1973 Topps Cards Update Blog

simarc
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November 17th, 2017, 10:28 am #1

http://1973cards.blogspot.com/2017/11/1 ... times.html

1973: Baseball changes with the times


For years baseball lagged behind the times.  By 1973 the hippie generation was in full dominance on the playing field.  Legends like Ernie Banks were gone and Willie Mays was on his way out.  The 'fro, the 'stash and even the dreaded beard were common place on each cardboard card.  Just as the country was in transition (end of the Vietnam War / Beginning of Watergate) baseball was transitioning as well.  In search for more offense the American League told their pitchers to concentrate just on pitching, because a new position was being created...the Designated Hitter.  On April 6, 1973 Ron Blomberg of the NY Yankees came to the plate to face Luis Tiant as the first DH in the history of the game.  Blomberg walked straight into stardom and joked that DH meant Designated Hebrew, in reference to his religious persuasion.  If the Yankees had gone 3 up 3 down in the top of the 1st Orlando Cepeda would have been the game's first DH.  Since "Cha-Cha" is already in the HOF its only fitting that someone else got the nod.

On the field the "Swinging A's" of Oakland won their 2nd straight World Championship".  The gang that Charlie Finley paid to grow mustache's battled the American League and themselves to regain their spot back on top of the baseball world.  This time the would need all 7 games to beat an upstart Met team that was barely 3 games over .500, and the worst team (to that point in time) to ever qualify for the Fall Classic.
Worst offender: Airbrushed action shot in horizontal format
Updated card in vertical format
The game was loaded with stars.  Some were on their way out (Willie Mays) and others just starting (Mike Schmidt).  The pennant races were a mixed back of the wild, the wacky and the predictable.  In the AL East the O's won their 4th Divisional flag in 5 years by outlasting the defending divisional champion Tigers, who faded from contention in mid August.  Oakland did the same thing by blowing past the upstart Royals, who actually held a share of 1st in late August.  The Big Red Machine, who annihilated their competition in 1972 got off to a slow start and by late June found themselves 11 games back of the Dodgers.  The Reds went on a 3 month tear that enabled them to win 99 games and outlast the Dodgers to clinch the NL West flag.  While those races were interesting, they couldn't even hold a candle to what was going on in the NL East.  In a division that nobody wanted to win, or more aptly should have won 5 of the 6 teams were in it until the last weekend.  Each team was more flawed than the other.  When the dust cleared it was the Mets, who were in last place on August 30th, who hoisted the NL East flag.  Their rewards:  they got to face the 99 win Reds in the LCS.

Post Season:  Both LCS's went the full 5 games and the World Series went 7.  Nobody could have predicted that.  Everyone expected and A's / Reds rematch.  What they got instead was a 7 game classic between the A's and the upstart Mets that Oakland needed 7 full games and some Yogi Berra managerial blunders to win.

The 1973 season saw more garish uniforms as baseball moved as far away from the traditional home whites and road grays.  San Diego had the mustard tops.  Baltimore had orange on orange.  The A's featured Green jerseys, yellow jerseys and Sunday home whites.  Button downs were replaced by pull overs and polyester.

On the field Hank Aaron inched to within one homer of topping the Babe's 714 mark.  Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson won their first and only league MVP's.  Seaver and Palmer were Cy Young winners.

Topps released a great set of cards that featured icon bubbles for each position. The rookie panel cards featured 3 players for each position in a horizontal format.  Most of the set was vertical, except for 2-3 players from each team in horizontal action shots.  Some were good...and others were less than stellar.  Take a look below to see the highlights.


In my 1973 update I created cards for the following reasons:
  1. Player was missing from the set
  2. Player had a horizontal card
  3. Player had a nasty airbrushed card
  4. Player had the BHNH syndrome
  5. Player played on multiple teams.
  6. I just hated the player's original card (LOL !)
In total I created 537 new cards for my fellow ARAIG managers to use in our upcoming season.  IMO, nothing makes game play more fun than seeing our "Cardboard Heroes" in card form on the screen.  I hope you like and enjoy the cards and the pennant races as we replay 1973 in 2018.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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simarc
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November 18th, 2017, 4:11 pm #2

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1973 San Diego Padres - 60-102 - 6th Pl NL West - 39GB

 
1973 "Mustard Men" of San Diego
5 years removed from expansion, the Friars showed little to no signs of improvement.  Unlike the lovable Amazin's in NY or the Pilots in Seattle the Padres had no unique storyline to endear them to the fans both local and national. Finishing dead last in attendance in the NL emphasized that this franchise was a rudderless ship barely afloat.  In fact there were even rumblings that the franchise might be moving to Washington.  Manager Don Zimmer was able to get the team to out-perform it's "Pythagorean" by 3 games, but that still couldn't prevent them from losing over 100.  The Padres started off the season by grabbing 2 of 3 from their SoCal rivals (the Dodgers) and then it all went downhill from there.  By the end of April they were 10 games back and it just got progressively worse.  The lone bright spot that gave fans hope for the future occurred on Tuesday June 19th in a 7-3 loss to the Astros.  That was the day that 21 year old 3 sport star Dave Winfield made his major league debut.  Winfield, the only man drafted in the first round by 3 sports (Baseball/Football/Basketball) went 1-4 that day.  More importantly he provided some glimmer of hope for Padre fans that the franchise was now moving in the right direction.

Hitting:  Nate Colbert (.270-22-80) was most of the offense as he had been since the Padres stole him from the Astros in the 1969 expansion draft. Second year man Dave Roberts (not the pitcher), hit .286 with 21 long balls as the team's third baseman.  John Grubb (.311) was the only regular to hit over .300, but he was not well suited defensively as a centerfielder. 

Pitching:  Bill Greif (10-17, 3.21) was the ace of the staff.  Obviously when pitching for a team that was dead last in run production the team's ace is bound to have a sub .500 record.  23 year old Randy Jones (7-6, 3.16) made his major league debut on June 16th.  24 year old Mike Caldwell (5-14, 3.74) had 10 saves, but was much better suited to be in the rotation than the pen.

As part of the project to create a card for every player, who participated in 1973 I created 15 new cards


Backup catcher Bob Davis hit .091 in very limited action (5 games in total.  Davis would spend all of 1974 in the minors before making the big club in '75.  In 5 years in SD he would hit .205 in 366 AB's spanning 166 total games.  He would also spend 2 years in Toronto and a brief stint with the Halos in '81.  Probably the highlight of his professional career would be his time in AAA where he won the PCL championship as a member of the famous 1970's Hawaiian Islanders teams.

