Thursday, November 20, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #49 through #54

THE PLAYERS

#49 Ed Kranepool
#50 Rick Reuschel
#51 Charlie Moore
#52 Jim Lonborg
#53 Phil Garner
#54 Tom Johnson



THE DESIGN

Good: For some reason, I dig the double-name action on Kranepool's card, with his team jersey name appearing right above the card team name. I also note that Kranepool's photo absoluetly could be Greg Brady from about 1973.

Bad: There is a lack of consistency in the font. Check out the "P"s appearing on Lonborg and Garner's cards. The bottom of the loop on each P is different on the two cards. Naughty, naughty.


THE PHOTOS

Good: Charlie Moore's card is damn near perfect. I mean, the red and blue border colors are awful for Brewers cards, but otherwise the pose, lighting, and framing of the photo are all awesome.

I like the shot of Reuschel, mostly because it's very similar to Phil Niekro's card, which we now know was taken in Candlestick Park.

Bad: Those Pirates uniforms were terrible, and the Garner photo is just horrible. With all those dark pinstripes, they needed to have a closer-up photo to make it work. Not only is he too small, looking like a set of vertical blinds, but they got another pinstriped player right behind him and a coach in the dugout. It's just a bad shot.

Standing behind Garner is #6 Rennie Stennett. Checking out the Pirates' batting orders for 1977, Stennett batted immediately after Garner (at least in the starting lineup) on July 15th and in a doubleheader on July 17th. However, those games were all at Shea Stadium and the Pirates look to be wearing home uniforms here. Maybe the photo is from spring training? [A reader tells me that this photo IS, in fact, at Shea Stadium. How can you tell?) Also, is that manager Chuck Tanner in the background?




THE STATS


Kranepool has the most seasons in history with exactly 10 homers. Hmm.

Moore just misses adding to the loyalty counter by playing in 51 games at the end of his career with Toronto. Seven guys had at least one triple every year from 1973 to 1987. You would NEVER have guessed Moore, but he did it. The others aren't all easy either.

Lonborg faced a lot of HOFers and pitched pretty well against most of them, including Aparicio, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, and Dave Winfield.

In 1977, Johnson tied for the 3rd-most wins in a season (16) with no game starts.

THE COUNTERS

Hall of Famers: 11
(none)

Deceased: 2
(none)

Future managers: 7
(+1 for Garner)

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 5
(none)

Loyalty counter: 7
(+1 for Kranepool, +1 for Johnson)

Rookies of the Year: 6
(none)

Total all-star appearances: 186
(+1 for Kranepool, +3 for Reuschel, +1 for Lonborg, +3 for Garner)

Total MVP awards: 7
(none)

Total Cy Young awards: 3
(+1 for Lonborg)

21 comments:

gcrl said...

what a crop of baby blues - 4 of 6 guys wearing them.
the font and spacing on the cubs jersey makes reuschel look even bigger - definitely a 'what not to wear' jersey.
i like the lonborg card. i think he became a dentist after retiring and has some ties to the central coast of california where i grew up. plus his foot is kind of blurry.

Chris said...

the phil garner card is fantastic, we cant see his face that well, but it is a nice action shot, with 2 other players/coaches in it, and with a sick mustache

MMayes said...

My favorites here were the Lonny and Scrappy cards. I'm a sucker for good framed action shots.

Kranepool -- some may say Greg Brady....some may say he looks like he's going to take Fredo fishing...

Reuschel is big, but at least he looks solid. Couldn't say that in the late 80's.

Moore doesn't look big enough to be a catcher. This is one of those Yankee Stadium cards like Topps did in 1971 set. Someday, if someone does a 1971toppps blog, the counter should be "Yankee Stadium shots"

Lonborg's pose here reminds me of a light-haired Dennis Eckersley. Based on the 375 sign behind him, I think that's another Candlestick Stadium shot.

Garner's shot looks like an awful lot of dirt in the home plate area. I certainly don't think they had that much in the cutout at Riverfront. That's more support for the Shea theory, I suppose. While those Pirate uniforms really stink, at least they're not wearing the striped hats.

I think Johnson had some arm troubles. He and Bill Campbell were on their way to making a nice bullpen combo for the Twins.

Fool'sErrandBoy said...

The Lonborg card, I really appreciate, and it actually looks blurry around his leg, showing actual motion. In this group of non-action shots, that's pretty impressive.

What are the odds Topps would ever be allowed to reprint the Reuschel card now with the Marlboro sign clearly visible over his shoulder?

