Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New 1970 Topps Blog

Jim from Downingtown has started a new 1970 Topps Baseball Card blog.  He's been blogging a while with his 1966, '67 and '68 sets.  I'm adding it to my blogroll.  Check it out.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#14 - Paul Popovich (CHC)

This card shows Paul with the Chicago Cubs.  He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1, 1974, just a few days before opening day.  Even though he was traded, Topps did not issue a card of Popovich in its Traded set released later in the year.  Maybe this was a belated April Fool joke, or maybe Topps thought the trade itself was an April Fool joke.  In any case, Paul would play only two more years, '74 & '75, in a limited role with the Bucs.  What never shows on his card is that when he was traded in June of 1969, the Dodgers sent him to the Expos, who traded him to the Cubs that same day.  I'm not sure if it was part of a three-way trade, or whether the Expos planned the maneuver as the middle-man.

This is the first card in this set where the nondescript "infield" position shows on a card.  His career was spent mostly at second base, with some short and third mixed in.  In '74 he played about evenly between 2B and SS with the Pirates, with a majority of his second sacker action coming from starts, and all of his stints at short from being inserted later in the game.

Cartoon: I'm not sure what bonuses were back in the early 60's, but 40 grand seems like quite a lot.  It seems that Topps is playing with words here, as Paul received only a "reported" bonus.  Didn't he get a real one?

Ballpark background: This photo was taken in 1973 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, one of the home ballparks of my youth.  In fact, 1974, the year of this Topps set, was the year of my first visit there.  The green stuff you see behind Paul is actually artificial turf.  It's a bit too green and uniform looking for astroturf, but that's what it is.  I'm not sure why it looks so green, as Candlestick Park in the 70's had some of the most horrifically streaky, faded looking carpet in the Bigs.  This photo must have taken advantage of the reverse-grain velvet effect.  The orange seats were real box seats with real metal bars dividing up the rows.  The dugouts weren't dug out, but level with the playing field.  There are what looks like 25 towels hanging from the visitor's dugout wall.  As was typical at the 'Stick, the shadow line from the upper deck divided the sun drenched box seats (tank tops and shorts) from the freezing reserved section (parkas and down coats, even in summer).  Only the front row or so of the reserved seats see sun in this shot.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Charlie Manuel and the Integrity of the Game

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is being watched this weekend as they play the Braves.  The Braves are still in the wild card race, and the question has been raised as to whether Manuel will compromise the integrity of the game by juggling his rotation and resting his stars to get ready for the playoffs, thus giving the Braves an unfair advantage over the Giants and Padres.  What should Manuel do?  For the answer, see my post at From The Bleachers, my baseball blog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Labels 2

Testing labels...


I've added a Labels page at the top of the blog to discuss how I am using labels, including to track certain things about the 1974 Topps Set.  Have a quick look by clicking on the Labels button above or by clicking here.  Some of the usual labels I'll be using in this set that haven't been applied yet may appear in the labels at the bottom of this post.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

#13 - Tom Hilgendorf (CLE)

I certainly remember Tom Hilgendorf, but probably only from my card collection.  Here, Tom is in a pose similar to ones I remember doing on Little League picture day, and ones my kid does in pee-wee.  Tom had a rubber arm and noodle neck in 1964-65.  Pitching 19 innings in 110 degree heat?  What about the humidity?  I'm sure it was about 95%.  Like Mickey Lolich, Tom is a switch hitting pitcher.  Hmmm, I'm only at card 13, so we'll see if this is rare.  Perhaps a label for switch hitters would be appropriate.  Tom is in serious danger of pulling his stirrups up so tight that there will be daylight at the narrow part of his ankle.  That's the way we did it in senior Little League.  We even slit the stirrup and inserted elastic to get that thin stripe look, with no solid.

Cartoon:  Hey, Tom can sure make a hand saw hum with the head of that hammer.  Look at the sound waves coming off that thing!  Yet another off season activity that today's contract might limit?

Ballpark background:  It looks here like the Oakland Coliseum.  Tom is wearing the Indians' gray uni's, so this isn't Cleveland.  The metal bleacher sections with two groups of seating per section (center aisle) is consistent with Oakland.  At the top of the picture over Tom's left shoulder is a small triangle of white.  The center field gate is open and there is a concrete ramp leading up from it to the outside (the Coliseum playing surface is below ground level).  There's also a distance mark on the left-center field fence, and quite a bit of real estate between Tom and the foul line.  This all adds up to Oakland.  Tom is near the stands on the first base line.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog Bat-Around: If I Were Commissioner

[Update: This is cross-posted at my "From The Bleachers" blog.]

