Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1978 Topps Cards #157 through #162


#157 Pete LaCock
#158 Joaquin Andujar
#159 Lou Piniella
#160 Jim Palmer
#161 Bob Boone
#162 Paul Thormodsgard

BRUT sign sighting #5 on Palmer's card


Good: The back of Thormodsgard's card tell it like it was. He got released by the Reds, then was out of baseball (which they mention both in the commentary and in the stats) before making it back with the Twins.

Bad: Holy crap--Palmer had just finished his 3rd-straight 20-win season (and 7th 20-win season out of the last 8) and the best thing Topps could thing to mention on the back of his card was a one-hitter from 2 years earlier?


Good: Although I usually do not like helmet glare on photos, the reflection of the "P" on Boone's helmet is awesome!! At first I thought it was a #14, but Boone didn't wear 14 and if you look carefully, it's clearly a mirror image of the "P." Catchers are the only players who can be photographed in helmets when not batting.

The LaCock photo is utterly bizarre. That's just about the strangest pose ever captured on a baseball card. I guess he's thinking "Now, where did I leave my bat?"

I guess I should mention the Palmer photo. It's OK. The All-Star shield is nice to see, although the overall look of this card is ruined by too much orange and red in combination.

Bad: The Andujar car is absolutely mindbogglingly strange. We just saw this photo on the 5-card 1978 Zest post but now it's time to talk about it. His entire uniform is airbrushed. But why? Andujar was in the majors with the Astros in 1976 and 1977. The Astros' uniforms didn't change significantly in those years, so they could have used an old photo. Andujar was with the Reds previously, but not in the majors, so it's unlikely that they had a photo of him wearing a different uniform. I just don't get it. Any theories?


Pete LaCock pounded Francisco Barrios, nailed Roger Erickson, hammered Nolan Ryan, and banged Fergie Jenkins.

Andujar was tied for first in wins over 1984-85. Of course, he was also tied for 16th in losses over the same period.

What do Benito Santiago and Lou Piniella have in common? They are the all-time co-leaders for most seasons with 11 HR.

Palmer led all of baseball in wins from 1970 to 1978, although not by as much as I expected.

I mentioned Thormodsgard before, because Jim Essian hit more of his own career homers off Thormodsgard than anybody else. But Thormodsgard gave up the same number of homers to one other guy: Ben Ogilve.


Hall of Famers: 0
(+1 for Palmer)

Deceased: 0

Future managers: 0
(+1 for Piniella, +1 for Boone)

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 0
(+THREE!!! for Ray Boone, father of Bob, Bret Boone, son of Bob, and Aaron Boone, also son of Bob)

Loyalty counter: 0
(+1 for Palmer)

Rookies of the Year: 0
(+1 for Piniella)

Total all-star appearances: 0
(+4 for Andujar, +1 for Piniella, +6 for Palmer, +4 for Boone)

Total MVP awards: 0

Total Cy Young awards: 0
(+3 for Palmer, our first multiple Cy Young winner in this set)


MMayes said...

If I remember my college French correctly, "la" is translated as "the". While your double entendres regarding pitchers Peter Marshall's nephew hit well made it on your blog, I'm concerned that Pete TheCock might not make it on the comments.

I love Andujar's card. It really displays the Astro rainbow uniform well. I guess I don't see the airbrush. I have so many memories of Andujar. As a hitter, his philosophy was "Swing hard in case you hit it." He hit a grand slam against the Braves in the mid-80's and then made a muscle on his way to the dugout. He was absolutely PO'd during Game 7 of the '85 Series, resulting in his banishment to Oakland. While with the Astros in '88, he threw high and tight to Tony Pena, Pena swung and then was mad at Andujar. Joaquin mouthed, "But you swung." Pena mouthed back and, this is the only time I've seen this, Andujar charged the plate. Finally, in the Cardinals' 1985 season when they stole so many bases, Joaquin Andujar stole their first base of the year.

I also love Jim Palmer's card. It's a great portrait of a very kind man.

