Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Progress on My 1972 Topps Pirates Team Set

I posted before about my desire to complete a 1972 Topps Pirates team set, to commemorate their World Series victory in my collection.  As the previous post shows, I already had the Roberto Clemente, the Willie Stargell regular card and in-action, the team card, and several others.  I also recently acquired the Manny Sanguillen, and I have a couple from the World Series subset, also featuring Sanguillen.  So, I've picked up a few more cards for the team set, and here they are.
1972 Topps NLCS card.
The Pirates won the NLCS over the Giants, three games to one.  That looks like Willie Stargell in left field in the back of the picture, and number 2 on the team was shortstop Jackie Hernandez, making the catch.  According the Baseball Reference, Bobby Bonds did pop out to shortstop in the fifth inning of Game 4, so this could be that catch.  There's a surprising number of empty seats, especially if this is a shot from Game 4, since that would mean the Bucs were on the verge of returning to the World Series.
Bob Johnson.
Pitcher Bob Johnson went 1-0 in the 1971 NLCS and 0-1 in two games (one start) in the World Series.  He returned for the 1972 NLCS, which the Pirates lost to the Reds, pitching in relief in two games.  Johnson's career spanned 1969-1974 with the Mets, Royals, Pirates, and Indians, and then he returned to pitch 15 games with the Braves in 1977.
Steve Blass.
Steve Blass is perhaps most famous for "Steve Blass disease," in which a player stops being able to play, or in particular, in which a pitcher loses all control for no clear reason.  We live several hours from Pittsburgh, but still get the Pirates on cable, so we get to hear Steve Blass call games during the season, with Bob Walk.
Vic Davalillo.
Vic Davalillo had a long career, from 1963 through 1980, playing for the Indians, Angels, Cardinals, Pirates, A's, and Dodgers.  In addition to 1971, he won the World Series with the A's in 1973.
Bruce Kison.
Having watched the 1979 World Series on DVD, it's impossible to forget Bruce Kison -- he was the Game 1 starter for the Pirates, and lasted a whole 1/3 of an inning, giving up 5 runs, 4 of which were earned.  The Bucs lost Game 1, and it set a bad tone, with the Pirates having to battle their way back (which they did, of course, after eventually finding themselves down 3 games to 1).  Kison didn't pitch again in the Series.  In 1971, he did have one bad outing in the World Series, appearing in relief in Game 2, and walking both batters he faced.  He turned in a much, much better Game 4, pitching 6-1/3 innings in relief and giving up no runs, becoming the winning pitcher.
Dave Giusti.
Reliever Dave Giusti appeared in all four games of the 1971 NLCS, earning two saves, and in three games in the World Series, earning one save.  He led the NL in saves in 1971, too, with 30.

That's it for this round.  I'll keep picking up more of these now and then, and showing them when I can!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 101-200

Today we have another installment of a tour through the 1979 Topps set, featuring ten cards numbered between 101 and 200.  While 1979 isn't the greatest example of a Topps set of the era, the set means a lot to me as the first cards I ever remember are from 1979.

