top of page
  • Writer's pictureSSTN Admin

Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Cards #482, Tony Solaita (Article 89)

by Paul Semendinger

(Continuing a series…)


In 1968, Tony Solaita was a Yankee for all of one game. One game.

In that game, Tony played first base. But he didn’t just play first base. He took over for a legend. For a least a few moments, Tony Solaita walked in the footsteps of a giant.


The date was September 16, 1968.

The Yankees were in Detroit playing the eventual World Champion Tigers. The game was getting long, the Tigers were up 9-0 after five innings. In the top of the sixth, the Yankees scored a run. One run…

With one out, Mickey Mantle singled. Roy White then doubled Mantle to third. Bill Robinson then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Mantle. That would be the Yankees only run of the game and for Mickey Mantle, that was also the end of his night.

When the Yankees took the field for the bottom of the sixth, Tony Solaita was playing first base, taking over for Mickey Mantle.

In that game Solaita came to the plate once. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Solaita came to the plate against John Hiller. Solaita struck out.

And that was that.

Tony Solaita would never play a game as a Yankee again.


For Tony Solaita, it probably looked as though he might never play in the Major Leagues again after that one brief appearance.

He didn’t play in the big leagues for the rest of the 1968 season.

Or in 1969.

Or 1970.

He didn’t make it to the big leagues in 1971 or 1972.

Or even in 1973…

But, in 1974, he arrived again, this time as a member of the Kansas City Royals. This time, once he arrived, he planned to stay a while. Solaita would play in the Major Leagues through the 1979 season.


Tony Solaita’s trip back to the big leagues was not a straight line. At all.

After leaving the Yankees, he played with the White Sox organization, went back to the Yankees, was traded to the Pirates, and then was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 1973 Rule 5 Draft.

This was a long trip…and the traveling didn’t stop.

Solaita played for the Royals in 1974 and 1975. During the 1976 season, he was traded to the California Angels. He would play with the Angels through the 1978 season. In 1979, Solaita played for both Canadian teams beginning with the Montreal Expos and ending with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Solaita’s Major League career ended with that 1979 season.

Over 525 games, Tony Solaita batted .255/50/203. It was a nice career.


But in 1980, Tony Solaita went to Japan and became a star playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters. In four Japanese seasons, Solaita blasted 155 homers.


dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)


Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."


We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page