Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #87 - Glenn Borgmann

  • Glenn Borgmann got very little playing time in 1976 or in 1977. Butch Wynegar came up and took over the Twins catching position. Wynegar was very durable and Borgmann got in a total of 41 games in the two seasons.
  • 1977 Stats: .256 in 17 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1976, 1975

Monday, January 30, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #86 - Pat Zachry

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #85 - Duane Kuiper

  • Duane Kuiper was the starting second baseman for the Cleveland Indians in the late 1970s. Kuiper had career highs in at bats (610), runs (62), home runs (1) and RBI (50) in 1977.
  • 1977 Stats: .277, 1 HR, 50 RBI in 148 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • April 28 - Batted cleanup and went 0 for 4. Manager Frank Robinson was trying to shake things up and let the players choose the batting order. The Indians won the game and broke a seven game losing streak.
    • May 4 - Made a key defensive play in the 9th inning to save the game for the Indians. Duane also had two hits and scored a run.
    • May 26 - Was quoted as saying that the Cleveland players wanted manager Frank Robinson's status cleared up. Robinson was under fire for the team's poor play and other problems. Kuiper (and others) wanted team management to either get rid of Robinson or keep him for the rest of the season. They felt the cloudy situation was hurting the team.
    • Aug 29 - Hit the only home run of his major league career off of Steve Stone in the first inning of a 9-2 Indians victory over the Chicago White Sox. 
  • Other card blogs: 1976, 19821983, 1984, 1985

Saturday, January 28, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #84 - Ollie Brown

  • Ollie Brown was used mostly as a pinch hitter in 1977. This was Ollie's last season.
  • 1977 stats:
    • Regular Season: .243, 1 HR, 13 RBI in 70 at bats (53 games)
    • National League  Championship Series: 0 for 2 in two pinch hitting appearances.
  • 1977 highlights:
  • Other card blogs:  1975, 1976

Friday, January 27, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #83 - Kevin Bell

  • Kevin Bell was the #1 draft pick (7th overall) of the Chicago White Sox in 1974. He played in the minors from 1974-1976 and put up solid numbers.
  • Bell came up to the White Sox in June 1976 at the age of 20. The White Sox had been trying to acquire Brooks Robinson to play third base but when the Orioles turned down the trade, the Sox called up Bell. Kevin had an inside-the-park grand slam on June 22. Kevin batted .248 in 68 games in 1976 and was considered to be a promising player for the White Sox.
  • Kevin was in the minors for the first 2 1/2 months of the 1977 season. He spent two weeks with the White Sox in June but was injured on June 20 and missed the rest of the season.
  • In 1978 Bell started the season in AAA Iowa. He batted .213 in 89 games in Iowa as he struggled to return from the knee injury he suffered in 1977. Kevin was brought up to Chicago in late July and batted .191 in 54 games. Bell was mostly used as a defensive replacement in '78.
  • Bell started the 1979 season in Iowa, where he batted .236 with 11 HR in 55 games. Kevin came up to Chicago in late June and ended up having his best year as a major leaguer. He batted .245 with 4 HR in 70 games.
  • The 1980 season was the only year that Bell didn't spend some time in the minors. Kevin batted .178 with 1 HR in 92 games for the White Sox. After the 1980 season Bell was released (at his request) by the White Sox.
  • Kevin was picked up by the San Diego Padres in February 1981. During spring training, Bell was traded (with Tony Phillips and a minor leaguer) to the Oakland A's for Bob Lacey and a minor leaguer.
  • Bell spent the 1981 season and most of the 1982 season in AAA Tacoma. He showed some power in 1981 (16 HR), but his minor league stats weren't very impressive. 
  • Kevin was called up to Oakland in September 1982 and batted .333 (3 for 9) in four games. Bell was released after the 1982 season and retired at the age of 27.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Iowa (AAA): .306, 14 HR, 39 RBI in 49 games
    • White Sox: .179, 1 HR, 6 RBI in 9 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • April 4 - Sent to the White Sox minor league camp to become acquainted with the duties of a shortstop. This move was made in anticipation of the club trading starting shortstop Bucky Dent to the New York Yankees.
    • June 11 - Hit a home run in his first game back from the minors. It was the only run the White Sox scored in a 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
    • June 16 - Hit a 2-run single to help the White Sox to a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. The victory put the White Sox into first place in the AL West. It was the last base hit Bell would have in the majors in 1977.
    • June 20 - Collided with Oakland A's catcher Manny Sanguillen while trying to score on a fly ball by Alan Bannister. Kevin tore ligaments in his knee, underwent surgery, and missed the rest of the season.
  • Other card blogs: none

