By Popular Demand: The 1982 Donruss Rod Carew That Never Was

Yesterday I featured these two Rod Carew cards from 1992; one Topps, one Fleer, both with the same photo.

Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown commented “Someone needs to make a custom of this photo in the 1982 Donruss design to complete the trifecta.”

Gavin, I could not agree more!  Just because Donruss didn’t use the same image doesn’t mean that the photographer in question hadn’t also sold it to Donruss!

To finish off the set, here is the 1982 Donruss Rod Carew Faux Doppelganger:

Thanks for the great idea, Gavin!


1982 Rod Carew “Non-Parallels” (Not To Be Confused With Nonpareils)

Tony of the Off-Hiatus Baseball blog brought up today’s subject in a comment on one of my “Doppelganger” posts. I wasn’t going to write about it, thinking “Well, everybody knows about this”… but then I remembered that many of you weren’t collecting in 1982… Hell, a lot of you just *weren’t* in 1982.

And so…

Back in the wild and lawless days of the early 1980’s, when it was still a huge novelty to have more than one baseball card manufacturer, a photographer sold the same photo of Rod Carew to both Topps and Fleer. Whether it was an oversight or someone trying to pull a fast one, the result was that both Topps and Fleer issued Rod Carew cards with the same photo.

At the time, I subscribed to a hobby publication (given the year, I’m thinking Baseball Hobby News) and I’m pretty sure that the reporting of the day was that both of the card companies were not at all happy about this… not that this would be hard to imagine anyway.

To be clear, neither of these is a variation or a corrected error. They were both part of the full run of each set, so they’re not any more rare than the other cards in the set… unless someone has decided to buy up a bunch and sit on them, but given the prices I’m seeing on COMC and eBay, I’m thinking that’s not the case.

PWE Playhouse: A Shoebox From 1982

An off-handed comment during a prior post got me a padded envelope full… or nearly full, as you’ll see… of 1982 Topps. The envelope came from Shane of Shoebox Legends, and the reason for it was because I made a comment along the lines of “I should finish that 1982 set someday”.

I have a soft spot for 1982 because I viewed it as something of a return to form for Topps after the “Meh Trilogy” that was 1979 to 1981.  The fact that I never completed 1982 had more to do with my being 17 years old than with the set itself.  There were other things distracting my attention (even if I was too shy and lacking in self-esteem to generally talk to one particular category of distraction).

Anyway, Shane sent a team-set-sized bag full of 82T, plus two other cards for “protection”.  I won’t feature them all, but here’s a selection of my favorites.

…Well, OK, this isn’t exactly a favorite in that it’s not a great picture of Pete Rose, but Charlie Hustle had a base card, a “1981 Highlight” card, a Phillies Batting/Pitching Leaders card, and this card.  They can’t all be winners.

Phil Niekro wearing an early 1980’s Braves uniform.  At the time I didn’t care much for these unis, but now… Eh, who am I kidding, they’re still not great. They’re not bad, but the current ones are much nicer.

Expo Alert!  Ray Burris went 7-13 for the 1980 Mets, but let’s be fair:  The 1980 Mets sucked.  If you’re wondering about his signature, yes, his first name is Bertram, and yes, his middle name really is just “Ray”.

Speaking of Mets, here’s one of my favorite all-time Mets.  I’m certainly happy to add this one to my Mets binders.

Don’t tell Night Owl, but I really didn’t like Steve Garvey when he was an active player… Mostly because he played for the Dodgers and even 20+ years after they left Brooklyn, the Long Island air was full of disdain for the Dodgers.  It couldn’t help but rub off on impressionable youth such as myself.

Andre Dawson!  It’s terrible to say, but I still think about that commercial where they pull him out of the Wrigley Field ivy and Dawson asks what year it is.  I can’t remember what the commercial was for, but does that matter?  Not really.

When he was a Mets rookie, Benny Ayala hit a homer in his first Major League AB, a solo shot off the Astros Tom Griffin on 8/27/74.  Benny would hit a total of 38 dingers over his 10-year career.

If you’ve ever seen the show Robot Chicken, the closing credits feature a song sung by “chickens” and ends with a long “Buuuuuuuck”.  I say that every time I see Buuuuuuck Martinez.

…Because “Chris Chambliss In Action” sounds better than “Chris Chambliss waiting for a pitch”.

…or “George Brett getting ready to catch anything hit his way”.

The Astros current uniforms are overly generic.  We need rainbows!

J.R. Richard had already pitched his last MLB game when this card came out, all because of a stroke he suffered in 1980.

