Wednesday, December 30, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 71

#626 - Gene Michael More lousy photo selection by Topps since Michael last played for the Pirates in 1966. He was with the Yankees the entire 1968 season, and since Topps is based in New York, you would think they would have been able to get a picture of him in a Yankees uniform. Instead, we are treated to a hatless Michael in a Pirates vest. Gene became the Yankees' starting shortstop in 1969 and hit a decent .272, his career high. Stick would later become the Cubs manager in parts of 1986 and 1987.

#627 - George Stone
Stone was a swingman for the NL West champs, starting 20 games and coming out of the pen 16 times. He posted a 13-10 record.

#628 - Red Sox Rookies The Red Sox were hoping for good things from Tony C's little brother. He made him MLB debut in 1969, but played in only 32 games. He spent a majority of the season in AAA. O'Brien was with the BoSox the entire season and hit .243 in 100 games, but was traded to the ChiSox after the season. Wenz had cups of coffee with Boston in both '68 and '69, and then was sold to the Phillies in November, 1969. His entire MLB career consisted of 31 games. He was 3-0, but his lifetime ERA was 4.68.

#629 - Jack Hamilton Shown in a shot from spring training, 1969, Hamilton was nearing the end of an eight season career. The Indians had acquired him from the Angels in the offseason. He pitched in 20 games for the Tribe before he was traded to the White Sox. He then made the final eight appearances of his career with the Sox.

#630 - Bobby Bonds The future looked very bright for Bobby Bonds in 1969, as he was seen as the next Willie Mays. 1969 would be his first full big league season and he led the NL in runs scored. Unfortunately, he also led the league in strikeouts. Bonds spent the first seven years of his career as a star with the Giants, and then the next seven with seven different teams, including 45 games with the Cubs, the last team he played for.

The only thing his time with the Cubs is known for is for producing one of the ugliest baseball cards of all time, his 1981 Topps traded card.

#631 - John Kennedy No, he's not related to the other John Kennedy. This one is a Chicago native. In fact, I went to grade school with a couple of his nephews, although Uncle John was out of baseball by the time I got to know the nephews. Kennedy spent time from 1962 - 1967 in the majors, but was back in AAA in 1968. The Pilots got him off the scrap heap and he played in 61 games for them.

#632 - Jon Warden Warden was 4-1 for the Tigers as a rookie in 1968 and they Royals thought they may have picked up a good young arm in the draft. But Warden didn't make the team (I wonder why Topps gave him a card) and spent all of 1969 in AAA. In fact, he spent all of 1970 and 1971 in the minors, too. He never made it back to the majors.

#633 - Harry Walker "The Hat" was fired by the Pirates midway through the 1967 season and then hired by the Astros in the middle of 1968. He would spend parts of five seasons as the Astros skipper, and his record with them was 355-353.

#634 - Andy Etchebarren Andy has some pretty serious unibrow action going on here. He split catching duties with Elrod Hendricks in 1969. He played in 73 games and hit .249. The post-season was not his thing, as he was 0-10 in the '69 playoffs and World Series.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 43
Hatless - 141
Airbrush - 97
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 92


  1. Topps could get current-season photos of Jack Hamilton and Jon Warden, but in 1 1/2 seasons they couldn't drive across town (NYC) to snap a photo of Gene Michael!

    (I think Kennedy may have been the Yankees regular SS in 1967.)

  2. andy etchebarren and wally moon rule the eyebrow world!