I was recently graced with a padded envelope from CommishBob, whose The Five Tool Collector blog is regular reading for me, and whose tweets about his many retirement activities make me very jealous (but that’s another story).
Bob sent me a number of cards to aid me in my chase —
No, no, “chase” is not the right word for it… In my *casual pursuit* of the 1970 and 1983 Topps sets. I’m currently too lacking in focus to truly chase anything, much less vintage or semi-vintage sets.
I have my doubts as to whether my budget will allow me to ever complete 1970 Topps (looking at you, high #’ed Nolan Ryan), but I’m perfectly happy to keep after it and see how far I can get.
Bob sent me two cards which end in ‘0’ plus one which ends with ’25’, so you know right away that these are no mere commons.
I’ll start off with the HOFer, Gaylord Perry.
In 1970, Perry had 23 wins and 5 shutouts and finished a distant second to Bob Gibson in Cy Young voting.
1970 saw Tony Oliva lead the league in hits for the 5th (and final) time, and lead the league in doubles for the 4th (and final) time.
Oliva is one of those guys where I’m mildly surprised that he’s not a HOFer (He peaked at 47.3% in 1988). He was a 3-time batting champ, 8-time All-Star and the 1964 AL Rookie of the Year
Bobby Bonds has the card which ends with 25, possibly because he’d lead the NL with 120 runs in 1969.
Bonds was still a young stud at the time, 24 years old in 1970 and a year away from his first All-Star appearance.
With these two famous Giants in hand, I started to ponder whether I’d already hurdled the major obstacles towards a 1970 Giants team set… and then I said “Oh… Willie Mays. Never mind”.
Before we get to the cards from the other casual pursuit, let us cleanse the palate with two cards which were not off a wantlist but nevertheless greatly appreciated.
This card is from… (takes a deep breath)… The 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated World Series Fever set.
The 1986 Mets were the greatest Mets team of my baseball lifetime, and I appreciate any cardboard representation of that team… especially MOOKIE!!! I have to admit, I can’t help liking Mookie Betts just because he’s another Mookie (although Betts is a Mookie that Red Sox fans would like).
Like most baseball card collectors, I always enjoy adding a Don Mossi card to my collection.
This is the sixth Mossi in my collection. I have to admit, I sometimes feel guilty for singling out Don Mossi because of his unique appearance, but I’ll blame early childhood exposure to “The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubblegum Book” for setting me down this path (and making the 1952 Topps Gus Zernial card a white whale for me).
OK, moving on… After getting a few of the 1983 Tribute cards in packs of 2018 Topps this year, it’s frankly kind of nice to get some real 1983’s which I need.
1983 saw the Baltimore Orioles win a World Championship… At that point in my life, the Orioles were just another team… although I will admit that I was rooting against the Phillies that year (but not against Tug McGraw… never against Tug himself).
Bob sent me both halves of the Orioles left field platoon that got them to the 1979 and 1983 World Series…
…and Gary Roenicke
I loved these Super Veteran cards back in 1983; I wonder how well something like that would work now.
I would think that a subset which included guys like Bartolo Colon, Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera and Ichiro would be a pretty darn cool.
Double shot of Bruce Sutter…
..as well as Larry Bowa, looking strange in a Cubs uniform…
…Even while these non-glossy, printed-on-grey-cardboard 1983 cards look so *right* when compared to their 2018 counterparts. I just can’t help it, I’m old school at heart.
As always, I have to send many thanks to Bob for the very enjoyable package! I’m relieved that one of Bob’s latest projects is something I may be able to contribute to, and a return package is in the works.