Saturday, February 4, 2012
#12 - Dave Lopes
What a card: Topps is trying to catch up for the second card in a row. First it featured a manager who was no longer a manager. Now it features a player no longer with the team shown in the photo and in the graphic. Dave Lopes was sent from the A's to the Cubs on Aug. 31, 1984 to complete an earlier deal. So Lopes actually played for the Cubs in 1984 and Topps either couldn't find a photo of Lopes as a Cub or wouldn't airbrush a photo of Lopes into a Cubs uniform.
My observation on the front: The "Now With Cubs" notation was very unusual for Topps at this time and might be the first time I ever saw such a thing on a baseball card (I do remember the '89 Topps Jody Davis "Now With Braves" listing very well). Of course, the "Now With ..." was very common in O-Pee-Chee sets during this time, which is probably where Topps borrowed the idea.
Also, this is the first time that Lopes is listed as an outfielder on the front of his card. Lopes did start out as an outfielder, but by the time he was included in baseball cards he was a second baseman.
More opinion from me: This was a dark period for a Dodger fan who grew up with the Dodgers teams of the '70s. Seeing any veteran Dodger -- Cey, Garvey, Lopes, Yeager, John, Sutton, Baker, Smith, Rau, etc. -- in anything other than a Dodger uniform was unsettling.
Something you might know: Lopes set a record for stealing 38 straight bases without getting caught in 1975, breaking a 53-year-old record. Vince Coleman broke Lopes' record in 1989.
Something you might not know: Lopes is listed as growing up in East Providence, R.I., but the recreation center that features his name, the "Davey Lopes Center," is in South Providence, R.I., and insists that Lopes grew up in South Providence.
My observation on the back: Here we get our first glimpse of some of the personal facts that '85 Topps put on the back of its cards. Ever wanted to know the exact name of Lopes' wife and when they were married? Now you know.
The blog wants to speak now: In honor of the Super Bowl, I have updated the Ballgames, TV, Pop Culture and News categories, all with Super Bowl references. Of course, this is Super Bowl XIX we're talking about here, not Super Bowl XLVI.