Every list needs an honorable mention, right??? Well then, this is no exception. These guys were great and when speaking of players to debut during the 1970’s it is hard to not include them in the discussion even though they did not make the cut into the ‘Top 31’.
Away we go…
Ron Cey– the hobby knows this card as the Mike Schmidt rookie, but Ron Cey was a hell of a ballplayer. Dominant in the LA Dodgers uniform, Cey made the all-star team 6 years in a row. With 1,828 hits and 316 home runs, Cey offered quite a bit of pop to the talented Dodger line-up. Cey helped lead the Dodgers to the World Series title in 1981 where he won the World Series MVP award after hitting .350 and driving in 6 runs.
Larry Bowa– Bowa was spectacular during the 2nd half of the 70’s. With 5 all-star appearances in 6 seasons, Bowa’s consistent approach at the plate made him a reliable resource for the Phillies. His 2,191 career hits with 318 stolen bases and 987 runs scored made him an offensive threat that took the Phillies to the World Series championship in 1980.
Bill Buckner– Remembered way to much for his error in the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner was a solid contributor in the big leagues for 22 seasons. With a career batting average of .289 alongside 174 home runs, Buckner was a solid threat each time he approached home plate. With 4 Top 20 finishes in the MVP race, Buckner’s batting skills made him an annual threat for the batting title – he hit .300 or better in 7 seasons.
Dave Kingman– Mostly noted as a power hitter, Kingman makes the list for his incredible consistency to deliver the long ball. With 442 career home runs, Kingman blasted 20 or more home runs 12 times in his 16 year career. A 3-time All-star, if Kingman were to have played in an era in which his sole responsibility was as the designated hitter there would be no telling as to the kind of damage he could have done.
Whew. I’m done!!!