Wednesday, January 29, 2014

1972 Topps All Star Cards : The Infield

The 36 year old Norm Cash was having a resurgent year in 1971. His numbers were returning to the numbers he put up the last time he was selected to the All Star squad in 1966. Unfortunately those numbers didn't carry over into the All Star game. He struck out in both at bats.

Willie McCovey on the other hand was having an off season. Hampered by a knee injury sustained during spring training, he fell from 39 homers and 126 RBIs in 1970 to 18 homers and 70 RBIs in 1971. He struck out and grounded out in his only All Star at bats.

In his 3 plate appearances in the 1971 All Star game Rod Carew grounded out in the 1st, then drew 2 walks. He scored on Frank Robinson's 3rd inning homer. In 18 All Star games Carew had 48 plate appearances and an on base percentage of .354.

Playing in his 3rd straight All Star game, Glenn Beckert was batting a career high .342 in 1971. Beckert went 0 for 3 facing 3 different pitchers, Vida Blue, Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar.

In his 1st All Star at bat in a Red Sox uniform, Luis Aparicio singled to center then scored on Reggie Jackson's homerun. In his 12th All Star game this was only his second (and final) hit.

Appearing in his second All Star game and starting for the first time was Bud Harrelson. Harrelson also won his only Gold Glove award in 1971 and had a career high 28 stolen bases.

Solid as ever in 1971, Brooks Robinson played 3rd base in his 15th consecutive mid summer classic. He was also on his was to earning his 12th consecutive Gold Glove. He was 1 for 3 in the game with his only hit coming in the 6th. He singled to center then was out at second when Aparicio grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Joe Torre was having an MVP season in 1971, leading the league in batting and RBIs. In the All Star game he went 0 for 3 including a strikeout and a double play ball hit to Brooks Robinson.

I think this card, in particular, seems to really capture the spirit of the 1972 set. Brooks Robinson is sporting the new-for-1971 all-orange Orioles unis and Joe Torre looks like a recently defrosted caveman swinging his club and wearing the new-for-1971 double-knit pullovers.

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