34 year old Bob Miller's best days were behind him.  His mid 60's glory years with the championship Dodgers teams were just a faded memory and probably the main reason he was brought to San Diego.  Miller was lucky to have been picked up off of the waiver wire by the Tigers on June 22nd, so he could get a shot at playing meaningful games.  Miller would play on 3 different teams during the '73 season (SD/DET/NYM).

Sadly Dave passed away this year (2017).  Dave was a great human being and a wonderful teacher of the game.  He appeared on my show (Mark & Marc in the Midday) a few months before he passed.  Even more tragic is the fact that the MLBPA sold him and other pre-1980 players down the river by not including them in the pension fund.  Shameful.

In 1973 Dave .197 in 230+ AB's.  He was the team's primary utility infielder.  He was a pure grinder.  In his second year in the "biggs" as a 22 year old he hit a career high 5 homers.  Dave played 4 seasons in the majors.  All with the Padres.  He too was an integral part of those Hawaiian championship teams.  He was also a teammate of the great Sadahara Oh in Japan.  After baseball he devoted his life to working with kids and helping them achieve their baseball dreams.  He is sorely missed by all.  RIP Dave.

What can I say about the great Dave Winfield that you already don't know?  A 3 sport star, who could have excelled professional in any of the 3, Dave chose baseball and we are all lucky that he did.  It wasn't easy finding a photo from his first year (1973) to create this card.  Even Dave has trouble making the "mustards" look cool!  From day one everyone knew he would be a star.  Cooperstown came a calling in 2001 and nobody was shocked that he went in as a Padre, since he was the franchises first true superstar and super gentleman.

To see the rest of the card set (11 additional cards) click on the blog link below:
http://1973cards.blogspot.com/2017/11/1 ... pl-nl.html
Last edited by simarc on December 11th, 2017, 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 9th, 2017, 11:56 pm #3

1973 Atlanta Braves - 76-85 - 5th Pl NL West - 22.5 GB - CLICK HERE to view this Blog Entry
Chief Noc-a-Homa counsels Hammerin' Hank
The 1973 Braves started the season slow and never recovered.  By the end of May they were 10 games out of first and dropping like a bomb over Hanoi.  One thing for sure, these Braves could rake.  Check the stats and you'll see that they dominated the league in almost every important offensive category (runs, BA, HR...).  For the first time in the history of baseball a team had 3 sluggers smash 40 or more home runs.  All time great Hank Aaron hit 40 in just 120 games.  No shock there.  Up and coming superstar Darrell Evans smashed 41, in a break out season.  The real shocker was the 43 homers hit by newly acquired second baseman Davey Johnson.  In 7 full seasons with Baltimore as an All-Star Gold Glove 2B Johnson hit a total of 66 homers with a max of 18.  No one could have seen this coming and the following season Johnson fell back down to earth hitting just 15.  How does a team that dominated the league offensively finish 22 1/2 games back and 9 games under .500.  ANSWER:  They had the worst pitching staff in the league in regards to ERA.  Both Carl Morton (15-10, 3.41) and Phil Niekro (13-10, 3.31) had pretty good seasons, yet their won-loss records were on the average side.  Look no further than their putrid bullpen and there is your answer as to why this team never contended.  Simply the only excitement that Brave fans had was watching Chief Noc-a-homa exit his Tee-pee to celebrate one of Hammerin' Hank's homers.  The real question was:  Could Henry tie or over take the Babe and his his 714th and 715th homers before the '73 season ended.  Hank wound up coming up 1 short of 714, which would provide a lot of offseason talk in regards to when he would break the record.
To complete the 1973 Braves set I had to create 32 new cards.  That's an unusually high number of cards needed for this era.  Atlanta used 43 players that season.  There were many players who were traded to the Braves and either didn't card or were on their previous team, had a horizontal card, had a bad airbrush job or BHNH.  In any case, the Braves set took an especially long time to complete.  One thing for sure they had one of the best 1970's era uniforms !


The 21 year old Devine was one of the key culprits in the great bullpen heist of '73.  With a 2-3, 6.40, 4sv record in 24 games Devine did his share of blowing games and adding to the deficit.  For his troubles the 21 year old rookie spent all of 1974 and most of 1975 in AAA.  He returned to the the Braves in '76 and compiled a nice season out of the pen then was traded to Texas, who 2 years later traded him back to Atlanta, who then traded him back to Texas.  I hope he rented and didn't purchase his dwelling.


Closter was a 30 year old career minor leaguer who got his last chance in the major with the pitching starved Braves.  In 4 games he compiled a 14.54 ERA after being acquired from the Yankees mid season.  The Braves thought enough of him to assign him to their Richmond AAA affiliate for the next 2 seasons, but no return call to the majors would ever come.  Even back then left handers were able to stick around longer than their actual shelf life would have dictated.  Closter represented the United States at the 1964 Summer Olympics, where baseball was a demonstration sport. He was signed by the New York Yankees before the beginning of the 1965 season, was drafted from them by the Cleveland Indians before being purchased from them by the Washington Senators before the 1966 season.  Closter was severely injured in a collision with Dallas Green, which derailed his career for some time

Atlanta flat out fleeced the Expos when the acquired the 1970 NL ROY in exchange for an over the hill Pat Jarvis.  Morton responded by being the ace of the staff.  In 38 starts he posted 256 innings with a 15-10, 3.41 record.  If the Braves had any sort of pen he might have had a shot to win 20.  Morton would spend the next 4 seasons playing for some awful Braves teams.  He ate up innings and eventually that caught up to him.  By the age of 33 his arm was shot and after a season in OKC (Phillie AAA) where he went 9-12, 3.32 he retired from baseball.  Tragically he died of a heart attack while jogging at the age of 39.

To the average baseball fan Chuck Goggin is just some late bloomer who put together a 3 year MLB career as a utility player.  In 64 games for the '73 Braves he hit .289 and played just about everywhere.  What most people do not know that he was the most decorated Vietnam Veteran to play major league baseball.  In short, Goggin is a real hero, not just a cardboard hero.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantryman in 1966 and 1967. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart and served under the famous Marine Col John Ripley.  After his brief baseball career he went on to manage in the Mexican League and the Minor Leagues.  Sadly he didn't have enough time served in baseball to earn a pension, because the MLBPA decided to give away those rights to pre-1980 ballplayers.

