Friday, February 27, 2015

1960 Topps Ted Wieand

This time the random number generator came up with an early solo rookie card: this Ted Wieand card from the 1960 Topps set. Ted came up for a cup of coffee at the end of the 1958 season with the Reds (who were at the time called the Redlegs). The first batter he faced was Frank Torre (Joe Torre's older brother). Torre went yard on the rookie but Wieand regained his composure and retired 6 of the next hitters he faced in the 4th and 5th innings. In the bottom of the 6th he took the mound again only to give up a double to Hawk Taylor then a single to Frank Torre. 

When he was called back up at the beginning of the 1960 season he didn't fare much better. He appeared in 5 games, pitched 4 and 1/3 inning and gave up 5 runs. His final MLB game was just 10 games into the 1960 season. He came in with the Reds clinging to a 5-4 lead over the Phillies with runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs. He intentionally walked the first batter to load the bases. He then walked the next batter, presumably unintentionally, to tie the game at 5. The next batter hit a grand slam. The Reds lost 9-5. Wieand returned to the minors and was dealt to the Yankees. He never made it back up to the Big Leagues.

I chose to make a 1958 card to commemorate his only other MLB appearance even though it was brief. As for  his 1960 Rookie card I can understand why Topps chose to give him a card. He was the Reds winningest AAA pitcher in 1959 and was on the roster at the beginning of the Reds' 1960 season. However, Ted Wieand didn't even make it through April

I've adopted a new grading system. Just like those pricey grading companies, I'll hermetically seal the card and permanently attach my (somewhat) unbiased opinion along with a grade from 1 to 10. Unlike the grading companies, my score has nothing to do with the condition of the card but the card itself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1972 Topps Expos Rookie Stars: Terry Humphrey, Keith Lampard

Back to one of my new favorites, Rating the Rookies. This time the random number generator gave me 601 or this 1972 Topps Rookie Stars card. Most of the rookie cards in 1972 featured 3 players. Only 6 of the 29 1972 rookies had 2 players so this is somewhat of an oddity.

Terry Humphrey got the majority of starts behind the plate for the Expos in 1972. But the 22 year old backstop couldn't break the Mendoza line. The Expos supplemented the position with veteran catchers John Boccabella and Tim McCarver in the 1972 season.  But it was the players in their minor league system at the time that would ultimately lead to his departure. Barry Foote was the #1 draft pick of the Expos in 1970 and was their catcher of the future.  So much so that when Gary Carter came up, he was primarily used in the outfield. 

With their bounty of catchers, the Expos dealt Humphrey to the Tigers at the end of the 1974 season for pitcher Woody Fryman. Humphrey was traded to the Astros then eventually the Angels in 1976 where he ended his career after being released in July of 1979. 

In addition to his rookie card he appeared in the 1973 Topps set but was skipped over for the 1974 and 1975 sets. He re-appeared on a 1976 card for the Tigers. He then had 1977, 1978 and 1979 cards in an Angels uniform.

For his "card that never was", I filled in one of the lost years with Humphrey looking less than thrilled to be on this 1974 card:

Keith Lampard was a promising minor leaguer in the Astros organization as was evidenced by his inclusion on 2 previous "Rookie Stars" cards in 1970 and 1971:

In November of 1971 the Expos pick up Lampard in the Rule 5 draft which is why Topps airbrushed an Expos logo on his cap and included him on this card:

However, Lampard didn't make the cut in spring training and by rule the Expos couldn't send him to the minors and had to sell him back to the Astros for half price. Houston sold him to the Cardinals organization who then traded him to the Phillies after the 1972 season. 

Keith Lampard played 9 games in 1969 and 53 games in 1970 with the Astros. He only had 20 Major League hits but half of them were for extra bases.

Even though he never played a big league game after the 1970 season, Topps felt a need to give him 2 more rookie cards in 1971 and 1972. So for his "card that never was", I figured I'd follow suit. Here he is on a 1973 rookie card along with a couple players that actually did make their debut in 1973. Dave Parker of the Pirates and Jerry Hairston of the White Sox.

Overall I would have to give this card a C-

The card itself  gets points because it is kinda cool due to the unusual 2 player format. But it loses points due to the airbrushed Expos cap. Humphrey was the primary catcher on the Expos in 1972 and went on to play in the bigs until 1979. Lampard himself was a decent minor league player with 114 homers and a career average of .290. If I were a betting man in spring of 1972, I would have bet the Expos would roster him. Franchises don't usually spend the money to pick a player in the Rule 5 just to return him.

