Card of the Moment #52
September 29th, 2010 by slangon

1976 Topps #164 Pepe Mangual

Josh over at Cardboard Gods has already covered this subject, but Pepe Mangual is one of only 2 players named Pepe to ever play in the Major Leagues. I don’t know why I find this so unbelievable. I guess I figure that professional baseball has been going on for well over 100 years. Every year you have 100’s of guys playing for the various teams. Some stick around for years, some are only called up for a very brief period. Even considering that Latin players have only been playing in the Majors for a shorter period of time and Pepe is not exactly a name you’ll find given to too many whiteys, I find it really crazy that there’s only been 2 guys with that name to play ball in the big leagues. I also don’t know why I really care. I’m not named Pepe. I don’t know anybody named Pepe. It is sort of fun to say though.

Pepe spent 6 seasons in the Major Leagues, mostly for the Montreal Expos, but he also spent some time with my beloved Mets. As dark as the days seems in Queens these days, Pepe was a member of the Mets during the really, really dark days of the mid to late 70’s. Apparently Pepe fit right in though. He batted .183 during his time in Flushing with 1 home run and 11 RBI over 2 seasons. He was also apparently not such a stud in the field either. Mets-beat writer Jack Lang said of him, “Pepe Mangual can drop anything he gets his hands on.”

He did have one interesting career highlight though that happened the year this card came out. On June 4, 1976, the Expos were facing the Braves. Andy Messersmith was no-hitting the Expos through 8 and a third innings. Pepe came up in the bottom of the 9th inning with one out  and after fouling off several tough pitches, proceeded to hit a single into left field off of Messersmith to break up his no-hit bid. Unfortunately for the Expos, Andy went on to strike out the next 2 batters so they lost 2-0 despite Pepe’s heroics at the plate.

Initially I was a little offended on Pepe’s behalf that they would put a trivia cartoon about a completely different player on the back of his card, but then I realized that for whatever reason, that was Topps’ modus operandi for the trivia cartoons that year. Not all of them, if any, were actually about the player shown on the front of the card. On one hand I think that’s a little random, but on the other hand, I sort of like it, just because it is so random. I also think it’s kind of funny that in both the illustration and the copy of the trivia bit, it looks like it says “boo” instead of “800”.

(By the by, this concludes the Cards of the Moment that were so generously traded to me from Chris at Project ’62. Thanks again, Chris.)

One Response to “Card of the Moment #52”

  1. […] Poor’s card of the moment was former Expo Pepe […]

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