Frisella came over from the pitching rich Mets in exchange for Felix Millan.  The Mets, who usually get the bad end of a trade, got the better in this one.  Millan hit .290 and played a solid 2B for them.  Frisella was 1-2, 4.20 with just 8 saves for Atlanta, blowing 9 save opps.  Frisella would never get on track in Atlanta and was sent to San Diego 2 years later.  He bounced to STL and then MIL in '76 and had a decent season.  Tragically he was killed on New Year's day 1977 in a Dune Buggy accident.

Cheadle's full MLB career consisted of 2 innings pitched in 2 games where he gave up 4 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks.  He spent 4 additional sub par seasons in the minors before giving up on his big league dreams.  His only career strikeout was against MLB Hit King Pete Rose.

Davey was shipped to the Braves in a huge multi-player deal so the Orioles could make room for emerging star Bobby Grich.  To say he posted a career year in 1973 for the Braves is an understatement.  Out of thin air he produced 43 homers, which was only 23 less than his career total to that point.  By the next year his numbers came back down to earth and in a few years he was headed off to play in Japan.  Davey would return from Japan and play a few more years before moving on to managing in the Mets system, where he eventually got promoted to the big club and won the 1986 World Series.  Along the way he took 4 separate franchises to the post season.  At the age of 70 he retired for the final time as a baseball manager.



Eddie Mathews was a true HOF player and the only man to play for the Braves in all 3 cities that the franchise called home (Boston, Milwaukee & Atlanta).  Unfortunately Eddie's managerial skills were not equal to his playing skills.  In parts of 3 seasons as the Braves skipper the team languished in mediocrity.  Midway through the '74 season with the team slumping the Braves fired him as manager.  Stars Darrell Evans and Hank Aaron were upset by the move considering the team was 50-49 at that point.  Ownership made the right move as the team went 38-25 down the stretch under Clyde King.

To see the full card set (24 additional cards) click on the link below to view the blog.
http://1973cards.blogspot.com/2017/11/1 ... pl-nl.html
Last edited by simarc on December 11th, 2017, 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 10th, 2017, 7:32 pm #4

1973 Houston Astros - 82-80 - 4th Pl NL West - 17 GB

To read the full blog and see all the cards:  CLICK HERE
Leo hoped, actually he needed Cesar Cedeno to be the "next Willie Mays"
Welcome to Leo the Lip's Sinkin' Ship, otherwise known as the 1973 Houston Astros. The bombing continued from 1972 as the same five Astros delivered 16 or more homers . But the run production tapered off. Houston scored 27 fewer runs even though they played nine more games. Lee May paced the team with 28 homers, including three in one game against the San Diego Padres on June 21st, and 105 RBIs. Cesar Cedeno batted .320, pounded 25 homers and swiped a club record 56 bases. Bob Watson hit at a .312 clip and drove in 94 runs. Doug Rader drilled 21 long balls and drove home 89 runs. Jim Wynn contributed 20 homers despite a season-long slump. 

Tommy Helms and Roger Metzger, though lacking in the power numbers, both hit .250 or above and displayed solid defensive work around second base. Metzger led the National League with 14 triples. Helms provided clutch hits like the two-run single that completed a 9-7 comeback win in Montreal on July 8th. 

The only major change to the lineup was an illness that forced catcher Johnny Edwards to sit. Skip Jutze, acquired from St. Louis during the off-season with Johnny Bench-like raves, filled in well behind the plate but he hit just .223 with no homers while standing next to it.
It was the pitching that faltered. Larry Dierker and Tom Griffin both missed substantial time with injuries. Don Wilson struggled and spent time in the bullpen. Dave Roberts (17 wins) and Jerry Reuss (16 wins) stepped up to lead the staff. Ken Forsch and J.R. Richard took turns in the rotation. Richard got his first big league shutout against the Dodgers on August 1st. The bullpen was a mess, with nobody earning more than six saves. 

Leo Durocher complained about the modern ballplayer, took ill during midseason, and decided that retirement wasn't such a bad idea. Nobody knew it at the time, but the season finale in Atlanta would be the last of his Hall-Of-Fame career. The stadium was packed on September 30th but it wasn't to say goodbye to Leo. After a blast against Reuss in the previous game, Hank Aaron was one homer shy of Babe Ruth's career home run record. Many VIPs, including Gov. Jimmy Carter, came to see Aaron tie and maybe break baseball's most hallowed mark. Dave Roberts "held" Aaron to three singles and Houston won, 5-3. Durocher went out as a winner with his club finishing 82-80, even though they had slid back to fourth place. (c) Bob Hulsey - Astrodaily.com

To complete the full team set I had to add 23 additional cards.



Hovering just above the .500 mark on July 20, the Astros host a rare in-season exhibition game at the Astrodome. The Detroit Tigers visit and, in a game of little importance, the Astros send 56-year-old coach Hub Kittle to pitch in the ninth inning. The Tigers counter by sending 51-year-old coach Art Fowler to pitch in the game as well. Detroit manager Billy Martin even pinch-hits and strikes out. Astros manager Leo Durocher arranges for comedian Jerry Lewis to play in the game at first base. Lewis plays first base for five innings and performs surprisingly well, going 1-for-1 with a walk.



After a brief cup of coffee with the Red Sox in '72 Gallagher got to play in 71 games for the 'Stros and hit .264 as the team's 4th outfielder.  Whe he tried to repeat this role in '74 and slumped miserably.  The 'Stros dealt him to the Mets, where he played in just 33 games in '75 and hit .133.  After hitting a powerless .258 in San Fran's Phoenix AAA team he was given his release.  His grandfather, Shano Collins, was a Major League outfielder/manager and a player in the 1917 and 1919 World Series.  In a four-season career, Gallagher was a .220 hitter (56-for-255) with two home runs and 13 RBI in 213 games played, including 34 runs, one triple, and one stolen base.  His big moment in '73 came when he hit an inside the park Grand slam vs Detroit at the Astrodome in a rare in season exhibition game that the 'Stros won 10-7.

