Wednesday, June 1, 2016

1969 Topps Athletics Rookie Stars: George Lauzerique, Roberto Rodriguez

The ebb and flow of the random number generator has once again gone from a rookie card of a Hall of Famer to a couple of pitchers that have a total of 91 Major League appearances between them. And just look at this card. Topps wasn't even trying with their crappy air brushing on this one. Why didn't they just use a crayon to scribble out the K.C. logo on their caps?


George Lauzerique made his debut in 1967 for the Kansas City A's. He was the starting pitcher and gave up 3 runs in 7 innings. All 3 runs in the loss to the Angels came on a three run homer by Bobby Knoop. In all he played in 23 games for the A's from 1967-69 before being traded to the Pilots after the 1969 season. He was part of a 4 player trade the sent him and Ted Kubiak to Seattle for Ray Oyler and Diego Segui.

He never actually played for the Pilots. By the time the 1970 season started, the Pilots had become the Brewers.  But I found this nice shot of him in a Pilots uniform from the Topps Vault and absolutely needed to use it for his Card That Never Was. His only other Topps card was also a 1970 card. It had him still as a member of the Oakland A's.


For Roberto Rodriguez this 1969 Rookie Stars card was not his first card. He also appeared on this 1968 A's Rookie Stars card with Darrell Osteen. Both players were hatless on this card so we were spared the awful airbrushing but Osteen is still in his Reds uniform. Don't worry Topps, I'm sure nobody noticed. Must have been nice having no competition.

After rookie cards in 1968 and 1969, the next Topps card of Roberto Rodriguez was in 1971 in a Cubs uniform. Rodriguez played for three teams in 1970. He began the season with the A's. He then went to San Diego for about a month before being dealt to the Cubs. After the 1970 season he was back playing minor league ball until 1974.

For his Card That Never Was, I filled in the vacant spot in his portfolio with this 1970 Topps card of him on the team he began the 1970 season with.


I'm trying to find some redeeming quality to save this card from the spokes, but I'm coming up empty. The picture quality is poor. The airbrushing is atrocious. And ultimately, the players were not, by any definition, "Rookie Stars".  They were both solid minor league pitchers with winning records. Both players had brief major league careers. But the best I can say about this card is that it made your Schwinn Sting-Ray sound like a motorcycle. I give it a 1. Put it in your spokes.

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