Monday, July 2, 2012

1974 All Star Project: AL Starters

In 1974 the All Star Game was played in Pittsburgh. Even though the 1974 Topps set is my favorite set of all time, I've always hated the fact Topps combined the starters for each position on a single card. I've been working on this project for a while, but decided to hold off and roll it out around All Star time. In honor of my favorite baseball card set and the last All Star game featuring Dick Allen, here is my vision of what the 1974 Topps American League All Star cards should have looked like (in batting lineup order):
2B: Rod Carew. The 1974 All Star Game was the eighth of what would be eighteen career all star appearances for this future Hall of Famer. In the decade of the 1970s, Carew appeared in all ten games, voted as as a starter eight times.

In the 1974 game he walked in the third inning, stole second base and went to third on a rare Johnny Bench throwing error, He scored the AL's second run when Dick Allen lashed a single to left.
SS: Bert Campaneris. One of six Oakland Athletics on the AL squad, Campy was making his second of what would be three straight starts at shortstop.

Former manager Dick Williams allowed him to play all nine innings of the game, striking out twice and going hitless in four at bats.
RF: Reggie Jackson. Like Carew, Reggie was a regular member of AL All Star teams in the 1970s. He made nine of ten games, missing out on only the 1976 team, his single season as a Baltimore Oriole.

Reggie played all nine innings of the '74 game collecting a walk and striking out twice.

1B: Dick Allen. 1974 was the last of seven career All Star games for Allen. He made the AL team in each of his three seasons with the White Sox.

In Pittsburgh, he became one of only two AL starters to get a hit when singled and drove in the final of the American League's two runs. 
CF: Bobby Murcer. Starting as the AL starting center fielder for the fourth straight season, Murcer never quite lived up the the billing as Mickey Mantle's replacement.

He went hitless in two at bats before being replaced in the fifth inning. 
LF: Jeff Burroughs. Playing in his first All Star game in the middle of his career year, Burroughs would be named the American League MVP following the '74 season, when he batted .301 with 25 home runs and a league-leading and career-high 118 RBIs.

He walked in both of his plate appearances.
3B: Brooks Robinson. Appearing in the final of his 18 career All Star games, Brooks was winding down his Hall of Fame career but still won a gold glove in both 1974 & 1975.

He played seven innings and went hitless.
C: Thurman Munson. Starting in place of the injured Carlton Fisk, Munson was appearing in the third of what would be seven career All Star games.

In the game, he collected the first of what would be only fours hits for his team when doubled in the third inning. He scored on Bench's error.
P: Gaylord Perry. Although he made five All Star teams, 1974 was the only start in Gaylord Perry's Hall of Fame career. He would finish the season with 21 wins for the Indians.

He pitched three innings for Dick Williams squad, surrendering one run and striking out four.
Carlton Fisk. Pudge was elected as the AL Starting catcher but missed the game because of knee injury he suffered in June 1974 after colliding with Indians outfielder Leron Lee.

Fisk would make ten other All Star games over the span of 3 different decades.


Cards That Never Were said...

I like it.

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