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #82 - Jim Rooker

  • Jim Rooker had several strong years as a starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970s. He didn't make any all star teams, but he got the job done. The 1977 season was Jim's last one as an above .500 pitcher.
  • 1977 Stats: 14-9, 3.08 ERA in 30 starts
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1971, 1972, 19741975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #81 - Juan Beniquez

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #80 - Andy Messersmith

Monday, January 23, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #79 - Don Money

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #78 - Bob Davis

  • Bob Davis spent the 1977 season as the third string catcher for the San Diego Padres. Gene Tenace was the starter and Dave Roberts was the main backup.
  • 1977 Stats: .181 in 47 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • May 11 - Doubled in the eventual winning run off of Tom Seaver as the Padres beat the New York Mets 6-2.
  • Other card blogs: 1976

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #77 - Dyar Miller

  • Dyar Miller was mostly a set-up man and middle reliever during his seven year major league career.
  • Miller's stats weren't all that great for the Orioles and he was traded to the California Angels for reliever Dick Drago in June. His pitching improved after he went to the Angels.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Orioles: 2-2, 5.64 ERA, 1 save in 12 games
    • Angels: 4-4, 3.02 ERA, 4 saves in 41 organs
    • Total: 6-6, 3.53 ERA, 5 saves in 53 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1975, 1976, 1982 (edit: Devon-thanks for the catch on the 1982 omission)

Friday, January 20, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #76 - Tim Foli

  • Tim Foli was traded to the San Francisco Giants in a straight-up deal for shortstop Chris Speier on April 27, 1977. Both teams had hoped to shake things up by making the deal. At the time of the traded, Speier was batting .176 for the Giants and Foli was batting .175 for the Expos.
  •  Foli lasted through the 1977 season and was sold to the New York Mets after the season.
  • Montreal General Manager Charlie Fox said that he made the deal to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates from trading a pitcher he wanted to the Giants for Speier.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Expos: .175 in 13 games
    • Giants: .228 in 104 games
    • Total: .221 in 117 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1980, 19781976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #75 - Dennis Leonard

  • Dennis Leonard was a 20-game winner for the first of three seasons in 1977 and tied for the AL victory lead with Jim Palmer and Dave Goltz. Leonard finished fourth in AL Cy Young Award voting in '77. After starting the season 4-8, Leonard went 16-4 after June 20. Dennis went 6-1 with seven complete games in seven starts in September and October.
  • 1977 Stats: 20-12, 3.04 ERA
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • Oct 2 - Pitched a 6-hit shutout against the California Angels to earn his 20th win of the year.
    • Oct 7 - Had a complete game victory over the New York Yankees in game 3 of the ALCS. Leonard allowed two runs (1 earned) in the 6-2 win.
    • Oct 9 - Relieved in the 9th inning in game 5 of the ALCS with the Royals leading 3-2. He allowed two runs (one earned) and took the loss as the Yankees went to the World Series. Royals manager Whitey Herzog was second-guessed by a lot of people for bringing Leonard into the game in that situation.
  • Other card blogs: 1975, 1976, 1978
  • On this day in 1977
    • Ernie Banks is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
    • Here are the results of that election. Four of the top seven vote getters were Dodgers (Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, and Don Drysdale). Although Hodges had the most support in the 1977 election, he is the only one of the four who didn't make the HOF. Hodges was #3 that year with 58.5% of the vote. Except for Hodges, all of the top 12 players in that ballot eventually made the HOF either by being voted in by the writers or via the Veterans Committee.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #74 - Oakland A's / Jack McKeon

