Thursday, December 23, 2010
Claude Osteen pitched for a long time, an 18 year career, most impressively with the Dodgers. Although he pitched for a successful team in the Dodgers, with a WS victory ('65) and a pennant ('74) the season after his trade, the bookends of Osteen's blue tenure, he finished his career just one game over .500, just shy of both 200 wins and 200 losses. He was a permanent fixture in the Dodger rotation, albeit not the most successful one.
Claude was traded in the off season to the Astros, so his '74 picture never had its fulfillment. In fact, he was traded yet again late in the '74 season from the Astros to the Cardinals. He finished his ML career the following year with the White Sox. With Osteen's card, every baseball team has now been represented in this 1974 set.
Cartoon: Well, somebody needs to have a nickname of Goober. Wonder who it might be? The cartoonist got the TV series reference right with the combat boots, the helmet and grenade. I wonder if he ever threw that pitch. Now that's what would be known as an exploding fastball. Yuk, yuk, yuk.
Ballpark background: It really looks to me like there's ivy on the centerfield fence behind him. I know of only one place that could have happened in a 1973 photo shoot. Wrigley Field. I'm a bit troubled by the lighter green above what appears to be the top of the ivy, but from an angle such as this, the wire "fan guard" as it were might look like this. I know there are some bleacher seats left empty for a batter backdrop, and they are painted green. I sat there once in the mid 80's. The "400" distance marker would be a clincher, but maybe Osteen is blocking it due to the camera angle? I don't know. If this is Wrigley, it would be the first appearance in the set.