Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Topps 1972 Page 3

...Continuing a look at the Cubs set from Topps, 1972

Ray Newman: Ray looks like a grizzled veteran in this card, but this is his rookie card. He made his big league debut with the Cubs at the age of 26 in 1971 and relieved in 30 games. But he never pitched for the Cubs in 1972. This card states on the back, "Traded to Milwaukee Brewers April 3, 1972." In exchange the Cubs got Floyd Weaver and Odis McCowan. Now there's are big trade!

Milt Pappas: Its interesting that he is not wearing a hat. Maybe Topps figured he would be traded. Milt had the biggest day of his career in 1972, pitching a no-hitter against the Padres on September 2. He just missed a perfect game, walking the 27th batter he faced, with two outs in the ninth.

Joe Pepitone: Pepi is sporting some bushy '70's sideburns in his hometown of New York. He had a decent season in 1971, hitting .307 with 14 home runs. But as with many others on this team, his career was on the downward slide. He played in only 66 games in 1972 and was out of baseball by 1973.

Joe Pepitone In Action: This is the second of four Cubs In Action cards. This, like all the others, is from a game against the Giants in Candlestick Park.

Juan Pizarro: This is the other card with the green bottoms on the C and S. He was nearing the end of his 18 year career when he joined the Cubs in 1971. He made 16 appearances for the Cubs in 1972, splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen. He posted a 4-5 record.

The yellow letter version of the card

Paul Popovich: Posed batting left handed, although he was a switch hitter. Popovich was a valuable utility infielder that had two stays with the Cubs. He appeared in only 58 game in 1972, the fewest since he established himself as a major leaguer. That must mean that Santo, Kessinger, and Beckert all stayed healthy during the season.

Phil Regan: The Vulture was the Cubs stopper, but by 1972 he was done. The 35-year-old pitched in only 5 games for the Cubs before he was sent across town to the Sox. After 10 appearance with them, he was released and finished as a player.

Ken Rudolph: Ken was the third catcher on the team, which most teams in this era still carried. With Randy Hundley's health questionable and JC Martin in decline, Rudolph made it into 46 games.

Ron Santo: Ronny must have been eating a lot over the off season, as he is wearing the plastic jacket and a long sleeve sweatshirt. He's ready to sweat the pounds away. Interestingly, he is not wearing a uniform top. Why would Topps use a picture of a player who is not even wearing a team jersey? Ron had a decent season in 1972, hitting .302 and belting 17 home runs, good enough to be names to the All Star team.

....One more partial page to go


  1. First, let me state that I liked Milt Pappas. I do think it is unfortunate that he still whines about not getting the perfect game. Whether right or wrong, let it go. It just tarnishes the image for me. I don't want to hear the pitcher say the ump should have just given it to him for the sake of history. Eh maybe I am just old and cranky.
    Who would the catcher be in that Pepitone picture? Dick Dietz would be the most likely based on playing time. Fran Healy and Russ Gibson were the other catchers.

  2. I would guess that it is Dick Dietz. There is a Santo action card that shows the back of the catcher wearing #2, Dietz' number. The Cubs played six games at Candlestick in '71 and Dietz caught five. Fran Healy caught the other.

  3. the pappas perfect game story is a classic that I love to tell my boy. Pepitone's sideburns btw are legendary in my household as well. Next to my yankees shrine is a little dedicated to the eccentricities of baseball i've encountered over the years. in it there's a small picture of pepitone. :)

  4. Hello,

    I found your site from a Google search on '72 Topps cards. I think the catcher on the Pepitone card is Dietz. I think it was taken on June 23, 1971, because it was the only day game vs. Cubs that year with attendance low enough to allow for empty seats down the first base line. Trivial, I know, but isn't that what makes baseball great?