If 2018 Heritage Were True To 1969 Topps, Part 2

Last week, in Part 1, I got into some of the weirdness which would have to be perpetrated by Topps if they really wanted 2018 Heritage to be 100% faithful to the quirks of 1969 Topps.

I’ve got a few more examples, including two suggested by readers of The Shlabotnik Report!

First off I have a suggestion made on Twitter by Lanny Ribes @DOCBZ17:

There are a couple of instances I know of where Topps reused a photo from 1968 or earlier, but by referencing Freddie Freeman I believe Lanny is specifically referring to Topps using the same photo of Hank Aaron in both 1968 and 1969 Topps.  Unfortunately I don’t have a Freddie Freeman card from last year’s Heritage set, so I hope Nick Markakis will do.

I had to tighten the crop on the custom card on the right, being that I needed to get rid of the puple “BRAVES” circle on the 2017 Heritage card… but it works out fine, because the two Aaron cards were cropped differently anyway (although the 1968 was cropped tighter than the 1969, but that’s the way things go.)

Next up was a suggestion from Night Owl, who suggested riffing on this card:

This is another instance of Topps repeating a photo from 1968 Topps, but the key thing with this card is that Topps flipped the negative for 1969, thus making Larry Haney a left-handed catcher.

The Seattle Pilots are, of course, now the Brewers.  I went looking for a photo of a Brewers catcher on which I could pull similar shenanigans.  Nobody poses for pictures like this anymore, but I did find an action shot of Jett Bandy which does the trick.

A little side note:  I just realized that I’ve made a mistake on all of these customs thus far in that I’ve been making the position all capitals (CATCHER) when it should be sentence case (Catcher).  I’ll fix this in future customs.

One last custom for this week… or to be precise, one last pair of customs.

On January 20, 1969, the Phillies traded catcher Clay Dalrymple to the Orioles for outfielder Ron Stone.  For whatever reason, Topps decided to update Dalrymple’s 2nd series card after printing a number of cards showing him with the Phillies.  The updated card showed a bare-headed Dalrymple on an Orioles card (and much to my chagrin, I don’t have either of these cards, but I intend to remedy that in 2018).

For the purposes of this post, I figured where the traded player was going wasn’t as important as where he came from, so I went with Freddy Galvis, who was traded from the Phillies to the Padres this past December 15th.

Here’s the Phillies version of the Galvis:

I suspect that the capless photo of Clay Dalrymple was an old photo (and honestly, the full uniform photo was likely pretty old as well), so when I went looking for a Freddy Galvis photo, I chose a pre-dreadlocks shot from 2016.  I think his expression also fits pretty well…

That wraps things up for now, but I intend to do at least one more post in this series.  Feel free to make a suggestion on what particular quirk of 1969 Topps could be replicated… Suggestions which are already in the works include having the Astros be just “HOUSTON” and having a traded player with a blacked-out cap.  I have a couple of other ideas in mind which I won’t mention just yet.


Before I go…

Some of you probably read an off-hand reference to Twitter above and said “Twitter?  Since when is he on Twitter?”

Well, dear readers, I had never made an official announcement about it here in this blog, but The Shlabotnik Report has been on Twitter since November.  The Twitter handle is @Shlabotnik_Rpt.  If you’re searching on it, keep in mind that there are no C’s in Shlabotnik and that there’s an underscore between “Shlabotnik” and “Rpt”.

After looking at my own Twitter feed for the past two months, I feel it necessary to point out that @Shlabotnik_Rpt is this blog’s Twitter account and is intended as another channel for the same kind of content and PG-rated nonsense you get here.  So far it’s largely been notifications of new posts, but I’m starting into some Twitter-specific content.  What you won’t find are political views, fat-shaming or other bits of shouting… unless I’m quoting Daleks or Vogons (“RESISTANCE IS USELESS!”).

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More Assorted Vintage Because I’ve Time For Little Else

All of these came from the last show I went to… or maybe the show before that. Does it really matter? Nope, not really.

I got this Hal Lanier because I spent a short time using the All-Star Rookie trophy as an excuse to buy vintage cards.  I’ve backed off on that goal just because I had far to many goals in 2016.

In 1964, Lanier batted .274 with 40 runs scored and 16 doubles in 98 games… Not too shabby for a 2nd baseman back when offense was more or less icing on the middle infielder cake.  I think of Hal Lanier as a manager first (Astros in the late ’80’s) and as a Yankee second, even though he only played 95 games in pinstripes… but the beloved 1974 set – my first – shows Lanier with the Yankees, so end of story.

Reasons for buying this next card:  1)  I like it, 2)  it was cheap, 3) I enjoy saying “Rico Petrocelli”.

Rico hit 2 homers in game 6 of the 1967 World Series, and batted .308 in the 1975 World Series.

