“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 1974

31 01 2014


1974 Topps Aparicio

Best Player to retire in 1973.   Willie Mays (Hall of Famer)

Did he have a 1974 card?   No and Yes.

Mays was featured on a card displaying game 2 of the 1973 World Series, a game the Mets won.  They’d lose the series, however, and like Sandy Koufax some 7 years earlier, Mays didn’t have a final Topps card with his full statistical prowess on the back.  Wish he had.  

1974 Topps Willie Mays

Was a “retro” card ever produced?   No – Topps didn’t do a “never was” card of Mays.  Here’s an awesome custom card, however, made by the blog “When Topps had (Base) Balls!“.

Apologies to:   Luis Aparicio (Hall of Famer).  Aparicio did in fact get a 1974 Topps card – which is shown above.


“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 1973

30 01 2014


1973 topps Clemente

Best Player to retire in 1972.   Roberto Clemente (Hall of Famer)

Did he have a 1973 card?   Yes.

Clemente died tragically in the 1972 offseason.  He graced card #50 in the 1973 Topps set – with his career total of 3,000 hits shown prominently on the back.

Apologies to:   Hoyt Wilhelm (Hall of Famer).  Wilhelm had his last card was in 1972 Topps.  Thus far, there have been no retro cards made of him by Topps.  But Garvey Cey Russell Lopes did make a custom to right that wrong!

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 1972

30 01 2014


2013 Topps Banks mini

Best Player to retire in 1971.   Ernie Banks (Hall of Famer)

Did he have a 1972 card?   No.

The last card of Banks was from 1971 Topps.

1971 Topps Ernie Banks

Was a “retro” card ever produced?   Yes – somewhat inadvertently.  Topps inserted mini versions of 1972 Topps cards into the 2013 product, and they included Banks in that set.  It’s shown above.

Apologies to:   Jim Bunning (Hall of Famer).  His last card was in 1971 as well.  No retro cards made of him, however.

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 1971

29 01 2014


1971 Topps Reggie

Best Player to retire in 1970.   Bob Allison

Did he have a 1971 card?   No.

This was far from the best “retiring” class.  Allison’s last card was from 1970 Topps.  

1970 topps Bob Allison

Was a “retro” card ever produced?   No.  And, not surprisingly, nobody has endeavored to do a custom card on the blogosphere.

Apologies to:   John Roseboro, who also had his last card in the 1970 Topps set.  Like I said, this wasn’t a great “retiring class”.

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 1970

28 01 2014

I’m back to the Lost Cards series I was running until the end of the last week.  Next year up is…


1970 topps Nolan Ryan

Best Player to retire in 1969.   Don Drysdale (Hall of Famer)

Did he have a 1970 card?   No.

Drysdale’s last card was from 1969 Topps.  

1969 topps don drysdale

Was a “retro” card ever produced?   No – Topps didn’t do a “never was” card of Drysdale.  But here’s a custom card made for your enjoyment from the blog “When Topps had (Base) Balls!“.

Apologies to:   Ken Boyer, who also had his last card in the 1969 Topps set.

Hall of Famers in Topps Traded

27 01 2014

This is my third Hall of Fame post.  I did the 80’s, then the 90’s and now I’m doing Topps traded sets from those decades.  I’m just going to focus on the years that have changed with the new 2014 inductees.  This is a much easier exercise than the previous two posts, as I just looked up who out of the 6 inductees had Topps Traded / Update cards in the 80’s and 90’s.

  1. Joe Torre, and
  2. Tony LaRussa were both never featured in a Traded set.  That’s really easy!
  3. Bobby Cox – Cox is in the 1990 Topps Traded set for taking over the reigns in Atlanta.  He is also in a later Update set – 2005.
  4. Tom Glavine isn’t in any Traded sets I’ve posted on thus far – but he’s in 2007 and 2008 Update for this blog’s future.
  5. Frank Thomas is in 1995 Topps Traded – he actually has 2 cards, one for being an All-Star and one for the “At the Break” subset that starts off that set.  Thomas was also in 2006 Topps Update with a couple of subset cards for his brief time with the A’s.
  6. Greg Maddux has his RC in 1987 Topps Traded, and is featured in 1993 Topps Traded for his free agency move from Chicago to Atlanta.  Maddux is also in 2005 and 2006 Topps Update in later years.

I mentioned this was an easier exercise – for determining the sets to update, that’s true.  Only 1987, 1990 and 1995 from what I’ve done so far.  But updating my Topps Traded posts will not be such an easy exercise!  I scanned the cards of each HOF-er for the Traded posts, and OCD will make me update those pictures at some point!

