Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Wood vs. Wood #124

Last time 1962 came out on top, 4-2. Who will win this time?

Some great serendipity here, with a pair of Twins relievers at #124.

Bill Pleis poses for the photographer at Yankee Stadium. Pleis was coming off a solid rookie season in 1961 where he went 4-2 with a 4.95 ERA. He was a part of the Twins bullpen throughout the early and mid-1960s, sometimes splitting the season with AAA Vancouver. In 190 big league games, all for the Twins between 1961 and 1966, Pleis went 21-16 with 13 saves and a 4.07 ERA. After his career he was a longtime scout for the Astros and Dodgers, and is now retired. His son Scott was a longtime Tigers scout and executive but was fired this October.

While this was a rookie card for Pleis, Fontenot's was his sunset card. An August trade acquisition from the Cubs, Topps rather awkwardly airbrushed a Twins uniform and cap over Fontenot's Cubs outfit. Fontenot came up with the Yankees as a starter in 1983 and had immediate success, going 8-2 with a 3.33 ERA. He struggled in 1984 (8-9, 3.61) and was traded to the Cubs, where he did even worse in 1985 (6-10, 4.36). The Cubs moved him to the bullpen in 1986 where he did OK (3-5, 3.86, 2 saves) and traded him to Minnesota in August, for whom he was pretty bad (0-0, 9.92 ERA in 15 games). He signed with the Giants in 1987, was released in spring training, was picked up by the Astros and spent the season in the minors, never again reaching the major leagues. He is now a Business Development Manager for Polaris Engineering & Construction in Lake Charles, LA.


  1. I going to vote for the bad airbrushing...

  2. '62. Classic shot. Airbrushing by the late 1980s has always been super-lame to me. That's '60s and '70s stuff!

  3. Gotta take the 62 here. I own both but the 62 just looks better.

  4. Easy call. The 1962 would probably be better even if the competition didn't have the awful airbrushing. Pleis by a landslide. (I wonder whether he's related to the pianist Jack Pleis.)

  5. Neither of these players pop up on my radar, so I'll go with the 1962 because of the nicely cropped posed photo.