As far as guys who had “Fan Favorite” cards in 2016 Topps Archives, 1979 was not quite as successful. There were actually more cards that qualify, but 6 of them have the wrong year.
First, Joe Morgan has a card from his first stint with the Astros – he didn’t go back to Houston until 1980. Ozzie Smith also has a card with the Cardinals – he wasn’t traded until just before the 1982 season. I didn’t get their cards in my box, so no scan.
Tom Seaver was traded to the Reds in 1977, so 1979 was his 2nd year of having a Reds card. Bruce Sutter was with the Cubs through the 1980 season, so this card was two years off the other way. Carlton Fisk was the same – he didn’t sign with the White Sox until 1981.
Oscar Gamble was closest – he was in between his two stints with the Yankees. He played for the Padres in 1978, but was traded to the Rangers in the offseason. His 1979 card shows him with the Rangers. His 1979 card shows him with the Padres. He was then traded to the Yankees at the deadline, and he never had a contemporary card showing him with the Rangers. I guess this card could be viewed as a card that never was – but the way things worked until around 2000, if there was a 1979 Traded card, it would have shown him with the Rangers. The closest thing to showing him with the Rangers was his 1979 O-Pee-Chee card.
There are no “cards that never were”, except for I guess the Gamble if you want to be a bit liberal on that comment.
There are 3 players with cards in the original 1979 set with the right team. But one of them is not era correct.
That card is Jim Palmer, who had snipped the hair a bit by 1979. The Archives picture seems to be early 70’s by my guess. That’s still a pretty cool shot, though it seems like the All-Star line is missing when comparing the two side-by-side.
The other 2 cards do seem era-appropriate. First is Reggie Jackson – he’s shows with the Yankees, and considering he didn’t play all that long with them, this has to be pretty close to the right year.
Last is Willie McCovey. Stretch came back to the Giants in the 1977 season, and I’m pretty sure this is from that stint since he didn’t have sideburns until he went to San Diego in the early 70’s.
There’s two other cards worth mentioning. Both Ken Griffey Jr. and Roberto Alomar got their first cards on the 1979 design. Their dads had cards in that set, so you could do a side-by-side that way. For another day for me, however!