Previously in this series:
  1. My Ill-Fated 1979 Topps Project, and My Acquisition of a 1979 Topps Set.
  2. A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 1-100.
So let's get underway, starting with card #104.
#104.  Johnny Oates.
This is Johnny Oates, backup catcher for the Dodgers.  Steve Yeager was, of course, the starting catcher for the Dodgers in 1978, but only played in 94 games.  Oates wasn't the main backup catcher, as Joe Ferguson appeared in 67 games and Jerry Grote played in 41.  Oates in fact only had 80 plate appearances in his 40 games.  Oates' playing career was really before my time, but I remember him as manager of the Orioles in the early 90s.  His teams didn't place terribly well in the AL East, which I found suprising given their talent.
#112.  Philadelphia Phillies.
The late 70s and early 80s were a great time for the Phillies, as they won the NL East three straight years in 1976, 1977, and 1978 under Danny Ozark, before finally winning the World Series in 1980 under Dallas Green.  The Phils had a bad year inbetween in 1979, as the Pirates went on to win the division and the World Series, and Ozark was fired in August and replaced with Green.  Ozark went on to be a coach for the 1981 champion Dodgers, and later was interim manager for the Giants after Frank Robinson was fired in 1984.  His career managerial record was a very respectable 618-542.
#118.  Bud Harrelson.
I guess this one falls into the category of players in strange uniforms.  Bud Harrelson might as well be Mr. Met, and here he is in the old light blue Phillies road uniform.  I love the way some players would choke up on the bat back then -- Larry Bowa and Tim Foli both batted that way, too.
#123.  Lou Whitaker.
All of a sudden, the 1984 Tigers championship team has some Hall-of-Famers, in Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.  For some reason, Lou Whitaker wasn't on that ballot.  Here's hoping they include him next time around.
#136.  Jim Kaat.
Jim Kaat, with his 283 career wins, also strikes me as a potential Hall-of-Famer via what we might call the Veterans Committee.  Baseball Reference puts him as being similar to Tommy John, Robin Roberts, Fergie Jenkins, Eppa Rixey, Jamie Moyer, and Bert Blyleven; four out of six of them are in the Hall.
#144.  Sandy Alomar.
Sandy Alomar, now known as Sandy Alomar, Sr., is perhaps best known as father of Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Roberto Alomar.  Since I stopped watching baseball at the time of the 1994 strike, I had to look up what happened to Senior's sons, and it turns out Roberto is a Hall-of-Famer, and Junior had a good career which included a Rookie of the Year award, a Gold Glove, and being named an All-Star six times.  Sandy Alomar, Sr. played in the majors between 1964 (starting with the Milwaukee Braves) and 1978 (ending with the Rangers, as seen here).  Inbetween, Alomar switched teams several times, having the most stability as starting second baseman for the Angels for several years.  In 1978, Alomar played in 24 games with 31 plate appearances, and was released in October.
#157.  U.L. Washington.
I have a DVD of the final game of the 1980 World Series, in which the Phillies beat the Royals.  There was a lot of great talent on that Royals team, like Hal McRae, Amos Otis, and of course George Brett, and that includes U L Washington.  Known for batting with a toothpick in his mouth, the announcer warns the kids at home not to copy him when they play.
#173.  John Lowenstein.
John Lowenstein was a character, and was on the 1979 Orioles team that lost to the Pirates in the World Series.  He stayed with them and was on the winning team in 1983.  My favorite thing about him is, as it says in Wikipedia, that when he was with the Indians from 1970-1977, since no one ever started a fan club for him, he started the John Lowenstein Apathy Club instead.
#175.  George Hendrick.
Soon after I joined the ranks of cardbloggers, I remember that Night Owl had a great post about George Hendrick, mainly featuring cards of him in a track suit, wearing visors, and with a hat-helmet combination.  I don't think I had ever noticed him before that post.  This is still a nice photo, even if there aren't any none of Hendrick's striking fashion choices on display.
#195.  Bill Madlock.
We'll close out the post with frequent NL batting champ Bill Madlock.  Being a Pirates fan, I'm glad that he didn't end 1979 where he started, with the Giants.  Instead he was traded in June to Pittsburgh, giving an extra solid bat to their eventual championship winning team.

Thanks for reading!  I don't have any set schedule for when these posts will go up, but sometime in the near future you could expect to see ten cards numbered between 201 and 300.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Oversized in My Collection: 1986 Donruss All-Stars (Part 4 of 6)

For each of the past three Saturdays, we have been going over the 1985 All-Star Game in minute detail, showing ten cards at a time from the 1986 Donruss All-Star set.  There are still 30 cards left, then, and this week we show numbers 31-40; this will finish off the cards of the National League reserves, and start with the American League bench.

