Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1972 Topps Rookie of the Year Award - Chris Chambliss

In 1972 Topps released 6 "Awards" cards. These cards had pictures of the trophies on them.  I always thought that was kind of strange. Over the next few posts I will be putting pictures of the award winners on the cards.  I added facsimile autographs to identify the players while trying to keep the original look of the cards.

Chris Chambliss won the American Association Rookie of the Year award with the Indians AAA squad, the Wichita Aeros in 1970.  He began the 1971 campaign in Wichita nursing a hamstring injury he got in spring training. He made his MLB debut on May 28th in unspectacular fashion  grounding out as a pinch hitter. The next day he started at 1st base and remained there, replacing 29 year old Ken Harrelson. 

Harrelson was having a tough year off the field in 1971. His Boston night club was destroyed in a fire in January and he filed for divorce in June. The demotion to pinch hitter and utility outfielder was more than he could take. Harrelson announced his retirement to pursue a career as a professional golfer. He competed in the British Open in 1972 shooting 11 over and missing the cut.

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