Saturday, August 26, 2023

Cards That Never Were: Pat Kelly Topps 1968 & 1981

Cards That Never Were is a recurring series in which I create virtual trading cards for players missed in various sets over the years. It is a concept I have borrowed from far too many to list, but I appreciate all of their efforts.

After high school, Pat Kelly signed as an amateur free agent with the Minnesota Twins. Kelly made his MLB debut in 1968 and played 20 games with the Twins in '67 and '68. After the 1968 season, Kelly was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the Expansion Draft. After two seasons with the Royals, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He played six seasons with the Sox, before being traded to the Orioles for Dave Duncan, who did not make the Sox team. After the '80 season, he signed with Cleveland, where he played one season before retiring. In 15 seasons, Kelly played 1,385 games, with 1,147 hits, 76 HRs, 418 RBIs, 620 runs scored and a .264 batting average. 

For his efforts, Kelly received cards from Topps 1969-'80 and '82, missing only a '68 rookie card and an '81 card. It was odd that he got an '82 card after 90 at bats, but not an '81 after 237 at bats. In either case, I created cards for the missing sets.

On a side note, Kelly's brother Leroy played for the Cleveland Browns. They were one of four sets of Indians-Browns brothers. Wayne and Terry Kirby, Alex and Ron Johnson and Karl and Mike Pagel are the others.

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