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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wilbur Wood -1973 Topps #150

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ImageWilbur Forrester Wood, Jr. (born October 22, 1941 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a former knuckleball pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and most notably the Chicago White Sox, where he got 163 of his 164 wins. He threw left-handed, and batted right-handed.
In 1960, Wood was signed out of Belmont, Massachusetts high school by the Red Sox. He pitched on-and-off for them for a few seasons before being traded to the Pirates in late September 1964. After two seasons with Pittsburgh, he was traded to the White Sox after the 1966 season.  Wood finished second in the 1972 voting for the Cy Young Award, losing a close vote to Gaylord Perry.
In a 17-season career, Wood compiled a 164-156 record with a 3.24 ERA. He had 1411 strikeouts in 2684 innings pitched. He compiled 24 shutouts and 114 complete games in 297 games started. He pitched in 651 games. He was also the last pitcher in American League history to win and lose Image20 or more games in the same season.
Wood was seriously injured in a game against the Detroit Tigers in Tiger Stadium, May 9, 1976, when Ron LeFlore, the Tigers’ center fielder, hit a vicious line drive back toward the mound. The ball struck Wood’s left knee forcibly, shattering his kneecap. He had surgery the next day, but the outlook was bleak. Many predicted that he would never pitch again, but after considerable rehabilitation, he did some pitching for two more seasons with the White Sox. However, he showed few signs of his former mastery. He retired in 1978, moving back to his native New England.

ABA All Stars – George McGinnis – 1972-’73 Topps #180

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ImageGeorge F. McGinnis (born August 12, 1950 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a retired American professional basketball player, most notably with the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association (ABA) from 1971 to 1975. He was drafted into the ABA from Indiana University in 1971. In the ’70-71 season at Indiana, McGinnis became the first sophomore to lead the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 29.9 points per game in his lone season in Bloomington earning All-American and All-Big Ten Honors in 1971.Image
George McGinnis was one of the marquee players of the ABA, and later teamed with fellow ABA alumni Julius Erving and Caldwell Jones on the Philadelphia 76ers that made the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals in 1977. McGinnis was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 1978. Two years later, the Pacers reacquired him in a trade for high-scoring forward Alex English. However, McGinnis was only a shadow of his former self, and contributed very little during his two-year return to Indiana. Meanwhile, English went on to become one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. This transaction is now considered among the worst  trades in Pacers history, as well as one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history.
McGinnis is one of four players to have his jersey (#30) retired by the Pacers. George McGinnis is one of the few ABA Most Valuable Players not called up to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Tom Timmerman – 1973 Topps #413

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ImageThomas Henry Timmermann (born May 12, 1940) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for six seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. He was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1960, but did not make his Major League debut until June 18, 1969. In his first three seasons with the Tigers, he was used almost exclusively as a relief pitcher. As a 28-year-old rookie in 1969, Timmermann had a 2.75 ERA and a 4-3 record in 31 games. Timmermann appeared to be a rising star. His second year proved to be the best of his career. In 1970, Timmermann finished 3rd in the American League with 27 saves and 6th in the league with 43 games finished. He appeared in 61 games, all as a relief specialist, and compiled a record of 6-7 with a 4.11 ERA. At the end of the 1970 season, ImageTimmermann was voted “Tiger of the Year” by the Detroit chapter of the BBWAA—an award given to Denny McLain the prior two years and to Mickey Lolich the following year. In 1971, he appeared in 52 games, with a 7-6 record, and a 3.86 ERA. In 1972, the Tigers moved Timmermann into the starting rotation, and he started 25 games and made 9 relief appearances. He compiled an 8-10 record in 1972, with a 2.89 ERA. On June 15, 1973, the Tigers traded Timmermann to the Cleveland Indians. Timmermann started 15 games for the Indians in 1973, and made 14 relief appearances, with a record of 8-7. Timmermann pitched only 4 games for the Indians in 1974. He played his final Major League game on April 26, 1974.

