What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the 1975 season?
For most of us it is the great World Series that is revered as one of the best of all-time.
Yes, we remember Carlton Fisk waving his HR fair and trying to coax a 3-9 FAIR single
die roll on the Fenway Park left field line Deep Drive chart, but what things might you
not remember about the new DYNASTY League Baseball 1975 season player card set?
My baseball library includes all of the 1975 issues of The Sporting News and it was
fascinating researching through those issues while assigning the player ratings:
851. What does that number mean to San Francisco Giant fans? That was the actual
attendance for a game at wind blown Candlestick Park. Giant fans missed out on
seeing Bobby Murcer who was traded for Bobby Bonds to the Yankees. The left-
handed batting Murcer hit .315/D power vs. LH pitchers, but his fielding declined in rf:
C/65/0 (Range/Error/Throwing). It could have something to do with Candlestick Park
which Murcer hated. One of the resources I use in grading the player ratings from the
1970’s is a book called the Computerized Baseball Guide by the Compu Scout system.
The book is way ahead of it’s time and includes MLB scouts numerical grades of
players “tools” on a 1.0-5.0 scale. Murcer was rated 2.7 for his Range which is an
average-poor rating. The defensive metrics backed the scouts grades – Murcer’s 1975
rf Range factor of 1.48 is average at best.
Pedro Garcia. What do Brewer fans remember about Pedro Garcia? Pedro decided that
he didn’t want to field ground balls during infield practice so he just stood there and
let the balls go by. By the end of the season Pedro Garcia got suspended by the team
and manager Del Crandall was fired. Garcia earned an F Intangible rating and a HOT
temper rating on his 1975 player card.
George “the Boomer” Scott. George Scott lead the AL in HR (#162-212 vs. RH) AND
earned an A+/50 (Range/Error) ratings. Scott also wields a “Clutch hitting” rating
(.346 BA/.645 SLG) with RSP/2 outs – AND shark teeth around his neck. Talk about a
feared sight coming to the plate for the Brewers!
Randy Jones sinker baller. The Padres Randy Jones often threw his sinker ball at
speeds around 75 mph and was a master at inducing the GDP (#613-685 vs. RH) and
not walking batters – especially lead off batters (OFF rating). Looking at Jones player
card you’ll find he does just about everything well with “A” ratings for WP and BK and
“B+/75″ (Range/Error) ratings.
Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins decided to create their own mini-monster erecting an 8 foot green plywood fence 15 feet closer down the left field line and 20 feet closer in the left-center power alleys and center field. Larry Hisle was one of the Twin’s stars in his prime with a “7” Steal of 2nd rating to go along with (.323/B vs. LH, .308/B vs. RH). Hisle’s problem throughout his career was staying on the field
and 1975 typified this with his “F” Durability rating. The Pirates followed suit and also moved in the Three Rivers stadium fences in 1975. Old Yankee Stadium was still being renovated so the Yankees played in Shea Stadium.
Al “the Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. As I am going through my Sporting News, I come across one issue that I remember very well. On the TSN cover is NL Fireman of the Year Al Hrabosky. Hrabosky was all the rage that year as he psyched himself up behind the mound, threw the ball in his glove and stomped onto the mound before and during each “performance”. I had traveled to St. Louis that year to see the Cardinals in St. Louis and took along this issue. I staked out my spot well before the game at Busch
Stadium in front of the Cardinals offices. The Mad Hungarian was very nice to me on his way inside the Busch Stadium offices and signed the TSN cover:
The Mad Hungarian
Definitely one of the coolest baseball memorabilia I have!
The Mad Hungarian’s 1975 season player card is as menacing as he looks. The left-handed Hrabosky allows a BA of only .189 vs. RH/.233 vs. LH and an ERA of 1.66. Hrabosky earned both a JAM (.190 BA RSP/2, .276 SLG RSP/2) and OFF rating (rarely issued lead off walk).
I hope you have as much fun playing with the new 1975 season as I had making it for you!