Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Joy Of A Completed Set: 1971 Topps Baseball

I don't plan on making a habit of doing this.

OK, maybe if I finish a few of the larger, more impossible-to-complete sets, I might do this again. Maybe 1959, 1961, 1964, 1967 or 1972 Topps. I also really adore the simplicity of 2008 Upper Deck and the photography is gorgeous. Thing is, none of those sets, off the top of my head, would inspire me to scan and post the card backs of every single card, no matter how psyched Night Owl would be to read all the cartoons. In this case, I really like the backs of 1971 Topps cards, even with the abbreviated stats. So, I went for it.

"Going for it" in this case involved more than the 5 hours of loading Ultra Pro sheets and scanning 84 double-sided pages. It also took about 4 years' worth of steady chasing, after picking up a few cards here and there over the previous 31 or so years I'd been buying bubble gum cards. It actually didn't involve spending more than $20 for any single card (not more than $10 on most of it, but I've no way of reliably tracking that, as eBay doesn't make it easy for us to see all of our purchases anymore), but I also got a LOT of help from people. In particular, Stubby and Tim contributed mightily, and huge thanks go out to them.

Then there was the guy who I bought the shoebox from at the flea market, $50 for a shoebox lot which is normally kind of a big chunk of change, but it had the majority of the '75 Topps set (my reason for buying) and "a few '71s and '72s", which turned out to be a few '72 high numbers, and about 150 1971 6th and 7th series cards, if memory serves. There were over 90 of the 7th series, I know that much, and when I was through combining them with the few I had by that point, I think I needed 9 of the 7th series cards. So, yeah, that happened, too, and without it, I wouldn't have had a chance in hell of doing this. So, thank you, guy who sold me the shoebox, because that really helped, and in hindsight, as much as I love the '75 set, too, it's almost an afterthought in that deal, crazy as that probably sounds.

Did I consider building it before that happened? Well, I was talking to Bob a number of years ago about finishing the '72 set, when I naively thought I had "a lot" because at the time, I had maybe 70 cards (granted, the Clemente and the Cey/Oglivie rookies were both in there), and we talked about how heartbreakingly impossible both were because of the high series. '71 seemed even more out of reach than '72, because I hardly had any, and there were all these keys to worry about. Munson. Garvey. Ryan. Mays. Aaron. Clemente. Hell, at that point, I thought I'd be lucky if I got the Dock Ellis card! I can't say that the discussion didn't make me go "Hmmm, maybe someday...", though. And, as it turns out, "someday" was about a month ago, when the last few cards arrived.

I almost didn't live long enough to get the mail that day, because I got into a car accident earlier in the afternoon that I was very fortunate to walk away from, even if I "walked away" with a concussion. A Hummer H2 hit the driver's side of my car travelling about 35 mph, and breached my gas tank, so it still could've been so much worse. When I got home from being checked out at the hospital, I saw the package in my mailbox and kinda laughed about it, "Wow, I almost died without ever getting to put these cards in with the rest of the set", but it was pretty serious, and I'm still trying to track down another car that I can afford. Feeling better, though, so there's that.

If you're wondering which card was "the last card", there are a few answers to that. #575 Bill Freehan was the last one I purchased, but it arrived before the final 4 cards, which were #70 NL Pitching Leaders, #72 NL Strikeout Leaders, #264 Joe Morgan and #300 Brooks Robinson. I actually used Brooksie when I mentioned my goal of finishing this set in my 2014 Collecting Goals post at the end of last year, his card number is the highest, and I'm not gonna go with a leaders card or a Joe Morgan card with a weird picture (those action shots weren't all Thurman Munson) for the exclamation point at the end of this story, so we're gonna go with Brooks Robinson. That's what I told Bob yesterday when I went in to get the binder and the sheets the cards now reside in.

The set is far from ready for PSA submission. Some of it's in "just happy to be here" condition. I was pretty surprised at how good those aforementioned high numbers looked, though. For some reason, I didn't remember them being fairly sharp for their age and provenance. (OK, I'll stop before you all show up at my door with torches and pitchforks.)

