Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mike Sadek, Card #8, New Format Unveiled!!!

Greetings loyal reader! Excitement abounds as we are through with the record breaker cards and onto the first of 639 different single player cards! Leading off for the 1978 Topps set is card #8 of Mike Sadek. I would be willing to bet that, Little League included, Mr. Sadek never led off a game in his life, so this is a somewhat peculiar person for Topps to choose to open this set, but… Mike Sadek was the San Francisco Giants backup catcher in 1977, he batted and threw right handed and enjoyed his busiest and most productive season to date in 1977. He set career marks in games (61), at bats (126), hits (29), doubles (7), RBI (15) and even hit his first career home run. He batted .230 (not a career best) in his 4th year with the Giants. He would go on to play 8 seasons in the Majors, all with San Francisco and during that time he had 7 Topps regular issue cards. He was known as a defensive catcher who called a good game, but not for his offensive at all. In 1981, when the Giants gave him his release and he retired, he had more baseball cards (7) than home runs (5). He was a mainstay on some pretty bad Giants teams and on those teams, the starting catcher changed from Dave Radar to Marc Hill to Milt May, but Mike Sadek remained old reliable, on the bench and ready to pinch hit at all times! Now onto…
The Nitty Gritty
Name/Number: Mike Sadek #3
Position: Catcher (reserve)
Team’s 1977 Record: 75-87 / .463 / 23 games back
Topps Rookie Card: 1974 Topps, #577Number of Topps Base Cards: 7
Playball! Base on balls
1977 Stats Line: .230/1/15
Awards in 1977: A job
Distinguishing Feature: batting gloves
Similar Modern Player: Jose Molina
What I said about this card then: Who?
What I think about this card now: Why?

Back of the card memorable moment: Came off the bench on 09/07/1976 to deliver a pinch hit, sacrifice bunt to move the eventual winning run over.
Back of the card “fun fact”: Mike is an exceptional bunter.
The condition: Near mint. Perfectly centered, 3 sharp corners, 1 dinged a little.
Grooviness factor: Nothing. Mike had a reputation as being one of the worst and loudest dressers in baseball and there is nothing outwardly groovy about this card.
Wow! Factor: That he lasted so long in major league baseball.
Whats weird about this card: The empty seats…
Career Accolades: 5 home runs.
Where are they now?: Your guess is as good as mine.
Well, this is the new template. Will it get better? I hope so. Doug DeCinces is on deck, so look out! 31 years, LATER!

New Name, New Format, Totally Not A Drag Man...

This blog is obviously all about the great set produced by Topps Chewing Gum Inc. in the year of 1978. Here are some facts about the set that you should know before we get any farther along in our card a day journey to the ends of the earth and the set. After 5 years of issuing a 660 card set, Topps increased the number of cards to 726 in 1978. It was the most since the 787 card set of 1972. Unlike ’72, the ’78 set didn’t include “In Action” cards. This 726 card format would last for 4 years until they bumped it up to 792 cards in 1982. It was also the second consecutive year that Topps didn’t offer a regular traded set-this would return again in 1981. Of the 726 cards in the set, the first 7 are “Record Breakers”, cards 201-208 are duel player league leader cards and cards number 411-413 chronicle the playoffs. The set also includes 6 double sided checklist cards and cards #ed 701-711 were 4 player rookie cards that were separated by position. There are 4 rookie pitchers cards and two cards each for catchers and outfielders. All the other infield positions received one card each. This set has an incredible crop of stars and represents 33 different Hall of Fame players and managers. It also includes 26 manager cards with a current photo and a picture of the skipper as a player. There are 26 different team cards as well, most often with a team photo on the front and a complete checklist of cards depicted from that team on the back. These team cards are difficult to find properly cut and centered. Taking away these aforementioned cards, the set includes a total of 639 different single player cards, including the first ever Topps card of Eddie Murray and the final card of Lyman Bostock. This blog will show each and every one of the 726 cards of this amazing set in numerical order. The blog now has a new name and will follow a very strict, yet groovy format as we journey to the end of the set in 5 cards per week intervals. It will be a long and strange trip indeed. Aside from showing a new card every day (or so) there will be a number of special additional and reoccurring features that may or may not include: “Where were you in 1977?”, “Saturday Night Special ‘Staches”, “The Oscar Gamble Hair Watch”, “Jive Turkeys”, “1978 Season Rewind”, the “Sounds of ‘78”, “This Date in History”-a 1977 and ’78 version, “Wednesday Morning Upgraydez” and features on players with ties to this great and groovy year. You’ll have to trust me when I say that it will in fact be far out. We will, on rare occasion, showcase cards that aren’t from 1978, but have close ties and significance to that year. Just like on the Collective Troll, there will be contests. The first one will occur when this blog nabs its 50th follower and it will not be a drag, trust me… It won’t be corduroy, but the contests will have a 1978 feel and appeal to them. Hop on the “Nitty Gritty” card blog train and enjoy the ride! Mike Sadek is on deck… 31 years, LATER!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Card #7, REGGIE JACKSON Record Breaker!