Terry Harmon – 1973 Topps #166

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ImageTerry Walter Harmon (born April 12, 1944 in Toledo, Ohio) was a second baseman and shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies (1967 and 1969–77). He was a 5th round pick, 85th player chosen overall, of the Phillies in the 1965 draft. He helped the Phillies win the 1976 and 1977 National League Eastern Division.
In 10 seasons he played in 547 Games and had 1,125 At Bats, 164 Runs, 262 Hits,Image 31 Doubles, 12 Triples, 4 Home Runs, 72 RBI, 17 Stolen Bases, 117 Walks, .233 Batting Average, .311 On-base percentage, .292 Slugging Percentage, 329 Total Bases, 16 Sacrifice Hits, 5 Sacrifice Flies and 5 Intentional Walks. Where is he now: As of 1/2009. After baseball he became involved in cable TV, first with PRISM the Philadelphia sports channel then with home shopping and now with one of the cable 24/7 jewelry channels.

Ted Martinez – 1973 Topps #161

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ImageTeodoro Noel Martínez Encarnación (born December 10, 1947 in Santa Cruz de Barahona, Dominican Republic) is a former professional baseball infielder. He played all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball, mostly as a shortstop and second baseman, for the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. ImageHe helped the Mets win the 1973 National League pennant, the Athletics win the 1975 American League West and the Dodgers win the 1977 and 1978 National League pennant. In 9 seasons he played in 657 games and had 1,480 at bats, 165 runs, 355 hits, 50 doubles, 16 triples, 7 home runs, 108 RBI, 29 stolen Bases, 55 walks (12 intentional), .240 batting average, .270 on-base percentage, .309 slugging percentage, 458 total bases, 25 sacrifice hits and 6 sacrifice flies.

Ted Ford – 1973 Topps # 299

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ImageTheodore Henry Ford (born February 7, 1947 in Vineland, New Jersey) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers from 1970 to 1973. Drafted by the Indians 11th overall in the 1966 amateur draft, Ford began his professional career with the Dubuque Packers. In 71 games with them in 1966, he hit .263 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 262 at-bats. The following year, 1967, he played for the Pawtucket Indians. He hit only .210 in 443 at-bats with them. He missed the entire 1968 and 1969 seasons due to military service. He fought in the Vietnam War.
In 1970, he mostly played for the Wichita Aeros, hitting .326 with 12 home runs and 57 RBI in 383 at-bats with them. However, he started the season with the big league club. On April 7, he made his major league debut with the Indians. Facing star pitcher Dave McNally of the Baltimore Orioles, he went 0–2 with a walk in his first game. He spent time in both the majors and minors in 1971 as well. In the majors, he hit .194 in 196 at-bats. In the minors – playing for the Aeros again – he hit .330 in 176 at-bats.
On April 3, 1972, Ford was traded to the Texas Rangers for Roy Foster and Tommy McCraw. ImageHe played in 129 games with the Rangers that year, hitting 14 home runs and driving 50 runs in in 429 at-bats. His batting average was .235. Ford spent nine games with the Denver Bears that year as well, hitting .222 in 36 at-bats. Ford was traded back to the Indians on May 10, 1973 with Dick Bosman for Steve Dunning. He appeared in only 11 big league games that season, hitting .225 in 40 at-bats. He played his final game on September 29. Although his major league career was over after 1973, he was still involved in notable trades after that. On April 24, 1974, for example, he was traded back to the Rangers for Charlie Hudson.
Overall, Ford hit .219 in 240 major league games. In 711 at-bats, he hit 17 home runs and drove 68 runs in.

Rangers Unveil Statue Of Fan Who Died At Game

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ARLINGTON (AP) – Nine months after a Texas Rangers fan died after falling over an outfield railing at a game, his 7-year-old son helped unveil a statue Thursday honoring his father and others who love America’s pastime.
The life-size bronze statue depicts Shannon Stone and his son, Cooper, wearing baseball caps. They are holding hands and looking at each other as if they’re talking. The inscription reads: In memory of Shannon Stone and dedicated to all fans who love the game.