David at Indians Baseball Cards & Random Wax poses the following question for a blog bat-around:

The topic: With Bud Selig supposedly retiring in 2012 (and assuming the end of the world doesn't follow soon afterward), if YOU were asked to become the next Baseball Commissioner, what would you do?  What changes would you like to make, what things would you leave as-is, what would you like to see as your legacy when your retirement time came?
Baseball has been screwed up under Bud Selig far beyond the average fan's knowledge. I'll expose a number of those dark secrets below and as commissioner, I would make the following changes, unilaterally, on my first day in office:

On the field changes:

  1. Expansion to 32 teams w/ realignment. Either 8 divisions of 4 teams with no wild card, or 4 divisions of 8 teams w/ top two in each. There needs to be the same number of teams in each division. Right now, statistically, the AL West teams have a 50% greater chance of winning the World Series than NL Central teams, just by being in the AL West.
  2. Use an unbalanced, but symmetrical schedule. Baseball needs each team playing each other team the exact same number of times in division, and same number of games with all teams out of the division, both home and road, from division to division, league to league, and those numbers have to be even numbers. Teams in the same division need to have the same common scheduled teams. Having divisions logically means an unbalanced schedule. Each division needs an even number of teams so that only division play occurs the last weeks of the season.
  3. Eliminate interleague play. The players hate it. Attendance figures from largely weekend games when school's out and the weather is nice is not evidence that the fans support it either. And the argument that fans never get to see players from the other league is bogus. A majority of baseball fans live either in a metro area that already has one team in each league (the five largest markets - ten teams worth!, NY, LA, Chi, SF, and DC/Balt), or in a metro area that is a short drive from another team in the other league. (Philly, San Diego, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, etc.) Interleague play also skews the division race, as schedules are not identical. For too long, the Marlins have skated with playing six games against the hapless Rays while their division rival Mets have played six games against the World Champs. Enough.
  4. The All-Star game will no longer decide Home Field Advantage in the World Series, and will revert back to alternating HFA between leagues each year. All-Star managers aren't able to focus on winning the game anyway, because two other expectations are more important: a) keeping other managers' pitchers from being injured, and b) making sure every player on an ever enlarging roster makes it into the game. A pinch runner for the batter who pinch hit for the defensive replacement from last inning? Hey, I just put three players into the game in four pitches! That's what the last three innings of the ASG have become.
  5. Reduce the All-Star rosters to 24 max. and eliminate the "each team has one player" rule. Only one thing is less logical that requiring one player from each team, and that's the argument for it: "It's a fan's game." Uhm, the fans of the other 29 teams don't want to see your least worst player in the ASG when he's batting .279/11/36 at the break. He gets to play just because every other player on your team sucks even worse? And you want him to play in the ASG? Heck, you don't even want to see him play in your own ballpark. If you did, your attendance wouldn't suck so bad. I've lived through plenty of bad A's and Giants seasons where I was actually embarrassed for our representative to be seen in the introductions, not to mention the game.
  6. Eliminate all the NFL rules that have been adopted into baseball, like the one that made George Steinbrenner an air traffic controller. Get rid of all the NFL tie-breaking, home field advantage and playoff matchup rules. All they do is complicate things and screw playoff ticket holders out of being able to use their tickets effectively. Football has these stupid rules precisely because they have no way to decide things on the field. Using head-to-head as a tie-breaker necessarily means that the winner has a worse record against inferior teams. Hasn't anybody at MLB corporate ever taken logic 101 at their local community college? Home field advantage and matchup rules mean that ticket holders don't even know when the game is and who it's against for the ticket they're holding in their hand. Last year's fiasco that allowed the Yanks (HFA) to choose which ALDS series to play in was a great example. They didn't have to choose until a few hours after the regular season was over. But there was a rain-out makeup on Monday that forced another one-game playoff on Tuesday, still part of the regular season. They got to decide whether to screw the Red Sox in choosing which day they played - hours before their game - or to make the other team play on a couple of hours sleep on the plane while in the air at 35,000 feet.
  7. Eliminate TV ratings based playoff start times. The Yankees are guaranteed the prime time slot for every game ever, while the rest of the teams play bizarre day games in weird time zones. Every time a series is decided, the remaining series have their time slots revised according to a pecking order of prime time ratings. Several times since this has started, fans of one team with tickets in hand for tomorrow's game have gone to bed not knowing whether the next day's game would be at 1pm or 7pm because an extra inning game in the other league on the opposite coast that was playing past midnight may end that series and effect start times of all other games the next day because the ratings pecking order had to be rearranged. When you're a ticket holder for these games, you may be screwed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars because you can't sell or give away a day game ticket at the last minute. It's happened several times to me personally. Enough.
  8. Allow each home team to set the time for its own division series playoff games. Not being able to go to or even watch your own team because you're at work and you fell into a day game slot at the last minute just because some dude on the east coast wants to watch it on TV is freaking lame. Let them stay up until 2am. That way, everybody will be able to see it.
  9. All post season game dates with pre-figured division vs. division arrangement will be made prior to the season.
  10. Even though I personally don't like the DH, I would keep it for one league. It's good for baseball because it is good at starting and keeping arguments going. But the current DH rule gives the AL team an advantage in the World Series. It gets to keep using its full-time, season long hitting specialist, while the NL team must scrape a utility player off the bench for its DH. If you don't agree, please tell me you'd rather see Lee Lacy hit than Reggie Jackson. After the last game of the regular season, I would give all the NL teams the option to draft one free agent AL DH player to use as their DH in the World Series, just to even things up.
Off the field changes:

