Saturday, March 7, 2015

1974 Topps Dave Freisleben

This is the only color picture that I know of that shows the proposed uniform of the ill-fated Washington Stars. Those who have been in the hobby for decades remember the 1974 Topps "Washington  Nat'l Lea." cards that Topps made instead of San Diego Padres cards during some of their print runs. 

Here is a 1974 Topps card taking it a step further, using the proposed name and a photo of a player wearing the proposed uniform. I also chose a color scheme on the card more befitting the new team colors. But this card raises even more questions. Like: What would the home uniforms look like? Why is the uniform being modeled by rookie pitcher Dave Freisleben? Why is a pitcher posing with a bat? 

I don't have answers to any of these, but I have my suspicions.  I think there are pictures somewhere of the proposed home unis and sooner or later they will turn up on the internet. But judging by the road uni, my best guess is that they will be equally ugly. 

As for why Dave Freisleben? I have to go with the "Johnny Bravo" syndrome from the Brady Bunch. Greg was given his big break as a "Rock Star" only to find out they chose him because he "fit the suit".  

Freisleben was actually a fairly serviceable pitcher for the Padres as a rookie in 1974. He won 9 games which tied him with 4 other Padre pitchers for the most on the club. He also had the lowest ERA of any of the Padres starters with 3.66.

In one particular game in 1974, Freisleben pitched the first 13 shut-out innings of a 14 inning marathon against the Reds. He was even allowed to bat in the bottom of the 13th before being lifted for Rusty Gerhardt. The Padres broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the 14th and Gerhardt got the win.

I have seen another look at the same uniform. Again it was modeled by Freisleben obviously from the same photo shoot. It was on a team issued "Schedule Card" in 1977:


  1. Wow. That is incredible. I never knew the unis existed. great post. Oh, great card too :)

  2. Amazing!! Who knew???.. you really did your homework. Bravo.

  3. I ran across the same image a few months ago, and I have it in my inventory to make a custom of it, but you've done such a fine job on this that I'm not sure there's a point.

    My theory on the road unis: At the time the uni was made, they hadn't completely decided on a team name. (Stars is pretty lame, IMHO). A road uniform can go with any name, so they made that one up.

    The uni isn't a good one, but I kinda like it just because it's undeniably Seventies... sort of like a uni from an alternate universe.