Here we have it folks, card #7, Reggie Jackson Record Breaker. This is seventh and final record breaker card in the set. The record breaker cards all represent the stars of the day and 5 of those 7 players went on to enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This is one of only two (Pete Rose) record breaker cards that show an action shot. I have no idea where or when this photo was taken, but as a kid I was sure he was hitting his third homerun of the night off of Charlie Hough. As far as I can tell, this record still stands, which is pretty remarkable. With their late nineties run, it seems like all of the current World Series records are held by Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. With 40 trips to the World Series, I guess it is only fair that Yankees players own most of the records. To quote the back of the card- “Reggie sets series mark with 5 round trippers” it goes on to say “Reggie belts 3 in final game. Reggie Jackson set 5 World Series records and tied 3 others in 1977. His five homers were the most in one classic as were his 25 total bases and 10 runs. Reggie also set mark with 3 consecutive homers in one game and 4 in a row over 2 contests. Babe Ruth had twice hit 3 homers in World Series game, in 1926 and 1928.” Four homers had been hit in the Series 6 times prior by 5 different people. Duke Snider hit 4 homers in a Series twice (’52 and ’55) and Jackson’s teammate Gene Tenace did it in 1972. After Reggie, Barry Bonds had a 4-homer in 7 games performance in 2002. Jackson hit 5 in just 6 games. Jackson’s mark of 10 runs scored in one series has been tied, by Paul Molitor in 1993, but not broken. His 25 total bases has also been tied, by Willie Stargell in 1979, but not broken. His 5 homers in one series and 4 consecutive homers still stand as his records alone. As a kid, Reggie seemed larger than life. Whereas Pete Rose made me think that if I hustled, I could be a good player, Reggie seemed almost like a super hero. In 21-seasons in the big leagues he was an All Star 14 times, the American League MVP in 1973 and the World Series MVP in 1973 and 1977. He also paced the league in homers 4 times and hit 563 over his career, which is 13th All Time. He earned the nickname “Mr. October” with the Yankees, but he excelled in the Series everywhere he played. In five World Series contests he owned a .357 batting average with 10 homers and 24 RBI. His World Series batting average is nearly 100 percentage points higher than his career BA of .262. He won all 5 World Series that he played in and all were within the decade of the 70’s, meaning he won half of the Series of that decade. As a kid I got a sports calendar every year for Christmas, it included baseball, football, basketball and hockey players. Regardless of the year, Reggie was always the photo in October, which makes it fitting that his card is profiled before this month is up. This is pretty obvious, but after his career was done, his final stop was in Cooperstown, New York. He was elected in the Hall in his first year of eligibility in 1993 receiving 94% of the votes. Although I wasn’t a huge Reggie fan growing up, I did admire and respect him. Like I said, he just seemed larger than life and because of that, I never really collected him. I just didn’t think I was worthy to collect such an amazing, super hero like player, that doesn’t mean that dealers didn’t have to wipe the drool off of this 1969 Topps card every card show that I went to. I can remember having 4 dollars in my pocket and going up and “saying, hey, how much would you take for the Reggie rookie? Oh, okay, I’ll have to think about it…” Good times. I really love this hobby of ours! Next up, regular cards, woo hoo! One more time begging, PLEASE add this to your blog rolls if you are reading it! Happy Collecting and set building to all!

