Monday, February 26, 2024

#228 Dave Leonhard - Baltimore Orioles

David Paul Leonhard
Baltimore Orioles


Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  165
Born:  January 22, 1941, Arlington, VA
Signed:  Signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent before 1963 season
Major League Teams:  Baltimore Orioles 1967-1972
World Series Appearances:  Baltimore Orioles 1969, 1971

Dave Leonhard spent his entire major league career with the Orioles and was a member of their bullpen when the team won three straight American League pennants between 1969 and 1971.  Leonhard won International League Pitcher of the Year honors in 1967, prompting his September call-up and big league debut on September 21st.  He had gone 15-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 176 innings pitched for the Rochester Red Wings.  Starting more games than relieving in 1968, manager Earl Weaver (#516) moved him to the bullpen full time in 1969 and Leonhard put together his best season in the majors.  He was 7-4 with a 2.49 ERA over 94 innings pitched that year and he pitched an inning in the World Series ultimately lost to the Mets.  The Orioles won the World Series in 1970, and while Leonhard was on the roster at time time, he didn't pitch in any games against the Reds.

His appearances with the Orioles decreased in 1971 and 1972, and in June 1973 Leonhard was dealt to the Angels in exchange for Jim Hutto.  He'd pitch in the minor league systems of the Angels, Cubs and Expos before retiring in 1976.  For his major league career, Leonhard was 16-14 with a 3.15 ERA in 117 games pitched.

Building the Set / 
Card #227
March 12, 2023 from The Philly Show (Uncle Dick's Cards)
In mid-March, Doug and I attended the Philadelphia Sports Collectors Show, held within the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  My main focus for this show was accumulating as many 1969 Topps commons as possible, which I did by adding a grand total of 193 cards to our set.  That's almost 30% of the entire set added in one enjoyable afternoon.  I wrote a full summary of the show in a post over at The Phillies Room, found here.

This is the milestone 150th of the 193 commons and semi-stars purchased, pulled and stacked from the first two neon green binders housing 1969 Topps cards at the multi-table spread of Uncle Dick's Cards from Babylon, New York.  My method was simple - I pulled up a chair, found a card I needed, picked the best of the group from the binder page and set it aside.  After each 100 cards, I'd ask the dealer to tell me how much damage I had done so far.  With a budget in mind, I kept going twice, continuing after card #100 and card #200, and stopping at card #298.  The final amount due was 17% off the sticker price for the pile of 193 cards, with this card costing me $1.25.

The Card / Orioles Team Set / Accuracy Index +5
That's likely a number four peaking through on the back of Leonhard's jersey, and he wore #24 during his brief call-up in 1967.  The cartoon on the back highlights his league leading 209 strikeouts while a member of the Double-A Elmira Pioneers in 1965.  Born in Arlington, Virginia, but calling Baltimore his home, the write-up mentions Leonhard's proximity to Memorial Stadium while growing up.

Accuracy Index:  Leonhard's card scores a +5.

1969 Season
As mentioned above, this was Leonhard's best season.  Weaver's most frequently used relievers were closer Eddie Watt (#652), lefty Pete Richert (#86), and righties Leonhard and Dick Hall.  Leonhard pitched an inning in a losing effort in Game 3 of the World Series, as the Orioles fell to the Mets.  With the Mets ahead 4-0 in the eighth inning, Leonhard surrendered a solo home run to Ed Kranepool (#381) to give the Mets a 5-0 lead, and ultimately the victory.

1968 Topps #56
1970 Topps #674
1971 Topps #716
1972 Topps #527

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1968 Topps #56
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (5):  1968-1972
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1972 Topps #527
Total Non-Parallel Baseball Cards:  27 in the Beckett online database as of 2/6/24.

Baseball Reference / SABR / Wikipedia

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