Friday, November 7, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #7 through #12

THE PLAYERS

#7 Reggie Jackson Record Breaker
#8 Mike Sadek
#9 Doug DeCinces
#10 Phil Niekro
#11 Rick Manning
#12 Don Aase




THE DESIGN

Good: Here's our first look at the cool script that the 1978 set is well known for, used to write the team name on each card. I also like how there is a white border around each team name that cuts into the lower left corner of the photo. It gives the cards a kind of "framed" look that was mastered later when fades were used regularly on cards starting in the early 1990s.

Bad: Where do I start? Firstly, the Reggie RB has the same problems with the stars as we saw on the first 6 RB cards. From there, most of the colorings picked for the cards are awful. I can live with the purple and orange on the Giants cards. And I can live with the gold and red on the Red Sox cards. But the rest...geez. We've got red and purple on an Orioles card, hot pink and green on a Braves card, and green and hot pink on an Indians card. What gives with those selections? Must be a 1970's thing. Also note how the "P" in the baseball on Aase's card is well off center to the right. That sort of misalignment was pretty common on cards before computer layout was used. Each card has the position centered a bit differently.


THE PHOTOS

Good: Two of these cards are awesome. First, DeCinces' photo captures practically his entire shadow, and it's kind of a late-afternoon goofy shadow at that. I love it. And Niekro's card shows a nice shot of long-lost Fulton County Stadium Candlestick Park as well what appears to be a rogue Oriole Brave warming up.

Bad: The comment on the back of Manning's card, claiming him to be a top young center fielder, is a bit of a stretch considering how much time he missed in 1977. Aase's got his jersey number, 45, written on his sock. That's not quite so professional looking. And my, oh my, what can be said about DeCinces' mustache?



THE STATS


Good: Only 7 guys have 500 homers and 200 stolen bases. Reggie Jackson is one of them.

Bad: The back of Sadek's card says he was "an exceptionally fine bunter" which might be a bit of an exaggeration. He had 19 sac bunts in his career, with #5 on that list being the one mentioned on the card, coming off Charlie Hough.


THE COUNTERS

Hall of Famers: 6
(+1 for Jackson, +1 for Niekro)

Deceased: 0

Future managers: 1

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 1

Loyalty counter: 1

Rookies of the Year: 2

Total all-star appearances: 76
(+14 for Jackson, +1 for DeCinces, +5 for Niekro, +1 for Aase)

Total MVP awards: 4
(+1 for Jackson)

Total Cy Young awards: 1

12 comments:

Fleerfan said...

The Phil Niekro picture was taken at Candlestick, not Atlanta. The player in the background is a Brave.

dayf said...

When you are finished posting this set, I'm going to print them all out so I can have my very own "Play Ball" Played by two game.

zman40 said...

I like the new layout of your blog, especially the counters. i wonder how high that All-Star counter will reach.

Andy said...

From this photo it's apparent that fleerfan is right about it being Candlestick Park.

MMayes said...

Mike Sadek -- there just wasn't much else that could be said about him other than his sacrifice bunts. How about "Mike has had fewer days on the disabled list for psychological issues that his namesake, Mike Ivie."

Doug DeCinces -- I remember this card finally allowed him to have one where his stats showed he'd taken the job from Brooks Robinson. Maybe that shadow is really Brooks' shadow....

Rick Manning -- showing the pose that made him one of the outstanding fielding center fielders in the AL in those days. I don't think he matched up all around with guys like Amos Otis or Fred Lynn.

Kevin said...

You know what else is great about this batch of cards? All of the stirrups...even if Aase has to label his in order to keep track of them, he sure knows how to wear them. Doug's orange stirrups are a thing of beauty, and we only get to see them nowadays when the O's Turn Back the Clock.

Speaking of Doug, I have no idea what is up with his 'stache. It looks like he saved some of his hair clippings and pasted them on his face.

--David said...

Rick Manning is/was always one of my favorite players. I've said this on other posts regarding the '78s, but my friends and I called these "The Written Kind" because of the scripted lettering. It's funny now how centering is something we look at. back then, all that mattered was who was on the card. Okay, well, for me anyway, that's still all that matters... :-)

Alpha60 said...

I don't think there's any way in the era of Mike Coolbaugh that Topps would take all their photos in foul territory facing away from the plate during spring training. But it apparently seems to be one of their favorite things to do in 1978 -- note the surreal Rick Manning card.

This was a good block of long-term players -- only Sadek didn't appear in 1988's Topps set -- although 1987 was the last season for Phil Niekro, Reggie Jackson, Rick Manning, and Doug DeCinces.

Andy said...

The centering issue is an interesting one. Today's cards are all so perfect--perfect layout, thick shiny stock, razor sharp, etc, and yet the cards are certainly not loved any more than older cards, even with all the flaws that older cards have. This 1978 set is 30 years old and still gets tons of love.

Andy said...

good point, alpha60. Not hard to imagine Manning taking a line drive to the base of his skull right after that photo, except for the fact that he lived past 1978 (and still lives today...)

moschella said...

how about the prominant tobacco ad over niekro's shoulder? what year was cigarettte advertising removed from stadiums? did it happen all at once? or over an extended period of time?

Andy said...

Ooh, good question, moschella. I bet we'll see more of those on cards to come.