Nolan Ryan Record Breaker, Card #6

On July 16, 1977 Nolan Ryan fanned 12 Seattle Mariners en route to an Angel’s victory, it was the 98th time that Ryan had struck out 10 or more batters in a game in his career and this earned him a record breaker card. The previous record was held by Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax who whiffed 10 or more 97 times. This is the first of many pitching records that Ryan set in his career. He would go on to pitch for 16 more seasons and would also lead the league in strikeouts 6 more times. Once he broke Koufax’ record, he built on it and made it pretty much unbreakable. His final number of 10 K games after his retirement in 1993? He had 215 games with 10 or more Ks. That’s way more than double Koufax’ record, practically triple. Ryan did the bulk of his striking out in the American League, though. He had 148 10+K games for the Angels and the Rangers, but playing for the Mets and Astros he only reached the feat 67 times which means that Koufax is still the career leader in the NL. During his 27 year career Nolan Ryan struck out 5714 batters, good for first place all time and over 1,500 more than the guy in second place. In 1973 with the Angels Ryan struck out 383 batters to set a Major League Record which still stands 35 years later. With 24 in his career he holds the mark for most seasons with 100 or more Ks, with 15 he set the standard with most seasons at 200 plus and yes, he does hold the record for most seasons with 300 or more Ks with 6. He is tied with Randy Johnson for that last one. Those records aside, this card celebrates him breaking Koufax’ record for most games with 10 or more Ks. It is incredible that Ryan broke Koufax’ record, but more incredible that he broke it, doubled it and then got some more. In the end he bested the record by 118 games. In 1977 Sparky Lyle captured the AL Cy Young Award, but Ryan was named the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year. He was third in the league in wins with 19 and led the league with 341 Ks and 22 complete games while pitching 299 innings. He average 10.64 strikeouts per nine innings and led the league in that category, too. Ryan never won a Cy Young Award during his career and his SN Pitcher of the Year Award in 1977 was his only one. He finished in the top-5 in voting for Cy Young 6 times, but never took the prize. In 1973 he struck out a record 383 batters and won 21 games while completing 26 games, but Jim Palmer who had 220 fewer strikeouts took the honors. As far as the card goes, they did get a decent looking head on portrait of the guy, but why not have a pic of him doing what he did to break the record? A pic of him pitching, presumably striking someone out would have been much better. In 1990, at the age of 43 Ryan struck out 232 batters to lead the American League in that statistic for the 11th and final time. That year he went 13-9 with a 3.44 ERA. The year prior, he went to his final All Star game, struck out 301 and notched 16 wins, all at age 42. Ryan only topped 20 wins twice, he never won a Cy Young and he even led the league in losses one year, but he will forever be known as the most prolific strikeout pitcher of All Time. Ryan stands out even among the other record breakers for a lot of reasons, but most impressively, that he played 16 more seasons after breaking this record. Still, even with all of his records and amazing performances, when I think of Nolan Ryan, I still go right to him getting Robin Ventura in a headlock... Just one more record breaker to go. Go Baseball!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pete Rose Record Breaker, Card #5

Well, after a 5 day hiatus from my “Card a Day” blog, I am back for more ’78 record breakers. This is card number 5 in the set and celebrates Pete Rose breaking Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch’s record for hits by a switch hitter. This is really significant because presently Rose owns many career records, many of them seemingly unbeatable, but this was his first major career mark. Frank Frisch had owned the career mark of 2880 since he retired after 19 seasons in 1937. Frisch is 37th All-Time in hits. Pete Rose had another great year in 1977; he topped 200 hits for the 9th time in his career and would finish the year with a .311 batting average and 2966 hits in his career. In ’78 he would become the 14th player to amass 3,000 hits and in 1984 he became the first National League player to get 4,000 hits and the second to do All Time. Of course on September 11, 1985 he hit his 4,192nd base hit to become the All Time Hit King. He finished his career in 4,256 hits, a record that will likely stand forever. He is the All Time leader in games, at-bats, runs scored, hits, singles, most seasons with 200 or more hits (10) and is also the record holder with 23 consecutive seasons with 100 or more hits. When you add in all of the records he holds for switch-hitters or National Leaguers, the list gets pretty long. This is my favorite of the record breaker cards for three reasons. One, because it shows Pete on his way to first base, presumably with a hit. Two, because I can actually remember how excited I got when I pulled this card and it was 30 years ago and finally because Pete Rose rocks. When I played Little League baseball, number 14 was always the first number to go. When a coach said to you “hey kid, nice hustle out there”, it was an epic compliment because you somehow felt that he was associating you with Pete Rose. I started collecting cards much earlier than most of my friends and in 1986 when they had the record breaker series of cards in that set and my friends were pulling them I busted out this blast from the past. It was my favorite card for a long, long time, it is one of the first cards I ever put in a top-loader and even after owning this for 30 years, it’s still in pretty good shape. Pete was not my favorite player growing up, but I tried to emulate him growing up, he was the reason that I became a switch hitter and I modeled my batting stance after him. I knew I would never be as tall as Magic Johnson or Larry Bird or as strong as Mean Joe Green or LC Greenwood, but Pete Rose was the same height and build as my Dad and it gave me hope. He was one of the reasons that I focused on baseball, because I believed that if you hustled, you could succeed regardless of how big or strong you were.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Card #4, Brooks Robinson Record Breaker

