Wednesday, December 27, 2017

From My Collection: 1983 Topps Super Veterans

I like these 1983 Topps Super Veterans cards, and I have a bunch of them, in two varieties: at least one is extremely beat up, and the rest are nice, clean, and sharp.  This indicates when I acquired them -- if I got them in 1983 when I was 7 years old, then they lived on my bedroom floor and got beat up.  If I got them post-1987 when I paid attention to my cards, then they're more-or-less in the shape they were when acquired.
Dave Kingman.
Dave LaRoche.
They all look so young in the black-and-white picture on the left.  Dave Kingman debuted with the Giants in 1971, and by 1983 was with the Mets.  He was part of an effort to rebuild the Mets into a contender, but he didn't pan out and other players (like Gary Carter) provided power for the 1986 champion Mets instead.  He went to end his career with the A's from 1984-1986, for a career spanning 16 seasons.

You can clearly see the creases in this Dave LaRoche card.  LaRoche debuted with the Angels in 1970, and played with a number of teams until retiring with the Yankees after the 1983 season, for a career spanning 14 seasons.  His career record is 65-58 with 126 saves.  Wikipedia says he's best known for throwing an "eephus" pitch, a lobbing slow pitch, his variant of which he called "LaLob."
Phil Niekro.
Joe Morgan.
Here we have two Hall-of-Famers, Phil Niekro and Joe Morgan.  For these super veterans cards, some of the players have significantly more longevity than others, and here we see Phil Niekro (debuting in 1964) and Joe Morgan (debuting in 1963) being quite senior as compared to Dave Kingman and Dave LaRoche above.  I remember always thinking how old Niekro looked, and you can see that here in his 1983 picture.  He probably was about the age I am now (although I'm not checking that).  I wasn't seriously watching baseball yet in 1983, when the Phillies and Morgan won the pennant, being dubbed the "Wheeze Kids" to reflect the seniority of some of the players as well as referencing the Whiz Kids of 1950.
Steve Carlton.
Tom Seaver.
Another two Hall-of-Famers are Steve Carlton and Tom Seaver, and they are also from the 60s, with Carlton debuting in 1965 and Seaver in 1967.  It's fitting to pair them here as Carlton always said that Seaver was his greatest competition as a pitcher, although Carlton was always compared more to Nolan Ryan in the press.  Carlton was also on the Wheeze Kids team, although he was certainly still doing well at that point, competing for the career strikeout record with Ryan and Gaylord Perry.  Seaver was about to have one last run at the World Series, as part of the 1986 Red Sox team, although he was sidelined with an injury for the actual World Series.
Tony Perez.
Bruce Sutter.
Here we have another two Hall-of-Famers and a marked contrast in seniority, with another Wheeze Kid, Tony Perez, who debuted in the majors in 1964, and Bruce Sutter, who debuted in 1976.  I don't know on what planet a career spanning 1976-1983 could qualify someone as a Super Veteran, but I guess whoever designed the subset needed Sutter to fill out the set; maybe they needed a relief pitcher, or a Cardinal, or maybe they were just a fan of Sutter. 

In any case, I think these are nice cards showing the players who had (generally) been around for a long time at two different points in their careers.

No comments:

Post a Comment