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Card of the Week: 1974 Topps Traded Fernando Gonzalez

Posted by Andy on February 10, 2011

Night Owl, our blog contributor to Card of the Week posts, recently posted a 1974 Topps Traded card featuring Fernando Gonzalez.

Here, I'm even going to steal his card image:

This set was a really weird set of cards. These days, a traded or update set is quite typical. It's been happening pretty much every year since 1981, when Topps issued a traded set that included traded players as well as rookies such as Tim Raines and Fernando Valenzuela. The weird thing is that they issued this special set following the 1974 set but then stopped until 1981. This 1974 set also features a lot of strange photos, I think in part because Topps tried to get shots of players without helmets or caps to hide their old team logos.

Anyway, I had never heard of Fernando Gonzalez until I saw Night Owl's post. Apparently he was a bit of a utility player, seeing 249 games at second base but also 64 at third base, 16 in the outfield, and even 5 at shortstop. That's good stuff.

I got curious about his 17 career homers and clicked on his HR Log. Check it out:

1973 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
1 1 1 1 1973-05-27 PIT HOU Dave Roberts behind 0-5 b 6 0 --- 1 1 5 0.036 8% Home Run
1974 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
2 2 1 1 1974-07-02 NYY @ DET Luke Walker tied 0-0 t 2 2 --- 1 8 4 0.115 58% Home Run
1977 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
3 3 1 1 1977-05-02 PIT @ ATL Bob Johnson ahead 9-1 t 9 1 1-- 2 7 5 0.001 100% Home Run; Stennett Scores
4 4 2 1 1977-07-06 PIT STL Al Hrabosky behind 6-8 b 7 2 12- 3 9 PH 0.551 76% Home Run; Fregosi Scores; Ott Scores
5 5 3 1 1977-08-08 PIT CHC Rick Reuschel ahead 3-2 b 6 2 --- 1 7 4 0.120 83% Home Run (Line Drive)
6 6 4 1 1977-08-28 PIT @ SDP Bob Shirley ahead 2-0 t 3 2 1-3 3 6 7 0.181 91% Home Run; Macha Scores; Oliver Scores
1978 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
7 7 1 1 1978-07-14 SDP @ CHC Dave Roberts ahead 1-0 t 1 2 12- 3 6 4 0.221 81% Home Run; Perkins Scores; Gamble Scores
8 8 2 2 1978-07-14 SDP @ CHC Dave Roberts ahead 5-2 t 6 0 1-- 2 6 4 0.072 95% Home Run; Gamble Scores
1979 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
9 9 1 1 1979-04-05 SDP @ LAD Burt Hooton ahead 1-0 t 7 1 --- 1 8 4 0.133 81% Home Run
10 10 2 1 1979-04-19 SDP SFG Vida Blue behind 1-7 b 4 2 1-3 3 8 4 0.107 15% Home Run; Winfield Scores; Hargrove Scores
11 11 3 1 1979-04-30 SDP @ NYM Craig Swan behind 2-3 t 7 0 --- 1 8 4 0.208 50% Home Run
12 12 4 1 1979-05-21 SDP LAD Andy Messersmith tied 0-0 b 4 2 1-- 2 7 4 0.253 78% Home Run; Tenace Scores
13 13 5 1 1979-05-25 SDP HOU Rick Williams tied 0-0 b 2 1 --- 1 7 4 0.121 65% Home Run
14 14 6 1 1979-06-07 SDP @ CHC Ken Holtzman tied 0-0 t 2 1 --- 1 6 4 0.106 58% Home Run
15 15 7 1 1979-06-13 SDP PIT Bruce Kison tied 1-1 b 4 1 -2- 2 6 4 0.207 79% Home Run; Turner Scores
16 16 8 1 1979-06-26 SDP @ LAD Don Sutton tied 1-1 t 4 1 12- 3 7 4 0.269 82% Home Run; Tenace Scores; Johnstone Scores
17 17 9 1 1979-07-13 (2) SDP @ MON David Palmer behind 3-4 t 6 2 --- 1 7 4 0.176 44% Home Run (LF-CF)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/9/2011.

I noticed a few interesting things here:

  • Overall, it's a fairly impressive list of pitchers he homered off of.
  • He owned Dave Roberts. Overall Gonzalez had 5 hits (3 homers) with 7 RBI in 16 at-bats against Roberts.
  • He had one whopping pinch-hit homer off Hrabosky. Looking at the box score, it came in the bottom of the 7th, shortly after Ted Simmons had hit a homer off Goose Gossage in the top the 7th to put the Cardinals ahead.
  • The thing I found most interesting, though, were the names of the teammates who scored on his homers. They are visible in the far right column. There are 12 different teammates who scored on his various homers. They include a bunch of future managers (Fregosi, Macha, Hargrove, Tenace) and some other really good players (Winfield, Oliver, Gamble).

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 7:30 am and is filed under Card of the Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Card of the Week: 1974 Topps Traded Fernando Gonzalez”

  1. Tom Housley Says:

    Actually, there was a "traded" set in 1976 too. And the '74 set wasn't the first to include "traded" cards; that distinction goes to the monster 1972 Topps set, which included a few cards in the last series (including Joe Morgan & Frank Robinson) with a mock "traded" stamp over the photo.