Previously in this series:
  1. 1986 Donruss All-Stars Part 1 (1-10).
  2. 1986 Donruss All-Stars Part 2 (11-20).
  3. 1986 Donruss All-Stars Part 3 (21-30)
#31.  Goose Gossage.
Goose Gossage pitched the bottom of the ninth for the NL, replacing Jeff Reardon as pitcher, and replacing Glenn Wilson of the Phillies at 7th in the batting order.  Gossage didn't get an at-bat though, of course, as he finished the game pitching.   In the ninth he got a groundout by Alan Trammell, walked Wade Boggs, and then struck out two other Red Sox, Jim Rice and Rich Gedman.  It wasn't a save situation, as the NL lead was too big (recall that the NL won the game 6-1).

I've featured cards of Gossage a couple of other times, such as on the 1985 Donruss All-Stars and on the 1981 Topps Supers, and in both of those he appears on the card as Rich Gossage.  It's nice to have some cards identifying him as Goose.
#32.  Ryne Sandberg.
Next up in the set is card #32, Ryne Sandberg.  Personally, I always think of Sandberg as "the one that got away" from the Phillies, as after making his debut with the Phils in 1981, he and Larry Bowa were traded to the Cubs for Ivan de Jesus.  That's got to be one of the worst trades in MLB history.

In the 1985 All-Star Game, Sandberg went 0-1 in two plate appearances, scoring a run.  Dave Stieb struck him out in the 6th inning, and he was then walked by Dan Petry in the ninth.  He then advanced to third base when Petry walked both Tim Raines and Jack Clark, and scored when Willie McGee hit a ground-rule double.
#33.  Jeff Reardon.
Jeff Reardon pitched the eighth for the NL, and appeared 7th in the batting order, although he didn't get an at-bat.  He gave up a leadoff single to Damaso Garcia, got Phil Bradley to hit into a double play, and got a groundout from Tom Brunansky.  Again, the NL dominated this game, and Reardon was one of several NL pitchers to be shutting down the AL offense all night.

I can never remember which relievers are in the Hall of Fame and which aren't, since the selections have seemed completely arbitrary to me.  Looking it up, I see Reardon isn't in the Hall, but Bruce Sutter is.  Seems to me like they had extremely similar careers, but whatever.
#34.  Pete Rose.
I mainly don't post cards of Pete Rose.  I certainly am not buying any new cards of Pete Rose.  But since I'm posting the whole set, I'll put this here.  Rose pinch hit for Fernando Valenzuela in the 8th inning and faced Donnie Moore.  He grounded out.
#35.  Scott Garrelts.
Pitcher Scott Garrelts did not appear in the game.  In 1984 Garrelts pitched in 21 games with the Giants, going 2-3 with 0 saves and a 5.65 ERA.  His 1985 was much better, pitching in 74 games, going 9-6 with 13 saves and a 2.30 ERA.  His team, the San Francisco Giants, were absolutely terrible that year, with a record of 62-100.  Somebody had to represent them on the All-Star team.  Garrelts spent his whole career with the Giants, and later became a starter, winning the 1989 ERA title as the Giants went on to win the pennant.
#36.  Willie McGee.
The Cardinals had some great years and some great talent in the 80s, and Willie McGee was certainly part of that.  In 1985, McGee was on his way to the NL MVP award, as well as a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger, and the batting title (with a .353 average).  He led the NL with 216 hits and 18 triples, and placed third in the NL in stolen bases with 56 (behind teammate Vince Coleman's awesome 110, and Tim Raines' 70 steals).  He would go on to win another batting title in 1990.

