Thursday, November 29, 2012

1998 Kenner Starting Lineup Frank Robinson in the Orioles 1971 - 1972 All Orange Uniform

I don't know how I've overlooked this for so long, but I just found out that Kenner produced a Starting Lineup figure using the short lived all orange Orioles uniform from 1971 - 1972.  The rarely seen uniform was used on their Frank Robinson figure that they released back in 1998:

The figure is a very good representation of the uniform, although based on the one color picture we have of Frank in the uniform, they should have included his first initial, not outlined his name in white, and made his stirrups a bit higher: 

Also, the white stripe around the collar was not nearly as wide as shown on the figure based on this photo of Brooks Robinson:

Here is a picture of the figure in the packaging.  It would have been great if they could have found a photo of Frank in the orange uniform to go on the card that came with the figure as well:

For a look at more pictures of the all orange Orioles uniform from 1971 - 1972, click HERE.

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Pictures of the 1971 - 1972 Orioles All Orange Uniforms - Now we have almost the entire lineup!

Thanks to ebay, we've got 4 more pictures from the Sporting News archives to add to the collection of the All Orange Orioles uniform worn at the end of 1971 and the beginning of 1972.

We've now got a picture of Davey Johnson:

As well as three pictures of Merv Rettenmund:

It appears the Sporting News must have had a photographer at the April 22, 1972 game which was played in Cleveland as we now have a picture of almost every Oriole that started that game.

According to the lineup that day, Don Buford was the leadoff hitter

followed by Merv Rettenmumd and then Paul Blair (who we can see on deck)

Batting 4th was Boog Powell

and Brooks Robinson was 5th

Batting 6th was Elrod Hendricks (who can barely be seen behind Brooks), followed by Davey Johnson.

Mark Belanger batted 8th (and can be seen on deck behind Johnson), followed by Jim Palmer

Paul Blair, Elrod Hendricks and Mark Belanger are the only starters from that day for which we don't yet have full pictures (although we can see all of them on deck).  I'm hoping that eventually we'll see these players at bat as well as it seems that every few months a few more pictures surface.

Monday, September 10, 2012

1971 Topps Merv Rettenmund - From a Different Perspective

In looking at some ebay auctions for Orioles photos, I came across this shot of Merv Rettenmund that looked very familiar:

While I can't say definitively, it sure looks like the picture above was taken just a second or two before the picture that was used on Merv's 1971 Topps card from a slightly different angle:

The one thing in the photo that makes me think its the same play is the fact that the way Merv is wearing his stirrups appear to be identical.  On his right leg, part of the black stripe is showing in the front, but not in the back in both photos.  On the left leg, just a small part of the black stripe appears in both shots.  In both photos Yankees 3rd baseman Jerry Kenney has his sunglasses glasses flipped up.  Hardly conclusive evidence, but enough to make me think its the same play.

In trying to pinpoint the game where these photos were taken, I believe it would have been August 9, 1970 at Yankee Stadium.  In the 7th inning, Rettenmund led off the inning with a double, then went to 3rd on a ground ball hit by Andy Etchebarren, and later scored on a single by Mark Belanger.  In looking at the scoreboard behind Merv, you can see a 1 for the visiting team.  The Orioles did score 1 run in the first and the Yankees did not score until the 7th, so the scoreboard appears to confirm that this is the correct game.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

NEW FLEER DISCOVERY! - Fleer Stick-ees

I've recently come across a previously undocumented Fleer offering from the early 1970's - plastic team logo stickers that Fleer sold as Stick-ees:

Each pack contained 1 plastic logo sticker which appears to be about the same shape and size as the baseball team logo magnets

that were sold with magnetic standings boards:

Here is a shot of the back of the wrapper:

Its interesting to note that gum was not included in the pack.

The seller who had this item up for auction also had the box that they came in:

Based on the font used on the box, I am going to guess they were issued around 1974 as the all lowercase "baseball" on the box is identical to the 1974 Fleer Cloth Baseball Patches box and wrappers:

Since these aren't cards or stickers, but rather plastic logos, its not surprising that they don't show up listed in any price guides.  However, in all the years I've spent looking for Fleer items, this is the first time I've ever come across this item.

Perhaps it was a test issue that was only done in a few markets.  The only team the seller had was the Red Sox (for which he had 10 unopened packs), so its not clear if only certain teams were available, or if the person who originally had this liked the Red Sox and kept those and stuck or sold the rest.

If anyone has any information on these, or remembers buying these back in the 1970's, I'd like to hear from you.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

1980 Topps Gary Carter Uncropped

The Topps Vault just auctioned off the negative that was used to create Gary Carter's 1980 Topps card, and we get to see a great deal more of the play in the uncropped shot:

We can see that Topps cropped the image to take out the two Cardinals standing down the first base line to just focus on Carter, but its interesting to see the full shot to have a better idea of what going on with the play at home.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Seattle Pilots in the Sunday Comics

The comic strip "The Argyle Sweater" by Scott Hilburn had a great look at retired sports logos in today's Sunday paper, including the Seattle Pilots logo playing checkers with the Minnesota North Stars logo:

Also included are the Montreal Expos, Seattle SuperSonics, Houston Oilers, Hartford Whalers, and Quebec Nordiques.