  1. Lifetime bans would extend only to the lifetime of the player. For example, once he died, Shoeless Joe would be in the HOF.
  2. Change the territorial rights boundary from a distance based boundary (75 miles) to a population based one. The existing rule guarantees the Yankees an untouchable fan base of 25 million. Even though San Jose is 40 miles further from San Francisco than Oakland is, the Giants' territorial rights can stop an A's move to SJ. Why? If small market teams have problems making ends meet, they can move to Brooklyn and/or East Rutherford, Chicago, San Bernardino, San Fernando, or San Jose.
  3. Holding the dubious distinction as the only person to have the steroids scandal occur right under his nose both as an owner and as a commissioner; and holding the dubious distinction as a commissioner who wouldn't even stand up in recognition that the greatest record in sports was just tied, and also in reference to the other 12 reasons listed above, my last act on the first day in office will be to impose a lifetime ban from baseball upon Bud Selig.

Leave as-is:

  1. Most everything else.
Legacy will take care of itself.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

#12 - Dave May (MIL)

I'm liking this card.  Dave has that bat barrel bulging into the camera angle, and it looks like he's actually swinging the thing.  And this pose is a great reflection of his 1973 season.  He went from .303/25/93/Total Base Leader/All-Star/MVP votes...(awesome pose!) to a woeful .226/10/42 in 1974 with not much less playing time.

He led "loops in batting?"  62 and 64?  What the heck is that?  

Cartoon: Maybe he had Jim Bibby's brother to cheer for.  Were the ABA afro do's in style yet?

Ballpark background: I'm guessing Anaheim Stadium, after a delayed gathering of good evidence.  First, the Brew Crew wore powder blue on the road.  Second, the player behind his left shoulder appears to have a two-tone hat, with the lighter color on the bill.  Next, the seats in the upper deck (no press box is there) indicate a three deck ballpark.  The stands extend straight down the line, and slightly curve in the corner.  The seating section width between the aisles matches the 70's and 80's layout, as do the seat colors.  The clincher for me was the concentric arc of dirt behind home plate that I confirmed in a Google Image search for Anaheim Stadium, early 70's.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#11 - Jim Bibby (TEX)


Okay, card lovers.  I admit I don't like early era Ranger uniforms.  I know the font selected is trying to give a pioneer days, Texas ranch feel.  Not great on baseball threads.  Either way, Bibby looks like business.  This is a good pose and he looks like a really solid athlete.

Jim's glove is a bit worn, and he's got the old fashioned open wrist strap type.  No designed hole to stick your finger through.  The grass behind him is a bit shoddy for today's standards.  Groundskeeping has come a long way in the last two decades.  Being traded from the NL to the AL during the '73 season, Bibby is one of the first players to lose his batting privileges due to the DH.  He pitched a no-hitter against the A's in '73 and became a member of the We Are Family, Buccos championship team of 1979.

