Giants Cards of the Mid 1970s

Monday, August 31, 2009

Today in Giants' history (August 31)



  • 1904 - In a rowdy 3 - 2, 11-inning Giants win in Cincinnati. The high point comes in the 6th when New York catcher Frank Bowerman slugs a fan, a music teacher named Albert Hartzell, who has been heckling him. Police escort the catcher from the field. Bowerman will be released from custody tomorrow when the fan drops the charges. The Giants win the 2nd game as well, 4 - 1, in seven innings, with the game shortened to allow the Giants to catch a train for New York. The Giants leave Cincinnati with a 15-game lead over Chicago in the National League.


  • 1923 - Giants owner Charles Stoneham is indicted by a federal grand jury for perjury. He will also be indicted for mail fraud. He had denied any ownership in two bucket-shop operations that had been found guilty of stock frauds; creditors of the two firms claimed he retained financial interests in both. Other NL owners are rumored to be forming a pool to buy him out, but Stoneham stays out of jail and in the NL.



  • 1947 - Despite a 10 - 4 loss to the first-place Dodgers, the Giants' Jack Lohrke homers to set a season record for home runs by a club. The Giants have now hit 183 home runs, topping the 182 hit by the 1936 Yankees. They will end the season with 221 round trippers.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

1978 Topps Giants - Part 4

Pitching definitely was the strong point of the 1978 Giants. They had three guys (Knepper, Blue, Montefusco) who pitched over 200 innings. Ed Halicki (199) came very close, and fifth starter Jim Barr pitched 163 innings. This helped the bullpen, as no reliever pitched over 100 innings. Only nine pitchers had over 20 innings pitched.



For some reason the John Montefusco (#142) card wasn't in my team set. I grabbed this image off the web. John was 11-9 with a 3.81 ERA in 36 starts.

Longtime Giant reliever Gary Lavelle (#671) was 13-10 with 14 saves and a 3.32 ERA in 67 appearances.

Bob Knepper (#589) was 17-11 and led the Giants with a 2.63 ERA. He also had 16 complete games. He and Vida Blue combined to make a great 1-2 punch at the top of the Giant rotation.


Lynn McGlothen (#581) pitched in five games (one start) and had no record. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Hector Cruz on June 15. Lynn's last game was in 1982 and he died in a mobile home fire in 1984 at the age of 34.




Charlie Williams (#561) was 1-3 with a 5.44 ERA in 25 appearances (1 start). The 1978 season was Charlie's last one in the major leagues. He was famous for being the guy the Giants got from the New York Mets in exchange for Willie Mays in 1972.



John Curtis (#486) was 4-3 with a 3.71 ERA and one save in 46 appearances.



Dave Heaverlo (#338) didn't pitch for the Giants in 1978. He was sent to the Oakland A's as part of the Vida Blue trade before the season.



What is up with this card???? Greg Minton (#312) was 0-1 with an 8.04 ERA in 11 appearances in 1978. Greg wasn't used much when he was on the Giants' roster. He started 13 games for AAA Phoenix and came up to the majors to stay in 1979. Greg spent parts of 1973 and 1975-1978 in Phoenix, so he was familiar to us Phoenix Giants fans.



Randy Moffitt (#284) was the other part of the bullpen 1-2 punch for the Giants. He was 8-4 with 12 saves and a 3.31 ERA in 70 appearances. He and Gary Lavelle were very valuable as guys who could finish games.



Ed Halicki (#107) was 9-10 with a 2.85 ERA in 28 starts and earned a save in his only relief appearance.




Jim Barr (#62) was the Giants' fifth starter. He was 8-11 with one save and a 3.53 ERA in 32 games (25 starts).



Others who pitched for the Giants in 1978 but didn't get Topps Giants cards:
  • Vida Blue (18-10, 2.79 ERA, 3rd in Cy Young voting, 12th in MVP voting)
  • Phil Nastu (0-1 in eight innings)
  • Ed Plank (0-0 in 6.2 innings)
  • Terry Cornutt (0-0 in three innings)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

1978 Topps Giants - Part 3


  • Randy Elliott (#719) didn't play for the Giants in 1978. He has no stats at all from 1978 and 1979. He played for the Giants in 1977 and then played for the Oakland A's (and their AAA team) in 1980. I wonder what happened to him during those two years.


  • Gary Thomasson (#684) didn't play for the Giants in 1978. He was traded to the Oakland A's before the 1978 season as part of the Vida Blue trade.