Anyway, yeah, the cards. I'm going to absolutely pummel you all with the written content I've starved you of for most of the last year in one spot here, because I may comment on every page. I may not, but seriously, there's great stuff on just about every page of this album. At least the fronts. The backs, well, we may let them tell their own stories. We'll see how this goes. Thanks for bearing with me, and enjoy!

What a way to start a set! OK, the Orioles team isn't visually extraordinary at #1, but then you have that Dock Ellis card I was talking about. From there, we have our first Dick of the set! (Year Of Dicks note: as I was looking through all the '71s, it seemed like there were a LOT of Dicks in this set. We'll see.) We've got George Scott down in the corner preparing to kill something with that bat I forgetting something? Oh yeah. MUNSON. Dead center. Really, if the first card *wasn't* Dock Ellis, it should've been the Munson.

(Because this post is bogging down my site like whoa, I'm inserting a jump break after page one. I promise the whole set's visible after the jump. Cool with y'all? Cool.)

LOVE that Dock's card back mentions 6/12/70.

Rookies of Dave Concepcion and Ken Singleton (preparing to duel with George Scott), along with a bunch of Hall of Pretty Good guys like Callison, Osteen and Messersmith. Elliott Maddox looks confused! Dick Count: 2 (Moloney is on the White Sox Rookies card.)

(No, I haven't read every card back yet, and to do so as I'm posting thumbs, with most of the text sideways, would kill my eyes. They're here more for you than me, honestly.)

Reggie! Blyleven rookie! That's 2 Hall of Famers on a page, and we haven't even gotten into Oscar Gamble yet! While young Rich Hand makes for a fine Dick joke, he doesn't fall within the scope of The Year Of Dicks, so our count's still at 2.

Yeah, there's glue and paper residue on the back of Reggie (I think I paid a quarter for it!), and it looks like someone may have tried to set Cito Gaston on fire. Live a little!

Knucksie! Dean Chance lookin' like a Real Doll! Lou Piniella in a GREAT action shot!  HOF count at 3 and climbing.

Dean looks healthier in this picture. Weird color correction or something, looks almost like they colorized the shot on the front. Isn't that Niekro pic the same one as the one they used in one of the Milton Bradley games?

That Catfish Hunter card at the bottom right is the first '71 I intentionally bought for myself, probably in about '86 or '87. I had a few before that (both of which, I think, are in here), but those were "Oh wow, cheap old cards in the nickel box!", not "this is a card of a player I like, and I'm buying it". He's Hall of Famer #4 (though really, we should stop acknowledging those misanthropes in Cooperstown). Boots Day shows up here, too, as does Jim Colborn and Gene Lamont! Who's Lee May tryin' to hold on first?

#41 Rick Austin: first action shot on a card back?

Willie McCovey! (HOF: 5) Our first really ratty card, the Dave Baldwin card! (I may have upgrades for some of these in my doubles, but these are the cards I got first, so unless it was really glaring or a star card, I didn't upgrade.) The late Paul Blair, whose smile on Main Street in Cooperstown (there's that town again...) I'll never forget. He ain't smiling here, though. All business. Dave Campbell's al business here, too, but I think he was just feeling awkward about wearing the Padre uniform. I know Dave's very comfortable identifying with the Padres now, but this was only the 2nd year of the franchise, and the unis had BROWN on them, man. It wasn't even properly the '70s yet, so it wasn't time for the color brown to really work its magic.

Also: 1st Series Checklist! Now, you'll notice this for the first time. Whoever owned it before I did either had an optimistic view of their set's level of completion, or they really did have a bunch. 1st series was doable, I suppose. The checklists get better later. I have had thoughts about filling in the rest of the checkboxes.

 Those are some round corners on that Dave Baldwin. Way more noticable on the back.

Look, it's Lefty! (HOF: 6) And the Spaceman! And Gene Mauch! And a Dick! (Bosman, 3 total.) We've got some leader cards on the bottom row, too, with the unlikely Alex Johnson (remember, not a Dick) making his only appearance on the leaderboard. Nice little rogue's gallery on those leaders cards, though. If we counted Yaz and Torre, our HOF count would jump to 8, but we're waiting for their base cards, so it stays at 6.

What are you so happy about, Duane Josephson?



11 HOF guys in total on this page, not counting repeats. More interesting to me, though, is Sudden Sam McDowell. Diego Segui on a Leaders card is pretty dope, too. Have his auto somewhere on a Pilots card!

