Swings and misses

1954 Bowman

A veteran of six big-league seasons, Joe Presko pitched from 1951-1958 for the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. He went 25-37 in 128 games with a 4.61 ERA and five saves. He won seven games in each of his first two seasons with the Cardinals but was a 13-game loser for St. Louis in 1953 and moved into the bullpen the following year. After pitching in the minors in 1955 and 1956, he returned to the majors briefly with the Tigers in 1957 and 1958. Presko was back in the minors in 1959, then called it quits.

1967 Topps

Lee Elia played in 95 games for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs in 1966 and 1968. The bulk of that action came with the ChiSox in his first year. He appeared in 80 games that year, hitting .205 with his three career home runs. In his 15 games with the Cubs in 1968 he hit .176. Elia would go on to manage both the Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies.

1980 Topps

A two-time all star, Jose Cruz hit .284 with 165 home runs and 317 stolen bases in a 19-year career. He broke in with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970 but really hit his stride when he joined the Houston Astros in 1975. He made his first all-star team in 1980 when he hit .302 with 11 home runs, 36 stolen bases and 91 RBIs. He finished third in the National League MVP vote that year. He would go on to get MVP votes again in 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1985. He won Silver Slugger awards in 1983 and 1984 and made his second all-star team in 1985. Cruz left Houston in 1988 and played one season for the New York Yankees before retiring. His number 25 was retired by the Astros in 1992.

Our letters sent to Dave Freisleben and Mike Davis were returned with bad addresses.

Published by Chris

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

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