So it turns out that despite being a Yankees fan, Scott Ottenweller is a pretty good guy.
You may recall that Scott came through a few weeks ago with more than 100 cards I needed to get me closer to my goal. Well, I’m happy to say that Scott has resurfaced with another lot of cards. This lot included regular issue cards of HOF members Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams as well as a Bill Buckner rookie and In Action cards of Willie Stargell and Maury Wills. Also included in the lot was HOF manager Earl Weaver.
I LOVE Earl Weaver, especially since I’m not an umpire. Weaver’s 1972 card listed him at 5’6″ and 160 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from pretty much wanting to fight everybody.
I could seriously watch this clip of Weaver all day. It’s an absolute classic. Completely NSFW, just hide the women and children, then sit back and enjoy.
You gotta love how umpire Bill Haller keeps his calm as Weaver just lays into him. To me, it speaks to how all the umpires knew Weaver’s act and didn’t take it personally. This particular incident took place in September of 1980 after Haller called a balk on Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan. It was the 78th ejection of Weaver’s career. Haller happened to be wearing a mic for a documentary.
#355 – Bob Watson
Bob Watson is a legend for multiple reasons.
He played 19 seasons in the big leagues, accumulating more than 1,800 hits and a career .294 batting average. In 1975, Watson’s hustle on teammate Milt May’s home run earned him a spot in the record books.
Watson scored the one-millionth run in major league history on May 4th. On that day, updates were being delivered to every ballpark so it was known that run #999,999 had scored when May homered. Watson was on second base and went full tilt to cross home plate. He scored just seconds ahead of Dave Concepcion, who had homered in Cincinnati and was also racing around the bases. His hustle earned his team $10,000 and himself a new watch and one million tootsie rolls. I wonder what he gave out for Halloween that year.
After he retired, Watson served as the General Manager for the Astros and also held a position in the front office of Major League Baseball. Impressive accomplishments, but neither are the other reason he’s a legend in my eyes.
As far as I’m concerned, he’s a legend for one sentence words uttered in the Astrodome 30 seconds into this clip.
#480 – Lee May
Watson’s teammate Lee May was also included in the lot and this card struck me when I first saw it.
Lee doesn’t look happy and the first thing that popped into my mind was that the reason he looks so out of sorts is that he had been recently traded away from what would become one of the most dominant teams in the history of Major League Baseball.
At the end of the 1971 season, May was dealt, along with Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart, from Cincinnati to Houston in exchange for Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo, Denis Menke and Joe Morgan. Those players became a huge part of the Reds back to back World Series championships in 1975 & ’76.
But a closer look at the card reveals that he’s wearing a Reds uniform in the photo. Topps did one of their famous bad airbrush jobs on the helmet. Interestingly enough, of all the players involved in this trade, Morgan was the only one who was shown with his former team, which meant that despite the fact that they were traded form one another, the 1972 Topps set showed Morgan and May as teammates. Morgan did have a high number traded card which showed him in a Reds uniform.
#505 – Mike Marshall
Marshall has always fascinated me as a figure and his 1972 card was at the beginning of when he really began to make a name for himself.
He led the league in appearances in 1972 with 65, earning 18 saves for the Expos. He also finished 56 games. But that was just the beginning. He appeared in 92 games in 1973 and an amazing 106 in 1974 with the Dodgers. Walter Alston called on him so often that season that he won 15 games and threw 206 and a third innings, all in relief, which earned him the Cy Young award.
Marshall was a controversial figure, which led to him being persona non grata in many baseball circles. He had his own ideas about pitching and they didn’t sit well with many.
“If a horse can’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it.”
Allen was an immensely talented player who always seemed to run afoul of teammates and more so the front office of whatever team has was playing for.
Fron 1964 through 1971, his average season was a .294 batting average, with 29 homers and 92 RBI. But he was outspoken and moody and had a tendency to wear out his welcome despite the fact that he consistently put up good numbers.
There are a few things that stand out to me about his 1972 card:
The first is that he’s not looking at the camera which is reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock silhouette.
Secondly, Allen played for the Dodgers in 1971 and was a member of the White Sox in 1972, yet this photo shows him in a Phillies uniform, a team he hadn’t played for since 1969. It’s tough to tell he’s wearing a Phillies uniform until you see his 1970 Topps card, which looks kind of familiar.
So if you’re keeping track, Dennis and Scott have now sent me more than 200 cards, which has been invaluable for me. It should be also noted that Dennis Scott has been no help whatsoever.