Friday, July 3, 2015

no. 428 - jim mc andrew

Who is the man: Jim McAndrew was coming off the most prolific season of his seven-year major league career, appearing in 32 games in 1970 and pitching in 184 innings.

Can ya dig it: This is an early favorite of mine from the '71 set. I acquired it in those early bunch of cards I landed in a trade as a youngster and I couldn't have been more thrilled with this card, even though I had no idea who he was.

Right on: The crowd makes the shot. It looks like a well-attended game.

You see that cat McAndrew is a bad mother: McAndrew began the 1972 season with a 9-3 mark for the Mets.

Shut your mouth: McAndrew lost the first four starts of his career because the Mets were shut out in each game. The scores of those games were 2-0, 2-0, 1-0 and 1-0. He began his career with an 0-4 mark and a 1.82 ERA.

No one understands him but his woman: McAndrew pitched in 146 games for the Mets between 1968 and 1973 but didn't appear in a single inning in the Mets' postseason appearances in 1969 and 1973.

(A word about the back): "Co-holder of Mets' club mark with 23 consecutive scoreless innings, August 1969, Jim is a veteran of Little League ball." ... Those two things have nothing to do with each other.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

no. 427 - bernie allen

Who is the man: Bernie Allen had completed his fourth season with the Senators when this card was issued. He shared time at second base with Tim Cullen in 1970.

Can ya dig it: I'm guessing the dude in yellow shirt and brown pants is a sportswriter. He has that sportswriter feel (and he's holding what could be a notebook).

Right on: Allen is one of those people who doesn't dot the "I" in his name. I don't know how you keep yourself from doing that.

You see that cat Allen is a bad mother: Allen finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1962 while playing for the Twins.

Shut your mouth: Allen was a quarterback for Purdue in the late '50s/early '60s. He also kicked field goals and in 1960, his field goal beat No. 3 Ohio State. After the game, Allen went looking for Ohio State coach Woody Hayes, who had told him he was too small to play in the Big Ten. "I just wanted to ask him if I was too small to play, but he just took off and ran away from me," Allen said.

No one understands him but his woman: Allen is kind of the forgotten man at second base for the Twins in the 1960s. He took over for Billy Martin at second in 1962. And Allen relinquished the second base job to Rod Carew in 1967.

(A word about the back): Very odd that Topps is mentioning that Allen is the team's player rep. I wonder how many times that's appeared on the back of a baseball card?

Friday, June 26, 2015

no. 426 - chris cannizzaro

Who is the man: Chris Cannizzaro was coming off the most productive season of his 13-year major league career. In 111 games in 1970, he batted .279, 59 points higher than the previous year in which he was an All-Star.

Can ya dig it: See the two guys in the background? I wonder if the guy on the right is leaning over to spit?

Right on: If Cannizzaro was a player today, I shudder to think what his signature would look like. That autograph there is pretty awesome.

You see that cat Cannizzaro is a bad mother: Cannizzaro was the first Padre ever named to the All-Star Game.

Shut your mouth: Cannizzaro caught all 23 innings of a game the Mets played against the Giants on May 31, 1964.

No one understands him but his woman: Casey Stengel, known for mispronouncing, or plain just forgetting his players' names, referred to Cannizzaro as "Canzoneri".

(A word about the back): Cannizzaro is among 10 catchers to have two unassisted double plays in his career. Cannizzaro is one of only two catchers to perform the feat in back-to-back seasons. But Frank Crossin (1914) and Jorge Posada (2000) did it twice in the same season.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

no. 425 - doug rader

Who is the man: Doug Rader was coming off one of his most productive power seasons (career-high 25 home runs) and his first Gold Glove season when this card was released.

Can ya dig it: I think Rader is harboring some tobacco.

Right on: The pitcher is in front of you, Doug, not over at third base. Then again, he's batting from behind the on-deck circle, so I'd be confused where to look, too.

You see that cat Rader is a bad mother: Rader won five straight Gold Gloves at third base between 1970-74.

Shut your mouth: Rader was a notoriously unpopular manager for both the Rangers and Angels. When he was let go by the Angels, outfielder Devon White said: "I was happy when Doug got fired, I'm not going to lie."