Yeah, I don't think the NL Home Run Leaders card is gonna get a 9.5 from BGS. Glue on the back, and I think someone wrote "POOP" on it, too.

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON! Actually, Mike Compton doesn't quite inspire the same feelings as the NWA classic does. I didn't know who Bill Melton was until a few years ago. Weird, when ballplayers who were very good just kinda disappear from discussion before you start following a sport. Nice "watching the home run" shot of one-time Yankee Jim Spencer.

This set has a whole lotta floating Cub heads what aren't Cubs in it.

Ken Brett's auto looks weird. It's like he forgot the H at the end of "Kenneth". No idea if it was a common thing for him. Ken passed in 2003, sadly, so I think he totally missed his brother George's "had a great meal" story.

Pro tip: if you ever get the chance to hang out with Joe Pepitone at a card show filled with older, mostly Italian-American gentlemen from New Jersey and New York who grew up watching him play, DO IT. The ballbusting. It was legendary. Very entertaining guy, Joe.

Casey Cox also does not qualify for TYOD status. Great action shot, though.

I love it when they fit all of Billy Grabarkewitz's name on a card.

Ballcap shadows on faces in these pictures. Topps does not approve.

Bob Lemon, our first Hall of Famer in a while (and 7th overall). Luis Tiant, our first "guy who got screwed by the Veteran's Committee this year"!

Going by the numbers on those card backs, that leaves us at 99 cards...

...and Pete makes 100, and another "screwed by the Hall" case, if you want to get into selective enforcement of its and baseball's own rules!

Rich Severson looks much cooler in this picture than he probably was.

John Cumberland's hat looks really tall.

Tony Conigliaro, who was just glad to be back on a ballfield at this point in his life, is not a convincing Angel in that picture.

And Tom Dukes, I swear, looks just like The Annoying Orange! Hey, Apple!

I love the floating Pete head.

Bill Mazeroski! (HOF: 8)

Conigliaros in the same spot on consecutive pages!

"Pinch-hitting for Pedro Borbon...Manny...Mota..."

It's kinda striking how many Mets got Hero Numbers and quasi-hero-numbers. They still had the '69 mojo in the '71 set. Awkward shot of Donn Clendenon, though. What's he doing? He's leaning on a cage, holding a ball, gripping a bat between his arm and his body...weird.

Oh yeah, and here's Ted Simmons' rookie!

Lotta smiles on these backs, except for Maz, who looks MISERABLE. Uncommon for him, in pics I've seen.


Also appearing: Willie Horton, pre-collison Ray Fosse (guessing, anyway; pics were probably taken during spring training), another awkward Padre, a Gullett rookie (with a middle name in his sig), and the first of the checklists that came from the one kid who was REALLY serious about having finished the set. Most of my checklists are from him. Blue ink, EVERYWHERE!


Rick Monday: "Well, wouldya look at that! A couple of guys are settin' a fire in the outfield!"

Frank Johnson.

Poor Mickey Lolich wasn't even "golden age" enough to get screwed by the Vets Committee this year!

Gaylord Perry is Hall of Famer #9, Steve Blass still has that swagger, and the Phillies Rookies card is REAL busted.

I *think* the extraordinarily screwed up Ralph Houk card pictured here was my first '71.

Sudden Sam!

Tommy Davis looks like he's trying to look menacing, but the Cub on his shoulder totally sells him out...

Whenever I see the '71 Topps Brewers, I think about how Bud Selig was too cheap to buy his team new uniforms after he bought the Pilots. Ah well. At least they weren't in awkward Padre uniforms, I guess!

Seaver! (HOF: 10) When I bought that card, it was labelled on eBay as having been markered. I haven't held it up to a light to check yet.


No visible bleedthrough on the Seaver, so they did a good job, at least!

Cesar Tovar, I think I had an earlier, more screwed up '71 of. Kinda like the Ralph Houk. Man played all 9 positions in a game! Like Bugs Bunny and Jose Oquendo! Y'know, I've never seen Bugs Bunny and Jose Oquendo in the same place...nor have I seen Cesar Tovar with either of them.

