Monday, July 30, 2012

1979 TCMA Tulsa Drillers Baseball #5, Fla Strawn

Cecil "Fla" Strawn turns 56 this Monday (July 30), about 35 years since he first played pro ball. This card's photo shows Fla at age 23, but he looks more seasoned thanks to a Tom Selleck mustache and ropey forearms. That year's Drillers team--named for Tulsa's long history with oil--played in the AA Texas League, an 8-team association that also included squads from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Not sure who left that white bar on the photo, which could be stray editing tape on the working copy or an artifact from the original negative. Everything else matches TCMA's 1979 "yellow wave and white border" style (archive of similar posts).

Fla spent three seasons in the Texas farm system, mostly in blue-collar towns Butte, Tulsa, and Tucson (career stats). These days, he works for Texas Lutheran University (sans mustache), and owned a fertilizer business at some point between (or alongside?) playing pro ball and coaching others with the same dream. TLU offers an email address, so I'll drop a line and see what Fla remembers about those years in the Midwest.

Erstwhile 1960s catcher Jim Schaffer managed Tulsa to a 58-75 finish in 1979. Their TCMA set includes 24 players, with no variations that I could find.
  1. Wayne Tolleson
  2. Joe Russell
  3. Len Whitehouse
  4. Jim Capowski
  5. Fla Strawn
  6. Steve Finch
  7. Dan Dixon
  8. Ray Rainbolt
  9. Steve Nielsen
  10. Mark Mercer
  11. Ron Gooch
  12. Jack Ramirez
  13. Jim Schaffer, Manager
  14. Rick Lisi
  15. Terry Bogener
  16. John Butcher
  17. Jim Barbe
  18. Ron Carney
  19. Dave Crutcher
  20. Nick Capra
  21. Mel Barrow
  22. Hal Kelly
  23. Bill Rollings, Owner
  24. Roy Clark, Owner

UPDATE: Thanks to a visit from Tulsa team trainer Michael Donohue, we've learned that Bill Rollings and Roy Clark were team owners, cards below.

Roy Clark is the one-and-same musician and longtime host of Hee Haw.

Photo from "10 Questions : Roy Clark"

Value: Fla cost $2 at and his teammates will run about the same.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Hall of Nearly Great and 1977 Topps Baseball #344, Brian Downing

I recently picked up The Hall of Nearly Great, an exemplary collection of 43 essays about players that deserve fan attention and respect, even if they fall short of Cooperstown itself. The chapter on Brian Downing mentions (without showing) this particular card, a shame considering its deft portrait of the disco decade. Note the hand cast, mock turtleneck warmup jersey, tinted glasses, and off-kilter background. That's 70s Topps, baby!

Full disclosure: I can respect Brian Downing, but I hated Brian Downing. Boy, did I hate Brian Downing and his taste for Kingdome's Astroturf power alleys. It was bad enough to watch the 1980s Mariners lose so many games, but giving up extra base hit after extra base hit to someone with a softball name like Downing?

Why Seattle never begged, borrowed, or stole Brian from his California employers is beyond me. Downing made it easy on modern analysis by playing 86 times in the Kingdome, just over one season of "home" games. Those (incredible) stats: 89 hits (30 for extra bases), .989 OPS, and 148 OPS+ (career stadium splits). Add in other stadiums and he still thumped Seattle for 131 OPS+, 9 points higher than any other team.

In other words, it wasn't my youthful imagination that made Downing seem like Thor, God of Thunder. He really did become Manny Ramirez for those 86 games (career OPS leaders). Otherwise, Brian ranks with Dean Palmer and Al Oliver--good, but nowhere near an all-timer.

Give Seattle that kind of performance from 1978 to 1992--Downing's career with AL West rivals California and Texas--and you'd see a measurable change in the standings.

UPDATE: Turns out OPC did use this close-in composition for their set. Check it at Oh My O-Pee-Chee's post on Mr. Downing.

Brian Downing means more to collectors than my childhood angst. This proof from a 1989 Topps Archives auction shows they considered cropping his card to a version without the wrist cast. Not sure why they stuck with the wider shot, but who knows? Everything in the 1970s pales compared to Oscar Gamble's afro.

Pick up The Hall of Nearly Great ($12, PDF) for Brian Downing and 42 other profiles by baseball's best writers. Use that link and $3 goes to me as an affiliate (and thanks in advance if you do). Highly recommended reading, no matter the source!

