Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #79 through #84


#79 Darrell Johnson manager
#80 Ken Griffey
#81 Pete Redfern
#82 San Francisco Giants
#83 Bob Montgomery
#84 Kent Tekulve

I didn't mess up the scan. I purposely scanned the back of the SF Giants team card first so that it would be facing the right way.


Good: Holy crap--the back of Griffey's card mentions the number of infield hits he had in 1976. That's a stat I wish were readily available for all players and years. I also like that Carlton Fisk finds his way onto yet another card, mention on the back of Montgomery's.

Bad: Griff's card is also the lowlight, with the miscapitalized ugly slang term "Grand Slammers."


Good: Well, darn it, that Giants team card totally takes the cake. Somehow they got a cable car into Candlestick Park and half the team's on it. And the scoreboard has the name of the team. Very cool.

Oh, and there's our third sighting of the Marlboro billboard in Candlestick.

Griffey's card is very nice too, displaying the fantastic family smile that his son made even more famous.

Montgomery's got a good pose going, too.

Bad: You know I love Kent Tekulve, and he made it really far in the 88 Topps Cards best card poll. But that card is just awful. The Pirates uni is terrible, and the background behind Teke matches the ugly uniform, making him just blend in. The Pirates cards are among the worst of this set.

Redfern's face is really in the shadows. You can't see his eyes at all. Awful.


In his playing career, Darrell Johnson had just 2 homers, but he hit them off two damn good pitchers.

From 1977 to 1987, Griffey tied for the lead for most seasons between 10 and 15 homers. Interestingly, one of his co-leaders is Jose Cruz, also the father of a future major leaguer.

Of all the HOFers Redfern faced, he came up against two Brewers the most: Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.

Montgomery had 2 HR off Doug Bird in the same game. One in the 7th, and a walkoff winner in the 10th.


Hall of Famers: 12

Deceased: 4
(+1 for Johnson)

Future managers: 7

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 7
(+1 for Ken Griffey Jr)

Loyalty counter: 10
(+1 for Redfern, +1 for Montgomery)

Rookies of the Year: 8

Total all-star appearances: 224
(+3 for Griffey, +1 for Tekulve)

Total MVP awards: 9

Total Cy Young awards: 4


gcrl said...

as much as i want to deny it, the giants team card is the best in this bunch.
78 was a rough year for redfern - he appeared in only 3 games, losing two. maybe he didn't have eyes.
the montgomery card reminds me of the early 70s sets where the yankee stadium facade was in every other shot.

MMayes said...

For the second group in a row we have a player paralyzed after his career ended. Pete Redfern was paralyzed in a 1983 diving accident. Both he and Ed Kirkpatrick sign cards through the mail, but Redfern's signature is significantly affected by the accident.

I agree with the Pirates comments. They trotted out those old-time uniforms and the square, ringed hats in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial. The Cardinals also had those hats (you can see them in the 1977 set). However, the Pirates tortured their players and fans with those at least through the 1979 season. The Pirates had such good traditional uniforms in the early 70's, to put those ugly uniforms on a fellow like Tekulve who's already, uh, challenged, was cruel. However, the vertical lines helped guysed vertical lineker and Willie Stargell who needed vertical lines.

Johngy said...

Somehow, I like the Tekulve card. Maybe I see it as a throwback to the old baseball cards. Maybe it is just a childhood memory thing.

Of course, you know I'd also mention Bob Montgomery, a definite member of the Backup Catcher Hall of Fame!

Kevin said...

Bob Montgomery looks like he snuck into Yankee Stadium for an Old-Timers Game.

Watch Your Back sells an awesome Kent Tekulve tee. There are some great (this link probably NSFW for language) baseball card-inspired designs at No Mas, too. A bit pricey, but what the hey.

This has been Kevin's Holiday Gift Guide. ;)

Andy said...