In the game, McGee went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI.  He grounded out in the 7th off Donnie Moore, and hit a ground rule double in the 9th off Guillermo Hernandez, scoring Ryne Sandberg and Tim Raines.
#37.  Ron Darling.
Ron Darling also didn't appear in the game.  He had a good 1985, going 16-6 with a 2.90 ERA, although he did lead the league in walks issued with 114.  He was part of the core pitching staff of the 1986 championship Mets, who dominated the NL and then squeaked by the Red Sox in the World Series.  I didn't really remember what happened to him after the Mets, but he pitched with Montreal and Oakland, including pitching for all three in 1991.  I would say his last best year was 1988, when he went 17-9 with a 3.25 ERA.  He finished with a career record of 136-116 with a 3.87 ERA and 1590 strikeouts.
#38.  Dick Williams.
Finally, we have manager Dick Williams of the Padres.  Like relievers, I frequently can't remember which managers are in the Hall of Fame, but it turns out that Williams was selected for the Hall in 2008.  This surely mainly reflects his two World Series wins as manager as part of the A's dynasty in the early 70s, but also reflects his other pennants (with the Red Sox in 1967 and the Padres in 1984).  My first memory of Williams is from the end of his MLB managerial career, appearing in the 1987 Topps set as manager of the Mariners.  I also have some cards of him after that as manager in the Senior Professional Baseball Association.
#39.  Paul Molitor.
That's it for the NL team in the set, and we've also already covered the AL starters (they were cards #10-18).  So now we move on to the AL bench.  First up, then, is Paul Molitor as card #39.  Molitor replaced Rickey Henderson in the first spot in the batting order, and replaced George Brett at third base, at the start of the 7th inning.  Later, at the start of the 9th inning, Molitor moved from 3rd base to center field, replacing Phil Bradley in center, and making room for Wade Boggs at third.  Molitor struck out in his only plate appearance, facing Fernando Valenzuela.

Molitor would eventually be a 7-time All-Star, but he started slowly; in his first ten years in the majors, 1978-1987, he was only an All-Star twice, in 1980 and here in 1985.  He picked up the pace later, making the All-Star team four years in a row closer to the end of his career, 1991-1994.
#40.  Damaso Garcia.
Damaso Garcia played in the majors from 1978 through 1986 for the Yankees and Blue Jays, and then again in 1988 for the Braves and 1989 for the Expos.  He was on the AL All-Star team in both 1984 and 1985, and won a Silver Slugger in 1982.  In the top of the 6th, Garcia replaced Lou Whitaker at second base.  He had a fly out off Nolan Ryan in the 6th, but hit a single off Jeff Reardon in the 8th.  He stole second but was out at third on a double play.

That's it for this week's installment of the 1986 Donruss All-Star set; two more weeks to go to finish the whole set!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Juan Marichal in My Collection

I've said before, in the late 80s and early 90s, when I was looking for older cards, I mainly wanted Hall-of-Famers.  I didn't have a ton of information, this being pre-internet, so it was hard to tell who the interesting or great players of the past were, other than by letting the various Hall of Fame selectors do the judging for me.  I found Juan Marichal to be one of the more affordable Hall-of-Famers, and was able to get a variety of his cards.
1965 Topps Juan Marichal.
In addition to seeking out players who were just less expensive, another strategy I had was based on condition.  Beat-up cards are cheaper, and I didn't necessarily mind the creases, such as those that you can see clearly in the scan of this 1965 Marichal.  This card was still from early in Marichal's career, and he was off to a great start, having pitched a no-hitter in 1963 on his way to a 25-8 record, and following that up with a 21-8 record with an NL-leading 22 complete games in 1964.

Also notable in 1965 for Marichal is the game in which he beat the Dodgers' catcher, John Roseboro, with a bat.  If you don't know about it, you can find photos here, for instance.
Two 1969 Topps Juan Marichal cards.
I bought two of the 1969 Topps Juan Marichal for some reason; the one on the right is in better condition, but the one on the left has a wax stain or something similar.  In 1968, Marichal complied a 26-8 record, leading the NL in wins and again leading in complete games with 30.
1970 Topps Juan Marichal and 1970 Topps Juan Marichal All-Star.
Marichal was an All-Star consecutively between 1962 and 1969; these eight years meant nine All-Star appearances, since there were two All-Star games in 1962.  He would be an All-Star once more, in 1971.  His career started to stumble around this time, with his 1970 record being 12-10 with a 4.12 ERA. 
1972 Topps Juan Marichal and Juan Marichal In Action.
Marichal bounced back in 1971, but in 1972 was doing poorly again, with a 6-16 record with a 3.71 ERA, and in 1973 he went 11-15 with a 3.82 ERA. 
1974 Topps Traded Juan Marichal.
After those multiple years of poor performance, the Giants sold Marichal's contract to the Red Sox.  He was with Boston only for 1974, pitching in only 11 games, going 5-1 with a 4.87 ERA.  He then signed with the Dodgers, but wasn't too popular with the Dodgers' fans because of that time that he beat the Dodgers' catcher with a baseball bat.  He only pitched two games with the Dodgers in 1975, going 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA.
Hy-Grade Baseball's All-Time Greats Juan Marichal.
Marichal was elected to the Hall of Fame on the third ballot in 1983.  According to Wikipedia, the reason that it took until the third ballot was that the sportswriters didn't like the fact that he once beat the Dodgers' catcher with a baseball bat.  Roseboro, the catcher, publicly forgave Marichal and made a case for him as a Hall-of-Famer, and the sportswriters relented.