Kaline! (HOF: 11) He was a pretty late get in the set-building process. Nice Hal McRae here, too. And another awkward Padre. And Shelley Duncan's dad! (Yeah, given who he worked for, that's the best I'm gonna give him.)


Al Downing in another of those bootleg-ass Pilots uniforms.

Bobby Valentine without a disguise.

Bobby Grich got screwed by the Hall, too. Here's his rookie card! And some AL Playoffs cards.

The NL Playoffs cards, including a Game 1 that got victimized by a rubber stamp. Oh, and here's some more blue ink on the checklist card!

Now THAT'S some bleedthrough. Wow.

Rod Carew! (HOF: 12) I've had to really work at getting Rod's cards. Toughest cards for me to find, of anyone I've seen play.

Billy Martin: "You talkin' to me?"

Sweet goatee on Reggie Cleveland. And for some reason, someone wrote "cut" on there, too.

First miscut! (Not much of that in here, maybe one more.)

Ron Santo, who fits both the HOF category (13) and the "screwed by the HOF" category.

Someone's gonna complain that I didn't count All-Star Rookie trophies.

Willie Stargell! (HOF: 14)

Jim Hannan looks like he got into a fight or something.

Larry Bowa looks like he's trying to hide his glove behind the All-Star Rookie trophy (OK, the count's at 5! Are you happy now?). He was a pretty late get for me, too.

Red Schoendienst! (HOF: 15)

I actually had the O-Pee-Chee version of the Cesar Cedeno rookie before I got the Topps one. No idea how that happened.

Y'know, Nate Colbert actually ROCKS the Padre uniform here.

And Carlos May looks pretty badass, too.

Bob Humphreys is just hoping no one will notice that he's wearing a Pilots uniform. I mean, don't get me wrong, Pilots uniforms are dope, when they're on the Pilots. Or Ichiro. But man, what was with Bud being that cheap? I know it was all last minute, too, but my word, they could've gone with Chico's Bail Bonds or SOMETHING, and not disrespected the good name of Joe Schultz's Pilots!

Diggin' the head tilt from Dave Nelson.

It's a Hall of Famer Bonanza! Johnny Bench! (I think it was trimmed.) Hoyt Wilhelm! And...oh yeah, Jim Kaat isn't in the Hall, because THE VET'S COMMITTEE IS ON THAT DUST, SON. So we're at 17. And Kaat deserves better.

Busted card alert: Bob Tillman.

We've gone a pretty long stretch without a Dick, haven't we?

Ha, DICK GREEN! (Dick count: 4)

Yeah, Tony Gonzalez is wearing the airbrushed black cap of shame, but he's got sideburns that Dan Epstein would write a book about.

Tommy Harper was a Pilot, at least.

Joe Morgan, from the last batch of cards I got. (HOF: 18) Isn't that a weird picture to use, even when you're showing off your action shots in the set?  It's a good picture of baseball being played, but not of Joe.

John Ellis brings trophy #6 home.

Rico Carty looks like a legend here.

And the Padres who aren't Nate Colbert still look awkward.

PHILLIES TEAM RECORDS: no World Series titles. I guess they should just be thankful that the all-time franchise won-loss record wasn't on the card.

2 GREAT action shots in the center of the sheet. RUN, JERRY, RUN!

Pinson was another "screwed by the Hall" kinda dude.

George Foster's rookie card. George Foster has one of the meanest-lookin' rookie cards I ever did see.

George sure wasn't wearin' him no awkward Padre uniform. I know I'm harping on it, but those guys just look...vulnerable.


Fergie! (HOF: 19)

Dick Such! (Dicks: 5)

Jerry McNertney's wearing a Pilots uniform on a Cardinals card. Top THAT, Danny Walton!

Bando's just chillin'.

OK, they got Jerry in the Cards cap for the back photo, but not for the front? Weird.

Tony Oliva oh screw it, Jeff Idelson and Joe Morgan ain't listenin' anyway

I don't know how pleasant of a guy he was, but Bobby Bonds sure could play some baseball.

The last card I got is our 300th card, and our 20th Hall of Famer! Man, that's some card.

3 good action shots on one page.

Earl Wilson does OK in the Padre uni.

Reggie Smith looks strangely awkward, perhaps because a Padre doesn't.

Busted Card Alert: Ron Brand

Dick 6! (Ellsworth) He's wearing a Pilots uniform.