This Dick Howser card was also fairly cheap, and I can’t resist cheap 1963 Fleer.  I’ve only got 8 of them, but someday when I’m looking for a new vintage challenge, I may go after this abbreviated 66 card set.  Maybe.

Dick Howser is another guy I think of as a manager and a Yankee…  He managed the Royals in the 1980’s and was a Yankees coach during my formative years.  Howser died tragically from a brain tumor in 1987.  He was 51 when he passed, which I’ve always viewed as sad and tragic, but it’s admittedly even more sad and tragic to me now that I’m 51.

Established after his passing, the Dick Howser Trophy is awarded annually to the collegiate player of the year.  Somewhat-recent winners have included David Price, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg and Kris Bryant.

Here Are Some Cards From The *Previous* COMC Promotion…

I have to admit;  Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday have sucked up much of my “hobby time” for the past week…  As a result, I’m gonna buy myself some time by sharing an assortment of cards from the last time I took advantage of a COMC Promotion, which was back in June.

I mainly bought this card because it shows Jesse Gonder wearing a Mets uniform, a team he last played for in 1965.
1969 Topps Jesse Gonder
When I looked up Gonder’s record, I noticed that he never played for the Padres, nor was there any transaction that showed him going to the Padres. A little Googling revealed that he was a Spring Training invite, made the team but was released shortly into the season without having appeared in a game.

This card was a pleasant find… This card is a high number and a rookie card, plus it was a need, but I got it for under $1 because it was flagged as “Altered”. Once I got the card in my possession, I could tell it had been trimmed. I could also tell that I do not care.
1971 Topps Mets Rookie Stars

Ted Uhlaender’s daughter Katie was in the 2014 Sochi Olympics in the Skeleton event.
1972 Topps Ted Uhlaender
Ted’s last Major League at bat came as a pinch-hitter in Game 7 of the 1972 World Series.

I’m slowly… very slowly… working on the 1976 Kellogg’s set, but for now I’m keeping this set within a tight budget. We’ll see how far I get (probably not very). Dave Cash here set me back 55 cents.
1976 Kellogg's Dave Cash
Just a reminder that this winter’s “Hot Stove” custom set is based on this very same 1976 Kellogg’s set… I’m still working on some of the related images (you’ll understand when we get there), but so far I’ve got three customs made. Hint, hint: I’ve “photoshopped” on-field personnel into Red Sox, Marlins and Angels uniforms. I’m hoping to get the first one out this weekend.

This last card is shiny and features a decent photo, but I’ll be honest, I bought it for one primary reason: It’s a Japanese baseball card that was on sale for 35 cents.
2002 BBM Hanshin Tigers Extra Edition Go Kida
I don’t usually pass that by, no matter who’s on the card.

…And now you’re going to ask me who *is* on the card. Well, his name is Go Kida and I couldn’t find a whole lot about him… I guess he’s the kind of a guy who ends up on a 35 cent Japanese baseball card. Oh, I should mention that the set is the 2002 BBM Hanshin Tigers Extra Edition (at least that’s what COMC told me).

Thoughts On The Mets, Plus Recently Acquired Mets Cards

I’ve been pretty quiet about the playoffs so far, and I would guess that some of you are wondering why a Mets fan hasn’t weighed in on the subject.

I’ll admit, part of my silence was not wanting to jinx the Mets.
1969 Topps Cleon Jones

When this season started, my expectations were “This is the year we don’t suck!” A wild card spot would be cool, but being something other than painful to watch (not to mention putting the whole “LOLMets” meme to bed) was my wish for the season.
1992 Stadium Club Dwight Gooden
Halfway through the season, that’s about what it looked like. The Mets were a decent team, but didn’t look like world-beaters.

…But then again, neither did the Nationals (despite all the preseason talk of 100 wins and a championship).
1997 Pinnacle Denny's Todd Hundley
Then the Mets made a move where they actually traded away prospects for major league talent, rather than the other way around. They picked up Kelly “The Happy Wanderer” Johnson and Juan Uribe for two fringey pitching prospects. I liked the deal, and thought that would be THE big move towards acquiring mid-season help. After all, the Mets weren’t going to be serious contenders until next year, right?

2013 Topps Archives Howard Johnson
They also picked up Tyler Clippard to bolster the bullpen, another nice trade to help the team without selling out on the future.

Then, much to my surprise, they picked up Yoenis Cespedes. It was at that point that I realized that they had more than meaningful September baseball in mind.

2013 Topps Finest Matt Harvey
But all along, I kept in mind that this wasn’t necessarily supposed to be happening. I enjoyed the Nationals falling apart because that franchise’s arrogance annoys the crap out of me (a subject for another post, another day), but I didn’t get carried away about the division title… Hell, both wild card teams had better records than the Mets.
1962 Topps Gus Bell
I tried to keep in mind that the Mets, like Dante in the movie “Clerks”, were “not even supposed to be here today”.