While the majority of my cards represent the declining Marichal of the 1970s, in the 1960s, along with Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax, Marichal was one of baseball's best pitchers.  I wonder if the Roseboro incident -- which I certainly didn't know about as a kid collecting in the late 80s -- is the reason his cards remained so affordable.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

July 1991 Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly

July 1991 Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly front cover.
Today we're featuring this old magazine, the July, 1991 issue of Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly.  The magazine comes with 5 replica cards inside, in the 1971 Topps style.  As you can see here, Barry Bonds is featured on the cover, with an inset image of the 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson rookie card. 

One of the stories mentioned on the front is that the Reggie Jackson rookie card was up to $450 in value; if I were to buy one today (graded), it's possible that I might pay that much now.  Of course, $450 in 1991 went further than it does today before 25+ years of inflation, and condition wasn't king the way it is now.  There's a huge difference in prices you might find for PSA 7 and PSA 9; I don't know which of those, or what else, the magazine's $450 refers to.  In any case, the Reggie Jackson rookie card is on my want list for eventual purchase, and I usually intend to get PSA 7.  If I do eventually get one, I will either wait some time before getting it, or maybe settle for lower condition.

Other stories on the front: Overpriced Cards You Should Avoid, and Make Money with Mid-80s Sets.  I didn't go in for cards as an investment, so these stories didn't impact me too much.  In hindsight, though, if you wanted to make money with those cards, you needed to do it fast!  I remember towards the end of my collecting days, the owner of one of my local shops telling me she thought the current cards were going to be worthless.  That might have been 1993 or 1994.  She was right of course; I told her that I enjoyed collecting from the 70s, and wasn't looking at any of the cards, especially the current ones, to make money.
Replica cards of Mark McGwire, Kevin Mitchell, and George Brett.
For some of the cards like these that came in magazines, I cut them out, but later I started to keep them intact in their magazines.  So these, in July 1991, are part of my intact collection.  While I guess putting modern players on vintage designs (and vice versa) is commonplace today, it was a novelty back then.  Seeing McGwire, Mitchell, and Brett grace the 1971 Topps design was pretty cool.
Card backs.
I've always liked the 1971 Topps card back, with a smaller picture instead of a cartoon as many older Topps card backs had.
Replica cards of Rafael Palmeiro and Robin Yount.
I liked Rafael Palmeiro at the time, but really only because his 1987 Topps card featured the "Future Stars" logo.  He was mainly with the Rangers while I was paying attention to baseball, and they were in the other league, they were far away, and they didn't make the playoffs.  So, I had limited exposure to them and to Palmeiro except through his cards.  I similarly didn't know much about Robin Yount, but I think I heard talk of him as a future Hall-of-Famer.  That of course raised the level of interest in his cards.
Card backs.
If you look closely, you can see that the card backs don't have statistics, but instead have card values.  What else would you expect from cards issued by a price guide magazine, especially in 1991?
A page of the price guide, featuring 1987 Classic and 1987 Donruss.
Like I said above, I didn't consider my cards an investment.  Of course it made me happy, though, if a price guide indicated that something in my collection was valuable.  That was the case with the 1987 Classic set shown here in the price guide.  $200 for the complete set!  And I owned it!  My parents gave me the "Green Classic" board game as a Christmas present the year it came out; I hadn't heard of it before that.  Rather than keep the game in pristine condition, I, perhaps foolishly at the time, played it with my friends as a board game.  You can see in the listing, the Bo Jackson card alone was supposedly worth $100.  Mine wasn't in perfect condition per se, as I played the game with it, but it was nice to see that it had some value.  Looking back, I'm glad to say that I played the game, so that I got some enjoyment out of it.  While the cards aren't in perfect shape, I checked them out recently, and they're not banged up too badly.

