Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Recently Acquired Team Set: 1978 Topps Phillies

I've said before that some of my earliest memories are of the 1979 and 1980 Topps cards, but that a neighbor across the street was a year or two older and had some 1978 cards as well.  So I am fond of the 1978 set, but have decided against buying a whole set.  I did want to augment my collection of them a bit, though, so I bought this Phillies team set.
1978 Topps Phillies team photo.
I could never really make out who any of the players were in these team photos.  I still like them, though.
Manager Danny Ozark.
I am not quite old enough to remember Danny Ozark; I was four when Dallas Green later led the Phillies to their first World Series win in 1980.  But he had good years as Phillies manager; he is to the Phillies what Jim Leyland is to the Pirates, winning three straight division titles but not getting a pennant.  As a player, Ozark played in the minors in the Dodgers organization.
Larry Bowa.
Bob Boone.
Larry Bowa and Bob Boone were two of the core position players of those NL East winners as well as the eventual 1980 championship team.  I already had one of these cards of Bowa; Dad and I got it autographed at a show, and I sent the autograph to PSA for grading and slabbing.  This Boone card is maybe the main reason I decided to get this team set.  The 1980 and 1981 Phillies cards are so ingrained into my memory, as I've always had the 1980 Burger King Phillies and the 1981 Coca-Cola Phillies to celebrate that 1980 World Series win.  But seeing the players, like Boone here, slightly younger and in different poses, such as with this old batting helmet, gives me a new way to appreciate these players that meant so much to me as a little kid.
Mike Schmidt.
Garry Maddox.
I picked up another copy of this Mike Schmidt for my small player collection a little while ago.  I don't think I had any cards of Schmidt from the 70s in my original player collection -- they were too expensive, especially locally, since the shops and shows I went to were all in the Philly suburbs.  The internet has changed the idea of having a local premium, I think.  This card of Garry Maddox is really great, but then again, I've never seen a bad card of him.  Schmidt and Maddox both went on to be on that 1980 World Series team, and the 1983 pennant winner as well, and then both became Phillies broadcasters.

Tug McGraw.
Steve Carlton.
Here we have the premier reliever and the premier starter for those winning Phillies teams.  Carlton was amazing with the Phillies, virtually unhittable at his best.  McGraw was a good pickup from the Mets.  Carlton was widely respected for his talents but not especially liked, unfortunately.  McGraw became a beloved local hero in Philly and stayed here, working for a local TV station and with the Phillies, until his death from brain cancer.
Greg Luzinski.
Bake McBride.
Other than Garry Maddox, the two main outfielders on those Phillies teams were Greg Luzinski and Bake McBride.  Luzinski was the #2 slugger for the Phils in those days, after Mike Schmidt.  In 1977, Luzinski actually had one more home run and 29 more RBIs than Schmidt.  McBride was a former NL Rookie of the Year from his days with the Cardinals, and was a solid contributor to those Phillies teams despite being injury-prone.
Tim McCarver.
Dave Johnson.
I remember Tim McCarver as a broadcaster.  He was with the Phillies through the 1979 season, and really was with the Phillies to be Steve Carlton's personal catcher.  I would have been 3 years old at the end of the 1979 season, so I don't remember him as a player.  Dave Johnson of course is known for managing the Mets to the 1986 World Series, and I've heard about him with the Orioles, with whom he won the World Series as a player twice.  I never realized he was with the Phillies until I got this team set.

Jose Cardenal.
Ron Reed.
I hadn't realized that Jose Cardenal was with the Phillies, either.  He apparently was the last player to wear #1 for the Phils before they retired it for Richie Ashburn.  Ron Reed was the #2 reliever for the Phils behind Tug McGraw; he was a two-sport guy who had played in the NBA early in his MLB career.
The rest of the team.
I don't have the stamina to write about everyone individually, but here are the rest of the team.  I had a couple of these cards already, Jim Kaat, Warren Brusstar, and Terry Harmon.  I've posted a card of Rich Hebner before, since he was a long-time Pirate who shared his rookie card with Al Oliver.  Some of the guys, like Barry Foote, I had never heard of, and others, like Jay Johnstone and Gene Garber, I associate with other teams.

Thanks for reading!  I have a lot of posts that I'm planning to write, but between being behind at work and raising a three-year-old, I haven't had a lot of time to blog.  I appreciate everyone who does stop by to read when I do have a chance to write something.


  1. Know this team and set well! Liked them just a shade less than my Dodgers, who played them twice in the NLCS.

    1. I remember seeing the 1978 Topps card of the Dodgers beating the Phillies in the NLCS when I was little, and being confused. I think my confusion was that the Phillies just won the World Series but the card said they lost the playoffs. I was really young (about 4) and didn't get that these things were about different years.