I Got Some Big Old Socks

It’s been a busy week, one thing after another… Since I haven’t had time to finish one of the posts I’ve been working on, I’ll tell ya ’bout my big old socks…

…My oversized 1981 Topps Super Home Team Red Sox.  These cards are 5″ x 7″ and were sold only in the Red Sox home market (much of New England, I would presume).

Just to be clear, I scanned these in pairs because I was lazy.

Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski
1981 Topps 5x7 Red Sox Rice Yastrzemski
Jim Rice was an All-Star from 1977 to 1980, and the 1978 MVP, but was less than an All-Star in 1980.  He did lead the league in AB’s.

Carl Yastrzemski is no longer my favorite Yaz;  that’s now his Oriole prospect grandson Mike.  Like JIm Rice, 1981 was a rare non-All-Star year for Carl.  (Stay in the house, Carl!)

Dave Stapleton and Tony Perez
1981 Topps 5x7 Red Sox Stapleton Perez
Dave Stapleton finished second in 1980 Rookie Of The Year voting to the Indians’ “Super Joe” Charboneau, the original “Don’t invest too heavily in rookies” cautionary tale.  Stapleton was the starting 2B in 1980 because Jerry Remy was injured, but in 1981 Remy was back and Stapleton was the utility guy.

Tony Perez was a 39-year-old 1st baseman.

Carlton Fisk and Dwight Evans
1981 Topps 5x7 Fixk Evans
This Carlton Fisk photo looks familiar – is it used somewhere else that I’m not thinking of?  It’s also somewhat old as the Red Sox stopped wearing red caps  (and helmets) after the 1978 season.  Fisk had also changed his Sox;  he was with the Chicago White Sox in 1981.

Dwight Evans – are you ready for this?  – Dwight Evans *WAS* an All-Star in 1981… as well as a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and finished 3rd in MVP voting (behind Rollie Fingers and Rickey Henderson).  If WAR had existed then, Dewey would’ve lead the AL with a 6.7 WAR.

Carney Lansford and Glenn Hoffman
1981 Topps 5x7 Lansford Hoffman
As I mentioned before, the Red Sox no longer had red caps in 1981, so who knows why Topps airbrushed Carney Lansford into a dated uniform.  He’d been acquired via trade from the Angels, and was the Red Sox starting 3rd baseman.

Glenn Hoffmann is Trevor Hoffman’s older brother (by nine years), was a 1980 Topps Rookie All-Star, and is currently the Padres’ 3rd base coach.

Tom Burgmeier and Dennis Eckersley
1981 Topps 5x7 Red Sox Burgmeier Eckersley
Tom Burgmeier was coming off 24 saves and an All-Star season. In 1981 he shared closer duties with Mark Clear and Bill Campbell.

Dennis Eckersley wasn’t a closer yet… He was a 26-year-old starter who had a mediocre 1981. Oakland would convert him to a reliever in 1987.

Frank Tanana and Bob Stanley
1981 Topps 5x7 Red Sox Tanana Stanley
I’m going to mention Bob Stanley first… He’s a reliever who had 14 saves in 1981 and started one game, a 3-2 loss to the Angels.

Like Carney Lansford, Frank Tanana had come from the Angels in a trade, but it wasn’t the same trade.

You might recognize this photo of Frank Tanana… The same photo was used on his 1981 Coke card that I featured a couple of weeks ago:
1981 Coke Red Sox Frank Tanana

And that’s all from Shlabotnik World Headquarters. Back to your regularly scheduled workday.

Oversized Mets, Part 1: 1980, 1981 Topps “Super”

Pfeh. You can keep your minis, give me oversized cards any day! Big is beautiful, baby!

Topps has played with “super” and “giant” cards during the years, and during the Eighties, “Super” meant cards which were a shade smaller than 5”x7”… or in other words, roughly four times the size of a standard-sized card.

In 1980 and 1981 these cards meant to look like autographed photos, and though most people refer to this set as “Topps Super”, the pack they came in listed them as “Superstar Photo Cards”.  Here’s the 1980 Super Lee Mazzilli:

1980 Topps Super Lee Mazzilli

The 1980 set was a 60-card set, and Lee was the lone Mets representative… which was fair enough, the Mets were having a number of difficulties at the time.

OK, fine, they sucked.

Here’s the back: I’ve read that they also came in white-backed versions, but I’ve never seen those myself.
1980 Topps Super Lee Mazilli Back

I remember buying these cards in a hanger pack of 3 cards. It was a plain cellophane sleeve with a cardboard header stapled on. They may have been sold other ways, but where I lived it was cello hangers.

Here’s an image to give you a better idea of how big the cards are… Like I said, 4 times the size of a standard card.
1980 Topps Super Comparison

In 1981, Topps tried again but tweaked it by selling multiple “Home Team” sets.  The New York set was made up of 6 Mets and 12 Yankees. 1981 Topps Super Home Team Lee MazzilliThe other Mets cards were Neil Allen, Doug Flynn, Rusty Staub, Frank Taveras and Alex Trevino.

Just like in 1980, the packs didn’t say “Super” on them… this time they said “Giant Photo Cards” and below that it said “Home Team Series!”  Cards were sold individually in red paper packs crimped at the end, and came in display boxes that would sit on the counter with the cards upright. I’ll admit, I was a “pack feeler” with this set;  When you pushed the paper wrapper up against the back of the card, you could read the name on the back of the card.  Forgive me, bloggers, for I have sinned.

The back of each unnumbered card had the basic information and a checklist on the back.  Note that “Yankees” and “Mets” uses the same script that was used on the 1978 Topps cards.
1981 Topps Super Home Team Mazzilli back

Home Team sets were also issued for the Reds, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs/White Sox, Astros/Rangers, Dodgers/Angels, and a National set of 15 stars. Years ago I bought the Red Sox and Reds sets at a show, and I’ve always meant to get the other sets, but I never ran across them… And I’ve just added them back to my want list.

If someone asks me nicely, I’ll share some of my other cards from these sets.

Thanks to TBS for inadvertently giving my blog some traffic (and giving me a laugh)

1981 Topps Super “New York Home Team” Bucky Dent

Towards the end of the Cardinals’ Game 5 win over the Nationals, the TBS broadcast crew were jokingly comparing someone – I think Pete Kozma, I wasn’t completely awake at the time – to Bucky Dent, and then commenting about how many people use a certain adjective to describe Bucky, but they can’t share it on a family broadcast.  I can’t remember details too well, because I was overtired from staying up late all week watching baseball.

I didn’t think much about it until I signed on to this blog this morning.  When I went to look at the search engine terms people had used to access this blog, there was one theme that repeated itself:  “adjective for Bucky Dent”, “Bucky Dent Adjective”, “What adjectives were used to describe Bucky Dent”, and so on.

That’s when I found out that when you Google on “Bucky Dent Adjective”, the first hit you get is for this post about my 1977 Hostess Bucky Dent card…  I probably answered many more people’s question without having to  click on my link, since Google excerpted the line about “Today’s subject is known to the Red Sox Nation as “Bucky Freakin’ Dent”, although true followers of the Nation use a stronger adjective.”  I won’t repeat the story here, click on the link for details.

So, on a morning when I’m tired and unhappy after the Orioles loss to the <same adjective> Yankees, I got a good laugh out of this.  It enters my “Search Terms Hall of Fame”, along with these phrases which were (somehow) linked to this blog in the recent past:

“Well Whoop De Freakin Do”

“Unusual Butts”

“pictures of mount vernon,ny in 1980”

I swear that I never blogged about anybody’s unusual butt.