Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#97 - Earl Williams

Card fact: Earl Williams is one of three players in the set with the last name of Williams. The others are Billy Williams and Charlie Williams.

What I thought about this card then: The first Earl Williams card I saw was his 1976 Topps card. I remember liking that card quite a bit.

What I think about this card now: One of those damn photos taken in Yankee Stadium. The only consolation I can take is that at the particular moment that the photo was taken, the Yankees had gone nine years without being in a World Series.

Other stuff: Earl Williams was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1971 on the strength of hitting 33 home runs for the Braves. He was so valued that the Orioles traded Pat Dobson, Roric Henderson, Davey Johnson and Johnny Oates to get him in 1972.

But after two years of declining numbers, he was traded back to the Braves for a guy I've never heard of, Jimmy Freeman. After a continuing decline, his career ended in 1978 with the A's.

Also, for a period in the early 1970s, Williams was the only African-American catcher in the major leagues.

EDIT: Williams died on Jan. 28, 2013.

Back facts: The cartoon drew my attention immediately. I figured that the Red Sox and Yankees alone had broken the time record for a 9-inning game on about 30 occasions. They do hold the current record for a nine-inning game (4 hours, 45 minutes). The Dodgers and Giants still hold the record for the National League, but it's for a game that took place in 2001.

Other blog stuff: I am going to go with the "primary colors" name for this color combination. I can always change the name if something better comes along.


Kevin said...

Ugh, Earl Williams is a nasty footnote in Orioles history. Earl Weaver has spent decades deflecting the blame for his acquisition. Williams referred to himself as "Big Money", and supposedly his teammates called him "Small Change" behind his back. Once in Spring Training, he saw his name penciled into the lineup for the third straight game and griped, "Aren't there any other catchers on this damn team?".

This reminds me that I need to feature him on my blog soon.

Eggrocket said...

Topps did the math wrong for his HR total.

I know ... I have no life.

night owl said...

No, Eggrocket, that's an excellent catch. Should be 97.

Play at the Plate said...

Oh, I like it when Johnny Oates gets a mention. He was one of my favorite Rangers managers. RIP Johnny Oates!

Kinky Paprika said...

Speaking of corrections, that's Roric *Harrison.*