Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#714 - Mike Schmidt All-Star


What a card: Mike Schmidt was coming off his seventh season of leading the league in home runs, socking 36 in 1984.

My observation on the front: Hey, we're back at spring training. Very nice.

More opinion from me: That's a good look at the Phillies' 100th anniversary patch. However, the Phillies' 100th anniversary was 1983, so this appears to be a picture of Schmidt that's more than a year old.

All-Star Game performance: Schmidt went 0-for-3 in the 1984 All-Star Game, striking out twice.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: It's legit. If it was the '80s, Schmidt was starting.


My observation on the back: Schmidt leads the league in home runs and RBIs so Topps goes with ... runs?

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

#713 - Ryne Sandberg All-Star


What a card: Ryne Sandberg hit a league-best and career-high 19 triples in 1984. His next-highest total during his career was eight.

My observation on the front: This is one of Sandberg's better baseball cards.

More opinion from me: Sandberg looks very young here, maybe the youngest he's looked on a major league card.

All-Star Game performance: Sandberg went 1-for-4 in the 1984 All-Star Game, reaching first on an infield single and stealing second base.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Legitimate. Sandberg started the '84 game and played until the end.


My observation on the back: The two players tied with 173 hits are Dave Parker of the Reds and Johnny Ray of the Pirates.

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#712 - Keith Hernandez All-Star


What a card: Keith Hernandez led the National League in double plays turned by a first baseman in 1984. It was the sixth and final season that he would top that category.

My observation on the front: Unlike the American League All-Stars, which I believe all feature photos from spring training, Hernandez is shown at a big-league park, Shea Stadium.

More opinion from me: This starts the National League portion of the All-Star Cards and there is no design or color differentiation between the AL and NL all-star cards, which actually irks me. Previous sets have noted the difference between the leagues.

All-Star Game performance: Keith Hernandez struck out in his only at-bat in the 1984 All-Star Game.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Fake. Steve Garvey started at first base for the National League. Steve Garvey was deprived of an All-Star card.


My observation on the back: Quite the race for the On-Base Percentage King.

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

#711 - Dan Quisenberry All-Star


What a card: Dan Quisenberry led the league in saves for the third straight season in 1984 and finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting for the second straight year.

My observation on the front: This is from the same photo shoot as Quisenberry's base card, probably just a few camera clicks away.

More opinion from me: The advertising signs in the background scream 1980s spring training.

All-Star Game performance: Quisenberry was selected to the AL All-Star team for the 1984 game but didn't play, probably because the AL trailed for the entire game and a closer wasn't needed.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Fake. Relievers are never All-Star starters.


My observation on the back: A year after setting the record for most saves in a season, Quisenberry finished one save short of that mark in 1984.

The blog wants to speak now: I'm not here to start no trouble, but the Pop Culture tab is updated.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

#710 - Frank Viola All-Star


What a card: Frank Viola won 18 games for the Twins in 1984, his first season with double-figure victories.

My observation on the front: It's difficult to look around the 6-4 Viola to see if there are signs of a spring training site, but I'm going to assume he's in sunny Florida.

More opinion from me: It'd be more interesting if Viola's last name was pronounced like the musical string instrument. It didn't prevent people from calling him "Sweet Music" though.

All-Star Game performance: Dude wasn't even selected to play in the All-Star Game in 1984.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: DUDE WASN'T EVEN SELECTED TO PLAY IN THE ALL-STAR GAME. Topps really should have explained itself here.


My observation on the back: That "twelve players tied with 2" looks comical in today's pitching environment. There were 14 total shutouts in the American League in 2017.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

#709 - Mike Boddicker All-Star


What a card: Mike Boddicker ranked among the top American League pitchers in 1984, leading the league in earned-run average (2.79) and victories (20).

My observation on the front: This spring training shot captures some of the crowd, right down to the standing dude in brown pants and some sort of checked shirt.

More opinion from me: Boddicker features the dark-haired good looks that the Orioles seemed to continuously churn out for its pitching staff during a period that began with Jim Palmer and ended with Mike Mussina.

All-Star performance: Boddicker was named to the AL All-Star pitching staff for the 1984 game but didn't get to play.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Fake. The fact that Topps is narrowing it down to "right-handed" and "left-handed" categories tips you off that there's some tinkering going on. The right-handed Dave Stieb actually started the game but you have to go to Topps' glossy set to find an All-Star card of Stieb.


My observation on the back: Topps covers three of Boddicker's four shutouts in 1984. The one missing is from Sept. 9, 1984 when he shut out the Brewers.

