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tweek

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05/30/15 04:46 PM

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1978 BOB MONTGOMERY - C (BOS)

I know posting scans is generally discouraged, but I just picked up a '78 set and this card needs to be seen to be believed.  If anyone's really looking to yoink a Bob Montgomery card, God bless 'em.

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I know we've all seen worse cards, but what stands out to me is:

1. The Strikeouts - Whiffs on 27 of 33 chances vs. LHP! Even the "plus injury" is a strikeout.

2. The Percentage - He faced southpaws 48% of the time! Most of the cards I've seen this bad are 'Left-Hand Batter' vs. 'Left-Hand Pitcher' with like 1% or so, not righties who faced lefties half the time.

3. The Automatic Triples and Doubles - The guy had one triple and gets two full splits for it. Similarly, he hit one two-bagger in 14 PA against lefties and has three full DOUBLE chances plus a 1-19 split.

4. Part of 20-man Team - He only had 29 ABs and was part of the basic set - not an Additional Player!

Bob Montgomery was Carlton Fisk's backup - kind of like being Brett Favre's backup in the nineties - you hold the clipboard most of the time.  Monty only appeared in ten games in 1978, nine of which were starts to prevent Pudge from having to catch both ends of a doubleheader...no pinch hit appearances.  He only had seven hits all season and four of them came in one game - went 4 for 5 with a triple in the second game of a twi-night doubleheader in Detroit on May 21.  He collected two more on August 30 vs. Toronto.

I get it - every team needed two catchers and Strat had a formula back then of 7 pitchers, a pair of catchers, and 5 or 6 infielders and 5 or 6 outfielders. I also understand that mathematically speaking, that nearly 30% of his hits (2 of 7) were extra-base hits. But, wow. I checked the roster sheet expecting at least a caution against using him like Strat did on occasion, but no dice...caveat emptor I guess.

I know I'm just a rook in terms of my Strat collecting - only ever had one season (1980) until recently - so I'd love to hear from the vets if this truly is that unusual and of other card oddities over the years.

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"Strato ergo sum - I Strat, therefore I am."

Last Edited By: tweek 05/31/15 12:58 AM. Edited 3 times

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rezzdogg

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#1 [url]

05/31/15 12:23 AM

tweek wrote:

1978 BOB MONTGOMERY - C (BOS)

I know posting scans is generally discouraged


Our general rules regarding scans:
  • Posting a card scan for discussion purposes - as is the case here - is perfectly fine.
  • Requesting card scans to build one's collection is not allowed.  This is a violation of the Game Company's copyright, undercuts legitimate re-sellers who are Village members in good standing, and opens the door for unscrupulous re-sellers to re-sell them as legitimate.  The Village is a great place to make friends, and trade for and purchase needed cards.
rezz

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rezzdogg

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#2 [url]

05/31/15 12:50 AM

Tweek,

This is not uncommon with fringe player cards with limited at bats.  Montgomery's frequencies are anomalous, and would not be reproduced over a larger number of plate appearances.  Essentially, at these frequencies, Montgomery would hit 20 triples and strikeout 240 times in 580 at bats. 

His 1 triple was hit against a righty, so it has a very high frequency on the card, while it was likely that Monty's triple was a fluke.  In Strat's 50/50 system (50% of the results are derived from each of the hitter's and pitcher's cards), Monty's strikeout frequency against lefties may be so high that there aren't enough card chances to replicate it.  Consequently, Strat put up strikeouts (in a non-traditional card pattern) in as many places as possible.

This is why, for many years, Strat didn't appear to like carding such players, and when they did, they issued cautions about over using the over performers.

rezz

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Last Edited By: rezzdogg 05/31/15 01:31 PM. Edited 2 times.

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tweek

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#3 [url]

05/31/15 02:07 AM

rezzdogg wrote:
This is why, for many years, Strat didn't appear to like carding such players, and when they did, they issued cautions about over using the over performers.

rezz


I guess that's what surprised me as much as the plethora of strikeouts - the fact there was no warning on the 1979 roster about his use, especially given some of the very specific warnings included on rosters both before and after the 1978 season.

Some of my favorites:

- 1979 (1980 Roster sheet): "It is advisable not to catch Carlton Fisk...as he had shoulder surgery which hampered his throwing..." I think the fact they made him a +5 pretty much takes care of that.