Holy crap, those are cool T-shirts!! The F.F. one is hilarious.

jacobmrley said...

i always liked this card of griffey sr. good pose, good smile, good sideburns. when junior hit the scene, it was the only 'old' card i had of his dad.

i always wondered if teams posed just for the topps photographer, or if they posed for a team picture and topps just used the team's photo. back in the day, the cubs never had a team picture, just 25 little heads in circles on a card.

even today, it seems some are posed for card size and some seem like stock pictures topps just uses for the team card. the heritage this year (and last) especially had some odd cropping and cover ups on team cards.

this giants card seems posed for the topps photog. any opinions? anyone even know?

guys i've never heard of: #3

1. tom johnson
2. gene wentz
3. pete redfern

what's with the twins that i have never heard of their late 70's players. i never heard of this guy, never had any of his cards, and now i feel like a jerk cuz his career ended so ingloriously.

i went back and looked at my 1977 topps set and there is gene wentz staring me in the face. how did i not absorb his name and info like i have so many of the odd players in that set...(i inherited at the age of 8 all my brother's 77 topps and eventually it was the first old set i put together, with my brother's battered cards as the glorious foundation).

Andy said...

I'm pretty sure that the Cubs team card in THIS set is the same way.

jacobmrley said...

kevin, i have seen that tek shirt before, but that orioles ff shirt is the perfect blend of nostalgia for cards and baseball itself, with the old school logo and obscure baseball card minutia. i would hang with anyone who got the reference.

jacobmrley said...

and yet, the cubs team cards weren't always that way:

night owl said...

I'm never going to admit a Giants card is the best of the bunch. Griffey all the way! (And he was a Big Red Machiner -- that's how much I dislike the Giants).

Even the Mets wore the old-timey square hats in 1976 but I don't know if they were captured on a card (I don't have a lot of '77 Mets). I think the Pirates were even wearing those square hats into the '80s, which I never understood. I guess after they won it all in '79 wearing those things they figured they had to continue it as square hats were part of the winning tradition.

The '78 Cubs team card DOES just feature the players' heads. What's more the 1975 White Sox card went with the just-the-heads look. I've never seen it on any non-Chicago team, though.

Timberhill said...

There are some sweet shirts in there, I'm loving the Rated Rookie shirt. However, $32 for a T-shirt is a little (and by that I mean a whole lot) out of my justifiable price range for a T-shirt.

Ken Griffey should coach little league, having the combo of baseball skill/knowledge and looking like the friendliest dude you'll ever meet.

FYI: To celebrate the Twins' final season in the Metrodome, they will be wearing throwbacks of the jerseys they wore in their inaugural season in the dome, 1981. They will be worn on every Saturday home game and will only be the home whites, no powder blues. They will also be button down instead of pullover and have belts instead of the elastic waistband. If you ask me (a Twins fan), I prefer these to their normal jerseys.

Luke said...

I'm tellin ya, if they go back to those ugly unis, they'll have a winning team! (instead of signing cricket players)

Go for Griffey. Nice pose & photo

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

--David said...

I disagree with the Teke card. For me, it's like one of those posters where you have to pick out how many zebras are in the photo... On second thought... Yeah, man that sucks.

Jeffrey Wolfe said...

I think all the NL teams wore the old fashioned hats in '76 in honor of 100 years of the National League but the Pirate ones were so popular they wore them until '86. Love the Giants card with the trolley but gad that astroturf!

kevinb said...

as for the pillbox style hats...according to the Cincinnati Reds page on wikipedia, the Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, Phillies, and Mets all wore them to verying degrees in 1976 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the NL. I do have cards of the Cardinals wearing these hats, but never saw any of the other teams, except the Pirates of course.

jacobmrley said...

there are rare (very rare) shots of the pill box hats of '76 on uni watch at the mets wore them infrequently to say the least as did the reds and phils.

jacobmrley said...

^^^ excuse me, ^^^

George said...

Darrell Johnson looks slightly bemused in that photo - most likely because some Mariner did some goofy '62 Mets type thing on the way to a 98 loss season. Good side photo, not to the level of the Yastrzemski, but real nice nonetheless.

The Giants team photo is excellent.

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