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

#708 - Lance Parrish All-Star


Who is the man: Lance Parrish led the league in double plays turned by a catcher with 11 in 1984. He'd lead the league in that category two more times in his career.

My observation on the front: I still think this is spring training even though the sun seems to have disappeared.

More opinion from me: I just saw a picture of Lance Parrish as he is now. He looks old. Lance Parrish shouldn't look old.

All-Star performance: Parrish went 0-for-2 in the 1984 All-Star Game. He struck out twice, against Charlie Lea and Dwight Gooden.

Legitmate All-Star Card or Fake All-Star Card: It's legitimate. Parrish received his first All-Star start in 1984.


My observation on the back: I don't see many known heavyweights on that list of home run leaders. A lot of solid players not known for their slugging (Kingman excluded, of course).

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

#707 - Tony Armas All-Star


What a card: Tony Armas put together a monster season in 1984, leading the league in home runs with 43.

My observation on the front: Armas looks like the photographer interrupted him in the middle of something important.

More opinion from me: The 1979 Oakland A's team featured Rickey Henderson, Dwayne Murphy and Tony Armas in the outfield yet they went 54-108. That is bizarre.

All-Star performance: Armas was named a reserve for the 1984 All-Star Game but did not get into the game.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star Card: Fake! He didn't even play, let alone start.


My observation on the back: Aside from home runs and RBIs, Armas also led the league in total bases and strikeouts (156).

The blog wants to speak now: I am exhausted. No tab updates today. Sorry.

Monday, September 25, 2017

#706 - Rickey Henderson All-Star


What a card: Rickey Henderson led the American League in stolen bases in 1984 with a mere 66, after going over 100 the previous two years.

My observation on the front: Henderson is trying to do his dardnest to look bad-ass, but I know it's a spring training shot and there is going to be a smile on that face soon.

More opinion from me: Topps was the only one of the three major card companies at the time to go without a photo of Henderson on the bases in 1985. Granted, Topps satisfied its quota in 1982, 1983 and 1984, but that just ain't right.

All-Star performance: Henderson entered the '84 All-Star game as a defensive replacement in the fourth inning for Reggie Jackson. Henderson played in left and Dave Winfield moved from left to right field, taking Jackson's place. Henderson went 0-for-2 at the plate, striking out against Goose Gossage to end the game.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Fake! The AL outfield starters were Winfield, Chet Lemon and Reggie Jackson. Chet Lemon did not get an all-star card! This would have really irked me a few years earlier as I paid careful attention to this stuff around 1980 or so and Lemon was a personal favorite.


 My observation on the back: Kudos to Topps for not going straight to stolen base leaders.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

#705 - Dave Winfield All-Star


What a card: In 1984, Dave Winfield compiled the most hits in a single season in his 22-year career. He rapped out 193.

My observation on the front: Nothing but blue skies for the All-Stars.

More opinion from me: I still remember coming down the stairs to deliver papers in the morning, opening up the stacks of papers on the kitchen table and seeing the big bold headline of Winfield's then-record-setting contract with the Yankees. There was a new bad guy in town.

All-Star performance: Winfield went 1-for-4 in the 1984 All-Star Game, delivering a double off of old teammate Goose Gossage in the ninth inning. It was the last hit of the game.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Legitimate. Winfield started in left field and played the entire game.


My observation on the back: Three more players tied. Those three with 180 hits were Eddie Murray, Jack Perconte and Damaso Garcia.

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

#704 - Cal Ripken All-Star


What a card: Cal Ripken Jr. played in all 162 games in 1984 to lead the league. It was his second straight season of playing in every game of the season, a habit he would continue for the next decade.

My observation on the front: Ripken is staring into a bright Florida sun.

More opinion from me: Seeing a young Ripken here just reminds me how the Ripken men do not hold on to their hair for long.

All-Star performance: Ripken went 0-for-3 in the 1984 All-Star Game, grounding out to third three straight at-bats. It was the least successful outing of any AL batter in that game.

Legitimate All-Star Card or Fake All-Star Card: It's legitimate. Ripken started at shortstop for the American League and batted third.


My observation on the back: I know you're dying to know who those three players are who were tied with 97 runs apiece. They are: Lloyd Moseby, Eddie Murray and Gary Ward.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

#703 - George Brett All-Star


What a card: George Brett played in just 104 games in 1984, one of the few seasons in his career when he didn't finish among the league leaders in anything.

My observation on the front: We've lost the puffy clouds, but we're still in spring training!

