Tuesday, October 20, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 50

We'll see ten players today, with one left over from the All Stars on page 49.

Now that we are in Series 5, the number of hatless and/or airbrushed will go down, as now we start getting cards of expansion team players in their new uniforms! On this page we get our first look at the Expos uniform.

The color on the cards in Series 5 also seems off from the other sets, its darked and seems faded.

#436 - Gene Alley
The Pirate's shortstop was coming off of a second consecutive All Star season. But injuries limited him to only 82 games in 1969 and he never made the All Star team again.

#437 - Luis Alcaraz
The Royals purchased Alcaraz from the Dodgers, and you can see the script "Los Angeles" on his jersey. He played in 41 games for LA in 1968 but hit only .151. In 22 games for the Royals he added over 100 points to his average, hitting .253. But a .167 in 1970 spelled the end of his big league career

#438 - Gary Waslewski
The Cardinals picked Waslewski up from the Red Sox (see the top of the "Boston" on his jersey) in December 1968 after he was 4-7 for the Sawks. His stay in St. Louis lasted only 12 games and he was sent to Montreal in early June. His record for both teams was a combined 3-9.

#439 - White Sox Rookies
Ed Herrmann made it as a catcher for the Sox and would have an 11 year big league career. Dan Lazar's career was much shorter, only 17 games over two seasons. It looks like Lazar's photo was taken at White Sox Park (that's what it was called when the Allyn's owned the team; it was renamed Comiskey Park when Bill Veeck repurchased the team in 1976) It looks like park's arches are in the background. Though several cards in the set were shot at Wrigley Field, this is the only one I've found taken across town..

#440 - Willie McCovey
Stretch was at the peak of his career, being one of the most feared hitters in the National League. In 1968 he smashed a league-high 36 home runs and 105 RBI's and finished 3rd in the MVP balloting. He was even better in 1969, again leading the league in HRs and RBIs, with 45 and 126 and this time, he was named the NL MVP.

#441 - Dennis Higgins
A career reliever (he started only twice in his 231 game career), he won a personal best 10 games in 1969. He also lost a personal worst nine games! Those numbers were good enough to get him traded to the Indians after the season.

#442 - Ty Cline
Here is the first card in the set with the Expos uniform. I believe they had the first tri-colored hat in MLB history. We also get a nice look at the Expo's logo, with the M, E, and B in it. Cline was near the end of his 12 year career which included a seven game stop with the Cubs in 1966. He played in 101 games for the Expos and hit .239.

#443 - Don Wert
He had the kind of All Star season in 1968 that you don't see any more, making the AL team despite a .200 average for the season. Wert was hit in the head by a pitch in 1968 and his batting average was never the same. In 1969 he continued to slump at the plate, hitting only .225.

#444 - Joe Moeller
After pitching in 29 games for the Dodgers in 1966, Moeller spent most of '67 and '68 at Spokane in the PCL. He returned to the big club in 1969 and made 33 appearances while posting a respectable 3.33 ERA.

#445 - Bobby Knoop
The correct pronunciation of his name breaks the rules you learned in school: the K is not silent: his name is kuh-NOPP. In 1968 he won his third consecutive gold glove at second base. But his bat was never much, and after hitting .197 for the '69 Angels in 27 games, he was traded to the White Sox for Sandy Alomar. He didn't do much better for the Sox, hitting only .229.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 28
Hatless - 101
Airbrush - 90
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 60


  1. McCovey saves that sheet.

    It's frustrating that Topps usually put at least one of the Giants' HOFers in a high number series every year. Makes it hard to complete team sets from the 60s. :(

  2. I recently acquired a signed Bobby Knoop card basically because I always liked his odd name.

  3. I always though the "M" part of the Expos' logo was a stretch.

  4. Matt,

    I feel your pain. Collecting Cubs means you need Banks, Williams, and Jenkins...and two of the three are usually high numbers. In the '69 set, we have yet to see both Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins...high numbers...high cost!

  5. With a little effort, the airbrushers could have slapped a "KC" on Alcaraz' cap!