I've adopted a new grading system so here is my updated grade:

Monday, February 23, 2015

1970 Topps Cubs Rookie Stars: Randy Bobb, Jim Cosman

Here is my second take on Rating the Rookies. By my count, there were 737 cards that Topps labeled "rookie" between 1959 and 1980. This time the random number generator spit out 525 which correlates to this rookie card of the 1970 Cubs:

Randy Bobb had only 1 hit in his 10 Major League at-bats in 1968 and 1969.  He caught 122 games at the Cubs AAA affiliate 1969, hitting a respectable .263 but he was traded to the Mets for veteran catcher J.C. Martin before the start of the 1970 season. He never did make it back up to the big leagues, but he did get another unfulfilled "Rookie Stars" card. This time for the Mets:

Since the only seasons he made it up to the Majors was in 1968 and 1968, I decided to give him his own 1969 Topps card:

Jim Cosman made his MLB debut pitching for the Cardinals against the Cubs in the final game of the 1966 season. He threw a 2 hit, complete game shutout, striking out 5. In 1967 he appeared in 10 games for the Cardinals. He also appeared on this "Rookie Stars" card in the 1967 Topps set:

In 1968 and 1969 he played minor league ball for the Cards and the Mets. After the 1969 season, the Cubs claimed him from the Mets in the rule 5 draft. He pitched a single inning for the Cubs in 1970. He was given mop up duty, coming in with the Cubs trailing 6-1 in the 7th inning. The first batter he faced, Hank Aaron, went yard. He gave up 2 more runs on 2 hits and a walk. He never took the mound for a Major League club again.

For Cosman's card that never was, I filled the gap between his 2 rookie cards with his own 1968 card:

Now for my grade: F

 After this card was printed, Randy Bobb never played another MLB game. Jim Cosman pitched just one inning and gave up 3 runs. To make things worse, Cosman is wearing an airbrushed (Mets?) cap. There is just no way to put a positive spin on it. If you happen to have this card lying around, go ahead and put it in your spokes.

I've adopted a new grading system so here is my updated grade:

Friday, February 13, 2015

1968 Twins Rookie Stars: Ron Clark, Moe Ogier

 I've always been a little obsessed with rookie cards. Not just for the players who went on to become stars. I also like the one hit wonders. 

Topps began making designated "Rookie" cards back in 1959 and continues on to this day. If you follow this blog you know I'm more into vintage cards. So I took all the "Rookie" cards Topps made from 1959-1980, all 737 of them (by my count). I then had the computer spit out a random number between 1 and 737. This time it spit out 448 which corresponds to this card:

The way this works is that, using 20/20 hindsight, I will sit in judgement of these rookies. And since the name of the blog is Cards That Never Were, I will try to make relevant cards of the player(s) featured on the card.

The earlier cards (1959, 1960 and most of 1961) only had 1 player per card. The mid '70s cards had 4. This one falls in the middle. So here we go:

Ron Clark began minor league ball in 1961 and played mostly in the minors until 1975. He came up for a cup of coffee with the Twins in 1966 and even appeared on another rookie card in 1967:

He had solo cards on the Twins in 1969 and on the A's in 1970. Skipping right over the time he spent on the Pilots. In 1975 he came up for a final cup of coffee, 1 game, 1 plate appearance, 1 strike out, with the Phillies. Unfortunately, Topps lost interest in him back in 1970, so as promised, here is your Card That Never Was:

Moe Ogier is another story altogether. He never did make it to the show. After posting a 13-12 record in single A ball, Topps deemed him ready. Instead he spent 1968 pitching AA ball for the Charlotte Hornets. He bounced around the minors from 1965-1971 mostly with the Twins organization but also with the Angels and the Padres. Because he never advanced, I was almost stumped on my first attempt. Almost. 

I actually found a decent picture of Moe. Unfortunately it was in a Twins uniform. I couldn't really justify giving him his own card as a Twin. So I decided to think like Topps. I airbrushed his cap and gave him another rookie card. This time as an Angel.

I added Jim Spencer to this rookie card. Despite being the Angels primary first baseman in 1969, Spencer didn't appear on a Topps card until 1970.

And here is the part where I grade this card:

 I have to give it a D

Ogier was a bust. Clark, on the other hand, played in portions of 7 MLB seasons. He hit an anemic .189 over his career, but he did play in 104 games for the Twins in 1968 which is the year the card came out. So this card gets a passing grade, but just barely.

I've adopted a new grading system so here is my updated grade: