Surprised By A Line Drive Or Three

I bought a lot of Line Drive cards in the early 1990’s, but they were mostly of cards like this one:
1991 Line Drive Charlie Manuel

I never realized that there was anything other than minor league cards sold under the “Line Drive” brand until I stumbled across these cards while shopping on COMC:

1991 Line Drive Tommie Agee
1991 Line Drive Tommie Agee back

I was an active collector in 1991, and I do not remember these cards at all.  Even now, I still don’t know much about this set.  Was it sold in packs?  Was it regional?

1991 Line Drive Davey Johnson

“Fifty cards of retired players, put out by Impel Marketing”.  That’s pretty much all I know about this set.  If you Google on “1991 Line Drive”, most of the hits will be for the minor league sets, with an occasional “Collect-A-Books”  hit thrown in for good measure.

1991 Line Drive Jerry Grote

Does anybody out there remember buying these cards in 1991?

Step Right Up And Repack The Mets…

The cards below are ones that I got in recent repacks and which filled needs; No high-number 1972’s, but some decent stuff anyway.

Then-prospect Bobby Jones is rocking a Binghamton Mets cap on this card.  This is “right-handed Bobby Jones”,  not to be confused with “left-handed Bobby Jones” who pitched for the Mets around the same time.  It’s fortuitous that one was a lefty and the other a righty, because I’m sure nobody in an official position wanted to refer to them as “White Bobby Jones” and “Black Bobby Jones”.
1992 UD Minors Bobby Jones
This is “White Bobby Jones”, if you hadn’t figured that out already.

Terry Bross’ shiny windbreaker reminds me of my one attempt to buy an authentic Mets warmup jacket in the 1980’s….
1992 UD Terry Bross
..Well, it wasn’t an attempt, I bought it, and I brought it home. It wasn’t a windbreaker like this one, it was a jacket with elastic cuffs and bottom… and I realized that with my short, slight torso, I looked like a giant satin blueberry. The jacket was returned to the store the next day.

Terry Bross pitched 8 games for the 1991 Mets, 2 games for the 1993 Giants and later pitched for 4 years in Japan. He played baseball and basketball while at St. John’s University.

Whenever I see Davey Johnson, I have two thoughts:
1) Man, I wish he were still the Mets manager.
1) Man, I wish he were still the Orioles manager.
1988 Topps All-Star Glossy Davey Johnson

These repacks are putting a major dent into my All-Star Glossy needs (not that I had any sort of idea of what those needs were before I started getting these repacks…)
1989 Topps All-Star Glossy Darryl Strawberry

1974 Week: Dave(y) Johnson

This is Davey Johnson, the current manager of the Nationals. The card may say “Dave”, but we know better.

When I was a kid, we thought this card was hilarious, not because he’s swinging and missing, but because it looked to us like he was farting a baseball.  Hee hee hee hee hee hee!

These days, I have a different appreciation of the card – as you can tell by the out-of-focus guys in the dugout, Dave is swinging and missing against a Mets pitcher.

For those of you who don’t know, Davey Johnson had the distinction (and still does, in my book) of having played with the American Career Home Run Leader (Hank Aaron) and the Japanese counterpart (Saduharu Oh… Davey played for the Yomiuri Giants in 1975 and 1976).

Davey hit 43 homers in 1973, and his previous high was 18 in 1971.  If that happened today, you know what kind of accusations would be flying around.  Sad, really.

As long as I’m throwing out Davey Johnson facts… He played with the Orioles and Braves before going to Japan, and played for the Phillies and Cubs after his return.  He was a 4-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove and managed the 1986 Mets to a World Championship.  He also managed the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers and (as previously mentioned) the Nats.

There have been three Dave Johnsons who played in the majors, and all three played for the Orioles at some point.  We’ll be looking into a similar Dave situation later today.