That's it for this old magazine.  Thanks for reading!  We've previously featured some other old magazines:
  1. My First Beckett: September 1987, Andre Dawson Front Cover
  2. November 1990 Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly (Michael Jordan Front Cover)
  3. June 1988 Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly (Matt Nokes Front Cover)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 1-100

I mentioned before that I had a dream as a teenager of building a 1979 Topps set, and now that I'm collecting again, I just went ahead and bought the complete set.  I'm going to go through the set and pick out some favorite cards to display, showing about 10% of the whole set.  In today's post, I've selected 10 cards from the first 100 to show.  We'll keep doing this every now and then over the next couple of months.

Previous post in the series:
  1. My Ill-Fated 1979 Topps Project, and My Acquisition of a 1979 Topps Set.
#25. Steve Carlton.
I'm starting off at #25, Steve Carlton, master of the slider.  I already owned one of this card -- in the previous post about the 1979 set, you can it a shot of my binder.  I like this as an action shot of his motion, and I always like to see the old light blue road uniform.  Carlton and Schmidt were the big stars of the team back then, but all us kids like Schmidt more, I think.  It's probably because sluggers just seem more exciting, but maybe it's also in part because Carlton wouldn't talk to the press.
#30.  Dave Winfield.
Next up we have #30, Dave Winfield.  Until just recently, I think my only card of him with the Padres was his 1974 rookie card (which I'll post someday).  Again, what a great uniform.
#41.  Minnesota Twins.
Then we have the Twins team photo, with manager Gene Mauch.  I really wonder if anyone can see who anyone is in these team pictures.  I really can never identify any individual player, even when I know who the players on the team are.  Gene Mauch, who I mostly know for never having won a pennant, is at least singled out.  Until 1980, the Phillies had a terrible record as far as pennants go, only having won in 1915 and 1950 (and losing the World Series both times).  Mauch managed them for a signigicant stretch of this futility in the 1960s, including for their epic 1964 collapse (the "Phold").
#51.  Ray Fosse.
Ray Fosse is famous for Pete Rose crashing hard into him during the 1970 All-Star game, causing lifelong pain and surely impacting his career.  Probably because of this card, I've always associated Fosse with the Brewers, but it turns out that he only played with them in 1979, having spent his career with other teams, including winning the 1973 and 1974 World Series with the A's.
#59.  John Denny.
If you look up the, say, 1983 and 1984 pitching leaders in both the NL and AL, you might notice there's a distinct lack of Hall-of-Famers.  Instead, for a few years, pitching was dominated by people who were just having a few really good years.  One of those guys was John Denny, then with the Phillies, who won the 1983 NL Cy Young award.  Denny was with the Cardinals from 1974-1979, the Indians from 1980-1982, then the Phillies, and was with the Reds in 1986 before retiring.  Other than his 1983 Cy Young season, his most notable achievement is probably leading the NL in ERA in 1976, at 2.52.
#60.  Mickey Rivers.
I don't remember Mickey Rivers, but I've heard of him as an important part of the 1970s Yankees World Series winners.  I'm fond of the base stealers like Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Vince Coleman, Lou Brock, and Bill Bruton; Rivers was a base stealer, leading the AL with 70 in 1975.  His speed surely contributed to his leading the AL in triples in 1974 and 1975 as well.
#61.  Bo Diaz.
Like John Denny, Bo Diaz is another member of the 1983 NL pennant-winning Phillies.  Diaz was the starting catcher, backed up by Ozzie Virgil.  Diaz debuted in the majors in 1977 with the Red Sox, and was then traded with several other players in the deal that brought Dennis Eckersley to Boston.  Diaz came to the Phillies in a three-team trade after the 1981 season, in the deal that sent Lonnie Smith to St. Louis.  He ended his career with the Reds, after being traded by the Phils towards the end of the 1985 season.  I remember reading the newspaper one day to find out that Diaz was killed while working with a satellite dish at his home in Venezuela.
#85.  Gary Matthews.
I guess I pulled out a bunch of the 1983 Phillies, because here we have Gary Matthews, aka Sarge.  Matthews playes with the Giants, Braves, Phillies, Cubs, and Mariners in his career spanning 1972-1987.  He was the NLCS MVP with that 1983 Phillies team, and also played in the unusual 1981 NLDS with them.  He was in the postseason one more time, with the Cubs in the 1984 NLCS, losing to San Diego.
#92.  Jim Bibby.
I've said this several times before -- if you watch the 1979 World Series, I think it's clear that the Orioles were the better team, and the Pirates beat them by extracting great performances at just the right time.  This especially applies to the pitching staffs: the Pirates pitchers were running out of gas, but managed to cobble together enough strong innings here and there to win.  Chuck Tanner wasn't sure until the end who would start the final game, and Bert Blyleven was volunteering to do it on short rest.  Tanner went with Jim Bibby instead, who only went four innings but only allowed one run.  Bibby was then relieved by Don Robinson, Grant Jackson, and Kent Tekulve.  Jackson got the win and Teke got the save, but it was a team effort in every sense.
#94.  Len Barker.
Finally, we round out this tour of the first 100 cards of the 1979 Topps set with pitcher Len Barker of the Rangers.  I only know Len Barker for one thing, and that's his 1982 Fleer card (what they later called Super Star Specials) of him with catcher Bo Diaz celebrating Barker's 1981 perfect game.  That's a weird card, though, because Ron Hassey, not Bo Diaz, was the catcher for the perfect game.  Fleer issued another Super Star Special of Barker, this time with Hassey, in 1983, celebrating it as the most recent perfect game.

