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Category Archives: 1974 Topps

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.

Detroit Tigers 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topps #94

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The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League’s eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894 as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984) and have won the American League pennant 10 times. The team currently plays their home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit. The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000. The club is a charter member of the American League, one of four clubs (with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians) still located in its original city. Detroit is also the only member of the Western League, the AL’s minor league predecessor, that remains in its original city under its original name. It was established as a charter member in 1894. There are various legends about how the Tigers got their nickname. One involves the orange stripes they wore on their black stockings. Tigers manager George Stallings took credit for the name; however, the name appeared in newspapers before Stallings was manager. Another legend concerns a sportswriter equating the 1901 team’s opening day victory with the ferocity of his alma mater, the Princeton Tigers. Richard Bak, in his 1998 book, A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium, pp. 46–49, explains that the name originated from the Detroit Light Guard military unit, who were known as “The Tigers”. They had played significant roles in certain Civil War battles and in the 1898 Spanish-American War. The baseball team was still informally called both “Wolverines” and “Tigers” in the news. The earliest known use of the name “Tigers” in the media was in the Detroit Free Press on April 16, 1895. Upon entry into the majors, the ballclub sought and received formal permission from the Light Guard to use its trademark. From that day forth, the team has been officially called the Tigers.

Kansas City Royals 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topp #343

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The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball’s American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have participated in two World Series, winning in 1985. The “Royals” name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899. The “Royals” name may also have been selected as a respectful recognition of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League and a nod to the Kansas City Blues franchises of the Western League and American Association. This is reflected in the similarity of the Royals logo to that of the Monarchs. The name also followed a theme of the other professional franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs football team and the-then Kansas City Kings basketball franchise. Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics—Kansas City’s previous major league team from 1955 to 1967—moved to Oakland, California. The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs 7 out of 10 seasons from 1976 to 1985, including one World Championship and another pennant, led by stars such as George Brett, Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive through the mid-1990s, but more recently has struggled, posting a winning record only once in the past 15 seasons.

Texas Rangers 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topps #184

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The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball’s American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. The team’s name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name. The franchise began in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city’s first ballclub, the original Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made five appearances in the MLB postseason, all following division championships, in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, and 2011. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their first American League Pennant after besting the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise’s first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. Their lone victory made them the first Texas MLB team to win a World Series game, the Houston Astros having been swept in their 2005 World Series appearance. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

San Francisco Giants 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topps #281

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The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division. As one of the oldest baseball teams, they have won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball, and any North American professional sports team. They have won 21 National League pennants and appeared in 18 World Series competitions – both records in the National League (tied for NL pennants with the Los Angeles Dodgers and for World Series appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals). The Giants 6 World Series Championships are also tied for second in the National League with the Dodgers (the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11). The Giants have played in the World Series an NL record 18 times, but boycotted the event in 1904. With their history, the Giants have the most Hall of Fame players in all of professional baseball. The Giants played at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York, until the close of the 1957 season, after which they moved west to California to become the San Francisco Giants. As the New York Giants, they won 14 pennants and 5 World Championships, from the era of John McGraw and Christy Mathewson to that of Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays. The Giants have won four pennants and the 2010 World Series since arriving in San Francisco.

St. Louis Cardinals 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topps #36

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The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to the New York Yankees, who have won twenty-seven. They have played in eighteen. They are the defending World Series champions, having won the 2011 World Series in seven games over the Texas Rangers. The Cardinals were founded in the American Association in 1882 as the St. Louis Brown Stockings, taking the name from an earlier National League team. They joined the National League in 1892 and have been known as the Cardinals since 1900. The club quickly achieved success, winning four AA pennants in a row in 1885–1888. St. Louis played in an early version of the World Series, the first two times against the National League’s Chicago White Stockings, now named the Chicago Cubs. The 1885 series ended in dispute, but St. Louis won the 1886 series outright, beginning a St. Louis-Chicago rivalry that continues today. The American Association went bankrupt in 1892, and the Browns moved to the National League, leaving much of their success behind for the next three decades.

Houston Astro’s 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topps #154

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The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the of the National League. Since 2000, they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, formerly known as Enron Field. The Coca-Cola Company-owned, Houston-based fruit juice manufacturer Minute Maid, after whom the Astros’ stadium is named, holds a minority stake in the team. The Astros were established as the Houston Colt .45s in 1962. They changed to their current name three years later, when they moved into the iconic Astrodome, the world’s first domed sports stadium. The name references Houston’s role as the center of the U.S. astronaut program. The Astros are the oldest MLB franchise to have never won the World Series while remaining in the same city over their history. After heart-breaking playoff losses in 1980, 1981, and 1986, and more playoff appearances in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Astros finally appeared in their first and (to date) only World Series, in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox.

