Monday, October 27, 2014

1976 TOPPS BERT CAMPANERIS

SHOWING OFF WHAT HE DID BEST.


CAMPY PLAYED BIGGER THAN 5-10, 155.


THE FRONT PAGE

  • Bert Campaneris embodied small ball and was a critical component of the Swingin' A's' dynasty that relied upon fundamentals and speed as much as the long ball. At 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, the lanky Cuban shortstop deftly handled the bat like a pool stick, with few executing the sacrifice bunt as effectively. And few could whip it at a pitcher as effortlessly. More on that later. When he got on base, Campy was the top stolen-base threat for a team that did as much damage on the base paths as in the batter's box. He led the AL in steals six times, retiring with the seventh most in history with 649. He played 19 seasons, was a six-time All-Star and slashed .259/.311/.342.

THE BACK PAGE

  • That homer in Game 7 of the '73 World Series off the Mets' Jon Matlack in the third inning helped the A's win 5-2 for their second of three consecutive titles. 

PHOTO PLAY

  • Campy demonstrates the proper bunting technique. Current players take note.
  • The All-Star badge really dresses up the '76 cards.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • Led the AL in sacrifices in '72 with 10, '77 with 40 and '78 with 25.
  • Campaneris made his major-league debut in July '64 for the Kansas City Athletics and became the second player to hit two home runs in his first game after Bob Nieman in '51. Both came off the Twins' Jim Kaat, the first on the very first pitch he saw in the majors.
  • In '65, Campy ended Luis Aparicio AL stolen-base reign with 51; he also was caught an AL-leading 19 times. He'd lead the AL in steals the next three seasons.
  • Led the AL in triples in '65 with 12.
  • In the A's' first season in Oakland in '68, Campaneris led the AL in hits with 177 and stole a career-high 62 bags.
  • Out of nowhere in '70, he slammed 22 dingers, the first and only time in his career that he reached double-digits. Did they have PEDs back then? He added 64 RBI and 42 steals.
  • The black mark on Campy's career occurred in '72 in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Tigers. Coming to bat in the seventh inning against Lerrin LaGrow, Campaneris already had three hits, two steals and two runs scored. LaGrow hit him on the left ankle and Campaneris responded by helicoptering the bat at the pitcher's head. The benches emptied and Campaneris was suspended for the rest of the ALCS but was allowed to play in the World Series. His suspension included the first seven games of the '73 season.
  • Set an AL record with six double plays turned in an extra-inning game on Sept. 13, 1970.
  • Stole 566 career bases for the A's, a record that stood until '90 when Rickey Henderson surpassed it.
  • Holds the A's' team record for career hits with 1,827.
  • On Sept. 8, 1965, he became the first player to play all nine positions in the same major-league game.
  • The A's' variety of garish multicolored uniforms defined the '70s and none more than Campaneris' sleeveless version, with "Campy'' on the back.


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