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Gene Tenace, 1974 Topps

Player: Tenace, Gene

Card: 1974 Topps #79

Position: C/1B

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Tenace was threatened by a man with a gun at the 1972 World Series. After [he} hit his first home run, a man behind home plate started telling fans around him that if Tenace hit another one, the man would shoot [Gene]. A woman alerted the police, who found a loaded revolver on the man. For the rest of the Series, FBI agents followed [Gene] wherever he went and his family couldn't see him. Ten years later, at the 1982 World Series, Tenace received a letter from the same man apologizing for what he had done. (Night Owl Blog)

Fury Gene Tenace, born Fiore Gino Tennaci in Russellton, Pennsylvania and better known as Gene Tenace, is an American former professional baseball player and coach. He played as an catcher and first baseman from 1969 through 1983, most notably as a member of the Oakland Athletics dynasty that won three consecutive World Series championships between 1972 and 1974.

Gene played for the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tenace was one of the top catchers of his era and won the 1972 World Series Most Valuable Player Award, batting .348 in the Series and knocking in nine runs,. After his playing days ended, Gino coached for several organizations, most notably for the Toronto Blue Jays.

He is tied for third in all-time catcher OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) with Johnny Bench and Torre. He's only behind Roy Campanella and Yogi Berra. Other achievements include:

  • AL All-Star (1975)
  • 1972 World Series MVP
  • 2-time League Bases on Balls Leader (1974/AL & 1977/NL)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 5 (1973–1976 & 1979)
  • Caught Vida Blue's no-hitter on September 21, 1970
  • Won four World Series as a player with the Oakland Athletics (1972, 1973 & 1974) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1982)
  • Won two World Series as a coach with the Toronto Blue Jays (1992 & 1993)

Should he be in the Hall of Fame? "If you divide his WAR by his plate appearances, he was more valuable on a per plate appearances basis than Bill Dickey, Roy Campanella, Gary Carter and Yogi Berra. - from an article at CalltothePen.com about Gene Tenace.

(excerpted from SABR, BR Bullpen, and Wikipedia)


1970 Topps #21
1971 Topps #338
1972 Topps #189
1973 Topps #203
1975 Topps Mini #535
gene tenace, 1979 topps #435, padres
1979 Topps #435
1981 Fleer #489
2009 Italian American Baseball Heroes #92


Gene is Tenace part of the Topps Card Tour – 1979 Topps – Go to the Next Stop

Gene is also part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Geno is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Geno is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Geno is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all Gene’s baseball cards at TCDB

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