Upshaw came over from Atlanta at the end of April in exchange for Norm Miller.  The change in scenery didn't do him much good as he finished with a 2-3, 4.46 record with just 1 save in 35 appearances.  Upshaw moved on to Cleveland, the Bronx and Chicago over the next 2 season before hanging up.  His career was actually cut short due to an unfortunate incident in 1970. He and two other Braves players were walking down an Atlanta sidewalk and one of the other players bet him he could not jump up and touch an overhead awning. He did reach the awning, but a ring on his pitching hand ring finger got caught on a projection off of the awning and tore ligaments in his hand. He never fully recovered, but was considered one of the better pitchers in major league baseball up to that time.  He died at age 52 of a heart attack in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Houston was the first stop on the train for the well traveled Cliff Johnson (7 teams / 15 years).  Cliff spent the first 5 1/2 years of his career with Houston as the 'Stros tried to figure out if he was a catcher, or a first baseman or an outfielder.  In just 7 games he hit and even .300.  Eventually he would find his niche' as a DH/PH where he hit 196 homers and batted .258 over his career.  He held the record for career PH homers (20) until Matt Stairs broke it in 2010.  His career and reputation took a downturn in 1979 when he got into a brawl with Goose Gossage causing the HOF closer to miss 2 months of action.  For his troubles, Cliff was traded to major league baseball's version of an abyss...Cleveland.


A think we all know who James Rodney Richard is.  In the prime of his dominant career (1980) he was hit with a stroke and never played again.  His potential was limitless.  As a 23 year old fireballer trying to find his way he fanned 75 batters in 72 inings of work to post a 6-2, 4.00 record.  Just 3 short years later he would be a dominant 20 game winner, who eclipsed the 300 strikeout plateu twice and won 18 or more games for 5 straight years.  His stroke came right in the middle of his most dominating season (10-4, 1.90).  A tragic story to say the least.


1973 would be the final year in baseball as a manager for future HOF'er Leo the Lip.  Durocher took over the team midway through the '72 season and led them to mediocrity.  A win in his final game of the '73 season assured him of a winning record (82-80).  Leo began to tire and slow down during his years in Chicago.  By the time he arrived in Houston he was pushing 70 and out of gas.  He had issues relating to the "modern player" and at times needed to take medical leaves from the team.  Leo always contended that Cesar Cedeno was going to be the "next Willie Mays".  Cedeno turned in a fine major league career, with dashes of brilliance, but he was definitely no Willie Mays (who was?).

To see the remaining cards in the set (17) not displayed here, click on the link below to view the blog post.
http://1973cards.blogspot.com/2017/11/1 ... pl-nl.html
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 11th, 2017, 3:23 am #5

CLICK HERE to view the full blog post

1973 San Francisco Giants - 88-74 - 3rd Pl NL West - 11 GB
Bonds walk off Grand Slam on Memorial Day vs rival Dodgers
After finishing in 17 games under .500 and in 5th place in 1972 manager Charlie Fox got his Giants to win 19 more games than the previous season.  Not only did he get the team to within 2 wins of a 90 win season, but Fox was able to keep the team in contention until early September.  Giant fans were ecstatic that their team had a chance, but their enthusiasm didn't translate to clicks on the turnstile.  The Jint drew just 834,193 fans to "the Stick".  Only 3 teams drew worse.  Owner Horace Stoneham had similar issues nearly two decades earlier and moved his team west because of it.  Could it be the ballpark, the weather or the team.  It definitely wasn't the team.  Offensively the Giants scored the 3rd most runs in the league.  7 of their starters hit double digits in HR's with 27 year old Bobby Bonds smashing 39, while stealing 43 just narrowly missing being he first 40/40 man.  35 year old Stretch McCovey (.266-29-75) had an OBP of .420 in his final season in his first go-round in the Bay Area.  The outfield featured two emerging stars named Matthews and Maddox, who hit over .300.  Both could go get the ball with the best of them.  Along with Bonds they might have been the top OF in the NL in '73.  The most confounding player on the team would be another youngster named Dave Kingman, who blasted 24 homers in just 305 AB.  The Giants needed to find a position for him as they tried him at both corner IF spots and even a few times on the mound.  Speaking of the mound, could this be where the Giants underachieved?  If they did you can't blame it on Ron Bryant (24-12, 3.53).  Bryant, who built on his breakout '72 season would lead the league in wins and come in 3rd in the Cy Young Award balloting, would need help.  He'd get help in the form of inning eaters:  Jim Barr (231IP), Tom Bradley (224IP) and future HOF'er Juan Marichal (207IP).  Unfortunately that trio sported high ERA and sub .500 records (except Bradley who was 13-12).  The Giants pen was sound, but not spectacular.  Elias Sosa (10-4, 3.28, 18sv) was complimented by Randy Moffitt (4-4, 2.42, 14sv).  Jim Willoughby and Don Carrithers had high ERA's and WHIPs.  Fox got everything he could get out of 43 year old vet Don McMahon (4-0, 1.48, 6sv) in his next to last season.  So how does one read this Giants team?  Were they a team on the upswing transitioning from aging veterans to youth or were they a team getting one last hurrah before they faded away.  Sadly, history tells us that it was the latter.

To finish off the 1973 Giants team set I created 17 new cards.




With Willie Mays long gone from Giants and "Stretch" McCovey starting to age Bobby was thrust into the spotlight as the Giants true star.  While always prone to the strikeout, Bonds was a true blend of speed and power.  A member of the 30/30 club, Bonds was one HR short of being the MLB's first ever 40/40 man.  Topps originally issued a weird "action" horizontal card that looked like he was raising his hands in surrender.  This classic pose shot is much more in line for a guy who by 1973 was one of baseball's true superstars.  Here is a great cassette tape recording of him hitting a walk off grand slam vs the rival Dodgers on Memorial Day.



Manager Fox helped the Jints rebound nicely from a near 90 loss season the year before.  After a slow start the following year he was let go just before mid season.  In total his 4 1/2 years as the Giants skipper he posted a 348-327 record with a first place finish in 1971. Fox spent 33 years total in the Giants organization as a player, coach, scout, executive and manager.


Topps viewed Speier as an emerging star, so they issued him a horizontal card in the '73 set.  His .249 average would not reflect their optimism, but his glove sure did and his pop (11 homers) didn't hurt his cause either.  Speier was in the middle of 3 straight years as a NL All-Star.  By the middle of the '77 season he was dealt to the Expos for their shortstop Tim Foli.  In total, Speier would play 19 major league season with his final 3 as a return to San Fran as a utility infielder.  His return coincided with the Giants emergence as a playoff team in 1987.


The Giants initially signed Fuentes as an 18-year-old amateur before the start of the 1962 season. He was one of the last baseball players signed directly out of Cuba before the United States embargo against Cuba.  By 1973 he was in his 8th season with the Giants as their regular second baseman.  The following season would be his last in San Fran before moving south to San Diego in a deal for Derrel Thomas.  He played two great seasons in SD before moving to Detroit where he hit .309, but was let go to make room for some young kid named Whitaker.  After hitting just .140 with Oakland his major league career was over.  He played a bit in Santo Domingo before retiring and joining the Giants Spanish language broadcast team in 1981.  Fuentes has been in that role for 36 seasons and is a a fan favorite.  Originally Topps gave him a horizontal card in the '73 set.

