Tuesday, March 5, 2013

no. 152 - angels rookie stars

Who is the man: Both Lloyd Allen and Winston Llenas had appeared in the major leagues two years before this card was produced. Llenas, in fact, was in the majors in 1968. But both spent most of 1970 in the minors with Llenas, in particular, excelling, knocking in 108 and hitting .339 for Hawaii in the Pacific Coast League.

Can ya dig it: Another Yankee Stadium shot in the Llenas photo. Topps sure liked getting that frieze in there.

Right on: I have had this card since I was a teenager and have always thought it was cool that Topps paired one player with a double L in his first name with another player with a double L in his last name.

You see these rookies are bad mothers: The only place rookies are bad mothers is in Bowman, and in 1971 Bowman didn't exist! Sit down, rook!

Shut your mouth: Lloyd Allen was a Jewish convert and while with the Angels became friends with longtime coach Jimmie Reese. Reese nicknamed Allen "Sandy," saying that Allen was "the right-handed Sandy Koufax."

No one understands him but his woman: Llenas was known as one of the greatest power hitters of his time in the Mexican League. So it amuses me that on both his 1974 and 1975 cards, he is shown bunting.

(A word about the back): Llenas is one of the earlier major league products from the Dominican Republic, helping open the door to the U.S. for hundreds of Dominican ballplayers.


  1. And if I recall correctly, Llenas was actually pronounced like it had a G: "Genniss."

  2. The 1970 Hawaiian Islander club is considered 38th all time best minor league by Mibl.com. They are a relatively recent club in a list dominated by teams from the 1920's and 1930's. The team consisted of several MLB veterans (who may have been drawn to idea of playing in Hawaii) and California Angels prospects.