Monday, November 20, 2017

#726 - Al Bumbry


What a card: This is Al Bumbry's final Topps card as a Baltimore Oriole. He signed with the Padres in March 1985.

My observation on the front: You have to love the batting cage shots, but it sure seems cold there.

More opinion from me: Bumbry is one of those players that syncs up perfectly with my first collecting period. His first solo card is in the 1974 Topps set, the first cards I ever owned, and his last card is in 1986, when I gave up active collecting.

Something you might know: Bumbry was the American League's Rookie of the Year in 1973 after hitting .337 in 356 at-bats.

Something you might not know: Bumbry is one of 21 people to hold the AL record for most triples in a game with three. The players to match that mark since Bumbry are Ken Landreaux, Lance Johnson and Denard Span (the NL record is also three and the most recent entrant was Yasiel Puig in 2014).


My observation on the back: I'm not certain but I think the only Vietnam vet to last longer in major league baseball than Al Bumbry is Garry Maddox.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#725 - Floyd Bannister


What a card: Floyd Bannister's 1984 season was not as successful as his first year with the White Sox in '83. He still managed 14 wins, but his ERA soared.

My observation on the front: Bannister appears to be toiling in the heat. I can see the sweat-soaked hair.

More opinion from me: What number is Bannister? ... Oh, let me look at his crotch!

Something you might know: Bannister was MLB's No. 1 draft pick by the Astros in 1976. His son, Brian, pitched for five years in the majors.

Something you might not know: Bannister now manages his son's photography studios in Phoenix, Loft 19 Studios, where they do shoots for famous athletes and celebrities.


My observation on the back: The trivia question answer appeared on the back of a card featured seven cards ago.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

#724 - Oscar Gamble


What a card: Oscar Gamble played in just 54 games for the Yankees in 1984, batting a mere .184. He moved on to the White Sox after the season but this is his final Topps flagship card.

My observation on the front: Gamble's afro steadily decreased in size through the '80s but it's noticeably smaller here.

More opinion from me: Another severely off-center card right out of the box. This couldn't have happened with, oh, say, Bob Kearney or someone a little less prominent?

Something you might know: Gamble was part of the "Southside Hitmen" that ruled the White Sox during the 1977 season. He set career highs in home runs (31) and RBIs (83) that year.

Something you might not know: Gamble opened a disco in 1976. His brothers ran the club.


My observation on the back: Juanita's afro was just as large as Oscar's and hers was first.

The blog wants to speak now: The Movies category is updated.

Friday, November 10, 2017

#723 - Dave Stewart


What a card: Dave Stewart was coming off his first full season with the Rangers when this card was issued. He set career highs for losses (14) and home runs allowed (26) in 1984.

My observation on the front: Stewart always looks bad-ass on his cards, even when he was lousy.

More opinion from me: The mid-80s Stewart cards remind me of how sad I was that the Dodgers traded him.

Something you might know: Stewart won 20 games four straight seasons from 1987-90.

Something you might not know: Stewart once threw a wild pitch that scored three runs while pitching for the Dodgers in 1983. During a July 11 game against the Cardinals, Stewart replaced starter Fernando Valenzuela in the sixth inning after Valenzuela walked opposing pitcher Bob Forsch to load the bases with the Dodgers ahead 3-2. Stewart walked the first batter he faced, Tom Herr, but his fourth ball went wild past catcher Steve Yeager. The runner on third, David Green, scored. The runner on second, Glenn Brummer, scored. And Forsch scored when Yeager's throw to Stewart, who was covering the plate, went past Stewart and backups Bill Russell and Pedro Guerrero. The Cardinals scored five runs in the inning to go ahead 5-3. But the Dodgers won in the 9th, 7-6, on a home run by Dusty Baker.


My observation on the back: Stewart didn't become an accountant, but he did become an agent and a general manager. So he was still dealing with people's money.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

#722 - Bruce Sutter All-Star


What a card: Bruce Sutter finished a league-high 63 games in 1984.

My observation on the front: Sutter is obviously on the road, judging by his beautiful '80s baby blue uniform. San Francisco I'm guessing?

More opinion from me: I just looked at Sutter's baseball-reference page and mentally rolled my eyes at the mug shot of Sutter in a Braves hat. I'm no Cubs or Cardinals fan, but get a picture of Sutter when he did his finest work, please.

All-Star Game performance: Sutter was selected as a National League pitcher for the 1984 All-Star Game, but when the time came to close out the NL's 3-1 victory, Rich Gossage got the job of finishing out the ninth. Sutter didn't play.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Fake. My first tip-off that Topps was going off book with the All-Star cards came in 1981 when Sutter and Gossage received All-Star banners, previously reserved for just ASG starters. Obviously, relievers weren't starters.


My observation on the back: It's interesting that Clay Carroll held the record for so long as I barely heard of him while learning about baseball from 1975-85. That's possibly because save number didn't seem to get much attention until the '80s.

The blog wants to speak now: The Pop Culture tab is updated.

Monday, November 6, 2017

#721 - Bob Knepper All-Star


What a card: Bob Knepper finished sixth in the National League in innings pitched with 233 2/3 in 1984.

My observation on the front: Knepper appears to be warming up in the bullpen here.

More opinion from me: I was never really down with the stripes on the shoulders the Astros moved toward in the '80s. I think they should have kept the rainbows on the players' mid-sections.

All-Star Game performance: No All-Star Game appearance for Knepper in 1984. He was named an All-Star only in 1981 and 1988.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Once again, it's a fake. Instead of selecting the NL's 1984 All-Star starter, Charlie Lea, Topps chose two pitchers who didn't appear in the game, Rick Sutcliffe and Bob Knepper. If it really wanted a lefty represented, Topps could've selected all-stars Fernando Valenzuela or Al Holland.


My observation on the back: All three of Knepper's 1984 shutouts are mentioned in the blurb on the left.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

#720 - Rick Sutcliffe All-Star


What a card: Rick Sutcliffe led the league in winning percentage in 1984 once he was traded from the Indians to the Cubs and went 16-1 for Chicago.

My observation on the front: How long do you think it took the photographer to set up and shoot this photo? I say 5 minutes, tops.

More opinion from me: This is the second All-Star card in the subset in which the team isn't mentioned anywhere on the card front. This and the Jeff Leonard card would fit right in with all those non-licensed sets.

All-Star Game performance: Sutcliffe didn't play in the 1984 All-Star Game. He had just arrived with the Cubs a month prior and his won-loss record for the season at that point was 8-6. His ERA was probably still over 4.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Fake. Another dude who wasn't named an All-Star during the season.


My observation on the back: Add the four wins that Sutcliffe won with the Indians that year and he was one of just 3 pitchers to 20 wins that year. Joaquin Andujar and Mike Boddicker were the others.

The blog wants to speak now:  The News category is updated.