So long for now, 2011 Topps…

8 03 2011

Only three responses to my question about 2011 Topps, so the margin of error is pretty huge.  A majority of responses mentioned real life getting in the way of collecting, and I imagine that’s the primary reason for the overall lack of responses as well.

The other reply had to do with the lack of Upper Deck.  I used to complain about them all the time, so I can see how this could limit things.  But I actually think Upper Deck’s time away may be beneficial for them in the long run, as long as they use the time to correct some of the quality control issues that they seem to have.  I already kinda miss them, like you miss the big brother who would flush your head in the toilet to show you he cares.  My hair has been dry for too long.

It was also mentioned that new cards aren’t needed to be a blogger, and of course this is true.  It better be, especially in light of the package I just received from reader Doug.  Doug was sent a huge stack of 2007 Topps needs, while I received a memory lanes worth of cards from my wantlist.

First off, there were half of the eight remaining 1981 Topps cards that I needed, including this one of Charlie Moore.  Candid pictures like this are few and far between in more recent years, and I think that is a detriment to baseball cards in general.  I’m not asking for more Glenn Hubbard snake photos, but cards like this make the hobby feel less like a business and more like a collection of photos of baseball players.  You know, how it should be.

There can always be less of these type photos, however, even if this was cutting edge in the early 80’s  (remember the In Action cards from 1982 Topps?  It garnered a whole subset!).  Gary’s card stood out due to the facial contraption that adorns the front of his helmet.  That face guard is the result of a fastball that Roenicke took to the face in 1979.  Twenty-five stitches later, the Orioles trainers raided the Baltimore Colts locker room and the helmet of Bert Jones for the two bars you see pictured.

Gary’s name stood out to me for some reason, and I realize now it’s because his son Josh used to pitch for the Reds.  He was part of the package that brought Scott Rolen to Cincinnati in 2009.

Dan Petry looks so aloof here.  He was secretly hoping to be the last of the ’82 Topps cards that I needed for the set.  He’ll have to settle for third to last instead.  The more elusive Dave Winfield and the somewhat puzzling Tom Paciorek.  Two more to go.

Tony really was a super veteran, wasn’t he?  He hit .328 when he was forty-three years old.  Forty-three.  He was also considered by Sparky Anderson to be the main cog of the Big Red Machine, and his trade to Montreal in 1976 signaled the end of Cincinnati’s dominance in the baseball world.  The most similar player to “Doggie” according to his Baseball Reference similarity score?

Harold Baines, also included in this package.  Knowing this makes it hard to understand how Baines has not garnered more support in his quest for the Hall, unless it has to do with the stigma of the Designated Hitter rule.  I never would have realized Baines greatness myself if my brother hadn’t pointed it out to me long ago, so maybe Baines should host family reunions for Hall voters to try to change their mind.

Doug actually sent four cards from my 1983 Topps wantlist, leaving me three short of completion.  For whatever reason, three of the last seven cards I needed were All Star cards.  Carlton takes that number down to two. Steve won the 1982 Cy Young award going 23-11, with nineteen complete games, six shutouts, and two-hundred eighty-six strikeouts, all league leading numbers.

And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what I received.  It’s too much for one post, though.  There’s a lot more to come.

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