Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #37 through #42


#37 Rick Waits
#38 Willie Montanez
#39 Floyd Bannister
#40 Carl Yastrzemski
#41 Burt Hooton
#42 Jorge Orta


Good: So here is a difference between the 1988 Topps set and the 1978 Topps set. In 1988 Topps (and many other Topps sets in the 80s) the All-Stars chosen by Topps got their own special All-Star cards. In this set, however, Topps put the All-Star logo, league, and position right onto the base cards for the selected players. See Yaz's card for an example of this. Now, I'm not entirely sure if the 1978 version of the All-Stars were Topps' choices (as they were in the 80s) or if they were based on the actual participants in the 1977 All-Star game. Does somebody know the answer?

Bad: There are three hot pink and green cards in a row. Ugh.

The back of Hooton's card mentions that he struck out the first batter he ever faced in the majors. Is that such a big deal? Very roughly, 1 in every 6 plate appearances is a strikeout, meaning that abotu 1 in every 6 pitchers probably starts his career with a strikeout. They could have at least mentioned who the unlucky batter was, HOFer Lou Brock.


Good: The Yaz photo is a classic. By 1978, he was already a longtime veteran, and this rare profile shot captured the grey on his temples and a contemplative look not often seen on baseball cards.

I also need to shout out about the Bannister card, a great card of a young pup.

Bad: The worst photo here is Orta's because he's just about asleep. And while I can't blame the photographer, I need to complain about those terrible 70s uniforms for the Indians, and the horrible blue sateen warmup jackets for the Braves.


In 1978, Rick Waits was one of 17 pitchers to throw at least 15 complete games, but he was the only one with a losing W-L%. His ERA+ of 118 was not the problem.

For players with at least 100 career intentional walks since the stat has been kept, Montanez has one of the lowest career OPS+ values. A guy we saw recently, Garry Templeton, is even lower on the list.

We know that Fenway is a great place for hitters, and Yaz benefited as much as anyone. His home/road splits are amazing but the OPS says it all: .909 at home and .779 on the road.

Orta flew under the radar, but he was a well above average player in terms of power and speed. From 1974 to 1980, he was one of just 19 players with 80 HR, 60 SB, and an OPS+ of 115.


Hall of Famers: 11
(+1 for Yastrzemski)

Deceased: 1

Future managers: 4

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 5
(+1 for current major-leaguer Brian Bannister)

Loyalty counter: 3
(+1 for Yastrzemski)

Rookies of the Year: 6

Total all-star appearances: 170
(+1 for Montanez, +1 for Bannister, +18 for Yastrzemski, +1 for Hooton, +2 for Orta)

Total MVP awards: 6
(+1 for Yastrzemski)

Total Cy Young awards: 2


Johngy said...

Did all of the Braves have those silly jackets? Are any on other Braves cards? I guess we have to wait and see.

fogus said...

That is a strange comment on Hooten's card, especially considering that he had until that point had a very nice career. There must have been something better to mention...


RoofGod said...

The "C" on Rick Waits card looks like the logo for Delta Dental insurance company. Judginf from his stats pre 1978 it might have been a left over cap from his beer league days.

Timberhill said...

Jesus, the Montanez card makes me neasious with its poorly angled photograph. The dude is bending over to pose, so the photographer bends with him? Also, Montanez hit 30 HR in his rookie season, then never hit more than 20 in the other 11 seasons of his career!

I love the collars on those White Sox unis.

Why is victories capitalized on the back of the Hooten card?

My home state counter (South Dakota):
+1 (Floyd Bannister)

gcrl said...

it's carl yaztrzemski and the mutton chop sideburns! i like this card for many reasons, including the simpsons reference. the all star shield is awesome, he's wearing one of those undershirts just like i did in little league, and it's a 'smell the fart' photo.
good times all around.

Andy said...

They Capitalize Lots Of Words That Shouldn't Be.

Kevin said...

GCRL - I made mention of the Simpsons/Yaz connection in a comment on Patricia's blog, faithfully reposted here, though his 1978 card works even better than the 1979 card that I pulled.

MMayes said...

Those ugly pajama uniforms made Jorge Orta look slow. I wish the Royals had a version of that in '85 when Don Denkinger thought Orta was such a speed demon.

Waits - Gem Mint 10 could have also used this card for the post he did on Waits' '86 card.

Montanez - check out his stats. He was one of those guys who could fall out of bed and get a base hit, although he didn't do much else.

Bannister - had a reason to have that cocky look on his face then. I'm not so sure he had it 10 years later.

Yaz - I agree. Great picture for the last Triple Crown winner.

Happy Hooton - underrated member of the Dodger rotation. I remember the broadcasters going on about his knuckle curve.

Orta - I remember Rich Gossage telling a story from the early 70's, when he and Orta were just starting. Orta was in the OF, somebody hit a ball over his head. Jorge took off for it and his hat blew off. Well, being the fashion plate you see on this card (his '77 is worse), he stopped, went back to put his hat on, then proceeded to run down the ball.

night owl said...

Yup, as Kevin mentions, Topps liked the '78 Yaz card so much that they basically trotted it out again in 1979.

The All-Star logos that Topps placed on players' cards in the 1970s reflected the actual picks by voters in the previous year's all-star game. Unlike later in the '80s.

White Sox Cards said...

The White Sox softball collared uniforms make an appearance! At least they were past the shorts phase.

Timberhill said...

Ah I see, anytime they mention a stat on the back of the card, they capitalize said stat (Earned Run Average, Victories, Saves, etc.).

Only 212 cards until the next player from South Dakota!

dayf said...

You will see that ugly Braves jacket again. OH LORD will you see that horrible jacket many times...

I love the Yaz card, but I also appreciate the cap/'stache combo on Waits. I once traded a '79 Topps Bob Horner rookie for that Yastrzemski. Totally worth it.

moschella said...

so how do you know when it should be pronounced "GEE-ORGE" like orta instead or "WHORE-HAY" like posada? i'm confused

Andy said...

"Jorge" is always pronounced "WHORE-HAY" as you put it. Back in the 70s and even into the 80s, many Latino ballplayers named Jorge were called "George" by members of the American media. Jorge Bell even eventually started spelling his name that way too. By the late 1980s, only ingrates in the media continued to call players' whose named were Jorge by the name "George". Dave Neihaus, one of the biggest idiots around, comes to mind as someone who routinely said "George Posada." Unless a player specifies that he doesn't care being called George, doing so is just another example of American self-centeredness and idiocy.

jacobmrley said...

this is floyd bannister's rookie card.

the 1973 yaz has the best sideburns.


--David said...

Man, I am way behind in the post count... Tartar sauce! Yaz has one stony profile, that's for sure.

Rick Waits was another one of my favorite players as a kid. Then again, I'm hard-pressed to find many that weren't... :-)

Andy said...


Johngy +1
fogus +1
roofgod +1
timberhill +2
gcrl +2
kevin +1
mmayes +2
night owl +3
white sox cards +2
dayf +1
moschella +1
jacobmrley +2
--david +1

CubanXSenators said...

Yaz would go on equal Brooks' record from the opening of the set. And was it this year that the record for most K's to start a career was set by Sammy Stewart(7)?