That wraps up the 1982 cards…and now for the mega-ironic twist to this PWE… the 1982 cards were protected on either end by 2017 cards!  Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Gabriel Ynoa pitched 10 games for the Mets last year, but he was sold to the Orioles in February (which is just fine with me since I like the O’s as well).  He’s currently in AAA Norfolk, but given the way the Mets’ pitching staff has fallen apart this year, they might be regretting that sale tiny bit.

Curtis Granderson is struggling this season, and once Yoenis Cespedes comes off the DL, he’s going to be the odd man out… Although I’m sure that Terry Collins will work him in on a regular basis (if only because he’s an expensive benchwarmer otherwise).

Thank you so much, Shane! I apologize for being slow on the restitution, but it’s been a bit crazy at work lately (and I know you can sympathize). I’ve got a long holiday weekend coming up to get some PWE’s ready.

…Are We Not Stars? 1982 Topps Padres Future Stars

…In which we address the age-old question “Who are these guys?”

Today’s post has an extra air of excitement about it… Not only do we cover Doug “Eyechart” Gwosdz, but also Fred Kuhaulua!

1980 Topps Padres Future Stars

Mike Armstrong:
Appeared in 197 games over 8 years, mainly as a reliever – he has one start on his record.  Also pitched for the Royals, Yankees and Indians.  Was the primary setup man to Dan Quisenberry in 1982 and 1983.  Finished 94 career games but had just 11 saves. 

In 1979 he was traded straight-up for Paul O’Neill!  …Only it’s not THAT Paul O’Neill.

Doug Gwosdz:
Was largely a backup to Terry Kennedy and played 69 games over 4 years with the Padres, batting .144 in the process.

Fred Kuhualua:
Fred Mahele Kuhaulua was born in Hawaii… I know!  Who saw that coming?

He  had  two “cups of coffee” in the Majors… 1977 with the Angels (3 games, 1 start, 6.1 innings, 15.63 ERA) and 1981 with the Padres (1-0, 2.45 in 5 games, 4 starts).

On October 1st, 1981 he shut out the soon-to-be-World-Champion Dodgers over 8 innings. Eric Show closed out the 1-0 win.  Fernando Valenzuela was the hard-luck loser, giving up an unearned run and taking the loss.

Fred’s only Major League hit was an RBI single off of Phil Niekro on 9/20/1981.

I believe this is Kuhaulua’s only Major League card.

Closest To Being A Star:
Although it’s tempting to go with the guy who outpitched Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Armstrong was the only one to have a Major League career, so I guess that makes him closest to being a star.

Absolutely True (You Can’t Prove Otherwise) Trade Stories #1

Last week, I got together with some of my celebrity friends for our monthly Strat-O-Matic night… We normally do it earlier in the month, but Mike Mills had some sort of scheduling conflict… Lord knows what, it’s not like he has a whole lot going on since R.E.M. called it a day.

Anyway, towards the end of the night Rachael Leigh Cook pulled me aside and… What?  Oh, you know her, she used to be on Dawson’s Creek, she’s been in a bunch of movies and TV shows and is currently doing that TV show “Perception” with Eric McCormack…

Wait a second, here’s her 2014 Simon & Gintfunkel card…
2014 Simon & Gintfunkel Rachael Leigh Cook 2
…I really should get her to autograph one someday, it would be good trade bait.

Rachael’s not the greatest Strat player, but she brings these absolutely phenomenal potato chips from Pennsylvania. You know, kind of like the whole “craft beer” thing, but with chips. Say what you want about Pennsylvania, but those people know how to make snacks.

Anyway, Rachael brought me some cards off my wantlist, with the proviso that I share them with all of you… You know, good publicity and all that.

First off, she got me a couple of cards for my 1982 set that I’ve been working on for… Oh… 32 years and counting.
1982 Topps Ozzie Smith

1982 Topps Amos Otis

…as well as a similarly-old Oriole need…
1982 Donruss Dan Graham

This Carew gets me one step closer to the 1979 set.
1979 Topps Rod Carew
Like 1980 and 1982, 1979 falls into the category of “Yeah, I really should finish those”, but it’s far from an imperative.

Rachael knows I’m a Frank Catalanotto collector, so she got me two new additions…
2008 Topps WBC Frank Catalanotto

1996 Signature Rookies Old Judge Frank Catalanotto

And finally, I got this interesting Rookie Glossy card from 1992 Topps.
1991 Topps Glossy Rookies Sandy Alomar
Normally I like a card to show you what the player looks like – this card obviously fails that test, but it’s still a cool photo… especially for these glossy inserts, which are often just head shots.

I’ve made some other trades with the celebrities at our Strat-O-Matic Night, not to mention the charity Frisbee Golf tournament I was in over the summer. I’ll feature those in a future post.