For the 25th post on this blog, the random number generator has finally brought us a genuine Hall of Fame rookie card. It is also this blog's first rookie card from the 1975 set. It has a somewhat odd combination of 2 catchers and 2 outfielders. I think that adds to its uniqueness and makes for a nice long post.
Although Gary Carter is depicted on this card as a catcher, "The Kid" was used primarily as an outfielder by the Expos in 1975. Barry Foote was the Expos everyday catcher, but Carter's .270 batting average and 17 homers was too much to prevent Montreal from playing him on a daily basis. He was even selected to the All Star roster in 1975 and played 1 inning in defense. Not behind the plate but in left field. That is why when I made this 1975 Hostess Card That Never Was for my other blog, I chose to list him as an outfielder.
Here Marc Hill is depicted in a typical Topps airbrushed Giants cap. He had actually made brief appearances in 1973 and 1974 for the St. Louis Cardinals before being traded to the Giants for Ken Rudolph and Elias Sosa. Over on one of my favorite blogs, Johngy's Beat, John created a nice individual 1975 Topps card of Marc Hill on the Cardinals. I've included that over to the right.
Hill had a long career mainly as a back-up catcher. He did have 2 years in which he played the majority of games behind the plate for the Giants in 1977 and 1978. But for the rest of his 14 big league seasons, he played a supporting role. And Topps has had a card for him every year from 1975-1986. Fleer and Donruss were spotty at best. For his Card That Never Was, I chose to make the missing Fleer card from the White Sox's "Winning Ugly" 1983 season.
After spending the 1975 and 1976 seasons as a first baseman/outfielder for the Tigers, Dan Meyer was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft. In Seattle he became the everyday first baseman. 1977 was a career season for Meyer. He hit 22 homers with 90 RBIs. Overall Meyer spent parts of 12 seasons in the majors. In 1985 the A's took one last chance on Meyer, but he went hitless in 14 games and was released in May. For his Card That Never Was, I gave him a final 1985 Topps card.
Leon Roberts played big league ball from 1974-1984. After being called up in September 1974, Roberts became Detroit's everyday right fielder. Following the 1975 season he was part of a 7 player trade with the Astros. After the 1977 season the Astros gave up on Roberts and traded him to the Mariners. Topps gave up on him as well. There was no 1978 card of him despite that being his career season, hitting .301 with 22 homers.
Leon Roberts went on to play until 1984 with the Rangers, Blue Jays and Royals. He even pitched one mop-up inning for the Royals in 1984. Kansas City was down to Bert Blyleven and the Cleveland Indians in the 9th inning. Roberts faced 8 batters in the 9th giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk. He did manage to strike out Mel Hall.
For Roberts' Card That Never Was I made the 1978 card that Topps skipped over.
This card has earned my highest grade to date. Hall of Famer, Gary Carter, carries the load but all three of the other players on this card had MLB careers lasting over 10 years each. That is more than respectable. If you have this card, display it proudly. I give it a solid 8.