To See the full blog post and the remaining cards (13) not displayed click on the link below:
http://1973cards.blogspot.com/2017/11/1 ... rd-pl.html
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 12th, 2017, 8:23 pm #6

1973 Los Angeles Dodgers - 95-66 - 2nd Pl NL West - 3.5 GB
CLICK HERE to view the full blog and all of the cards for the Dodgers that I created.



Walt Alston's young Dodger team beat the Expos 3-1 in 12 innings on June 17th to move into sole possession of 1st place.  The team would rattle off 14 wins in 16 games to take a 6 1/2 game lead in the NL West.  Things couldn't have been better as the team rattled off another streak of 12 wins in 14 games to go up by 8 1/2.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that at 69-35 they weren't able to shake the Big Red Machine.  By early September their lead had whittled down to just 2 games.  After a 9 game losing streak they found themselves now 2 games back and quickly fading.  By September 16th boys in blue were 6 1/2 games out and left for dead.  The venerable Alston rallied his troops to win 9 of their final 11 games, but they were only able to gain 3 games in the standings thanks to their only 2 losses being against a 99 win Cincy team that was on fire.

LA's starting lineup had just 2 players over the age of 30.  Left fielder Manny Mota (.314) was more or less a platoon player and 33 year old Willie Davis, a holdover from their mid 60's championship teams hit a robust .285 with 16 homers and gold glove defense.  The rest of the lineup proudly displayed the jewels of their productive farm system.  Names like Buckner, Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, Yeager and Crawford were all neophytes in their first pennant race, which would explain why the team was so streaky.  Their pitching staff was the best in the league with an even 3.00 ERA and a stout 1.161 WHIP.  With no 20 game winners, the Dodgers had the most solid 5 man rotation in the game.  28 year old Don Sutton was entering his 8th season with the club was now its ace.  Incredibly he only won 18 games (lost 10) with a 2.42 ERA and 0.983 WHIP.  Newly acquired former Angel Andy Messersmith (14-10, 2.70) was the team's second ace.  A trio of 30+ year old lefties:  Claude Osteen, Tommy John and Al Downing all appeared in 30 games.  There was no letup for opposing hitters vs this rotation.  The pen had virtually no weaknesses with veteran reliever Jim Brewer hitting the 20 save plateau and getting support from Charlie Hough,  Pete Richert and George Culver.  1973 would serve as the hor d'oeuvre with 1974's 102 win season being the main course.

In total I had to create 20 new cards to complete the '73 set.  Many of the players on this team were featured in rookie panel cards.


"Popeye's" original Topps card showcased Wes Parker, his predecessor, more than him, so I decided to create a this card for him.  Garvey apprenticed for almost 4 years behind the slick fielding Parker before finally getting a shot to platoon at 1st and left with Bill Buckner in 1973.  Garvey hit over .300 and showed that he was a gold glove caliber 1B.  The Dodgers were smart enough to reward him with the full time job and he paid them back and then some with an MVP 1974 and a string of 200 hit seasons.  Sadly it looks like his apprenticeship behind Parker might have cost him his spot in Cooperstown.  I have no doubt that he belongs there along with Gil Hodges.


On November 28, 1972, McMullen was part of a blockbuster trade, as he and Andy Messersmith were sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Billy Grabarkewitz, Frank Robinson, Bill Singer, Mike Strahler and Bobby Valentine.  McMullen played the 1973 season opener at third base, but was soon displaced by rookie Ron Cey. From there, he served mostly as a pinch hitter, going six-for-nineteen with a walk, two home runs and nine RBIs in that role. He spent two more seasons backing up Cey and pinch hitting in Los Angeles, clubbing a pinch hit grand slam against the San Diego Padres on April 24, 1975.


The Penguin shared space with Michael Jack Schmidt on a Topps Rookie Panel card.  Here he gets his own 1973 solo card.  Cey hit just .245 in 1973, but he had pop and was real good with the leather at the hot corner.  Everyone loved his play and for the next 10 seasons he was a fixture on the left side of the infield next to buddy Bill Russell.  Cey would finish 6th in the NL ROY voting in '73 and represent the Dodgers as a NL All-Star 6 consecutive times at 3rd base.  After moving on from LA he had 4 All Star Caliber seasons with the Cubbies and then one final season at the age of 39 in Oakland before retiring with a lifetime .261 average and 316 homers.  The highlight of his career was winning the World Series MVP in 1981 as the Dodgers finally solved their Yankee hex.

Paciorek was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968, one of 14 players drafted by the Dodgers that year to reach the majors. A top prospect, he was The Sporting News' Minor League Player of the Year in 1972. He spent the 1973 through 1975 seasons as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter. After hitting under .200 in 1975, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves as part of a trade for Dusty Baker. He hit .290 in a platoon role for Atlanta in 1976 but he struggled to duplicate those numbers the following year.  He then moved on to Seattle where he became an All-Star DH.  For Paciorek it was just a numbers game in LA, just like it was for Buckner.  Too many talented young guys all at once vying for the same spot.  Once he got going he was a right handed hitting machine.  He finished his 18 year career in Texas at the age of 40 hitting .283.

The "Quiet Man" was in his 20th season as the Dodgers skipper.  By 1973 Walter was the only Dodger manager to have won a World Championship (4).  He was the calm hand that took over a veteran team in Brooklyn in 1954 and won it all the following year.  He made the trip out West with the team and oversaw the transition from a power hitting veteran team to a pitching first speed team.  By 1973 he was 7 years removed from his last pennant, but nobody was clamoring for his head.  He was the right guy to bring the young bucks along and LA's farm system was rich with young talent.  His patience would be rewarded with a pennant in 1974.

