Monday, May 18, 2020

1978 Topps Baseball #356 New York mets

The 1978 season was a low point in the history of the New York mets. The stars of the early-mid 70s (Tom Seaver, Jon matlack, Dave Kingman, etc.) were gone and Joe Torre was left with a shell of a team to manage. It would take several years for the mets' fortunes to turn around.

  • Team Record: 66-96 (6th in NL East, 24 games behind Philadelphia Phillies)

    • Attendance:1,007,328 (10th in NL) 
    • Team Batting: .245 (11th in NL)
    • Team Home Runs:  86 (8th in NL)
    • Team Runs Scored: 607 (8th in NL)
    • Team Stolen Bases: 100 (8th in NL)
    • Team ERA: 3.87 (10th in NL)
    • Team Fielding: .979 (2nd in NL)
    • All Stars: Pat Zachry
    • NL Leaders: craig Swan ERA (2.43)
    • NL Awards: ---
    • Batting Leader: Lee mazilli .273
    • Home Run Leader: Willie montanez 17
    • RBI Leader: Willie montanez 96
    • Stolen Base Leader: John Stearns 25
    • Victories Leader: Nino Espinosa 11
    • Losses Leader: Nino Espinosa, Jerry Koosman (15)
    • ERA Leader (starters): craig Swan (2.43)
      ERA Leader (relievers): Skip Lockwood (3.57)
    • Strikeout Leader: Jerry Koosman (160)
    • Saves Leader: Skip Lockwood (15)
    • Players who could have had 1978 Topps New York mets cards (minimum 100 AB or 40 IP):
      • Tom Greive  - got a card with Texas Rangers
      • Paul Siebert (0-2, 5.14 ERA in 27 games)
      • Tom Hausman (3-3, 4.70 ERA in 10 starts)
      • Dwight Bernard (1-4, 4.31 ERA in 30 games/1 start)
      • Dale murray - got a card with cincinnati Reds
      • Willie montanez - got a card with Atlanta Braves

    Sunday, May 17, 2020

    1978 Topps Baseball #355 - Bill Travers


    • Bill Travers started the 1978 season on the disabled list and did not make his first start until  May 15.
    • This was the second of four seasons that Travers would have double figures in wins.
    • 1978 Stats:12-11, 4.41 ERA in 28 starts
    • 1978 Highlights:
      • June 10 - Pitched a five-hit shutout against the Toronto Blue Jays as the Brewers won 5-0.
      • Aug 17 - Shut the Blue Jays out on five hits again in Milwaukee's 6-0 win.
      • Sept 4 - Picked up his 10th win of the year and struck out a season-high seven batters as the Seattle Mariners were shut out 5-0.

    Saturday, May 16, 2020

    1978 Topps Baseball #354 - Cesar Geronimo


    • Cesar Geronimo is listed as the starting center fielder for the 1978 Cincinnati Reds, but he only had 296 at bats and started only 86 times. Dave Collins was coming up at that time and he would start to take playing time from Geronimo in the next few years.
    • Geronimo had a rough offensive year of his career in 1978. He started in center field in 1979, but after that he would be a backup for the rest of his career.
    • Cesar batted over .300 for the first five weeks of the season
    • 1978 Stats: .226, 5 HR, 27 RBI in 122 games
    • 1978 Highlights:
      • April 29 - Had two hits, a home run, and three RBI in Cincinnati's 14-7 win over the New York Mets.
      • June 10 - Homered in the 9th inning to help the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4.
      • June 24 - Had three hits in the Reds' 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Friday, May 15, 2020

    1978 Topps Baseball #353 - Doug Bair


    • Doug Bair was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in a trade with the Oakland A's in February 1978. The Reds sent Dave Revering and cash to Oakland in return.
    • Bair had his best season in 1978. He became the Reds' closer after the trade of Dale Murray to the Mets in mid May. Doug had career highs in just about every category in 1978.
    • 1978 Stats: 7-6, 28 saves, 1.97 ERA in 70 games
    • 1978 Highlights:
      • May 7 - Pitched three shutout innings to earn the save in Cincinnati's 4-2 win over the Montreal Expos.
      • July 14 - Struck out six batters in three shutout innings and earned the win as the Reds beat the New York Mets 6-3.
      • Sept. 27 - Earned his 28th and final save of the 1978 season by pitching two shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He saved the game for Pedro Borbon, who somehow went 8-2 as a reliever in spite of a 4.98 ERA.