  • Larry Herndon (#512) was the starting center fielder and played in 151 games in 1978. He batted .259 with one home run and 32 RBI.

  • Vic Harris (#436) batted .150 in 100 at bats as a utilityman in 1978.




  • Jack Clark (#384) batted .306 with 25 HR and 98 RBI. The 22-year-old right fielder led the Giants in runs (90), hits (181), doubles (46), home runs, and RBI.



  • Terry Whitfield (#236) batted .289 with 10 HR and 32 RBI in 149 games. Terry was the Giants' starting left fielder.

Others who played OF for the Giants but didn't get 1978 Topps Giants cards:

  • Hector Cruz (.223 with 6 HR in 197 AB)
  • Jim Dwyer (.225 in 173 AB)







Monday, August 24, 2009

1978 Topps Giants - Part 2

  • Willie McCovey (#34) hit 12 homers, had 64 RBI , and batted .228 in 351 at bats in 1978.


  • Johnnie LeMaster (#538) played shortstop and batted .235 in 272 at bats.

  • Rob Andrews (#461) batted .220 in 177 at bats in 1978.


  • Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock (#410) continued to hit well as he batted .309 in 122 games as the starting second baseman.


  • Darrell Evans (#215) played 159 games at third base in 1978 and batted .243 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI. He also had 105 walks.



  • Derrel Thomas (#194) didn't play for the Giants in 1978. He was traded to the San Diego Padres for Mike Ivie before the season.


  • Tim Foli (#167) didn't play for the Giants in 1978. He was purchased by the New York Mets in December 1977.

Others who played infield for the Giants but didn't have 1978 Topps Giants cards:

  • Mike Ivie was mostly a first baseman (.308, 11 HR, 55 RBI in 318 AB)
  • Roger Metzger - SS (.260 in 235 AB)
  • Tom Heintzelman - utility (.229 in 35 AB)
  • Skip James - 1B (.095 in 21 AB)






Saturday, August 22, 2009

A cool surprise


The Dean Family (1980 Topps Blog) sent me a stack of Giants cards (along with a 1976 Dave Concepcion that helped complete the set). On the note it said that there was a surprise at the bottom of the stack. When I got to the bottom of the stack I saw this 1991 Donruss Scott Garrelts. For a second I thought, "what's the big deal about 1991 Donruss?" Then I saw the autograph. Cool!!!

Thanks for the surprise. I've been thinking of starting a TTM autograph set (like GCRL is doing) of one of the Giants' teams. Perhaps I'll do the 1991 Donruss set. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

1978 Topps Giants - Part 1


  • This is a cool-looking team card (#82). It looks different from the normal run-of-the-mill team picture. Candlestick Park looks odd with artificial turf.

  • The 1978 Topps set is an underrated set. It has a nice design and the backs are easy to read. The set had 726 cards instead of the standard 660. The extra cards were needed due to expansion in 1977. The double prints were kind of a pain, but it was worth it to get more cards in the set.

  • Record: 89-73 (3rd in NL West, 6 games behind Los Angeles)
  • Team Batting: .248 (10th in NL)
  • Team Home Runs: 117 (6th in NL)
  • Team ERA: 3.30 (3rd in NL)
  • Team Fielding: .977 (9th in NL)
  • Attendance: 1,740,477 (4th in NL)
  • Gold Glove Awards: none
  • The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year: Vida Blue
  • NL All Stars: Vida Blue (starting pitcher); Jack Clark (OF)

  • The 1978 season was Joe Altobelli's (#256) second season as the Giants' manager. He was let go in September 1979 after the Giants struggled. Joe's record in almost three years as the SF manager was 225-239. Altobelli would later win a title with the Baltimore Orioles in 1983.

  • Gary Alexander (#624) didn't play for the Giants in 1978. He was traded to the Oakland A's before the season as part of the big Vida Blue trade.


  • Marc Hill (#359) was the starting catcher. He batted .243 with three HR in 117 games.


  • Mike Sadek (#8) batted .239 with two HR in 109 at bats in 1978.

Other players who caught for the Giants but didn't get 1978 Topps Giants cards:

  • John Tamargo (.239 in 92 at bats)

  • Dennis Littlejohn (caught in two games with no at bats)



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1990 Topps Giants - Part 5

Kelly Downs was 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 13 games (9 starts). He didn't pitch until August 10 and didn't start a game until August 23.