Lou Piniella looks like he sees Rob Dibble in his peripheral vision and is ready to go off on him.

CubanXSenators said...

What was the Marshall family thinking? Two names referring to a member would counter each other & no one would notice? Did they go native after living in the San Fernando Valley & figure they'd give their son a name just like all their neighbors'.

I think what ol' Pete's thinking is, "damn, Monday gave me his cooties."

One of the first big league games I went to was pitched by Palmer. On the drive my dad told me to watch his delivery because I'd never see any smoother. I can't think of another time my dad primed my experience at a ballpark by telling me what to expect.

night owl said...

The LaCock card is similar to the Rick Monday card we saw earlier.

I don't see the Andujar airbrush, but I'll have to look at the card I have at home more closely. Andujar just seemed like a wild man in the '80s. His freakout in Game 7 of the '85 Series was staggering. I remember thinking, "How can the Cardinals let this go on? It's GAME 7! TAKE HIM OUT!"

night owl said...

Oh, and the Piniella card is one of three cards from the set I don't have.

Johngy said...

I was going to mention the Monday-LaCock card connection. Obviously, they were also teammates for a bit on the Cubs.
I remember liking Thor, thinking it was such a cool name. Thor didn't do much in the majors though.

Andy said...

Yeah, the Piniella card is set aside for you, Greg, as will be the others in this set that you need.

gcrl said...

i guess i won't mention that lacock is showing rick monday where the ketchup stain is...

thormosgard had the perfect name for a twins pitcher - nice and nordic. i was surprised to learn he was from california. his final major league appearance, and his only 1979 appearance, included surrendering a pinch homer to pat putnam. what a way to go out.

Kevin said...

A great Jim Palmer/Earl Weaver anecdote that I just heard:

Palmer claims that one night Earl had too much to drink and drove into a parking meter. An officer arrived on the scene, determined that Weaver was unhurt, and asked if he had any impairments. "Yes," he replied. "Jim Palmer!".

Matt said...

Despite all of Jim Palmer's accomplishments, it looks like there was a space constraint for comments on the back of his card. Guess they thought the one hitter was more impressive than "Jim had two-hitter vs A's, 8-12-77."

jacobmrley said...

my favorite jim palmer/earl waever moment was at a roast of one of them, the jokes got hot and heavy, as they always do at such things, and the two of them got so heated, no one was sure if they were joking or not. they had such an odd relationship...

pete lacock is thinking "why wasn't i smart enough to change my name like uncle peter. i guess it's the boy named sue theory - he had to be a tough dude with a name like that.

i haven't been able to add anyone to my 'guy's i've never heard of' list in a while and Thormodsgard seems like someone i shouldn;t know and he is so vague, and yet i have hear of him...i went through a 'long name' phase where i liked cards with little print for guys with long names - and he was one i picked up in the common bin...

Jeffrey Wolfe said...

The Andujar card doesn't look like it's airbrushed, I'd have to see it up close to see what you mean.

Johngy said...

I think LaCock is Marshall's son, not nephew.

kevinb said...

It's intersting to see that list of players Pete LaCock was good against, but who beat Pete LaCock?

night owl said...

Yes, LaCock is Marshall's son. Marshall changed his name to Marshall (he was Pierre LaCock)

George said...

No outs for this batch of cards, with regards to the Play Ball game. Someone will be in for a huge rally when this series of cards comes up.

Jere said...

I also don't see the airbrush on Andujar. Compared to Joe Niekro's '78 card, it seems to be an exact match. (Unless that one's also airbrushed and I'm also not seeing it.)

Mrbaseballcard said...


1) Loved this set as a kid.
2) On BaseballReference.com you recently hinted that you'd like to see Bert Blylevin make the HOF. Would be interested in seeing a blog analysis on the site about runs allowed during losses. If he loses 1-0 that's a tough luck loss. 8-0 one deserves to lose. Perhaps a cum ERA during losses and a cumulative Era during ND and same vs losses. Comparing him w other pitchers using the same stas would also be interesting to see and strengthen either one side or the other in the argument about BB in the HOF.