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.