In his 14th and final season with the Dodgers "3-Dog" hit .285 with 16 homers and 77 RBI's.  He also won his 3rd consecutive Gold Glove.  If some guys named Mays and Flood weren't in the NL during the 60's he probably would have wound a dozen of them.  In 14 seasons with the Dodgers he hit .279 with 154 HR's and 335 stolen bases.  This my friends was a true unheralded superstar who was overshadowed by the big names, but was irreplaceable until the Dodgers traded him to Montreal for reliever Mike Marshall, who was a key component in the 1974 pennant.  Davis spent an All-Star caliber season in Montreal then moved on to Texas, St. Louis and San Diego.  For all intents and purposes it looked like he retired after the '76 season, but two years later he made a successful comeback with the Angels as a DH/corner OF'er.  Fittingly he went 1-2 in the 1979 ALCS before retiring.  His '73 Topps card was horizontal, so I created a neat vertical card for him with a era reflective photo.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 12th, 2017, 8:27 pm #7

1973 Cincinnati Reds - 99-63 - 1st Pl NL West
CLICK HERE  To view the Blog Entry for the Reds and the remaining cards not posted




This was a vintage Big Red Machine team in all it's glory.  A lineup that put fear into anyone standing 60 feet 6 inches away from one of them.  The Reds didn't exactly cruise to the NL West title.  They had to claw their way back to topple the upstart Dodgers.  Their low point was on Saturday June 30th when they lost a 13 inning affair to the Dodgers, at home, 8-7.  That loss set the team back 11 games and left them with a record of 39-37.  In their darkest hour the team veterans rallied the team to 3 straight walk off wins over the Dodgers to move to within 8 games.  From that point on they kept closing like a ferocious tiger.  Then on September 4 they took a one game lead of the division and never looked back.  The Dodgers never quit, but the Reds were red hot going 19-8 in the final month of the season.  Roaring into the playoffs vs an 82-79 Met team the Reds were overwhelming favorites, but as luck would have it the Mets were hot too and they had world class pitching.  We all know what happens when great hitting meets up with great pitching in a short series, which is how the Mets hung on to win in 5 bitterly fought games.  So for the 3rd time in 4 years the heavily favored Reds entered the post season being the odds on favorite, only to come up short.  Pundits were starting to talk that this team couldn't win the big one.  Oddly enough they were starting to be compared to the 1950's version of the Dodgers.

The heart and soul of this team was none other than 32 year old NL MVP Peter Edward Rose (.338-5-64).  Charlie Hustle was the engine that drove the machine.  His pal Tony Perez posted another "quiet" 100 RBI year, while hitting .314.  All-World catcher Johnny Bench was just 25, but his name was now being mentioned along with luminaries like Berra and Campanella.  He hit "just" .253, but still managed to catch 152 games and knock in 104 runs.  Cincy did have some weak spots in their lineup.  Bobby Tolan (RF) and Cesar Geronimo (CF) both barely hit over .200.  Dennis Menke (.191) platooned with Dan Driessen (.301) at third and was definitely a weak spot.  Little Joe Morgan was a 20/20 man popping 26 homers and swiping 67 bags, with an OBP of .406.  The rotation was solid.  Jack Billingham (19-10, 3.04) logged 293 innings, while tossing 7 shutouts.  Young lefties Ross Grimsley (13-10, 3.23) and Don Gullett (18-8, 3.51) were well over 200+ innings as well.  In season acquision Fred Norman (12-6, 3.30) solidified  the rotation and helped spark the run.  The pen was outstanding with a pair of 14 save guys in Pedro Borbon and Clay Carroll.  Lefty Tom Hall saved 8 and offered balance.  Pitching wise the big disappointment was seeing ace Gary Nolan pitch 2 games before going down with an arm injury.  Just one year before he was 15-5, 1.99 in 25 starts.  Once can only imagine how good this team would have been with a healthy Nolan.

In total 15 new cards and one fix of an error card were created to finish off the set.



Driessen was signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 1969.  He made his major-league debut at age 21 on June 9, 1973 in an 8-4 Reds win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Starting at third base and batting sixth, he had one hit and one walk in five at-bats. His first career hit was a ninth-inning double off Jack Aker.  He had a productive rookie season, hitting .301 with four home runs and 47 runs batted in. Driessen received the nickname "The Cobra" during his rookie season because of the quick, lethal way his bat struck. He became Cincinnati's starting third baseman in 1974, but was soon replaced at that position by Pete Rose.  In 1976, Driessen became the National League's first-ever designated hitter in a World Series.  For years the Reds had trouble finding a permanent place for him in their loaded lineup, which is why they traded Perez to Montreal in 1977.  Driessen performed well, as Perez' replacement, but never had the same "pop" as Doggie, or his clubhouse presence.


After starting the season at 1-7 in San Diego, Norman got the ultimate "get out of jail free card" when the Reds sent Mike Johnson and Gene Locklear with some cash to acquire him on June 12th.  Interestingly that's right about the time that the Reds, who desperately needed a 4th starter began to turn it around.  Norman was 12-6, 3.30 over the final 3 months of the season and was a major reason the team caught LA and won the NL West.  He wold be a fixture in the rotation for the next 6 seasons winning two Championship rings with the Reds ('74 & '75).


In just 25 games as a September call up Ken Griffey ripped the cover off the ball hitting a rabid .384, which earned him a starting spot in right field the following season.  Griffey was a key spark-plug for the Big Red Machine in his 12 seasons at Riverfront, where he hit .303.  In total he would play 19 seasons and hit .296 lifetime.  Most importantly he got to play in the same lineup with his future HOF son.  They even hit back to back homers.  Griff was some player in his prime.


What's left to say about George "Sparky" Anderson that you don't already know?  In 9 seasons at the helm of the Reds (1970-78) he had one losing season (1971), which was due to injuries.  He won 5 NL West Crowns, 4 NL Pennants and 2 World Championships.  "Dr. Hook" was the best darn manager that Cincy ever had and Dick Wagner made a huge mistake canning him after the '78 season.  When he won the World Series in Detroit in 1984 he felt vindicated.  He was the first manager to win a championship in both leagues.  His career record in Cincy was 863-586 for an almost .600 winning %.  He was elected to the HOF in 2000 by the Veteran's Committee.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 13th, 2017, 11:28 pm #8

1973 Philadelphia Phillies - 71-91 - 6th Pl NL East - 11.5 GB

The NL East was so bad in 1973, even the 91 loss Phillies were still in contention as September rolled around.  How can I make such a statement?  Well the Mets, who eventually won the division were in dead last place behind the Phils at that point.  I throw out another bizarre stat regarding ace Steve Carlton who went 13-20, 3.90.  Lefty won 27 games the previous season.  If he had won 27 games in '73 the Phils would have won 85 games and took the division by 3 games.  Let that sink in for a while before you read on.

