1976 SSPC #274: Ted Simmons (Cardinals)

1976 SSPC #274 Ted Simmons
Ted Simmons… was among the top catchers of the 1970’s and early 1980’s, but often got overshadowed by guys like Bench, Carter, Fisk and Munson.  Simmons played for 20 seasons with the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves, and caught at least 75 games in 14 of those seasons.  He’s among the top-10 all-time Cardinals in homers, RBI and walks. He was an eight-time All-Star, hit 100 RBI three times and hit over .300 seven times.  He may not have been the finest defensive catcher of the day, but his offensive stats compare favorably to pretty much any HOF catcher and by several accounts he was excellent at calling games.

In 1976, Ted… was the Cardinals’ starting catcher, but saw time at first and other positions.  He batted .291, had 75 RBI and lead the league with 19 Intentional walks.

Shea-o-meter: Many of the photos in 1976 SSPC were taken in Shea Stadium; Every team came through Shea because the Yankees were temporarily playing in Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. “Can two Major League teams share a ballpark without driving each other crazy?”

The background is too blurry to identify, this goes down as “Can’t tell”.
Shea: 51
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 8
Can’t tell: 13
Not Shea: 7

1970’s Census
We’re going to keep track of all the instances of 1970’s facial hair and other 1970’s trends… Sideburns, afros, mustaches, Aviator glasses…

Ted’s got long hair and sideburns.
Total Cards: 79
1970’s Sideburns: 40
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 25
Afro: 1
Perm: 2
Aviators: 6
Long Hair: 18
1976 SSPC #274 Ted Simmons back

Repacks, Small Boys In Target, Weird Airbrushing And Other Things

Back in January I was in Target to get a couple of things, and while I was there I grabbed the last Fairfield 100 card repack they had… I put it in my basket and then started looking at the other stuff there.

Also in the card aisle was a boy, I’m guessing about 8 years old (although I’m terrible at guessing ages), and he looked at me and asked “What did you get?”

I showed him the repack and said “Oh, I’m just getting this… I’ve had pretty good luck with them”.  I saw a couple of packs of Topps football cards in his hand, so I said “I like the Football cards this year”.  He went on to tell me that he liked the Redskins and RG3, I said I didn’t care one way or the other about the Redskins but I liked RG3.  I made a comment about baseball cards coming in another week or two, and then said something along the lines of “see you later” and left.

Afterwards it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I had a verbal hobby conversation with someone who wasn’t trying to sell me cards. Now I kind of wish I’d spoken to the boy longer.

At any rate, it was nice to meet a boy who was interested in cards, and it was very nice see a kid in the card aisle instead of some guy camped out on the floor feeling up packs.

Before we got to talking, this card on the back of my repack caught my attention:
1984 Milton Bradley Ted Simmons
When I saw the card, a voice inside my head – very much like Mel Brooks doing an old man – said “What the hell is this?”  The airbrush artist wasn’t satisfied with removing the Brewers logo, he decided he’d go all-out and add red to the collar and red side panels on Simmons cap. It’s odd, but sort of appealing. The end result is a sort of combination of the Brewers and Expos… Ladies and gentlemen, your Montwaukee Brewxpos!

Here are the other highlights of the the repack…

This Oriole came from the 1990 Donruss “Best Of The American League” box set. I wonder if the “regular” 1990 Donruss set would’ve been met with such universal disdain if they’d used this blue instead of traffic cone orange.
1990 Donruss Best Jeff Ballard

I also got the usual assortment of Topps Stickers, including this one which features two Shlabotnik favorites:  Steve Jeltz and a very young B.J. Surhoff.
1990 Topps Stickers Samuel Surhoff

On the back of some other stickers, I got a Sid Fernandez to add to my Mets collection…
1990 Topps Stickers Sid Fernandez

Finally, I got another addition to my 1980’s/1990’s Topps Glossy insert collection:
1991 Topps Glossy Rookies Scott Ruskin

I have to admit, I was fairly well disappointed by this repack.  It was largely devoid of  “fun junk”… I know that’s very subjective, but there were no obscure regional 1980’s box set cards, no Studio cards, no Topps Total or UD 40 Man, no cards older than 1982, just the one Topps glossy insert, and only a couple of what used to be “high end” cards (i.e. Stadium Club, Leaf).  Part of the disappointment might be because a couple of cards which could’ve been fun were done in by having Sammy Sosa on them.

1979 Hostess Ted Simmons

Bonus Hostess!

As Craig Ferguson might say, “I used to dance under the name ‘Bonus Hostess’.”

I normally post my Hostess Card Of The Week on the weekend, but given that it’s Independence Day and I’ve been observing 1979 Week, I decided to give you an extra dose of Twinkie-related goodness.  After all, what better way to commemorate the founding of the United States Of America than with a photo of a St. Louis Cardinal taken at Wrigley field, printed on a piece of cardboard which, 33 years ago,  was part of a box which contained snack cakes.  If that doesn’t say “America”, I don’t know what does.