Monday, March 31, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards - American League East

In the AL East, I once again get to utilize the Manager/Coaches format for the Team All Star cards. Freehan was the starting catcher in the 1972 All Star Game. Joe Coleman made his only ASG in 1972 but never left the bullpen. Lolich pitched 2 scoreless inning for the AL. Norm Cash came in to relieve Dick Allen and struck out in his only at bat.

Yaz was not the only Boston Red Sox elected to the All Star team. Aparicio was also picked to start but had to sit out due to injury. 1972 Rookie of the Year Carlton Fisk singled and scored on Cookie Rojas's 8th inning homer. Reggie Smith struck out pinch hitting for Gaylord Perry.

The Orioles had 3 starters plus the All Star Manager. Pat Dobson and Dave McNally were reserves. Dobson never saw action but McNally got the loss by giving up a walk a sacrifice bunt and a single in the 10th inning.

Bobby Murcer was the Yankees' sole representative in the 1972 ASG. These were dark times for Yankees fans. It had been 10 years since their last World Series Championship and it would be another 5 years until their next. My heart bleeds. Call me when you get to 106 years.

According to Baseball-Reference there were 3 blown saves in the 1972 ASG. The first belonging to the Indians only All Star, Gaylord Perry who gave up a 2 run homer to Hank Aaron. 

In their 3rd year of existence the Brewers had one player representing them in each ASG. In 1972 it was Ellie Rodriguez who never saw action. In 1971 it was pitcher Marty Pattin who didn't leave the bullpen. Tommy Harper was still the only Brewer to see action in an All Star Game. He was a pinch runner in 1970 and was promptly caught stealing.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

1964 Topps Football Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 22nd Series

I needed to interrupt the remake of the 1973 All Star cards because I forgot to document the completion of yet another 25 cards created for this blog. You might have noticed that I abandoned the 1961 Topps baseball format. This is a modified 1964 Topps football checklist. Also abandoned were the video checklists. I found another way to get all the cards from the checklist in one place. Well sort of. I have created pages that can be accessed by clicking on the checklists on the right border. Unfortunately, google limits the supplemental pages to 20. Since this is my 22nd series, I was already over the limit. So I doubled up. Each one of those links will get you to the 50 cards created for the corresponding series.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards - National League East

When posting the 1973 All Star cards that never were, I let it be known that it was not my first version. I had created a 1973 All Star card for Don Kessinger which included all of the Cubs All Stars from 1972 even the reserves. I had based it off the 1973 Topps Manager/Coaches cards. This was not a format that would work for all teams. In fact it worked for very few of them. Long story short with a little prodding I decided to create team-based 1973 All Star cards. Because of the wide range of players representing different teams in the 1972 All Star game, I had to employ various designs. I've broken them down by division and posted them in the order they finished the 1972 season.

This is the card that I wanted to make the most. Mainly because it fit the same format I used for the Cubs already. But also because of the great players like Clemente, and Oliver. Clemente was actually supposed to be a starter but was out due to an injury. Willie Mays replaced him in the starting line up.

This is the card that started the thread. I made this first. Before I decided to create All Star cards that never were. In fact I made it before I created this blog.

Here is another concept I had toyed with before settling on the final version. I think it works especially well for the Mets as Mays was in the starting line up and Seaver and McGraw were in the bullpen. I think I would have really liked to find this card back in the day. Everyone seems so happy. I came across the picture of Mays smiling at the plate and had to find similarly joyous photos of the other two.

Yet another format. I could have made this fit the same format as the Cubs and the Bucs but who would get the big picture? Both Torre and Gibson were starters.

Bill Stoneman was the sole representative of the Montreal Expos so I just gave him a card like all the other All Stars.

Ditto for "Lefty".

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : The Managers

Managing his first All Star game since 1961, Danny Murtaugh remained undefeated. Interestingly, all 3 games he managed were tied up at the end of regulation. In the 1st All Star game of 1961 he led the NL to a 5-4 victory in 10 innings. In the 2nd All Star game of 1961 the teams were knotted at 1 run after 9 inning when the game was called for rain. It was the only All Star game to end in a tie until Bud Selig called off the 2002 All Star game after 11 innings. The 1972 game went into the 10th inning before the NL broke the 3-3 tie with a walk off single by Joe Morgan.

Appearing as manager in his 3rd consecutive All Star game, Earl Weaver fought the good fight. In an era in which the NL has dominated All Star play, Weaver was no push-over. From 1963-1982 the AL had only won 1 game. That was in 1971 with Weaver at the helm. Book-ending that victory, Weaver's AL All Stars took the NL to extra inning in 1970 and 1972 before ultimately falling.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : American League Battery

In his 2nd All Star start, Jim Palmer gave up 1 hit and 1 walk in 3 innings. He also helped at the plate advancing battery-mate Freehan on a bunt. Freehan scored on a Rod Carew single.

Bill Freehan had been the starting catcher for the American League All Stars since 1966. But with the 1970 Rookie of the Year, Thurman Munson and the 1972 Rookie of the year, Carlton Fisk coming up behind him, 1972 would be his last start behind the plate.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : National League Battery

Bob Gibson pitched the first 2 innings of the 1972 All Star game. He only gave up one hit. In fact it was the only ball to leave the infield. Reggie Jackson doubled to the right-center gap but was left on base in the 1st. 

