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Category Archives: Giants

Boyhood Photo of the Stars-Sam McDowell – 1973 Topps#342


Samuel Edward Thomas McDowell(born September 21, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball, with the first 11 coming for the Cleveland Indians before a 1971 trade to the San Francisco Giants, followed by stints with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star, McDowell was primarily a starting pitcher during his major league career. Tall and powerful, his left-handed fastball was delivered with an unusually calm pitching motion which led to his memorable nickname: “Sudden Sam.” His strikeout prowess was sometimes nullified by periodic control problems. McDowell finished with 2,453 career strikeouts and an average of 8.86 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, ranking him ninth all-time as of 2011. At the time of his retirement, his strikeout rate was bested by only two pitchers: Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax. His ratio of 7.03 hits allowed per nine innings also places him ninth all-time as of 2011. He ranks eighth all time on the list of career ten or more strikeout games with 74, tied with Bob Gibson. His 2159 strikeouts as an Indian place him second all time on the team’s career list, behind Bob Feller. In four All-Star appearances, McDowell struck out twelve NL All-Stars over eight innings, and was the losing pitcher in the 1965 game.

Sam McDowell – 1973 Topps #511

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   Samuel Edward Thomas McDowell (born September 21, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), He played fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball, with the first 11 coming for the Cleveland Indians before a 1971 trade to the San Francisco Giants, followed by stints with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star, McDowell was primarily a starting pitcher during his major league career. In 1970, McDowell put together some impressive totals. For the first and only time in his career, he reached the 20-win mark, posting a record of 20-12. He also led the American League in innings pitched, topping the 300 mark at 305. He reached the 300-strikeout mark as well for the first time since 1965 at 304, just barely missing out on a K/9 rate of 9.0, although he led the league in both those categories again. He also threw a career-high 19 complete games, second in the league to Mike Cuellar, giving him 37 complete games in the last two seasons. All this, combined with a fifth-best 2.92 ERA, led to his selection as “AL Pitcher of the Year” by The Sporting News. However, there were still some warning signs, as McDowell’s BB/9 jumped back up to 3.9, and he led the league in walks allowed with 131. He also led the league in wild pitches again with 17, the first time he had done so since 1967. He also gave up a career-high 25 home runs. McDowell finished with 2,453 career strikeouts and an average of 8.86 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, ranking him ninth all-time as of 2011. At the time of his retirement, his strikeout rate was bested by only two pitchers: Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax. His ratio of 7.03 hits allowed per nine innings also places him ninth all-time as of 2011. He ranks eighth all time on the list of career ten or more strikeout games with 74, tied with Bob Gibson. His 2159 strikeouts as an Indian place him second all time on the team’s career list, behind Bob Feller. In four All-Star appearances, McDowell struck out twelve NL All-Stars over eight innings, and was the losing pitcher (in relief) in the 1965 game.
Following his “retirement”, the drinking increased, finally to the point where it cost him his marriage. His wife left him, taking their two children with her, leaving him desolate and broke. A failed business venture had left McDowell $190,000 in debt, and by early 1980 was living with his parents at his childhood home in Pittsburgh while selling insurance. Eventually, McDowell checked himself into Gateway Rehab, a rehabilitation facility located outside of Pittsburgh. After repaying his debts, he enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned associates degrees in sports psychology and addiction. Eventually, McDowell returned to the major leagues as a sports addiction counselor with the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. McDowell earned a World Series ring while working with the 1993 Blue Jays. McDowell also works as a consultant with the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT) and the Major League Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA). In 2001, McDowell remarried, and started a retirement community for former players. He became chairman and CEO at The City of Legends, a retirement resort in Clermont, Florida. McDowell married a second time after meeting Eva, a Slovak tourist, when asking for directions in Florida. The character of Sam Malone, the alcoholic ex-Red Sox pitcher portrayed by Emmy Award winning actor Ted Danson in the television program Cheers, was based on the baseball life of McDowell. In a 2011 interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, McDowell joked “I would say I’m better with women than [Sam Malone] was,”

Jim Willoughby – 1973 Topps #79

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James Arthur Willoughby (born January 31, 1949 in Salinas, California) is a former relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the San Francisco Giants (1971-74), Boston Red Sox (1975-77) and Chicago White Sox (1978). He batted and threw right-handed. In an eight-season career, Willoughby posted a 26-36 record with a 3.79 ERA in 238 games pitched.