When I was making my needs list for this set I had all of the numbers written down and then I went to the checklist to figure out what star players (that would cost me) were on the list. This card was one that I needed, and the checklist listed it as such: “Brooks Robinson/Record Breaker”. That left a certain degree of suspense for me because Brooks owns so many records! In 1977 he owned the record himself of 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards (Jim Kaat and Greg Maddux have since tied it), he owns the career marks for games, assists, put-outs and double plays by a third baseman and he also owns (shared with Carl Yastrzemski) the record for most seasons played with one team. As it turns out, the latter is the focus of this record breaker card. The title reads “Most Consecutive Seasons, One Club”. When Brooks started the 1977 season it was his 23rd (consecutive) season with the Baltimore Orioles. He started out for them as an 18-year old rookie in 1955 and played there till he was a 40 year old pinch hitter in 1977. Along the way he played in 18 consecutive All Star Games (starting 11 of them), he led the league in fielding percentage 11 times, holds the AL career record for sac flies and was the American League MVP in 1964 when he played in all 163 games, batted .317, hit 28 homers and led the league with 118 runs batted in. He also earned two World Series rings with the Orioles (’66 and ’70) and has a career .303 postseason batting average with 5 homers and 22 RBI. Okay, back to the card, which is #4 in the set, it dictates that Brooks broke the All-Time record for longevity which was previously shared by National Leaguers (and Hall of Famers) Cap Anson, Mel Ott and Stan Musial. It goes on to mention that 2 American League players shared the mark, but doesn’t mention their names. I know that Al Kaline played 22 seasons with the Tigers, so that is one, but it doesn’t mention the other. This will probably keep me up at night till I figure it out… Some of these records that were set in this set were expanded upon, but Brooks’ final year was 1977, I think he had his final at-bat on August 5, 1977 and therefore the mark stood at 23 seasons. He only started 10 games at third base that year and only had 52 at bats total and his batting average was a painful .149. He did hit a homerun that year and I hope it was at home because I can imagine the ovation that would have earned him. He was a defensive specialist, nicknamed the “Human Vacuum Cleaner”, but still delivered at the plate, including 2,848 career hits. Like Musial and Kaline with their respective teams, when you think of the Orioles, you think of Brooks Robinson and you immediately envision him at the hot corner making a diving stop and a dead-on throw to first. This record that he set stood for only 5 seasons until Carl Yastrzemski played his 23rd season for the Boston Red Sox in 1983. That same year Brooks Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball of Fame on his first year of eligibility, receiving 92% of all votes. To this day those 2 share the record and in the current climate of free agency I don’t think anyone will come close to taking this mark from these two legends. I am glad that Brooks broke another this year because otherwise Topps would have completely overlooked this legendary player. As it stands, the greatest third baseman of All-Time, #5, Brooks “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” Robinson’s final regular issue Topps card is from the 1977 set, card #285. This leaves only 3 more record breaker cards to cover and then it is off to the regular set! Happy collecting…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Card #3, Willie McCovey '77 Record Breaker