  • The 1977 Oakland A's were a collection of young players and rookies with a smattering of veterans like Vida Blue. The team was a shell of its former self.
  • There was a lot of flux in the A's roster during this time. Several players who got 1977 cards with Oakland never played for the team in 1977:
    • Dick Bosman (cut in spring training)
    • Ron Fairly (traded to Toronto in February 1977)
    • Phil Garner (traded to Pittsburgh in March 1977)
    • Larry Haney (sold to Milwaukee in December 1976)
    • Tommy Helms (traded to Pittsburgh in March 1977)
    • Jim Holt (cut in spring training)
    • Paul Lindblad (sold to Texas for $400,000 in February 1977)
    • Ken McMullen (sold to Milwaukee in February 1977)
    • Tommy Sandt (sold to St. Louis in March 1977)
    • Jim Todd (traded to Chicago Cubs in March 1977)
    • Denny Walling (didn't make the team in spring training, sold to Houston in June 1977)
    • Claudell Washington (traded to Texas in March 1977)
  • A's owner Charlie Finley tried to sell the team to oilman Marvin Davis (who would have moved the team to Denver) after the 1977 season, but the city of Oakland sued to block the sale.
  • Manager Jack McKeon managed the club for 53 games in 1977 and had a record of 26-27 (.491). McKeon was fired by Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley on June 10. Finley later said that he wanted to move McKeon to the front office and that he wanted a manager who could teach the young players.
    • Bobby Winkles replaced McKeon as Oakland manager. The team took a huge plunge under Winkles. Oakland had a record of 37-71 after Winkles took over.
    • The club started off with a 24-15 record in 1978, but Winkles resigned on May 23 and McKeon came back to finish the season. Jack was let go after the 1978 season and was hired to manage the AAA Denver Bears.
  • Jack McKeon never played in the majors. He played in the minors from 1949-1959. Jack was a player-manager from 1955-1959 before hanging up his glove and concentrating on managing full time. McKeon continued to manage through the 1964 season.
  • McKeon scouted for the Minnesota Twins from 1965-1967
  • Jack came back to managing in 1968, joining the new Kansas City Royals organization. After managing their single-A affiliate in 1968, McKeon managed AAA Omaha from 1969-1972.
  • From 1981-1990 Jack was the General Manager of the San Diego Padres and formed the team that won the 1984 NL Pennant.
  • Jack McKeon's major league managerial career:
    • 1973-1975 Kansas City Royals
    • 1977, 1978 Oakland A's
    • 1988-1990 San Diego Padres
    • 1997-2000 Cincinnati Reds
    • 2003-2005 Florida Marlins -- the Marlins won the 2003 World Championship
    • 2011 Florida Marlins -- McKeon managed the last 90 games of the 2011 season at the age of 80.
  • Record: 63-98 (.391) 38.5 games behind Kansas City (7th in AL West)
  • Attendance: 495,599 (14th in AL)
  • Team Batting: .240 (14th in AL)
  • Team HR: 117 (12th in AL)
  • Team Stolen Bases: 176 (1st in AL)
  • Team ERA: 4.04 (6th in AL)
  • Team Fielding: .970 (14th in AL)
  • All Stars: Vida Blue (P); Wayne Gross (3B)
  • AL Leaders
    • Vida Blue - Hits allowed (284)
    • Vida Blue / Rick Langford - losses (19)
  • Batting Leader: Mitchell Page (.307)
  • Home Run Leader: Wayne Gross (22)
  • RBI Leader: Mitchell Page (75)
  • Stolen Base Leader: Mitchell Page (42)
  • Victories Leader: Vida Blue (14)
  • Losses Leader: Vida Blue / Rick Langford (19)
  • Strikeout Leader: Vida Blue (157)
  • Saves Leader: Doug Bair (8)
  • ERA Leader (starters): Vida Blue (3.83)
  • ERA Leader (relievers): Pablo Torrealba (2.62)
  • Players who could have had A's cards in 1977 - several of them got cards with other clubs:
    •  (batters with over 100 AB, pitchers with over 40 innings) : 
      • Dick Allen, Mitchell Page, Marty Perez, Rob Picciolo, Tony Armas, Jim Tyrone, Earl Williams, Rodney Scott, Mike Jorgensen, Rich McKinney, Larry Murray, Jerry Tabb, Willie Crawford, Sheldon Murray 
      • Rick Langford, Doc Medich, Doug Bair, Joe Coleman, Bob Lacey, Pablo Torrealba, Dave Giusti, Jim Umbarger, Matt Keough.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #73 - Charlie Williams

