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Joe Caldwell – 1972 – ’73 Topps #255

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JoeCaldwell_a Joe Louis Caldwell (born November 1, 1941 in Texas City, Texas) a retired American professional basketball player. He spent 6 seasons in the NBA and 5 seasons in the ABA, and he was one of the few players to be an All-Star in both leagues. He was also a member of the United States Olympic basketball team that won the gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Nicknamed “Pogo Joe” or “Jumping Joe” for his leaping abilities, Caldwell was a 6’5″ guard and forward from Arizona State University. Drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1964, he spent the majority of his NBA career with the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks franchise. After averaging 21.1 points per game during the 1969-70 NBA season, Caldwell jumped to the rival ABA, playing for the Carolina Cougars from 1970 to 1974. JoeCaldwell_bCaldwell was also a great defender, and basketball legend Julius Erving said that Caldwell guarded him better than any player in the ABA. During the 1974-75 season, St. Louis management blamed Caldwell for influencing team star Marvin Barnes to briefly leave the team. Caldwell denied doing this but he was suspended for “activities detrimental to the best interests of professional basketball.” Caldwell never played another pro basketball game and has filed various lawsuits because he believes that he was wrongly blacklisted by the ABA and later the NBA. He scored 12,619 combined NBA/ABA career points. On November 20, 2010, ASU retired his collegiate number 32 before a game against the UAB Blazers.

Al Fitzmorris – 1973 Topps #643

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AlFitzmorris_73topps#643_a Alan James Fitzmorris (born March 21, 1946 in Buffalo, New York), a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1969 to 1978. Al signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Chicago White Sox in 1966. In October 1968, he left the White Sox as the 40th overall pick by the Kansas City Royals. He stayed with the Royals until 1976. In November, the Toronto Blue Jays picked him up as the 13th pick overall. AlFitzmorris_73topps#643_bHe was traded by the Jays to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Alan Ashby and Doug Howard. The Indians released him in 1978, and within a month he was signed by the California Angels. Granted free agency in November of that year, he signed on with the San Diego Padres in February 1979. Fitzmorris won a career high 16 games for the Royals in 1975.

Jim Cleamons – 1972-’73 Topps #29


James Mitchell “Jim” Cleamons (born September 13, 1949 in Lincolnton, North Carolina) is a retired American professional basketball player and current coach. He played collegiately at The Ohio State University, and was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 13th pick of the 1971 NBA Draft. He had a nine-year NBA career for four different teams. In 1976, Cleamons was selected to the NBA All-Defense 2nd team. In addition to his playing career, Cleamons was the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks for slightly over one year, from 1996 to 1997. He was then the head coach of the Chicago Condors, and he has served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. He was hired as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers on July 19, 2006. For a few games during his tenure with the Lakers, he has served as acting head coach while Phil Jackson was absent. In 2011, Cleamons became a coach in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Vic Davalillo – 1973 Topps #163


Víctor José Davalillo Romero (July 31, 1936 in Cabimas, Zulia), is a Venezuelan former professional baseball player. Davalillo batted and threw left-handed. Davalillo was a leadoff hitter known for his speed, base running and defensive ability. Later in his career, he became a valuable utility player and a record-setting pinch hitter. Davalillo also had an exceptional career in the Venezuelan Winter League where he is the all-time leader in total base hits and in career batting average.
In 1965, Davalillo led the league in batting at mid-season with a .345 batting average, earning him a place as the starting center fielder for the American League team in the 1965 All-Star Game. He ended the 1965 season with a .301 batting average, third-best in the American League behind Tony Oliva and Carl Yastrzemski, the only other players to break the .300 mark that year. Davalillo had an off year in 1966 and, the Indians began playing him only when they faced right handed pitchers. In 1967, he hit for a .302 average against right handed pitchers but, only managed a .188 average against left handers, for a .287 average overall.
Davalillo dropped to a .239 average on June 15, 1968 when the Indians traded him to the California Angels for former All-Star Jimmie Hall. He went on to lead the Angels with a .298 batting average after the trade, finishing the season with a .277 average overall, the sixth highest average in the American League. In an era dominated by pitching, Yastrzemski was the only player in the American League to hit for an average higher than .300 in 1968
At the age of 41 in 1978, Davalillo hit for a .312 average as a pinch hitter for the Dodgers as they once again claimed the National League pennant before, losing to the New York Yankees for a second consecutive year in the 1978 World Series. Davalillo finished out his major league career as a utility player and pinch hitter for the Dodgers. For the last four seasons of his career, he was the oldest player in the National League until retiring at the end of the 1980 season at the age of 43. Davalillo returned to play in the Mexican League well into his late 40s. In 1987, the ballpark in Cabimas, Venezuela was renamed Estadio Víctor Davalillo. The Most Valuable Player award in the Venezuelan Winter League is also named after him. Davalillo was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Dick Van Arsdale – 1972-’73 Topps #25


Richard Albert (Dick) Van Arsdale (born February 22, 1943 in Indianapolis, Indiana) a former professional basketball player and coach, and a current NBA executive. The 6’5″ guard played at Indiana University. Van Arsdale was selected by the New York Knickerbockers in the 2nd round of the 1965 NBA Draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1966, along with his brother Tom Van Arsdale. Van Arsdale played in the NBA for 12 seasons. Three with the Knickerbockers and the remainder with the Phoenix Suns. Van Arsdale, a three-time All-Star, was one of the best free throw shooters in the NBA. He retired from play in 1977. Van Arsdale is remembered in Phoenix basketball lore as the “original Sun”. He later became the team’s general manager, and is currently the team’s senior vice president of player personnel. In 1987, he briefly served as the team’s head coach, following the departure of John MacLeod.

