It's an airbrush-free page and only three hatless players! Plus, we get our first look at the Padres' uniform. And, my all-time favorite Cubs player in on the page, but he will get his own post tomorrow.
#446 - Claude Raymond A native of Quebec, "Frenchy" was at the tail end of a 12 year career. In 33 games with the Braves, his ERA was a very high 5.25. The Braves gave up on him and sold him to the Expos. I'm sure the Expos were thrilled to have a native of Quebec on the roster. You would think that would sell a ticket or two.
#447 - Ralph Houk We see the Yankee skipper looking very skipper-like. Houk got to manage the Yankees when they were THE team (1961-1963, three pennants in three years and two world series titles) and then returned in 1966 when they were just another franchise. The 1969 Yankees went 80-81 and finished fifth in a six team division.
#448 - Bob Tolan The Reds obtained Tolan in an October, 1968 trade with the Cardinals for Vada Pinson. 1969 would be his first as a full time player and he responded with the best season of his career. He hit .305 with 21 HRs and 93 RBIs.
The first Cubs game I ever attended was in 1970 with the Cubs playing the Reds. One of the few memories I have of the game is the fan sitting near us heckling Tolan, calling him "Bobby Toenail". He kept yelling, "Hey Toenail." Whenever I see this card, "Bobby Toenail" is what I think of!
#449 - Paul Lindblad I share the same first name with Paul Lindblad, so as a 7 year-old he was one of my favorite non-Cubs. He had a decent 14 season career, working almost exclusively out of the bullpen. In 1969 he had an OK record, 9-6, but a crummy ERA of 4.14.
#450 - Billy Williams, who gets his on post tomorrow.
#451 - Rich Rollins In his first full season in the majors, 1962, Rollins was an All Star for the Twins and finished 8th in the AL MVP voting. But that year was his best year, and from then on his offensive numbers went down each season. By 1968 he was a part-time player and hit only .241. The Twins let he go in the expansion draft and in part time duty with the Pilots, he hit .225.
#452 - Al Ferrara This card gives us the first look at the Padres' uniform. The brown uniforms and the brown name circle on the card match nicely. Ferrara had been touted by the Dodger organization as an up and coming star, but that promise was never lived up to. He spent most of 1968 in AAA and was picked up by the Padres in the expansion draft. He had a respectable season for San Diego, with 14 HRs and 56 RBIs to go along with a .260 batting average
#453 - Mike Cuellar This card would be the 1969 version of Topps Updates and Highlights. The Orioles picked him up in a trade (a steal, actually!) with the Astros after 1968, so this card had to be taken at spring training, 1969. Cuellar moved into the Orioles starting rotation and was an immediate star. In 1969 he was a 20 game winner for the first time, posting a 23-11 record and winning the Cy Young Award.
#454 - Phillies Rookies As with many of the rookie cards, one guy made in, one guy didn't. Larry Colton didn't. He pitched in one game for the Phillies in 1968 and would never make a big league appearance again. Don Money played in 122 games for the '69 Phillies and would go on to a 16 year career, including four All Star appearances during his time with Milwaukee.
Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 29
Hatless - 104
Airbrush - 90
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 61