Thursday, April 4, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1979 Topps #533 Leroy Stanton

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, April 4, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1979 Topps #533.
  • Player Name, position, team: Leroy Stanton, designated hitter-outfielder, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: September 10, 1970.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1978 stats (Mariners): 93 G, 302 AB, 24 R, 55 H, 10 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 24 RBI, .182 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mets as a Free Agent before the 1965 season. Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 1976 Expansion Draft 11/05/1976. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his eighth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His 1st Hit in majors was a Triple for Mets in 1970. Hit 3 Homers for angels in a 10-inning game, July 10, 1973."
  • Commentary: The head honchos must have known what was on the horizon because up until that point, they didn't feel the need to put the Topps logo on the front of the card before in time for the 1979 Topps set. It would also be the only time collectors would see this logo on a regular card set (yes, they brought the curved "T" logo back in 2003 as a Super Short Print Parallel for a few cards...and then again when they gifted Target their own unique parallel set). By the time this card came out, Leroy Bobby Stanton was a veteran of seven full major league seasons (not counting the two cups of coffee he took with the Mets in 1970 and 1971). He was given the opportunity to play full time when the Mets included him in the deal that sent Nolan Ryan to the Angels (and two other guys) in exchange for Jim Fregosi. Looking back, I think the Angels got the better of this trade. From 1972 to 1976, Stanton roamed the outfield (primarily as the right fielder) and though not flashy offensively (.247 with 47 home runs, 242 rbi's, and a .693 OPS), in 1036 chances (39 assists) he only committed 28 errors (for a .973 fielding percentage). But after a hitting .190 with 2 home runs and 25 rbi's in 1976, Stanton was left exposed to the Expansion Draft to fill up the rosters of the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. Stanton was selected by the Mariners as the 40th pick (20th player selected by the M's). In Seattle's initial season, Stanton hit career highs in all of the main hitting categories (.275, 27 home runs, 90 rbi's, .852 OPS), and was the most productive of the fledgling Mariners players. However, in 1978, his hitting struggles returned, and in 93 games, finished with a dismal .182 average, 3 home runs, and 24 rbi's. The Mariners released him after the season ended, and instead of calling it a career, Stanton signed with the Hanshin Tigers for the 1979 season. In 1980, he returned to North America, playing for the Puebla Angeles of the Mexican League. Although he signed with the Blue Jays (ironically, the other team from the '76 expansion draft), he retired after not making the team out of spring training. As 1978 was his final season in the majors, his final statistics on the back of the card are complete. As with all of the player cards from 1979 Topps, there is a Baseball Dates segment on the side of the statistics asking what happened on a certain date. On the back of Stanton's card, it asks, "What Happened on September 27, 1923?" The answer: Lou Gehrig hit the first Homer of his major league career.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1992 Topps #667. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama


Brendan Taylor said...

Those old Mariners hats with the Sun stained S on the hat are classic I love baseball&card collecting from from that era even though it was a few decades before my time. My favorite Topps card is the 1972 Willie Mays one.....Love the blog btw I'll be showing off some of my collection soon check out my blog feel free to join the site too.

Jeff said...

Never even realized that the logo wasn't on there prior to 1979. And they pulled it off in 1980. weird.