In 1972 the 24 year old Johnny Bench won his 2nd NL MVP award. He also won his 5th consecutive Gold Glove and appeared in his 5th consecutive All Star game. The future Hall of Famer singled and grounded into a double play in 5 innings. He was replaced by Manny Sanguillen of the Pirates.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : American League Infield

In December of 1971 the White Sox sent Tommy John to the Dodgers in exchange for Dick Allen. Allen rewarded them by leading the league in homers, RBI's, walks and was 3rd in batting average. He was a near unanimous choice for AL MVP. In the 1972 All Star game he grounded out in all 3 at bats.

Rod Carew drove in the first run of the 1972 All Star game. Bill Freehan led off the 3rd with a walk. Jim Palmer bunted him over to 2nd and he scored on Carew's single to centerfield.

In 1971 Bobby Grich was the MVP of the International League playing for the Orioles' AAA Rochester Red Wings. In 1972 he represented the Orioles as the starting shortstop in the All Star game. Luis Aparicio was elected starting shortstop but was injured and Grich got the start. He was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.

In 1972 Brooks Robinson won his 13th consecutive Gold Glove and appeared in his 16th consecutive All Star game. He went 0 for 2 at the plate and had only one assist in the field before being replaced by Sal Bando in the 5th.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : National League Infield

The 1972 All Star game marked the 3rd appearance for Lee May and his only as a starter. It was also his only appearance in an Astros uniform. He singled in his first at bat and was stranded at first when Joe Torre struck out. But in the bottom of the 9th he hit into a fielder's choice that drove in Billy Williams to take the game into extra innings. He also made an impact on the field, turning a 3-6-3 double play and fielding an unassisted double play.

Joe Morgan made his first All Star start in 1972. It was also his first in a Reds uniform. In his 5th plate appearance of the game he got his 1st hit. It was a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th and he was given MVP honors. 

Appearing in his 5th consecutive All Star game, Don Kessinger went 0 for 2. He was replaced by Chris Spier in a double switch in the 6th inning.

After putting up gaudy numbers and winning the NL MVP in 1971, Joe Torre's numbers dropped significantly. He went from hitting .363 with 137 RBIs in 1971 to hitting .289 with 81 RBIs in 1972. Still more than respectable and enough to earn him a spot on the All Star roster. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : American League Outfield

After winning the MVP in the 1970 All Star game, Carl Yastzemski went 0-3 in both the 1971 and 1972 midsummer classic.

Bobby Murcer hit a career high 33 homers in 1972 and was awarded the Gold Glove. In his 2nd All Star game he was hitless in 3 at bats.

Reggie Jackson had a double and a single in the 1972 All Star game but was stranded on base both times. In the 1972 ALCS Jackson stole home in game 5 to help the A's win the pennant, but the hamstring injury sustained on that play prevented him from playing in the World Series.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1973 Topps All Star Cards : National League Outfield

Again in 1973 the Topps set was devoid of All Star cards. I actually had addressed this once before.

This was my first attempt at a Topps 1973 All Star card.  I made this for my previous blog, 6 degrees of Ron Santo. I really liked the concept but there is no way this would work for most of the All Star starters. On this post alone, it wouldn't work for Aaron or Mays.  Aaron was the sole representative of the Atlanta Braves and The Mets had only 2 other All Stars, Seaver and McGraw. 

That being said, it would have made a sweet card for Willie Stargell along with Roberto Clemente, Manny Sanguillen, Al Oliver and Steve Blass.

 Instead, I kept to a format similar to the World Series cards in that set. I also decided to use all "action" cards as they were becoming more prevalent in the 1973 set.

Willie Stargell was the starting left fielder and clean-up hitter for the 1972 NL All Stars. He walked in the bottom of the 2nd and was force out at 2nd when Johnny Bench grounded into a double play. He popped out to short right in his only other plate appearance.

The 1972 All Star Game was Willie Mays' final game as a starter and his first in a Mets uniform. At 41 years old, Mays was the oldest position player in Major League Baseball in 1972.

In 1971 Hank Aaron hit a career high 47 homers and in 1972 he was, once again the starting right fielder. In the 6th inning he smashed a 2 run homer to ut the NL ahead 2-1.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

1971 Topps Frank Robinson All Star MVP

Going Horizontal

In 1971 Topps finally began dabbling in horizontal cards again. They had 8 horizontal base cards all together, 4 on the Yankees, 2 on the Mets and 2 on the Angels. Overall Topps was incorporating more action shots into this set and the cards seemed easily adaptable to a horizontal version. I'm not sure why they limited it to these 3 teams, though. 

The 1971 All Star game was all about the long-ball. Roberto Clemente hit a homer in his final All Star at bat. Reggie Jackson hit a 520 foot bomb off the lights a' la Roy Hobbs. But the MVP went to Frank Robinson who hit his first All Star homer for the AL. His last All Star homer came in 1959 when he was representing the Reds, making him the 1st player to homer for both the AL & NL in All Star play.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 21th Series

This checklist features a photo of Connie Mack Stadium or as it was originally called Shibe Park. It was home to both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Athletics. The cards include the last of the tribute cards, the 1972 All Star cards, the rookie class of 1978, and the 1965 leader cards that never were. Also included was Elway on the Colts and the first few lost Chris Short cards.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

1965 & 1966 Topps Chris Short

This is the final installment of my versions of the Chris Short cards that never were. If you read the last few posts you know that like Maury Wills, Short was missing from Topps sets during the same time period for possibly similar reasons. Unlike Wills, the missing Chris Short cards are not as well documented. 

Chris Short led the Phillies in starts and innings pitched in 1965. He still managed to make 7 relief appearances earning 2 saves. The left-out lefty had a career high 237 strikeouts and went 18-11.

In 1966 Short won a career high 20 games which was enough for at least one sports writer to throw him an MVP vote.