Cards That Never Were is a recurring series in which I create virtual cards for players who were missed in the original sets. It is a concept I have borrowed from far too many to thank, but I appreciate all of them.
For this card creation, I admit to fudging the rules just a bit. Claude Osteen did have a card in the Topps 1975 set, but I don't think he had the right one. I'll get back to this in a moment.
Osteen made his debut in 1957, but did not pitch in the majors in 1958. He returned in 1959 and pitched through 1975. Osteen received cards from Topps from 1959 through 1976 with 1961 skipped, despite him appearing in 20 games. Oddly, 1961 is not my concern.
I am focusing on 1975 Topps here. Osteen appeared with the St. Louis Cardinals, thanks to the magical airbrush. He had been traded from the Houston Astros late in 1974 and Topps did not get a picture of him with his new team. These type of cards bugged me the most. Topps should have gotten a picture of him with the Cards.
Unfortunately, by the time the card came out, Osteen had been released by the Cardinals and signed by the White Sox. I wouldn't expect Topps to be able to put out a card of him with the Sox, since he was signed in April. Ordinarily I wouldn't even create a virtual card considering he did not pitch for the Sox in 1974, but I bent my rules and created one. In the "old" days, when Topps put out cards in series, this might have been possible.