One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Hey, it's-a me!"

I redeemed a few more Topps Million Card Giveaways today.  One of them provided an interesting moment - the 1977 Topps Astros Team Card:

My first thought was how it is quite a sight to see that many of those Astros uniforms all grouped together in one picture.  But then I noticed the guy in the bottom row, third from the left....

I had no idea Super Mario was a ballplayer before embarking on an exciting career in the field of plumbing!

I decided I had to figure out who this guy was, but despite looking all over the rosters of the 1976 and 1977 Astro teams I could not find a picture to definitively ID our hero in orange, yellow-orange, and puke-orange.  My best guess is that it may be reliever Gene Pentz:

I dunno....the mustache doesn't look dark enough.....

Assuming it was Pentz, I looked up his numbers - going by the stats he appears to have been a solid relief pitcher.  In 104 games appearances he want 8-9 with a 3.63 ERA in 191 Innings, and also had 116 strikeouts and 7 saves.  It appears his career was cut short due to injury in just his third full season in the majors.

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