Friday, March 20, 2009

#79 -- Red Sox Rookies (Garman, Cooper, Fisk)

Here's one of the best multi-player rookie cards you'll find. All 3 had good major league careers, 2 were All-Stars and 1 is in the Hall of Fame.

Mike Garman didn't have a long Red Sox career. The Sox kept bringing him up but not for long, even in years like 1972 when they didn't have much in the bullpen. However he wasn't really putting it together. The minor league numbers on the back were also kind of unspectacular. However, when he was traded to the Cardinals, he put up a couple of good seasons and was the right-handed complement to Al Hrabosky. Then the Cardinals traded him for Don Kessinger. Whoops. However, Garman went downhill, too. He had another good year in 1977 and threw a scoreless 5 innings in the playoffs that year.

Cecil Cooper. What I remember most about him is a unique batting stance. It took him a while to establish himself as a semi-regular in Boston. Originally he would get platooned and not play against lefties. He was a great hitter. It didn't matter what anybody threw at him, he hit it. He got traded to the Brewers because there just wasn't any room for him, Jim Rice and Yaz in Boston. It opened up playing time for him and he finally got to play full time. He's 2nd or 3rd in most Brewers lifetime hitting categories. Of course, he's now the Astro manager.

Carlton Fisk. Everyone knows him for the big homer in the 1975 Series. He was a lot more than that. He was somewhat of a surprise as the Red Sox catcher in 1972. He hit 7th or 8th most of the year, despite winning the Rookie of the Year and finishing 4th in the MVP voting. He had early injury problems, but overcame that to be extremely durable. If it weren't for Yaz, he'd have been the face of the Red Sox franchise during the 70's. I have to say, I also remember him for the commercial where he was splitting wood in his flannel shirt hawking Skoal. I guess it was better than cigarettes, but looking back it's probably not the best product to endorse.

I have to show it:


  1. This is a great card. Imagine poor Garman. He had a decent career, yet he is 3rd best. Also, he probably had a hard time or high cost getting 'his' rookie card.
    This always reminds me of a talk I had with Marc Hill. Hill shares his rookie card with Gary Carter. He jokingly bemoans the fact that his card costs too much, but on the flip side, his card is worth so much.
    Then you have Cooper. Cooper had a very good career, one of the best '2nd best player on a rookie card'.

  2. You see this in 1973 with Dave Hilton's rookie card. He shares it with Ron Cey and Michael Jack Schmidt.

    I had the same thought about Garman. He was a pretty good reliever, but nobody remembers him. If he put up those numbers now, he'd be in demand. Just goes to show how things change over time. Willy Tavares and Juan Pierre would have been big deals in the 1970's, but they're just "nice players" now.

  3. Finally got this card a year or so ago. The Beckett value is very high. The one I bought had a small, minor stain on the back, as if someone dipped it in olive oil. Since I'm not a collector of mint cards I gladly took it and saved a ton of cash.