Monday, November 24, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #67 through #72


#67 Claudell Washington
#68 Steve Foucault
#69 Mike Vail
#70 Rich Gossage
#71 Terry Humphrey
#72 Andre Dawson All Star-Rookie


Good: There are a few interesting/funny comments on the backs of these cards. Firstly, apparently Goose Gossage "throws very hard." And Steve Foucault ranked 11th in the American League Fireman they still track that these days? Has that morphed into the Rolaids Relief Award? Foucault's card also refers to the Tigers as the "Bengals", a nickname you don't hear much anymore. It's also interesting to note that Washington's card talks a lot about his stolen base totals since that stat isn't reported in this set.

Bad: You may have noticed that the font size used for the player's name on the front varies depending on the length of the player's name. Although I understand the need to use a small font to fit "CLAUDELL WASHINGTON" on there, they used an awfully small font needlessly.


Firstly, I've just noticed that the same sign saying "375" is visible behind Rich Gossage as was visible behind Jim Barr in the previous card post. Who knows what stadium that is? I assume it's an NL park since Gossage's photo was certainly taken when he was playing for the Pirates. (See below for more on that.)

Good: I love how easily we can see the patch on Washington's shoulder. I love the posed Foucault shot. And, hot damn, The Hawk looks like he's about to swat that Topps All-Star Rookie cup. Nice to see Dawson pulling out his distinctive glare on such an early card.

Incidentally, Dawson appeared with 3 other players on a 1977 Topps card. The 1978 card is not his rookie card although it's the first card he has all to himself.

Bad: And so it begins. The Gossage card is the first of a whole bunch of wacky airbrush jobs in the 1978 Topps set. If you look carefully, you can see that his entire uniform is painted on, to reflect the fact that he was certainly wearing a Pirates uniform when the photo was taken but joined the Yankees as a free agent during the offseason.

The Humphrey photo is neither good nor bad, just odd. How often do you see a guy photographed without his cap, with with a cap sitting right next to him in the photo? At least we can see his awesome 70s hair. Oh and did you notice Humphrey's knee in full frame there? At least I hope that's his knee.


The back of Vail's card notes his team record-tying hit streak of 23 games. Here is a list of all-time hit streak for the Mets as of now. Vail has been tied with Cleon Jones and they were later tied by John Olerud. Four other guys, however, have since passed their streak of 23 games. The current record is 30, set by Moises Alou in 2007.

Steve Foucault gave up 41 homers in his career, including 3 to Larry Hisle. (Who can tell me how "Hisle" is pronounced?) Three of those were game-ending, including 1 to somebody named Henry Aaron.

Terry Humphrey had just one career game with more than 1 extra-base hit. At least the Angels won that game.


Hall of Famers: 12
(+1 for Gossage)

Deceased: 3

Future managers: 7

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 5

Loyalty counter: 8

Rookies of the Year: 8
(+1 for Dawson)

Total all-star appearances: 218
(+2 for Washington, +9 for Gossage, +8 for Dawson)

Total MVP awards: 9
(+1 for Dawson)

Total Cy Young awards: 4


--David said...

Washington looks like my kids when we tell them to 'smile' for a picture - fake smile and not at all wanting to have a picture made. Foucalt's pose is the one they SHOULD have used for Goose. Vail's stern look says he just might use that bat on your kneecaps if the situation should present itself. Goose's card is okay, does not show what lies beneath. Humphrey looks like he just woke up. Notice the cutting eyes? He's looking but not looking. The Dawson card is great! Mean look, shot from just below level and it has the Rookie Trophy. Masterpiece!

Don said...

The Gossage card was taken in Candlestick. As a Tiger fan growing up Foucalt was a player that I loved to hate.

Johngy said...

This is an interesting grouping.
Humphrey-A candidate for the Backup Catcher Hall of Fame (not a first ballot guy though)
Foucalt-11th in the AL? Out of what, 14 at the time?
Dawson and Vail-2 great glares
Washington-The dude was thin
Gossage-While I like that he is acknowledged as a Yankee, I'd rather see the Pirates uni instead of an airbrush.

gcrl said...

i always say 'hisle' as in 'whistle'. no guarantees, though.
i consider myself pretty learned when it come to this set, but i have no recollection of the foucalt card.
my vote here is for the hawk, not the goose. his first solo issue, the rookie cup balanced in the corner by the position ball in the opposite corner.
yes, balance is a very big thing for me.

MMayes said...

According to wikipedia and the Baseball-Reference bullpen, the Rolaids Relief award was instituted in 1976. I think it was simply the Fireman of the Year before Rolaids took over sponsorship.

