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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#147 Dave Hamilton, Pirates

Card Front: Another of your standard pitcher looking like he is on the mound poses. While we can tell Dave is near the dugout, There is just so much that looks great with him. I know many people liked to frown on the Pirates and their stripes in the 70's, but I liked the look almost as much as the black and gold interchangeables. I don't know if a young lady caught his eye, but Dave doesn't seem too interested in the photographer.
Card Back: Sadly, Dave was just one of those guys that was more of the situational lefties out of the bullpen. There is nothing in his stats that jump out and say WOW! You do have to give the guy some credit though, he did earn three World Series rings with the A's in his first three seasons in the big leagues. I would say a HR in the 18th inning to win 1-0 classifies as a pitcher's duel.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: Yes Dave went to Edmonds-Woodway HS north of Seattle, but he was never a Mariner. During his first season on the south side of Chicago, Dave played with Chet Lemon on those 1975 White Sox. Chet was a man that stayed around for quite awhile and was part of the champion 1984 Detroit tigers with Carl Willis. Carl would find himself slightly west as a part of the 1995 Minnesota Twins with a young LaTroy Hawkins. While LaTroy has been a man of many hats, during the 2010 season he would don a Milwaukee Brewers hat along with Corey Hart. Mr. Sunglasses at Night is expected to DH and platoon at 1B and OF for the Mariners in the upcoming 2014 season.
Next Card: #148 Bruce Bosclair, Mets

Saturday, February 15, 2014

#146 Duane Kuiper, Indians


Card Front: There are so many things going on with this card that catch my eye. One of the things that you didn't see much of in the 70's was black batting gloves. Duane's look like the infamous OJ Simpson black gloves, but I'm sure Kuip is a much nicer guy. My other issue is with Topps using a pic of a uniform that was last worn in the 1977 season. With all the flack the Tribe has caught for Chief Wahoo, this would be a good compromise look to bring back full time.

Card Back: I don't think you could say these are any kind of eye popping stats, but they are definitely solid. Duane definitely was no power hitter with only one HR, but sometimes you need guys to get on base and Kuip did that. It looks like George Hall was able to get hit more homers in one game in 1876 than Duane could in five seasons.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Duane would eventually move on to be with the San Francisco Giants, a team that he continues to be with today as a broadcaster. During his time in Candlestick, one of his 1983 teammates was Atlee Hammaker. Atlee would spend time in the 1995 season on the south side of Chicago as a White Sox with Roberto Hernandez. Roberto would be part of the 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates with Oliver Perez. Both Oliver and Roberto would be traded together to the New York Mets during that season. Before the 2012 season, Oliver signed with the Mariners and spent two seasons in the M's bullpen before being let go to find a new team for 2014.

Next Card: #147 Dave Hamilton, Pirates

Sunday, February 2, 2014

#145 Rick Rhoden, Dodgers

Card Front: As the old movie line went, "I'm ready or my close up Mr. DeMille." Even though it is a fairly close up of a young Rick, it is a very timeless and classic look. There is just something about the Dodgers uniforms. It is sad to know that the Dodgers left their long time home of Dodger Town as a complex in Vero Beach to get some nice new digs in Arizona.
Card Back: I guess it's safe to say that in Topps' mind the only real significant season that Rick has had was in 1977. I think that 2 hit performance is noteworthy, but I think you could do better than a relief appearance in the playoffs. I wouldn't mind being Gene Tenace and homering in what would be the start of a three-peat in the World Series.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: I know that some lovers of the Dodger blue might disagree with me, but I think Rick is most known for his time in the Steel City. While Rick was with the Pirates during the 1986 campaign, another of those Buccos was Rich Sauveur. Rich wasn't much of a big league guy seeing time in 34 games in six spread out seasons with six teams from 1986-2000. Rich's final season was with Oakland in 2000, and another of those Athletics was Omar Olivares. Omar came to Seattle in July of 1997 with Felipe Lira for the playoff run of 1997. Omar started 12 games and relieved another and wasn't great but did help the M's make the post season.
Next Card: #146 Duane Kuiper, Indians

Saturday, January 25, 2014

#144 Sandy Alomar, Rangers


Card Front: This is the look of  a player that has seen his time in the big leagues with the classic look away pose. Sandy did know how to make it look good and natural. There is something of the look of the Rangers in the late 70's through the 80's. I wonder why most teams have gone away from the two tone caps, is it because they aren't cool or don't sell to the kids?

Card Back: This is what it looks like when you've been around for awhile. What is strange that Sandy only was in 24 games during 1978 and had already left the game and wasn't even around for the 1979 season. Sandy did spend most of his time as an Angel, but also did the New York double dip with both the Mets and Yankees.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Sandy's last season on the south side of Chicago with the White Sox in 1969, he would play with the legendary Tommy John. After a famous surgery, Tommy would last for a long time making it all the way to be part of the 1987 New York Yankees. Another of those Bronx Bombers was Al Leiter. A man of many teams in many seasons saw Al be part of the 2001 New York Mets with Desi Relaford. While Desi was originally drafted by Seattle in 1991, he would see time in Seattle until being a Mariner in 2002.

