Giants Cards of the Mid 1970s

Monday, August 22, 2011

1976 Hostess #142 - Gary Matthews

  • Every time I feature a Gary Matthews or a Garry Maddox card I find myself lamenting the financial straits that forced the Giants to get rid of them in the mid 1970s.
  • Matthews finished his run with the Giants in 1976. He batted .279 with 20 HR and 84 RBI.
  • Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner was suspended by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for tampering with Matthews. Turner had told Giants' owner Bob Lurie that no matter how much Lurie offered, the Braves would top the offer.
  • Matthews signed a five-year, $1.2  million contract with the Braves after the 1976 season.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

1977 Hostess #29 - Bobby Murcer

  • As the back of this card indicates, Bobby Murcer had been traded to the Chicago Cubs for Bill Madlock before the 1977 season. Three other players were involved in the deal, but the main trade was Murcer/Madlock.
  • The Cubs were having difficulty signing Madlock, and the Giants were having a hard time signing Murcer.
  • The Giants had acquired Murcer from the New York Yankees for Bobby Bonds after the 1974 season. Both players had off-years in 1974.
  • Murcer represented the Giants in the 1975 All Star Game. He went 0 for 2 in the game.

Monday, August 15, 2011

1976 Hostess #82 - Chris Speier

  • Chris Speier was a solid shortstop for the Giants in the early-mid 1970s.
  • Chris was the first round (second overall) pick of the Giants in the 1970 draft
  • After spending one season (1970) with AA Amarillo, Chris won the starting shortstop job in 1971. Speier roomed with the man he beat out (Hal Lanier) and learned a lot from him in 1971.
  • Speier was an NL All Star in 1972, 1973, and in 1974
  • Chris had a rough year in 1976. Manager Bill Rigney wanted to start Johnnie LeMaster at shortstop. Speier didn't like being moved to second base. He eventually agreed to the move, but it only lasted a week.
  • Chris slumped to a .226 average in 1976 and was traded to the Montreal Expos for Tim Foli early in the 1977 season.
  • Speier eventually  returned to the Giants to finish his career. His second run with the Giants was from 1987-1989

Saturday, August 13, 2011

1979 Hostess #10 - Terry Whitfield

  • Terry Whitfield's 1979 season started off in a promising manner. Terry went 4 for 5 as the Giants beat up on Cincinnati starter Tom Seaver and won 11-5. 
  • Whitfield hit an inside-the-park home run off of Philadelphia starter Nino Espinosa on May 1.
  • The Giants had a disappointing season in 1979. Whitfield didn't do as well as he did in 1978, but he still batted .287 in 133 games
  • Terry would go on to play one more season with the Giants before going to Japan for three years.
  • Whitfield came back in 1984 and played from 1984-1986 with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday, August 12, 2011

1978 Hostess #136 - Terry Whitfield

  • The Giants acquired Terry Whitfield on March 14, 1977 in a trade with the New York Yankees. The Giants sent 2B Marty Perez to the Yankees in exchange for Whitfield.
  • When this card was printed Terry was coming off of his first full season as a major league player. He had a nice year for the Giants, batting .285 in 114 games.
  • Whitfield was injured on July 31 when he collided with Houston 2B Art Howe. They both had forehead lacerations and were taken to a hospital. Terry made a pinch hitting appearance and finished the game the next day and then returned to the Giants' lineup.
  • Terry had another good year for the Giants in 1978. He played in 149 games and batted .289 with 10 HR.

1978 Hostess #12 - Ed Halicki

  • Ed Halicki was coming off of a good season in 1977 -- he was 16-12 with a 3.31 ERA
  • Ed pulled a muscle in his side during spring training and didn't pitch until May 14
  • Ed pitched a one-hit shutout against the Montreal Expos on June 12.
  • Halicki pitched a three-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds and beat Tom Seaver 3-0 on June 21. At the time the Giants were two games ahead of the Reds in the NL West
  • Ed got his first major league save on August 8 against the rival LA Dodgers
  • Halicki was upset with Cincinnati manager Sparky Anderson about some things that Anderson said about him earlier in the year
  • Ed ended up with a 9-10 record with a 2.85 ERA in 1978. It was his last good year in the majors.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1977 Hostess #47 - Larry Herndon

