A Look Back – 1975 Topps (Vol. 1 – Frank Tepedino)
It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon so I went into the attic and milling around I found an old box of 1975 Topps baseball cards.
As I started to flip through this box of common cards from long ago, cards that I probably sorted a million times as a kid, I wondered if I would discover the cards of any former New York Yankees. (I was certain that the regular Yankees cards and any cards of the great players had long ago been removed.)
I decided that if I found cards of former Yankees that I’d share them here, in the order that I discover them. This might be a fun way to remember players that have probably long ago been forgotten.
To that end, the first former Yankee I found was Frank Tepedino, then pictured as an Atlanta Brave.
I don’t think many fans today remember or even know of Frank Tepedino. Interestingly, he was a Yankee for a somewhat significant time, first appearing on the scene in New York as a rookie in 1967 and sticking around into the 1971 season and then returning to the Yankees for a brief moment in 1972.
Tepedino, originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1965, was from Brooklyn, New York After two seasons in the minors, the Yankees selected him from Baltimore in the 1966 Rule 5 Draft. (I never knew the Rule 5 Draft was in existance back then.)
Frank Tepedino made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 1967. He played first base. He went 2-for-5 in 9 games with no extra base hits for the Yankees that year.
In 1968, he spent the year in AA with Binghamton where he hit just .248 with four homers in 82 games.
In 1969, he spent most of the year with Syracuse (AAA) appearing in 109 games and batting .300/16/61 earning him a September call-up. As a Yankee in 1969, Tepedino appeared in 13 games and batted .231 over 39 at bats.
1970 was Frank Tepedino’s break-out minor league season. Once again playing for Syracuse, he batted .355 in 31 games earning another call up to the big leagues. As a Yankee, though, he appeared in just 16 games. He did hit .316 (6-for-19) as a Yankee.
Still, Tepedino managed to appear in just six games for the Yankees in 1971, going 0-for-6.
On June 7, 1971, Tepedino was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Danny Walton (an outfielder who appeared in just five games with the Yankees).
On March 31, 1972, the Yankees purchased Frank Tepedino back from the Brewers. He wouldn’t stay long. This time, Tepedino went 0-for-8 as a Yankee.
On June 7, 1973, he was traded in a package to the Atlanta Braves for Pat Dobson, a solid right-handed pitcher who would pitch for New York through the 1975 season. After that 1975 season, Dobson was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Oscar Gamble.
Frank Tepedino hung around through the 1975 season. His best season was 1973 . In 74 games that year, he batted .304 for the Braves.
In his career, Frank Tepedino played in 265 Major League games batting .241 with six homers (four with Atlanta, all in 1973, and two with the Brewers).
(Tepedino appeared as a Yankee in the 1970 and 1971 Topps sets. The card pictured above was his last regular issue card. Interestingly, the photo from that card is the one used on his baseball-reference page.)