Wednesday, April 6, 2016

1968 Topps Orioles Rookie Stars: Dave Leonhard, Dave May


In 1967 Dave Leonhard led the International league with 15 wins. In 1969 the Orioles gave him the start in 18 of his 28 games and were rewarded with 5 complete games including 2 shutouts. But with a rotation that included Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, and Dave McNally, Leonhard was converted to a relief pitcher then eventually back to the minors. From 1973-1976 he played on minor lkeague affiliates with the Orioles, Angels, Cubs and Expos.

For his card that never was I incorporated a spring training shot of him with the California Angels onto a 1974 Topps card.


Dave May was a solid hitting outfielder in the Orioles system but was unable to find a home at the major league level until he was traded to the Brewers in 1970. He made his sole All Star Game appearance as a Brewer in 1973. In 1975 he was traded to the Braves fo the reigning Home Run King, Hank Aaron. His production remained inconsistent and he was subsequently dealt to the Rangers in 1977. He played with the Brewers again and briefly for the Pirates in 1978.

He is the father of Derrick May who played for the Cubs, Brewers, Astros, Phillies, Expos and Orioled in the Nineties.

For his Card That Never Was, I tried to make up for the 2 airbrushed Topps cards of Aaron and May with this version of a 1975 Topps Traded card.


May and Leonhard were legitimately strong minor league players ready for the Majors in 1968. However, the Orioles were a very good team at the time and it was tough to find room on the roster. This card might deserve a better grade than the "3" I am giving it. But realistically, I'll just put it in a box.


  1. Seeing this 1st-series 1968 card just reminded me of the anticipation and joy I experienced when ripping open those packs almost 50 years ago.

    I began collecting baseball cards in 1967, but it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, about a month into the season. One day, I saw that my brother had some baseball cards, and it was like "Baseball cards? Ok, yeah, lets go get some."

    The 1968 set was different. I had all off-season to look forward to when the '68 packs would hit the store (in March or April), Many of the cards in the uglier-burlap 1st series were for players who I didn't get the year before, either because they were in the poorly-distributed 7th series (Brooks Robinson, Vada Pinson, Tommy John, Rocky Colavito, Tom Seaver, Cookie Rojas, Juan Pizarro) or they were not in the '67 set (Don Wilson, Stan Williams, Jerry McNertney, Hawk Taylor, Vern Fuller).

    Over the years, the 1968 set has fell out of favor because of the border design and the rampant airbrushing on the Astros and Athletics cards. But seeing this card today reminded me that back in the spring of 1968, these cards were the best thing since... well, the 1967 set!