  • Larry Herndon was coming off a pretty good rookie season in 1976. He batted .288 in 115 games.
  • Herndon had a sophomore jinx in 1977. He was batting .239 when he was placed on the disabled list in mid June. 
  • Larry wasn't happy with the Giants because they didn't take him off of the disabled list and went AWOL in late August. The Giants asked the commissioner's office for permission to place him on the disqualified list. Herndon remained on the disqualified list until November 1.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1975 Hostess #31 - Gary Matthews

  • It really is too bad the Giants couldn't keep Gary Matthews. He was a good one
  • Matthews made his debut on September 6, 1972 (my 6th birthday)
  • Gary batted .279 with 20 HR and 84 RBI in 116 games in 1975.
  • Gary had a home plate collision with Johnny Bench on April 22. Bench played with the injury through the 1975 season and had shoulder surgery after the season.
  • Matthews was injured after fighting (perhaps playfully) with teammate Derrel Thomas on June 1. Gary missed six weeks with a broken thumb

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1983 Kellogg's #46 - Greg Minton

  • When this card was printed Greg Minton was coming off an All-Star season in which he went 10-4 with 30 saves and had a 1.83 ERA. Greg finished 3rd in NL Cy Young Award voting and 8th in NL MVP voting
  • Minton didn't do as well in 1983. He was 7-11 with 22 saves and had a 3.54 ERA.
  • Greg seemed to find his pitching groove in late July, but by that time the damage had already been done to his ERA.
  • Minton and Gary Lavelle were an effective lefty/righty tandem in the Giants' bullpen in the late 70s and early 80s.
  • Minton pitched for the Giants until his release on May 28, 1987. He then pitched for the California Angels through the 1990 season. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

1983 Kellogg's #48 - Jack Clark

  • Jack Clark wasn't as productive in 1983 as he had been in previous seasons. Clark batted .268 with 20 HR, but he only knocked in 66 runs
  • Clark expressed his displeasure with Giants' management in late April. He didn't like Candlestick Park (who did?) and he thought the Giants weren't doing enough to improve the team. Jack was especially upset that the Giants traded Joe Morgan and let Reggie Smith leave as  a free agent.
  • Clark was almost traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates late in the 1983 season, but the trade was voided by NL President Chub Feeney because the Pirates wanted to keep some of the players in the trade until after the season.
  • The Giants said that they would try to accommodate Clark's trade demand. After the 1983 season Giants' GM Tom Haller said that there was a 50-50 chance Clark would be traded to the Pirates, but the deal didn't take place.
  • Jack would play one more season with the Giants before being traded to the Cardinals after the 1984 season. It ended up being a terrible trade for the Giants.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

1980 Kellogg's #57 - Jack Clark

  • Jack Clark was the main man offensively for the Giants in 1980. He batted .284 with 22 HR and 82 RBI and got a few votes in the NL MVP balloting
  • Jack was named co-player of the week (with Steve Carlton) in the NL for the week of June 15-22. Clark was 14 for 26 (.538 average) and homered twice during the week.
  • Clark suffered a broken bone in his hand after being hit by a pitch from the Mets' Mark Bomback on August 20.
  • He came back on September 18 but only pinch hit for the next three days.
  • Jack returned to the starting lineup on September 21. He went 6 for 41 after the injury with no extra-base hits

Saturday, August 6, 2011

1980 Kellogg's #42 - Vida Blue

  • Here is another Kellogg's Vida Blue card
  • After the first two months of the 1980 season, Blue was 8-2.
  • He was named in a paternity suit in June 1980. The suit was from a child a woman claimed he had fathered in 1967 (before he started his professional baseball career)
  • Blue had to miss the 1980 All Star Game due to a bad back
  • Vida Blue finished the 1980 season with a 14-10 record and a 2.97 ERA

Friday, August 5, 2011

1979 Kellogg's #17 - Willie McCovey

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1981 Kellogg's #23 - Vida Blue

  • While Vida Blue was with the Giants he was often used as the club's representative in the Kellogg's sets.
  • Blue got Kellogg's Giants cards in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982
  • Blue also had Kellogg's cards when he was with the Oakland A's in 1972 and in 1976.
  • Vida had problems with substance abuse, but he was usually a productive pitcher for the Giants. 
  • Blue was an NL All Star in 1978, 1980, and 1981

