Saturday, November 30, 2013

1970 Topps Carl Yastrzemski All Star MVP

Going Horizontal

The A.L. clung to a 4 run tie into the 12th inning of the 1970 All Star Game. Then Pete Rose barreled over Ray Fosse to break the tie in front of the home crowd to give the Nationals the win.

Yaz went 4 for 6 in the game. He scored a run and drove in another. He was the 2nd All Star game MVP to play for the losing team. Brooks Robinson was the first in 1966 and no player has accomplished that feat since.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 19

Hey Nineteen. Never thought I would make this many cards. But here they are, my nineteen series of Card That Never Were. All 25 of them in 2 1/2 minutes.

Monday, November 25, 2013

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 19th Series

This was a quick 25. One remaining  1963 Leader card, the World Series cards and the 1971 All Star cards that never were. For my checklists I continued using the 1961 style and some famous baseball battles. Here is Roger Clemens hurling Mike Piazza's broken bat at him during the 2000 World Series.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : The Managers

1971 Topps Gil Hodges All-Star

Gil Hodges was one of the few managers I can recall that came to a team via the trade. He was aquired by the Mets in a trade that sent pitcher Bill Denehy to the Washingtin Senators. Most recently Ozzie Guillen was "traded" to the Marlins by the White Sox. Before that Lou Piniella went to the Rays in a trade that sent Randy Winn to the Mariners and in the 70's the A's Charlie Finley traded Chuck Tanner to the Pirates for an aging Manny Sanguillen.

1971 Topps Earl Weaver All-Star

In his 1st of 4 All Star games as a manager, Weaver took the NL to 12 innings before losing 5-4. In 1971 he would lead the AL to their only All Star victory from 1963-1983. In 1972 he would take the NL into extra innings again before losing again. If he were a hockey coach he would be 1-1-2 getting 4 out of 8 possible points.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : American League Battery

1971 Topps Jim Palmer All-Star

1970 was Jim Palmer's 1st All Star game. He would pitch in 6 All Star games over his career starting in 4 of them. In 1970, both he and NL starter Seaver began the game with 3 scoreless innings. Palmer gave up a walk and a single in the 2nd but stranded the runners then mowed down Rusty Staub, Willie Mays and Dick Allen in order in the 3rd.

1971 Topps Bill Freehan All-Star

Bill Freehan was selected to the All Star team 11 times in his 15 year career. He was the starting All Star catcher 7 consecutive seasons from 1966-1972. He lined out to center in his only at bat in 1970. In the bottom of the 5th he was replaced by Ray Fosse. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : National League Battery

1971 Topps Tom Seaver All-Star

Tom Seaver was selected to 12 All Star teams during his career. In 1970 he made his only All Star start. He pitched 3 near perfect innings. He struck out 4, walked no-one and gave up only 1 hit to the eventual All Star MVP, Carl Yastrzemski. In the 1st inning Yaz singled to center but was stranded at 1st when Seaver struck out Frank Robinson then got Boog Powell on an infield pop up.

1971 Topps Johnny Bench All-Star

In 1970 Johnny Bench was the catcher in his 2nd of what would be 9 consecutive All Start starts. He played in 14 Mid Season Classics, 10 as a starter. Although he hit .357 in All Star play, he went 0 for 3 in 1970, striking out all 3 times. On the bright side he threw out pinch-runner Tommy Harper. Harper was the 1st ever Milwaukee Brewer All Star. Harper came in to run for Harmon Killebrew in the 5th and was thrown out trying to steal 2nd.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : American League Infield

1971 Topps Boog Powell All-Star

Boog Powell was 2nd in MVP voting in 1969 and was the AL MVP in 1970. His dominance didn't cross over into the 1970 All Star game, though. He went 0 for 3 batting clean-up for the AL.

1971 Topps Davey Johnson All-Star

The Orioles' Gold Glove 2nd baseman, Davey Johnson was selected to his 3rd All Star game and his 1st as a starter in 1970. I always remember him being referred to as "Davey" yet Topps always listed him as Dave well past his playing days and into his managerial years.

1971 Topps Luis Aparicio All-Star

Luis Aparicio hit a career high .313 in 1970. He also won his 9th and final Gold Glove that year. He was traded to the Red Sox after the 1970 season. The White Sox retired his number in 1984, the year he was voted into the Hall of Fame.

1971 Topps Harmon Killebrew All-Star

Killebrew was one of only 3 AL starters to get a hit in the 1970 All Star game. The Killer had an impressive .308 batting average in his 13 All Star game appearances.

Friday, November 15, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : National League Infield

1971 Topps Dick Allen All-Star

In his only season in St. Louis, Dick Allen was selected to his 4th All Star game. Allen came to the Cardinals in a 6 player trade that famously included Curt Flood. Flood refused to report which in turn ushered in the Free Agent era.

1971 Topps Glenn Beckert All-Star

In his 2nd All Star appearance, and his 1st start, Glenn Beckert was 0 for 2. In his 4 career All Star games Beckert was hitless in 7 plate appearances.

1971 Topps Don Kessinger All-Star

Although known more for his glove than his bat, Kessinger went 2 for 2 in the 1970 Mid-Season Classic. He singled to center twice, once in the 2nd and again in the 5th.

