by sheer chance the cards are playing the same opponent today -- their last reg'r season game at busch stadium -- that they faced on july 16, 1972, when i snapped these pixs at camera day. earlier posts have pixs of joe torre and bob gibson; here, a few shots of the men of the big red machine.
starting with pete rose. a typical year for pete: .307 / .382 / .417, led the league in hits, games played, and at-bats, was fourth in runs scored. surprisingly, he did not make the all-star team -- the only year he missed out between 1967 and 1982. in the 1st two games of this series in st louis, rose went 6 for 9 to raise his average 11 points, to .291. he went 0 for 3 on camera day.
here's joe morgan w cardinal ss dal maxvill. this was morgan's 1st year in cincinnati, after 6 in houston. released from the stifling confines of the astrodome, morgan showed what a fine hitter he really was. he set career marks in nearly every category: batting avg, on-base, slugging, hr, rbi, runs scored, walks, and stolen bases. he led the league in runs, on-base pct, and walks; for good measure he was named the mvp of the all-star game. morgan ranked 2d in stolen bases that season (to lou brock), one of seven 2d-place finishes in that category during his career.
bobby tolan returned to duty in 1972 after missing the entire 1971 season with an injury; i don't know what ailment, and i haven't had time to look it up. the fourth outfielder on stl's 1967-68 pennant winners, tolan got traded to cincy for vada pinson just days after the 1968 world series and was superb in 1969-1970. when he returned in 1972, he wasn't the same player, though still a pretty good one; but in 1973 he hit .206, slugged .304, and played himself out of his job. still only 28, he tried to come back with san diego and put in a couple of seasons there, then played half-time for the division-winning phillies of 1976. but health continued to plague him; he missed most of 1977 and all of 1978, abandoned a 1979 comeback attempt after only 21 at-bats. he was through at age 33.
i'm pretty sure this is tony perez, the reds' 1st baseman and father of cardinal bench stalwart eduardo perez. (if anybody can confirm or rule out this theory, please advise in the comments.) the 1972 reds finished 95-59 (with 8 games erased by the strike), winning the second of their six 1970s division titles. they won the nlcs in one of the most dramatic playoff finishes ever, erasing a 1-run deficit in the bottom of the 9th of do-or-die game 5; the winning run scored on bob moose's wild pitch. the '72 world series vs the oakland a's was one for the ages; six of the seven games were decided by one run. the athletics won it, claiming the franchise's first series title in 40-plus years -- and the first of three in a row for that great oakland team.
cincinnati, which itself hadn't won a championship since 1940, would wait three more years to usher in its own dynasty . . . .