Card fact: After three straight years of Niekro receiving a card number that ended in a zero, Topps pulled the honor for his 1973 and 1974 cards. Niekro earned the zero back for 1975 after winning 20 games for the second time in his career in 1974.
What I thought about this card then: Well, I had the mini card, but I can't recall thinking anything about it.
What I think about this card now: Niekro looks very odd looking in for the catcher's signal while wearing a warm-up jacket under his uniform with the sleeves rolled up.
Other stuff: When Niekro was playing, he seemed like he would last forever. I was sure he was going to be pitching when he was 50. But he came up two years short.
Thanks to his knuckle ball, Niekro was able to achieve wondrous things, like winning 20 games and losing 20 games in the same season. He seemed like the only good thing the Braves had during their miserable run in the late 1970s. By the way, is every knuckle ball pitcher nicknamed "Knucksie"?
For you blog newbies, I interviewed Niekro once. He was a pleasant guy to talk to, just as I imagined he would. The story that I wrote from the interview is one of my favorites. No writer's block on that story, that's for sure.
(EDIT: Phil Niekro died at age 81 on Dec. 27, 2020).
Card fact: I know nothing about Chuck Hiller other than that he's the answer to this trivia question.
Other blog stuff: Here's a bit of a rarity. The previous blog entrant, Rick Monday, had a famous comment about the latest blog entrant, Phil Niekro. Talking about Niekro's knuckle ball, Monday said: "It giggles as it goes by."
Oh, and here's the Big Phil-Little Phil comparision. Gotta love the minis: