Thursday, November 13, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #19 through #24

THE PLAYERS

#19 Darrell Porter
#20 Pete Rose
#21 Steve Kemp
#22 Charlie Hough
#23 Bump Wills All-Star Rookie
#24 Don Money




THE DESIGN

Good: The thing that sticks out here is the All-Star Rookie gold cup on Wills' card. It's the same design used on 88 Topps all-star rookie cards. The exact same design was used on many other sets as well, but not every year. 1986, for example, does not have all-star rookies. Plus, I think the design of the cup was different in earlier years. But overall, it's very cool to see this same cup design across so many years. It's a very nice way of linking and unifying Topps' brand and design. Somebody out there must know the full story about which cup styles were used in which years--please comment and enlighten me.

Bad: The baseball on Money's card is really off. The threads are totally asymmetric, unlike every other card, and his position designations are way, way, off center. Do I really care about this? No, but I have to say something.

I must also point out the last sentence on the back of Kemp's card: "He gets good wood on ball." In particular with the bad grammar, that sentence is truly embarrassing.

THE PHOTOS

Good: The Porter photo is an absolute classic. The side view is great, and yet you can still see his face. Plus he's got the Royal blue eyeglasses and he's making a hang-10 sign with his left hand.

Bad: Look at the Rose card. Seems like a good photo, huh? Look again. Now notice that there is a friggin' bat about 6 inches away from the camera, running right across the photo. Pete Rose is such an interesting subject that you're immediately drawn to his face on any baseball card. But why, oh why, would they use a photo with a bat obscuring so much of the view? If not for it, we might be able to tell who's sitting next to Rose on the bench.

I like the closeup of Kemp but they might have chosen a less goofy face.



THE STATS


First of all, how about that stat mentioned on the back of Wills' card regarding two consecutive inside-the-park homers? Wow, that must have been damned exciting to watch.

Steve Kemp is a name that might not be too familiar to many current fans, but check out the list of guys to get at least 100 RBIs in both 1979 and 1980. Kemp's on there with Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Gorman Thomas, and just 3 other guys.

Can you believe that Charlie Hough had already been playing for 8 years when this card came out? And that he also pitched for the Florida Marlins in 1993 and 1994?

Don Money hit a whopping 6 homers off Fergie Jenkins (Money's most against any pitcher.) Check out the first two. The first one came in the 7th inning with his team down 5-1 to make the score 5-2. The second came in the 9th inning with the same score, tying it at 5. Checking out the box score, Money hit a go-ahead double in the 11th inning, but the Cubs won the game on a homer by Willie Smith in the bottom of the frame.

You may notice that I have gotten rid of "good" and "bad" stats. I'm having trouble finding good and bad stats easily, so rather I'm just going to share 2 or 3 cool stats regardless of them being good or bad.


THE COUNTERS

Hall of Famers: 8
(none)

Deceased: 1
(+1 for Porter, the first deceased person in this set)

Future managers: 4
(+1 for Rose again)

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 4
(+1 for Pete Rose Jr. again, +1 for Maury Wills, father of Bump)

Loyalty counter: 2
(none)

Rookies of the Year: 3
(+1 for Rose again)

Total all-star appearances: 119
(+4 for Porter, +17 for Rose again, +1 for Kemp, +1 for Hough, +4 for Money)

Total MVP awards: 4
(+1 for Rose again)

Total Cy Young awards: 1
(none)

22 comments:

Kevin said...

Charlie Hough is fantastic. The first set I ever collected was 1993 Topps, and the resident geezers were Nolan Ryan and Charlie Hough. Ryan, although his face was strained and contorted in an action shot, didn't seem that old. Hough, who was posed (as were all of the first-year Marlins and Rockies in the set), looked positively ancient. Yet he pitched 204 innings of league-average ball (4.27 ERA) for the 1993 Marlins!

Timberhill said...

Dear god the grammar on the back of these cards makes my head heard. Or I guess I should write that how '78 Topps would: Grammar on back of card make head hurt.

And yes, good wood on ball is the worst.

I am saddened by the death of Porter, as that is probably the coolest pose I've ever seen on a baseball card. Instead of a catcher's mitt, I expected a smoking gun to be in his hand.

night owl said...