Monday, July 23, 2012

10 Years Ago Today: Nomar Garciaparra record-setting birthday

On July 23, 2002, Red Sox #5 Nomar Garciaparra celebrated his 29th birthday with three homers off Tampa Bay pitching, including a 4th inning grand slam that put Boston ahead 16-4. They went on score 22 runs on 19 hits, but the game still took under 3 hours to finish (box score).

Nomar's 3HR, 8 RBI, and 12 total bases remain single-game records for a player on his birthday.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baseball! : the 1946 Pacific Coast League's promotional film

This week, several baseball sources shared this full-color, 26-minute movie made to help Pacific Coast League teams promote themselves as equal to the East's AL and NL.

(YouTube embedding disabled--click through for the video)

WWII called a great deal of attention to the West Coast and recharged the American economy, so it makes sense the PCL would use the postwar boom in families and media to take a step up.  MLB expansion in the 1950s put an end to its "three major leagues" aspirations, but they continue as AAA affiliates for the foreseeable future.

Two managers stood out to me in the video for their work in and beyond the PCL. Lefty O'Doul (SF Seals) found success both as player and baseball ambassador to Japan, a role that pays major league dividends to the present day. Former Boston and Brooklyn manager Casey Stengel (Oakland Oaks) used his PCL title to return as MLB manager for the Yankees, which yielded several titles and a plaque in Cooperstown.

Here's my list of pre-expansion PCL #5 profiles--some yet to be written--which include several players and teams shown in the video.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1979 TCMA Vancouver Canadiens Baseball #5, Craig Ryan

I like to see worn equipment on cards. This photo shows Craig's Ryan first year in Vancouver, but he's already dinged up that batting helmet bill and crown legging out doubles. (Don't tell me the team "shares equipment," I don't want to know. Craig Ryan is a warrior and we won't hear differently.)

Ryan split time between 1B and OF in 1979 and led Vancouver in homers that year with 16. He hit even better (.841 OPS) in 1980, but never got a call to Milwaukee. It was impossible to crack the Brewers lineup at those positions, thanks to these guys (team stats).
  • 1B Cecil Cooper: 24 HR, 133 OPS+ (1979), 25 HR, 155 OPS+ (1980)
  • LF Ben Ogilve: 29 HR, 131 OPS+ (1979), 41 HR, 151 OPS+ (1980)
  • CF Gorman Thomas: 45 HR, 135 OPS+ (1979), 38 HR, 112 OPS+ (1980)
  • RF Sixto Lezcano: 28 HR, 164 OPS+ (1979), 18 HR, 98 OPS+ (1980)

Add future HOFers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor to that lineup and you're scoring runs on a regular basis.

Lezcano's 1979 season is one of the least-recognized great years, as he's one of just 19 players to break 160 OPS+ in the first DH decade (1973-83). Sixto also picked up a Gold Glove and finished 11th in WAR--a tick behind Paul Molitor--yet Gorman Thomas still got more MVP votes, thanks to those 45 homers.

That "did not play" comment's misleading, as Craig was a pro in Mexico for all of 1977 and 1978. He moved on to Japan in 1981 and finished there at age 28 (career stats).

Vancouver's checklist includes 25 players and staff, with two sharing #22 and #23, thanks to call-up replacements. Guys with MLB experience in bold.
  1. Skip James
  2. Vic Harris
  3. Ron Jacobs
  4. Marshall Edwards
  5. Craig Ryan
  6. Tim Nordbrook
  7. Mark Bomback
  8. Andy Replogle
  9. Danny Boitano
  10. Rickey Keeton
  11. Gus Quiros
  12. Juan Lopez
  13. Ned Yost
  14. Clay Carroll
  15. Kuni Ogawa
  16. Randy Stein
  17. Ed Romero
  18. Jeff Yurak
  19. Sam Hinds
  20. John Felske, Manager
  21. Billy Severns
  22. Lenn Sakata / Kent Biggerstaff, Trainer
  23. Willie Mueller / Creighton Tevlin

Why was Kent Biggerstaff a trainer and not a player? Then managers could say, "that shortstop hits like he's holding a broom handle--put in Biggerstaff!"