Cool action shot on the Agee card (also in the hero number spot).

Ron Fairly's glove looks bigger than it should. The whole "Expos with palm trees" motif that shows up throughout this set's kinda fun.

Graig Nettles in action!

Rudy May in action, too!

Billy Champion, you sly devil, you.

Juan Marichal! (HOF: 21)

The World Series! That Brooks Robinson card never fails to amaze me. Biggest. Infield. Ever.

Clay Kirby's showing off his sensitive side here.

...and the Garvey rookie!

What's with the colors on some of these posed Mets cards? Chance, Hodges, Koosman...weird stuff.

Busted Card Alert: Jesus Alou.

Are y'all tired of me mentioning the Pilots uniforms yet?

Is that an artist's rendition of Wayne Simpson? They did those in this set, right?

Billy Williams! (HOF: 22)

Rich Reese looks like he's gonna hit the crap out of something. He came in 29th in the MVP voting in 1969, you know!

A 3 action shot page! Fregosi looking like a guy you wanna trade Nolan Ryan to get! Bud Harrelson aw who cares, Nolan Ryan's on the card! Danny Cater leans to the right, not unlike Nolan Ryan!

Don Sutton! (HOF: 23)

Bob Veale does not look like a guy you'd wanna trifle with.

And don't get blue ink all over his checklist!

I see the M on the Dalton Jones card, and this has to happen...

OK, I feel better now.

Joe Torre! (HOF: 24)

Time to play "Who's that guy holding on first?" with Tom McCraw!

Teddy friggin' Ballgame!

Rollie Fingers! (HOF: 25 and 26)


Jake Gibbs wrapped up his cardboard career with a pretty good card here.

If I'm not mistaken, that Fred Gladding card is the first appearance of that Astros uni in this set.

The Reds Head strikes again. Teddy Ballgame does not look amused. "What's that sonuvabitch doin' up there?"

Dick Schofield! (7) Lookin' MEAN. Like...DICK SMASH!

Merv Rettenmund looks like he's gonna throw down's blurry, but I think that's Jerry Kenney. I don't think it's Horace.

Beautiful Roy White card. I should scan that and show it to his kid, who it turns out I knew without knowing he was Roy's kid.

Henry Aaron! (HOF: 27)

Alvin Dark doesn't look happy. If this was taken later in the year (it is at Yankee Stadium), he might've been worried about Tony Horton.

It's a 3 action shot page!

Kenny Holtzman is all "How YOU doin?"

Another nervous lookin' Padre.

We've got a Johnson and a Woodie, but no Dicks...

Oh, there's a Dick! (Hall, #8!)

Jim McAndrew throws the crap out of a baseball. Film at 11.

Bob Didier's not foolin' anyone with that "I got it!" tomfoolery.

Greg Luzinski rookie card up in this!

Lotta Hall of Pretty Good guys on this page.

Check out pre-afro Jose Cardenal doin' the "layin' down the bunt" pose on a card. It's one thing to bunt in an action shot on your card, but to pose for a bunt? Is Ned Yost taking the picture or something?

Bob Gibson looking as Bob Gibson as Bob Gibson ever looked. (HOF: 28)

Art Shamsky foulin' one off.

Cesar Geronimo doin' his best Jose Cardenal.

This Mike Paul card always kinda jumps out at me.

And then there's Fritz Peterson. They got some great pitching shots in Yankee Stadium for this.

Nice uni on Frank Fernandez!

For old time's sake? Shut up, McCarver.

(Though, in fairness to Tim, I'm pretty much convinced that he just had people feeding him terrible information. I think they finally changed it up at Fox. Joe Buck's even better this year. Sorry for pickin' on you so much, guy. Loved you with the Mets!)

Earl Weaver! (HOF: 29)

Here's that Dal Maxvill card that everyone loves!

Topps' photographers made a lot of people look really badass in 1971. See also: Bob Oliver.

I mean, crap, look at Gene Michael and Ken McMullen here! BADASS.

The Don Wilson card is another one I had very early on, though I think the one that's here is an upgrade from my first copy. Poor Don Wilson.

Bernie Carbo makes it 7 trophies.

