Saturday, December 20, 2014

#154 Jim Gantner, Brewers


Card Front: If you wanted to get the chicks in the 70's you needed to look like Jim here. The hair is a little longer and feathered, the small but "sexy" moustache, and make sure the ladies can see your eyes. One thing that I do miss from these days is the powder blue road uniforms that teams would wear. I think that the Brewers had one of the best road unis in these days. It never hurts when you put some empty seats in the background.

Card Back: Here is what the back of a young player's card looks like. Some time in the minors but a quick rise to the top. Jim was early in his long time with his hometown Brewers. I'm sure as a Wisconsin native, it was a dream come true for him to be drafted by his local team. It is always fun to go and research and find out more about these minor league clubs that you didn't know back then when we were kids.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Jim was a career Brewer. During the 1979 season we see on this card, Jim would play with HOF'er Paul Molitor. In his next to last year, Paul would be in Minnesota in 1997, and one of his Twins teammates was Torii Hunter. Mr. Hunter would find his way to the 2013 version of the Detroit Tigers and would have Matt Tuiasosospo on the team with him. Matt spent part of three seasons in 2008-2010 with his hometown Mariners where his dad once played football for the Seahawks. Matt will be in Baltimore in 2015, and Torii and Paul Molitor have reunited in Minnesota for the Twins for the upcoming 2015 season.

Next Card: #155 Dwight Evans, Red Sox

Sunday, December 7, 2014

#153 Dennis Lamp, Cubs

Card Front: For a card with a posed shot there is so much right and so much wrong here. You have to love the simplicity and beauty of the Cubs hat and the always appealing look of pinstripes and a V-neck pullover of the 70's. The red of the Cubs banner goes well with the color scheme. I do have to admit though that the large moustache is a bit of a scary thing to most women and children. I don't know about you but when I see Dennis' glasses I think of Kelly Leak fro the Bad News Bears.
Card Back: Dennis is definitely an example of the tale of the tortoise and the hare. For him getting to the big leagues was definitely a story of slow and steady wins the race. Drafted in 1971 and finally six years later he finally got his shot. I love how in 1906 Jack Coombs could pitch all 24 innings of a game. If that was today he would be lucky to go 7 or 8 innings with today's pitch counts.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: Dennis was a guy who would last a long time and see many cities in his time. Dennis would be up north in Toronto with the Blue Jays in 1984 with Mitch Webster. It wasn't the other Mitch Webster that Toronto fans would love in 1993, but yet the extra outfielder Mitch. In that same season of 1993 Mitch had moved and was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After seeing time in only two games the year before, Pedro Martinez was a member of that Dodgers team also. Pedro as we all know had a long career and was part of those winning Red Sox teams. But, in 2009 he was in Philadelphia with the Phillies. Another young pitcher in the city of Brotherly Love was J.A. Happ. While he hasn't seen a game yet in Seattle, he was part of a trade that just brought him to town and will be part of the 2015 Mariners.
Next Card: #154 Jim Gantner, Brewers

Sunday, November 30, 2014

#152 Rick Cerone, Blue Jays


Card Front: What more can be said than this is so much of an example of the 70's here. You have the little moustache, the curly hair, and the chains hiding under the shirt. The beauty of this one brings us the original Jays logo in the center of the jersey, and the white panel of the common batting helmets of that era. For many teams in the 70's and 1980's the road uniforms were very common to wear the powder blue instead of the normal gray. It worked perfectly with the Jays.

Card Back: The beginnings of a long career show his minor and major league stats . I know that the $60,000 bonus in 1975 was large back then. There is some prestige in playing in two CWS for Seton Hall. Pretty awesome to see not only do you paly in the CWS in 1975 but to also see time in 7 games in the majors that same year says something about your skill level.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Rick moved on to be a Yankee for a long time and in 1987 he would play along side Al Leiter. Al was another guy to have a long career and was part of the 2004 New York Mets with a young Jose Reyes. Jose was part of the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays with Steve Delabar. Steve spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons in the Seattle bullpen.

Next Card: #153 Dennis Lamp, Cubs

Saturday, April 19, 2014

#151 John Hiller, Tigers

Card Front: A nice action shot of a lefty at his craft. It seems strange to me that Topps couldn't even fly to Detroit to get a shot in the home whites. I did like these pullovers though. It is strange that they would use this pic though where everything is slightly off center but back then we didn't care as kids and probably just threw this card aside if you weren't a Tigers fan.