More opinion from me: Topps sure did like showing Brett without his hat. Besides this card, there is also his 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990 and 1992 cards, and his '93 Stadium Club card.

All-Star performance: Brett went 1-for-3 in the 1984 All-Star Game, accounting for the American League's only run with a home run in the second inning that tied the game 1-1.

Legitimate All-Star Card or Fake All-Star Card: It's legit. Brett started at third base for the AL in '84.


My observation on the back: This always amused me. Brett is not mentioned anywhere in the batting average leaders (he hit .284 in 1984). I guess Topps went with the category that Brett appeared in often.

The blog wants to speak now: The Pop Culture tab is updated (go to Nov. 29).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#702 - Damaso Garcia All-Star


What a card: Damaso Garcia finished second in the American League in being hit by a pitch, getting whacked nine times in 1984.

My observation on the front: So far this subset has a puffy clouds theme going. Let's keep it up.

More opinion from me: This card is ragged on the top and bottom edges. Not quite O-Pee-Chee edges, but it does have cutting issues.

All-Star performance: Garcia went 0-for-1 in the 1984 All-Star Game, coming in as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning. He hit a foul pop up against Mario Soto to close out the eighth inning.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card: Once again, fake All-Star. Lou Whitaker started for the American League in 1984, yet Whitaker didn't get an All-Star card. (Although he did appear in the Topps glossy All-Star set issued in '85).


My observation on the back: You can see the miscutting on the back with ever-so-slight evidence of another card on the upper right edge.

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

#701 - Eddie Murray All-Star


What a card: Eddie Murray kicks off the final subset of the '85 Topps set, the all-star subset. Murray led the league in intentional walks in 1984, receiving 25.

My observation on the front: If I could return one thing to the modern Topps flagship set, it would be spring training photos.

More opinion from me: I'm changing things up just a bit for this subset since all of these cards are repeats of players who have other cards in the set.

All-Star performance: Murray went 1-for-2 in the 1984 All-Star game, hitting a pop-fly double into short left-center field off of Dwight Gooden in the sixth inning. He also struck out against Goose Gossage in the ninth inning.

Legitimate All-Star card or fake All-Star card?: Fake. Murray did not start the '84 All-Star Game at first base for the American League. Rod Carew did. And Carew didn't even get an all-star card! (Note: I am going by the standards for all-star cards that Topps used between 1975-80).


My observation on the back: I don't think there has been anything more 1980s in this entire set than Game-Winning RBI leaders.

The blog wants to speak now: The Music tab is updated.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

#700 - Eddie Murray


What a card: Eddie Murray played in all 162 games for the first time in his career in 1984. He drove in more than 100 runs for the fourth straight year and led the league in walks and on-base percentage.

My observation on the front: The best card in the set, showcasing Murray's famous glare. For me, this card beats McGwire, Clemens and Puckett combined. It even edges Gooden and Hershiser.

More opinion from me: You know how many years I wished Eddie Murray was a Dodger? I got my wish. A little late. But I got my wish.

Something you might know: One of the greatest switch-hitters of all-time (and the most powerful behind Mickey Mantle), Murray was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Something you might not know: Murray's animosity toward the media is well-known, but he did talk to the media early in his career (the talking stopped around 1986 when friction developed between Murray and Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams). In fact, one of Murray's sisters was the editor for her high school newspaper.


My observation on the back: Willie Mays remains the all-time leader in career extra-base home runs. Jack Clark is second with 18, followed by Babe Ruth and Frank Robinson with 16. Albert Pujols has 15.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated. It's a heart-warming tale.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

#699 - Donnie Moore


What a card: Donnie Moore continued to enjoy a career renaissance in 1984, saving what was then a career-high 16 games for the Braves and recording a 2.94 ERA.

My observation on the front: That's a high hat.

More opinion from me: It was a devastating moment for Moore, but when he gave up that home run to the Red Sox's Dave Henderson during the 1986 ALCS, I don't think I had been ever more elated for a team that was not the Dodgers.

Something you might know: Henderson's home run off of Moore turned a 5-4 Angels lead into a 6-5 Red Sox lead with two outs in the ninth inning. The Angels tied the game again, but Moore, still in the game in the 11th, surrendered the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Henderson. Moore killed himself less than three years after throwing that pitch, and many said surrendering Henderson's home run was what drove Moore to suicide.

Something you might not know: Moore's marriage to his wife, Tonya, was tumultuous and Moore was violent toward her. His suicide came after he chased his wife through the house and shot her three times. He then killed himself in front of his young sons. It might not have been the home run.


