Friday, September 29, 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.