Thursday, December 11, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #139 through #144

THE PLAYERS

#139 Wayne Gross All-Star Rookie
#140 Rollie Fingers
#141 Ruppert Jones All-Star Rookie
#142 John Montefusco
#143 Keith Hernandez
#144 Jesse Jefferson




THE DESIGN

Good: Topps went to great lengths to mention the All-Star game at Yankee stadium. Check out the back of Gross' and Jones' cards.

Bad: It was an odd decision to put two of the All-Star rookie cards so close in the set. In this set, they are spaced randomly around the set. In 1988 Topps, they were pretty evenly spaced.


THE PHOTOS

Good: The best thing in these photos is the nice look at the front of the Mariners jersey. We also have another nice body shadow from Montefusco.

There are some weird pairings in the group of 6 cards. Obviously, we have 2 All-Star rookies. Then Fingers and Montefusco are in almost identical poses. Gross and Hernandez are also in nearly identical poses. Hernandez and Jefferson both have one person in the background, as well as a nice view of the warning track. And finally Gross and Fingers both have nice foliage in the background.

Bad: The backgrounds on Montefusco's and Hernandez's card are making me dizzy...



THE STATS


Wayne Gross was the Ken Phelps of his time. From 1977 to 1984, he was one of the leaders in most seasons with at least 10 homers but fewer than 500 AB.

Ruppert Jones was one of the leading power-speed hitters from 1977 to 1986. He was one of the top 20 players with double-digit seasons in homers and stolen bases.

Montefusco threw 10 shutouts over 1975-76, tied for 4th-most in baseball.

In baseball history, Jesse Jefferson has the 3rd-worst W-L% for all pitchers with at least 1000 IP, and the two guys ahead of him pitched before 1910. Mind you, he wasn't absolutely terrible, but mostly pitched for bad teams.

THE COUNTERS

Hall of Famers: 16
(+1 for Fingers)

Deceased: 5
(none)

Future managers: 11
(none)

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 8
(none)

Loyalty counter: 16
(none)

Rookies of the Year: 11
(+1 for Montefusco)

Total all-star appearances: 311
(+1 for Gross, +7 for Fingers, +2 for Jones, +1 for Montefusco, +5 for Hernandez)

Total MVP awards: 14
(+1 for Fingers, +1 for Hernandez)

Total Cy Young awards: 8
(+1 for Fingers)

12 comments:

night owl said...

I was just noticing the other day how close the Gross and Jones cards were to each other.

Call me crazy, but I voted for the Gross card. I love bright colors, and there's nothing brighter than a sunshiny-yellow and green uniform with a hot pink border. I love the '70s!

White Sox Cards said...

The Fingers pose is classic.

Johngy said...

Gross and Hernandez look so young.

I dislike all 3 pitching poses, although I do like Jefferson's hair. I am never a fan of the fake follow-through pose.

Jones was one of those guys to me who seemed to play forever.

Kevin said...

I love the Keith Hernandez card. Seeing him without that mustache is like seeing Superman without his cape.

But I had to vote for Fingers. I love the fact that he still plays the celebrity and legend softball game during All-Star week every year, usually in the outfield, and that he still rocks the handlebar.

MMayes said...

I don't like the posed shot halfway through the pitching motion either (see Count Montefusco), but I like that Jesse Jefferson still has the Afro.

I also absolutely love the photo of Roland Glen Fingers. How realistic is it? Of course he's not still going to have the ball at that point, but his pleasant face and the handlebar makes the photo great.

This is the older version of Co caine Keith that many Cardinal fans remember. Addition by subtraction, according to Whitey, but he did win one more World Series than Whitey did after that point.

I haven't been reading the cardbacks and maybe I shouldn't. The proofreader in me is having a conniption at the improper capitalizations of baseball terms like "save" and "basehit". AAAGGGHHHHH!

Timberhill said...

The background of the Montefusco is uneven in order to make you feel as drunk as John would appear to be in this picture.

Luke said...

is it just me, or does Montefusco and Jefferson look really spaced out?

ha

Jeffrey Wolfe said...

Had to vote for Jones as this is the first time I have ever seen the '77 Mariners road jerseys and they're awesome. Finger's handlebar 'stache, two rookie cups, Jefferson's fro, pre-'stache Hernandez, what better group of '78 Topps cards could you ask for?

Ben said...

Look at the Jefferson card. Just to the lower left of the "position baseball" is a person in a white shirt. But the background is in the sun and over exposed so the person looks like a dot. Then to the lower left of that person is one seat that's casting a particularly bright glare that looks like another dot. To the lower left of that dot is Jefferson's head. The effect created looks like a thought bubble from a comic strip.

Add that with the confused look on Jefferson's face, the card says to me "am I a pitcher?"

gcrl said...

like kevin, i choose the keith hernandez card, simply due to the absence of the mustache.
i never did like the count - he seemed to be a dodger nemesis, although he was just 10 and 10 against them. he actually had a better record against the phillies. i believe his 1976 no-hitter against the braves is the last one the giants have thrown, while the dodgers have had, well, a lot more than one i can tell you!

jacobmrley said...

actually, it is odd for the all-star rookies to be evenly spaced like 1988. a lot of the time (not every time though) they seem to clump together in batches of two or three - especially in much older and very recent topps sets.

too bad keith doesn't have his mustache, cuz we could have a duel between the fingers handlebar and the joy that is keith's long term porn 'stache. i voted for the fingers just because that anachronistic facial hair is so square its cool. no one else in the world, much less baseball, could grow one and NOT be accused of copying rollie fingers. i'm sure most of you know the mustache came from charlie o. finley's request (and $100 bounty) for the early 70's A's to grow facial hair. rollie decided to run with it as far as he could go and it became an icon.

on the other hand, keeping with the hirsute topic, voting for the oscar-gamble-like afro jesse jefferson seems to be holding under his hat wouldn't be a bad thing. "jefferson, 6'3" - 6'8" with the afro"

kevinb said...

What an awesome lot of cards...had to vote for Ruppert Jones, although Rollie Fingers would've won any other lot. I voted for Ruppert because he is the 6th '84 Tiger we've come across and he also hit a home run at the only game I went to in person that year on my 11th birthday. My mom was also able to get Ernie Harwell to say happy birthday to me on the air that day.