That's it for this installment -- thanks for reading!  Next time, we'll look at ten cards numbered 101-200.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oversized in My Collection: 1986 Donruss All-Stars (Part 3 of 6)

In this post, we are continuing to relive the 1985 Major League All-Star Game. We have the third installment today, showcasing cards 21-30 of the oversized 1986 Donruss All-Star set.

Previously in this series:
  1. 1986 Donruss All-Stars Part 1 (1-10).
  2. 1986 Donruss All-Stars Part 2 (11-20).
#21.  Nolan Ryan.
Nolan Ryan pitched three innings, the fourth, fifth, and sixth.  He batted second in the lineup, replacing second baseman Tom Herr.  As far as batting goes, he had one at-bat, and was struck out by Dave Stieb in the bottom of the sixth.  As for pitching, he gave up two hits (a single by Dave Winfield in the fifth, and an infield single by Cal Ripken, Jr. in the sixth), two walks (to Cecil Cooper in the fifth and George Brett in the sixth), and struck out two (Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson, both in the fifth).  As we've discovered in the previous posts in the series, the game was a lopsided win by the NL, so Ryan was one of several pitchers shutting down the AL over the night.
#22.  Tony Pena.
Tony Pena was on his third All-Star team in 1985, with his other appearances at that point being 1982 and 1984.  He would be an All-Star again with the Pirates in 1986 and with the Cardinals in 1989.  In the 1985 game, Pena replaced Ryan at second in the batting order in the seventh inning, replacing Ozzie Virgil (featured below) at catcher.  As I've been writing about the game, I am basing everything on Baseball Reference's page, which includes the box score and play-by-play.  There is also information on the backs of the cards, and in this instance, they disagree.  Pena's card says that he had 0 at-bats in the 1985 All-Star Game, but Baseball Reference clearly says that he had an at-bat and struck out (in the 9th, with Dan Petry pitching).
#23.  Jack Clark.
Jack Clark replaced Steve Garvey at first base, and at 3rd in the lineup, in the fifth inning.  Clark had a groundout off Donnie Moore in the 7th, and drew a walk from Dan Petry in the 9th.  He moved to third when Willie McGee hit a ground rule double, and was left on base.  Clark was an All-Star with the Giants in 1978 and 1979, and also later with the Cardinals again in 1987, for four total appearances.  I've said before that I think Jack Clark is overrepresented in my collection; he seemed to be a big star at the time I started collecting, but he kind of faded after a few years, I think.
#24.  Dave Parker.
According to what I thought the logic of the numbering system was, I think Willie McGee should have been next, since McGee (according to Baseball Reference) batted in the fourth spot in the lineup.  Instead, we skip ahead to the fifth spot, with Dave Parker, who replaced Daryl Strawberry in the lineup and in right field in the fifth inning.  Parker went 0-for-2, with a groundout off Donnie Moore in the 7th, and a strikeout by Guillermo Hernandez in the 9th.  Parker is one of my favorite players, and I see his time with the Reds as something of an interlude between his World Series wins with the Pirates and the A's.  He did have great years with the Reds, especially 1985, in which he led the NL with 42 doubles and 125 RBI.
