Monday, August 15, 2011

#226 - San Diego Padres/Padres Team Records

This post should set a record for the most attached photos for the blog since the individual Padres cards had no official Traded companion cards in this set. That's too bad since there isn't too much to say about this team, except that probably no team had to deal with as stacked a deck against them as these guys did.

The '73 Padres' best record was 2-0 and then they promptly dropped five straight. In early June a 1-13 streak pretty much eliminated them before the season was half over. They would finish 12th in hitting and eleventh in team ERA. That all adds up to another dead last finish in the NL West. On top of that they had to contend with rumors all season that they were moving to DC or even being folded. On the positive side they did have three rookies - Randy Jones, Rich Troedson, and Johnny Grubb - make various rookie all-star teams. New kid Dave Winfield was someone to get excited about and young players Dave Roberts, Jerry Morales, and Fred Kendall were developing nicely. But in the end they would tumble to another 100-loss season, chase after some old guys to amp things up, and set the stage for continued morose baseball. At least they got to stay in sunny San Diego.

There's nothing much going on with the team card. Certainly the yellow uniforms stand out but due to the blurriness it's hard to tell who most of the players are. The Washington card is actually much clearer than the San Diego one. It would have been cool if the back of the Washington team card had the new team name in the header but it just had the same back as the San Diego card, shown below. In the photo, that looks like Don Zimmer in the manager seat and Winfield could be the guy in the back right - he certainly seems tall enough - but he looks too dark and Dave didn't really have a fu. Maybe it's Leron Lee. On the checklist we have a lot of signatures from guys not on the '73 team: Willie McCovey, Glenn Beckert, Matty Alou, and Bobby Tolan. As for the rest, most of the team's better players are represented. I think Clarence Gaston has the nicest signature.

Thankfully only two team record holders do not have cards in this set. They are both pitchers:

Frank Reberger was born in Idaho and attended the University of Idaho where he played basketball and baseball. He was signed by the Cubs as a free agent in '66 and put up a 6-5 record with a 2.91 ERA in Rookie ball that summer. He moved to Single A in '67 and did poorly but then went 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA when moved up to Double A. In '68 he went 7-5 with a 3.79 ERA in Triple A and put in a couple innings in Chicago. Prior to the '69 season he was selected by the Padres in the expansion draft and as one of their primary relievers went 1-2 with a 3.59 ERA and six saves his rookie year. He was then traded to the Giants for Bob Barton, Bobby Etheridge, and Ron Herbel. For San Francisco he was a spot starter and long reliever the next three seasons, going a combined 13-12 with a 4.70 ERA. He also pitched a bunch for the Giants' Triple A club. His last season up top was '72 and he finished with a 14-15 record and a 4.52 ERA with eight saves. He pitched in the minors through '74 going 29-29 with a 4.03 ERA combined at that level. After baseball he returned to Idaho where he owned and ran a fishing lodge until 1980 when it was wrecked by soot from the Mt. Saint Helen's eruption. He relocated to the Caribbean to coach, which he did in PR and DR the next couple seasons. He then moved to the Angels system to coach, reaching the top in '91. He moved to the Marlins for '93 to '94 and then coached and managed in the Giants system the next few years before moving to independent ball. Beginning in '08 he has been the pitching coach of the 7-11 Lions.

Jack Baldschun came out of Ohio and went to Miami (of Ohio) University. Upon being signed by the Senators in '56, he went 20-25 the next two years in C ball. After an off season he went 6-2 in B ball in '59 and 12-9 in A ball in '60 and then went to the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft. By then he had learned a screwball, which would become his signature pitch. In '61 he led the NL in games as a rookie with 65, going 5-3 for an awful team. he would then spend the next three years as the Phillies' closer, going a combined 29-23 with 50 saves. He occupied that role for much of the '64 season before manager Gene Mauch rather publicly lost confidence in him and didn't pitch Jack at all during that year's big swoon. After an OK '65 season he was traded to the Orioles for Darold Knowles and Jackie Brandt and then a couple days later was included in the deal that brought Frank Robinson to Baltimore. For the Reds Jack floundered, going 1-5 with a 5.20 ERA over the next two seasons, spending time in the minors, and getting released in the winter following the '68 season. He was signed by the Padres before the '69 season, got in 61 games, primarily as the middle guy, and went 7-2 with a 4.79 ERA. He would pitch a couple innings in San Diego in '70, then hang out in the minors through '71. He finished with a record of 48-41 with a 3.69 ERA and 60 saves. After playing Jack ran a carpentry business with his brother back in Ohio and then worked as a rep for a lumber firm. He is now retired.

Given the swath of new players on the front of the checklist it is likely the Padres fall short in player representation in this set but let's see. On offense, Jerry Morales had a card with the Cubs - in his Padre uniform - and Dave Campbell with the Astros. That leaves Gene Locklear, an outfielder (with a .240/3/25 line in 154 at bats); Dwain Anderson, shortstop (.121/0/3 in 107 at bats); and Dave Marshall, another outfielder (.286/0/4 in 49 at bats); as the only players with over 25 at bats not represented. Locklear's absence is a mystery but Anderson , who was the shortstop on Topps' '72 rookie team (for the Cards), and Marshall were at the end of the line. I am prettysure the first two are on the team card with Anderson the first player in the second row and Locklear, who was tiny, the fourth player in that same row. Looking closely at the card, I believe Winfield is four over from Locklear. He must be kneeling down. As for the pitchers, Fred Norman went to the Reds mid-season (where he did a wonderful job), Mike Caldwell is horribly air-brushed into a Giants uniform, and Bob Miller less horribly into a Mets one. That leaves Gary Ross, who went 4-4 with a 5.42 ERA in relief and a guy with the great name of Frank Snook, 0-2 and 3.62 with a save, as the only pitchers that were card-less. I believe Frank and Gary are the second and third guys in the last row. So we miss 310 at bats and ten decisions. I guess that's not so bad.

Let's get Mr. Splittorff and these guys together:

1. Dave Winfield on the '73 Padres;
2. Winfield and Doug Bird '81 Yankees;
3. Bird and Paul Splittorff '73 to '78 Royals.

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