#43 Bill Atkinson
#44 Toby Harrah
#45 Mark Fidrych
#46 Al Cowens
#47 Jack Billingham
#48 Don Baylor
Good: The Fidrych card is a classic, both because of his unusual career and because it's simply beautiful. The orange and brown cards are the best of this set, for both the Tigers and the Padres.
Bad: Now that we've seen close to 50 cards, we see that there are only something like 6 color pairs. Numerous teams have a yellow border, numerous teams have either hot pink and green or green and hot pink, and numerous teams have the purplish borders. I'm not sure why Topps chose to have so few colors. I'm guessing it was either because someone thought that more colors would make the set seem too scattered (recall that most sets before 1978 had very little in the way of border color variation) or that it was a way of uniformly using up ink and managing their printing costs efficiently.
Good: There isn't a single good photo in this group, actually. Every player either has a strange facial expression or pose (Cowens, Billingham, and Baylor) or their face is significantly shadowed (Atkinson, Harrah, and Fidrych.)
The Fidrych card jumps out as an iconic card because he didn't have very many cards due to such a short career. But it's actually a pretty awful photo, with his head completely dark and his body caught in a very compact and obstructed view. Compare the Fidrych photo with the Atkinson photo. Atkinson's was taken perhaps a quarter second later in his delivery and is a much better photo overall.
Bad: Special bad marks go to the Cowens photo where not only is his brow in the shadows, but they got a really grumpy look on his face, plus there are reflections in his glasses making his face harder to see. Were Cowens not deceased, perhaps I wouldn't judge this photo so harshly. I just feel like he deserved better.
The Baylor card is another one where the blue sky background just doesn't work. His body position is kind of weird and the photo is overexposed.
Atkinson allowed 17 career HR including a pair to two different guys you'd NEVER guess: Biff Pocoroba and Dave Concepcion.
Harrah has one of the few palindromic last names in MLB. Can you come up with any others? (No points for Nen.) There were lots of great third basemen in the 1970s and Harrah was quite overshadowed. But he does rank 5th among 3B for HR from 1974 to 1982.
In 1977, Fidrych completed 24 games while winning "only" 19. These days, completing more games than you win is unheard of. Fidrych's season is the 10th most recent time a guy completed at least 20 in a season while winning no more than 19.
Cowens had a whopping 10 walk-off plate appearances, including two homers. In 1984, he won 2 out of 3 games against the Rangers in the same series!
Billingham had the 9th most victories in MLB over 1973-1974, just 7 behind leader Catfish Hunter.
Hall of Famers: 11
(+1 for Cowens, the second deceased player to appear so far in this set, and both are wearing Royals uniforms.)
Future managers: 6
(+1 for Harrah, who managed Texas for half a season in 1992, taking over from Bobby Valentine, +1 for Baylor)
Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 5
Loyalty counter: 5
(+1 for Atkinson, +1 for Fidrych)
Rookies of the Year: 6
(+1 for Fidrych)
Total all-star appearances: 178
(+4 for Harrah, +2 for Fidrych, +1 for Billingham, +1 for Baylor)
Total MVP awards: 7
(+1 for Baylor)
Total Cy Young awards: 2