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Milt Pappas – 1973 Topps #70

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MiltPappas_73topps#70_a Milton Steven “Milt” Pappas (born Miltiades Stergios Papastergios on May 11, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional baseball pitcher. A 17-year veteran, Pappas, nicknamed “Gimpy,” pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. Pappas pitched in 520 games, starting 465, with 209 wins, 164 losses, 43 shutouts, 1728 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 3186.0 innings pitched.
In 1970, the Braves pulled Pappas from their rotation after only three starts, after he compiled a 6.06 ERA and allowed six home runs. On June 23, they sold him to the Chicago Cubs, where he got another chance to prove he was still a major league starter. Pappas posted a 7–2 record with a 2.36 ERA at home and a 10–8 record with a 2.68 ERA overall. In 1971, Pappas went 17–14 with a 3.51 ERA. On September 24 of that year, against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, Pappas struck out three batters (Greg Luzinski and Don Money) on nine pitches in the fourth inning of a 6–1 loss, becoming the 10th National League pitcher and the 16th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. Five days later, Pappas was again part of baseball history, he was responsible for Ron Hunt’s 50th hit by pitch of the season, which broke the single-season record of 49 set by Hughie Jennings in 1896. Pappas complained to home plate umpire Ken Burkhart that the pitch had been over the plate, and that Hunt had made no effort to get out of the way. Pappas’s manager on the Cubs, Leo Durocher, had unkind words for Pappas in his memoir Nice Guys Finish Last.
On September 11, 1982, MiltPappas_73topps#70_bPappas’ wife, Carole, disappeared after leaving the couple’s home in the Farnham subdivision in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton. For five years, no sign was found of her car, clothing, or body. In 1987, almost five years to the day Mrs. Pappas disappeared, workers draining a shallow pond only four blocks from the Pappas home discovered the car Mrs. Pappas had been driving, a white and burgundy 1980 Buick, as well as her body. A DuPage County coroner’s jury ruled the cause of death as drowning. Police theorized she mistook a driveway near the pond for a road leading to her subdivision, vaulting 25–30 feet from the bank into the pond. Carole Pappas, a recovering alcoholic, may have been drinking. However, blood alcohol content could not be confirmed.

Del Unser – 1973 Topps #247

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ImageDelbert Bernard Unser (born December 9, 1944 in Decatur, Illinois) is a retired center fielder and utility player who had a 15-year career from 1968 to 1982. Unser played for the Washington Senators from 1968 to 1971 and the Cleveland Indians in 1972. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1973 to 1974, the New York Mets from 1975 to 1976, the Montreal Expos from 1976 to 1978, and again for the Phillies from 1979 to 1982. In 1977 he began to be used primarily as a pinch-hitter, Imageand also split his time on the field between the outfield and first base. Unser led the American League in triples in 1969 with eight. He had one 5-hit game, in which he hit four singles and a home run against the Oakland Athletics on August 20, 1968. Unser’s career totals include 1,799 games played, 1,334 hits, 87 home runs, 481 Runs batted in, and a lifetime batting average of .258. Unser, along with Lee Lacy, is one of two players to hit three pinch-hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. Currently, Unser is a scout for the Phillies. His father is retired MLB catcher Al Unser.

Clyde Wright – 1973 Topps #373

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Clyde Wright (born February 20, 1941 in Jefferson City, Tennessee), He pitched for the California Angels (1966–73), Milwaukee Brewers (1974) and Texas Rangers (1975). He also pitched three seasons in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants (1976–78). He is the father of Jaret Wright. Wright was a star pitcher at Carson-Newman College, whom he pitched to the 1965 NAIA Baseball World Series title. During that World Series, Wright struck out 22 batters in one game, an NAIA World Series record.

Wright defeated the Minnesota Twins on a four-hitter in his Major League debut (June 15, 1966). He was a spot starter for the Angels in his first two seasons, and in 1968 won 10 games while losing six, pitching mostly in relief.
In 1970 he had the best season of his career. He won 22 games to become only the second 20-game winner in franchise history and established a career-low 2.83 ERA, which earned him the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award. Wright also no-hit the Oakland Athletics 4-0 at Anaheim Stadium on July 3 of that year, the first no-hitter ever pitched in that stadium. He almost lost the no-hitter in the 7th inning on Reggie Jackson’s 400-foot shot to straight-away center field, which was caught by Jay Johnstone just in front of the wall. The day was doubly memorable for Wright: in a pre-game ceremony, he had been inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame.
During a 13-year baseball career, Wright won 100 games, 667 strikeouts, and a 3.50 earned run average.

Whitey Lockman – 1973 Topps #81

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ImageCarl Walter “Whitey” Lockman (July 25, 1926 – March 17, 2009) was a player, coach, manager and front office executive in American Major League Baseball.
On October 3, 1951, Lockman scored the tying run, just ahead of Bobby Thomson, on Thomson’s home run that gave the New York Giants the National League championship – baseball’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Lockman’s one-out double against the Brooklyn Dodgers had scored Alvin Dark with the Giants’ first run of the inning, and made the score 4–2, Brooklyn. His hit knocked Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe out of the game, and, on the play, Giant baserunner Don Mueller injured his ankle sliding into third base. While Mueller  was being carried off the field to be replaced by a pinch runner, Dodger manager Chuck Dressen called on relief pitcher Ralph Branca, whose second pitch was hit by Thomson into the Polo Grounds’ lower left field stands for a game-winning, three-run homer.
Lockman’s coaching career began immediately after his playing days ended, as he joined the Reds’ staff in 1960 under skipper Fred Hutchinson. In 1961, when his old teammate Dark became manager of the Giants, Lockman became his third base coach, serving through 1964. ImageLockman then joined the Chicago Cubs as a minor league manager, coach, and, then, Director of Player Development. In July 1972, he succeeded his old mentor, Leo Durocher, as Cubs’ manager and the revitalized Cubbies won 39 of 65 games to improve two places in the standings. But losing marks in 1973 and into 1974 cost Lockman his job; he was relieved of his duties July 24, 1974 and moved back into the Chicago front office, serving as General Manager from late 1973 to late 1975. Lockman later was a player development official and special assignment scout for the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins. Lockman finished with a career major league managing record of 157–162 (.492).

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