ken Singleton (OF)
  • Awards:  Jim Palmer (Gold Glove); Mark Belanger (Gold Glove); Eddie Murray (Rookie of the Year)
  • AL Leaders: Jim Palmer (wins-20; innings pitched - 319; starts - 39; complete games - 22)
  • Batting Leader: Ken Singleton - .328
  • Home Run Leader: Eddie Murray / Lee May - 27
  • RBI Leader: Ken Singleton / Lee May - 99
  • Stolen Base Leader: Pat Kelly - 25
  • Victories Leader: Jim Palmer - 20
  • Losses Leader: Rudy May - 14
  • Strikeout Leader: Jim Palmer - 193
  • Saves Leader: Tippy Martinez - 9
  • ERA Leader (starters): Jim Palmer - 2.91
  • ERA Leader (relievers): Tippy Martinez - 2.70
  • Players who could have had Orioles cards in 1977 (batters with over 100 AB, pitchers with over 40 innings) :
    • Billy Smith (2B) - .215 in 109 games
    • Dave Skaggs (C) - .287 in 80 games
    • Elliott Maddox (OF) - .262 in 49 games

Saturday, June 15, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #545 - Bob Boone

  • Bob Boone had a nice year for the Phillies as the starting catcher. He and Tim McCarver formed an effective duo, as Boone  batted .284 and McCarver batted .320. Bob was a good defensive catcher, but he didn't get much notoriety until Johnny Bench started to slow down in 1978.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Regular season: .284, 11 HR, 66 RBI
    • NL Championship Series: .400 (4 for 10) in 4 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • May 3 - Singled in a run in the top of the 10th inning to put the Phillies ahead of the San Diego Padres 8-7. The Phillies held on to win the game.
    • July 23 - Hit a 2-run homer in the 6th inning to help the Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3.
  • Other card blogs: 1973, 1974, 1975, 19761976, 19781979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 19851986, 1988

Friday, June 14, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #544 - Gary Ross

  • This was the last season for Gary Ross. Ross was a member of the California starting rotation to start the season. He missed two weeks in April and two more weeks in June due to injury. Gary tried to pitch in spite of the arm woes, but he finally had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in July.
  • Ross tried to come back from his arm injury in 1978, but he was sent home in early March after he was unable to throw batting practice. That was it for Gary's pitching career.
  • Gary had the distinction of allowing Henry Aaron's final career home run (#755) on 20 July 1976.
  • 1977 Stats: 2-4, 5.55 ERA in 14 games (12 starts)
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • May 27 - Allowed one run in seven innings to earn his final career win as the Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1.
  • Other card blogs: 1969, 1971, 1973

Thursday, June 13, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #543 - Ron Blomberg

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #542 - Frank Duffy

  • This was Frank Duffy's final season as a regular player. After the 1977 season Duffy became a free agent and resigned with the Indians. Frank lost his starting shortstop to Larvell Blanks, so he was  traded to the Boston Red Sox during spring training the following season.
  • Topps really stretched to do some of these writeups. I had no idea 500 hits was a milestone, especially after a player has been playing for seven seasons.
  • 1977 Stats: .201, 4 HR, 31 RBI in 122 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • April 19 - Tripled in a run, breaking a 2-2 tie, and also scored in the top of the 10th inning. The Indians scored three runs in the top of the 10th but lost the game when the Baltimore Orioles scored four times in the bottom of the 10th. The winning blow for the Orioles was a 3-run homer by pinch hitter Brooks Robinson.
    • June 30 - Hit two home runs to help the Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2.
  • Other card blogs: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #541 - John Denny

  • John Denny had a tough year in 1977. He injured his hamstring on May 2 and missed two weeks. Denny had a hot start -- he was 7-0 at the end of May. But John missed five more weeks in June and July with another hamstring injury and struggled after he came back. John's ERA rose by nearly two runs from his league-leading 2.52 of a year ago.
  • 1977 Stats: 8-8, 4.51 ERA in 26 starts
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • May 21 - Singled in two runs and earned the victory in the Cardinals' 8-5 win over the San Francisco Giants.
    • May 31 - Won his seventh game without a loss by shutting out the Chicago Cubs 6-0 on five hits.
    • June 11 - Hit Reggie Smith in the back with a pitch after allowing seven runs in 1 1/3 innings. Smith charged the mound and punches were exchanged between John and Reggie. Neither Smith or Denny were ejected, but Denny was pulled from the game by St. Louis manager Vern Rapp after the brawl. The Cardinals lost the game to the LA Dodgers 9-8.
  • Other card blogs: 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986

Monday, June 10, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #540 - Bob Watson

Sunday, June 9, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #539 - Mike Wallace

  • This was Mike Wallace's last year in the majors. He made the Texas Rangers staff in spring training but was sent down to the minors in early May. Mike pitched in AAA through the 1979 season but never made it back to the majors.
  • 1977 Stats: 0-0, 7.56 ERA in 5 games
  • Other card blogs: 1974, 1975

Saturday, June 8, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #538 - Frank Taveras

  • Gotta love the choking up on the bat. Frank Taveras stole a lot of bases for the Pirates in the mid-late 1970s. Taveras led the NL with 70 stolen bases in 1977.
  • 1977 Stats: .252, 70 stolen bases in 147 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • May 10 - Went 3 for 4 and knocked in a run in Pittsburgh's 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.
    • July 6 - Fined an undisclosed amount for directing a "death wish" at umpire Ed Sudol.
    • Aug 5 - Hit his first career home run (a grand slam) in the second inning off of Doug Capilla. The Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-6 in the second game of a doubleheader. Taveras would hit only two home runs in a career that spanned from 1971-1982.
    • Aug 10 - Suspended for five games for throwing a bat at Cincinnati pitcher Joe Hoerner in the first game of a doubleheader on August 5. Hoerner had hit Taveras with a pitch in retaliation for an incident earlier in the game. Frank had stolen a base with the Pirates leading 7-1.
  • Other card blogs: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980

Friday, June 7, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #537 - Dave Roberts

  • Dave Roberts didn't play for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977. Roberts had spent the entire 1976 season with AAA Hawaii to learn how to be a catcher and was purchased from the San Diego Padres in October 1976. The Blue Jays traded Roberts back to the Padres in February 1977 for Jerry Johnson.
  • Roberts played four different positions in 1977 -- catcher, 2B, 3B, and shortstop. He spent most of his time behind the plate so that the Padres could play new free agent aquisition Gene Tenace more at first base.
  • 1977 Stats: .220, 1 HR, 23 RBI in 82 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1973, 19731974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983

Thursday, June 6, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #536 - Vic Albury

  • Vic Albury had already pitched in his last major league game when this card was printed. Albury spent the 1977 season in AAA. His Baseball Reference page shows him with Syracuse of the New York  Yankees organization, but he was still a member of the Minnesota Twins organization. 
  • The Twins let Albury leave as a free agent after the 1977 season. Vic wasn't signed by a major league team and spent the 1978 season pitching in the Mexican League. Albury pitched in AAA in 1979 and retired after the season.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) - 9-9, 2 saves, 5.13 ERA in 29 games (15 starts)
  • Other card blogs: 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976