Tuesday, March 17, 2009

#73 -- Steve Huntz

There aren't many in this set that I have no recollection of. Steve is one of those. Most of what I know about Steve is that I have his 1969 Cardinal Rookie Stars card that he shares with Mike Torrez. When I think of Steve Huntz, that's what I think of. I'd even forgotten he was in this set.

This photo does a pretty good job of showcasing the White Sox red uniforms. The Sox have had several major overhauls to the uniform. They had a grey color scheme for a lot of their years, but in 1971, Mr. Veeck must have wanted to liven things up, so he went to the red/powder blues. Then, by 1976, they went to the familiar dark grey pajamas and even wore shorts a game or two. They also had some funky futuristic fonts in the late 70's and 80's before settling into a more traditional uniform style in the early 90's. The uniform Steve has on also has the large TV numbers on the sleeves. you just don't see those very often.

One of the reasons I don't remember Steve is that he didn't play in the big leagues in 1971. He was with the Cards most of 1969 as a reserve infielder, but didn't hit at all. About the only offensive tool he had was that he could draw a walk. That's about the only way a .194 hitter with no power could get his OPS+ up to 74. The Cards sent him to San Diego and he exploded with 11 of his 16 career homers, 7 of them in the month of May. I guess the league then figured him out. If someone did that today, there would be "shades of Brady Anderson" rumors flying around.

The Padres "sold high" on Steve. He was with the Sox for 1971 and he didn't get much time. His only 2 homers of 1971 came on August 17 off Mickey Lolich. Based on that and his May 1970, I guess you could say he was a streak homer-hitter. He reappeared in 1975 with the Padres for 53 at bats. That was enough to get him a card in the 1976 SSPC set. If you've never collected that, you've missed out. They're the full-bleed pre-cursors to the Donruss set and have some wild photos.

Steve's 1971 card pictures him with the Giants. The Pads sent him to San Francisco in December 1970, just in time for Topps to airbrush the Padre logo off his helmet. During spring training the Giants moved him for reliever Steve Hamilton. So he gets a White Sox card for 1972. In December 1971 he's part of the Tommy John-Dick Allen deal and goes to the Dodgers, for whom he never plays. When we see John and Allen later, we'll see them with their new teams. I guess life's better when you hit more than .206 for a career.

Steve's back living in the Cleveland area where he grew up. I found a State Farm insurance agent named Steve Huntz in the area and the chances are it's the same guy. If you need a good neighbor in the Cleveland area, look him up and ask him about playing with Bob Gibson, Nate Colbert and Walt "No-Neck" Williams.


  1. I don't think Veeck owned the Sox in 1971. I think he bought them in the mid-70's, just in time to change their uniforms to those softball versions. I really liked the red jerseys. Maybe I just remember them fondly because they were from the first team I followed.

  2. John Allyn (born May 17, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois - died April 29, 1979 in Winnetka, Illinois) was the co-owner of the Chicago White Sox of the American League with his brother Arthur Allyn, Jr. from 1961 through 1969, and sole principal owner from 1969 through 1975. In 1975, Ally sold the club back to the person he an dhis brother had purchased it from in 1961, Bill Veeck.