clines cornered

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Although I probably owe all readers who have spent any amount of time in New Mexico an apology for the title of this posting, I just don’t see that happening. Instead, let’s check out some kool baseball cards. These are all 1975 Topps cards that I got autographed in person during the 2009 season.

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Gene Clines – 1975 Topps no. 575

A hitting coordinator for the Los Angles Dodgers, Gene Clines made a few trips to Albuquerque during the 2009 season to help Isotopes hitters fine tune their approach at the plate. I was fortunate to have caught up with the “Roadrunner” after one of the games while he was hanging around outside the ballpark enjoying a smoke. Unfortunately, it was too dark for me to tell whether Gene was wearing the World Series ring he earned with the Pirates in 1971.

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Glenn Abbott – 1975 Topps no. 591

I’ve gotten cards signed by Glenn Abbott before, but I never had his 1975 Topps card when I’ve seen him. One of the advantages of completing a set is having a card of every player contained within on hand in the event that you get an opportunity to meet them. I still need a few cards to complete my 1975 Topps set, but luckily, I was able to pick this one up in a trade before the Portland Beavers visited the Duke City near the end of summer. Abbott pitched a perfect inning on September 28, 1975 against the (then) California Angels in what proved to be the first four-pitcher combined no hitter in Major League history.

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Don Money – 1975 Topps no. 175

Having set the major league record of consecutive errorless games at the hot corner at 86 with 257 opportunities during the summer of 1974, Don Money handled this card flawlessly after he agreed to autograph it for my collection. The four-time All-Star appeared in the 1982 World Series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Money is currently the manager of the Nashville Sounds. Don’s current signature is amazingly similar to the facsimile signature that was applied by Topps 34 years ago.

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Jim Slaton – 1975 Topps no. 281

Jim Slaton served as the Isotopes pitching coach during the 2009 season, so I had a great number of opportunities to get this card autographed. That does not mean that I appreciate it any less. A teammate of Don Money and the Milwaukee Brewers, Slaton won Game Four of the 1982 World Series.

– Kris

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