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Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot
Thursday, June 1, 2006
Ugliest Unis Ever?
Here's lefty Fred Norman's San Diego Padres Topps card, I think from 1973:

That is a lovely shade of brown, isn't it? It meshes well with the baby-food yellow. '70s fashions rule.

Not to pick on Norman, who was actually a pretty decent pitcher. He's one of the few major leaguers to have "Hubert" as a middle name. He was a switchhitter--unusual for a pitcher. He was short and didn't throw hard. He sported what seemed to be a permanent 5 o'clock shadow. And he stayed in the majors for a long time--16 full or partial seasons.

Norman was a member of the 1975 and 1976 World Champion Cincinnati Reds, primarily as a #4 starter. He won 12 games both seasons, but none in the World Series. He retired in 1980 at the age of 37 with a lifetime record of 104-103 and an ERA of 3.64. Not a bad little career. Except for when he had to wear those nasty-ass Padre uniforms.

Posted by Marty at 3:41 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 1, 2006 - 4:14 PM CDT

Name: Hal Horn
Home Page:

Yikes! Glad that this 1973 Topps set predates by earliest collecting by 2 years. 1975 and 1976 Topps, both baseball and football, started me.

I have to say Wilbur Wood also looked pretty ridiculous on one card in that black and white Chicago White Sox uni. I'll have to find it.

My two favorites from the 1970's that are before my time: 1) Billy Martin's 1972 Topps card. Look closely. He's flipping the bird! 2) Sparky Lyle's 1972 Topps card, which has the great question on the back: "How long is the pitcher's rubber?" Great choice of words, especially when the answer was "24 inches". :)

Thursday, June 1, 2006 - 4:39 PM CDT

Name: Marty

I was trying to find that Martin card online a few weeks ago, and, surprisingly, didn't find a decent image anywhere. I wasn't looking to buy it, just find a clear image of it. I have no idea why no one seems to have uploaded it to the Web. If you find one, email it to me.

I didn't start collecting 'til '75, but I was searching online for Cincinnati Reds stuff and stumbled upon that Norman card. I can't find my cards though. They gotta be around here someplace.

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