The rookie cup logo that you see on the 1978 cards debuted with the 1975 set and it was used from 1975 to 1978 (I remember being particularly annoyed when the 1979 set came out and the cup wasn't there anymore). Then the cup came back in 1987 and ran every year until AT LEAST 1993 (my collecting trailed off after that, so I don't know about '94). The cup was featured in a similar form in 1995, but the cup was slightly bigger and was colored a little different. Again I don't know about after that because I collected zilch in the late '90s.

The old style rookie logos looked like a trophy and definitely ran on cards from 1970, 1971 and 1972.

dayf said...

Greedo didn't shoot first, but Porter DEFINITELY did.

I love knuckleballers. I'm so happy Tim Wakefield is going to pitch another 12 years.

Matt said...

Charlie Hough's card would have been a little better had the photographer positioned Hough's arm so as to not obscure his seven squared uniform number.

kevinb said...

Steve Kemp brings my Tiger counter to 2...traded for '84 CF Chet Lemon and did little after leaving the Tigers.

But Kemp had a part in the events that led up to the classic rant by George Costanza's dad in Seinfeld when George Steinbrenner stopped by to announce George's death about trading away Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps. Kemp was traded to the Pirates from the Yankees and one of the players in return was Jay Buhner.

Andy said...

Death? What?

jacobmrley said...

from 1959 until 1972, the all-star rookies had little trophies on them:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bpv/images/a/a4/1972toppsmontanez.gif

from 1973-1978, and then after 1987, they had the cup.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ix7ERv8-F34/SFCxHbczZiI/AAAAAAAAAGU/_cKfHqB-bcY/s400/Matlack73.jpg

1978 has one of my all time favorites in eddie murray's rookie card.

btw, no one can answer for the lost years of 1979-1986, though the rookie cup set they did a few years ago was well done. can you tell i collect these little buggers?

Andy said...

The Murray card comes up quite soon, and I have a special example to show as you'll soon see.

BTW Porter is running away with the poll here!

moschella said...

'78 was one of the best, the year of the script.

77 - year of the block
79 - year of the bar
80 - too bland for a nickname
81 - year of the hat
82 - year of the hockey stick
83 - year of the round portrait
84 - year of the vertical block / square portrait
85 see 1980
86 - year of the block, black background
87 year of the wood

moschella said...

seperated at birth:
kemp and lou ferrigno
hough and owen wilson

zman40 said...

I kind of thought that Kemp looks like the guy from NFL Films.

Johngy said...

I love th 78's.
Kemp-I like the odd expression. It is real and not posed.
Porter-Awesome.
Money-It shouldn't be, but doesn't it almost look like an airbrushed hat?

Andy said...

It does look airbrushed but isn't actually. However, there are some truly horrendous airbrush jobs in this set. Just wait and see.

fogus said...

Dear lord, was Hough always 46 years old?

-m

RoofGod said...

Maybe if that bat that is looking to attack Pete Rose had actually suceeded he wouldn't have developed his gambling addiction and would be in the HOF. Just a thought.

MMayes said...

It looks to me that Steve Kemp has the first "fart face" of the set. I can't tell who it is he just gassed, however. Maybe Johnny Wockenfuss.

I also seem to remember there was a Bump Wills variation that had a printers' mark -- a black circle that looked like it was made by a sharpie -- near the cup. You've got a clean one.

Andy said...

Thanks to night owl and jacobmrley for explaining the rookie cup stuff.

Points for comments:

kevin +2
timberhill +2
night owl +3
dayf +1
matt +1
kevinb +1 (you'd have gotten more if I could understand your comment)
jacobmrley +3
moschella +1
zman40 +1
johngy +1
fogus +_1
roofgod +1
mmayes +2

Andy said...

mmayes - I'm not finding any record of the Wills variant. Might you be confused?

George said...

'77 was the last year of the standard M on the Milwaukee Brewer helmet. They went to the snazzy baseball glove with the M&B for the '78 season.

I bet they could have got away with a beer mug on the cap with an M on it. You could do that stuff in the '70s.

CubanXSenators said...

There would be a Wills varient in '79, some showing him as a Blue Jay, some as a Ranger. A funny thing happened in the market - one was more rare and initially more valued, but then the other, having been ignored and often discarded, became the rarer card, and thus more valuable.

Mrbaseballcard said...

Andy,
Wasn't the Bump Wills RC one of the fammous error cards back then. If I recall correctly, Topps had 2 different photos of him on different teams. My memory may be fuzzy. If possible, pleaase let me know.