  • Charlie Williams was a reliever for most of the 1977 season. He stepped into the starting rotation in late June and went 2-1 in four starts. He also made three starts later in the season.
  • Charlie's 1976 and 1977 cards appear to come from the same photo shoot. His 1979 card also has a similar pose.
  • 1977 Stats: 6-5, 4.00 ERA in 55 games (8 starts)
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1975, 1976, 1979

Monday, January 16, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #72 - Mike Anderson

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #71 - Dock Ellis

Saturday, January 14, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #70 - Johnny Bench

  • Here is another card that was coveted by our little group of collectors in 1977.
  • Mr. Bench had an off year in 1976, but he bounced back in 1977. Johnny won his tenth (and last) Gold Glove award in 1977.
  • Johnny went through an acrimonious divorce during the 1977 season.
  • A guy who found Johnny's checkbook on the sunroof of a car and who had written several fraudulent checks in Johnny's name was arrested in February 1977.
  • About a week ago I asked if Manny Sanguillen was the most blogged about player. In terms of different years of cards, I think Mr. Bench has Manny (and Oscar Gamble) beat.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Regular Season: .275, 31 HR, 109 RBI
    • All Star Game: Starting NL catcher - 0 for 2
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1983, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1976, 1976, 1976, 1976, 1975, 1975, 1975, 1975, 1974, 1974, 1971, 1969, 1968

Friday, January 13, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #69 - Jim Crawford

  • Jim "Catfish" Crawford was a reliever for the first four months of the 1977 season. He became a starter in August (while also making a few relief appearances) and made seven starts in August and September.
  • 1977 Stats: 7-8, 4.79 ERA in 37 games (7 starts)
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • June 21 - Earned his first American League win after relieving starter Dave Rozema in the third inning. Rozema developed a sore right shoulder and had to be taken out. Crawford finished the game and the Tigers beat the New York Yankees 5-2.
    • July 12 - Allowed no runs and four hits in a very long relief stint for an injured Mark Fidrych. Fidrych was removed from the game after retiring two batters. Crawford went the rest of the way and earned the victory as the Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.
    • Aug 8 - Started his first game of the season and earned the 6-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Crawford went 7 1/3 innings and allowed one run on ten hits.
  • Other card blogs: 1974, 1976, 1976

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #68 - Bruce Bochte

  • Bruce Bochte started the 1977 season with the California Angels but was traded to the Cleveland Indians on May 11.
  • Bruce's autograph on this card isn't the same as the one on his 1975 card. He got back to his "lower case" autograph on his 1980 card.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • California Angels: .290, 2 HR in 25 games
    • Cleveland Indians: .304, 5 HR, 43 RBI in 112 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • May 11: Traded (with Sid Monge and $250,000) to the Cleveland Indians for Dave LaRoche and Dave Schuler.
    • May 25: Singled home Jim Norris with the winning run in the 12th inning. The Indians won the game 2-1.
    • Sept 5: In the first game of a doubleheader, Bruce drove in three runs as the Indians beat the New  York Yankees 4-3.
  • Other card blogs: 1975, 1976, 1980, 1986

