Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#100's for the 100th

For my 100th post on this blog, I thought I'd get "cute" and take a look at all the cards numbered "100" in the 1970's by Topps.
When I first thought about doing this, I figured at least ONE of them would be an all-time favorite card of mine, but alas this was not to be. As a matter of fact NONE of them are even considered "great" in my eyes.
As we all know Topps had long practiced the habit of "reserving" the double-zero's (100, 200, etc) for super-star players in their sets, so it was no surprise at the level of super stars depicted.
But it was still interesting to note that of the ten cards (1970-79), eight depict Hall of Famers, one should be in the Hall (depending on how you feel about gambling), and one was a very good pitcher before calling it a career by the middle of the decade.
For the number "100", they were true to form. Let's take a look:

1970: Mel Stottlemyre: Right off the bat we have the only guy given the number during the '70's that isn't considered a Hall of Famer. Though a very effective pitcher, Mel had to call it a career after arm troubles in 1974 at the age of 32, but not before posting three 20 win seasons and a lifetime E.R.A. of 2.97. in eleven years of Major League action.
As for the card itself. Eh. Not much to write home about. Boring, posed, and set against an empty stadium with that "love it or hate it" grey border. Definitely not one of my favorites. Take a look:

1971: Pete Rose: Now, while I do love the 1971 set, and really can't find much to complain about, the Rose card was a posed shot that didn't do much to please the eye. I guess I like the card, but only because of "classic" look of the thing.
Rose ends up being the last guy with the #100 designation we'll look at who didn't end up in the Hall. But I'm sure some of you would disagree with this. I may fall into this group as well. To me, not having the all-time hit leader and "Player of the Decade" for the 1970's in the Hall of Fame is just a giant empty hole in Cooperstown. However, "Charlie Hustle" certainly didn't help himself by acting like a complete idiot during the mess that lead to him being banned.

1972: Frank Robinson: This is a nice card. For me, one of the better #100 cards of the '70's. Just a pleasant, colorful card of one of the greatest players of all-time on one of the better teams in baseball history.
Funny enough, Robinson was to be traded to the Dodgers for the 1972 season, and he was included in Topps' first "traded" endeavor later in the set showing him in Dodger blue.
Regardless, I love the colors on this card. A classic card from a classic set.

1973: Hank Aaron: Decent card, nice set design. But really, of all photos to use who was well on his way to an all-time home run crown, you go and use one of him ready to catch a pop-up?!
I'm not saying this card is ugly, by any means. But man, this is Hank Aaron. Topps could have easily picked a better image of him popping one out of Fulton County Stadium. But we all know how that 1973 set confused and annoyed collectors ever since it was released, mainly due to the photo selections Topps made.
I may have to "re-do" this card on this blog sometime soon. Stay tuned for it.

1974: Willie Stargell: Not a bad looking card. Yeah it's a boring posed shot, but the colors all work well together, and the photo fits in with the overall design. I like the cleanliness of it, and this is classic "Pops" before he really began looking like a "pops". Dig the sideburns and goatee. The '70's were in full effect ladies and gentlemen!

1975: Willie Stargell: Well well! A repeat from the year before! Well, I'm a sucker for the 1975 set, and this card doesn't disappoint. I like the green borders, and Stargell looks great with the swinging pose, bat right at the camera.
This would be the only time a player had the number 100 more than once in the decade. Not a bad choice for it!

1976: Jim Hunter: Now, I COULD be an ass and refuse to say anything bad about my all-time favorite set. After all, I can easily lie to myself and say that the set could do no wrong. But I guess old-age has taught me to be objective when necessary, and I DO have to admit that the card is a bit boring.
Lame posed shot, lame background. But hey, the coloration of the card is nice! And this card pretty much displayed the last "hurrah" for Hunter, as he began his rapid decline from top-notch pitching ace in 1976 due to injuries. Although he posted monster number in 1975, he'd be out of the game in just four years, but not before posting up (arguably) Hall of Fame numbers.
An action photo could have easily made this my favorite "#100" card from the '70's. That's how much I love the card design elements. Oh well, perhaps another "do-over" in the future...

1977: Joe Morgan: Well. Not that great a card. I mean, where exactly is Morgan looking anyway? However, for a kid of eight years old back then, this card was legendary! This was Joe Morgan of the "Big Red Machine", the team that just swept my beloved Yankees in the World Series the year before. I remember staring at Morgan, Rose, Bench and the rest of those guys that made the Yanks look like their bitches! I was in awe of this force from Cincinnati.
Add to that fact that this card has "N.L. ALL-STARS" screaming out from the bottom of the card, and I felt I was truly looking at a "God".

1978: George Brett: This is my favorite "#100" from the decade. Strange since it doesn't have some great action shot, or even some interesting pose. But there was something about this youthful Brett with the sun shining, and that All-Star badge that made me love this card. Granted, I love the '78 set, probably second only to the '76 for me. But nevertheless there's just something about this card that has that aura of "super star". A classic...

1979: Tom Seaver: My second favorite card in this post. I would LOVE this card so much more but I was never really a fan of the 1979 set design, even though two of my all-time favorite cards (Carew and Brett) are from this very set, but they were aided by "lucky" color schemes and the "All-Star" banner running across the bottom part of the card.
Still, this is a great shot of "Tom Terrific" delivering a pitch. I remember thinking how much better the card would have looked like if Topps gave the Reds a red team banner instead of yellow. I mean, the "Reds" with a red banner made sense to me. No? I also HATED that obnoxious "Topps" logo in the baseball between the team name and the main image. Ugh, why?!

So there you have it. A quick look at all the cards numbered "100" throughout the 1970's for my 100th post on this blog. Eight Hall of Fame cards, the "Player of the 1970's", and a former Yankee ace.
Now let's see if this blog keeps going towards it's 200th post so I can do this again...

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