He’ll always be known for his epic Afro and one of the greatest baseball cards ever made — 1976 Topps Traded No. 74T — but he also was a reliable big-leaguer for a long, long time.
He’s Oscar Gamble, a former New York Yankees outfielder who died on Wednesday at age 68. A member of the Yankees for seven of his 17 seasons in MLB, he hit .265 with 200 home runs and 666 RBI in 1,584 games. He also played for the Cubs, who drafted him in the 16th round in 1968, as well as the Phillies, Indians, White Sox, Padres and Rangers.
“He was the player on the Yankees known for big hair,” said his agent, Andrew Levy, on Twitter, “but those who knew him best will remember his big heart.”
His 1970 Topps Rookie Card isn’t the easiest or cheapest find as it’s a high-number card — and it’s also one that couldn’t be further away from his Hall of Fame-caliber hair to come.
It’s one of nearly 150 different baseball cards made during and after his career. He was never a plentiful signer and his only memorabilia cards are found in the 2000 Upper Deck Yankees Legends release.
His first certified autograph is found in the 2004 Upper Deck Yankees Classics set followed by later appearances in 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites, 2012 Topps Archives, 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes and Panini Select Signatures, 2014 Donruss and Panini Golden Age and finally in 2015 Topps Archives and 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots. There are just 20 signed cards in all, which is a tiny number considering he was a member of the Yankees on two World Series teams (1976 and 1981).
“Saddened to hear about the passing of Oscar Gamble,” said a tweet from the Yogi Berra Museum. “A great man, and a great friend of the Museum throughout the years. We’ll miss you, Oscar.”
Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com.