#91 Oscar Zamora
#92 Adrian Devine
#93 Bobby Cox manager
#94 Chuck Scrivener
#95 Jamie Quirk
#96 Baltimore Orioles
BRUT sign sighting #3 on Jamie Quirk's card. It's also directly behind Adrian Devine and not visible.
Good: Topps gets good marks for consistency. The back of Devine's card not only again mentions a low-place finish in the Fireman of the Year award, but also mentions our old friend Steve Foucault again.
I guess they also smelled a rat with Jamie Quirk, ignoring anything they might have said about his 3 years in the majors and instead pulling out a stat from his minor league days.
Bad: The Zamora card is extremely odd. First of all, the guy did not play in the big leagues in 1977. He didn't even play in the minors in 1977. He wasn't a star player prior to then. Why in the world did Topps include his card in this set? I can't see any possible rationale where they thought it made sense. Can anybody come up with a plausible explanation? Furthermore, he signed with the Astros on November 17, 1977. I'm shocked that they were able to include him in this set as an Astro, even though the photo is obviously airbrushed. Back in the 70s, did cards come out right at the end of the calendar year like they do now? If so, I can't imagine how they had enough time to prepare the Zamora card. (We'll get to the photo on the Zamora card below...)
Good: Quirk continues the streak of very nice Brewers cards. I don't know why, but it seems that Topps really wanted to make the Brewers look good in this set. Thier cards are all poses so far, but they are great posed shots. Quirk's bat going right into the foreground of the card is awesome.
I also really like that Bobby Cox has the same pose and expression in both his photos...he just looks a lot older. Younger readers of this blog will probably be shocked to realize that Cox was manager of the Braves in the late 70s and early 80s before returning as manager in 1990, a position he still holds today.
Bad: The Orioles team card is perfectly nice except for the added photo on the left of an extra guy. I'll let Kevin comment on who this is and why it might be there. Had it been me, I would have simply left that guy off, or at least tried to get a photo of him with a black background so it blended a little better.
Nice random fat guy in the background of Scrivener's card.
And at last we come back to that Zamora card. Clearly this was airbrushed, and probably hastily too after he signed with the Astros in very late 1977. I've already talked about how odd the mere inclusion of his card in this set was. However, the airbrushing itself is weird too. I swear it looks like his face has been significantly airbrushed. I also wonder whether Zamora's left eye was naturally closed up as in the photo, or if they chose a terrible photo to use for the airbrushing. All around, this is a horrible and very puzzling card. I give it two big "WTFs" way up.
For whatever it's worth (and it's not worth much) there have been only 9 seasons in history where a pitcher finished 31 games and saved 10 of them. Oddly, Zamora did it in both of his first two seasons and is the only guy to do it more than once.
Devine had two stints with the Braves and two stints with the Rangers. He was traded twice between the teams in two memorable exchanges:
December 8, 1977: Traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Texas Rangers with Tommy Boggs and Eddie Miller to the Atlanta Braves. The Atlanta Braves sent Willie Montanez to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent a player to be named later and Tom Grieve to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Bert Blyleven to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Al Oliver and Nelson Norman to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent Jon Matlack to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent John Milner to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Texas Rangers sent Ken Henderson (March 15, 1978) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.
Bobby Cox hit 9 career homers, but a whopping two-thirds of them either tied the game or put the Yankees ahead.
Scrivener's best career game came in 1976 when he had 3 hits, including a homer, against the Indians.
Speaking of trades, look at this crappy pair that the Brewers made:
December 6, 1976: Traded by the Kansas City Royals with a player to be named later and Jim Wohlford to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jim Colborn and Darrell Porter. The Kansas City Royals sent Bob McClure (March 15, 1977) to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the trade.
All counters are zero for this set except for Scrivener being with the Tigers for his entire career.
Hall of Famers: 12
Future managers: 8
Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 7
Loyalty counter: 11
(+1 for Scrivener)
Rookies of the Year: 8
Total all-star appearances: 231
(This is the first set of cards without any All-Star appearances. Of course, if we were counting Cox's appearances as manager or the appearances of the individual Orioles on the team card, then there'd be plenty.)
Total MVP awards: 9
Total Cy Young awards: 4