Contrast And Compare: Three From 1980 Burger King Sets

It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these “Contrast And Compare” posts. Today I’m going to feature three cards from 1980 Topps and the three corresponding 1980 Burger King cards which act as “updates”.

Now I’m saying “Burger King” because all of the cards were issued through Burger King restaurants, but they don’t all come from the same set. One was part of a regional Phillies team set, and the other two came from the nationally-issued “Pitch Hit and Run” set done in conjunction with the youth skills competition of the same name. The Phillies set appears to be identical to Topps on the front, while the PH&R set features a Burger King logo and “COLLECTOR’S EDITION” text instead of the pennant used for the player’s position.

Kevin Saucier’s 29 games in 1979 (27 in relief) were not enough to get him his own card in 1980 Topps; instead he had to share it with Ramon Aviles and Dickie Noles.

However, when Topps created a regional Burger King Phillies set, Saucier did manage to kick out his roommates.

The 23-year-old Saucier would make 40 relief appearances in 1980, compiling a 7-3 record with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP. After the season he’d be sent to Texas as the Player To Be Named Later in a deal for closer Sparky Lyle, and just under a month later he’d be flipped to the Tigers, with whom he’d pitch another couple of seasons.

Moving over to the BK “Pitch, Hit And Run” set… One thing I hadn’t realized for a while is that the checklist for Pitch, Hit and Run” was divided into “Pitch” (cards 1-11), “Hit” (cards 12 -22) and “Run” (cards 23-33) sections.

Ron LeFlore, who twice lead the league in stolen bases, was featured under “Run”. Here’s his Topps card:

On December 7th, 1979, LeFlore was traded to the Expos for pitcher Dan Schatzeder. As it worked out, he got traded to another team with the same color scheme in 1980 Topps-created sets.

LeFlore would get a career-high and league-leading 97 SB’s in his lone season with the Expos. After the season he signed with the White Sox as a free agent, but would play just 173 games in his two years in Chicago.

Bobby Bonds was well-known as a “30-30” guy; he hit at least 30 homers and stole 30 bases in five different seasons. His final 30-30 season came in 1978 and he fall short with 25 homers and 34 stolen bases in his one-year stint with the Indians in 1979.  He was allso featured on a “Run” card.

On the same day as the LeFlore trade, Bonds was traded to the Cardinals for John Denny and Jerry Mumphrey.

I tend to think of Bobby Bonds with the Giants, but when you look at his career he’s the king of the “Short-Term Stops”. Bonds spent one season (1975) with the Yankees, one season (1978) split between the White Sox (26 games) and the Rangers (130 games), one season (1979) with the Indians, one season (1980) with the Cardinals and one season (1981) with the Cubs. His 1978 Hostess card is the only one which attempts to show him in a White Sox uniform; 1978 O-Pee-Chee lists him with the White Sox, but he’s shown in an Angels unform.


6 thoughts on “Contrast And Compare: Three From 1980 Burger King Sets

  1. The 1980 Topps Ron Leflore card has always baffled me, it looks like they colored in his eyebrows and mustache

  2. Bobby Bonds looks like two different guys on those two cards.

    My Bobby Bonds “connection”….. I got him to sign a game program in the Astrodome once and loved how he circled his name with a flourish. I started doing that and I still do to this day. I’m pretty sure that program is still here someplace, too.

  3. Yes, Papa Bonds was known for short term stops; hence the line in “Willie, Mickey, & The Duke (Talkin’ Baseball)”:

    “Well, now it’s the 80s, and Brett is the greatest, and Bobby Bonds can play for everyone.”

    Such a nice thing to say about me, BTW. B^}

  4. Yeah, Bobby Bonds was one of those over the hill stars the Cubs were known for picking up back in the day. Never really did anything but get a bit of publicity.

  5. I love these oddities when there are different images (and in this case teams) on a set that’s basically the same (in design). It’s like an old school parallel set.

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