Tuesday, December 16, 2008


For numerous reasons, I've decided to go on hiatus through the rest of December and beginning of January.

I shall return in mid-January to finish posting the rest of the 1978 Topps set.

Even if you're not celebrating a holiday in the next few weeks, I hope you have a happy, safe, and fun holiday season, and I look forward to reconnecting with you in January.

If anybody has already mailed me a trade, then I'll be sending you a trade back. If you haven't yet mailed anything, please hold off until next year.

I do not expect to read anybody else's blogs either. I've sort of overdosed on baseball cards and will be taking a nice long break. I'm also taking some time to consider what I really want to do after finishing out the 1978 set. I may or may not pursue the 71/73 idea I've had. Overall I'm finding that my blog commitments are demanding more time than I can afford, and I'm going to re-evaluate what I want to do. Thanks for your support so far, and we shall continue in January!

In the meantime, if you didn't see my 88 Topps Cards blog, you can read 1000+ posts there. Or, you can pick out a few new card blogs to read right here.


The winner of our next giveaway for cards #73 through #144 is MMayes.

You'll have to take it on faith that I went though and scored everybody's comments. He came out ahead. He's been a longtime contributor here as well as back on 88 Topps Cards, so I'm quite happy to send him some free stuff.

Mike, I know I've had some trouble emailing you in the past because of some sort of filter you have set up. Can you email me your address to 78topps at gmail dot com? Also tell me your favorite team and I'll see if i can send you some extras.

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)

Monday, December 15, 2008

1978 Topps #151 to #156


#151 Milt Wilcox
#152 Ivan DeJesus
#153 Steve Stone
#154 Cecil Cooper
#155 Butch Hobson
#156 Andy Messersmith


Good: This speaks more to the photograph, but check out Cooper's card. The white part of the background looks like a nice frame for the baseball and looks like an enhanced design for the card.

Bad: It's nice to know from the back of Stone's card that he not only set a career high with 12 strikeouts on 9/30/1973 but he set a career high for himself. You mean he didn't set someone else's career high with that performance?

I also need to point out that the commentary on the back of Hobson's card is terribly written. It makes it sound like Hobson is the second player ever to get 100 RBI in a season for Boston.


Good: Although the Wilcox photo is clearly posed, it's pretty damn cool if you ask me. The Tigers cards have some of the best coloring of this set, and that's a really cool card.

Also we need to give some special praise to Steve Stone's double chain action.

Bad: Two bad photos here. First. Ivan DeJesus looks absolutely like a cardboard cutout. I wonder if he appreciated being asked to pose in a bunting stance. Also, Topps managed to get almost all of Cooper's body in the shadows. Just about all of his face, his entire torso, and his entire right leg.


Among the 74 pitchers to throw at least 70 complete games since 1970, Wilcox is tied for the fewest career shutouts.

DeJesus has the 5th most-recent season with a sub-.200 batting average in a year with at least 400 AB. On that list, you have to go all the way back to Bob Lillis in 1963 to find a lower OPS than DeJesus in 1981.

A guy has won 25 games in a season 19 times since 1953, and Steve Stone had one of the lowest strikeout totals of those.

Guys have hit 30 homers in a season 1,103 times through 2008. Only 23 times, though, has a guy hit 30 HRs and walked fewer than 3o times.

Messersmith had the second most RBI among pitchers from 1974 to 1976.


Hall of Famers: 16

Deceased: 6

Future managers: 14
(+1 for Cooper, current manager of the Astros, +1 for Hobson)

Fathers and sons of major leaguers: 9

Loyalty counter: 16

Rookies of the Year: 11

Total all-star appearances: 326
(+1 for Stone, +5 for Cooper)

Total MVP awards: 14

Total Cy Young awards: 9
(+1 for Stone)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

PLAY BALL: Game 2, second inning


Mudville Nine lead the series 1-0

New York Knights at bat

#123 Manny Trillo: K (one out)
#124 Dave Rozema: single (runner on first, one out)
#125 George Scott: ground out (GIDP, three outs)

0 runs on 1 hit and 0 walks. New York Knights lead 3-1

Mudville Nine at bat

#126 Paul Moskau: fly out (one out)
#127 Chet Lemon: rules card (no play)
#128 Bill Russell: BB (runner on first, one out)
#129 Jim Colborn: HR (two runs score, one out)
#130 Jeff Burroughs: fly out (two outs)
#131 Bert Blyleven: ground out (three outs)

2 runs on 2 hits and 1 walk. Game tied at 3.