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #67 - Joaquin Andujar

  • Joaquin Andujar was an effective pitcher who was known more for his temper than for his pitching prowess.
  • Joaquin started pitching in the minors in the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1970, when he was 17 years old.
  • Andujar continued to toil in the minors until he was traded to the Houston Astros for two minor leaguers after the 1975 season.
  • He got his chance to pitch in the majors with the Astros in 1976 and in his rookie season went 9-10 with a 3.60 ERA in 25 starts.
  • In 1977
  • In 1978 Andujar was off to a good start (3-4, 3.07 ERA) when he pulled a left leg muscle on June 17. He was out until July 30. After he came back, Andujar was a reliever for the remainder of the season. Joaquin ended up with a 5-7 record, four saves, and a 3.42 ERA.
  • Joaquin shuffled between the bullpen and the rotation in 1979. He made two starts and 18 relief appearances in the first two months of the season, then was a starter until early September. Andujar pitched well enough to be selected to the NL All Star team. Joaquin pitched the second and third innings and allowed two runs. Andujar was 12-12 with a 3.43 ERA in the 1979 season.
  • Andujar almost was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bill Robinson before the 1980 season. The trade fell through and Joaquin stayed with Houston. Joaquin was inconsistent in 1980 and was 3-8 with a 3.91 ERA in 35 games (14 starts). Joaquin made one appearance in the 1980 NLCS and earned the save in game 2.
  • In 1981 Andujar started slowly with the Astros. He was 2-3 with a 4.94 ERA when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 7 for Tony Scott. Andujar pitched better (6-1, 3.74 ERA) after the trade.
  • Joaquin became a full-time starter for the Cardinals in 1982 and he proved he belonged there. In the regular season Andujar was 15-10 with a 2.47 ERA and finished 7th in NL Cy Young Award voting. Joaquin was selected as NL Pitcher of the Month for September after he went 5-0 during the month. He started and won game 3 of the NLCS and then won games 3 and 7 of the World Series. After the 7th inning of game 7 of the World Series Andujar had to be restrained from going after Milwaukee infielder Jim Gantner after Gantner called Joaquin a "hot dog."
  • Andujar had a reversal of fortune in 1984. His record slipped to 6-16 and his ERA rose to 4.16 ERA.
  • Joaquin had his best season in 1984. He led the NL with 20 wins and 4 shutouts. Andujar went 20-14 with a 3.34 ERA, finished 4th in NL Cy Young Award voting, won a Gold Glove, and was selected to the NL All Star team (he didn't pitch in the game).
  • Andujar had a near carbon copy of his 1984 season in 1985. He went 21-12 with a 3.40 ERA and finished 4th in NL Cy Young Award voting. Joaquin was selected to his fourth NL All Star team but didn't pitch in the game. He felt insulted because NL manager Dick Williams said he wouldn't name a starter until after Friday's games. Joaquin felt that he shouldn't have had to prove himself and that his 15-3 record should speak for itself. He also led the NL in hit batsmen for the second year in a row.
  • Joaquin fell off during the second half of the 1985 season and he wasn't able to turn things around in the postseason. He started two games in the NLCS and was 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA. He started and lost game 3 of the World Series and then was involved in an ugly incident during game 7. He was put in the game in the 5th inning to mop up as the Kansas City Royals had a big lead. He and umpire Don Denkinger got into a shouting match after a disputed pitch call and Joaquin and Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog were eventually ejected from the game.
  • After the 1985 season Andujar was traded to the Oakland A's for Mike Heath and Tim Conroy.
  • In 1986 Andujar was 13-7 with a 3.82 ERA. It was his last full season. Joaquin missed about six weeks with an injury in June and July.
  • Andujar started only 13 games in 1987 and didn't pitch after August 3. He ended up with a 3-5 record and a 6.08 ERA. Joaquin became a free agent after the 1987 season and signed with the Astros.
  • Joaquin made 23 appearances (10 of them starts) in 1988 and was 2-5 with a 4.00 ERA. Andujar also spent some time in the minors as he tried to recover from rib and knee injuries.  He became a free agent after the season but wasn't signed by anyone.
  • Andujar pitched in the Senior Professional Baseball League in 1989 and then signed with the Montreal Expos for the 1990 season. He didn't make the ballclub in spring training and retired.
  • After his retirement from baseball Joaquin started a trucking company in the Domincan Republic and has been involved in youth baseball programs there.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Regular Season: 11-8, 3.69 ERA in 26 games (25 starts)
    • Was selected for the NL team, but did not pitch (injury)
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: none

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #66 - Roy Smalley

  • After batting .259 in 1976, Roy Smalley took a step back as a hitter in 1977. After the 1977 season, Roy would hit ten or more home runs every year (except the 1981 strike season) from 1978-1986.
  • 1977 Stats: .231, 93 runs scored in 150 games.
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1976, 1976

Monday, January 9, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #65 - Skip Lockwood

  • Skip Lockwood had career highs in saves and appearances in 1977.
  • 1977 Stats: 4-8, 3.38 ERA, 20 saves in 63 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1972, 1975, 1976

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #64 - Larry Biittner

  • Larry Biittner had his best season in 1977. He split his time between first base and the outfield and had career highs in home runs (12), doubles (28), runs (74), RBI (62), and batting average (.298).
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Batting: .298, 12 HR, 62 RBI in 138 games
    • Pitching: 0-0, 40.50 ERA
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 19821976, 1975, 1972

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #63 - Tito Fuentes