Value: Craig cost $2 from Ned Yost is the best known roster-mate, thanks to his managing career. Few will cost more than a dollar or two.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace. TCMA reprinted many 1980 team sets for "collectors kits" later in the 1980s, but not sure if 1979 players also showed up there.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The 1910 E98 Black Swamp Find and its PSA 10 Honus Wagner

Thanks to Heritage Auctions' massive hyping of an "attic discovery" (a.k.a., The Black Swamp Find) and upcoming sale, a bunch of readers found my own post profiling the 1910 E98 #5, "Hans" (Honus) Wagner.

My version's nothing special outside of being Honus Wagner. Most E98s come in lousy condition with plain color tints and sport awkward poses like the twisted throw shown here. It's expensive for low-grade vintage, yet barely registers in the high-value auction world of rare finds and one-of-a-kinds. (I was this #5's only bidder at auction, so it sold for the opening minimum.)

Value speculations like the unlikely $3 million figure in this Ohio find benefit from association with the similar and far more popular T206 set, whose Wagner card set the ceiling for single-card pricing many years ago. Across the board, tobacco issues like the T206 outpace candy sets like E98, simply because collectors want them more and desire drives prices up.

Keith Olbermann applied his collector experience to the question of what adding a large quantity of low-demand cards means to the E98 market. His answer: nothing good.

Rest assured the PSA 10 Wagner will sell for big bucks. It's a unique bird that stands out from a pack of otherwise ugly ducklings. Prices for other E98s in the market, however, will drop as their perceived supply increases. Even if you don't pay attention to the quality of a grading company's service, slabbed card registries help put a size on total available stock and more collectibles mean more collectors can own one, lowering the competition and prices. (It would take an across-the-board increase in vintage card interest to bump demand in spite of more supply.)

The best part about the Black Swamp story is that it happened at all. Paper cards are meant to vanish like leaves as time progresses, otherwise collectors wouldn't treasure this glimpse into the past. Hopefully everyone will make some money off the auction and come away happy. I just don't expect my beat up Wagner to benefit in a meaningful way. If anything, he'll sell for even less next time around!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

1978 Cramer Phoenix Giants Baseball #5, Howie Mitchell

After a week of profiling contemporary black-and-white TCMA sets, Cramer's full-color alternatives sure jump off the card at you. Even its stamp-sized Pepsi logo looks cheery.

Do those dark brows and long nose seem familiar? I, for one, look forward to Zach Braff playing lead in The Howie Mitchell Story or perhaps Howie playing lead in The Zach Braff Story.

Howie's generation of the Phoenix Giants changed names to the Firebirds in 1986 and remained in town until 1997, when the Arizona Diamondbacks debut effectively killed their minor league team.

Unfortunately, 1978 served as both Howie's first season at Triple-A and only season at Triple-A. Mitchell never cracked the majors and his career ended after 1979, probably for lack of power (career stats). Many middle infielders had slugging % below their OPB, but the MLB Giants got at least average production from Johnnie LeMaster, Tim Foli, and Bill Madlock at 2B and SS in the late 70s.

As with my 1977 TCMA Asheville Tourists profile, most online checklists list the 25 Phoenix players alphabetically, despite the card back numbering. (Add a comment if you know others.)
  • #5 Howie Mitchell

Other players in the set (numbers unknown)
  • Ethan Blackaby
  • Rick Bradley
  • Rocky Bridges
  • Don Carrithers
  • Mike Cash
  • Terry Cornutt
  • Rob Dressler
  • Art Gardner
  • Randy Hammon
  • Kyle Hypes
  • Greg Johnston
  • Harry Jordan
  • Wendell Kim
  • Jeff Little
  • Dennis Littlejohn
  • Greg Minton
  • Rich Murray
  • Phil Nastu
  • Casey Parsons
  • Ed Plank
  • Mike Rowland
  • Rick Sanderlin
  • Joe Strain
  • Guy Sularz

Value: Howie cost $3 on eBay a few years ago. His bolded teammates made the majors, so could cost more.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1977 TCMA Asheville Tourists Baseball #5, Stan Jakubowski

I covered the Spartanburg Phillies (and Mr. Zip) last week, but they're not the only Western Carolinas team TCMA successfully pitched for 1977 team sets.

Asheville (NC), famous for its Vanderbilt estate, picked up Anderson's former SC team in 1976 and renamed it the Tourists, a name that both reflects their main business and evokes the roving life of many minor league franchises.