Charlie Moore's card is one of few where it looks like there's almost a deep focus -- the stadium behind him isn't nearly as fuzzy as it is even in the Kranepool/Johnson cards. He would go on to be dean of the Brewers in the 1986 Topps set, making me embarassed that I forgot his existence and just merged his career in with Charlie O'Brien's.

Andy said...

Yeah, that brings our Marlboro count to 2.

Johngy said...

I like the Garner card. It shows the bad 70's Pirates. Any guesses on the 2 guys in the background?
Any idea on what stadium is pictured on Reuschel's card?

Kevin said...

To riff off of gcrl's comment: Oh, Rick Reuschel...the elastic waistband is NOT your friend.

Johngy said...

Mea culpa on the Pirates. Next time I need to read more thoroughly.

moschella said...

a part of a marlboro sign is also over moore's shoulder

but just wait until we start seeing the yankee stadium brut sign (just to the left of the marlboro sign). did they pay a royalty to topps for product placement? please make a counter for it, i bet it appears over a dozen times in this set.

the pirates uni looks like a bad softball outfit.

i was at shea for one of the last games, kranepool pulled a cover off the wall in center field counting down the remaining number of games. i had no idea he is the mets career base hits leader

Luke said...

my vote's w/scrap iron. Those 70's uni's may of been god-aweful ugly, but they won in them! They should put em back on so they could at least have a winning month next year!

Timberhill said...

With Kranepool, I can see the Brady thing, but my initial reaction was Joe Millionaire. Props to the Mets for resisting the pullover jersey in this set of six.

There is nothing more I can say about the Reuschel card that hasn't already been said. Wow.

Tom Johnson perhaps deserves 'super' loyalty points, for not only did he spend his entire major league career with the Twins, he was born in the Twin Cities and still resided there at the time of this card's printing. Though after his Twins career he did spend a couple seasons in the White Sox minor league system.

Also I would like to add that Tom Johnson is one of the most generic names in the history of ever, yet he is the only Tom Johnson in major league history.

Timberhill said...

Also, Johnson had 16 wins as a reliever!

That's just 2 shy of the all time record:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/shareit/RZBg

csd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jacobmrley said...

bully for kranepool - the long time original met and still holder of many a team mark if only because of his endless tenure.

it took 54 cards to hit the first guy i never heard of - Tom Johnson. 1877 is by far his best year and his being a twin in the very daylight of my life has kept him in the dark of my baseball knowledge. this means, statistically and theoretically, i should learn about 12 new baseball names that have never surfaced before following this blog...(and yes, i have heard of #14 Lerrin LaGrow before, oddly enough).

kevinb said...

Tiger counter +9...future Tiger manager Phil Garner. Brings flashbacks of the dark Randy Smith era, so I could not vote for this card.

Speaking of baby blue jerseys..I also think there are a ton of pictures with very blue skies in this set. I wonder if it ever rained in 1977.

Andy said...

Damn right, jacobmrley. Tom Johnson kicked ass in 1877. (Have a little finger transposition error there? Heh. I won't count it against your score.)

Incidentally there are quite a few names I've never heard of in this set. Through this post, there are 9 players already posted whose names were totally foreign to me, and another 4 or 5 whose names I may have vaguely recognized but knew nothing about.

csd said...

The comment was not retaliatory. I just never felt the need to force my opinion of your website on you. I did like the way you ran 88 Topps much better. I liked the large cards individually done. I think that things get cluttered with multiple cards. I understand why you are doing it, but I do like the other way better. If you want to take it as me coming back on you so be it. I just did not feel the need to tell you how to run your site. I took my last comment down because I knew you would take it wrong, which you did. So I can see that this one will not go over any better. I am sure that I am hitting a word limit so I will shut up.

jacobmrley said...

come now andy, didn't you know i was born in 1875 and tom johnson was so good that year president hayes gave him 40 acres and a mule? and did it wearing an onion on his belt, which was the style at the time? not a bad memory for a man of 133 years...

Timberhill said...

...awkward...

Andy said...

csd, quite interesting how well you think you know me. In fact, you don't know me at all. You thinking I'd take your comment the wrong way says a lot more about you than it does about me. What we all know is that I posted a comment on your blog making a suggestion, and a few minutes later you posted a comment over here making a criticism. I welcome criticism--always have here and on the 88 Topps Cards blog as well. I just don't have time for people who are simply looking to pick a fight or are overly defensive.

Might I suggest you post your response on you own blog rather than here? That way, it will be much easier for me to ignore since I won't waste my time over there anymore.

Andy said...

Points:

gcrl +2
Chris +2
MMayes +3
Fool'sErrandBoy +3
johngy +1
Kevin +1
moschella +3
Luke +2
Timberhill +3
jacobmrley +2
kevinb +2