Thursday, January 3, 2019

Eleven 1977 Topps pickups

I decided a while ago not to collect a 1977 Topps set.  I like the set, but don't feel that much of a connection to it.  The 1978 and 1979 are both cards that I saw as a very little kid, but the 1977's I only started to see when I started to seriously collect around age 12.  And even though the 1978's mean more to me, I decided not to collect that set, either, settling for some additional cards, like the 1978 Phillies team set I posted recently.  I reconsidered briefly the decision not to pursue 1977 when I saw a lot of about 300+ 1977 cards on eBay, and thought that some of the cards looked really great.  But then I thought, I could just pick up a handful of stars/minor stars/Pirates (I already have many of the Hall-of-Famers and a number of Phillies) to complement what I have, and not worry about the whole set.  So here we have 11 that arrived in my COMC Black Friday box.
Darrell Evans.
Ken Griffey, Sr.
I enjoyed watching Darrell Evans near the end of his career with the Tigers.  I wasn't watching the 1984 Tigers World Series victory, but I did see the 1987 Tigers AL East victors in the ALCS.  It was clear that the Tigers fans loved him.  I've been slowly picking up a few cards of Ken Griffey, Sr., and even if you can't see his whole face, this is a nice addition.
Bill Buckner.
J.R. Richard.
Here's Bill Buckner in all his mustachioed glory, many years before becoming known almost entirely for a single play, the ball rolling between his legs to continue the curse of the Bambino.  J.R. Richard was great for the Astros in his short career.  He pitched with them starting in 1971 and ending with a stroke before a game in 1980.  He led the NL in ERA and strikeouts in 1979, making him familiar to me from league leader cards in the 1980 Topps set.
Bobby Bonds.
Oscar Gamble.
Like Ken Griffey, Sr., I've been adding a few cards of both Bobby Bonds and Oscar Gamble.  I posted the iconic 1976 Traded card of Gamble which I acquired after he died earlier this year.  I don't think I've posted many of Bobby Bonds, but this is a good one to start with.
Bill Robinson.
Jim Bibby.
In 1977, the Pirates were just a few years away from what has so far been their last World Series win.  Judging by how the franchise has been run, 1979 will remain their last World Series win for quite a while, unfortunately.  So I do want my collection to have a good representation of some of the key players of the team.  Willie Stargell, Dave Parker, Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, Bill Madlock, and Kent Tekulve are all widely represented in my collection already.  That World Series was won, though, by a lot of players turning in the performances of their lives at the right moment.  Bill Robinson provided a reliable bat behind Stargell, Parker, and Madlock.  By the time Game 7 came around, with the Bucs pitching staff exhausted, it wasn't clear who the last starter would be, but Jim Bibby got the ball and pitched 4 solid innings.
Jim Rooker.
Chuck Tanner and the Pirates.
In Game 5, with the Pirates down 3 games to 1 and on the verge of an Orioles victory, Jim Rooker started the game with 5 great innings to keep the Pirates alive.  And Chuck Tanner rallied his forces to win the whole thing, despite facing a superior Orioles pitching staff.
Turn Back the Clock: Nate Colbert.
Card back for Turn Back the Clock: Nate Colbert.
I'll close out with this Nate Colbert Turn Back the Clock card.  I'll start by mentioning that the scan isn't crooked, it's the image that's actually crooked on the card.  I've posted about Nate Colbert before, and I'm interested in him because he is to this day the all-time Padre home run champ.  This card commemorates his feat of hitting 5 home runs and 13 RBIs in a doubleheader in 1972.

Thanks for reading!  I've recently added a few more 1977 Topps cards in my COMC account and will post them in time.  I don't expect to ship those for a while yet, though.


  1. Nice post. You should go for the whole set! 1977 was my first year really collecting but I didn't complete the set until I was an adult (unlike 1978, which I completed via a 50-for-1 trade to pry away a Carlton Fisk single from my best friend). 1977 was also the year when OPC had, by far, the most variations from the Topps photos. I have since created a Frankenstein set for 1977, working the OPC variations into the binder after the Topps cards (as well as a few Burger King cards from that year that were variations). Then at the end of the binder I have added more recent cards in the 1977 style, but only of players who were active that year--so that meant adding maybe 8 or 10 cards from the 2018 Topps Archives set, a few from the early 2000s Archives sets, etc. It's a living collection!

    1. Your maximal 1977 set sounds great. I'm going to focus on the 1972 Topps for now.