I wonder how many readers would be able to identify all the teams.  I'm guessing a lot of people won't recognize the Pilots.

Thanks to Scott for a great Pilots reference!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1973 All Star Game Review - The Last Time the Game was Played in KC

As Kansas City is gearing up to host their first All Star Game in almost 40 years, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the last All Star Game played in KC - the 1973 All Star Game.

Its interesting that the last time the All Star Game was played in KC it was the 40th Anniversary, and now here are almost 40 years later for the next game in KC.


To show how time really flies by and things change, when this game was played, Royals Stadium had just opened earlier that year:

Now, 39 years later, Kauffman Stadium is the 6th oldest park in the majors, behind only Fenway, Wrigley, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, and the Oakland Coliseum.

Thanks to the astroturf, the rain that came pouring down the morning of the game

didn't keep the game from being postponed as they were able to vacum the water off the field.

Jim "Catfish" Hunter was the American League starting pitcher:

Here is a nice shot of Catfish getting ready to face Hank Aaron.

Catfish held the NL scoreless through the first two innings, but in the third he got hit on the hand by a shot off the bat of Billy Williams:

A's teammate Ken Holtzman came in to replace Hunter, but do you notice something strange?

Catfish was wearing a yellow A's jersey while Holtzman was wearing green.  It wasn't just these two A's who were mixing it up though - here's a shot from later in the game with Sal Bando and Bert Campaneris wearing different colored jerseys

Reggie Jackson went with the yellow A's jersey, and here he is warming up with a very unusual batting "donut":

Jackson doubled off NL starter Rick Wise

and was driven in by hometown hero Amos Otis to score the first run of the game.

In the top of the 3rd, Bert Blyleven comes in and allows Pete Rose and Joe Morgan to reach base.  Up comes Cesar Cedeno who doubles to score Rose to tie the game.

Notice anything unusual in the picture above?  Cedeno is wearing white shoes.  From what I can tell, this is the first time in an All Star game that we see a player wearing white shoes that aren't part of his team's official uniform (like the A's).  I've watched the highlight film of the 1972 game, and nobody other than players on the A's are wearing white shoes, so I think its fair to say the 1973 All Star game is the first time players starting wearing white shoes.

Hank Aaron comes up after Cedeno and singles to score Joe Morgan, putting the NL up 2-1.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Buddy Bell comes up to the plate, and it looks like he forgot to pack his batting helmet as he is wearing a Tigers batting helmet:

In the 4th, Johnny Bench homers off Bill Singer to make it 3-1:

In the 5th, Joe Morgan doubles off Bill Singer and Bobby Bonds then homers to make it 5-1:

Bonds is also wearing white shoes.

In the top of the 6th, Nolan Ryan walks Ron Santo, and then faces Willie Stargell, who is also wearing white shoes:

Stargell strikes out, which brings up Willie Davis, who like Bell forgot his batting helmet.  Willie comes to the plate wearing a Braves batting helmet

and homers off Nolan Ryan to make it 7-1.

In the 8th, Willie Mays made his final All Star Game appearance (his 24th, which just happens to match his number):

In the end, it was yet another NL victory during their incredible run of dominance over the AL during the '60s & 70's

 as the National League won the game 7 - 1

and Bobby Bonds was named the MVP:

In addition to the players I've already mentioned, Chris Speier also wore white shoes (shown here with Cesar Cedeno) 


One thing I remember most about watching the All Star Games when I was a kid during the '70s was checking out which players would wear the white cleats.  It seemed like there would always be a few players who looked slightly different than what I had seen from looking at my baseball cards and watching the NBC Game of the Week, so its interesting to see that it appears 1973 was the year this fashion trend started.

Speaking of baseball cards, here is a look at the 1974 Topps All Star cards which featured the starters from the 1973 game:

The backs of the All Star cards feature a puzzle showing MVP Bobby Bonds

One last interesting sight from the game was the bullpen buggies for the AL and the NL:

It just wouldn't be 1970's baseball without Bullpen Buggies!

There were a total of 17 future Hall of Famer players at the 1973 game: Joe Morgan, Hank Aaron, Billy Williams, Johnny Bench, Ron Santo, Willie Stargel, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Carlton Fisk, Brooks Robinson, Catfish Hunter, Bert Blyleven, Nolan Ryan and Rollie Fingers.  In addition, three Hall of Fame managers were at the game: Dick Williams, Whitey Herzog and Sparky Anderson.

Its hard to believe that a game that was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the All Star Game is now itself celebrating its 39th Anniversary as the game finally returns to Kansas City after almost 4 decades.