Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#332 - All Star First Basemen

For the first basemen we get Dick Allen in what appears to be Yankee Stadium and Hank Aaron who appears to be signing autographs. This card represents a bit of the nuances that were sometimes attached to All-Star selections. Hank barely played first base for Atlanta in '73 and Dick was hurt about a month before the game and was pretty much shut down the rest of the season. His place in the starting lineup was taken by John Mayberry who with teammate Amos Otis produced pretty much all the offense the AL had for the game.

Now let's get to the stats. First for the NL:

Hank Aaron - .255 with 27 homers and 52 RBI's
Joe Torre - .298 with 9 homers and 45 RBI's (Joe also played third in the game)
Nate Colbert - .271 with 10 homers and 49 RBI's (the sole Padre)

Joe hit a ton earlier in the year and at selection time was probably still north of .300. Nate had that big '72 and Hank would ramp up the RBI totals down the stretch. Now for the AL:

Dick Allen - .310 with 16 homers and 41 RBI's
John Mayberry - .297 with 20 homers and 80 RBI's
Jim Spencer - .280 with 3 homers and 32 RBI's
Carl Yastrzemski - .259 with 12 homers and 52 RBI's.

Dick's totals don't seem so great until you realize he put them up in only about 2 1/2 months. Mayberry would play the whole game at first as Spencer only pinch hit and Yaz did not appear. Jim was also north of .300 at selection time and was only playing in about half the Ranger's games at that point so his numbers can be amplified. And Yaz was all over the place in '73 which probably contributed to his sub-par - for him - stats. I think because of Mayberry's ribbies the AL gets the nod for this position.

So what the hell is on the back of this card? Well, it's a photo, and it's not a sideways monolith but part of the puzzle that when assembled would show the All-Star Game's MVP. You can probably figure out who it is by looking at the box score. This piece obviously doesn't reveal too much but that just keeps the drama going.

So ironically on Valentine's Day there's no music news. Not even an appropriately sappy song I used to hate to throw out there. Just all baseball.

1 comment:

  1. As much as I love the '74 set, I'm really disappointed and baffled at this pic of Aaron. I mean, the guy was about the knock the Babe off the top of the career homer list when this set was being made, and they put THIS PIC of Hank on an All-Star card?? It's an awful one... you can barely see much of his face.