“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!

Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #47 – Rivertown Roebling Porter

25 01 2014

This “Saturday Suds” is close to home – literally!  Rivertown is a very new brewery that is literally right down the street from my parent’s house – about 5 blocks away.  I grew up in Wyoming, OH, this is located in Lockland.  I’ve been to the brewery twice now, once with a friend who lives in Cincy and most recently over Christmas to pick up a few beers for our annual family Christmas Eve get-together.

Rivertowne Roebling PorterBrewery: Rivertown Brewing Company in Cincinnati (Lockland), OH

Beer:  Roebling Porter

Description:  Helles Lager is the flagship brand for this brewery, but my most recent trip was during the winter time and I went with a darker beer.  The vanilla porter seemed like a great option.  On tap, it’s a good option with the nitrogen, and the bottles are a good option, too.  I tried one beer on tap, killing some time on my beer run.  Then I brought home a 6-pack and had 3 of them that night!  My mom had the other, and I saved 2 for later in the week.

Here’s what the Rivertown website has to describe it:

“Like a big, chocolate, espresso infused brownie, Roebling Porter packs a lot a flavor from the use of vanilla, and delicious coffee from a small Midwest roasting company (within a day’s drive from the brewery!).

They are right with the vanilla and espresso taste – this is a porter that kind of reminds me of Breckenridge Vanilla Porter but with a little extra coffee taste.  My mom liked it, and I did, too!  This is a very new brewery and if you’re ever in Cincinnati I’d recommend stopping by.  They are in start-up mode but this seems like a potential winner down the road – not just the Porter I had for Christmas, but all the beers I’ve tried from them are pretty good (Helles Lager, Blueberry Lager).

Medium:  I bought a 6-pack of 12 ounce bottles.

How it’s related to baseball:  Not really too much, but I started off with the Roebling Porter, which is named after the Roebling Bridge, a famous landmark that connects Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky.  Built in the 1860’s the Roebling Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its construction.  The fact that it’s still in existence and allows commuters and pedestrians alike to cross the Ohio River is nothing short of amazing.  Today it’s popular as a means for pedestrians to walk from downtown to the popular bar district in Newport, KY – many of whom are coming from or going to Reds games!  So there’s my baseball connection!


Hall of Famers in sets from the 80’s

24 01 2014

For the first time in a few years, I didn’t do a post when the Hall of Fame election came out.  On some level I don’t know what else I have to add to the matter.  I generally fall in the camp of “vote the steroid guys in”.  It’s an era in baseball, not just a few rogue cheaters.  And I think society is overreacting in general to the whole steroid thing.  It’s not a black and white issue – there are definite shades of gray.  Baseball just put this manager into the Hall of Fame:

“He would laugh about the time that other guys were spending there, and how he didn’t have to, because he was, he was doing the other ‘helper,’ ” he said. “He was having help in a different way. You know, the easy way.”

A direct quote from Tony LaRussa on 60 Minutes.  LaRussa was trying to attack Canseco to protect McGwire at that point – by saying that Jose didn’t do the work and Mark did, so McGwire must be clean.  Something that was later proved a lie when Big Mac admitted to juicing.  But what LaRussa didn’t realize – he damned himself in this situation.  If he so clearly knew that Canseco was cheating – why did he do nothing?  If he knew and did nothing, is he just as culpable as the players?  Maybe even more so, since he was in a position of power but turned a blind eye.

Anyways, that’s just some food for thought.  I think LaRussa should be in the Hall of Fame, just like I think McGwire and Bonds and Clemens should.  Not that I condone what they did, but I just think it was part of the fabric of the game in that era.  And I think it’s interesting that LaRussa isn’t held to the same standard as those guys, particularly when there’s a quote where he’s pretty much admitted he knew what was going on.

Regardless, the thing I hate the most is the limit of 10.  It’s hurting the chances of a deserving guy like Tim Raines, and it knocked Kenny Lofton – someone I think should get a decent look – off the ballot entirely.  I wish Biggio had gotten in this year just to lessen the effect next year.

That said – I read a good post by Night Owl about “the most Hall of Famers” in various sets.  I must admit, this has always been something that fascinated and intrigued me.  I count the number of Hall of Famers for every new set I start, and post about it in my overview.  So, since there are now 6 new Hall of Famers to account for, I need to go back and update those posts – and in doing so, I figured I might as well show a cumulative total here!

My rules may differ a bit from Greg’s (though I’m not completely sure they do).  I include all Hall of Famers from the set.  That includes someone like Johnny Bench in the 1990 set.  He was in a Turn Back the Clock subset for his 1970 MVP season, but he’d have been retired at this point.  I also include managers who were Hall of Fame players (Frank Robinson in 1984 Topps, or my personal favorite – Yogi Berra as an Astro coach on their 1987 team leader card), and would include player cards of guys who became Hall of Fame managers (1969 Topps Bobby Cox).