Here we are onto card number 3. This one features Willie McCovey as a record breaker. He is actually more of a record establisher I think. In 1977 he became the first player ever to hit two-home runs in one inning, TWICE! I really don’t know if anyone else has matched this mark since, but my guess is no. McCovey is one of the greatest power hitters of all time. He ranks about the elite in home runs, RBI and he is third All Time in number of times intentionally walked. Take away the guy is first place who became a slugger via the needle and McCovey is second in that category, behind only Hank Aaron. Along his stellar career McCovey blasted 521 home runs (18th All Time) over 22 seasons, his final one coming as a San Francisco Giant at the age of 42 in 1980. He also had a 3 home run game on three separate occasions, but this card celebrates the second time he hit two homers in one inning. The record breaking occasion occurred on June 27, 1977 and one of his blasts was a Grand Slam. That was his 17th career granny and he hit his 18th later that year. He did all of this as a 39-year-old first baseman for the Giants who many had written off after a disappointing year at the plate in 1976 when he hit just 7 homeruns while splitting time between the Padres and the A’s. The 39-year-old slugger showed up his critics in ’77 when he hit .280 with 28 homers and 86 RBIs as the Giants first baseman. He also added in this 2 home run in one inning game, hit two grand slams while being walked intentionally 16 times that year en route to being named the NLs Comeback Player of the Year. McCovey’s career spanned 22 seasons and in that time he was an All Star 6 times and was named the NL’s MVP in 1969 when he had an explosive year at the plate. He finished 3rd in the league in batting with a .320 average, but he paced the league in homers with 45, RBI with 126, on base percentage, times intentionally walked (45) and slugging percentage with a .656 mark. In 1986 McCovey was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a first ballot inductee. The Giants have retired his number 44. There is probably a chance that someone someday will tie this mark, but I don’t see anyone in the near future belting 2 homers in an inning 3 times… The front of the card isn’t as groovy as I would like, although he does have a bat in his hand, he isn’t using it and the shadows on his face make him unidentifiable other than his number 44. Once again, the title of the record is great-“Most Time, 2 HR’s In Inning, Lifetime”. Hey, it is an impressive mark and could you blame Topps for trying to squeeze an extra McCovey card into the set? Card number 4 is coming soon…As a personal favor and an end note. If you are reading this blog, could you please add it to your blog roll? I thank you in advance!

Card Number 2, Sparky Lyle Record Breaker

Moving right along, here is card #2 in the ’78 set. Now I didn’t grow up in a Yankees household (fortunately) but living in Connecticut there are even more Yankees fans there than in Tampa. My parents were not Yankees fans, but my Mom’s Mom, my Gramma Phil and her family were huge Yankees fans. At Thanksgiving Dinner, the Yanks were often a topic of conversation and as a young collector looking for guidance on who to follow, my Great-Uncles were glad to give me advice. Had I taken it over the years, my collection would revolve are Steve Balboni, Mike Pagilarulo, Ron Guidry, Dave Righetti and this guy, Sparky Lyle. Albert “Sparky” Lyle was a favorite around the Tucciarone household and when the Yanks won it all in ’77 and he was a big part of that, he was anointed as a Saint by them. He had a spectacular year with the Yanks in ’77, he was an All Star, he won the Cy Young Award and he was lights out in the World Series. His final record in ’77 was 13-5 with 26 saves and a 2.17 ERA. He led the league in games (72) and games finished (60) and he pitched a whopping 137 innings, all in relief. He came to the mound in the late innings to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” and was sometimes driven to the mound in a pinstriped car, it was New York, it was ridiculous, but this guy delivered. This card celebrates Lyle breaking the record of most games pitched in relief. The headline reads “Lyle hurls in 621 games, all are in relief”. According to the card, the record had previously belonged to Bob Locker who pitched in 576 games in relief. Of course this record didn’t last long at all. When Lyle retired in 1982 after 16 MLB seasons, Goose Gossage had already broken his record. Lyle is still in the record books, just much further down the list. His 899 games is good for 23rd All Time and is just 7 games less than Cy Young had, who is 22nd place. The difference is Young’s games came mainly from starts, he started 815 games, pitched 749 complete games and threw 5,964 more innings than Lyle. The career leader in games is lefty Jesse Orosco with 1,252. Trevor Hoffman is the active leader with 985 (15th place).
Following Lyle’s record breaking, Cy Young Award winning, World Championship performance in 1977, the Yankees signed free agent Goose Gossage who took over the closer role for the Yankees. In ’78 Goose had 27 saves, Lyle had 9. After the ’78 season the Yanks traded Lyle to Texas. I think that it was Graig Nettles who coined the phrase “From Cy Young to sayonara”. Yet another reason to hate the Yankees-historically they just don’t take care of their players… Sparky didn’t have much spark in Texas and left for Philadelphia where he saved just 6 games over 3 seasons. He made one final stop in Chicago with the White Sox in 1982. He tossed 12 innings for the Sox and saved one final game and retired at age 37. He ranks 32nd All Time in saves with 238. He was passed on the All Time list this year by Francisco Cordero, K-Rod and Joe Nathan. My family felt that he was a sure fire Hall of Famer, but it hasn’t happened for him just yet. He still does have hope as he is on the Veteran’s Committee ballot along with names like Minnie Minoso, Ron Santo, Roger Maris, Luis Tiant and Gil Hodges. Aside from hearing how great he was from my family, Sparky Lyle was most famous to me for writing the book “The Bronx Zoo” which I read after his retirement and have re-read a few times over the years. Sparky is currently managing the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. He has been their Skipper since their inaugural season in 1998. Going back to the card-I do love that Topps used a shot of Sparky in action, on the mound. 30-years ago my eyes were much better and his moustache jumped out at me, now I have to squint to see it, but its there! I am confused by why Topps had to say “Most games, pure relief”. Are there different types of relief or games? Are relief appearances sometimes cut with starts? Was this a common practice in the 70’s? Just throwing that out there… Although not as “far out” as 1975, in ’78 things were still a little far out there…Congrats to Sparky Lyle on holding onto history, even if for just a short time… Guess which card number comes next?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Post Numero Uno-Card Number One, Lou Brock Record Breaker!