  2. I had this card in 1974 and it was amusingly useless. in that a TRADED card is supposed to show the player's new team, but in the beginning of May, he was traded again to the Yankees. And at the beginning of August, when the Yankees had Alomar, he was demoted and never played for the Yankees again, either.

  3. The 1976 version was one of the first sets I remember really well collecting at the time it came out. I remember having fun trying to match up which players were traded for each other, like matching Lou Pinieall and Lindy McDaniel in 1974, or matching Mickey Lolich and Rusty Staub in 1976.

    The only truly good card from either of these 2 sets is the 1976 Willie Randolph (essentially a rookie card, since it was his first solo card - his 1976 regular issue card was one of those 4-player rookie cards with Dave McKay, Jerry Royster, and Roy Staiger).

    A set like this wouldn't be as appropriate anymore since the majority of trades now are salary dumps for minor leaguers and many more players switch teams via Free Agency. Plus rookies are much more popular (with the card companies) than traded players, so a set without rookies wouldn't fly.

  4. As for the 1972 "Traded" cards mentioned @1 above...

    The small subset also included Jim Fregosi (because he was the "Major Star" that had been involved in a trade), and Nolan Ryan was included in a later series of the set already in his Angels uniform, almost as an afterthought (with no indication of the trade).

  5. I never heard of Gonzalez either and was just looking at his career stats. I see he had 9 HR's in this last season, which doesn't sound like a lot...but for Gonzalez it was, as he had only the 17 career HR's. 9 HR's in 341 PA's after only 8 HR's in his first 773 PA's. He was just getting his power stroke down but yet never played again...

    I wonder how many other players with as many as 17 career HR's had half or over half of their career total in their last MLB season?

  6. I remember this card and it used to scare the hell out of me when I was kid. Gonzalez looks like he wants to kill somebody because he just go traded.

    These airbrushed "Traded" cards really looked cheesy. Obviously this is just an airbrushed photo because you can clearly see Al Oliver in the background. Also, I think the Pirates were the only team around that time that wore a crew neck uniform collar.

  7. I have this card, somewhere in my mom's basement, lol. I also have the Robinson traded card from 1972.

    Then there were those odd cards from other years, where they simply noted a player was traded on the back. I had to move them to the proper team's rubber bindered group of cards.

  8. Of all the cards in this set, I can't believe you picked this one, this was one of the cards, where there seems to be like millions of them. I don't remember how many packs of this release I bought as a 10 year old that summer, but I remember having about 20 of this particular card. The other cards in this set like that were the Kurt Bevacqua and Tom Murphy.

  9. @8 I had a different set that I had far too many of: Bevacqua, yes, but Ed Kirkpatrick, rather than Gonzalez and Murphy.

  10. this.. again: "I remember this card and it used to scare the hell out of me when I was kid. Gonzalez looks like he wants to kill somebody because he just go traded."

  11. juan sin miedo Says:

    If memory serves me even 1972 was not the first Topps set to recognize players traded. That distinction goes to the 1966 Topps Set. On the back of the card there was a line distinguishing that this particular player was traded during the season, some notalbes are Bob Uecker and Dick Groat. Even some early bowman issued variations, one with a traded line and the other with out.

  12. This card is so seventies, from the hair to the mustache to the polyester uniforms worn by the Pirates. They were the first team to switch from the flannels to the doubleknits; that circular neck line was pretty distinctive, too.!"

    Gonzalez does look a bit perturbed in the photo. Perhaps he looked around at the talent in the Pirates' camp and said to himself, "There's no way I'm getting any playing time here!"

    Good catch on the player in the background. It is indeed sweet-swinging Al Oliver, No. 16. A good player and a good guy.

  13. my brother and I began collected baseball cards in 1974......I was 9, he 6......we had a marvelous time and we both had this card.......eventually we collected baseball, football and basketball cards.......we ended up with him collecting baseball and me football and gave each other all our cards for the respective sport

    he chose wisely

  14. I got a foul ball that year, and I have his autograph on it. For some reason I remember him. His HR on April 5 of '77 was the game-winner for Gaylord Perry, if I recall.

  15. Oops! I mean '78. I had him sign the ball in '78, and his HR helped Gaylord in '79.

  16. I loved those traded cards - I think the 74 traded has a Steve Carlton too, if I remember correctly. I also remember that Gonzales card, I always thought he looked depressed. Some of the airbrushing on some of those cards is down right amateurish. There's a Frank Robinson traded from that year too I believe.

  17. Skeeb Wilcox Says:

    The Carlton "Traded" was a '72 High Number. Gonzalez went in the Nelson Briles deal, who was also included in the '74 set. Nellie is still my favorite player of all-time...he is sadly missed.

    As for the '76 Traded set, I NEVER SAW A SINGLE ONE OF THOSE CARDS COME OUT OF A PACK! Had to buy the complete set for like $2.50 around 1982. The '74's, however, seemed to dominate a pack of that year's Topps cards...

  18. For some reason, I had that full season- pack by pack! Too many "traded" cards- too many Bill Castro cards-too many Reggie Clevelands- held the set for years waiting for them to appreciate in value- sadly, my dog took matters into his own hands one day when I accidently left them out...