I’d Buy That For A Dollar: 1988 Brewers Police Set

I was at this show… somewhere… sometime… in the past… Ohhhhh, I don’t know… couple of years… Anyway, at this show there was a dealer who had a table where everything on it was a dollar. Among the junk wax cello packs and the like was a Brewers police set from 1988. Now I have no particular love for the Brew Crew… But it’s a buck. How can you go wrong?

This set had sat around in my house in its original shrinkwrap for quite a while, but I recently opened it up and found that my $1 was well spent.

For starters, I added an oddball to my B.J. Surhoff player collection.  Anything after this is just gravy.
1988 Brewers Police BJ Surhoff
Naturally, the Surhoff card is the only one with a minor crease in corner. Ain’t that always the way?

Here’s the back.
1988 Brewers Police BJ Surhoff back
Whenever a card like this quotes a player, I can’t help but wonder how much of it actually originated with that player.

I was mildly amused by the sponsoring radio station… “You’re listening to WTMJ:  Temporomandibular Joint radio!”  (If you don’t get this joke, ask your doctor or pharmacist).

B.J. was the player I was most interested in, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t other players of interest.

There’s Twins manager Paul Molitor, who I hear was a pretty decent player as well.
1988 Brewers Police Paul Molitor

Robin Yount, the guy from the 1975 rookie card.
1988 Brewers Police Robin Yount

Teddy Higuera was almost a star, but injuries derailed his career. He was an All-Star in 1986, his second year, and the same year he won 20 games and finished 2nd to Roger Clemens in Cy Young voting.
1988 Brewers Police Teddy Higuera
Higuera was also second in A.L. Rookie Of The Year voting in 1985, although he finished closer to Ozzie Guillen in that vote than he did to Clemens in the Cy Young vote.

Sabermetrically, Higuera lead the league with a 0.999 WHIP in 1988, and had the highest Wins Above Replacement in 1986 (9.4).

Jim Gantner appeared in 17 seasons with Milwaukee, and I confess I sort of think of him as Robin Yount’s sidekick.
1988 Brewers Police Jim Gantner
Here’s a fun Gantner fact I picked up from baseball-reference.com… On 8/29/79, Gantner pitched an inning of relief in a blowout game where the position players pitched more effectively than the pitchers. Jim Slaton started and pitched only 2/3 of an inning before being pulled (he gave up 5 runs). Reggie Cleveland pitched 2.1 innings and gave up 6 runs. Paul Mitchell came in, gave up 3 hits and 4 runs without getting an out… and this is where the fun starts.

In the bottom of the 4th, with no outs and the Brewers down 12-4, Sal Bando moves from third to the mound. The Brewers would give up their DH, but that wasn’t a problem as position players would pitch for the remainder of the game.

Bando pitched 3 innings and gave up 2 runs. In the bottom of the 7th, Bando and Gantner swap positions and Gantner would give up 2 singles but no runs.

In the 8th, Buck Martinez (normally a catcher) came off the bench and gave up a run and a hit in one inning. In the top of the 9th, Buck would get his run back by singling with men on first and second.

Final score: Royals – 18, Brewers – 8. Jim Gantner was the only pitcher for the Brewers to not give up a run.

Getting back to the set, I included Bill Schroeder because his card features the best photo in the set.
1988 Brewers Police Bill Schroeder
Bill Shroeder had more career homers (61) than walks (58), and had held the record for most career homers by someone who had more homers than walks, but Todd Greene (71 homers, 67 walks) broke that record… According to baseball-reference.com, anyway.

Former Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who’s a cousin of John Olerud (I either did not know that or I forgot that).
1988 Brewers Police Dale Sveum
Dale Sveum says, “Sure, I coulda made the playoffs with the Cubs if I had Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta!”

Time for Trebs!
1988 Brewers Police Tom Trebelhorn
Tom Trebelhorn used to be a coach with the Orioles, and at the time he had an entertaining pre-game TV segment that endeared him to Orioles fans across the Mid-Atlantic.

So those are the best cards from the set. Not the most exciting set, but it’s a police set and it’s a dollar.


7 thoughts on “I’d Buy That For A Dollar: 1988 Brewers Police Set

  1. Great stuff, like you I’ll pick up something that doesn’t “fit” if it’s cheap enough and interesting enough like this. Hey, a candy bar would have set you back same amount these cards did, and I don’t think you’d get much of a blog post out of a Kit-Kat.

  2. It’s a nice set as are all of the MB Police Sets. Bill Wegman was a high school classmate of mine so once he made the bigs I was eager to get all of his cards. The Police sets were an easy way to pick up some oddball cards of him along with Molitor, Yount and the a few others.

  3. Wait — there’s another guy named Tony L out here on the blogs commenting on Brewers sets? Who would have thought?

    I think the 1988 set was the last one I was able to talk the gate people at Milwaukee County Stadium into giving to me before they figured out I was not “14 and under” any more. I love Brewers police sets.

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