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