Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hostess Cubs 1976

Second of a series looking at all of the Hostess Cubs cards

The 1976 Hostess set has six Cubs. Of the six, four players were repeats from the '75 set and two players were new. I'll start with the new guys:

Ray Burris had just completed his first full season in the majors in 1975 and put up decent numbers, going 15-10 as a member of the starting rotation. In '76 he won the same 15 games, while dropping 13. He also lowered his ERA a full run, dropping to 3.11 from 4.12. Three more losses while giving up a run less per game; go figure.

Jerry Morales was the 1976 Cubs starting right fielder. An ankle injury in the middle season cost him a few weeks on the roster and also caused his numbers to drop. After leading the team in RBIs for two season, he knocked in only 67 in 1976.

The rest of the cards are of the repeats from '75

Jose Cardenal, still with the big fro, had a leg injury that ended his season in mid-September. He was hitting above .300 until the last two games he played in and ended up at .299.

Bill Madlock won his second consecutive batting title in 1976 in an exciting way. He came into the final game of the season trailing leader Ken Griffey by five points. Griffey was kept out of the lineup to protect his average. Madlock, however, had four hits and raised his average one point above Griffey. When word of that got to the Reds, Griffey was put into the game, but he went 0-2, dropping his average two points. Madlock ended up winning the title at .339, with Griffey second at .336. That exciting game was also Madlock's last as a Cub. His demands for a big raise fell on deaf ears and the Cubs traded him to the Giants the next spring.

Rick Monday...and yes, this is the real card! The highlight of Rick Monday's season was on April 25 in Los Angeles when he saved an American flag. This season was his last with the Cubs too, as he was traded to the Dodgers over the winter, with Bill Buckner coming to the Cubs.

Rick Reuschel; not Rickey anymore. Reuschel was a fixture in the 1976 Cubs rotation, and he posted a 14-12 record. His best game was on May 2, when he went 10 shut-out innings against the Giants at Wrigley, allowing only three hits. All that got him though, was a no-decision since the Cubs didn't score either. They did finally get a run in the 11th to win the game on Steve Swisher's two out single that knocked in Jerry Morales with the game's lone score.

If you'd like to see more from the 1976 Hostess set, MattR's Project Baseball 1976 blog has been working through the set.

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