- 1977 (1978 Roster sheet): "Due to the fact that Oakland sold or traded most of their pitchers, Dave Guisti is being included as an extra player even though he finished the season with the Chicago Cubs."  I sense a little judgment here.

- 1980 (1981 Roster sheet): "We strongly suggest that you restrict Dave Rader to approximately 137 at bats as his card is not a true reflection of his hitting ability.  If he is used excessively, he will alter the overall Red Sox performance."   Funny how many of these were directed at Boston backstops - Glen Head, NEW YORK...just sayin'.

Except for the ABs, they could have used that one word for word to cover Monty in '78.  Or perhaps something like, "We strongly suggest you use Bob Montgomery's card no more than ten times then just tear it up and flush it or else you'll ruin any chance the Red Sox have of even making it to the Bucky Dent Home Run game."

 Finding these little nuggets of wisdom on the roster sheets is as much fun as playing the game sometimes...well, almost.

###
  

"Strato ergo sum - I Strat, therefore I am."

Last Edited By: tweek 05/31/15 03:01 AM. Edited 1 time.

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tweek

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#4 [url]

06/02/15 03:37 PM

1979 MANNY MOTA - PH/LF (LA)

Here's another little gem I uncovered while bolstering my 1980 rosters with un-carded players from earlier sets.  I had never seen a card list "pinch hitter" as a player's position.  I would expect in the 20-man set era, even with the Additional Players, most guys would have been left un-carded.

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Mota appeared in 47 games for the Dodgers in 1979 - all of them as a pinch hitter.  In only one game did he actually stay in the game and take the field for an inning - May 25 against Cincinnati - which makes me wonder why they even bothered to list him as a "leftfield-4".

This leads me to ask the question, why then didn't they create a '74 card for pinch runner specialist Herb Washington of the A's?  (I always loved that Topps card - great story about him on SABR too.)

###

"Strato ergo sum - I Strat, therefore I am."

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rezzdogg

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#5 [url]

06/02/15 06:56 PM

Tweek,

Strat appeared to have a certain degree of paranoia during those days.  As you've noted, the sense of urgency they included on the roster sheets seemed a bit over the top.  I suppose you can't blame them, however, as their brand was all about reproducing historical accuracy back then.  Kids like me who played 1971 Gates Brown as often as I could and skewed the results weren't doing the Game Company any favors.

There were several other players back then who were collared with the pinch hitter designation that come immediately to mind: 1974 Tony Taylor, 1977 Manny Mota, and 1968 Re-Issue Gates Brown.  All of these guys had incredibly strong cards.  As I recall, Strat never gave the pinch hitter designation to players who sucked.

rezz

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nwfanatic

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#6 [url]

06/04/15 05:04 PM

Wow! I missed that Manny Mota card since I didn't order the extra players. "Pinch hitter" is epic. I love these card scans...it's so groovy to see these out-of-print classics.

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gwloar

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#7 [url]

06/06/15 09:07 PM

You get a lot of these weird cards in the computer version since anyone who played is carded. For example, Joe Gaines in 1964 with Baltimore (before traded to Houston). Against RH, he has SOLID homeruns at 4,5,6,7 and 8! Ballpark homeruns at 3 and 11 and a 1-11 HR split at 10. All in the 2 column. But Monty is pretty unusual in a carded player. Bob Thurman gets the dreaded "do not overuse..." warning in the 1956 Cincinnati Reds. I generally call this my "Johnny Blanchard rule". In the 1961 Yankees set, Blanchard had a Babe Ruth type card. If played all the time, he would hit well over 50 homers and hit in the low .300's. My Johnny Blanchard rule basically echoes the roster sheet warning not to overplay these type of guys.

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67Mantle

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#8 [url]

06/09/15 09:07 AM

Bob Johnson of the Mets hit .348 in 1967 and has the "pinch hitter" label on his card. He had way over 200 at bats that year and hit everything, and was 13/34 as a PH. 1968 Charley Smith of the Yankees(70 ab) was 10-31 as a PH but DIDN'T get the pinch hitter designation when Gates Brown was 18-39 as a PH and only had 92 ab and did. Go figure.

