Saturday, January 5, 2013

Minnesota Twins - 1973 Topps #654

The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The team was founded in Kansas City in 1894 as the Kansas City Blues of the Western League. The team moved to Washington, D.C., in 1901 as one of the eight original teams of the American League, named the Washington Senators or Washington Nationals. The Washington team had a period of success in the 1920s and 1930s, led by Baseball Hall of Fame members Bucky Harris, Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Heinie Manush, Joe Cronin, and Walter Johnson. Manager Clark Griffith joined the team in 1912 and became the team's owner in 1920. The franchise remained under Griffith family ownership until 1984.
In 1960, Major League Baseball granted the city of Minneapolis an expansion team. Washington owner Calvin Griffith, requested that he be allowed to move his team to Minneapolis and instead give Washington the expansion team. With league approval, the team moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season, in Metropolitan Stadium, while Washington fielded a brand new Washington Senators, which later became the Texas Rangers in the 1972 season.
Sluggers Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison, who had already been stars in Washington, were joined by Tony Oliva and Zoilo Versalles, and later second baseman Rod Carew and pitchers Jim Kaat and Jim Perry, winning the American League pennant in 1965. A second wave of success came in the late 1980s and early 1990s, led by Kent Hrbek, Bert Blyleven, Frank Viola, and Kirby Puckett, winning the franchise's second and third World Series.
Through the 2012 season, the franchise has won three World Series championships (1924, 1987, and 1991), and has 18 American League batting champions.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cleveland indians - 1973 Topps #629

The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since 1994 they have played in what is now Progressive Field. Since their establishment as a Major League franchise in 1901, they have won two World Series championships, in 1920 and 1948. Common nicknames for the Indians include the "Tribe" and the "Wahoos", the latter being a reference to their logo, Chief Wahoo. The mascot is called Slider. The Cleveland team originated in 1900 as the Lake Shores, when the American League was officially a minor league. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the major league incarnation of the club was founded in Cleveland in 1901. Originally called the Cleveland Bluebirds, the team played in League Park until moving permanently to Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1946. At the end of the 2012 season, they had a regular season franchise record of 8,838–8,543 (.508). The Indians have won seven AL Central titles, the most in the division.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chicago White Sox - 1973 Topps #481

The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since 1991, the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park. The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Chicago team was established as a major league baseball club in 1900. Originally called the Chicago White Stockings, a nickname abandoned by the Cubs, it was shortened to Chicago White Sox. The team played their home games at South Side Park. In 1910, the team moved into historic Comiskey Park for more than eight decades. The White Sox were strong during their first two decades, winning the 1906 World Series with a defense oriented team known as "the Hitless Wonders", and the 1917 World Series led by Eddie Cicotte, Eddie Collins, and Shoeless Joe Jackson. The 1919 World Series, brought on the Black Sox Scandal, in which several prominent members of the White Sox were accused of conspiring with gamblers to purposefully lose games. New commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took decisive action, banning players from Major League Baseball for life. A pennant winning did not come until 2005, when the White Sox won their first World Series championship in 88 years.
The 1973 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 73rd season in the major leagues, and its 74th season overall. They finished with a record 77-85, good enough for fifth place in the American League West, 17 games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.

1973 Chicago White Sox Roster

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chicago Cubs - 1973 Topps #646

1973 is the only season between 1945 and 1984 that the Cubs were still in contention on the last day of the regular season, September 30. Due to several rainouts, the Cubs still had four games to play against the first place Mets, so double headers were scheduled for September 30 and October 1, the day after the end of the season. If the Cubs were to win all four games, there could have been a five-way tie for first place, with each team having a below .500 record of 80-82. It would have taken at least three days of games to break a five-way tie. Rain was still in the forecast for both days, and with Wrigley Field having no lights, the NL President ordered both double headers to start at 10AM, making it clear that the umpires would wait out any rain as long as there was daylight. The Cubs won the first game on September 30, and suddenly it was possible that the most unusual end to any season of baseball might happen. But the Mets won the second game, eliminating the Cubs. On a dismal October 1, the Mets won the first game and clinched the NL East. The second game was canceled. Milt Pappas was scheduled to pitch for the Cubs in the second game, and the cancellation cost him his chance for his 100th victory in the National League.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Steve Garvey - 1973 Topps #213

Steven Patrick Garvey  (born December 22, 1948), nicknamed “Mr. Clean” because of the squeaky clean image he held throughout his career in baseball, is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and current Southern California businessman. Garvey was the 1974 NL MVP, 10-time All-Star, and holds the National League record for consecutive games played (1,207). Garvey was a bat boy for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. Garvey played football and baseball at Michigan State University after graduating from Chamberlain High School. Garvey played his entire career in the National League West for two teams; the Los Angeles Dodgers (1969–82) and the San Diego Padres (1983–87). He batted right and threw right. In a 19-year career, Garvey was a .294 hitter with 272 home runs and 1308 RBI in 2332 games played.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Steve Carlton - 1973 Topps #300

Steven Norman Carlton  (born December 22, 1944), nicknamed “Lefty”, is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1965-1988 for six different teams in his career, but it is his time with the Philadelphia Phillies where he received his greatest acclaim as a professional and won four Cy Young Awards. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Carlton has the second-most lifetime strikeouts of any left-handed pitcher, and the second-most lifetime wins of any left-handed pitcher. He was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards in a career. He held the lifetime strikeout record several times between 1982 and 1984, before Nolan Ryan passed him. He also holds the record for most balks with 90. One of his most remarkable records was accounting for nearly half (46%) of his team’s wins, when he won 27 games for the last-place (59-97) 1972 Phillies. He is still the last National League pitcher to win 25 or more games in one season, as well as the last pitcher from any team to throw more than 300 innings in a season. He also holds the record with the most career balks of any pitcher, with 90.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rollie Fingers - 1973 Topps #84

Roland Glen Fingers (born August 25, 1946) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. During his 18-year baseball career, he pitched for the Oakland Athletics (1968–76), San Diego Padres (1977–80) and Milwaukee Brewers (1981–85). He became only the second reliever to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. Fingers is also one of only a few MLB players to have his number retired by more than one club (Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers).
Fingers is regarded as a pioneer of modern relief pitching, essentially defining the role of the closer for years to come. As had generally been true in baseball through the 1960s, Fingers was originally moved to the bullpen and eventually to his role as a closer due to struggles with starting. Before Fingers' time, a former starter's renewed success in the bullpen would have led back to a spot in the starting rotation, but since the successes of not only Fingers but also contemporaries such as Sparky Lyle and Goose Gossage, it has been widely accepted that an excellent pitcher might actually provide a greater benefit to his team as a closer than as a third or fourth starter.  As a result, later teams have been more willing to move successful starters, notably Dennis Eckersley, Dave Righetti, and John Smoltz to the permanent role of closer, with no plans to bring them back to the rotation. In 2006, Bruce Sutter became the first pitcher in baseball history elected to the Hall of Fame who never started a game in his major league career.
On the first day of spring training for the 1972 season, Reggie Jackson showed up with a beard. In protest, Fingers and a few other players started going without shaving to force Jackson to shave off his beard, in the belief that management would also want Jackson to shave. Instead, Finley, ever the showman who would do anything to sell tickets, then offered prize-money to the player who could best grow and maintain their facial hair until Opening Day (April 15 versus Minnesota). Fingers went all out for the monetary incentive offered by Finley and patterned his moustache after the images of the players of the late 19th century. Taking it even further, Finley came up with "Moustache Day" at the ballpark, where any fan with a moustache could get in free.