Well here it is. The first post on the new blog. I gave myself two weeks to try and prep, but I am as nervous as can be. The idea of the blog is to post a card a day in order until I finish the entire set. I imagine I can milk this thing for 3 years… I hope these posts get better as my feet get wetter, but here we go:
Card Number 1 (One), Lou Brock Record Breaker. I can’t think of a better person to lead off the set than Lou Brock. I like card number one being of a spectacular lead-off hitter and base stealer. In current baseball, a person like Brock, who was head and shoulders above the rest in both those categories doesn’t exist. We have great base stealers like Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Michael Bourn and great lead-off hitters like Brian Roberts and Curtis Granderson, but no one person who did it quite like Lou Brock…
The Record that Brock in 1977 was the career stolen base leader title. The back of the card states that it was Ty Cobb’s record of 892 steals that Brock passed. Actually, it was Billy Hamilton’s mark of 912 that led all of baseball. Brock finished the ’77 campaign with 900 steals which would have put him in second place all time behind Hamilton. Brock stole 35 bases in 1977 and was still among the base stealing elite even though he was far past his prime and the years where he stole a then record 118 bases. That mark was set in 1974 which was the 8th year in which he paced the National League in steals. That was also the final year he would do so, in 1975 he stole less than half that, but still finished with a very impressive 56, which was good for third place in the NL behind Joe Morgan and the league’s leader Davey Lopes who swiped 77. Lou Brock would play two more seasons with the Cardinals before he retired at the age of 40 following the 1979 season. Brock went out on top, having a superb year in ’79 batting .304 with 21 steals. That gave Brock 938 steals in his career which actually was the record. This mark stood under Rickey Henderson came along to set base paths on fire. Henderson is the current career leader with 1,406. To give you an idea of how safe that record is, Juan Pierre is the active leader in steals with 459 steals. Lou Brock is pretty safe to remain 2nd place of All-Time for a long time as well. Brock was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1985. He was a 6-time All Star, 8 time Stolen Base Leader, and during his career he had paced the league in runs, doubles, triples and at bats. He won two World Series rings with the Cards, in 1964 and 1967. In the World Series he had a .391 batting average with 4 homeruns and 14 stolen bases. Even though he wasn’t a legitimate record breaker in 1977, he did eventually break the mark set by Hamilton and held onto to it for many years. It was a great choice by Topps for card #1. Although they did use two different poses/pics for this card and his regular player card, #170 in the set, both cards are spring training portraits. I wanna see a base stealing card of the greatest base stealer of all time. That there is a ball drop Topps. That and prematurely calling him the career base stealing leader and completely forgetting about Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton. That said, this is the first card in my favorite set, one down, 725 to go. Thanks for reading and I hope that you all enjoy the ride…Since this is a totally new undertaking for me, I am nervous and lack confidence. I love this set so much and I know that my posts will not do it the proper justice. I hope that you will follow and read this blog anyway and trust that I will get better as time goes on... I love this card as a lead-off in the set, but there alot of funny things you can say about a legendary base stealing Hall of Famer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coming Soon!!!

I have literally been working on this set for over 30 years! Granted I took a decade or two off, but it is nearly done and I am lovin' it! The hair, the uniforms, the names, the mutton chops-the 70's were so bad, but oh so good! If you have seen my other blog, The Collective Troll, you know that I have been boring my readers (both of them) while gushing on and on about this awesome set. The 1978 Topps Baseball set is far too awesome to be just an occasional topic on another blog-no, it demands more attention than that. I will begin this journey on Wednesday 10/21/2009 (or maybe sooner) and I will cover 5 cards a week for the next 3 years until all 726 cards have been given their proper attention. Thanks for reading! Enjoy!!!!!