Everybody in and around baseball knows Dave Campbell.

Light-hitting infielder in the 1970s for the Tigers, Padres, and Astros. Even slipped in 13 games for the 1973 Cardinals.

The guy who looks like Dean Koontz on his old baseball cards.

6f90e82b-abbb-4f14-88f9-e2d6f0012bd6_250x348.png

Find Dave Campbell baseball cards on eBay (affiliate link)

Find Dave Campbell baseball cards on Amazon (affiliate link)

And the one who went on to become a noted sportscaster, plying his voice trade for the Padres and Rockies, and then a couple decades on ESPN and in MLB-based video games.

You know … Soup!

What you might not know about Campbell is that, after he hung up his spikes in 1974, he spent three years away from live diamond action, only to return for a four-game run at Double-A Amarillo (Padres) in 1977.

That same summer, he also made his Major League debut for the Atlanta Braves, pitching to a 3.05 ERA over 88 2/3 innings in 65 games.

Wait … what?

Oh, right. Right!

That was a different Dave Campbell.

54b8edcc-65e1-4881-8fe0-4ca3e5f7ba7b_656x461.png

Find 1978 Topps baseball cards on eBay (affiliate link)

Find 1978 Topps baseball cards on Amazon (affiliate link)

That Dave Campbell spent the last of the other Dave Campbell’s original swan song season — 1974, if you’re keeping track — in rookie ball for the Kingsport Braves after Atlanta signed him as an amateur free agent.

Three seasons and a run of sub-3 ERAs in the minors later, and Campbell got the call from Atlanta on May 6, 1977.

He stuck for the rest of the year, too, running his record to 0-6, but picking up 13 saves and registering above-average production from the mound.

That was enough for Topps to bite, and, as a consequence, you can find the righty in a posed set position, looking on intently with a wad of tobacky in his cheek, on card #402 in the 1978 Topps set.

That summer (1978, I mean), while collectors were pulling the second round of Dave Campbell rookie cards from wax packs, Dave Campbell was back pitching for the Braves.

Meanwhile, Dave Campbell was ramping up his broadcasting career.

That went better than the second year of the Atlanta pitching thing, as the second Dave Campbell went 4-4, but with a 4.80 ERA. Worse, he walked more batters than he struck out.

The results were predictable …

Atlanta traded their Dave Campbell to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Pepe Frias, whose hitting might have been lighter than even the first Dave Campbell’s.

And so it was that, in that summer of 1979, the second Dave Campbell made his second baseball card appearance, on Topps card #9. He’s in a posed, after-the-pitch-shot that I’m pretty sure was snapped just seconds after the pic Topps used for Dave Campbell #2’s first baseball card, in 1978.

And all that while that same second Dave Campbell, at 27, was logging his first of three straight seasons at Triple-A Denver for the Expos.

He wouldn’t ever make it back to the Majors, but he would always have those to Topps cards … and, of course, a name that will forever cause our heads to spin whenever we think about it for more than a second.


ebay_market_182x76.gif