The '74 season was Jim's workhorse year, starting 41 games and going 19-19.  That's 38 decisions, folks.  He was just one win and loss away from being both a 20 game winner and a 20 game loser.  Imagine a 20-game winner with a record under .500.  Man, baseball has changed.

A personal note on card graphics here.  I had a 20 year career in architecture, so I know a bit about hand drafting.  This original card border was drafted by hand, most likely with a pencil, and reproduced a bit on the primitive side.  If you look at the upper right curved piping, you can notice that the drafter didn't put the circle template down correctly, as the arcs fall just short of the straight lines.  In the lower left, the opposite occurs.  The arcs overshoot their tangent.  The line value also changes around the card, especially where lines meet arcs.  Today's computer software designs just don't have that.  If I were a high school drafting teacher, the Topps graphic artist would get a B-.  Okay, enough of my geekiness.

Cartoon:  Jim's brother played with the NY Knicks?  Wow.  It's one thing for family members to play baseball, it's another to split sports.  Notice that each cartoon character is left handed.  Conspiracy?

Ballpark background: Here, Jim is having his picture taken at Yankee Stadium during the 1973 season, likely August 7th (a twi-night double header) or 8th (day game).  He was traded from St. Louis to Texas after the Rangers' first visit to the Bronx Zoo, so this pic was likely taken on their last visit.  It's an overcast day, so time of day is hard to pin down.  The tiny crowd in the bleachers may indicate either Yankee futility or early afternoon warm-up photos.

Ballpark Backgrounds and Other Stuff

I like trying to figure out which ballpark is in the background of each card photo.  Some are obvious, some take a bit of figuring.  I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area, and many of the 70's cards were shot either in Oakland (AL) or San Francisco (NL).  This is one reason I always try to get the location.

In each card description, I'm going to put the ballpark.  If it's spring training, I'll say that, or if it cannot be identified at all.  I'm going to add labels, and start each ballpark label name with the letters "bp" (e.g. "bp Shea Stadium") so that all ballparks are consecutive in one group in my labels list in my right margin.  I'm also going to label players' positions (label starts with "pos"), and whether the photo (label starts with "pic") is a pose, action or candid shot, and the team (label starts with "tm").  Also, since players were smaller back then and did less muscle building, I'm going to label players over 200 lbs.  I'll probably add other stuff as I go along, and if it's early enough in the set, I may do it retroactively with cards already posted.

I'm also going to include in my card description my comments about the cartoon found on the back of each 1974 Topps card.

Monday, September 13, 2010

#10 - Johnny Bench (CIN)

One of the greatest catchers to ever play baseball.  Today, Johnny and Yogi Berra are viewed just about as the two greatest ever.  Johnny revolutionized catching with his patented one hand behind the back style.  Not many injuries from foul tips or wild swingers.  And this is the guy flat in the middle of that monster Big Red Machine lineup.  It's enough to be a power hitting catcher, but that fact is overwhelming in knowing just how good a hitter he was.  I hated the Big Red Machine back in the 70's, being a Giants fan myself, but just to be honest, it was a very respectful hatred.  Except for Pete Rose.

Do you get the idea that the Topps editors wanted its collectors to know about Johnny's 1970 and '72 seasons?  I wonder why.  But I'd like to call attention to the double-knit polyester pullover pajama uniform Bench is wearing.  And the half-calf stirrups.  You won't find that in today's game, although it's nice that he didn't pull them up high enough to just see the stripes up the sides of the legs.  Solid leggings look a bit better.  Especially on a player like Bench.  If Johnny ever had an air-brushed card photo, would the artist use Krylon paint?

Cartoon: I didn't know that Johnny sang country music.  He's from Oklahoma, so I could guess that he listened to it.  I wonder if his singing ever started any bar fights.  Say, it looks like the Topps cartoonist had a good job for a while.  Must have been seasonal work.  Did this guy file for unemployment once the season started?

Ballpark background: Johnny is sporting the Reds road uniforms, and the players in the dugout in the background are displaying New York Mets home threads.  My eddicated guess is that this ballpark background is Shea Stadium.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

#9 - Mickey Lolich (DET)

Uhm, what can I say?  This is Mickey Lolich.  I always liked Mickey.  I always associated him with the '68 Tigers championship team, where he won three of their four WS games.  I had his '71 Topps card in my shoebox, and for some reason I just loved it.  He has a very similar pose on the two cards: the my-followthrough-just-stopped-and-I'm-waiting-to-see-if-the-batter-hits-a-line-drive-at-my-head pose.

