Swings and misses

1979 Topps

The first player selected by the Montreal Expos during the 1969 expansion draft, Balor Moore pitched for eight years in the majors, going 28-48 with a 4.52 ERA. He came up with Montreal as a 19-year old in 1970 and pitched in six games, going 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA. After a return to the minors, Moore came back to the big leagues in 1972 and had the best year of his career. He made 22 starts that season, going 9-9 with a 3.47 ERA and 161 strikeouts. He started 32 games the following season and finished 7-16. Moore eventually suffered a couple of career-altering injuries and spent most of 1975-1976 trying to recover. He resurfaced in the majors in 1977 with the California Angels for seven games, then joined the Toronto Blue Jays in 1978. He stayed with Toronto for three years with 1981 being his last season in the big leagues.

1979 Topps

Dennis Lamp enjoyed 15 years in the majors, pitching for six teams from 1977-1992. He came up with the Chicago Cubs and posted double-digit wins for the team in 1979 and 1980. The Cubs dealt him across town to the Chicago White Sox in 1981 and he won 11 games for the ChiSox in 1982. Lamp had the best year of his career for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985 as he was 11-0 with a 3.32 ERA as a reliever. His performance was good enough to help him finish 21st in the American League MVP vote that season. Lamp would go on to pitch for the Oakland A’s, Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates before retiring with 96 wins.

1979 Topps

Cliff Johnson belted 196 home runs while playing for seven different teams from 1972-1986. He hit 20-plus home runs four times in his career. The first time he did it was with the Houston Astros in 1975 when he hit .276 with 20 bombs. He crossed that threshold again in 1977 when he hit 10 home runs for the Astros and 12 for the New York Yankees to finish with a career-high 22 homers. Johnson totaled 20 home runs again in 1979, this time he hit two with the Yankees and 18 with the Cleveland Indians. He added a 22-home run year with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1983, setting his career high in RBIs (76) as well.

1979 Topps

Pitching primarily for the Atlanta Braves, Preston Hanna appeared in 156 major league games, going 17-25 with a 4.61 ERA. He made his first appearance in the majors in 1975 but was quickly back in the minors. This trend continued for the next three years until he made 28 starts for the Braves in 1978, going 7-13 with a 5.13 ERA in 140.1 innings. Hanna spent the next year mostly back in the minors but was back with Atlanta in 1980 as a member of the bullpen. He remained there until 1982 when he was released and picked up by the Oakland A’s. He pitched in 23 games for the A’s, concluding his career.

Published by Chris

Writer, historian, father, intrepid traveller, journalist, aging punk ... I am actually in a Hall of Fame.

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