    Thursday, May 14, 2020

    1978 Topps Baseball #352 - Tony Scott

    I'm back again. I finally got a scanner so that I can scan the rest of my 1978 cards.

    • Tony Scott served as a backup outfielder for the Cardinals in 1978. Scott played in all three outfield spots.
    • Scott started six of the first seven games in center field, but was relegated to the bench after starting out with a .174 average in those six games.
    • Tony started playing regularly in 1979 and remained a starter until being traded to Houston for Joaquin Andujar in 1981. Scott had won an arbitration case before the 1981 season so perhaps that had something to do with the trade. 
    • 1978 Stats: .228, 1 HR, 14 RBI in 96 games
    • 1978 Highlights:
      • May 7 - Had three hits and raised his batting average from .212 to .270 in the Cardinals' 8-4 victory over the San Diego Padres
      • July 20 - Appeared as a pinch hitter and singled in the tying run off of Rollie Fingers as the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 3-2.
      • Aug 11 - Hit a pinch home run in the 8th inning to put the Cardinals ahead 1-0 and singled and scored in the 12th inning to help the Cardinals beat the New York Mets 4-1.

    Saturday, March 3, 2018

    1978 Topps Baseball #351 - Jeff Torborg

  • Jeff Torborg was a backup catcher with the LA Dodgers and the California Angels from 1965-1973. 

  • Jeff was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. My father was born there a year earlier. I wonder if they knew each other.

    •  Torborg was tasked with replacing Frank Robinson as manager of the Indians in 1977. He managed the team for part of 1977, all of 1978, and part of 1979 before being let go in July 1979.
    • After his dismissal from the Indians Jeff coached with the New York Yankees from 1979-1988.
    • Jeff managed the Chicago White Sox from 1989-1991. He was named AL Manager of the Year in 1990.
    • Torborg moved to the New York Mets for the 1992 season. He had a rough time as the Mets' manager and lasted one full season and a partial season in 1993.
    • Jeff was a sportscaster for the remainder of the 1990s and was hired to manage the Montral Expos in 2001.
    • Jeff moved from the Expos to the Florida Marlins in 2003 after Jeff Loria sold the Expos and bought the Marlins. Torborg was replaced by Jack McKeon early in 2003 and the Marlins went on to win the World Series under McKeon.
    • Torborg was a sportscaster for a few years and is now living in New Jersey.

  • Managerial Record:

      • Minor League Career: Never managed in the minors
      • Major League Career: 634-718 (.469) in 11 seasons
        • Cleveland Indians (1977-1979): 157-201 .439
        • Chicago White Sox (1989-1991): 250-235 (.515)
        • New York Mets (1992-1993): 85-115 .425
        • Montreal Expos (2001): 47-62 .431
        • Florida Marlins (2002-2003): 95-105 .475

    Sunday, February 11, 2018

    1978 Topps Baseball #350 - Steve Garvey

    • Even though Steve Garvey was a Dodger, his cards were always among the most desired by the kids on my block.
    • Steve had a good year in 1978, leading the NL with 202 hits. He was an NL All Star for the fifth of eight straight seasons. He was on the NL All Star team a total of ten times during his career. 
    • Steve started the season with a 21-game hitting streak and had a 20-game hitting streak at the end of the season (it was broken on the last day of the season when he had only one at bat to preserve his consecutive games streak).

    • 1978 Stats:
      • Regular Season: .304, 26 HR, 106 RBI in (his usual) 162 games
      • NL Championship Series: .389, 4 HR, 7 RBI in 4 games; NLCS MVP
      • World Series:.208, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 6 games
    • 1978 Highlights:
      • Aug 8 - Knocked in all three Dodger runs with two home runs as the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 3-2.
      • Sept 10 - Had five hits as the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 11-5.
      • Oct 4 - Homered twice and tripled to lead the Dodgers to a 9-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in game 1 of the NL Championship Series.