Next Card: #145 Rick Rhoden, Dodgers

Saturday, January 18, 2014

#143 Tony Scott, Cardinals

Card Front: Welcome to a spring training road game in Florida. It is cool to think back to the times before MLB was all about a money making business, and guys would wear normal unis in spring. I think that the Cardinals were one of the few teams that could make the blue roads look awesome. Tony was very color coordinated with his hat, sleeves, and batting gloves.
Card Back: It is always cool to see a 42nd round draft pick make it all the way to the show. While Tony never really got the chance in Montreal, he was average in St. Louis. Tony would make average into a fairly long career though. Tony was much more of a defensive guy than his offensive numbers.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Tony's farewell season, he would find his way back to where he began in Montreal. One of his Expos teammates was Gary Lucas. Gary would pack up and two years later, he would be helping the California Angels to the ALCS in 1986 with Jack Howell. Jack was another of the traveling type. During the 1999 season, Jack was in Houston with the Astros. After signing as a free agent before that season, Matt Mieske would make into 24 games for the Mariners. In mid-June of that year, the Mariners traded Matt to Houston for Kevin Hodges allowing Matt and Jack to play as Astros together.
Next Card: #144 Sandy Alomar, Rangers

Monday, January 13, 2014

#142 Charlie Williams, Giants


 Card Front: I can't tell if Charlie is excited to have his picture done for a card or if he is genuinely disinterested. I know that no matter what time of year, you can tell it is Candlestick Park with the vinyl sleeves under his jersey. I've never been too hip on the orange bill of the Giants cap, but I sometimes wish they would bring back the script pullover tops.

Card Back: I can't really see any stats that jump out and get your attention. I guess when you are a situational reliever you won't stand out. I think that I would be happy to be able to tell my kids and grand kids that I was traded to San Francisco for a Hall of Famer in Willie Mays. I know that is something I would let everyone know about!

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Charlie's fourth season in the Bay in 1975, Charlie was partnered up with Garry Maddox. Take yourself to the 1979 season, and Garry would be in St. Louis as a Cardinal with Lonnie Smith. It would take another 11 years, but during the 1990 season in Atlanta, Lonnie was a Brave. Another of those Braves was Jim Presley. Jimmy had come to Atlanta after the 1989 season when the Mariners had traded him for Ken Pennington and Gary Eave. Jim had been a starting All Star 3rd Baseman for the Mariners from 1984 through the 1989 season.

Next Card: #143 Tony Scott, Cardinals

Sunday, January 5, 2014

#141 Tom Paciorek, Mariners

Card Front: Tell how can you not love the Mariners road jersey of the early days? I know people weren't always hip on powder blue but I always thought they were great. I don't know why Tom has a red shirt on under his jersey unless it was a lucky shirt he brought with him to Seattle. Whatever he is watching go on, he is definitely focused on it.
Card Back: Tom could never really get consistent playing time while with the Dodgers. I guess it is hard when they have some other good outfielders. The Braves thought he would be a good fit in 1976 letting him play quite a bit. I guess one season wasn't enough as they would give him less and suddenly would let him go. His brother was Houston Colt .45, I still love the name and look of the team even though they've gone away from the look.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: After the Mariner traded Tom to the Chicago White Sox, one of his 1983 teammates was Joel Skinner. Joel was a man that couldn't be held down, and in 1991 he found his way to Cleveland. While with the Indians he would be part of the Tribe with Rudy Seanez. Rudy was another of those players that would just keep hanging around no matter how you tried to get rid of him. As you fast forward to 2008 in Philadelphia, Rudy was part of that Phillies team with Greg Dobbs. Greg stared his career with the Mariners, playing in parts of seasons between 2004 and 2006. He was waived and has been in Philly and Miami since leaving.
Next Card: #142 Charlie Williams, Giants

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#140 Don Gullett, Yankees

Card Front: Ahh, the classic pitcher's pose in the great Yankee Stadium. It does make sense since Don is a Yankee. There is nothing more historic than the frieze and pinstripes. I really can't make heads or tails of the look on Don's face if he is intense, lost, or just bored with the camera.
Card Back: There was no wasting time getting to the majors here. Drafted in June and up the next year with the Reds. It is kind of amazing that the Reds let Don go after some pretty good years. I wonder if it's an oxymoron to be from Kentucky and be a Yankee? I do find it interesting to find out how many brawls you have after you hit three Angels in one inning.
Six degrees or less to Seattle: During what was probably one of Don's best seasons in 1973, one of his Cincinnati teammates was Clay Carroll. Clay was a player that couldn't be held down by one team and had to have freedom to roam. He would roam all the way to Pittsburgh to be a Pirate in 1978with Ed Whitson. During his time in the big leagues, Ed was known to be a pretty good player too. That is why in 1989 he was a part of the San Diego Padres with a young Andy Benes. During the magical playoff run of 1995, the Mariners would make a trade to bring Andy to Seattle and he delivered a 7-2 record in his 12 starts. The Mariners would let Andy leave after that season and he went on to St. Louis to be a Cardinal.
Next Card: #141 Tom Paciorek, Mariners