Larry Milbourne (Mariners, SS-2B). I have no connection to or memory of Mr. Milbourne, but, as the guy on the front of the taped-together plastic sleeve these cards were packed in, curved toward their backs like Pringles, it seems only fair to give him the leadoff spot.
—Photo: It looks like 1978 was still in the ‘pose like you just did something cool on an empty diamond” era, as Milbourne stares down the cameraman while assuming the posture of a right-handed followthrough swing. In the Mariners’ second year of existence, he’s wearing the powder blue with white and yellow trim look that did not strike fear into opponents’ souls, the Neptune’s trident logo an oversized, pale yellow eyesore on the cap. Mr. Milbourne is sporting a fine 1970s mustache.
—Memories: As I said, this is my first exposure to Larry Milbourne, in any capacity.
—Career: Milbourne played a respectable nine years in the league as a spot starter and utility man, with the Mariners being team two of an eventual six. He hit .254 with a whopping 11 career home runs, a relic of a completely different time when that sort of thing was still acceptable.
—Fun fact: From Wikipedia: “At the start of spring training in 1975, Milbourne failed to report to the Houston Astros, and his whereabouts were unknown.” I’d watch that movie.
Paul Reuschel (Cubs, P). If you think you’ve heard of Paul Reuschel, you’re thinking of Rick Reuschel, who, in addition to being a much better pitcher with a much longer career, was also Paul Reuschel’s little brother. Ouch.
—Photo: Against a pale blue sky, Paul Reuschel poses in contemplative, pre-pitch readiness, presumably looking in for the sign, although, as in keeping with custom, he’s actually showing three-quarter profile to the cameraman. And what a profile. Little brother Rick was apparently known as “Big Daddy” for his burly physique, but Paul just looks like daddy, his chunky sideburns, chunky mustache, chunky glasses, and lack of chin the very illustration of a father’s weekend beer league mop-up guy. Or a suspect in the Zodiac killings. Reminder that Zodiac was never caught. Has anyone matched up Cubs-Giants series to those killings? I’m just asking questions.
—Memories: Rick was pretty good, as I recall.
—Career: The Cubs and Indians split Reuschel’s five-year journeyman career and 16-16, 4.51 career line.
—Fun fact: Rick Reuschel’s brother.