Read the story Here

Ron Schueler – 1973 Topps #169

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ImageRonald Richard Schueler (born April 18, 1948, in Catharine, Kansas) is a former Major League pitcher, pitching coach, general manager and scout. Schueler was called up at the start of the 1972 season, twenty-three years old. On April 16, 1972, two days before his twenty-fourth birthday, Schueler made his major league debut as a reliever in a game against the San Diego Padres at San Diego Stadium. He pitched two innings and only gave up one hit in that game, but despite his efforts, the Braves lost. Schueler went on to start thirty-eight games over two years with the Braves. After the 1973 season ended, Schueler was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for infielder Craig Robinson and pitcher Barry Lersch. ImageAfter a mediocre season as a starter, the Phillies converted Schueler to a relief pitcher. He pitched two more seasons in Philadelphia as a reliever and spot starter.
Schueler ended his active career to become pitching coach of the White Sox in the middle of the 1979 season, after the illness and death of Fred Martin. He remained with the ChiSox through the 1981 season. In 1982, Schueler was hired by the Oakland Athletics to be their pitching coach. Schueler worked for three seasons in Oakland. Schueler joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 after a year out of the majors.

Wilt Chamberlain – 1972-’73 Topps #80

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Image  Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlain (August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; he also played for the Harlem Globetrotters prior to playing in the NBA. The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain weighed 250 pounds as a rookie before bulking up to 275 and eventually to over 300 pounds with the Lakers. He played the center position and is considered by his contemporaries as one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history.
Chamberlain holds numerous official NBA all-time records, setting records in many scoring, rebounding and durability categories. He is the only player in NBA history to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists. Although he suffered a long string of professional losses, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and being selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. Chamberlain was subsequently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA’s 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History of 1996
After his basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of this organization, and is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions. Chamberlain also was a successful businessman, authored several books, and appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor, and became notorious for his claim to having had sex with over 20,000 women.
Even far beyond his playing days, Chamberlain was a very fit person. In his mid-forties, he was able to humble rookie Magic Johnson in practice, and even in the 1980s, he flirted with making a comeback in the NBA. In the 1980–81 NBA season, coach Larry ImageBrown recalled that the 45-year-old Chamberlain had received an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. When Chamberlain was 50, the New Jersey Nets had the same idea, and Chamberlain declined again. However, he would continue to epitomize physical fitness for years to come, including participating in several marathons. In 1992, Chamberlain was briefly hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat. According to those close to him, he eventually began taking medication for his heart troubles. On October 12, 1999, rescuers found him dead upon being summoned to his Bel Air, California, home. His agent reported, after speaking with Chamberlain’s cardiologist, that Chamberlain died of congestive heart failure, his health having deteriorated rapidly during the month preceding his death.

Nelson Briles – 1973 Topps #303

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ImageNelson Kelley Briles (August 5, 1943 – February 13, 2005) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. Briles batted and threw right-handed. In a 14-year career, Briles compiled a 129-112 record with a 3.44 ERA in 2,111 innings pitched. A hard thrower whose best pitch was a slider, he also exhibited excellent control. He posted a respectable 2.126 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Briles began his Major League career with the Cardinals as a reliever and spot starter. In 1967, Dick Hughes was promoted into the starting rotation after Bob Gibson suffered a broken leg when hit by a Roberto Clemente line drive on July 15. Briles responded by winning nine straight games, leading the National League in winning percentage and the Cardinals staff in ERA. He also tossed a complete game for the Cardinals in Game 3 of their 1967 World Series win over the Red Sox. In 1968, Briles won 19 games and 15 in 1969, but he slumped badly in the next two years. Before the 1971 season, the Cardinals traded Briles, along with Vic Davalillo to the Pirates for Matty Alou and George Brunet. ImageHe was 8-4 for the Pirates that season and pitched a complete-game two-hit shutout against Baltimore in Game 5 of the 1971 World Series. Briles won 14 in 1972 and 1973, and was sent to Kansas City. He also pitched with Texas and finished his career with the Orioles.
Following his retirement as a player, Briles worked as a television color commentator for the Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and USA Network. He joined the Pirates’ front office in 1986 as director of corporate sales, and was also the director of the team’s annual fantasy camp. Briles collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack in Orlando, Florida, while participating in the annual Pirates alumni golf tournament. He was 61.

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