Cards From “The Unholy Mess”, Part 2: Hoping For Hostess

Again, we continue the trip through “The Unholy Mess”:  A cheap box of semi-vintage football and baseball commons in complete and utter disarray.

When it became apparent that the bulk of the collection came from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I thought “Please, please, please let there be Kellogg’s and Hostess cards in here!”

I struck out on the Kellogg’s, but scattered through the countless cards of Beasley Reece and Bob Babcock…
Unholy Mess_0002
…I did manage to find two Hostess cards.  The condition was a bit rough, but I certainly can’t complain about the player selection.

1976 Hostess Willie Stargell
1976 Hostess Willie Stargell
It takes a special skill to look menacing while doing a fakey baseball card pose.  1976 wasn’t a particularly “standout” year for Pops, but he was 36 and still had 20 homers and 65 RBI while the Pirates finished 2nd to the Phillies with a 92-70 record.

1978 Hostess Joe Morgan
1978 Hostess Joe Morgan
Joe was an All-Star in 1978, and the Reds finished 2nd to the Dodgers with a 92-69 record.

I got another 1976 Hostess card that I already had, and found no Kellogg’s… but I more than made up on that with all the 3-D cards I got from COMC on Black Friday (tease, tease).

Shea Stadium: Where The Action Is!!!!!!

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, many of the “In Action” photos from 1972 Topps were taken at Shea Stadium. Here are a number of examples from my collection…

I feel like I should know who this Met is trying to get past Bob Robertson… but I don’t.  Any suggestions?
1972 Topps Bob Robertson

Hank Aaron does a home run trot at Shea… the sign behind Aaron says “Plymouth:  Official Car Of The Mets”.  Both Shea and Plymouth are gone now, for whatever that’s worth.
1972 Topps Hank Aaron IA

Maury Wills waits for a pitch;  the catcher (#10) is Duffy Dyer.
1972 Topps Maury Wills

Trust me;  the brick wall behind Steve Renko is undeniably Shea.
1972 Topps Steve Renko

At first I thought this next card had too little background to determine where the action took place, but then I noticed the Mets helmet at the very bottom…
1972 Topps Tom Haller IA

Aside from the concrete dugouts, you know it’s Shea from the blurry Mets in the background.
1972 Topps Willie Stargell


The Kind Of Thing That Strikes You When You Stare At Baseball Cards Too Long

1981 Fleer has a minor flaw that had escaped me for the past 32 years… Take a look at the baseball in the lower left:

1981 Fleer Willie Stargell

The “stitching” is wrong. Both the top and bottom stitching run in the same direction, while on a real baseball the stitching goes in opposite directions.


Well, OK, it appears as if it’s going in opposite directions when viewed from that angle; in reality it’s going in one direction – around the ball and then back again.

For what it’s worth, Topps got it right in 1975…

1975 Topps Frank Taveras

…and in 1979.

1979 Topps Rod Carew

1966 Topps Buc Belters: Willie Stargell and Donn Clendenon

Ah, the Golden Age of multi-player cards, when two players actually posed together rather than being photoshopped into the same image.  Those were the days…

Fellow Mets fans will know why I have this card (hint:  It ain’t because of Willie).

Donn Clendenon was a 1st baseman who came up with the Pirates and finished a distant second to Ken Hubbs in the 1962 Rookie Of The Year voting.  He was taken by the Expos in the 1968 Expansion Draft, and before the 1969 season the Expos traded him and Jesus Alou to the Astros for Rusty Staub, but Donn threatened to retire rather than report to the Astros, so the trade was re-worked.  Instead, Clendenon was traded to the Mets in June, and he became a key part of that 1969 “Miracle Mets” team.  He batted .357 and hit three homers in the 1969 World Series and was named series MVP.  Interestingly enough, he didn’t play at all in the 3 game sweep over the Braves in the NLCS;  Ed Kranepool played first in all three games.

Donn played with the Mets until 1971, played with the Cardinals in 1972, and that was the end of his big league career.