|1980 Tucson Toros|
Prior to donning that visual extravaganza, Tucson sported a more sensible, classic baseball look with stripes, piping, and single-tone jersey, as catcher Buzz Nitschke wore on today's card. I like to think Buzz saw the crazy colors coming and got out while he could.
|Card front (blank back)|
LA drafted Buzz in 1966 and he first shows up in game footage of the 1967 Alaska Goldpanners, where he shared a roster with future big leaguers Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Bob Boone, and Jim Barr.
Buzz played in the Mets, Cardinals, and A's farm systems for 8 seasons; AAA Tucson marked his last stop at age 28. After pro baseball, he taught and coached in Fresno, where (according to the Internet) he still resides. (Full minor league stats.)
If Buzz (or someone who knows him) comes across this post, drop a line. I'd love to do an interview or similar follow-up with more info.
Value: This team-issued card cost $3 on Beckett Marketplace. Very few minor league teams produced sets prior to 1975, so prices climb quickly as you get older.
Fakes / Reprints: I've only seen minor league fakes when the player became a HOFer later, so doubt there are any in the market.