Sunday, September 14, 2014

A PIECE OF ART: 1976 TOPPS AL OLIVER (#620)

Today I'd like to profile yet another beautiful card from my all-time favorite set, the 1976 offering by Topps: Al Oliver #620:


What an awesome card. The photo used, the card design, the colors all working together.
Just perfect!
There's something so "classic baseball" about the image, as if it can be from the '50's, '60's or '70's.
As for Oliver, he definitely falls into one of those "underrated' stars in my book.
The man put in a fantastic 18 year career which saw him total over 2700 hits, 200 homers and 1300 runs batted in. He even finished over .300 (.303) for a career batting average and was named to seven all-star teams, while getting M.V.P. attention in ten different seasons.
You can also easily make an argument for him as the true "Rookie of the Year" in 1969 over actual winner Ted Sizemore of the Dodgers. Why Sizemore "ran-away" with the voting that season is beyond me. (There are a few Dodger Rookie-of-the-Years that raise this question throughout the years actually!)
Anyway, I've always felt Oliver was part of that group of players from this era (Garvey, Parker, Pinson, etc) that should have gotten more Hall of Fame attention than they did.
Oh well, what do I know, right?
For now I'll enjoy looking at this card!

8 comments:

  1. If you add Ted Simmons to your list, I will agree with everything you wrote! Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH ABSOLUTELY!!!
      I'm a HUGE advocate for Ted Simmons and the Hall of Fame...
      Terribly overlooked/under appreciated! Almost criminal!

      Delete
  2. Neat card. But another altered background like the George Scott card. Bright green grass. Ambiguous background and crowd.

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  3. One of my favorite cards of my favorite player growing up. Thank you for highlighting it. A couple of fun facts, he is the only player I know of that finished as runner up for the batting crown in both leagues. Also won a silver slugger award 3 consecutive years at 3 different positions.

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  4. Looks like he's partaking in a home run derby or something as there seems to be no catcher behind him. He's smiling after (apparently) hitting the ball but doesn't appear to be in a hurry to run. If he had swung and missed he'd probably not be that happy. I always thought it was a strange/odd card but with beautiful color composition. I also agree that it appears that some airbrushing of the background took place.

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  5. I compare this card to the Fritz Peterson card from the same year, the background was DEFINITELY airbrushed. Here is a shot from what looks to be the same photo session, perhaps even the same swing, which looks like a foul ball.
    http://cache2.asset-cache.net/gc/166865230-al-oliver-of-the-pittsburgh-pirates-bats-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QcD3zOEygCm9eaSHZlg2XPm79kxKDZlKA4b0OqXszj7UrjLNM5nj7sKhtRk4jvLzIg%3D%3D

    ReplyDelete

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