Saturday, January 29, 2011
Back in June, I wrote a blog entry about the 1982 Chicago Cubs. The interesting thing with collecting that team was that there was a regional set issued to help fill out our checklist beyond the Topps/Donruss/Fleer cards. The existence of this set was tipped off to me by an excellent blog devoted to cards of the Chicago Cubs called Wrigley Wax. It was produced by the Chicago Cubs and sponsored by Red Lobster. Unlike most of these regional sets, we got more than the third string catcher on our checklist filled out, but a true rookie card of a hall-of-famer that predates his rookie card from one of the major national manufacturers. I am of course talking about the "real" rookie card of Ryne Sandberg.
Well, the other day I received an interesting email from someone that recently came across that entry. It turns out that his dad, who was the Cubs Promotions Director back in 1982 was the photographer for the Sandberg card. He gave me a little more information about his father and this set. To check out more about Buck Peden, the photographer of this card...click on this link.
As for the Red Lobster set, here is some information that was passed on to me:
- There were 15,000 sets made and they were passed out to children only at the stadium;
- Finally seeing the back of the Sandberg card for the first time (pictured above), they were numbered by uniform number only;
- Have a Red Lobster logo, so they were definitely sponsored by them;
- Here is the complete checklist (all cards with an asterisk would help toward the ultimate set checklist for 1982):
__ 1982 CHICAGO CUBS TEAM PHOTO CARD*
__ Ryne Sandberg, IF*
__ Junior Kennedy, IF
__ Keith Moreland, OF
__ Randy Martz, RHP
__ Bob Molinaro, OF*
__ Ken Kravec, LHP
__ Jay Johnstone, OF
__ Bill Buckner, IF
__ Bump Wills, IF
__ Al Ripley, RHP
__ Jody Davis, C
__ Gary Woods, OF
__ Steve Henderson, OF
__ Larry Bowa, IF
__ Doug Bird, RHP
__ Lee Smith, RHP
__ Dickie Noles, RHP
__ Fergie Jenkins, RHP
__ Mike Proly, RHP
__ Willie Hernandez, LHP
__ Jerry Morales, OF
__ Leon Durham, OF
__ Scot Thompson, OF*
__ Bill Campbell, RHP
__ Lee Elia, MGR*
__ John Vuckovich, Gordy McKenzie, Billy Williams, Billy Connors, Tom Harmon*
Friday, January 28, 2011
We are now at the .500 mark for teams in 1983. The Padres were a perfectly even 81-81. This is the second year in a row they had a .500 record, and after signing a few veterans for 1984 after signing Steve Garvey in 1983, were on their way to the World Series.
Best Player: Terry Kennedy...led the team in RBI by almost 40
Best Pitcher: Luis DeLeon...I had a hard time with this team picking out the best pitcher as no one stood out in any one category, so I created the following chart based on the team leaders in the same categories I get points for in my fantasy league, assigning 5 points for the team leader and going down to one point for the top 5. I split up 3 points among the pitchers with 7 wins on this team, and only ranked the top 4 save leaders on a 4-1 scale:
It turns out Luis DeLeon may have been the best pitcher for this team in this unscientific ranking.
All-Stars: Dave Dravecky, Terry Kennedy
Hall-of-Famers: Tony Gwynn, Dick Williams
Rookie Card of the Year: Tony Gwynn...one of the iconic rookie cards of the 1980s and a Hall-of-Famer
Other rookie cards: Floyd Chiffer, Dave Dravecky, Alan Wiggins
First Padre cards: Steve Garvey, Sid Monge, Elias Sosa, Ed Whitson, Dick Williams
Most interesting non-Topps card: The only Padre not found in the Topps set is John Curtis. His Padre card is in the Donruss set. He is another of the players appearing in the Donruss set with a team that they didn't finished 1982 or play in 1983 with.
Other notes: Bobby Brown signed with the Padres in mid-April after being cut by the Mariners. He didn't make it into the traded set with the Padres. He played in only 57 games, but did lead the team in starts and innings played in left field. His Mariner card is listed here.
Jerry Turner signed with the Padres in the off season, also never had a card in the traded set, so his Tiger card is listed here.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
From 1979 - 1983 (I know, using multiple endpoints is a bad idea), the Expos were the best team in the National League record wise. All they had to show for it was a loss in the 1981 NLCS. Bill Virdon, an experienced manager was brought in to turn the team around after a disappointing 1982 season. They had several solid all-stars and hall-of-famers. On paper, this team should've blown away the Phillies. The problem was a lack of starting pitching beyond the first three and a thin bench that was rarely used. The team of the 1980s was never to be.
Best Player: I can't decide between Tim Raines or Andre Dawson...so I will award co-MVPs for this team.
Best Pitcher: Steve Rogers...Rogers and Bill Gullickson had identical 17-12 records, but Rogers had a better ERA and led the team in strikeouts.
All-Stars: Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Al Oliver, Tim Raines, Steve Rogers
Hall-of-Famers: Gary Carter, Andre Dawson
Rookie Card of the Year: Bryn Smith...I probably have a slightly different definition of a rookie card than most collectors (hey, it is my collection) as I have always hated those multi-player rookie cards. Bryn Smith gets his first solo card in the Topps set. Smith didn't have much of a season in 1983, but would go onto win 18 games in 1985 and wrap up his career as a member of the inaugural Colorado Rockies team in 1993.
Other Rookie Cards: Mike Gates (listed under retired players), Roy Johnson, Bryan Little
First Expo Cards: Terry Crowley, Doug Flynn, Randy Lerch, Dan Norman (listed under retired players), Mike Vail, Bill Virdon, Chris Welsh, Jim Wohlford, Joel Youngblood (listed under players on new teams)
Most interesting non-Topps card: Roy Johnson...wasn't really on the Expos roster in 1983, as he played for the AA Wichita Aeros, not a very interesting career either, as he cups of coffee with the Expos in 1982, 1984, and 1985 and that was it.
Other notes: Wallace Johnson is shown as an Expo in the Fleer set, but logged more playing time with the Giants in 1983, so he will be listed on the Giants checklist. Manny Trillo played on the Phillies in 1982 and had three cards in the regular Topps set (his regular card, all-star, and a record breaker card) showing him as a Phillie. Trillo was sent to the Indians in the trade that sent Von Hayes to the Phillies. He is shown as an Indian in the 1983 Traded set. He even started the 1983 All-Star game for the American League. The Expos acquired Trillo in August of 1983, to late for the Traded set...so his regular Phillies card is listed on this checklist.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have made their record tying 8th trip to the Super Bowl. Today we get to the black sheep of Pittsburgh sports teams, the Pirates. 1983 wasn't a bad season for the Bucs. They had an unexpected winning season. This would be the last Pirates team that didn't include Barry Bonds that had a winning season. In fact this would be their last winning season until 1988.
Best Player: Tony Pena
Best Pitcher: Rick Rhoden
All-Stars: Bill Madlock
Rookie Card of the Year: Cecilio Guante, pitched through 1990 with the Pirates, Yankees, Rangers, and Indians. Odd thing is, he never started until the very last game of his career against the Yankees.
Other rookie cards: Jim Smith (listed under retired players), Lee Tunnell
First Pirate card: Lee Mazzilli, Larry McWilliams, Manny Sarmiento, Gene Tenace
Most interesting non-Topps card: Cecilio Guante, appeared in only the Donruss set, but with the name "Matt Guante". Where did the Matt come from? His full name was Cecilio (Magallane) Guante. From my understanding of Spanish naming conventions, and this may be wrong, but Magallane would've been his dad's last name and Guante would've been his mother's. They really don't have middle names like Americans do. So it makes no sense to turn Magallane into Matt. Then again, this just may have been an error at the Donruss factory and nothing more.
Other notes: Bob Owchinko's card showing him as an Oakland Athletic is listed here.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Since 1970, Kellogg's breakfast cereals had given out 3-D baseball cards in packages of cereal. 1983 was the last year Kellogg's would produce these 3-D cards.
This set is not helpful in 1983 for filling out the ultimate set checklist, although in other years they would've been helpful (pre-1981). For example the 1971 Kellogg's set had the only card of one of the odder stories in baseball history in Tony Horton. Horton had retired after the 1970 season. In 1983, all of the players in this checklist appear in the regular 1983 Topps set.
To demonstrate how different the marketing for MLB was in the mid-1980s, the Cardinals, Brewers, and Royals all had the most cards in this set with 5 cards each. Every team had at least one player represented, including the two Canadian teams. This set is full of hall-of-famers, with 18 of the 60 cards featuring players that are now in the hall-of-fame.
Kellogg's would return in 1991 and 1992 with these 3-D cards, but they were more like Sportflics 3-D technology and only represented the all-time greats.