OK, now that you've let that sink in lets first congratulate the Phils for getting 12 more wins over the previous disastrous season (1972).  That's a huge leap forward for a team that was trying to infuse a lot of young talent all at once at the major league level.  The average age was just 26.6.  Rookie Mike Schmidt showed glimpses of brilliance at third, but hit just .196.  Philly fans thought he was a bust.  What in the heck do they know anyway ?  Greg Luzinski (22) played in 161 games and hit .285 and came up one HR short of 30.  Former Yankee underachiever Bill Robinson finally put it all together at the age of 30 and hit .288 with 25 long balls.  25 year old Bob Boone firmly established himself behind the plate defensively and chipped in with 10 homers and a .261 average.  Things were really starting to turnaround in South Philly.  Record wise Carlton took a big step back, but lefty had a huge amount of pressure to carry this team + he threw well over 300 innings the year before and close to 300 this season.  Wayne Twitchell (13-9, 2.50) was a pleasant surprise as the team's #2 starter.  Ken Brett (13-9, 3.44) chipped in 211 innings as the #3 guy.  After that the rotation was very soft.  Vet Jim Lonborg won way more games (13-16, 4.88) than his ERA suggest and rookie Dick Ruthven (6-9, 4.21) was learning on the job.  The pen was sub par despite some deceiving stats.  Lefty Mac Scarce (1-8, 2.42, 12sv) blew a lot of save opportunities and let in a lot of inherited runs, which is why his personal ERA was fine.  The rest of the pen was pure kerosene on the fire.  Forget the last place finish here, this team was building the right way which would pay dividends in just a few short years.

To finish off the card set I added 21 new cards.  CLICK HERE to view the full blog post and all 21 cards


A rookie panel card is just not good enough for this future All-Star catcher.  Boone's '73 season would earn him the 3rd spot in the NL ROY balloting.  He would go on to become a key fixture behind the dish for the Phils as the team rose from the ashes into a championship team over the next 8 seasons.  Booney would spend 19 seasons catching on the major league level before moving into managing at the age of 42.  He won 7 GG's and was a 4x All-Star.  He was just a great catcher, who made pitchers better and runners think twice.  The fact that he had a .254 career BA was a bonus.

After 7 years as a starter with the Twins Tovar joined the Phillies with the hopes that he would keep 3B warm until that Schmidt kid got hot.  Tovar was a master at playing anywhere on the diamond, so he was easily deployed in any outfield or infield spot.  A huge weapon to have as a manager, especially since he regularly hit just a shade under .300.  In must 97 games during the '73 season he hit only .268 (below his lifetime avg) with just 1 home run.  At season's end the Phils sold his contract to Texas where he rebounded nicely.  Tovar would hang around the game until the '76 season where he finished up with the pennant winning Yankees.  Rather than tool around the minors or call it quits he headed to the Mexican League for 3 more solid seasons.



In Ozark's first season at the helm the Phightin's improved their record by 12 games.  Under his care the young Phillies stud players matured and blossomed.  The team improved steadily and in his 4th season won over 100 games and the first of 3 consecutive NL East Titles.  Unfortunately for Ozark the team could not "win the big one" and never made the World Series.  He was fired midway through the '79 season as the team was under .500 due to injuries.  His replacement, Dallas Green, won it all the following year.  Nicknamed, "Mr. Malaprop" for his bizarre, but hysterical quotes, Ozark kept the fans and press entertained off the field as well as on the field.  Some examples were:  "Mike Anderson (OF'er) limitations were limitless" or when after a big loss, "Even Napoleon had his Watergate".  At times his math skills failed him.  After being eliminated by the Pirates (7 up with 6 to go) he said, "We're not out of it yet...If we win all our games & they lose all of theirs we're still alive".




After winning the 1967 AL Cy Young Award Lonborg was never the same pitcher.  By the time the 31 year old arrived in Philly he wasn't an elite pitcher any more.  His 13-16, 4.88 record in '73 backs up this statement.  Still he was able to rebound and give the Phils some nice seasons in support of Carlton/Ruthven and company.  Sadly he hung it up in '79 and missed the '80 Championship season.  In 7 years with the Phils he compiled a 75-60, 3.98 record and pitched in 2 NLCS's.  After leaving the game he went to Tufts and got his degree in dentistry.  Dr. James Lonborg practiced as a dentist from 1983-2017, before retiring after 35 years in practice.



Rescued from the dreaded Topps Rookie Panel Card that he shared with Ron Cey and Dave Hilton, Michael Jack Schmidt receives his first solo card in his HOF career.  Don't thing for one second that he was an overnight sensation.  In 132 games he hit just .196 with 18 homer runs, while striking out 1/3 of the time.  Schmitty heard it from the fans at the Vet.  Thankfully the patient Danny Ozark stayed the course with the young slugger and the rest as they say, "is history".
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Montañez arrived in Philly by accident in 1969 when Curt Flood refused to report and the blockbuster trade was about to collapse.  St. Louis inserted Montañez into the trade to complete it.  After finishing 2nd in the 1971 ROY voting he had somewhat of a sophomore jinx hitting just .247 with 17 less homers.  '73 was sort of a bounceback year for him as he moved from centerfield to 1st base, which he hoped to anchor for the Phils for the next decade.  That would not happen as he was dealt to the Giants on May 4, 1975 for Gary Maddox.  That deal was a huge steal for Philly as they added the best defensive centerfielder in the game for a guy who was about to embark into journeyman status.  Montañez tooled around the big leagues for 14 seasons and was labeled an underachiever and sometime a "hot dog".  Things came full circle when he returned to Philly for 18 games in 1982 before retiring.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 13th, 2017, 11:38 pm #9

1973 Chicago Cubs - 77-84 - 5th Pl NL East - 5 GB
CLICK HERE to view all of the Cubs cards that I made



Rather than write a synopsis of the Cubbies '73 season I decided to use this succinct one that I found while Googling the team.  It was written by an anonymous source and posted on Wiki-Pedia, so you know it's got to be true :) !!!
After a strong finish to the 1972 season, the Cubs dominated the National League East for the first half of 1973. On June 29, they were 47–31 with an 8.5 game lead in the National League East. But then the Cubs fell into a deep swoon, losing 33 of their next 42 games, including 11 straight losses from August 4–16, to fall below .500 and out of the division lead. However, the rest of the division was so mediocre that it was nicknamed the "National League Least", enabling the Cubs to stay in contention even as they remained below .500.

In fact, 1973 was the only season between 1945 and 1984 in which the Cubs were still in contention on the last day of the regular season, September 30. Due to several rainouts, the Cubs still had four games to play against the first place Mets, so double headers were scheduled for September 30 and October 1, the day after the end of the season. If the Cubs were to win all four games, there could have been an unprecedented five-way tie for first place, with each team having a below .500 record of 80–82 (also unprecedented). It would have taken at least three days of games to break a five-way tie.
Rain was still in the forecast for both days, and with Wrigley Field having no lights, National League president Chub Feeney ordered both double headers to start at 10AM (again, unprecedented), making it clear that the umpires would wait out any rain as long as there was daylight.