Here, Mickey is donning the Tigers' new road uniforms, with the orange "D" on the cap, and the added piping and blue and orange striping.  In my opinion, this is a major downgrade from their classic road uni's.  The Tigers also adopted the double knit polyester pullover pajama uniforms, with the elastic waistband and no belt.  Mickey was a switch-hitting pitcher, a very rare breed indeed.  I also notice a drastic increase in sloppy penmanship from his '71 autograph to the one here.  Mickey is also the first player in this card set to weigh 200 lbs or more.

Cartoon: Mickey relaxes by riding a motorcycle?  So does Jeff Kent.  Times have changed in just a few decades with guaranteed contracts - and their severe off-the-field activity clauses.  These days, a player riding a motorcycle is grounds for contract termination and Tweet humor.

Background ballpark: This picture was taken at Comiskey Park.  Notice the break in the double decks in center field, and the scoreboard.  I also love the arched openings that so define Old Comiskey.  Also notice what appears to be two-tone grass just behind his back, and a sliver just off his right shoulder.  In the early 70's, Comiskey Park had a bizarre playing surface configuration.  Astro-turf in the infield, and real grass in the outfield.  Foul territory had a seam between grass and artificial turf stretching from first and third bases to the stands.

Monday, September 6, 2010

#8 - George Theodore (NYM)

This would be George Theodore's only Topps baseball card of his career.  He played two seasons with the Mets, 1973 and 1974.  He saw limited action with 45 games in '73 and 60 games in '74.  He hit only two homers, one in each year.  His '75 homer came in 76 at bats, a solo shot for his only RBI of the year.  Only 12 of his 26 games were in the outfield, and he made 2 errors in 7 total chances.

An interesting positioning of Theodore in Topps numbering system places him at card #8, just after #7 Catfish Hunter.  These two cards came after all the front-loaded Hank Aaron stuff.  The A's played the Mets in the World Series in 1973.  Theodore played in two of the games, games 2 and 4.  In game 2, he pinch hit for Mets pitcher Ray Sadecki and grounded out to short.  Not much help in the Mets 10-7 win.  In game 4, he was a late 8th inning defensive replacement for outfielder Cleon Jones, then popped out to end their half of that inning in another Mets win.  Back out in the field in the 9th, the A's hit two singles to left field (there's no record of Theodore fielding the ball, and he was not credited with a fielding chance), so that half inning secured a Mets victory, and his major league career was essentially over.  Catfish Hunter pitched in games 3 and 6, so the two never faced each other.

Nickname: Stork

Typo: George is shown here with a birthdate of 11-13-47, but all other records indicate he was actually born in '46.

Cartoon: George likes marshmallow milkshakes?  I wouldn't know.  But he sure makes a slurping noise.

Background ballpark:  Shea Stadium, during batting practice

Sunday, September 5, 2010

About The 1974 Topps Set

The 1974 Topps set has some unique facts about it.  It was the first Topps set to not be issued in series.  The '73 set was the last set put out in series.  All 660 cards were issued in one set.  Later in the year, a special "Trades" set was issued to show players who had switched teams, presumably by trade.  All cards in the Trades set have the word "Traded" across the bottom of the picture.  This set was analogous to previous "high series" cards in years gone by.

The Trades set, since it was issued separately from the regular set, is considered by most card experts to NOT be a part of the 1974 Topps set itself.  But, contrary to the experts, I DO consider it to be part of the same set.  I collected them, and they were found in standard wax packs at the end of the year, I put them in the same shoe boxes with the same teams, I played with them just like the other cards, so those are the reasons why.  The Trades cards did not have their own unique numbers, starting with 661.  They used the same card number of the respective player in the regular set and added the letter "T" to the card number.  So, Jim Wynn's standard card number was 43, and his traded card was 43T.  The Trades checklist, unlike the checklist cards in the regular set, didn't have a card number.  The fronts of the Trades cards are a collection of some of the most hideous photograph air brushing in baseball card history.  Almost every card is airbrushed, since Topps had no time to get photographs of players in their new team's uniforms.  Bob Locker's card is difficult to determine whether it was airbrushed or not, and if it was, it was a good job.  The backs of the Trades cards contained no statistics, but were a mock "Baseball News" newspaper story and headline about the player's trade.

