It’s been a crazy week since I last posted. No chance to play as I had freelance on top of work. Heck, even today — working from home for a dentist cleaning — work was too busy to escape to a different LCS I hadn’t been to in maybe 10 months. But alas, it was a good day because these goodies arrived in the mail.
I am putting together a vintage 70’s album with all the Topps I had in a shoebox and top loaders, plus my recent Hostess, Kelloggs pick ups, as well as a couple of other items. I realized while thumbing through some of the years there were a number of cards I wanted to add to this collection. This is the first batch of several coming to me this week and next.
Today’s haul includes two Hall of Famers, four MVP Awards, a collected 49 All-Star Game selections, sixteen Gold Gloves, and 10 Silver Slugger Awards — and a guy who was traded WITH a Hall of Famer.
1972 Topps Rookie Stars A.L.–N.L. #761
First up, this beauty of a high number! Ron Cey and Ben Oglivie’s rookie card. The Red Sox actually had three high number rookie cards in the 1972 Topps set, a tough one for team set collectors. This Oglivie, Rick Miller (#741), and John Curtis (#724). This will look nice alongside some of the other Rookie Stars I have from this set. Oh, and the guy who was traded WITH a Hall of Famer … Bernie Williams along with Willie McCovey, was sent to San Diego for Mike Caldwell after the 1973 season.
1973 Topps Rookie Third Basemen #615
Mike Schmidt’s rookie card and some guy Cey is crashing the party again. This is a card I already own in my 1973 Topps Set, but wanted another for the 70’s album. Price was a steal as it has a couple of soft corners and typical of the 1973 and 1974 Topps issues, is miscut. This cut is actually a smidge better than the one in my set yet cost me $65 less! Great coloring and no black printing marks to boot. We all know how Schmidt’s and Cey’s careers turned out but in reading about John Hilton I learned the following:
- Was the 1971 #1 over all pick in the January Draft (they had two drafts back then) by the Padres. The only player worth mentioning in this January Phase that had any sort of a career was John Wathan taken third picks later by Kansas City.
- Following his freshman year at Rice, played on a semi-pro ball team that had former Yankees OFer Bob Cerv as its manager along with future big leaguers Ron Guidry, Steve Rogers, and Phil Garner.
- His first home run was against the Cubs’ Fergie Jenkins.
- Hilton spent two-plus seasons in Japan, winning a championship with Yakult.
Seems Hilton was a solid defender as he won a couple minor league gold gloves as he bounced through the Blue Jays, Japan, Pirates organizations, and a Mexican League club. He now runs the Arizona School of Baseball.
1974 Topps Dave Parker #252
Next up, this rookie card of the Cobra. Two bucks got me one of the best right field arms in baseball history. If for some reason you have never seen it, I present you the Cobra Cannon. Gary Carter makes a wonderful play on the ball, but he had to in part because he looked shocked that Parker was even able to make a play a possibility. It’s the All-Star Game, so sure, he wasn’t used to that sort of thing first-hand out of Parker, but it sticks out. You look at Parker’s stats from the 1970’s and it’s easy to see why many thought he was one of the best, if not the best all-around player in the game. He played incredible defense, he could hit period, hit for power, stole double-digits, and had an OBA close just under .400. Just two bad drugs got in the way for a short while.
1974 Topps Hank Aaron #1
And we close with a card touting the NEW all-time home run king even though he wasn’t yet. Yep that’s right, going into the 1974 season Hank Aaron’s homer count stood at 713. Of course, everyone knew he would break Babe Ruth’s mark, and Topps decided to dedicate it’s flagship issue with Aaron leading off as the number one card.
Hank Aaron’s notable home runs:
- #1 … April 23rd, 1954 — Vic Raschi (St. Louis)
- #714 … April 4, 1974 — Jack Billingham (Cincinnati)
- #715 … April 8, 1974 — Al Downing (Los Angeles)
- last and #755 … July 20, 1976 — Dick Drago (California)
And with that, off to round up some trade bait to post this week. If there are any Don Mattingly fans, ping me as I have some oddball stuff I will be posting.
Thanks for reading!