Wednesday, March 16, 2016

1978 Topps Baseball #323 - Jim Fregosi

  • This was Jim Fregosi's last year as a player. Jim's career was winding down and in late May California Angels owner Gene Autry wanted him to manage his ballclub. Autry got the Pirates to release Fregosi on June 1 and Jim was managing the Angels a couple of days later. Jim had a 62-54 record as manager in 1978 as the Angels finished second in the AL West.
  • 1978 Stats: .200 (4 for 20) in 20 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • May 24 - Singled in a pinch hitting appearance in the bottom of the 10th inning. Jim eventually came around to score the winning run in Pittsburgh's 6-5 win over the New York Mets. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

1978 Topps Baseball #320 - Fred Lynn

  • Fred Lynn bounced back after battling an injury in 1977. Fred won the second of four Gold Glove awards in 1978 and went to the All Star game for the fourth time. He was an AL All Star every year from 1975-1983.
  • It is odd that Lynn's card didn't get the "All Star shield"
  • I didn't follow the American League very much when I was growing up, but Lynn was one of my favorite players. Too bad he had so many injuries during his career.
  • 1978 Stats: .298, 22 HR, 82 RBI
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • April 20 - Went 4 for 5 with three runs scored to help the Red Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-4.
    • Aug 28 - Went 5 for 5 and scored 4 runs in Boston's 10-9 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
    • Sept 29 - Knocked in five runs as the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-0.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

1978 Topps Baseball #319 - Alan Ashby

  • Alan Ashby had one of his better offensive years in 1978. He split time with Rick Cerone behind the plate. Cerone had slightly better defensive stats and Ashby had better offensive stats.
  • After the 1978 season Ashby was traded to the Houston Astros for Joe Cannon, Pete Hernandez, and Mark Lemongello. Alan went on to have a nice run as a platoon catcher with the Astros from 1979-1989.
  • 1978 Stats: .261, 9 HR, 29 RBI in 81 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • July 31 - Hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning to tie the game. Otto Velez homered in the 14th inning to finally win the game for Toronto. Ashby had two hits and two RBI in the 7-6 Blue Jay win over the Detroit Tigers.
    • Aug 20 - Had four hits and two RBI in Toronto's 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

1978 Topps Baseball #318 - Tom Griffin

  • Well I'm back after a VERY long hiatus. I moved from Arizona to Utah to accept a new teaching job. It was a big move for me since I had lived in Arizona all of my life. At the time we had a foster son that we were in the process of adopting. He wasn't allowed to leave Arizona until he was adopted, so my wife stayed with him in Arizona while I went to Utah with our daughter. My daughter and I stayed with an uncle until we could find a rental home. I figured it would only be a short time so I didn't bring some things with me (including my 1978 cards and my scanner). What was supposed to be a month turned into four months, but the adoption finally happened in late October. Unfortunately we had trouble finding a suitable rental so we stayed with the uncle for a couple more months. We now have a rental but in the meantime the house in Arizona was burglarized. The thieves didn't get much, but they got the TV and my scanner. Luckily they didn't take any of my cards. I'll start posting again with some cards I had already had scanned into my computer and I'll pick up the other cards later.
  • Killer gum stain on the back of this card.
  • Tom Griffin didn't pitch for the San Diego Padres in 1978. He became a free agent after the 1977 season and signed with the California Angels.
  • Tom was mostly used as a relief pitcher in 1978. He was in the Cleveland rotation for a few turns in June, but he was 0-3 in that role. Griffin had several breaks during the season as he battled injuries. He had five breaks of 10 or more days, including a 24 day hiatus in May. Tom pitched in only one game in September.
  • Griffin was released after the 1978 season. He pitched for the San Francisco Giants for three years and finished up with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1982.
  • 1978 Stats: 3-4, 4.02 ERA in 24 games (4 starts)
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • July 24 - Allowed no runs in 2 2/3 innings and earned the victory as the Angels beat the Cleveland Indians 5-4 in 16 innings.

Friday, July 24, 2015

1978 Topps Baseball #312 - Greg Minton

  • Poor Greg Minton. This is a very odd looking card. The only two things that save this card from total failure is the fact that he played for the Giants and the single on the Play Ball game.
  • The Giants were still trying to figure out if Minton was more suited for the bullpen or for starting pitching. Greg was used mostly as a starter in AAA Phoenix in 1977 and in 1978. The Giants finally decided to make Minton a full-time reliever and he made only one start from 1979 until the end of his career in 1990.
  • San Francisco had a deep pitching staff in 1978, so Minton spent most of the year in Phoenix. He made 11 relief appearances all together for the Giants.
  • 1978 Stats:
    • San Francisco Giants: 0-1, 8.04 ERA in 11 games
    • Phoenix Giants (AAA): 7-4, 4.50 ERA in 14 games (13 starts)
  • 1978 Highlights
    • April 26 - Pitched two scoreless in the Giants' 6-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves

Friday, July 17, 2015

1978 Topps Baseball #313 - Andy Etchebarren

  • Andy Etchebarren was sold to the Milwaukee Brewers before the 1978 season. Etchebarren was expected to compete with Larry Haney for a position as a backup catcher. There was speculation that whoever didn't make the team would end up as a bullpen coach or have another job in the organization. Etchebarren won the job and Haney was released at the end of spring training. But Haney was activated in September and appeared in four games.
  • Andy played in four games in April, was placed on the disabled list with elbow chips in May, had elbow surgery in June and retired after the season.
  • 1978 Stats
    • Milwaukee Brewers - .400 (2 for 5) in 4 games.
  • 1978 Highlights:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

1978 Topps Baseball #311 - Jose Baez

  • Jose Baez probably owed his short 2-year major league career to expansion. His entire major league experience was with the expansion Seattle Mariners.
  • Jose was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1971. Baez played in the Dodgers' system from 1972-1976. He had good batting averages, but Jose wasn't going to crack the deep Dodger club.
  • After the 1976 season Baez was sold to the Mariners.
  • Jose was 23 years old in 1977 and made the Seattle ballclub. He got about half of the starts at second base, splitting time with 22-year-old Julio Cruz. Baez batted .259 in 91 games. Jose got the first hit in Mariners' history on April 6, 1977.
  • In 1978 Baez started the season splitting time with Cruz again at second base. Baez didn't hit well and by the end of April Cruz took over full-time at second base. Jose played a few games at third base in May, but in mid June he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Mike Potter. Baez was sent to AAA for the rest of the season.
  • Jose was released in February 1979. Baez played in the Inter-America League in 1979 and in the Mexican League in 1980.
  • 1978 Stats:
    • Seattle Mariners - .160 (8 for 50) in 23 games
    • Springfield Redbirds (AAA) - .276 in 33 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • April 16 - Had two hits and scored two runs to help the Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2.
    • June 6 - Appeared as a pinch runner and scored the winning run on a Willie Randolph error as the Mariners beat the New York Yankees 4-3. It was Jose's last major league appearance.