Topps also included a cool gimmick in '74: the Team checklist.  Team checklist cards were not part of the numbered set, but were both found in wax packs and purchased separately in sheet form.  You sent money to Topps, they'd send you the checklist sheets, and you'd cut the cards out (carefully) and put them in your set.  The team checklists were un-numbered, and had each player's signature on the front, while the rear of the card contained each team's checklist.  I will be posting each team checklist card immediately after that same team's normal team card (i.e. Baltimore Orioles will have their team checklist card posted after card #16).  [Update: Thanks to Joe and WW for their comments below.  Apparently team checklists were both part of wax packs and came in sheets.  Corrections have been made to this post.]

Specialty card in this set include: a special layout for Hank Aaron's card #1 announcing him as the new all-time home run king.  Five more cards show all of Hank's previous Topps card faces and give career info for the Hammer.  League leaders from 1973 in various categories.  All-Star cards showing all the starters in the 1973 game, position by position.  Post-season cards highlighting the playoffs, each game of the 1973 World Series and the A's celebration.  Also were non-team specific rookie stars cards.

One of the most interesting aspects of this set is that it was originally created with the idea that the San Diego Padres were going to move to Washington, D.C. for the '74 season.  No team name was created yet, and no uniforms were made.  So, Topps started issuing the Padres cards as "Washington" as the city name, and "Nat'l League" in place of the team name.  When the Padres announced they would remain in San Diego for the 1974 season, Topps altered all Padres cards back to the traditional (all of five years for this expansion team at the time!) San Diego Padres.  The Wash/Nat'l League cards were in the minority, and are more rare, and thus more valuable.  Not all Padres cards were issued with a Washington format.  I'm curious as to why this is, given that this '74 set was not issued in series, but as a whole set.  If anybody can shed some light on that, please let me know!

All in all, the 1974 Topps set is not my favorite set, design wise.  It's just the one I started collecting en masse.  It's the one I remember most.  I find the photography to be of lesser quality than of previous years, and the card design is just so-so.  The dark green backs often make it difficult to read the stats.  But I love the set nonetheless.  This post will be placed on my pages list at the top of the blog under "About This Set."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

#7 - Jim Hunter (OAK)

Jim "Catfish" Hunter.  Or, simply Catfish Hunter, as I knew him as a kid.  I grew up 20 miles east of Oakland and the A's won their first of three consecutive World Series in 1972 when I was eight.  These came in the middle of five consecutive division titles.  It was a great time to be a kid.  I wasn't old enough to know that the Charlie Finley A's were a tiny blip invaders in a market that had been dominated by the Giants and Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda, Perry and Bonds.  Their three trophy seasons only produced one season with a million in attendance.  When you're a kid, things like that don't matter.

Catfish would end up in the Hall of Fame, and looking at his numbers from '71-'73 here, it's no wonder.  All the A's players were intimate household names.  Here, he's seen with a mustache, another crazy scheme of eccentric owner Finley.  Finley paid any of his players 50 bucks to grow a 'stache.  In those days, fifty bucks was a lot of cash, so most players joined in.  Finley also relaxed facial hair and hair policies from the rest of baseball.  The A's were also known as "The Mustacheo A's" in the early 70's.  Rollie Fingers grew a handlebar mustache during that time and it became his career trademark.

Finley also started a uniform revolution.  The A's started wearing white shoes in the 60's, along with a bit of color with their yellow vest uni's and green undersleeves.  In 1972, the A's changed their look radically, with the donning of double-knit polyester pullover jerseys and pants without a belt, favoring an elastic waistband instead.  Their hats took the traditional Gothic "A" and added an apostrophe and an "s."  Their official colors were Kelly Green, California Gold and Wedding Gown White.  Announcer Monte Moore always talked about the colors.

This picture of Catfish was taken on a Sunday, as the A's wore white on Sundays and either green or gold the rest of the week.  This 1974 year would be his last with the green and gold, as he had a dispute with Finley and ended up with the Yankees the next year.  Catfish Hunter will always hold a special place in my heart, as such things stick in the mind of a kid the rest of his life.