Card fact: This is Larvell Blanks' rookie card. It is also the first time in the set that players from the same team are featured in back-to-back cards. That didn't happen too often in the 1970s. It was usually an indication of a last-minute change. Neither Gary Gentry of the previous post nor Larvell Blanks played very much for Atlanta in 1974. So either card could have been a last-minute swap out for another player who may have retired suddenly and forced the inclusion of either Gentry or Blanks.
What I thought about this card then: I didn't see it.
What I think about this card now: Lots of things:
1. It's a bit crooked. But you should have seen the previous version of this card. That was criminally crooked.
2. I always thought "Larvell Blanks" sounded like a Saturday morning cartoon character.
3. I believe the background of this photo features the same stadium that is in the background of the Gentry card photo. Don't ask me what stadium that is.
4. Blanks' position is "infield." He played all of two games in the field in 1974. Both of those were at shortstop. So I don't know why Topps couldn't have narrowed it down more than "infield."
Other stuff: Larvell "Sugar Bear" Blanks came from an athletic family out of Del Rio, Texas. He managed only one year as a starter in the majors -- playing in 141 games for the Braves in 1975. The rest of his major league career, from 1972 to 1980, was spent as an infield backup for some of the worst teams of the 1970s -- the Braves, Indians and Rangers.
After his career -- he also played in Mexico -- Blanks taught and picked up golfing. He now plays on the Golf Channel Amateur Tour. Blanks' cousin, Lance Blanks, a former NBA player, is the current general manager of the Phoenix Suns.
Back facts: The cartoon is a reference to man whose single-season stolen base record was broken by Lou Brock in 1974. But I have no idea why there is a bear holding a bat. Hamilton did not play for the Cubs. He played for the Phillies, Boston Beaneaters and Kansas City Cowboys.
Other blog stuff: Here is an interesting "on this date" fact:
On this date in 1975, Larvell Blanks and Ralph Garr were traded to the White Sox for Ken Henderson, Dick Ruthven and Ozzie Osborn. So I am featuring Blanks' card on the date he was traded 35 years ago.
Also on this date, Ralph Garr was born. So he was traded on his 30th birthday.