Giants Cards of the Mid 1970s

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

1983 Donruss #605 - Guy Sularz

  • Guy Sularz was an infielder who played in parts of four seasons with the Giants from 1980-1983.
  • Sularz was drafted by the Giants in 1974. He played in the minors from 1974-1980. Guy's best minor league season was with AAA Phoenix in 1978. He batted .294 in 144 games and had a .370 on base percentage. Sularz was always good at getting on base - he had a lifetime .370 on base percentage in 11  minor league seasons.
  • Guy got his first taste of the majors as a September call-up in 1980. Sularz started 23 games at second base and batted .246 in 25 games. Guy didn't show much power -- his slugging percentage was only .292.
  • In 1981 Sularz spent most of the year in Phoenix. He was called up in September and batted .200 (4 for 20) in 10 games.
  • Guy spent most of the 1982 season as a backup infielder for the Giants. He batted .228 in 63 games.
  • Sularz was in Phoenix in 1983. He was called up in September, but Guy didn't get to play much. He batted .100 (2 for 20) in ten games.
  • Guy was in Phoenix for the entire 1984 season. After the 1984 season he was offered a contract to be a player-coach in Phoenix. Sularz turned down the offer and retired.
  • Sularz used some money he saved up during his playing days to enroll in junior college. He decided to become a firefighter and worked in Phoenix in the early 1990s.
  • Guy retired as the all-time Phoenix Giants/Firebirds leader in games, hits, doubles, and total bases.
  • Sularz returned to his roots as a fan and rooted for the Dodgers (ugh!) after he left the Giants organization.
  • Guy is now a real estate agent in Mesa, AZ.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Wallet Card - Standin' on The Corner... Winslow, Arizona!

I was driving on I-40 through Winslow and I figured I'd stop and get a picture with our favorite ape. There is actually a corner in Winslow that is fixed up complete with a statue of Glenn Frey.

Across the street there is a gift shop called "Standin' on The Corner." There is constant Eagles (or Eagles-connected) music being played on the outside speakers. There aren't many good pictures because it was really cold and windy that day. I jumped out of the truck, took a few quick pictures, and jumped back in so that I could go to Flagstaff to take a Praxis test. Arizona is so spread out that the closest testing site for me is 120 miles away.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Topps Baseball #139 - Gary Brown

  • Gary Brown has had his ups and downs since he was the Giants' first round draft pick in 2010. Brown has slid down the organization depth chart in the last couple of years. 
  • Gary was put on the postseason roster last year. He only got into one game, but he was there.
  • Brown's minor league stats are on the back of this card, but his major league stats were omitted. Gary was 3 for 7 (.429) in seven games with the Giants last September.
  • Gary will have a shot at making the Giants as the fifth outfielder this spring.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Topps #86 - Tim Hudson

  • Tim Hudson is the first Giants card I've seen this year. It was about the fifth card in the first pack I opened. It's a nice action shot of Mr. Hudson throwing a pitch. Which park is this?

  • Tim started off very well in 2014, but he tailed off at the end of the season. He was still a valuable part of the Giants' World Championship team. It was nice to see Hudson get his first ring.
  • Hudson is allowing more hits per nine innings nowadays, but he is walking fewer batters. He had the best strikeout-walk ratio (3.53) of his  16-year career in 2014.
  • Topps and the baseball reference site must have different ways of computing WAR. This card shows Tim with a lifetime WAR of 50.0, while baseball reference shows him with 56.5 lifetime WAR.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Goodbye Rocky

  • I was saddened to hear that Rocky Bridges passed away a few days ago at the age of 87. Rocky managed the AAA Phoenix Giants from 1974-1982. I have lots of good memories of attending games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Bridges was a popular guy who kept the crowd entertained.
  • Here is a good 2011 article about Rocky from the Los Angeles Times.
  • My favorite Rocky Bridges quotes:
    • "I can't spell Albuquerque, but sure can smell it."
    • "Tommy Lasorda's curve ball had as much hang time as a Ray Guy punt."
  • Brendan C.  Boyd and Fred Harris had a great write-up about Rocky in The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book. Here is part of it:
    • "Rocky Bridges looked like a ballplayer. In fact he probably looked more like a ballplayer than any ballplayer who ever lived. His head looked like a sack full of rusty nails, he kept about six inches of chewing tobacco lodged permanently in the upper recesses of his left cheek, and his uniform always looked like he had just slept in it, which he probably had."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wallet Card 2015

  • I figured I'd do something different for the 2015 wallet card. At first I wanted to do 1978 Topps Greg Minton, but I don't have a duplicate card. Then I thought of the old Wacky Packages that first came out in the late 1960s as die-cuts. I collected the stickers when I was in second and third grades (1973-1974). Early in my third grade year in 1974 I made the mistake of bringing my wacky packages to school. They got stolen and I was not a happy kid. I had most of the stickers from series 5-12. When I was in 8th grade (1979-1980) Topps came out with these reprints. I collected them, but it just wasn't the same. Every so often Topps comes out with new ones, but I don't have any of them.
  • Can you guess which year is being parodied in this one? A clue is below:

  • I'm going to take the precaution of putting this in a penny sleeve, but I don't expect it to last all year. Here's to some adventure with the Apes' star player!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1984 Fleer #376 - Bill Laskey

  • This Tuesday's "Obscure Giant" is pitcher Bill Laskey.
  • Love that name on the glove. I did that way back when. Do players still do this today?

  • Laskey was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1977 (8th round in January, 1st round in June), but he didn't sign either time. Bill was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the second round in 1978 and finally signed.
  • Bill pitched well in the minors from 1978-1981, but he never made it to the majors. After the 1981 season Laskey was traded to the Giants (with pitcher Rich Gale) for outfielder Jerry Martin.
  • Laskey started the 1982 season in AAA Phoenix. Bill started two games and was 1-0 while allowing two runs in 14 innings. Laskey was called up and made his Giants debut on April 23, 1982 (a three batter stint in a blowout game against the hated Dodgers). Bill made his first start on April 28 and it was a great one. Laskey shut out the Montreal Expos 7-0 while allowing only three hits. Bill went on to go 13-12 with a 3.14 ERA in 31 starts.
  • Bill went 13-10 in 25 starts in 1983, but his ERA rose to 4.19. Laskey missed the last six weeks of the 1983 season with an injury. He and Atlee Hammaker made a good 1-2 punch of young starters for the Giants.
  • Before the 1984 season Bill was rumored to be traded to the Cleveland Indians. The Giants supposedly had a lot of pitching and needed to replace Darrell Evans, who had left as a free agent. Nothing came of the trade rumors. 
  • Laskey went 9-14 with a 4.33 ERA in 34 starts in 1984. 
  • Bill started the 1985 season with the Giants (5-11, 3.55 ERA in 19 starts) but was traded (with OF Scot Thompson) to the Montreal Expos on August 1 for first baseman Dan Driessen. Laskey struggled with the Expos, going 0-5 with a 9.44 ERA.
  • Laskey was traded back to the Giants before the 1986 season. Bill had ripped the San Francisco organization when he was first traded to the Expos, but he was glad to go back. Laskey disagreed with manager Jim Davenport and GM Tom Haller, but since different guys were running the Giants he was willing to go back.
  • The Giants converted Bill to a reliever. Laskey was 1-1 with 1 save and had a 4.28 ERA in 20 appearances from April to June 1986. Bill was sent to AAA Phoenix in late June and became a starting pitcher again (5-5, 3.43 ERA in 13 starts).
  • Laskey was released after the 1986 season and signed with the Tigers. Bill spent the entire 1987 in AAA Toledo (12-6, 3 saves, 3.86 ERA in 56 appearances). 
  • Bill became a free agent after the 1987 season and signed with the Indians. He split the 1988 season between AAA Colorado Springs (1-1, 2 saves, 5.61 ERA in 12 games) and Cleveland (1-0, 1 save, 5.18 ERA in 17 appearances). Laskey became a free agent in late August after refusing another assignment to Colorado Springs.
  • Laskey spent three more years (1989-1991) pitching for various AAA teams. He never got back to the majors after the 1988 season. Bill ended up with a 42-53 lifetime record with a 4.14 ERA in six seasons in the majors.
  • According to his LinkedIn profile, Bill has run a sports talent agency and has been a high school softball coach since his retirement from baseball. Laskey is also an analyst for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.