Horace Speed 1979 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for July 15, 2017


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Remember how I did 3 straight days of Mike Stantons? Well let’s cover another name that has more than one owner.

Horace Speed is the name of a former Cleveland Indians outfielder and that of a pioneer in Oklahoma.

I have no evidence of the pioneer and former Oklahoma territory District Attorney ever playing baseball. But one thing is for sure. He participated in the Oklahoma land rush. And here is another thing I know. Oklahoma was called “Indian Territory” and was basically one big ass reservation until the United States said “Eh, screw that. We want a new state.”

Now that might have been nice for the musical Oklahoma or that Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman/Ron Howard movie about Irish settlers, but it wasn’t great for the tribes who thought “Hey wait a minute! We don’t get this EITHER?”

So I guess what I am saying is, it is appropriate that the other Horace Speed played for the Indians.

Horace Speed sounds like a character from The Fast and the Furious movies. He was born in Los Angeles and drafted by San Francisco in 1969.

True to his name, he had good stolen base speed. He also had home run power,frequently putting up double digit totals in the minor leagues.

He got a call up to San Francisco in 1975 resulting in a 2 for 15 performance and many times used as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. He did not get the call in 1976 nor 1977.

The Giants did not offer him a contract after 1977 and he found himself on the Cleveland Indians for the 1978 season.

He appeared in 70 games for the Tribe in 1978, starting 27 of them. His highlight was a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 30th. Batting fifth and playing left field, he singled home Paul Dade with a 2 out hit in the third, putting Cleveland up 1-0. In the fifth, he tripled home Gary Alexander to make it 2-0. The next batter, Ted Cox, drove in Speed to make it 3-0.

The final score was 3-0 with Speed accounting for producing all 3 runs.

He collected 2 hits in 14 at bats in 1979 and was used primarily as a pinch runner. June 26, 1979 was his final big league game. He came in as a pinch runner for Cliff Johnson in a game against the Orioles. Speed represented the tying run but was stranded.

He played the 1980 season in the Atlanta organization. Clearly he wanted to continue to associate his name with native Americans in a bid to become a Brave.

His career is over and now linked forever with the former District Attorney of Oklahoma Territory, at least he is with a lunatic like me.

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