As a fun idea in general, but also an excuse to go back and appreciate cards in my collection that I might not have looked at in while, I’m going to try doing posts on 1970’s or 1980’s team sets – baseball, football or hockey – selected by a random number generator from a list. For each team, I’ll talk a little bit about that year’s team and share cards from a number of categories. I won’t necessarily use every category with every team, and I expect that I will think up new categories as we go along.
True Confessions: I put my thumb on the scale for this first post. I wanted to start off with an Expos team set, so the randomizer was only involved in selecting which particular Expos team I’d start with.
1973 Topps Montreal Expos
The 1973 Expos went 79-83 under manager Gene Mauch, and finished in 4th place in the 6-team National League East.
Mauch was the Expos manager for the first 7 years of their existence.
BEST POSITION PLAYER
Ken Singleton was easily the best offensive player, batting .302 with 23 homers, 103 RBi and 100 runs scored.
Steve Renko went 15-11, 2.81 as a starter and was their best pitcher over the full season.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Reliever Mike Marshall made 92 appearances, going 14-11 with 31 saves and a 2.66 ERA.
BEST PLAYER WHO DIDN’T APPEAR ON A CARD
23-year-old Steve Rogers didn’t come up until mid-July after spending the first half of the season with the AA Quebec Carnavals and the AAA Peninsula Whips. During the second half he had a 10-5 record, 1.54 ERA and 1.060 WHIP. His rookie card was in the 1974 Topps set.
BEST ROOKIE CARD
Tom Walker is the father of Mets 2nd Baseman Neil Walker. He beat out Pepe Frias and Jorge Roque (both of whom shared a card with two other players) for this honor.
BEST ACTION SHOT
This was not a fierce competition. There were only two action shots in this team set. Trust me, this is the better of the pair.
MOST NOTABLE AIRBRUSH JOB
Mike Marshall’s card, shown above. Marshall is airbrushed because he had been acquired via trade from the Astros…. IN JUNE 1970! Assuming that’s a Tigers jersey, then the photo predates Marshall being taken by the Seattle Pilots in the October, 1968 expansion draft.
In the case of 1973 Topps, it’s the only insert… the unnumbered team checklist cards. This card looks miscut because it didn’t scan properly and I didn’t want to go back and fix it.
Since many of you probably aren’t familiar with these cards, I’ll include the back.
…Well… that was fun! I think I’ll have to do more of these.