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The All-Time Victory Leader – Cy Young – 1973 Topps #477

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Denton True “Cy” Young (March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. During his 22-year baseball career (1890–1911), he pitched for five different teams. Young was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. One year after Young’s death, the Cy Young Award was created to honor the previous season’s best pitcher. Young established numerous pitching records, some of which have stood for a century. Young compiled 511 wins, 94 ahead of Walter Johnson, who is second on the list of most wins in Major League history.
In addition to wins, Young still holds the Major League records for most career innings pitched (7,355), most career games started (815), and most complete games (749). He also retired with 316 losses, the most in MLB history. Young’s 76 career shutouts are fourth all-time. He also won at least 30 games in a season five times, with ten other seasons of 20 or more wins. In addition, Young pitched three no-hitters, including the third perfect game in baseball history, first in baseball’s “modern era”. In 1999, 88 years after his final Major League appearance and 44 years after his death, editors at The Sporting News ranked Cy Young 14th on their list of “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”. That same year, baseball fans named him to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.  After his retirement, Young went back to his farm in Ohio, where he stayed until his death at age 88 in 1955.

The All-Time Strikeout Leader-Walter Johnson – 1973 Topps #478


Walter Perry Johnson(November 6, 1887 – December 10, 1946), was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators (1907–1927). He would later serve as manager of the Senators from 1929 through 1932 and for the Cleveland Indians from 1933 through 1935. One of the most celebrated and dominating players in baseball history, Johnson established several pitching records, some of which remain unbroken. He remains by far the all-time career leader in shutouts with 110, second in wins with 417, and fourth in complete games with 531. He once held the career record in strikeouts with 3,508 and was the only player in the 3,000 strikeout club for over 50 years until Bob Gibson recorded his 3,000th strikeout in 1974. Johnson led the league in strikeouts a Major League record 12 times, one more than current strikeout leader Nolan Ryan — including a record eight consecutive seasons.

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.

Boyhood Photo of the Stars – Jim "Catfish" Hunter – 1973 Topps #344


James Augustus “Catfish” Hunter(April 8, 1946 – September 9, 1999), was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. During a 15-year baseball career, he pitched from 1965-1979 for both the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. Hunter was an effective pitcher, not because he overpowered batters with his speed, but because of the precision of his pitching. Cy Young, Christy Mathewson and Catfish Hunter are the only Major League pitchers to win 200 games by the time they were 31 years old. Along with Billy Williams, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. At the time a player was allowed to choose which team’s cap would be memorialized on his Hall of Fame Plaque. Before and after his induction, Hunter spoke highly of his experiences with both the Athletics and Yankees and his appreciation for both team owners, Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner. For this reason, he refused to choose a team and thus the plaque depicts him with no insignia on the cap. Hunter died at his home in Hertford, North Carolina, in 1999 after he fell down the stairs at home. He had been suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, at the time. An annual softball event is held in Hertford in memory of Hunter. All proceeds from the weekend benefit ALS research. The tournament has raised over $100,000 since 1999.

All Time Hit Leader – 1973 Topps # 471


Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb(December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. He was born in Narrows, Georgia. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team’s player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. Cobb is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time. In 1936, Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes. Cobb is widely credited with setting 90 Major League Baseball records during his career. He still holds several records as of 2012, including the highest career batting average of .367 and most career batting titles with 11. He retained many other records for almost a half century or more, including most career hits until 1985 with 4,191 and most career runs of 2,246 until 2001, most career games played with 3,035 and at bats of 11,434 until 1974, and the modern record for most career stolen bases with 892 until 1977. He committed 271 errors in his career, the most by any American League outfielder.

The All-Time Grand Slam Hitter 1973 Topps #472


Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig(June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941), nicknamed “The Iron Horse” for his durability, was an American Major League Baseball first baseman. He played his entire 17-year baseball career for the New York Yankees (1923–1939). Gehrig set several major league records. He holds the record for most career grand slams (23). Gehrig is chiefly remembered for his prowess as a hitter, his consecutive games-played record and its subsequent longevity, and the pathos of his farewell from baseball at age 36, when he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. In 1969 he was voted the greatest first baseman of all time by the Baseball Writers’ Association, and was the leading vote-getter on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, chosen by fans in 1999.

Boyhood Photos Of The Stars – Chris Speier – 1973 Topps #345

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  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.

Boyhood Photos Of The Stars – Bobby Murcer – 1973 Topps #343

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Bobby Ray Murcer(May 20, 1946 – July 12, 2008) was an American Major League Baseball outfielder who played for 17 seasons between 1965 and 1983, mostly with the New York Yankees, whom he later rejoined as a longtime broadcaster. A Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star, Murcer led the American League in on-base percentage in 1971, and in runs and total bases in 1972. Murcer played on the football, baseball, and basketball teams as a sophomore at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In his junior year, he made the All-district football team. He also helped Southeast High to the conference championship in baseball. As a senior, Murcer showed his athletic abilities by making All-State in both football (the state leading scorer) and baseball and was All-City (led the city in scoring) in basketball and baseball. As a senior Murcer hit .458 and struck out only once. Later, in the winter of 1964, he signed a letter of intent to play for the Oklahoma Sooners, but in the spring of ’65 he signed a $20,000 ($139,217 today) bonus contract with the Yankees.

Hank Aaron Special – 1974 Topps #2

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Hank Aaron Special – 1974 Topps #5

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