The Bob Thurman card situation is funny because the guys one would have to bench hit 38, 29, and 36 homers. Thurman had 8 in 139 ab's, right around the same ratio.

"You're either on the bus or off the bus," Ken Kesey

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nwfanatic

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#10 [url]

06/12/15 08:10 PM

Remember the first time you rolled a foul out on the hitter's card?

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tweek

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#11 [url]

07/28/15 12:34 AM

Although not specific to any one card in particular, something that has always struck me (no pun intended for a change) as an oddity is why "HBP" is never combined with "plus injury".  Of all the plays on batters' cards that ARE "plus injury" ("strikeout" immediately comes to mind - never seen anyone corkscrew themselves into the ground so violently that they couldn't continue), I would think this pairing would be the most realistic. You take a Nolan Ryan heater in the ribs and you probably aren't going to be trotting down to first like nothing happened - let us roll the die for crying out loud; let's see if it's a trip to first or to the emergency room!

And why is "plus injury" only combined with outs?  I'd think more guys pull a hammy digging for that extra base than do fouling out to the catcher! (looking at a "foulout (c) plus injury" on a 1-2 vs. RHP roll on the 1980 Dave Revering card right now)  If I weren't currently handling injuries as-played, I think I'd make a home-grown rule to ignore the existing "plus injury" rolls and add them to all "HBP" rolls.

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"Strato ergo sum - I Strat, therefore I am."

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spiff

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#12 [url]

07/29/15 06:08 AM

1964 Roger Maris has HBP combined with injury. At least in the SA set. I think there's a few others in that set that have that combination.

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gwloar

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#13 [url]

07/29/15 08:20 AM

Yeah - several of the re-issue sets and the computer cards have lots of HBP plus injury. I guess SOM finally figured it out. I only know of one actual "injury" while striking out. Pitcher Don Black for Cleveland in 1948 collapsed after swinging at a strike - but he had a brain tumor that ruptured (something like that)! I cannot remember any hits plus injury. Anyone else?

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spiff

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#14 [url]

07/29/15 08:26 AM

I can recall somebody pulling a rib muscle striking out. Can't remember who. The injuries on hits I can think of all involve either a close play at first or pulling up suddenly after rounding the bag with the result of hamstring injuries. This year Josh Hamilton pulled a hamstring on a walk-off double.

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tweek

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#15 [url]

07/31/15 02:31 AM

Thanks for letting me know about the HBP plus injury rolls - had never come across one.  As for pulled rib cages, Paul Molitor is currently sitting out six weeks in my 1980 replay with a real-life pulled rib cage muscle he suffered while batting - not sure if it was on a K though.  At the time in June 1980, he was leading the league with a .358 average, but dropped to .304 after coming back.  Injury and long lay-off is also said to have contributing to his subsequent drug problems - no roll for that.

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"Strato ergo sum - I Strat, therefore I am."

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tweek

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#16 [url]

04/01/16 01:56 AM

A personal favorite...

1985 SIDD FINCH - P (NYM)

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"He's A Pitcher, Part Yogi And Part Recluse. Impressively Liberated From Our Opulent Lifestyle, Sidd's Deciding About Yoga..."

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###

"Strato ergo sum - I Strat, therefore I am."

Last Edited By: tweek 04/01/16 02:21 AM. Edited 1 time.

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zzephyr

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#17 [url]

04/02/16 06:27 AM

Sidd Finch! I remember that guy! I was eleven years old when that article came out in Sports Illustrated, and I bought it — hook, line, and sinker. My dad spotted the acronym right away and had to break the news to me. Someone wrote to them a week later, "As if it's not impressive enough that he has a 168 MPH fastball... He also has a 120 MPH curve."

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67Mantle

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#18 [url]

04/08/16 08:17 AM

The 1963 original Mickey Mantle card has a 3-8 single / plus injury

"You're either on the bus or off the bus," Ken Kesey

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lbmargo

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#19 [url]

02/07/17 11:55 AM

pinchhitter as a position

The first cards to have this were the 1967 Bob Johnson with the Mets (He hit .348 in about 240 ABs) and the 1968 Gates Brown wit hthe Tigers (He hit .370 in 92 ABs).

The idea was to guilt folks into not overusing these guys and skewing the team's results.

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