i’ll take pete lacock to block, please.

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The 2009 baseball season proved to be rather productive in my efforts to get more 1975 Topps baseball cards autographed. This post features two cards from that outstanding set that a fellow grapher offered to get inked for me when he attended a Toros game in Tucson, Arizona. Incidentally, this guy has his very own baseball card in the 2004 Nashville Sounds team set. I’m not going to drop any names here, but I will let you know that he is not one of the players in the set.

johnson_tim_1975_topps_556

Tim Johnson – 1975 Topps no. 556

Tim Johnson is the manager of the abovementioned Tucson Toros that are part of the independent Golden Baseball League. It is worth noting that Johnson was the everyday shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers until a young whippersnapper named Robin Yount moved in and forced him into a utility role. I am happy to have this card autographed in my collection, but it would have been nice to have met Johnson in person and traded a few war stories.

That same game resulted in the addition of Pete LaCock’s signature on his 75 Topps card from my collection. LaCock served as the Toros’ hitting coach during their inaugural season in the Golden Baseball League.

lacock_pete_1975_topps_494

Pete LaCock – 1975 Topps no. 494

Any kid growing up in the 70s would be hard-pressed to claim that they never heard the name Pete LaCock. In reality, Pete’s true name is Ralph Pierre LaCock. As far as I know, Pete was the only major league ballplayer whose father was on television across the country on a nightly basis. In case you aren’t aware, LaCock’s father, Peter Marshall, was the host of the extremely popular game show Hollywood Squares. In “fact,” Hollywood Squares rivaled Match Game for bragging rights as the craziest game show on television at the time.

I am nearly positive that Pete was backstage during the videotaping of the episode when Paul Lynde went off on a tirade about how he believed that shoddily researched articles written by individuals and groups of people who share common interests would one day replace newspapers. When pressed for details on how these articles would be distributed amongst the population, the voice of Templeton the rat from Charlotte’s Web squinted his eyes and chuckled “…by carrier pigeons.”

I am typing under the assumption that if you are willing to watch the Game Show Network on cable nonstop between now and the next time I manage to crank out a blog posting, you will see that episode for yourself. You will not be disappointed when you observe Lynde’s outburst while a blizzard of Rip Taylor’s confetti dances like the Northern Lights on Lonesome George Gobels’ flatus rising up from the lower left corner.

Yes, I am still actively trading to complete my set of 1975 Topps baseball cards! My want list continues to shrink, so do not hesitate to make a trade offer soon to help me finish off this beast!

– Kris

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4 Responses to “i’ll take pete lacock to block, please.”

  1. owlatnight Says:

    If you’re interested, I have started a blog devoted to the ’75 Topps set:

    http://75topps.blogspot.com

    Nothing autographed though.

  2. albuqwirke Says:

    Thanks. Of course I’ve been reading it since day one!

  3. zman40 Says:

    I’m surprised that Johnson is managing this year. Both him and LaCock were with the Lincoln Saltdogs last year.

    I saw the Saltdogs play twice last year. The first time, Pete was still with the team. I dug through my ’81 Donruss and couldn’t find a card of him, so I didn’t get anything signed. A week later, I noticed that I did have one and somehow missed it.

    About a month after the second game I saw, I found a Johnson card in a minor league set where he was a AAA manager. I was holding onto it for this season until Johnson left the team because of health reasons.

    I’m glad to see that you had better luck than I did.

  4. marbaseball Says:

    Match Game and Hollywood Squares were two of my favorites way back when.

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