They beat the Dodgers, which was thoroughly enjoyable because I’d run across a fair number of Dodger fans who were beating their chests about how unbeatable Kershaw & Greinke were…. Plus I’m still pissed about the Dodgers beating the Mets in the 1988 NLCS.
1964 Topps Jim Hickman
The Cubs made the NLCS difficult for me because the Cubs were my second-favorite team in the postseason and I have a few friends who are Cubs fans. As games between the Mets and Orioles have taught me, it’s harder to enjoy a game when you like both teams.

…which is why, after the Mets swept the Cubs, I switched my AL rooting interest to the moderately obnoxious Royals. I decided that, win or lose, the World Series would be more fun with a bad guy. Hopefully I won’t come to regret that.
1967 Topps Bob Shaw
So here we are, on the cusp of Game 1. I still maintain my mindset that this season is already an overwhelming success, and anything else is just gravy. Sure, I want the Mets to win, but given all the unexpected joys of this season, all I really ask for is that the World Series be fun to watch.
1970 Topps Tom Seaver
Let’s Go Mets!

Ya Get Whatcha Get: I Was Supposedly Saving You From Something Or Another

This post was originally started over a month ago and the subject line was “Saving My Readers From A Tortured Analogy”.  One month later, I don’t remember what the tortured analogy was… I guess I saved myself in the process.

Whatever. On with the cardboard!

Horace Guy “Dooley” Womack achieved a not insignificant amount of fame by being traded for Jim Bouton during the season covered in Bouton’s book “Ball Four”. Bouton wrote “I’d hate to think that at this stage of my career I was being traded even-up for Dooley Womack”.
1968 Topps Dooley Womack
Bouton was no doubt relieved to find out that the Pilots also got minor leaguer Roric Harrison in the deal… Harrison would later pitch for the O’s, Braves Indians and Twins.

The above card is the third in my Dooley Womack PC; unfortunately his rookie card is a high-number he shares with Bobby Murcer, so I don’t think the “return on investment” is there for me.

Jim Hardin had a career year in 1968, going 18-13 with a 2.51 ERA. It was his only season with double-digit wins or losses.
1969 Topps Jim Hardin
Hardin had just 24 hits in 268 plate appearances, but he did some damage when he made contact… His 24 hits included a double, three triples, three homers and 17 RBI. He hit a walk-off homer in relief on May 10th, 1969.

Tom Seaver had 12 career homers, half of them coming with the Mets. If he hit any walk-off homers, I couldn’t find any reference to it.
1975 Hostess Tom Seaver

I think I first saw this next card over on the Dime Boxes blog… it’s the only baseball card to feature Goose Gossage in an honest-to-God Pirates uniform (instead of being airbrushed).
1978 Kelloggs Rich Gossage

Bright, Shiny New Uniforms Of 1969

One of the 73 different ways I collect – and I’m not being facetious, I made a list – is to obtain the later-series 1969 cards which feature players in their new expansion team uniforms. 

I generally like to collect cards that show any team’s first year, it’s sort of my take on the rookie card… but I really enjoy the high-numbered 1969 expansion team cards. The way it took shape that year is sort of like The Wizard Of Oz… For the first four series that year, the expansion teams were represented by bareheaded guys, or guys with blacked-out caps… drab and mundane like Dorothy’s B&W life in Kansas..
1969 Dick Selma
…And then in the 5th series – BAM! – we’re in Oz with Technicolor blues and reds and yellows and browns.

Shall we wander down the Yellow Brick Road a bit?

John Boccabella was the 56th pick in the N.L. expansion draft, having been selected from the Cubs.  I’ve always thought of him as a catcher, but it turns out that with the Cubs he was primarily an OF/1B with a handful of games behind the plate.  After the Expos drafted him, he was made more of a full-time catcher.
1969 Topps John Boccabella

Jose Arcia played in the farm systems for the Colt .45’s, Tigers, Indians and Cardinals before making his Major League debut in 1968 with the Cubs.  He’d be the 9th pick in the N.L. expansion draft, and would play 2 years with the Padres.  These days, Arcia would be called a “supersub” as he played short, second, third, left, center and first during his 293 game career.
1969 Topps Jose Arcia
Arcia appears in the 1973 Topps set as an airbrushed Royal, but he never played in a Major League game after 1970.

Tom Burgmeier was a reliever who was selected from the Angels with the 47th pick in the A.L. expansion draft (both leagues were separate entities then, and each league’s two expansion teams were stocked with players from the 10 established teams in that league).
1969 Topps Tom Burgmeier
Burgmeier is still pretty young here, but he would go on to pitch until he was 41, appearing in 745 games over 17 seasons. Of those 745 appearances, just three were starts.

