Wednesday, March 11, 2020

1981 Topps Manny Sanguillen

The front: Sanguillen always looked happy on his cards, though I think this is the only one where he is actually laughing.

The back: 1980 was Sanguillen’s last season, making this his sunset card.

The player: A three-time all-star, catcher Manny Sanguillen was a key member of the great Pirate teams of the early 1970s. From 1969 to 1975 Sanguillen regularly hit over .300 with some power. He had a dangerous arm behind home plate; he threw out 39% of baserunners over his career, including 50% in 1971. In 13 seasons, all but one in Pittsburgh, he hit .296 with 65 HR and 585 RBI.

The man: Sanguillen was very close with Roberto Clemente, and was supposed to be on Clemente’s fateful flight but lost his car keys and didn't go. After the crash Sanguillen joined the rescue effort, diving into shark-infested waters to search for his friend. Since 2002 he has operated Manny’s BBQ at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

My collection: I have 16 of his cards, from 1969 to 1981. I would be interested in trading for 1968 Topps #251.


  1. I didn't know this was Sanguillen's sunset card - or that he had planned to be on the plane with Clemente.

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