Stan Jakubowski played six seasons in the minors, including AAA stints in Tucson (1979) and Wichita (1980), without making a big league roster (career stats). At least he didn't stick around Tucson long enough to get tagged with these fashion disasters.

1980 Tucson Toros "uniform"

Most online checklists alphabetize this 1977 set, despite the ordering visible on card backs (005). TCMA varied their numbering methods, even within years, sometimes using type small enough to look more like a printing note.

Here's what I know for set numbering, based on back scans. Let me know if you've got more to fill in!
  • #1 Ron Patrick
  • #2 Dennis Doyle
  • #3 Glenn Williams
  • #5 Stan Jakubowski
  • #17 Wayne Terwilliger, Manager

Other players in the set (numbers unknown).
  • Bryan Allard
  • Steve Bianchi
  • Richard Couch
  • Steve Finch
  • Jerry Gaines
  • Mike Griffin
  • Mike Hicks
  • Mike Jaccar
  • Greg Jemison
  • Kerry Keenan
  • Vic Mabee
  • Dave McCarthy
  • Arnold McCrary
  • Scott Peterson
  • Dave Rivera
  • Phil Roddy
  • Jeff Scott, Coach
  • Bill Simpson
  • John Takacs
  • Al Thompson
  • Phil Watson
  • Len Whitehouse
  • Wayne Wilkerson
  • Mike Williamson

UPDATE: Tucson's 1980 uniforms finished second to the Colorado Caribous in Worst Uniform Ever by fan voting on Uni Watch's blog. First check out the horde of Nominees and then the voting results.

Value: I bought this #5 for $2.50 at and the team set runs $15-20 at eBay.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.

Friday, July 6, 2012

1979 TCMA Elmira Pioneer Red Sox Baseball #5, Arturo Samaniego

What can we say or write about Jamie Moyer at this point? Probably not much more, as Toronto released the 49 year-old vet this week, thanks to his high minor league ERA and continuing propensity to allow homers. One Seattle newspaper is polling fans: should Seattle sign him for a day and let him retire as a Mariner? (I'm game to let him pitch.)

To put Moyer's baseball tenure in context, consider Arturo Samaniego, who spent 3 summers in the low minors for Boston (career stats). Released in 1980 at age 20, Arturo moved on to other pursuits. I can imagine jobs, businesses, and raising a family. It's now 32 years later and Arturo is 52, just 3 years older than Jamie. (Counting this year's 3-game stint with Norfolk, 19 years passed between Moyer's two trips through Baltimore's minor league system; the first came with Rochester in 1993.)

This TCMA issue includes 28 cards, above-average for their late 70s sets.
  1. Lloyd Bessard
  2. Jay Fredlund
  3. Ken Hagemann
  4. Danny Huffstickler
  5. Arturo Samaniego
  6. Glenn Eddins Jr.
  7. Joaquin (Jackie) Gutierrez
  8. Tom McCarthy
  9. Steve Fortune
  10. Don Hayford
  11. Eddie Lee
  12. Russell Lee Pruitt
  13. Scott Gering
  14. Dave Holt
  15. Steve Schaefer
  16. Tony Cleary
  17. Andy Serrano
  18. Francisco Vasquez
  19. Gus Malespin
  20. Hal Natupsky
  21. Dick Berardino, Manager
  22. Ed Berroa
  23. Bill Limoncelli
  24. Bob Birrell
  25. Wayne Tremblay
  26. Tom Brunner
  27. Tom DeSanto
  28. Mark Saunders

Value: Like most of my 1979 TCMA cards, Arturo cost $2 at Low-A teams like Elmira produce few stars and only two players on its 1979 roster made the bigs, Jackie Gutierrez and Tom McCarthy, so the team set's affordable at $20-30.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

1977 TCMA Spartanburg Phillies Baseball #5, Jarrell Whalley (Whaley)

Spartanburg (SC) played 16 seasons in the erstwhile Western Carolinas League, its only franchise to maintain an unchanged city and affiliation throughout (1963-1979). The league itself varied from 4-8 teams, fielding single-A talent for teams around the majors.

Richard Jarrell Whaley cut his pitching career short at age 19, possibly to pursue college or take up a non-sports profession. He also gave up 44 hits over 22 innings in 1977, so the Phils might've dropped Jarrell after failing to fool enough A-league batters.

