Thursday, May 3, 2018

Single Card Post: 1974 Topps #599

Behold! This is a card that to me is a beauty of a card. Not due to the fact that it's from the fantastic 1974 Topps set, but due to the fact that it's the Washington error version of said card. I've covered this in the past about these error cards and it's one of my major collecting goals to get a complete team set. I'm just over halfway there and will chronicle what I have in a blog post upcoming. For now though, as I do in these one card posts, let's take a look at the careers of the players pictured.

Ron Diorio had a very brief major league career, only appearing in 25 total games, with 23 of those coming between August and the end of the season in 1973. By April of 1974, he was out of the majors. Most of his career though, was spent in the minors in the Phillies organization bouncing between A and AA ball. Most of his time was spent with the Reading club, where between parts of six seasons he would appear in 173 games with a 2.28 ERA and a 21-11 record. After baseball, he spent 35 years refereeing high school and collegiate basketball in Connecticut and was the first person inducted into the Sacred Heart High School Hall of Fame.

Dave Friesleben debuted in 1974 for a not very good Padres team that almost wound up in Washington DC. However, Ray Kroc (yes, that Ray Kroc) stepped in at the last minute and saved the Padres from moving. Friesleben accounted for nine of the Padres 60 wins that season (which tied for the team lead with Bill Grief). In five seasons with the club, he never won more than 10 games and never had an ERA lower than 3.50. The Padres shipped him to Cleveland in the middle of the 1978 season, who then traded him to Toronto that offseason. By the end of the 70s, he was out of the majors entirely.

Frank Riccelli played 17 whole games in his major league career, debuting for the Giants on September 11, 1976 against the Reds. In that game, he pitched 5 innings, gave up 4 hits, 4 earned runs, had 4 Ks, and 4 walks. He only pitched 11 more innings for the Giants that season, and spent the 1977 season in the minors with the PCL Phoenix Giants. In 1978, he resurfaced for two games with Houston and in 1979 made it into 11 games with the Astros and was out of the majors by the summer. After missing the 1980 season, 1981 was spent with Single-A Alexandria and Double-A Buffalo in the Pirates organization and then wrapped up his career with Triple-A Syracuse (Toronto) in 1982.

Finally, we have Greg Shanahan who has the shortest career of any of those pictured on this card ... 11 games with the Dodgers between 1973 and 1974. As a matter of fact, when this card was issued, he had only appeared in 7 major league games as was a late season call-up from Triple-A Albuquerque both seasons. After his MLB cup of coffee, he spent the rest of his career at the Triple-A level with both Albuquerque and Omaha (part of the Royals organization).

Of these four, none of them had outstanding careers but just based on longevity, Friesleben I'd say had the best, plus he gave us this image during his playing career ...

Enough said.

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