Saturday, January 8, 2011

A quick trip through 1980...

As those of you who've been reading this site know, 1980 was the first year I bought cards, so it's a sentimental favorite. I've heard a lot of talk over the year about it not being the best design, but I think it does a lot of what a baseball card should do, and for some reason, maybe sentimentality on my part, the colors always seem brighter to me on 1980 Topps, without being too bright. Here's a few more I came across when sorting cards last week.

Johnny Bench's followthrough after a swing was kinda weird, wasn't it? Seriously, put a shield on his right forearm and have him yell about Sparta.

I was looking at this Dennis Leonard card for about the millionth time in my life, and it occurred to me that it'd be an awesome picture to doctor into a tobacco card-lookin' custom, were I better with teh Photoshops. Leonard looks as 19th century as anyone in a 1970s Royals uniform can possibly look here. Anyone feel ambitious?

I think that Bobby Grich gets overlooked as one of the all-time greats so often because he looks kinda like a leprechaun. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just sayin'.

I can distinctly remember, years after I got this card, the moment when I first saw Willie McCovey's name on the all-time home run list, then going over to my cards, rummaging through them, and being really psyched when I "found" this card again. Don't ask me how I'd overlooked him prior to that. I looked at the stats on the backs of my cards all the time. It'd just never registered with me as a young kid that this guy had 500 home runs.

"You hit that? No shit! She got a sister?"

Ahhhh, Kong. It's also worth noting that, in this shot, Dave Kingman bears a remarkable resemblance to my buddy Dave Wyndorf from <a href="">Monster Magnet</a>, who I used to buy comics and, yes, baseball cards from roughly 100 years ago. I bought the '83 rack pack that my Boggs rookie was in from him. Monster Magnet's new album "Mastermind" is really good, and they're touring the States (and I think Canada) next month, so check 'em out.

"Awww, goodie! A microphone! I love microphones!"

This is the angriest moment of Gary Carter's entire life. He even manages to look pissed off in an Expos uniform, which was never easy to do. Great shot, and an equally great reminder that, before he became known as a super Pollyanna type, Carter was one hell of a competitor and one of the best players in baseball.

Speaking of great, here's Dave Stieb. Stieb was the coolest Blue Jay ever. Now, don't get me wrong, other cool guys put on Blue Jay uniforms but weren't actual Blue Jays per se, and there were other actual Blue Jays who were and are cool (Johnny Mac stands out as a cool current Blue Jay), but Stieb's the gold standard to me, the first guy I think of when I think of the Toronto Blue Jays. They should really retire his number.

And Eddie? Man, Eddie Murray's cool wherever he goes. He looks like he's strutting here.

What are some of your favorite '80 Topps cards?

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