1971 Topps Tony Perez All-Star

Although most of his career was spent on 1st, Perez was moved to 3rd to make room for Lee May's bat. When May was traded to the Astros, Perez resumed his role as 1st baseman.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : American League Outfield

1971 Topps Frank Robinson All-Star

Robinson started the game in right field then moved to left in the 5th to make room for Tony Oliva, then was replaced by Willie Horton in the bottom of the 6th. For the most part he was a non-factor in the game, striking out twice and grounding out. In the field, only one ball was hit to him, a fly-out off the bat of Dick Allen in the bottom of the first.

1971 Topps Carl Yastrzemski All-Star

Yaz, on the other hand went 4 for 6 with an RBI and a run scored. He ended up being the MVP despite losing to the NL. He was the 2nd All Star game MVP to play for the losing team. Brooks Robinson was the first in 1966 and no player has accomplished that feat since.

1971 Topps Frank Howard All-Star

1970 was Frank Howard's 3rd consecutive start in the All Star outfield as well as his third consecutive 40+ HR, 100+ RBI season. His All Star game record is not quite as impressive. He had only one hit in 4 All Star games. But it was an impressive hit, a solo homer in front of his home crowd at the newly renamed Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in 1969. In the 1970 All Star game he struck out and popped out in 2 plate appearances.

Monday, November 11, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : National League Outfield

The 1970 All Star game was one for the ages. It featured 19 Hall of Famers (21 if you count AL Manager Earl Weaver and NL Coach Leo Durocher). It went 12 innings and ended on Pete Rose's epic (and controversial) collision with Ray Fosse. Around the All Star break last season I created this card to commemorate game:

Topps not only didn't have a card in its 1971 set to commemorate the 1970 All Star game, It also didn't have All Star cards. So just as I did for the earlier years that Topps omitted the All Star cards from their set, I just have to create my own:

1971 Topps Hank Aaron All-Star

1970 was a mediocre year for Hank Aaron. He had 1 homer above his career average, had 5 RBIs more than his average, but batted 7 points below his career average. In MVP voting he came in 17th place which was his worst showing since his rookie season. But a mediocre year for Aaron would be a career year for most Major Leaguers. Which is why he was selected to his 20th consecutive All Star game in 1970. 

1971 Topps Willie Mays All-Star

Another fan favorite, appearing in his 21st consecutive All Star game, was Willie Mays. Although he was a .307 lifetime hitter in All Star play, Mays would go 0 for 3 with a strike out and 2 foul-outs.

1971 Topps Rico Carty All-Star

Rico Carty hit a league leading .366 in 1970. The next closest was Joe Torre with .325.  Carty made his only All Star appearance that year. In 2 plate appearances, he drew a walk and grounded out.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 18

This Series was a mash up of several running themes. It started with 1967 All Star cards that never were. I also had some error card corrections, fantasy football cards,  horizontal cards and leader cards that never were. I also included some 2013 playoff versions of the 1983 Topps "Super Veteran" subset.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 18th Series

I've gotten a little behind on my checklists. I'm actually already 8 cards into the next series. As you can see I've decided to keep with the 1961 design and I'm going to use the photo area for some classic brawls. On my very first checklist I used Michael Barrett's sucker-punch on A.J. Pierzynski, and on my 17th series I used Robin Ventura's ill-advised charge on Nolan Ryan. 

For my 18th Series I used a photo of Juan Marichal and catcher Johnny Roseboro's 1965 brawl with Sandy Koufax in the background trying to break it up.  Roseboro was upset about some earlier chin music served up to teammates, Ron Fairly and Maury Wills. In retaliation he returned the ball unnecessarily close to Marichal's head. After Roseboro's second "inside" throw-back Marichal brought his bat down over his head. This resulted in a bench clearing brawl, 14 stiches for Johnny Roseboro, and 8 games off for Juan Marichal.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

1966 Topps Style 2013 World Series Champs

My goal during the Series was to mimic the style of the Topps World Series cards. Topps began making World Series cards in 1960 but stopped after 1965. Generally Topps included a card for each game and another celebration card. That meant if the series went past 5 games, I'd either have to skip ahead from 1965 to 1967 or take a few liberties and create World Series cards in the style of 1966. I chose the latter.

Going into the 2013 World Series, there were no real surprises. It was the 3rd time in last 10 years that the Red Sox won the pennant. It was the 4th time in the past 10 for the Cardinals. None the less it promised to be an exciting match-up. With perfect 20/20 hindsight, I'd say it delivered.

In Game 1 Jon Lester put on a pitching clinic. He went 7 2/3 innings, surrendering 5 hits, 1 walk and no runs while striking out 8. Meanwhile the Cardinals' questionable fielding allowed the Red Sox to take Game 1 by a score of 8-1.

In Game 2 it was the Red Sox's fielding errors that allowed the Cardinals to even up the series.

Game 3 ended on an errant throw to 3rd that led to an obstruction call which gave the Cardinals the winning run to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

In Game 4 the Cardinals left 8 men stranded on base and had their 9th inning rally cut short by a pick off at 1st. This was the first time in history that any post-season game ended on a pick off. The Red Sox tied the Series up at 2 games a piece.

Jon Lester pitched another gem in Game 5, but the big question was why Adam Wainwright didn't pitch around David Ortiz. Ortiz was hitting .733 in the Series while the rest of the team was hitting just over .150 collectively. The Sox took the lead 3 games to 2.

In Game 6 the Cardinals pitching staff finally got the message "Do not to pitch to Big Papi". Ortiz walked 4 times, 3 times intentionally. Shane Victorino, who hit a grand slam to win the Pennant for the Red Sox over the Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS, rocketed a ball off the Green Monster with the bases loaded to clinch it for the Sox.