Monday, January 27, 2014

1972 Topps All Star Cards : The Outfield

For the 1972 All Star cards I borrowed a bit from the 1974 All Star cards. I put both players on one card. This format wasn't exactly universally beloved. In fact Dick Allen Hall of Fame disliked it so much that he remade the 1974 All Star cards individually. Click here and here to see them.

In left field for the AL was Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz struggled during the 1971 season. He hit a meager .254. In 1970 he led the league in runs scored with 125. In 1971 that number dropped by 50 runs. In the 1971 All Star game he went 0 for 3 with a walk.

In the NL, Willie Stargell drew a walk in his first at bat then scored on Johnny Bench's 2nd inning homer. In his next 2 at bats he struck out facing pitchers Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar. This would be a preview of the 1971 World Series for Stargell. He would hit only .208 striking out 9 times in 24 at bats. Palmer and Cuellar would strike Stargell out 3 times each.

Bobby Murcer was to be "the next Mickey Mantle". He was from Mantle's home state, Oklahoma and he was signed by the same scout as Mantle. 1971 showed the first glimmer of what Yankees fans had hoped for. He had a career high batting average of .331. He hit 25 homers with 94 RBIs and was selected to his first All Star game. He singled in his 1st at bat, then popped out and struck out. In the 6th inning Amos Otis took over in center.

Playing in his 22nd consecutive All Star game and his final in a Giants uniform, Willie Mays led off and started in centerfield. After going 0 for 2 he was replaced in the bottom of the 4th in one of those overly-complicated quadruple swaps that seem commonplace only in All Star games.

Frank Robinson earned the All Star game MVP award by hitting a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to put the AL ahead 4-3. Not to be out done by Sparky Anderson's quadruple switch in the 4th, Earl Weaver pulled a quintuple swap in the 6th replacing Robbie in rightfield with Al Kaline.

Also involved in the 4th inning quadruple switch was perennial All-Star, Hank Aaron. He went 1 for 2 with a solo homer against Vida Blue before Lee May took over in the 4th.

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