Yeah I know that Willie Wilson only had 34 at-bats in 13 games in 1977, but if some of the guys in the subject title for this post got cards, I'd like to think Topps could have squeezed the future star speedster from New Jersey in there somewhere.
Wilson was already showing his future base-stealing prowess in Triple-A Omaha in 1977, swiping 74 bases while hitting .281 in 132 games.
On top of the cup-of-coffee in the Majors in 1977, he also managed to get into 12 games in 1976, though only having six plate appearances and a single hit.
But you'd think by the time the 1978 set came around they would at least throw him on one of those God-awful multi-player rookie cards, no?
So since I can pretty much do what I want here, I designed a decent looking "rookie" card for Willie Wilson, showing him running the bases against the Yankees in what seems to be a night game.
Take a look:
|From my (now) home state of New Jersey...|
Anything to spice up an already awesome set!
Wilson went on to have a very nice 19-year career, with a batting title, five triples titles and a great 1980 season where he lead the league in hits (230), runs (133) triples (15), while winning a Silver Slugger Award and Gold Glove.
He also set the (then) Major League record for at-bats in a season, stepping up to the plate 705 "official" times.
By the time he was done, he recorded 2207 hits, 1169 runs, 147 triples and a .285 lifetime average while stealing 668 bases.
As a kid growing up in the 1980's, I remember hating those Royals teams, with guys like Wilson, George Brett, Dan Quisenberry, Larry Gura, et al.
They just seemed to always beat the Yanks in the most frustrating ways.