Card Back: Now that is a long career, and the kind I like that is all with one team. John would miss that 1971 season after suffering a heart attack but would slowly make his way back in 1972 and would stay on after that through the 1980 season. During the 1979 season, John passed Mickey Lolich in the Tigers record book for most appearances by a lefty.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During John's first call up in 1965, one of his teammates in Detroit was Jim Northup. As we fast forward to the 1974 season, Jim would find himself in Baltimore as member of the Orioles.  Another of those high flying Birds as Al Bumbry. Al would have a memorable career in Baltimore but would also have some pretty nice years in America's Finest City as a San Diego Padre. One of Al's teammates on the 1985 version was Luis DeLeon. Luis was a one game wonder for the Mariners in 1989, pitching for four innings on May 26th of that year in Milwaukee. Luis would spend the entire rest of the year at AAA Calgary.

Next Card: #152 Rick Cerone, Blue Jays

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#150 Wayne Cage, Indians

Card Front: One of your very standard glamour shots form the 1979 set. I have to admit that as much as they were hated, the red pullovers go with the Indians cap from the 70's. It is strange to look through and some Indians have the slanted C hat and some wear the block C. Obviously, Wayne's pic comes from the 1977 season or earlier since the Tribe only went with red shirts and slanted hats from 1973-1977 and went block C in 1978.

Card Back: It is strange to me that Topps would give a card with a "star" number like 150 to a guy that had less than 100 AB's in the majors. It does make the mind wonder about a guy that is selected in the 3rd round in 1971 and didn't make it until 1978. These were the days before the big power slugging first basemen, and guys were taught to hit for average but Wayne was kind of off on that too.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During those first 36 games of Wayne's career in Cleveland, one of his Indian teammates in 1978 was Dennis Kinney. Mr. Kinney would find himself as a part of the Detroit Tigers in 1981. Another of the Motor City Kitties in that strike shortened season was Dave Rucker. Eventually, Dave would leave the Motor City for the Steel City and be part of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1988. A rookie on that team was Scott Medvin. Scott would be traded to the Mariners in May of 1990, and would see 5 games after a call up from AAA Calgary in September. After that season, Scott would spend the next three seasons pitching in the Mexican leagues.

Next Card: #151 John Hiller, Tigers

Sunday, April 6, 2014

#149 Manny Sarmiento, Reds

Card Front: Welcome to an action shot from Pittsburgh. I would say those yellow unis are a dead giveaway. You have to wonder if it was a foul ball, a pop up, or a deep drive and who was the batter? I know that most people were not fans of the double knits of the 70's, but I still believe the Reds has a very sharp and classic look with these outfits.

Card Back: Who would know that Manny's second season with the AAA Seattle Rainiers would be a pre-cursor to future things in Seattle. While his first go rounds with the Reds were not the longest, Manny was in the Queen City to stay in 1978 making 63 appearances. I guess hitting 2 consecutive pinch hit homers for Carmen Fanzone would be his claim to fame.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Sadly, due to injuries Manny didn't have the long career that was expected from him. Manny would come to Seattle before the 1980 season, but would spend most of the season with the AAA Spokane Indians before making it into 9 games in September and being traded to Boston in 1981 for Dick Drago. After Manny would come back with the Pirates in 1982, one of his catchers was Steve Nicosia. Steve would eventually move north and be part of the 1985 Expos in Montreal with John Dopson. John would play part of the shortened 1994 season as a California Angel with Harold Reynolds. HR was one of the first in the wave of upcoming stars in Seattle seeing time from 1983 through his departure in 1992. Harold spent the 1993 season in Baltimore and would finish with the Angels in 1994 before becoming a well known broadcaster on ESPN, and now MLB Network.

Next Card: #150 Wayne Cage, Indians

Sunday, March 23, 2014

#148 Bruce Boisclair, Mets

Card Front: There is so much that I like with this card, but so many questions that come to mind. I admit that I like the look of the Mets and their classic pinstripes. I like that Bruce went with the classic 70's batting gloves too. I still don't know what that red machine on wheels is in the background, but the ultimate question that has eluded me is why does Bruce have an aluminum bat at a Major League stadium??
Card Back: Here is what it looks like when you are a run of the mill outfielder. You can see that Bruce didn't really tear up the minors, but it got him to the Mets. He wasn't a star by any means, but he was able to stick with the big club. You have to wonder how far ahead or beg=hind his team was in 1970 for him to pitch four innings.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: When Bruce got his first real go around with the Mets in 1976, another of the guys in Flushing was Benny Ayala. Benny would find his way to Cleveland to be part of the 1985 Indians. One of his fellow Tribe members was a young Otis Nixon. Among the hundreds of teammates that Otis would have, he was a Minnesota Twin in 1998 with Torii Hunter. After his time in Minnesota, Torii would see the West Coast, and eventually was part of the 2013 AL Central champion Detroit Tigers with Doug Fister. Doug made his MLB debut with Seattle in 2009, and was traded away in a bad deal for the Mariners in July of 2011. The Tigers sent Doug to the Washington Nationals this off season and will be in DC for 2014.
Next Card: #149 Manny Sarmiento, Reds