Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Playing in a Used Car Lot?

One of the charms of the 1973 Topps baseball set is the fact that so many cards are oriented horizontally to accommodate the action shots the company used that year. While many of the long shots showed too many people, sometimes they would show too much background. Take this card, for example:

Card #627 - Luis Alvarado, Chicago White Sox

From the way the dirt shows up at the bottom and little grass is seen, it almost appears a couple of guys are playing a pickup game on a municipal dirt lot or some clearing next to a parking lot. You can't help but love the way all those cards are American gas-guzzlers back in the days before the Oil Embargo and the coming energy crisis. This was Alvarado's fourth Topps card out of five and his second straight in the high-numbered series. He played parts of nine different seasons between 1968 and '77 for six different clubs. As a utility infielder, he was often called in to games to give the starter some rest. Sadly, Alvarado passed away in 2001 in his hometown of Lajas, Puerto Rico. He was 52.


  1. I've got to find that card. That's great!

  2. Great card. It's funny to read Night Owl's old comment, knowing that card was the subject of one of his later Cardboard Appreciation posts.

  3. I always thought that #38 on this card was Jorge Orta. But my roster book shows him wearing #6 during the '73 season. Maybe he had this number during spring training and switched to 6 when he made the club? According to the book, #38 went unissued in 1973.

  4. The picture on the card would have been taken in 1972, not in '73. And since it's most likely a Spring Training shot, it may not have been the person who actually wore the number. Incidentally, two people wore that number in 1972: Phil Regan and Dan Neumeier. Both were white, so I'm positive that neither of those guys are shown.