And Manny Sanguillen's not even lookin' at the damn camera, because he's that friggin' cool. And signing something for a huge Manny Sanguillen fan. I know at least one of those. (Hi, Chris!)


I think this is our first 4 action shot page! They're all good 'uns, too!

This is not Ralph Garr's rookie card.



That's a great action shot of Andy Etchebarren, but they didn't get his good side. And by his good side, I mean his eyebrows. Man had eyebrows for MILES. Not eyebrow, like Wally Moon, I mean, he had two! But they're good!

The Nolan Ryan card with the RC ad in it that I don't understand how I even have makes 30 Hall of Famers.

Mudcat Grant looks like 30 Hall of Famers all by himself in the center of this page.

Hawk Harrelson looks like Waylon Flowers has his hand in him. Put it on the boaaaaaaaaard!

Ollie Brown also looks pretty dope. 3 Padres what didn't look awkward!

Roger Repoz popped it up.

Chris Short. Great card.

"I lost my pappy in an accident down at the dick mills."

(Dicks: 9)

Tommy John (pre-surgery), yet another man screwed by the Hall!

Carl Morton brings home trophy #8, and is clearly a Jack Kirby fan.

That horizontal Ron Woods card covers a lot of ground but doesn't say much. Proof of how new this all was to the card people.

I wanna know what they said to Charlie Fox right before they took that picture.

(Did you notice I stopped making Pilots uni jokes for a while?)

(I did not crop this well.)

And with Mickey Stanley, card #524, we're officially in the DAYNJAH ZONE! Or, alternately, "high numbers". Ernie Banks and Yaz bring us to 32 Hall of Famers. Cleon Jones got the quarter-century hero number on this page instead of either of them, Buckner's a rookie that isn't a rookie, and Blue Moon signed his name "Blue Moon". Welcome to Series 6, which in my somewhat unusual experience was WAY harder to finish than Series 7!

Yaz does not often look that happy.

Curt Flood died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

Angel Bravo sounds like something a radio guy in a war would say when they were trying to give codefied information to a guy in a helicopter.

There it is, folks, the Vida Blue card!

We haven't had an action shot on a card (unless Vida counts) since the 6th series started, but we do get our 10th Dick (Dietz) in the center square!

It totally wouldn't have surprised me if Vida Blue had a big ol' joint in his mouth in the card back picture. That would've been pretty cool, Beavis.

There's some action! Lowell "You Bet Your Ass" Palmer!

Until just now, I'd never realized that he and Walt "No Neck" Williams went back-to-back on this set. That's great stuff.

Harmon Killebrew, totally overshadowed by all of that awesome, is our 33rd Hall of Famer at card #550. Less than 200 to go on the set!

Ha, I'm not always the most perceptive person. I also never knew that Lowell didn't have his shades on for the card back.

Walter Alston makes it 34 Hall of Famers!

Rusty Staub looks like he's saying "Let THAT be a lesson to ya!" as he's swinging!

The Toy Cannon makes an appearance in the bottom left. Decent arguments for both he and Rusty to be in the Hall. (No, I am NOT a small Hall guy.)

Still no non-Lowell Palmer action shots (I'd also never noticed until now that they didn't use action photos for the last 2 series; I'm slow on the uptake sometimes...), but here's Jim Palmer as our 35th Hall of Famer, and Jim Bunning as our 36th, lookin' shifty. Pictured but not in the Hall because it's a farce that I can't stop talking about is Bill Freehan, who was also the last card I paid for in building this set, if you remember back to about 3000 words ago.

Ed Kranepool? He's just enjoyin' the ride.

Tony Perez is Hall of Famer #37, Dave Cash is trophy winner #9, and to blazes with these other fellows. I don't really mean that. It's just getting late.

(Insert "INDIANS TEAM RECORDS" joke here.)

The great Dick Woodson (#11) appears!

So does 1970 AL Batting Champion Alex Johnson, looking like he's having to talk to someone he doesn't want to talk to.

What the hell kinda hat is that supposed to be on Tom Bradley?

Again, they got him in the right cap for the back, but they did this weird airbrushed jazz for the front!

Willie Mays! #600! 38 Hall of Famers in one set, and we're not even done yet. Night Owl wrote about this at one point, but I don't know if he ever came up with final counts.

