Tuesday, November 21, 2017

From My Collection: Bill Melton

I posted my 1972 AL Home Run Leaders card a while ago, to show that it was my only card (at the time) of Reggie Jackson from his original time with the A's; here it is again.
1972 Topps AL Home Run Leaders card.
At the time, I said that I had never heard of Bill Melton otherwise.  But, going back to look through my 1970s Topps cards, I found a few more Meltons.  It's pretty strange, I think -- I only have a significant number of cards starting with the 1978 set.  Before that, I only have a handful per year.  But I have the 74, 76, and 77 Bill Melton!
1974 Topps Bill Melton.
Melton hardly played in 1972, and according to Wikipedia, it's because he hurt his back catching his son when his son fell off their garage roof.  After the injury, he didn't have the same power.  Here's an article about the injury and the turn his career took after.
1976 Topps Bill Melton.
1976 Topps Bill Melton back.
My favorite thing about these cards is the text on the back of the 1976 -- it says that he was the White Sox career home run leader.  That's interesting to me because that same title is how I first became interested in Harold Baines, one of my favorite players.  By the mid-1980s, Baines had surpassed Melton to take the team crown.  By now, Melton is 8th with 154, Baines is 3rd with 221, and Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko are in first and second place, each with more than 400.
1977 Topps Bill Melton.
After the 1975 season, Melton was traded to the Angels.  After the 1976 season, he was traded to the Indians.  After one year with the Indians, he was granted free agency, and retired.  Today, he's a broadcaster with the White Sox.

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