During a recent panic attack over whether my 1970’s sets were as complete as I’d always believed them to be, I was going through my 1978 binder and ran across this lovely example of cardboardness… Almost forgot I had it.
This is a 1978 Burger King Yankee card, #11 in the set. Although I’m generally indifferent to the concept of regional issues which are made by Topps and nearly identical to the regular card, I am a huge sucker for cards from 1970’s regional issues which are made by Topps and which are NOT identical to the regular card… as is the case here.
Rawly Eastwick was a reliever who lead the NL in saves in his rookie season, and finished a distant 3rd in NL ROY voting (behind winner John “The Count” Montefusco and some nobody named Gary Carter).
Here’s the 1978 Topps card of Eastwick…
…funny how the original card is airbrushed, but the updated BK card isn’t. Deadlines are a bitch.
The Reds had traded Eastwick to the Cardinals during the 1977 season. After the season, Rawly became a free agent and – doing what every free agent apparently dreams of doing – signed with the Yankees. $1.1 Million over 5 years is a mere pittance today, but was big money at the time and was nearly 10 times more per year than he had been making.
Thing is, the Yankees already had Goose Gossage and Sparky Lyle to close out games, so Eastwick got traded to the Phillies part way through the 1978 season.
Unfortunately, Eastwick could never duplicate the numbers he did early in his career, and after stints with the Royals and Cubs his career was over.