Jim Barr – 1973 Topps #387

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  James Leland Barr (born February 10, 1948 in Lynwood, California) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the San Francisco Giants (1971–1978, 1982–1983) and California Angels (1979–1980). The Giants called Barr up from the minors midway through the 1971 season, and he posted a 1-1 record and a 3.57 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen. He joined the team’s rotation in the middle of 1972 and, despite never pitching a no-hitter or perfect game, that summer set the record for consecutive batters retired. Over the course of two starts, on August 23 and August 29, he retired 41 players in a row. On August 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he walked opposing pitcher Bob Moose to lead off the third inning and then retired the final 21 batters to end the game with a 2-hitter. In his next start, he retired the first 20 St. Louis Cardinals in order before Bernie Carbo earned a seventh inning double. He won that game too, with a complete game 3-hitter.
Barr went on to win at least ten games for the Giants in five straight seasons, from 1973 to 1977. During that time, he finished in the National League’s top ten three times for earned run average and shutouts, twice for complete games and innings pitched, and led the league in 1974 with 1.76 BB/9IP. Following the 1978 campaign, he became a free agent and signed with the California Angels. After winning 10 games in his first year with the Angels, Barr struggled with arm injuries in 1980 and was released prior to the 1981 season. He then signed with the Chicago White Sox and played part of the year for their Edmonton Trappers farm club before being let go again. He made a big league comeback with the Giants in 1982 and appeared in 53 games in both that season and the next.
In all, Barr pitched in 454 games (252 starts), with 64 complete games, 20 shutouts, and 74 games finished. He finished his career with a total of 101 wins, 112 losses, 12 saves, and an ERA of 3.56. Since ending his playing days, Barr was the pitching coach at Sacramento State University for 16 years. Barr’s athletic predisposition has been passed on to his daughters, Betsy and Emmy. Both have played soccer collegiately and professionally. Betsy played soccer at the University of Portland and was a member of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) after being drafted by the San Jose CyberRays in 2003. Emmy went to Santa Clara University and played three seasons with the Washington Freedom of the WUSA. Additionally, his brother, Mark Barr, pitched in the Boston Red Sox farm system for several years in the 1970s.

Tito Fuentes – 1973 Topps #236


Rigoberto “Tito” Fuentes Peat(born January 4, 1944 in Havana, Cuba) is a retired second baseman who played for 13 seasons in the Major Leagues between 1965 and 1978. Fuentes played for most of his career with the San Francisco Giants where he still remains a fan favorite. The Giants initially signed Fuentes as an 18-year-old amateur before the start of the 1962 season. He was one of the last baseball players signed directly out of Cuba before the United States embargo. Originally debuting in the majors 1965 as a late-season call-up, Fuentes split time between second base and shortstop as a rookie in 1966. He batted .261 in his maiden year while playing solid defense at both positions. He slumped to batting .209 the following year, and subsequently, he spent all of 1968 in the minor leagues. Fuentes returned to the Giants in 1969 and spent the next two seasons as a “utility infielder” before re-gaining his starting spot at second base in 1971. He appeared in the postseason during the 1971 season as his Giants won the NL West title; his two-run home run in Game 1 of the 1971 NLCS helped San Francisco take an early series lead against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but that would turn out to be the Giants’ only win of the best-of-five series. In 1977, Fuentes played with the Detroit Tigers and had a career-best .309 batting average. Despite having his best season, he was not brought back in 1978. The Montreal Expos then purchased his contract. Before the start of the season, however, Fuentes was released. During the year, he signed with the Oakland Athletics, but he was released again after batting just .140 in only 13 games. He retired shortly afterward.

Jerry Johnson – 1973 Topps #248


Jerry Michael Johnson(born December 3, 1943 in Miami, Florida) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher from 1968 through 1977. He batted and threw right-handed. Johnson spent two years with Philadelphia, before moving to the St. Louis Cardinals in a controversial transaction. On October 7, 1969, he was sent by Philadelphia along with Dick Allen and Cookie Rojas to the St. Louis Cardinals in the same trade that brought Tim McCarver, Byron Browne, Joe Horner and Curt Flood to the Phillies. After Flood refused to report to his new team, St. Louis sent Willie Montañez and a minor leaguer to Philadelphia to complete the trade. Flood believed that Major League Baseball’s reserve clause was unfair and appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although his legal challenge was unsuccessful, it brought solidarity among ballplayers as they fought against reserve clause and sought free agency.

Chris Speier – 1973 Topps #273


Christopher Edward Speier(born June 28, 1950) is a former Major League Baseball player and current bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds. He was drafted second overall in the January secondary 1970 Major League Baseball Draft. Speier played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues as a shortstop for the Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and briefly for the St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins during the 1984 season. He accrued a career .246 batting average and a .970 fielding percentage. His overall playing strengths were his solid fielding and selective eye at the plate; he led the league in intentional walks in 1980 and 1981. He was also named to the National League All-Star team during the 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons as a member of the Giants. He won the 1987 Willie Mac Award for his spirit and leadership during his second time with the Giants.

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.

San Francisco Giants 1973 Team Photo – 1973 Tops #434

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The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball 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 10). 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.

San Francisco Giants 1973 Team Checklist

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The San Francisco Giantsare 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 both with the Los Angeles Dodgers). The Giants 6 World Series Championships are also tied for second in the National League with the Dodgers (the St. Louis Cardinals have won 10). 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.

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