#25.  Tim Wallach.
Next in the set is Tim Wallach, who replaced Graig Nettles at third base and at sixth in the lineup, in the 4th inning.  This was Wallach's second of five All-Star appearances, all with the Expos.  In three plate appearances, Wallach went 1-for-2 with a walk.  In the fifth inning, he hit a ground rule double off Bert Blyleven, and then scored when Ozzie Virgil singled.
#26.  Ozzie Virgil.
Here we have the just-mentioned Phillies catcher Ozzie Virgil.  This was the first of two selections to the All-Star team for Virgil, the second being with the Braves in 1987.  As we said above, Virgil singled to score both Daryl Strawberry and Tim Wallach in the fifth; that was the end of the inning, though, because Virgil tried to make it a double but was tagged out at second base.  So, Virgil went 1-for-1 with two RBI.  I'll say that I don't remember Virgil with the Phillies; this was the period I wasn't paying attention to baseball, inbetween Bob Boone as the Phils' catcher with the 1980 championship team, and their acquisition of Lance Parrish as catcher in 1987.
#27.  Fernando Valenzuela.
I feel like I should have more Fernando Valenzuela cards in my collection.  I'm working on that.  In the game, Valenzuela pitched the 7th inning.  He walked Jim Rice, made a wild pitch which moved Rice to second base, got Gary Ward to line out, got Don Mattingly to fly out to center, and struck out Paul Molitor.  Valenzuela did not bat.  This was the fifth of sixth straight All-Star selections for Valenzuela.
#28.  Dwight Gooden.
Dwight Gooden was on the NL All-Star team but didn't appear in the game.  According to the back of the card, his manager, Davey Johnson, requested that he not be used.  The card back notes, though, that he was great in the 1984 All-Star game.  This was the second of Gooden's four selections as an All-Star.
#29.  Glenn Wilson.
Glenn Wilson of the Phillies is someone I remember well from my childhood.  He was at some point traded to the Mariners, and he wasn't happy playing in Seattle, and the Pirates got him after that.  I read an interview where he said he found the northwest depressing and was happy to come back east.  This was Wilson's only All-Star appearance, and he pinch hit for Jeff Reardon in the 9th inning.  Hernandez struck him out to end the inning, so Wilson went 0-for-1.
#30.  Garry Templeton.
Our final 1985 All-Star for this week is Garry Templeton of the Padres.  I will again trust Baseball Reference more than the card backs, as the card says this was Templeton's second time as an All-Star, but Baseball Reference says it was his third.  Templeton previously had made the team with the Cardinals in 1977 and 1979.  As we've noted before, the 1985 All-Star Game partially reflects the 1984 World Series, and as such, he is one of many Padres on the NL squad.  In the 1985 game, Templeton pinch hit for LaMarr Hoyt in the 4th inning, hitting a single off Bert Blyleven to go 1-for-1.  He moved to second when Jose Cruz walked, and then was stranded when Tom Herr grounded out.

We're halfway through the 1986 Donruss All-Star set!  Three more Saturday posts and 30 more cards to go!