Sunday, July 31, 2011

1986 Fleer Star Sticker #42 - Scott Garrelts

  • Scott Garrelts was the Giants' first round draft pick in 1979
  • Garrelts had late season call-ups in 1982 and in 1983.
  • Scott was up and down between AAA Phoenix and San Francisco in 1984. The Giants used Garrelts in 21 games (3 starts) and he was 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA.
  • Garrelts really came into his own in 1985 as a reliever. Scott pitched in 74 games and was 9-6 with 13 saves and had a 2.30 ERA. He made the NL All Star team but he wasn't used in the game.
  • Scott was used as a swingman in 1986. He pitched in 53 games (18 starts) and was 13-9 with 10 saves. Scott had a 3.11 ERA.
  • In 1987 Garrelts was exclusively a reliever. He had a record of 11-7 with 12 saves and had a 3.22 ERA in 64 games.
  • Scott wasn't very successful in the 1987 NL Championship Series. He appeared in two games and allowed two runs on two hits and four walks in 2.2 innings.
  • Garrelts was a reliever again in 1988. He made 65 appearances but his record slipped to 5-9 with 13 saves and his ERA rose to 3.58.
  • Scott was moved into the Giants' starting rotation in 1989. He had a good year and finished sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting. Garrelts was 14-5 and led the NL with a 2.38 ERA.
  • Garrelts pitched well in game 1 of the 1989 NLCS and earned the win. He got cuffed around in game 4, allowing four runs in 4.2 innings. Kelly Downs relieved him and earned the win.
  • Scott took two losses in the 1989 World Series -- he started and lost games 1 and 4.
  • Before the 1990 season Garrelts signed a 3-year, $6.2 million contract.
  • Scott's last full season was in 1990. Garrelts (along with the rest of the club) had an up and down season. Scott ended up going 12-11 with a 4.15 ERA.
  • On July 29, 1990 Scott came within one out of pitching a no-hitter. Paul O'Neill of the Cincinnati Reds singled with two out in the 9th inning to break up the no-hitter.
  • Scott struggled with arm trouble in 1991. He appeared in eight games (three starts) and was 1-1 with a 6.41 ERA.
  • On July 18, 1991 Garrelts had elbow surgery. He didn't pitch again in 1991.
  • Scott made several rehab starts in the  minors in 1992 but wasn't ready to come back to the majors.
  • Garrelts tried again in the San Diego Padres system in 1993 and with the Kansas City Royals (AAA Omaha) in 1995 but never got back to the majors.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

1986 Fleer Star Sticker #13 - Chris Brown

  • Chris Brown had a couple of good seasons with the Giants in the mid-1980s
  • Brown spent several years in the minors (1979-1984) and was promoted to the Giants in September of 1984 at the age of 23.
  • Chris finished 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting (behind Vince Coleman, Tom Browning, and Mariano Duncan) in 1985
  • Brown batted .271 with 16 HR and 61 RBI in 1985 and was one of the few bright spots in the Giants' most dismal season
  • In 1986 Brown's power fell off (7 HR) but he batted .317 and was an NL All Star (he doubled and hit into a double play in the game)
  • Chris got off to a rough start in 1987 (.242 in 38 games with the Giants) and was included in the big trade with the San Diego Padres that brought Kevin Mitchell to the Giants.
  • Brown spent the rest of 1987 and the 1988 seasons with the Padres and then moved on to the Detroit Tigers
  • Chris played with the Tigers for a bit in 1989 before being released on May 19. He was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates and played well in AAA (.343 in 57 games), but he never made it back to the  majors.
  • Brown tried a comeback with the Cincinnati Reds' AAA club in 1995, but he went 0 for 7 in three games.
  • After his baseball career, Brown became a driver for Halliburton and spent time in Iraq.
  • Chris Brown died from injuries suffered in a house fire on December 26, 2006.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Goodies from another break

Dave from Indians Baseball Cards and Random Wax did another break of lesser-known 80s releases a few weeks ago. The cards came in the mail yesterday:

  • Two 1990 Topps Heads-Up Giants (Will the Thrill and Kevin Mitchell)
  • Two 1985 Topps Rub-Downs Giants
  • An undated Fleer team sticker
  • A 1988 Topps coin of Jack Morris (looks like I got some Tigers in addition to the Giants cards)

  • Four 1986 Fleer Stickers (Scott Garrelts, Chris Brown, Darrell Evans, and Lance Parrish)
  • Some 1983 Topps Fold-Outs cards (doubles of Gary Lavelle and Greg Minton and quadruples of Darrell Evans)
  • A specialty card of Dave that he had made (
I'll be doing posts of some of the individual cards in the next few days!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

1962 Topps #107 - Mike McCormick

  • I already featured the 1962 Giants in another entry, but this one deserves its own entry.
  • I got this card and three 1969 Topps cards in a trade with Gritz 76 of Project '62 on Zistle. Zistle has a good trade feature now. It would be nice to see more members put vintage cards on their want lists and trade lists.
  • Mike McCormick was a mainstay of the Giants rotation in two stints with the Giants.
  • Mike came up with the Giants in 1956 and stayed with them through the 1962 season. He was an NL All Star in 1960 and in 1961. 
  • McCormick was traded to the Baltimore Orioles after the 1962 season and pitched for them in 1963 and in 1964. Mike pitched for the Washington Senators in 1965 and in 1966 and then was traded back to the Giants.
  • McCormick had a great bounce-back season in 1967. He led the NL with 22 wins and won the NL Cy Young Award
  • Mike stayed with the Giants until the  middle of the 1970 season. He pitched for the New York Yankees in 1970 and for the Kansas City Royals in 1971.
  • McCormick was released by the Royals in June 1971. He pitched in the minors in 1972 and in 1973 but didn't get back to the  majors.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1988 Sportflics #82 - Jeffrey Leonard

  • Jeffrey Leonard wasn't the most well-liked guy, but he was fun to watch.
  • He had one of the greatest nicknames of his era: "Penitentiary Face"
  • Jeffrey had a famous (or infamous) home run trot called "one flap down"
  • Here is a video of him talking about how "one flap down" came to be:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1988 Sportflics #126 - Candy Maldonado

  • After having several not-so-hot years with the hated Dodgers, Candy Maldonado had a couple of productive seasons with the Giants
  • Candy's two best seasons were 1986 (.252, 18 HR, 85 RBI) and 1987 (.292, 20 HR, 85 RBI)
  • Maldonado's production started to wane in 1988 and after a poor season in 1989 he left the Giants and signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Inside the Clubhouse - Forever Giants

  • Last month's legends game brought together a lot of players from all eras of SF Giants history. This show is a behind the scenes look at the happenings of that day
  • I don't get this station, but I think it'll be on It's supposed to be on at 4:30 Pacific Time today (7/16).
  • Here is a clip from the show:

Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 Bowman #1 - Buster Posey

  • Posey was drafted in 2008 and was tearing it up in the  majors by 2010 --- that's a fast rise!
  • Here's  hoping Buster will bounce back in 2012!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

1988 Sportflics #24 - Robby Thompson

  • The next few posts will highlight cards that I got from the Buck a Box break
  • These Sportflics cards don't scan well, but they look great!
  • It's too bad Kellogg's and Sportflics aren't doing cards anymore --- the 3D look is unique
  • The backs have a lot of good elements: Easy to read, a picture, yearly stats, and a good write-up.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Goodies from a break -- part 1

Dave over at Indians Baseball Cards and Random Wax did a "Buck a Box" break last  month.

  • Dave made his own "custom wrapper" for the cards. Pretty neat!

  • I didn't realize that's what it was until I had already opened it. I tore through part of the message -- kinda like when we were little and ripped right through the mail-in offers that were on the Topps wrappers.

  • Here are the cards I received.

  • Dave sent the cards in their wrappers. I didn't see this set when it came out in 1990, so it was pretty cool to see 'em

  • Will the Thrill and Kevin Mitchell. The things sticking out of the cap emblems are the anchors for the suction cup on the other side. These were meant to be stuck on walls or other flat objects. Maybe I'll stick these in my classroom near my desk.

  • The rest of the cards I received are pictured above. I'll be posting about them in the coming days.
  • Cool break Dave!!!!