More early 80’s birthday gifts

11 05 2011

I can’t recall if this is the third or fourth post from my birthday packages. There’s still plenty more left in the posting tank as far as they go, too. Hopefully some of you are enjoying the opportunity to enjoy the bounty that I received. I’ll try to shake things up as the days go by.

Here’s a smattering of the early 80’s cards that I received.

I thought about doing one of those posts where I white out the names and make you guess who these guys are, but these two are fairly easy to recognize and would be logical choices for the time.  Baseball in California in 1979 must have been pretty awesome, right?

That’s a half truth.  Baylor would win an MVP in 1979, and his Angels would win the AL West before losing in the first round of the playoffs.  Winfield not only led the league in RBI’s, but he drove in over 20% of the team’s total for the year.  Based on some unscientific and unthorough research, that’s a pretty high number, so you shouldn’t be surprised when I say the Padres finished fifth in the NL West that year.

Whoo, Doogie!  It’s Tony Perez in his first stop post Big Red Machine. This was also the first year of the goo Expos, who were in the playoff hunt until the very last day of the 1979 season.  Rather than chat about Tony, though, I prefer to digress…

Despite the mystic power I give to 1980 Topps as a gateway to the 70’s sets, it’s not really one of my favorites.  Or maybe it’s because I’ve put so much power into it that I don’t care much for it.  Either way, I’m going to admit that I’ve committed a collector’s sin and not really spent a lot of time with this set.  So maybe I should reacquaint myself with it before I pass judgement.  Right now, though, it’s probably in the bottom three of the 80’s, as far as Topps releases go.

I include this card of Gary Lavelle because to me he looks like a middle-aged punk rocker to me in this pic.  Like Mark Hoppus when he’s forty.  That’s next year, by the way, for those of you not feeling old yet.

Gary wasn’t that bad of a reliever though posting a career ERA under three while striking out over seven hundred and fifty batters in around one thousand innings of work.  He now plays grunge covers of Sesame Street tunes in his spare time.  You know, for the kids.

Sheldon wasn’t around very long, but I still remember this card from when I was young.  This is his only card from 1981 and I believe his only card period.  I would think this is a rarity in brave new world of multiple manufacturers and releases.

Back to Sheldon.  He was the player to be named later for Champ Summers, pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Reds in 1980, and never pitched again.  So you can probably see why he only got one card.

Now here’s a set from the 80’s that I like.  I made a quick list off the top of my head after talking down the 1980 set above.  This set came in third, behind the 1981 and 1986 releases.  Both of those have more sentimental attachments to them, though, so it’s probably not fair to judge them like this. Whatever the criteria, that’s a pretty sweet card of Dave.

With Dave in hand, I’m now just one Paciorek away from set completion.  It’s the one where he looks like Andy Samberg after a haircut talking into a microphone.  Anyone?

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