Gossage is one of many in Candlestick Park. I posted about the 375 sign on Jim Barr's card because I'd noticed it on Goose's. You'll see the same sign on Jim Lonborg's card in the past and upcoming on Ed Halicki's card. You can see a similar one to the left of the team on the Giants team card. Looks like Topps had a Bay Area photographer that year.

Larry pronounced his name HIGH-sull. He had an interesting career, but I'll wait until his card.

My favorite thing in all of those cards is Terry Humphrey's hair. He's got that catcher's helmet on all the time and it hasn't eaten into his follicles. I suppose one of the benefits of being a career backup is that you don't have the gear on all the time and you can have great hair....

Timberhill said...

This one's gotta be Dawson in a landslide.

Vail's got a pretty classic looking card and a helluva sneer, but the Hawk cannot be denied. Plus Vail's hat looks a little goofy.

Washington's got the most colorful batting glove I've ever seen.

White Sox Cards said...

Interesting. One very recent ex-White Sox player (Gossage) and one very soon to be White Sox player (Washington).

Kevin said...

Lots of visible sleeve patches, counting Washington, Vail, and Humphrey. I also love Claudell's amazing technicolor dreamglove (is there a touch of yellow or lime green on it, or is that the grass bleeding through?) and Foucalt's razor-sharp sideburns.

I picked up the Hawk Rookie cup card from a dollar bin in a hobby store, along with some other great star cards from this set (McCovey, Stargell, Tony Perez, etc.). That was a good day.

night owl said...

The best part of the Gossage air-brushed card is the cap. The Pirates wore those square, old-time caps back then to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the NL. You can see how the air-brusher TRIED to make it a rounded cap, but it didn't quite work. So that's what a square Yankees cap looks like. Sort of.

jacobmrley said...

i always site the '78 goose card when bringing up the airbrush hall-of-shame (the 88 traded had a couple as well, tom herr anyone?)

the dawson card is awesome (that sounds good in your head, but sounds very dumb when you say it out loud). now that is how the all star rookie card should be done - nice classy picture with a perfect place for the trophy/cup. seemless.

and i'm pretty sure that is humphrey's knee - if it someone else's knee, they are doing something as dirty as is mentioned on the 89 fleer ripken card...if you catch my drift...

Andy said...

Any noobs here who didn't read my 88 blog can see the Tom Herr card here:

Matt said...

As a Cubs fan who started following the game in 1987, it is odd to see the Hawk in any uniform other than the Cubs. Also, I wonder why he's only wearing 1 batting glove in the photo? Most picture of him batting have him wearing 2 gloves.

Also kind of jarring is seeing Goose Gossage in action but looking fairly balanced in his follow through. Seems like the typical picture of Goose is his pre-pitch position or his post pitch arms-waving-glove-above-his-head-about-to-fall-over follow through.

Luke said...

Vail reminds me of inspector gadget w/the side hair sticking out

MMayes said...

More Gossage:

I'd forgotten Terry Forster was part of the trade that sent Gossage to Pittsburgh. Strange deal. The Pirates' part of the deal (Forster and Gossage) left via free agency at the end of the year. Pirates already had Kent Tekulve in their bullpen. The Sox got Richie Zisk and he signed with Texas after 1977. The Sox also got Silvio Martinez, but he was a throw-in to the Cards for Clay Carroll, who was finished. After 1977, neither the Sox nor the Pirates had anything left from this deal with pretty big name players.

Also, Gossage/Forster were pictured with the Sox on their 1977 cards and with the Yankees & Dodgers, respectively, on their 1978 cards, so they never had a Pirate card.

jacobmrley said...

i don't think i've ever seen a picture of goose in a pirates uniform.

god bless google:

kevinb said...

13 cards with Tiger connections now...Terry Humphrey who I have no recollection of and Steve Foucault who was obtained by Texas in exchange for Willie Horton. They have a statue of Horton at Comerica, so this is who they obtained for one of their "immortals".

I voted for the Dawson card. I don't think the 1970s Expos uniforms gets enough respect when discussing bad uniforms. I mean what is that hat, a circus tent? Although after Houston and San Diego, they aren't bad at all.

RoofGod said...

"Goose" better wach out "The Hawk" is on the loose.

Anonymous said...

You should increase the HOF counter to 13 for Dawson. Screw the BBWAA.

Andy said...

Dawson will be in one day, no doubt.

Andy said...

--David +2
Don +3
Johngy +2
gcrl +3
MMayes +4
Timberhill +3
White Sox Cards +2
Kevin +2
night owl +3
jacobmrley +3
Matt +3
Luke +1
kevinb +2
RoofGod +1
thewritersjourney +1