Here are update Topps Traded numbers for reference:

1981 Topps Traded – 8 HOF

Bert Blyleven, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Joe Morgan, Gaylord Perry, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield

1982 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Reggie Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, Perry, Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith

1983 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Morgan, Tony Perez, Tom Seaver

1984 Topps Traded – 7 HOF

Yogi Berra (mgr), Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage, Morgan, Phil Niekro, Perez, Seaver

1985 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Gary Carter, Rickey Henderson, Sutter, Sutton, Earl Weaver (mgr)

1986 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Niekro, Seaver, Dick Williams (mgr)

1987 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson, Eckersley, Reggie Jackson, Greg Maddux

1988 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Roberto Alomar, Gossage, Frank Robinson (mgr)

1989 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Blyleven, Henderson, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan

1990 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Carter, Red Schoendienst (mgr), Bobby Cox (mgr), Winfield

1991 Topps Traded – 2 HOF

Alomar, Carter

1992 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Carter, Murray, Winfield

1993 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Wade Boggs, Dawson, Paul Molitor, Winfield

1994 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Henderson, Murray, Ryne Sandberg

1995 Topps Traded – 7 HOF

Dawson, Boggs (subset), Tony Gwynn (subset), Kirby Puckett (subset), Cal Ripken (subset), Frank Thomas (subset), Smith (subset)

1999 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

Hall of Famers in sets from the 90’s

26 01 2014

Continuing my post from Friday – here are Topps Hall of Famers for sets from the 1990’s.  The numbers sure look different in this decade than the previous one.  Some of that is just purely the fact that it’s later and these guys aren’t all eligible yet.  Plus, the way the elections work, time helps.  Every player who played in the 1960’s and 70’s is eligible and has been for quite a while, but there are more guys from the 20’s and 30’s because they’ve just had more chances on veteran committees and such.

The other thing is the steroid era, which is clogging things up a bit.  I’ve said my piece on it – I would vote them in, or at least anyone whose connection was before 2005 when it was effectively not against the institution of baseball’s rules.  Someone like A-Rod or Manny, I have a little different view on.

Here’s HOF ers from the 1990’s.  What’s interesting here – until a week ago, this list would have had no new players.  Frank Thomas is the first player to start his career (and have his first baseball card) in the 1990’s.

For sake of continuity – 1989 had 33 Hall of Famers, which included 5 managers and 2 Turn Back the Clock subsets of retired players.

1990 Topps – 32 Hall of Famers

Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, George Brett, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Carlton Fisk, Tom Glavine, Rickey Henderson, Barry Larkin, Greg Maddux, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Frank Thomas, Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Tommy LaSorda (manager), Sparky Anderson (manager), Tony LaRussa (manager), Whitey Herzog (manager), Frank Robinson (manager), Mike Schmidt (TBC), Johnny Bench (TBC), Sandy Koufax (TBC)

The reason for the decrease is basically attributable to 2 relievers exiting the set – Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (though the Goose would be back), offset by Frank Thomas having his RC in the set.  The effect of the TBC subset was a wash, it went from 2 to 3 HOFers from the previous year, but one of them was Mike Schmidt who didn’t actually have a base card after retiring mid-1989.

  • The 2014 inductees increased this number by 4 – Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and LaRussa

1991 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Rice (retired), Herzog (retired), Schmidt, Bench, Koufax (the TBC set had ended its 5-year run)

New (+2): Torre and Cox, both of whom got back in the managing saddle

  • All 6 2014 inductees are in this set – Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, and the 3 managers (Torre, LaRussa, Cox)

1992 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Robinson (fired as Oriole manager)

New (+1): Gossage (back after a stint in Japan)

  • All 6 2014 inductees are again in this set

1993 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Gossage (retired for good this time)

New (+1): Tony Perez (Reds manager)

  • All 6 2014 inductees are again in this set

1994 Topps – 21 Hall of Famers (a mass exodus!)

Gone (-9):  Topps did away with manager cards in 1994, which meant no cards for Torre, LaRussa, Cox, Sparky, Perez and LaSorda.  Additionally, Blyleven, Carter and Fisk all retired.

New (+1): Hank Aaron (tribute)

  • All 3 2014 player inductees are again in this set – and the rest of the decade.  And Topps didn’t go back to manager cards until much later.

1995 Topps – 16 Hall of Famers (further depleted!)

Gone (-6):  Brett, Ryan and Yount (all retired for good).  Sandberg (retired temporarily).  Dawson (left out of the set, though he is in ’95 Traded).  Aaron (tribute)

New (+1): Babe Ruth (tribute)

1996 Topps – 17 Hall of Famers (an actual increase!)

Gone (-2):  Winfield (retired), Ruth (tribute)

New (+3): Mickey Mantle (tribute), Dawson (back after ’95 snub), Sandberg (back in baseball after a year-plus hiatus)

1997 Topps – 14 Hall of Famers

Gone (-4):  Dawson, Puckett, Smith (retired), Mantle (tribute).  Puckett was the first HOF player to start in my

New (+1): Jackie Robinson (tribute)

1998 Topps – 11 Hall of Famers

Gone (-4):  Murray, Sandberg (retired), Robinson (tribute), Henderson (snubbed – he even has an insert card in the product).

New (+1): Roberto Clemente (tribute)

1999 Topps – 10 Hall of Famers

Gone (-3):  Molitor, Eckersley (retired), Clemente (tribute)

New (+1): Nolan Ryan (tribute), Henderson (back after snub)


Now, I’ve  only gotten through 1999 posts for my Lifetime Topps project, so I haven’t figured all this stuff out for any years after this.  At some point I’m going to do all that, and maybe even go back further into older sets.  Until them, I can still update Topps Traded – which will be tomorrow’s post!