The Cubs won the first game on September 30, and suddenly it seemed possible that the most unusual end to any season of baseball might happen. But the Mets won the second game, eliminating three of the teams, including the Cubs. On a dismal October 1, in light cold rain, the Mets won the first game and clinched the NL East. The second game was immediately canceled. Milt Pappas was scheduled to pitch for the Cubs in the second game, and the cancellation cost him his chance for his 100th victory in the National League.
Chicago had only 2 players under the age of 30 in their starting lineup, which had been together for a lot of years where they came up short.  Their offense really falter.  When did you ever expect to see a Cub team finish 10th in the league in runs scored ???  30 year old Fergie Jenkins had a rough year (14-16, 3.89), but still logged 271 innings.  Youngsters Burt Hooton and Rick Reuschel got their chance and did quite well.  A customary 20 win season from Fergie would have given them the division.  35 year old Bob Locker (10-6, 2.54, 18 sv) was the most reliable guy in the pen.  Jack Aker (4-5, 4.10, 12sv) was hit hard all season.

In total I had to create 18 new Cubs Cards to finish off the set.



Rookie "Andy" Thornton hit an even .200 in 35 AB's for the Cubbies in '73.  Over the next two seasons he progressed into a genuine long ball threat, but for some unknown reason the team soured on him and traded him to the Expos midway through the '76 season.  After a lousy half season north of the border he went to Cleveland where he was their DH for a decade smashing 212 homers and winning a silver slugger in 1984.  After the '87 season he retired from the game.


After starting the season 2-1, 11.25 Pizarro was sold to the Astros on July 8th.


22 year old rookie Ray Burris was 1-1, 2.92 in 31 relief appearance in 1973.  In 2 seasons he would move into the Cub rotation for the 4 seasons before becoming a "well traveled" veteran.  He would go 108-134 in 15 MLB seasons as a member of 7 different franchises.  Currently he is the pitching coach for the Phillies AAA affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

Chicago was the 2nd of 3 stops for the "Beeg Boy" in 1973.  In his brief stint (22 games) with the Cubs he hit .214 with 1 homer.  When everyone thought his career was over due to leg injuries he found a home in the AL (Cleveland) as a DH which added 6 years to his career where he finished with a .299 lifetime average and 204 HR's.


LaRussa spent the entire '72 season in AAA and hit .308.  He spent all but one AB in AAA in '73 and hit .314.  He was branded a "quadruple A" player and never given a chance to return to the majors, as a player that is.  By playing in the Oakland, White Sox and Cardinal minor league chains he impressed management with his analytical and organizational skills, which he parlayed into a HOF managerial career.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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December 16th, 2017, 6:34 am #10

https://1973cards.blogspot.com/2017/11/ ... pl-nl.html
1973 Montreal Expos - 79-83 - 4th Pl NL East - 3.5 GB

During their first four seasons, the Montreal Expos were never in first place after April.1 In 1973, however, Montreal got its first case of pennant fever amid a five-team dogfight for the National League East Division title. On the evening of Monday, September 17, the Expos climbed into a virtual tie for first place after winning the opening game of a doubleheader at Jarry Park. The stirring 5-4 victory came on a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth. Its strange ending was a communication lapse that let an infield popup fall.  That taste of life at the top was fleeting, because Montreal lost the nightcap, a 12-inning crusher. In a turnabout, a win slipped away from the Expos in the ninth inning. They did not hold the lead again in a September pennant race until 1979.
To read the rest of this story, written by Rory Costello, CLICK HERE.



To complete the set I added 23 new Expos Cards.


Catching prospect Barry Foote zoomed through the Expos system after being drafted 3rd overall in the 1970 draft.  After hitting .262 with 19 homers in AAA he was invited to join the big team in September where he went 4-6 in 6 games worth of action.  After hitting .262 the following season the Expos were so convinced that he was going to be a star behind the plate, they moved Gary Carter to RF.  After hitting .194, .234 and .245 in successive seasons they realized that Carter was the true star and Foote was nothing more than a backup.  To clear the deck for Carter Foote was dealt to  Phlly midway through the '77 season.  After seeing very limited action as the Phils' 3rd catcher he moved on to Chicago where he had a decent 1979 season with the Cubbies (.254-16-56).  1980 saw his playing time and batting average drop.  '81 saw him move on to the Yankees where he played the next two seasons as a backup to Rick Cerone.  He finished his career hitting .385 (in 7 games) for the Columbus Clippers (NYY-AAA).


On September 6, 1973 the Expos picked up the 38 year old Alou off of waivers from the Yankees where he hit just .236 in 93 games.  In 19 games down the stretch in Montreal he hit just .208.  His 3 AB's for Milwaukee in 1974 would mark the end of a great major league career that lasted 17 seasons

1973 would mark the closest Mauch would get his overachieving Expos into the post season.  Mauch spent 7 seasons in Montreal turning an expansion team into a respectable bunch.  Mauch would spend 17 seasons behind the bench, but never appeared in the World Series.  He was one out away from it in 1986, his next to last year.  His 499-627, .443 record in Montreal was impressive considering he managed them in their formative years.



Iron Mike was in his 4th and final season in Montreal where he led the league in appearances (92) and saves (31).  Marshall was coveted by the Dodgers who traded All Star CF'er Willie Davis to Montreal in exchange for Marshall's services.  All Marshall did was appear in 106 game, win the Cy Young Award and deliver LA it's first pennant in 8 seasons.  Marshall had an outstanding career as a reliever leading the league in saves 3 times.  Marshall, who owns a Ph.D in kinesiology recommended that his teammate Tommy John get a radical surgery in 1974 to save his career.  He now advocates a special pitching motion designed to save pitchers from arm injuries.



Rogers burst onto the scene on July 18th by defeating the Houston Astros 3-2 in his major league debut.  He would win his first 4 starts before being handed his first loss.  He had a 6 game winning streak from late August to mid September and single-handedly pitched the Expos into contention.  His 10-5, 1.54 record earned him a second place showing in the ROY voting.  Rogers would eventually settle into the role as ace of the Expos staff and in 13 big league seasons he would be the winningest pitcher in franchise history (158-152, 3.17).  Rogers is now an executive for the MLBPA.
KOD26 - Teams that Crumbled or Faded - http://www.distantreplay.org/MLB/KOD26/
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