Playing in only 103 games in 1965, Topps elected Petrocelli to its 1966 Topps All-Star Rookie team. Not to disappoint, in 1966, Petrocelli did hit 18 round trippers, had 20 doubles with a low yet respectable (for the era) batting average of .238.
His glove work was his main skill yet in 1969 Petrocelli found that offensive punch as well. He had career highs in HR ad BA; hitting 40 (a record at the time for AL shortstops) and batted .297. He was also elected to his second all-star team (first was in 1967). While injuries would cause Petrocelli to retire after the 1976 campaign, he did have a solid career for thirteen years; hitting 210 HR's, 773 RBI's, a .251 BA and a .970 FP.
I like this 1970 card for a few reasons (aside from the fact that I am 92 % complete of the set). Take a look at Petrocelli's face - did he just wake up or something ?
More interesting (at least to me) is the back. I like the fact that Topps put his "real" first name on the card - Americo; and in looking at his stats and HR column, his major league total for home runs is exactly 100 at seasons end. Something I classify as a "clemente-ism"; a unique statistic occurring on ones card. The little factoid in the upper right says "Rico plays the drums to keep his wrists strong". I can see it now being patented as a rather interesting musical training device of the 60's or in todays world being banned as a PED.
So, I hope you enjoyed your "little bit o' Rico" for the day. Every day should have a bit o' rico.