No one understands him but his woman: Rader in a famed TV interview with former major leaguer Jim Bouton, advised Little Leaguers to eat the bubble gum in their baseball card packs, but also to eat the cards, too. "They should only eat the cards of the good ballplayers. Say you got a kid who's 5-foot-1. Let him eat a Willie McCovey card. Willie's 6-4. The kid may grow. You never can tell."

(A word about the back): Rader's .333 batting average in his first season came in 47 games and 162 at-bats.

Monday, June 22, 2015

no. 424 - roberto rodriquez

What a card: This is the first and only solo Topps card of Roberto Rodriguez. He spent his 1970 season with three different major league teams, pitching for the A's, Padres and Cubs.

Can ya dig it: Notice that Topps refers to Roberto as "Rodriquez," with a "Q". This, after he appeared on multi-player rookie stars cards in both the 1968 and 1969 sets as "Rodriguez," spelled with a "G".

Right on: Rodriguez didn't pitch for the Cubs until late June 1970. But there he is in a Cubs uniform. Good job, Topps.

You see that cat Rodriguez is a bad mother: Rodriguez pitched for a long time in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. He was the first pitcher in league history to achieve 50 career wins and 50 career saves.

Shut your mouth: Rodriguez didn't play in another major league game after this card was issued. He was in the Cubs' minor league system through 1974.

No one understands him but his woman: Rodriguez was nicknamed "Pluto," according to his wikipedia page. I could find no reason why.

(A word about the back): As a catcher for Daytona Beach in the Florida State League in 1963, Rodriguez batted a mere .173 in 133 at-bats.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

no. 423 - tigers rookie stars

Who is the man: Both Dennis Saunders and Tim Marting spent most of 1970 playing in the minors. Marting spent all of 1970 with the Tigers' Triple A team in Toledo. Saunders played in Toledo as well as in Double A Montgomery, Ala.. He also appeared in eight games for the Tigers.

Can ya dig it: This is the fourth one of these Rookie Stars cards in which neither player would have another card. Rookie Stars? Ha!

Right on: This is the second Tigers Rookie stars card in the set. The players on the first one fared better than these two did.

You see these rookies are bad mothers: Nope, nope and nope. No wonder the Tigers would go in the tank four years from the time this card appeared with rookies like this. Both players were out of baseball by the time 1972 was done.

Shut your mouth: Marting worked in a degree at Florida Southern College while he was playing in the minors for the Tigers. Single at the time, he told the paper in Toledo, "There's no way I could work a wife into my schedule."

No one understands him but his woman: Saunders looks like he's going to be sick.

(A word about the back): Topps doesn't tell you that Marting's .308 batting average at Lakeland in 1967 came in 15 games.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

no. 422 - frank bertaina

Who is the man: Frank Bertaina spent time with both the Orioles and Cardinals organizations in 1970. He did most of his work with Baltimore's Triple A team in Rochester, N.Y. He was purchased by the Cardinals on Aug. 14, 1970.

Can ya dig it: It stuns me that Topps has a card of Bertaina in a Cardinals uniform given the late date at which he came over to the Cardinals -- he pitched in just eight games for them.

Right on: This is the final card of Bertaina's career.

You see that cat Bertaina is a bad mother: Bertaina's first major league victory was a 1-0 complete-game one-hitter against the Kansas City A's in 1964. Pitching for the Orioles, Bertaina allowed a fifth-inning double to A's catcher Doc Edwards and that was it.

Shut your mouth: Orioles reliever Moe Drabowsky gave Bertaina the nickname "Toys in the Attic," because of Bertaina's quirky behavior.

No one understands him but his woman: Bertaina's first solo Topps card is in the 1965 set. Then, in the 1966 Topps set, he appears on a three-player rookie card with Davey Johnson and Gene Brabender. I'm not sure if that's happened any other time.

(A word about the back): Click on the images and you'll see this card isn't in great condition. It's one of the '71 cards I traded for back in the late 1970s. It's a bit of a rarity because most of the '71 cards I got in the deal came from the first three series.