Brooks Robinson – 1974 topps #160

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Brooks Calbert Robinson, Jr. (born May 18, 1937) is a former American professional baseball player. He played his entire 23-year major league career for the Baltimore Orioles (1955–1977). Nicknamed “The Human Vacuum Cleaner”, he is generally acclaimed as one of the greatest defensive third-basemen in major league history. He won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards during his career, tied with pitcher Jim Kaat for the second most all-time for any player at any position. Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. In his playing career, Robinson was selected for the All-Star team in 15 consecutive years (1960-74), and played in four World Series. He compiled a .267 career batting average with 2,848 hits, 268 home runs and 1357 runs batted in. Robinson led the American League in fielding percentage a record 11 times, and at the time of his retirement, his .971 career fielding average was the highest ever for a third baseman. His totals of 2870 games played at third base, 2697 career putouts, 6205 career assists, 8902 career total chances and 618 double plays, were records for third basemen at the time of his retirement. Robinson’s 23 seasons with one team set a new major league record, since tied by Carl Yastrzemski. Only Yastrzemski (3308), Hank Aaron (3076) and Stan Musial (3026) played more games for one franchise. Robinson also hit into four triple plays during his career, a major league record. He commented, “I wouldn’t mind seeing someone erase my record of hitting into four triple plays.”

Rich Morales – 1974 Topps #387

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Richard Angelo Morales (Born September 20, 1943 San Francisco, California) was an infielder who played from 1967-1974. He played for the Chicago White Sox until early in the 1973 season; most of ’73 and all of 1974 were spent with the San Diego Padres. Morales played 480 games, starting 294. Of all non-pitchers since 1930 with 1000+ at-bats, Morales had a better batting average (.195) than only two, Ray Oyler and Mike Ryan, and a slugging average (.242) better than only Luis Gómez. After his playing career, Morales was a minor league manager for eight seasons, from 1979 until 1982 and from 1988 until 1991. He managed in the farm systems of the Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, and Seattle Mariners.

Earl Weaver -1974 Topps #306

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Earl Sidney Weaver (born August 14, 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former Major League Baseball manager. He spent his entire 17-year managerial career with the Baltimore Orioles (1968–1982; 1985–1986). Weaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. Weaver was ejected from games at least 91 times during the regular season (98, according to one source) and several more times during post-season play. He was ejected from both ends of a doubleheader—three times. He was ejected before a game started twice (both times by Ron Luciano). Luciano alone ejected him from all four games of a minor-league series and eight games in the majors. He also received four multiple-game suspensions. He was well known for the humor that often accompanied his ejections. During one particular tirade with an umpire, Weaver headed to the dugout screaming, “I’m going to check the rule-book on that” to which the umpire replied, “Here, use mine.” Weaver shot back, “That’s no good – I can’t read braille.” He once told an umpire that he could appear on What’s My Line? wearing his mask, chest protector and ball/strike indicator and still nobody would guess he was an umpire. Weaver had a penchant for kicking dirt on umpires, and for turning his cap backwards whenever he sparred with umpires in order to get as close to them as possible without actually touching them. His rivalry with Luciano was legendary, to the point where the AL rearranged umpiring schedules for an entire year so that Luciano would not work Orioles games. In the third inning of Luciano’s first game in Baltimore a year later, he ejected Weaver—who then publicly questioned Luciano’s “integrity” and received a three-game suspension. Still, Weaver had respect for Luciano, calling him “one of the few umpires that people have paid their way into the park to see.” Marty Springstead was one of Weaver’s least favorite umpires. On September 15, 1977, in Toronto, Weaver asked umpire Springstead to have a tarpaulin covering the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen area removed; the tarp was weighed down by bricks and Weaver argued that his left fielder could be injured if he ran into the bricks while chasing a foul ball. When the umpire refused to order the Blue Jays to move the tarp, Weaver pulled the Orioles off the field, forcing the umpire to declare a forfeit: the only forfeit in Orioles history. On another infamous occasion, in Cleveland, Springstead watched as Weaver tore up the rule book and tossed it into the air. One of Weaver’s most infamous tirades came on September 17, 1980 in a game against the Detroit Tigers. First base umpire Bill Haller, who was wearing a microphone for a documentary on the daily life of an MLB umpire, called a balk on Oriole pitcher Mike Flanagan. Weaver charged out of the dugout and began screaming at Haller, who was already angry at Weaver for publicly questioning his honesty by suggesting he be prohibited from working Tigers games because his brother was the Tigers’ catcher. After Weaver was ejected, he launched into a profanity-filled argument with Haller that was duly recorded. Weaver’s contempt for umpires was often mutual. One night in 1973 Weaver threw his cap to the ground and began a vehement argument with Luciano. Luciano’s crew-mate Don Denkinger walked over to Weaver’s cap, stepped on it with the sharp cleats of both shoes, and slowly twisted back and forth.

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