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Bob Tolan – 1973 Topps #335

BobTolan_73topps#335_a Robert Tolan (born November 19, 1945) is a former center and right fielder in Major League Baseball. Tolan, who batted and threw left-handed, played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also played one season in Japan for the Nankai Hawks. Tolan was a reserve outfielder during his years with the Cardinals, where he won a World Series title in 1967. He also played on the 1968 National League champions, losing to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series in seven games, after leading three games to one. The day after the final game of this Series Tolan was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with reliever Wayne Granger for veteran outfielder Vada Pinson. As their centerfielder, often batting second behind Pete Rose and in front of Alex Johnson in the Reds lineup, Tolan in 1969 hit .305 and established career highs in home runs and runs batted in. In the first year both leagues were split into two divisions, the Reds finished third in the National League West, four games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves. The “Big Red Machine”, which also featured future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Tony PĂ©rez, was just beginning to take shape.
In 1970, Tolan batted a career high .316 with 16 home runs and 80 RBIs, and led the National League in stolen bases with 57 for a Reds team that won theBobTolan_73topps#335_b National League West title for their first postseason berth since the 1961 World Series. The Reds swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS in three games. In the second game, Tolan scored all three runs in a 3-1 victory, including hitting a fifth-inning home run off starter Luke Walker. However, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Reds in the World Series in five games. Tolan went 4-for-19 in the Series, including a home run off Mike Cuellar in Game Two.
Tolan played professionally in Japan in 1978. He was also a coach for the Padres from 1980-1983. During the strike of 1981, Tolan was dispatched to Walla Walla, Washington, where he was Tony Gwynn’s first hitting coach. Tolan’s cousin, Eddie Tolan, was a sprinter who won two Gold Medals in the 1932 Summer Olympics.

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