Saturday, July 28, 2012

no. 77 - mike compton

Who is the man: Mike Compton was a rookie in 1970. He had just completed his first and only season in the major leagues. He would spend the 1971, 1972 and 1973 seasons in the minors.

Can ya dig it: Not a bad photo for a man's only card. Certainly could be worse.

Right on: Rookie card! Final card!

You see this cat Compton is a bad mother: Compton is the inventor of something called "The Ball Hawg," which is a ball-retrieving device that's basically a long tube. You wouldn't think that would be all that bad-ass. But check out all the testimonials from former major leaguers. That's kind of impressive.

Shut your mouth: Compton was called up to the majors because Phillies catchers Tim McCarver and Mike Ryan both suffered injuries (supposedly in the same game). He was one of several catchers the Phillies tried out that year. But Compton hit just .164 in 47 games and was demoted before the season was out.

Cards of players like this often make me wonder whether Topps included players like this in the set just because the set was so large. Topps had to know going in that it was going to have 752 cards in 1971 and they grasped at anyone who filled out a major league uniform.

No one understands him but his woman: The man had just one baseball card. That's a tale few can tell.

(A word about the back): "Recalled by the Phillies, 1970, when injuries sidelined two receivers, Mike made All-State team in Semi-Pro ball, '64."

OK, those two thoughts do not go together. I am assuming the writer jumped from 1970 to 1964 because he didn't wanted to deal with the reality of the situation.

"Recalled by the Phillies, 1970, when injuries sidelined two receivers, Mike managed just 18 hits in 110 at-bats."

See? That's ugly.


  1. I always imagined the 60's and 70's Topps sets with series as kind of static. The first few series obviously had set numbers. But those last couple of series always seem to have such an odd number of cards, I always imagined they just kind of stuck players in there. Maybe I'm crazy in this line of thought, but hey, it wouldn't be the first time.

    That said, I love catching poses and if my only Major League card was one, I would be very pleased, even with this one.

  2. Night Owl,

    McCarver and Ryan broke their hands in the same INNING that day. The Phillies called up both their triple-A catchers the next day (Compton and Del Bates) and activated their bullpen coach Doc Edwards, a former catcher who last played in the bog leagues several years earlier.

    Oddly enough, their backup catcher in 1969 (Dave Watkins) wasn't even in pro ball in 1970. I wonder what happened to him?

  3. I agree with the penguin, I'd take that card any day.