OK, enough ramblings, here’s the numbers.

1980 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Johnny Bench, Bert Blyleven, George Brett, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Fergie Jenkins, Willie McCovey, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski, Robin Yount, Earl Weaver (manager), Tommy LaSorda (manager), Dick Williams (manager), Sparky Anderson (manager), Lou Brock (HL)

  • This was 38, add 3 2014 inductees – Joe Torre (manager), Bobby Cox (manager) and Tony LaRussa (manager)

1981 Topps – 40 Hall of Famers

McCovey and Brock were gone after retiring (-2), but Whitey Herzog got a manager card when he was hired by St. Louis (+1)

  • This was 37, add 3 2014 inductees – Torre, Cox and LaRussa (managers)

1982 Topps – 33 Hall of Famers

There was no manager subset in 1982, which accounts for the big drop – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Anderson, Torre, Cox and LaRussa aren’t in this set (-8).  Cal Ripken Jr. is the new guy in this set (+1).

  • This number didn’t change due as no 2014 inductees are in the set.

1983 Topps – 44 Hall of Famers

This is the peak of HOF-ers in my Lifetime Topps project.  The manager subset came back, which led to 9 new cards of Hall of Famers – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Sparky, Herzog, Cox, Torre, LaRussa and Frank Robinson.  Additionally, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn entered the fray (+12).  Willie Stargell retired and had his last card in 1982 (-1).

  • This was 41, add 3 2014 inductees – Torre, Cox, and LaRussa (managers)

1984 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Earl Weaver had retired after the 1982 season, with no new Hall of Fame blood in this set (-1).  Bench, Perry and Yastrzemski were only included in a subset card.

  • This was 40, add 3 2014 inductees – Torre, Cox, and LaRussa (managers)

1985 Topps – 39 Hall of Famers

Robinson was gone after his stint as the Giants manager was over, and Bench, Yaz, Perry, Palmer and Jenkins had also had their last card (-6).  Kirby Puckett’s rookie card is in this set, and Yogi Berra had a card for his second (and controversial) stint as Yankee manager (+2).  When I started this blog, Puckett was the most recent rookie card of any Hall of Famer!

  • This was 36, add 3 2014 inductees – Torre, Cox, and LaRussa (managers)

1986 Topps – 39 Hall of Famers

Torre was fired as Braves manager in 1984 and was gone from this set.  Berra was gone as well, and Joe Morgan retired (-3).  But Earl Weaver was back as the O’s manager, and we had a Turn Back the Clock subset that got Willie Mays and Frank Robinson into the mix (+3).

  • This was 37, add 2 2014 inductees – Cox, and LaRussa (managers)

1987 Topps – 37 Hall of Famers

Cox was no longer the Blue Jay skipper at this point, and Carew, Fingers and Tony Perez all retired. Robinson and Mays were gone from the TBC subset (-6)….

But Clemente and Yastrzemski replaced them.  Barry Larkin had his first card in this set, and Yogi Berra had the awesome TL card I mentioned earlier as coach of the Astros (+4)!

  • This was 36, add 1 2014 inductee – LaRussa (manager)

1988 Topps – 35 Hall of Famers

Mr. October, Lefty and Tom Terrific and Earl Weaver were all retired at this point.  Clemente, Yaz and Berra were gone from subsets (-7).  Maddux and Glavine had their first base Topps cards, and the subsets were a wash due to 3 new Cardinals – Bob Gibson and Stan Musial from the TBC subset, and Red Schoendienst is featured on the Cards Team Leader card (+5).  Phil Niekro made it only on the Record Breaker subset with his brother in this set.

  • This was 32, add 3 2014 inductees – LaRussa (manager), Maddux, Glavine

1989 Topps – 33 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Sutton, Niekro (RB), Williams (mgr), Schoendienst (TL), Musial (TBC), Gibson (TBC)

New (+4): Hank Aaron (TBC), Brock (TBC), Frank Robinson (back as a manager), Roberto Alomar RC

  • This was 30, add 3 2014 inductees – LaRussa (manager), Maddux, Glavine

I’ll update this for the 1990’s in another post in the future.

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 1969

23 01 2014


1969 Topps Mantle

Best Player to retire in 1968.   Mickey Mantle (Hall of Famer)

Did he have a 1969 card?   Yes – 1969 Topps.  See above.

After the vast majority of the players from the 60’s and 70’s didn’t get a true “final card”, the biggest cardboard icon of them all did get a card with his full stat line – all 536 homers – on the back.  He almost looks like he’s feeling a little bit guilty here, knowing he got a card and some of those other players didn’t.  It’s OK Mick!  We’re glad you did.

Apologies to:   Eddie Mathews (Hall of Famer), who, unlike the Mick, didn’t have a card in 1969 Topps.  Cards that Never Were just made a custom of Mathews that looks much better than the one other card with him as a Tiger (1968 Topps).