Thursday, June 2, 2016

1976 ASG +40: Don Money 1979 Topps #265

The Phillies hosting the Brewers for a four game set this weekend gives us the chance to discuss a 1976 All-Star with ties to both clubs.

1979 Topps #265 Don Money (AS)

1976 marked the second time that Don Money made the All-Star Team but it was the first time that he got to play in the game.

Money came into the 1976 ASG in the 6th inning replacing George Brett at Third Base. He would later bat in the 9th popping out versus Astros Pitcher Ken Forsch. Looking back today the AB is a bit of an oddity as at the time, Money was repping the AL as a Brewer and Forsch the NL as an Astro, Since then the two teams have flipped leagues.

1979 Topps
I selected 1979T card for our Don Money posting because it is the one time that he received the All-Star flair from Topps. This does cause a bit of a discrepancy...

Notice that we specified that Money played Third in the 1976 ASG, however are cover card lists second base as the position. To accommodate the Brewers Free Agent Signing of Sal Bando the Brewers moved Don Money to 2nd Base prior to the 1977 season.

The move worked out for Don as he would eventually get his only starting assignment as an All-Star in 1978. Money went 0-2 in the game including going down on strikes versus Vida Blue. The 1978 ASG was played in San Diego which will be also be the home of the 2016 Mid-Summer classic.

1979 Topps #265 Don Money (AS - bSide)

Not sure how accurate it is but despite

The game referenced in the text at the bottom of the card was a 7-1 Brewers victory over the expansion Seattle Mariners.  The Pitcher who induced all those ground balls was rookie Larry Sorensen who pitched a complete game in only his 4th career start. 

Don Money was the 5th player to achieve the feat. Since 1977 five other second baseman have recorded a dozen assists in a game including the Phillies own Juan Samuel in 1985 and Former Phillies Manager and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (1983).

Stray Observation: Larry Sorensen made his only All-Star Appearance in the 1978 game that Don Money started. Sorensen pitched 3 shutout innings for the AL squad which was the strongest outing among the squads six pitchers.

Baseball Dates
A fun nuance of 1979 Topps is the Baseball Dates feature on each player card. Jim Umbarger recorded the unusual unassisted Pitcher DP while pitching for the Texas Rangers in a 2-1 Win over the Cleveland Indians. I could not find any additional footage or Info on the DP beyond the Box. It did occur with the bases loaded pop up. I can only assume that it was a Hit and Run or a freak play where the Infield Fly Rule was invoked and a runner got caught off a bag.

The Double Play occurred in the 2nd inning and was a big help towards giving Umbarger the W in the game.  According to the b-ref Win Expectancy chart for the game, prior to the play the Rangers had a 45% chance of victory. The double play increased that number by 17 points to 62%, the greatest impact of any single AB in the game.

The Indians batter was Catcher Alan Ashby, B-ref does not indicate the runner but the 3 men on base at the time were Rico Carty, Charlie Spikes and Buddy Bell.

Jim Umbarger was only involved in 5 other Double Plays in the remaineder of his 4 year 133 game career.

WAR Stories
Don Money put up much better career numbers that I realized. Among Third Baseman his career 36.3 WAR ranks just above Hall of Famer Pie Traynor (36.2). Among notable contemporary players he ranks somewhere between Troy Glaus (37.9) and Ryan Zimmerman (35.1)

More Money
1972 Ticketron Phillies

Sources and Links
1976 All-Star Game Index 
Baseball Almanac (1978 ASG)
Baseball Almanac (Assist Record)

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2008 World Champions