Monday, September 15, 2014

no. 329 - 1970 world series, game 3

Who is the man: The man about to cross the plate is Frank Robinson (or "F. Robinson," as the card reads), who hit a solo home run in the third inning, one of his three hits in Game 3.

Can ya dig it: If that is a photo of the aftermath of Robinson's home run, then the person shaking hands with him is Paul Blair, who batted behind Robinson in this game. Blair would single but then was caught stealing second base.

Right on: The home plate umpire in this game was Tony Venzon.

You see this cat Robinson is a bad mother: Robinson singled in the first and scored on Brooks Robinson's two-run double, homered in the third, and singled in the seventh in the Orioles' 9-3 victory. The Orioles led the Series 3-0 at the end of Game 3.

Shut your mouth: There were two stories in this game. Orioles starter Dave McNally pitched a complete game and hit a grand slam in the sixth inning. Also, Brooks Robinson made three amazing plays at third base, prompting a standing ovation from the Orioles crowd when he came to the plate in the sixth. Either one of those stories would have been more appropriate than F. Robinson showing some muscle.

No one understands him but his woman: McNally, who hit the first grand slam by a pitcher in a World Series, wasn't the only pitcher with a notable grand slam to his credit playing in this game. The Reds starting pitcher, Tony Cloninger, is the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game, which he did for the Braves in 1966.

(A word about the back): Reading McNally's line here you have no clue that he did anything special.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

no. 328 - 1970 world series, game 2

Who is the man: Left fielder Don Buford is the man shown here. He did indeed go 2-for-4, although I don't know if it was particularly exceptional. There were other Orioles who did more during their second straight win in the Series.

Can ya dig it: That is a wicked cut by Buford. It looks like he's trying for more than a single, which is all Buford got in Game 2.

Right on: I suspect this photo wasn't taken at Riverfront Stadium either. Also, Johnny Bench makes yet another appearance.

You see that cat Buford is a bad mother: Buford led off the game with a base hit. He also provided the second hit in the pivotal five-run sixth inning by the Orioles. He scored the Orioles' third run of the game on a hit by Boog Powell.

Shut your mouth: The star of this game was probably Elrod Hendricks, who capped the sixth-inning rally with a two-run double that put the Orioles ahead 6-4 (they started the inning trailing 4-1).

No one understands him but his woman: The Reds led 4-0 at one point, but Lee May's two-run double in the first inning was pretty much forgotten by the end of the Orioles' 6-5 victory.

(A word about the back): A combined nine pitchers were used in this game. That's more like a modern pitching workload.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

no. 327 - 1970 world series, game 1

Who is the man: Just like the first game of the ALCS, Boog Powell is the man here. Powell's home run was a two-run blast in the fourth inning that kicked off the Orioles' scoring. The Reds had led 3-0 until his home run.

Can ya dig it: Full-color photos for the World Series! This was the first time Topps had used full-color photography in its World Series subsets since probably 1963 (I believe the color WS subsets in 1964 and 1965 were mostly colored-in black-and-white photos). I'm sure these were out-of-sight cool in 1971, because they're still cool now.

Right on: That's Johnny Bench behind the plate.

You see this cat Powell is a bad mother: After Powell's home run, Elrod Hendricks followed with a tying home run in the fifth, and Brooks Robinson put the Orioles ahead for good with solo home run in the seventh. The Orioles won 4-3.

Shut your mouth: Robinson was a bigger deal in the game than Powell. Not only did his home run decide the game, but he began what this World Series would become known for with his first terrific play at third base. Robinson's backhand snare of Lee May's hard grounder and throw to first came the inning before the decisive home run.

No one understands him but his woman: This was the first World Series game ever played on artificial turf. When Robinson was asked if he could play field on artificial turf, Robinson said, "I'm a major league third baseman. If you want to go play in a parking lot, I'm supposed to stop the ball."

(A word about the back): Robinson also had an error in this game. Nobody ever brings that up.

Friday, September 5, 2014

no. 326 - richie scheinblum

Who is the man: Richie Scheinblum was a minor league player in 1970. He didn't appear in the majors at all. Yet, Topps was kind enough to give him a card.