Love Norm Cash STRRRRRRRRETCHING to get the ball. What the hell's on the ground behind him, though?

Orlando Cepeda! Leo Durocher! 40 Hall of Famers!

Amos Otis is havin' a great time on his card!

Mel Stottlemyre, Tug McGraw and Frank Howard on the same page. Lotta Hall of Very Good there (which is a different Hall than the Hall of Pretty Good).

6th Series Checklist here. Notice something? NO blue ink on the Sparky Lyle card. Of the blue ink checklists (all but the 1st Series, if I'm remembering correctly), that's the only card the blue ink guy didn't cop to having. Intriguing!

Roberto Clemente (!) and Lou Brock bring the Hall of Famer count to 42. John Hiller (one of my favorite baseball stories ever) is a great addition to this page, too.

Yo, why's Steve Hamilton's head so small?

Weird scan job on this page, like the lid wasn't closed. (Eddie Fisher and Darrel Chaney look dark.) Sorry about that.

LOVE the Bobby Murcer card.

Also love Phil Regan at his most Vulture-like.

Frank Robinson is Hall of Famer 43.

Jim Stewart is squaring to bunt!

And Rick Reichardt, the last card in Series 6 is DREAMY.

We're into the final series, folks! This shit's expensive!

I have the Sparky Lyle card. I should totally put some blue ink on that last checklist. Question, though: why did it say 6th series when we're into the 7th?

Dick Allen (our 12th Dick) wuz also screwed outta the Hall like everyone else. And here he is as a Dodger! Blink and you'll miss it!

Paul Lindblad is doing an interpretive dance!

And I think Chuck Tanner's our first red White Sox uni!

Busted Card Alert: Rookie Pitchers

They were kinda stretching for checklist by this point, but Ike Brown's here, and so are the Expos!

Sweet goggles, Ike!

Another crazy airbrushed blue White Sox hat! MY EYES!
Check out Mincher takin' it for a ride in the center square!

Sparky Anderson makes it 44 Hall of Famers, Chico Ruiz bunts, and I don't know what Jose Pena is doing.

Boog Powell is card #700! Joe Niekro finally joins us, The Brewers show off their new uniforms, and Milt Ramirez gives us the least-convincing bunt pose yet!

Forgot to crop the bottom again.

I do love that it says "Pilots & Brewers", and doesn't erase the history that was all of, oh, 2 years old at this point.

Dusty Baker, Don Baylor and Tom Paciorek on the same rookie card, in high numbers! I AM A MILLIONAIRE!

I wouldn't want to be whatever Russ Nagelson's fixin' to hit with that bat he's holdin'.

Dick Williams (our first combination Dick/Hall of Famer) makes it 13 and 45, respectively!

The Mike Marshall card is one of the few busted cards that I'm really sad about. I love Dr. Mike, and I wish I had a better copy of this without the creases and whatnot. Have to see if I can upgrade without spending typical high number prices.

Where's Horace Clarke's neck, man?

The Evil Alternate Universe Bernie Williams appears here!

Dick Billings makes it 14 Dicks for the set!

Gary Gentry with another quarter-century Met hero number.

And the Astros team is our second very noticably miscut card, both Astros.

"Marla Hooch. What a hitter!"

Luis Aparicio is our 46th and final Hall of Famer.

Charlie Manuel was young once!

I have heard that it's tough to get that Scipio Spinks rookie card in good shape. Anyone?

Here's what kinda no-goodnik I am: I've got a copy of the Denny McLain card on this, the last page of the set, way into the 700s, signed by Denny. I've thought about including it in the set binder, but no, I'm just going to keep it separate, so I can occasionally whip it out and showcase it as an example of the unmitigated gall it takes to not only have a 1971 high series double, but to let Denny McLain slather it with Sharpie ink!

Dick Drago ends the set as Dick #15, giving us an average of a Dick roughly every 50 cards!

What a journey! If you have, thanks for taking it with me!


  1. OK, I guess I don't have to finish my 1971 Topps blog now.

    Congrats again!

  2. Thanks, you guys.

    And Owl? Even if you were kidding, screw that. Do your thing, man!

  3. That's awesome, congrats on finishing the set. So cool. I would love to finish a vintage set.

    Glad you're ok as well!


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