Friday, February 13, 2015

Rating the Rookies: 1972 Expos Rookie Stars

Back to one of my new favorites, Rating the Rookies. This time the random number generator gave me 601 or this 1972 Topps Rookie Stars card. Most of the rookie cards in 1972 featured 3 players. Only 6 of the 29 1972 rookies had 2 players so this is somewhat of an oddity.

Terry Humphrey got the majority of starts behind the plate for the Expos in 1972. But the 22 year old backstop couldn't break the Mendoza line. The Expos supplemented the position with veteran catchers John Boccabella and Tim McCarver in the 1972 season.  But it was the players in their minor league system at the time that would ultimately lead to his departure. Barry Foote was the #1 draft pick of the Expos in 1970 and was their catcher of the future.  So much so that when Gary Carter came up, he was primarily used in the outfield. 

With their bounty of catchers, the Expos dealt Humphrey to the Tigers at the end of the 1974 season for pitcher Woody Fryman. Humphrey was traded to the Astros then eventually the Angels in 1976 where he ended his career after being released in July of 1979. 

In addition to his rookie card he appeared in the 1973 Topps set but was skipped over for the 1974 and 1975 sets. He re-appeared on a 1976 card for the Tigers. He then had 1977, 1978 and 1979 cards in an Angels uniform.

For his "card that never was", I filled in one of the lost years with Humphrey looking less than thrilled to be on this 1974 card:

Keith Lampard was a promising minor leaguer in the Astros organization as was evidenced by his inclusion on 2 previous "Rookie Stars" cards in 1970 and 1971:

In November of 1971 the Expos pick up Lampard in the Rule 5 draft which is why Topps airbrushed an Expos logo on his cap and included him on this card:

However, Lampard didn't make the cut in spring training and by rule the Expos couldn't send him to the minors and had to sell him back to the Astros for half price. Houston sold him to the Cardinals organization who then traded him to the Phillies after the 1972 season. 

Keith Lampard played 9 games in 1969 and 53 games in 1970 with the Astros. He only had 20 Major League hits but half of them were for extra bases.

Even though he never played a big league game after the 1970 season, Topps felt a need to give him 2 more rookie cards in 1971 and 1972. So for his "card that never was", I figured I'd follow suit. Here he is on a 1973 rookie card along with a couple players that actually did make their debut in 1973. 

Overall I would have to give this card a C-

The card itself  gets points because it is kinda cool due to the unusual 2 player format. But it loses points due to the airbrushed Expos cap. Humphrey was the primary catcher on the Expos in 1972 and went on to play in the bigs until 1979. Lampard himself was a decent minor league player with 114 homers and a career average of .290. If I were a betting man in spring of 1972, I would have bet the Expos would roster him. Franchises don't usually spend the money to pick a player in the Rule 5 just to return him.


  1. HI

    I am looking for a way to contact you. I wanted to share a "never was" I made yesterday after being coming across Bob Lemke's blog and being inspired after a couple email exchanges.

  2. This is by far the coolest website ever created.

  3. Keith Lampard went on to coach baseball at Spring High where he made the school a baseball powerhouse in the Houston area.