Can ya dig it: Scheinblum was signed by the Indians and spent the first six years of his pro career with them. He's actually wearing an Indians jersey in this picture.

Right on: Sweaty and cap-less. Not a good combination.

You see this cat Scheinblum is a bad mother: Scheinblum led the American Association in batting when he hit .388 in 1971. It was the highest batting average in the AA in 20 years.

Shut your mouth: Scheinblum's mother was born in the Ukraine and related to Moe Berg, the former MLB catcher who worked as a spy during World War II.

No one understands him but his woman: Scheinblum moved on to play in Japan after his major league career ended. He played for the Hiroshima Carp and helped the team make the Japanese World Series. Scheinblum was Jewish and when Yom Kippur landed on the same day as a World Series game, he didn't play. The Japanese were fascinated by this. "Fifty Japanese reporters came to my apartment to watch me pray," Scheinblum said.

(A word about the back): I think this is the first card where 1970 is nothing but zeroes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

no. 325 - juan marichal

Who is the man: Juan Marichal endured probably the worst season of his career to date in 1970. After back-to-back 20-win seasons, he managed just 12 victories (against 10 losses) and his ERA sailed over 4 for the first time. It was pretty much the beginning of the end, although Marichal would bounce back for one more good year in 1971.

Can ya dig it: With the way Marichal pitched and fell off to the left side of the mound, I don't think he was ever as ready for a comebacker as he is displaying in this here photo.

Right on: I'm pretty certain if I was a Dodger rooter in the 1960s that he would be my least favorite player.

You see this cat Marichal is a bad mother: Dude bludgeoned a catcher over the head for tickling his ear with a return throw to the mound.

Shut your mouth: One of Marichal's nicknames was "Laughing Boy" because he always seemed to be smiling.

No one understands him but his woman: Marichal never won a Cy Young Award and was passed over for the Hall of Fame twice.

(A word about the back): It still bothers me that '71 Topps in its write-ups would go all the way back to minor league statistics for established veteran players.

Friday, August 29, 2014

no. 324 - graig nettles

Who is the man: Graig Nettles had just completed his breakout season in 1970, hitting 26 home runs in 157 games for the Indians.

Can ya dig it: A pretty cool action shot of Nettles in a stadium I should know, but I don't because I was 4 in 1970 and everything looks different. Topps revisited this Nettles pose when he was with the Yankees.

Right on: This is Nettles' first card in which he's wearing an Indians uniform. He's listed as an Indian in the 1970 Topps set, but he's really in a Twins uniform.

You see this cat Nettles is a bad mother: Grrrrr, something about Game 3 of the 1978 World Series, grrrrr.

Shut your mouth: Nettles badmouthed Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in the book "Balls," which was released before the 1984 season. It earned Nettles a trade to San Diego in March of that year.

No one understands him but his woman: I remember when Nettles contracted hepatitis in 1980 and had to miss a lot of the season. It was the first time I had heard of anyone getting hepatitis.

(A word about the back): Nine days late on posting this on his 70th birthday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

no. 323 - billy champion

Who is the man: After appearing in 23 games as a rookie in 1969, Billy Champion spent most of his 1970 season in the minors. What few appearances he had in the majors that year didn't end well.

Can ya dig it: Billy's first name isn't Billy at all! It's Buford! It's right there in the signature! (Champion's middle name is Billy. Not "Bill", but "Billy", like a good North Carolina boy).

Right on: Somewhere between now and 1975, Champion acquired the habit of dotting the I's in his signature with circles.

You see this cat Champion is a bad mother: I have mentioned this at least a few times, but I always thought "Billy Champion" was the best name for an athlete ever.

Shut your mouth: The Phillies traded Billy Champion and Don Money to the Brewers in 1972. That's right, they traded two of the most awesome baseball names of the '70s in the same deal. They deserved to lose all their playoff series that decade.

No one understands him but his woman: Champion worked as a pitching coach for a professional team in Taiwan in 2010.

(A word about the back): As a youngster, Champion was known for impressive strikeout games like the 22-K game. He also struck out 19 in a game for the Gastonia, N.C. Legion team in 1964.