It’s not clear to me when or how Gus Gil joined the Pilots, but it wasn’t through the expansion draft.
1969 Topps Gus Gil
Even though the Pilots lasted just one year before moving, Gil played in Seattle for two straight years; he spent 1968 with the Seattle Angels, which was California’s AAA team.

From a Pilots fan’s point of view, the most unfortunate thing about 1969 is that it only shows the spring training uniforms, which didn’t have anywhere near the glitz that the regular season Pilots unis had… No Pilots logo on the uniform, no sleeve striping, no “scrambled eggs” on the bill of the cap… None of the awesome stuff that Don Mincher had going on in 1970…
1970 Kellogg's Don Mincher
…after the team had already skipped town for Milwaukee.

Vintage Cards With Nothing In Common (Other Than The Whole “Vintage” Thing)

If you’re looking for anything cohesive or with a unifying theme, well… Keep looking.

I got this Willie Davis sometime in 2013 and I can’t remember if there was a specific reason for it, or if it was an “it’s cheap and a nice-looking card, what the heck, toss it on the pile” purchase.
1969 topps Willie Davis
For a guy who was as reknowned for his fielding – he won 3 Gold Gloves and frequently lead center fielders in fielding %, putouts and assists – he seems to always be pictured posing with a bat. Just a quick scan through his cards on COMC I find 16 batting poses, 5 batting action shots, 3 on-deck circle poses, 14 portraits, and a Topps insert poster that also shows him running. Doesn’t matter if it’s Topps, Bell, Post, Kellogg’s, Milton Bradley, Transogram, SSPC, TCMA… Ruboffs, stamps, candy lids, Supers, coins… 38 photos but not an outfielder’s glove to be seen. I dunno, I just thought it was interesting.

Also, if one discounts reprints and buybacks, there are damn few Willie Davis cards from the last 35 years.  Memo to the Topps Archives product manager… We want Willie!

I’ve been collecting for over 40 years without ever taking a break (dang, I’m old) and in all that time, I’d never owned a 1954 card until I picked up this one last year.
1954 Topps Roy McMillan
Because I’m primarily a Mets fan, I just never made a huge effort to pick up any pre-Mets cards unless they more-or-less fell in my lap, and I guess no 1954’s ever did.  It may not be the best card to be the sole 1954 in my collection, but it’s got as much of a Mets connection as any 1954 card might have; Roy McMillan played for the Mets, was a coach with the Mets and served as interim manager in August and September of 1975.

“McMillan!  Mmmmmmmm!”  (Let’s see if anyone gets a “Beyond The Fringe” reference)

1957 is a funny set.  I like the design in theory, but it’s in the execution where so many 1957 cards fail.  This Bob Boyd card is a fairly good specimen in that there’s fairly decent contrast between the text and the photo.
1957 Topps Bob Boyd
1957 was a breakout year for the 37-year-old Boyd, who’d spent most of his career in the Negro Leagues and in the minors. He finished fourth in the AL in batting average, lead the league in putouts, was second on the team in runs scored and was the first Oriole to hit .300 over the course of a season.

Felix Mantilla was one of the better players on the 1962 Mets… this card wasn’t so much “I want a Felix Mantilla!” as it is “I want a 1964 card and here’s a Mantilla, that works”.
1964 Topps Felix Mantilla

Since I can’t think of much else to say about this Mantilla, I’m going to share a Top 5 list of songs that contain “Easy” in the title.  There’s a reason behind “Easy”, but it has nothing to do with nothing and you might as well consider it completely arbitrary. The songs are in the order in which I found them – see, that’s arbitrary as well!

“Take It Easy” – The Eagles
“Nothing Is Easy” – Jethro Tull
“It Don’t Come Easy” – Ringo Starr
“Easy Livin’ ” – Uriah Heap
“Easy Money” – Billy Joel

Honorable (and not so honorable) Mention:  “It’s So Easy” – Linda Ronstadt (or Buddy Holly, if you prefer);  “Easy To Crash” – Cake;  “Pure And Easy” – The Who;  “Over Easy” – Booker T & The MG’s;  “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” – The Eagles;  “Easy Target” – The MEN; “Easy To Be Hard” – Three Dog Night;  “Easy Lover” – Phil Collins & Philip Bailey;  “Easy” – Barenaked Ladies;  “Easy” – The Commodores;  “It’s Easy” – Boston


In The Blogroll Penalty Box
A little over a week ago I angered the Blogroll Gods by absent-mindedly using a 3.3MB Jpeg as my “primary image”.  Blogger could be heard muttering “…and the horse you rode in on” and since then my blog has been taking many hours to appear on blogrolls.

I’ve been posting every day since this happened, so if you think I’ve been quiet lately, you might want to scroll through the recent posts and see if you’d missed anything.