Friday, March 18, 2011

#483 - Steve Ontiveros

Card fact: This is Steve Ontiveros' first solo card. His rookie card is one of those four-player cards in the 1974 Topps set.

What I thought about this card then: This is one of the most memorable cards of my first year of collecting. I pulled this card after one of my trips to the drug store, and it was always a favorite.

What I think about this card now: As a kid, I never noticed the person behind Ontiveros in the photo. But I do now. I'm not positive on the ID of the player. It doesn't appear to be a Giant because of the color scheme. But if it is a Giant, a pitcher by the name of Don Rose wore the number 41.

However, because of the color scheme, I'm saying it's either a Padre or a Pirate. There was no one who wore the No. 41 on the Padres (unless it was a coach). But the Pirates did have a player who wore No. 41. It was pitcher Jerry Reuss. And he certainly was goofy enough to wear a sun hat during a game. So I'm hoping that's who it is.

Ontiveros has another classic card in the 1976 set. He's charging around third base with Mike Schmidt in the background.

Other stuff: Younger fans remember Steve Ontiveros as a pitcher for the Oakland A's. But that's not the same guy. They're not even related.

Ontiveros was an infielder who played for the Giants and Cubs between 1973-80. He didn't get to start regularly until he was dealt to the Cubs, along with Bobby Murcer, in a deal that sent Bill Madlock to the Giants. Ontiveros became the Cubs' regular third baseman, and he had a strong first season with Chicago in 1977.

After playing three more years with Chicago, his career ended in 1980. He went to Japan and played there until 1985.

Back facts: I distinctly remember reading the 1974 stats on the back of Ontiveros' card and thinking he deserved a rookie cup on the front of the card.

Other blog stuff: Here is the card that pulled out of that pack in 1975:

Still no rookie cup.


Kevin said...

Before I even read through the post, my instinct was that it was Reuss. Believe it or not, I think that's his hair flaring out from underneath the cap.

Johngy said...

I agree with Kevin.

Don said...

I also think that you see the sun reflecting off of his hair.

night owl said...

Rats. No sun hat. At least it's Reuss.

gcrl said...

yup, it's reuss and his awesome dutch boy haircut. i also find it interesting that ontiveros' 1976 topps card also featured a prominent lurker - mike schmidt.

Play at the Plate said...

I think it's interesting that now you'll probably think more about Reuss when you see that card than Oniveros.