TCMA sometimes printed the team schedule on one card per set. Three promotional highlights (click through for the full list):

May 21: "Mini-clinic," likely a throwing, fielding, and batting practice session for kids, run by team coaches. Do any teams still do this, at least in the low minors?

June 17: Bob Feller Night! It's been less than a year since the HOFer passed away and I was happy to find several classic Feller photos online.

July 1: Convenience store chain Mr. Zip got their own night as team co-sponsor and employer of many local residents. They built a corporate HQ in Spartanburg the following year. Can't find much on the web about them today, so Mr. Zip might've been absorbed into yet another chain and adopted its name.

This TCMA set includes 22 players, manager Mike Compton, and coach Tony Gonzalez.
  1. Pablo Minier
  2. Tom Brunswick
  3. Marty Bystrom
  4. Jim Nickerson
  5. Jarrell Whalley [sic]
  6. Wally Nunn
  7. Henry Mack
  8. Jim Lasek
  9. Joe Jones
  10. Nick Popovich
  11. Ricky Burdette
  12. Armand Abreu
  13. Ronnie Mattson
  14. Glenn Ballard
  15. Tony Gonzalez CO
  16. Brian Watts
  17. Elijah Bonaparte
  18. Jeff Kraus
  19. Mike Compton MGR
  20. Bob Roman
  21. Ozzie Virgil
  22. Barry Janney
  23. Sam Welborn
  24. Ken Berger

Value: Jarrell cost $2.50 at Marty Bystrom and Ozzie Virgil made the bigs, but don't think they're well-known enough to command a premium.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Seven games decided by a wild pitch

Researching the 1979 TCMA Spokane Indians team set brought my attention to Sept 24, 1982's combination of two unusual events.
  1. Games suspended by umpires (e.g., because it's 2:30AM), to be finished at a later date
  2. Games lost when a new reliever wild pitches in the go-ahead run (statistically, that means no batters faced)

Cleveland's Ed Glynn holds the "record" for baseball's latest such wild pitch. On September 24, 1982, he entered a resumed game in the bottom of the 18th with bases loaded and one out. His first pitch bounded away from catcher Ron Hassey and Alan Trammell scored for Detroit, ending a game that started more than 3 months earlier (box score).

As it goes with inherited runners, that game's loss went not to Ed himself, but previous pitcher Bud Anderson. It would not be the only time misfortune linked Ed and Bud; check out this autographed and annotated 1983 Fleer #408.

1983 Fleer #408, "Ed Glynn" (Bud Anderson), courtesy Scott Mortimer

18 innings is the longest such game I could find, but a couple dozen in baseball history fit the unfortunate story of "man meets ball, ball meets backstop, (different) man loses game."

July 20, 2011: Chicago's Chris Sale leaves runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs in the 11th. Incoming reliever Sergio Santos short-hops a slider, Alex Gorden scoots home safely, and the Royals win 2-1.

August 24, 1993: New York blows a 4-2 lead in the 9th, but utility man Jeff McKnight redeems their home half by smacking a pinch-triple and sprinting home when new reliever Kevin Wickander backstops his third pitch. Mets win 5-4.

April 10, 1980: Opening day, Rangers vs. Yankees. After both lineups fail to score in 10+ innings, Texas loads the bases in the 11th with an infield single, sacrifice, and two intentional walks. Future HOFer Rich Gossage enters, throws an un-Goose-like wild pitch, and Rangers win 1-0.

September 8, 1977: Everything in the 9th goes wrong for Chicago, who opened the inning with a 2-0 lead. Lead-off walk, error, Dave Kingman hitting something other than a homer, etc. Lerrin LaGrow enters with the bases loaded and wild pitches Anaheim to a 3-2 victory. (Echoes of Herb Washington: winning run Orlando Ramirez specialized in pinch-running and only played the field in 8 of his 25 games that year.)