My observation on the back: Henderson remains the only player to steal 100 bases in a season three times.

The blog wants to speak now: The thunderstorms going off right now are freaking me out, so I'm going to cut this post short.

Friday, September 1, 2017

#698 - Jorge Bell


What a card: Jorge Bell was coming off his breakout season when this card was issued. In his first season as a regular, he delivered 26 home runs and 177 hits for the Blue Jays in 1984.

My observation on the front: Topps was the last holdover in listing Bell's first name as "Jorge." In 1984, Fleer also called him "Jorge." But by 1985, both Donruss and Fleer had gone over to "George." Topps wouldn't list Bell as "George" until its 1987 set.

More opinion from me: Another miscut card. That's two in a row.

Something you might know: Part of Toronto's acclaimed outfield that also included Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield, Bell was the American League MVP in 1987, hitting 47 home runs and driving in 134 runs for the pennant-contending Blue Jays.

Something you might not know: Bell's son, also named George, is a teenage international prospect who signed with the Oakland A's in 2016.


My observation on the back: I wasn't aware (or forgot) that the Brewers once didn't have names on the back of their uniforms. They do now.

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

#697 - Onix Concepcion


What a card: Onix Concepcion was coming off what would be his most productive season in the majors when this card was issued. He batted .282 in 90 games in 1984. He received much more playing time in '85 but batted a mere .204.

My observation the front: Too many issues with this card. Printing flaws all over and the card is off-center and slightly miscut.

More opinion from me: I remember the first time I was aware of Onix Concepcion. It was during the 1980 World Series and Concepcion was inserted as a late-inning defensive replacement for the Royals against the Phillies. "Onix Concepcion?" I wondered. "Davey has a little brother?" Turns out they're not related.

Something you might know: Concepcion scored the game-tying run in the ninth inning of the famed Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. On base as a pinch-runner for Steve Balboni, who had singled after Jorge Orta reached on the blown call by umpire Don Denkinger, he knotted the game 1-1 on Dane Iorg's base hit, just before Jim Sundberg slid in for the second run to give the Royals the 2-1 victory.

Something you might not know: Concepcion hit the first pitch that the Royals saw in the 1984 season for a home run. It came against the Yankees' Ron Guidry on April 3 and led to a 4-2 KC victory.


My observation on the back: I don't really consider watching movies a hobby (or watching TV, for that matter). But I suppose there are people that don't think card collecting is much of a hobby.

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

#696 - John Rabb


What a card: This is John Rabb's second and final Topps card. He first appeared in the 1984 Topps set.

My observation on the front: That is a hopeful expression on Mr. Rabb's face. I can tell it's spring training.

More opinion from me: Gotta love the helmet.

Something you might know: Rabb was a backup catcher for the Giants and was groomed to succeed Bob Brenly as the starter, but hitting in the majors was a problem for Rabb.

Something you might not know: While playing for the Mariners in 1988, Rabb was suspended indefinitely by major league baseball for failing to comply with Commissioner Peter Ueberroth's new drug-testing program. Rabb wouldn't play in the majors again, moving on to the Mexican League for two seasons.


My observation on the back: Matt Stairs now holds the record for career pinch-hit home runs with 23. Cliff Johnson finished his career with 20.

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

#695 - Rick Rhoden


What a card: Rick Rhoden continued to a be a consistent winner for the Pirates in 1984, recording 14 victories with a 2.72 ERA in 33 starts.

My observation on the front: Even though Rhoden wore that mustache throughout the '80s, I still associate him with his Dodger days and that stache was not there then.

More opinion from me: I was rather unhappy when Rhoden was traded to the Pirates in '79. I had been a fan since he went 12-3 in 1976 (with 10 complete games!). Jerry Reuss was a good get for the Dodgers, but it still pains me a little.

Something you might know: Rhoden was a solid starter for the Dodgers, Pirates and Yankees and probably equally well-known for his hitting prowess, winning the Silver Slugger Award for his position three separate years.

Something you might not know: Rhoden was part of trade that fell through between the Yankees and the Giants after the 1988 season. The Yankees would send Rhoden and Don Mattingly to the Giants for Will Clark and pitchers Atlee Hammaker and Craig Lefferts. But the Giants scrapped the deal after learning that another of their pitchers, Dave Dravecky, had a tumor on his pitching arm.


My observation on the back: This is one of those bright green backs that pop up every so often in this set. It's not really a variation (unless you want to make it one).

