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.

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