June 20, 1965: This one happened in the TOP of the 9th, but sort of fits the mold. Minnesota and New York entered the inning tied 4-4. A one-out walk and single put runners at the corners, followed by this off-key pitching sequence.
  • Passed Ball; Versalles Scores (Twins lead 5-4)
  • Valdespino Steals 2B
  • Intentional Walk
  • Foul pop to catcher (Second out)
  • Walk; Valdespino to 3B; Oliva to 2B
  • Hal Reniff replaces Bobby Tiefenauer pitching and batting 9th
  • Wild Pitch; Valdespino Scores; Oliva out at home (Twins leads 6-4)

Minnesota swept that day's doubleheader and New York added injury to insult by losing Roger Maris for 49 games to a wrist fracture in the nightcap. Hidden irony to losing by wild pitch: it was bat day at Yankee Stadium (with awesome photo from the Times blog).

September 28, 1949: Washington entered the 9th trailing Boston 1-0, but strung together three singles for a 1-1 tie. Veteran reliever Mel Parnell came on and foiled a suicide squeeze by pitching out for an easy "caught stealing" at home. Al Kozar took third as the trailing runner, a crucial detail when Parnell followed his heads-up pitching with "one that got away." Senators win 2-1; original Milwaukee Journal coverage courtesy of Google Archives.

I found those seven games with this Baseball-Reference search and sometimes lose hours to statistical rabbit holes. Similar searches include lose-by-balk or lose-by-HBP. The Red Sox finished an amazing comeback with one of the former against the Angels on July 10, 1986, more details at "Rich Gedman, a Clutch Single, and a Balk."

Any favorites that you've built at or elsewhere?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

1979 TCMA Spokane Indians Baseball #5, Rod (Rodney) Craig

There's no way to miss this year's Tampa retro uniform, first worn June 30 against Detroit. Joe Madden could stop some traffic in that mix of cool colors and splash of yellow.

The powdery blue in Tampa's uni swept me back to Seattle's own 70s blue-and-gold look, echoed in farm teams like Spokane and modeled on cardboard by Rodney Craig.

Seattle signed Craig as a free agent soon after their 1977 debut. He played in the Kingdome for parts of three seasons, but ultimately moved on to another team of Indians, the MLB version in Cleveland. I sifted through Rodney's stats for interesting performances and found one of baseball's unusual traditions, the suspended-and-resumed game.

On June 9, Cleveland and Detroit played a twi-night doubleheader and the second game--which started at 9:26--stretched into the 15th and past 2AM before umpires stopped the proceedings. Craig pinch-hit for Jack Perconte (another ex-Mariner) in the 9th and remained in the outfield until its suspension. His double in the 14th gave Cleveland a great chance to win, but two ground outs got Detroit out of the jam.

When the game resumed three months later, Craig no longer saw regular duty, so rookie Carmelo Castillo replaced him in the outfield. The game itself ended in 18 innings with an anti-climax. Detroit loaded the bases on a walk, single, and error against Bud Anderson. Incoming reliever Ed Glynn sent his first pitch to the backstop and Alan Trammell scooted home with Detroit's winning run. According to Baseball-Reference, it was the longest game ever to end on a wild pitch.

Craig moved to Mexico after his MLB career ended and returned for a handful of single-A California League games in 1990 (career stats). That team (the Salinas Spurs) fielded several Japanese players and were managed by Hidehiko Koga, so probably allied itself to a local immigrant fan base.

Spokane's TCMA checklist includes 24 players and then-manager Rene Lachemann. As Seattle's AAA affiliate, most of this roster played on the Kingdome's Astroturf and both Lachemann and Bill Plummer went on the helm the Mariners.
  1. Ed Crosby
  2. Royle Stillman
  3. Mike Porter
  4. Danny Walton
  5. Rod Craig
  6. Charlie Beamon
  7. Jack Pierce
  8. Nen Pape
  9. Reggie Walton
  10. Bill Plummer
  11. Gary Lance
  12. George Decker
  13. Jim Lewis
  14. Mike Davey
  15. Jack Heidemann
  16. Rene Lachemann, Manager
  17. Gary Wheelock
  18. Rob Pietroburgo
  19. Rob Dressler
  20. Karl Anderson
  21. Greg Biercevicz
  22. Steve Burke
  23. Terry Bulling
  24. Moncho Berhardt
  25. Manny Estrada

Value: This #5 cost $2 at, where I picked up most of my late-70s minor league cards. Rodney's teammates run about the same and team sets top out at $20-30.

Fakes / reprints: TCMA reprinted several 1980 team sets for collectors kits in the late 1980s, but haven't seen any 1979 reprints in the marketplace.