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#694 - Joe Carter


What a card: This is Joe Carter's first Topps card. He first appears in a major set as a Rated Rookie, and a Chicago Cub, in 1984 Donruss.

My observation on the front: That is a pretty terrific photo for your first Topps card. I daresay he didn't have one as good until 1992 Topps.

More opinion from me: Dammit, I wanted the Phillies to win.

Something you might know: Carter is one of only two players to end a World Series with a walk-off home run. If you don't know the first, then why in the world are you reading a baseball card blog?

Something you might not know: Carter runs a golf tournament in Toronto that benefits the Children's Aid Foundation and attracts a number of celebrities. One of those celebrities one year was Mitch Williams, who gave up Carter's walk-off homer in 1993. Carter's family was there and Carter introduced Williams to them. Williams' response: "Oh, man, this is just what I need. Everybody looks like Joe Carter."


My observation on the back: The trivia answer was outdated by the end of 1985. Vince Coleman stole 110 bases as a rookie in '85.

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

#693 - Tim Stoddard


What a card: Tim Stoddard had completed his one and only season with the Cubs when this card was issued. He would sign in the offseason with the team that beat Chicago in the NLCS in 1984, the Padres.

My observation on the front: I don't know what's going on with Stoddard here. He looks all red-faced and worn out like he just ran laps in that jacket.

More opinion from me: My guess is the first very tall pitcher I knew was J.R. Richard. But Stoddard had to be not far after that. His height was very impressive in the '79 World Series.

Something you might know: Stoddard was the Orioles' closer in 1980 after Don Stanhouse signed with the Dodgers. Stoddard saved 26 games that season.

Something you might not know: Stoddard played a part in the end of UCLA's seven straight NCAA basketball championships. He and his North Carolina State teammates beat UCLA in the Final Four in 1974 and Stoddard was one of the key defenders on UCLA star Bill Walton.


My observation on the back: Tough question there.

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#692 - Randy Bush


What a card: Randy Bush continued to be a regular platoon player in right and left field and the Twins' main pinch-hitter in 1984. He tied for the American League pinch-hitting lead by going 8-for-20 (.400).

My observation on the front: That looks like a very pleasant spring training day.

More opinion from me: The Twins' red hats are 😍.

Something you might know: Bush is one of seven players to appear on both World Championship Twins teams in 1987 and 1991.

Something you might not know: Bush once hit a home run that traveled more than 200 miles. While playing in the minor leagues for Toledo during a road game against Charleston in 1982, Bush blasted a shot over the right field wall that landed on moving coal train. The train traveled 200 more miles with the ball until coming to a rest.


My observation on the back: I miss watching televised games from County Stadium.

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

#691 - Dennis Rasmussen


What a card: This is Dennis Rasmussen's first Topps card. He appears in the 1984 Donruss set with the Padres.

My observation on the front: I think you get a good idea that Rasmussen is 6-foot-7 from this card.

More opinion from me: I remember Rasmussen winning 18 games for the Yankees in 1985 and thinking "who the heck is this guy?"

Something you might know: Rasmussen came to the Yankees in the trade that sent Graig Nettles to the Padres. Nettles claims he was dealt because George Steinbrenner didn't like the third basemen's just-published book, "Balls".

Something you might not know: Rasmussen played college basketball for Creighton University. In 1978, Rasmussen's Creighton team played Larry Bird's Indiana State team three times ... and won all three games.


My observation on the back: Bill Brubaker played infield for the Pirates in the mid-1930s.

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#690 - Alan Trammell


What a card: Alan Trammell had reached another level in 1983 and 1984, batting .319 and .314, respectively. Still, it was a prelude to his monster 1987 season.

My observation on the front: This card seems to sum up Trammell: solid, unspectacular, quietly effective, and I really have nothing else to say about it.

More opinion from me: Still annoyed at Trammell for being a Diamondbacks coach when they had that fight with the Dodgers. I probably should let that go, but I'm still waiting for the Diamondbacks to be contracted first.

Something you might know: Part of the longest continuous double play combination in MLB history (with Lou Whitaker), Trammell is one of the players often cited for Hall of Fame enshrinement. He was the MVP of the 1984 World Series.

Something you might not know: When Trammell was a kid growing up in San Diego, he attended Padres games. Once, when the Padres were playing the Pirates, he and a friend got Pirates coach and Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski to play catch with them on the field.


My observation on the back: John Denny's win was in Game 1 of the World Series, a 2-1 victory for the Phillies.

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