Steve Mingori – 1973 Topps #532


Steven Bernard Mingori (February 29, 1944 – July 10, 2008) an American left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and went to Rockhurst High School; he is in the school’s Hall of Fame. Mingori was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1965, who traded him to the Indians in 1970. In a ten-season career, Mingori posted a won-loss record of 18–33 with a 3.03 earned run average and 42 saves in 385 games pitched, all but two of which came as a reliever. His best season came in 1976 when he had five wins, 10 saves, 85.1 innings in 55 games.

Steven Bernard “Mingo” Mingori died of natural causes at his home in Liberty, Missouri on July 10, 2008.

Rennie Stennett – 1973 Topps #348


Renaldo Antonio Stennett Porte (April 5, 1951, in Colón, Panama), is a former second baseman. Stennett played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He batted and threw right-handed. A World Series champion with the Pirates in 1979, Stennett shares the major league record for most hits in a game and was a member of the first all-black starting lineup in the major leagues.
In an 11-season career, Stennett was a .274 batter, with 41 home runs and 432 RBIs in 1,237 games. On September 1, 1971, Pittsburgh faced the Phillies with the first major league all-black starting lineup. Stennett led off the game for the Pirates, who won 10–7. In his first three seasons with Pittsburgh, Stennett was used at shortstop and second base. He also played at all three outfield positions, with an average arm and great reaction speed. He showed progress in 1973, when he hit 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 128 games. Finally, in 1974, Stennett took over the starting second base job, beating out Dave Cash and Willie Randolph. Batting from the leadoff spot, he responded with a .291 average, 84 runs, 56 RBI, and a career-high 196 hits. The following season, Stennett became the only player in the 20th century to go seven-for-seven in a nine-inning game. On September 16, 1975, Stennett went 7-for-7 as Pittsburgh beat the Cubs, 22–0. Pittsburgh also set a major league record for the largest winning score in a shutout game in the modern era. He was the third player to collect seven hits in a single game, and the second to do it in a nine-inning game.
On August 21, 1977, Stennett was batting .336 for the season, but he broke his right leg while sliding into second base. He was out for the year and had fewer than the required number of at bats or plate appearances, falling short of qualifying for the batting title, won by teammate Dave Parker. In that season, Stennett collected a career-high 28 stolen bases. A free agent at the end of the 1979 season Stennett, was signed by the Giants to a five year, $3 million dollar contract in what would be one of the first “busts” of the free agent era. After two years with San Francisco, he was released in April of 1982, with three years remaining on and $2 million left on the contract which the Giants still had to pay him as the contract was guaranteed.

Ray Lamb – 1973 Topps #496


Raymond Richard Lamb (born December 28, 1944 in Glendale, California, USA) He pitched from 1969 to 1973 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians. He was the only player in the Dodgers franchise to wear jersey number 42 after Jackie Robinson; the number was retired by the team in 1972. Lamb wore the number for just the 1969 season.


Ray Fosse – 1973 Topps #226


 

Raymond Earl Fosse (born April 4, 1947 in Marion, Illinois) a former professional baseball player who was a catcher in the Major Leagues. He was drafted in the first round of the 1965 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians. Fosse also holds the distinction of being the Indians’ first ever draft pick. 1965 was the first year of the Major League Baseball Draft. He batted and threw right-handed. Ray Fosse is most famous for being bowled over by the Cincinnati Reds’ Pete Rose at home plate in the last play of the 1970 All-Star Game. Rose scored the winning run, while the collision separated Fosse’s right shoulder. The injury is what caused the downfall of Fosse’s career. In reality, Fosse played 42 games in the second half of 1970, hitting .297 and winning the American League Gold Glove Award. Rose asserted he was simply trying to win the game.
Fosse’s career was one marked by numerous injuries. In 1971, Fosse suffered more injuries, getting kicked in his right hand during a brawl against the Detroit Tigers on June 20, causing a gash that required five stitches and sidelined him for more than a week. Fosse tore a ligament in his left hand during an at bat against Denny McLain, forcing him to miss the 1971 All-Star Game. He did manage to win his second consecutive Gold Glove Award in 1971. When Cleveland pitcher Gaylord Perry won the American League Cy Young Award in 1972, he gave Fosse credit for his success saying,”I’ve got to split it up and give part, a big part to Ray Fosse. He kept pushing me in games when I didn’t have good stuff. He’d come out and show me that big fist of his when I wasn’t bearing down the way he thought I should.”
In a 12 year career, Fosse played in 924 games, accumulating 758 hits in 2957 at bats for a .256 career batting average along with 61 home runs and 324 runs batted in. He ended his career with a .986 fielding percentage. Fosse led American League catchers in 1970 with 854 putouts, 48 base runners caught stealing and in range factor (7.81). In 1971 he led the league with 73 assists, and in 1973, he led American League catchers in baserunners caught stealing and in caught stealing percentage. Fosse was a member of two World Series Champion clubs. The 1973 and 1974 A’s, and also a member of the Seattle Mariners team that began playing in 1977. He won Gold Glove Awards in 1970 and 1971. Fosse was named to the 100 Greatest Cleveland Indians in 2001.

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