Jeff Brantley was 5-3 with 19 saves and a 1.56 ERA in 55 appearances.


Scott Garrelts was 12-11 with a 4.15 ERA in 31 starts.


Atlee Hammaker was 4-5 with an ERA of 4.28 in 25 games (6 starts). He was released on August 12 and signed with the San Diego Padres on August 24.


Trevor Wilson was 8-7 with a 4.00 ERA in 27 games (17 starts).




Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thanks again Captain Canuck


The Captain sent me some more Giants cards last week. He sent the two Giants in the 1981 Fleer sticker set (Clark and Blue), three 1959 Topps Giants (Barclay, Landrith, Muffett), and six 1971 Topps Giants cards. The one card is marked on the plastic, not on the card itself.


Thanks again, CC! Some more Braves cards are headed your way. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

1990 Topps Giants - Part 4

Randy McCament was 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in six innings. He pitched in three games in May and spent the rest of the year with AAA Phoenix.



Steve Bedrosian was 9-9 with 17 saves and an ERA of 4.20 in 1990.


Mike Krukow didn't pitch for the Giants in 1990. His last game was June 4, 1989. He tore his rotator cuff and had surgery on June 10, 1989. Mike retired in March of 1990.



Don Robinson was 10-7 with an ERA of 4.57 in 25 starts in 1990.


Rick "Big Daddy" Reuschel was 3-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 13 starts. He didn't pitch from late May until mid-September. Rick was released on June 19, 1991 and retired after going 0-2 in four April appearances.


Craig Lefferts didn't pitch for the Giants in 1990. He became a free agent after the 1989 season and signed with the San Diego Padres.



Dave Dravecky didn't pitch for the Giants in 1990. He pitched in his last game on August 15, 1989. His career came to an abrupt end after his humerus bone snapped as he made a pitch to Tim Raines. He had had an operation to remove a cancerous tumor a year earlier. The arm and shoulder had to be amputated in 1991. Here is an article about Dave's recent return to San Francisco and what happened that day in 1989.


Bob Knepper was 3-3 with a 5.79 ERA in 12 games (7 starts). Bob also made four starts for AAA Phoenix. He was released on June 26 and didn't pitch in the majors again.



Mike LaCoss was 6-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 12 starts in 1990. He didn't pitch from April 26 until August 11.


John Burkett was the top starter on the staff in 1990. He was 14-7 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts and was the only pitcher to pitch more than 200 innings.




Thursday, August 13, 2009

1990 Topps Giants - Part 3


Rick Parker batted .243 in 107 at bats. He batted .335 in 44 games for AAA Phoenix. Rick spent parts of five more seasons in the majors (1991, 1993-1996)

Rick Leach batted .293 in 174 at bats in 1990. He had a .372 on base percentage. It was his last season in the majors.

Donell Nixon didn't play for the Giants in 1990. He was released by the Giants in spring training. Nixon signed with the Baltimore Orioles. He spent most of the season with AAA Rochester and played eight games with the Orioles (his last appearances as a major leaguer).



Candy Maldonado didn't play for the Giants in 1990. He became a free agent after the 1989 season and signed with the Cleveland Indians.


Brett Butler started in center field. He batted .309 with 51 stolen bases and 90 walks in 160 games in 1990. He led the Giants with 108 runs scored.


Kevin Mitchell was the starting left fielder. He batted .290 and led the Giants with 35 home runs. Kevin knocked in 93 runs and scored 90 runs.



Pat Sheridan didn't play for the Giants in 1990. He became a free agent after the 1989 season and signed with the Kansas City Royals. The Royals released him in spring training and he signed with the Chicago Cubs. Pat played 23 games for the Cubs' AAA Iowa club.



Kevin was the starting LF in the 1990 All Star game. He went 0-2 with one strikeout.


Greg Litton batted .245 in 204 at bats. He played some right field after Kevin Bass went out with an injury.

Speaking of Kevin Bass, he batted .252 in 63 games at the end of the season for the Giants. He was out from late May to early September with an injury.

Others who played outfield for the Giants but didn't get a 1990 Topps Giants card:
  • Mike Kingery - .295 in 207 at bats. He started some games in RF while Kevin Bass was hurt.
  • Mark Leonard - .176 in 17 at bats (mostly as a pinch hitter)
  • Brad Komminsk - .200 in 8 at bats. He was signed in April and waived in May.