The topic of “favorite cards” has been coming up a lot lately, and it’s amazing how many of us all have the same favorites considering the choices of that great decade of the 1970’s.
I never did post one solid “favorites” entry here in the three-plus years of “wthballs”, so here are my top-10 favorites in order:
#1 1976 Johnny Bench
My lord this is the perfect card in my eyes! It has NEVER lost any of it’s luster as far as baseball card perfection. The colors, the “all-star”, the photograph, the legend!
I’m still in awe of it.
#2 1978 Reggie Jackson
“Mr. October” at his best! That swing immortalized on cardboard, with (of course) the all-star designation, in the hey-day of the “Bronx Zoo”. If it was’t for that ’76 Bench, this would be it!
#3 1977 Rusty Staub
Beautiful action shot of “Le Grand Orange” with the Tigers. Again, the colors, the action, and that “all-star” banner across the bottom. Awesome!
#4 1977 Dave Kingman
The colors along, and how the card design goes with the action shot of “Kong” makes it a classic. But you throw in that color-perfect N.L. All-Star banner at the bottom and it’s a keeper. Great card for the ages!
#5 1979 Rod Carew
I have always loved this card because it was Carew doing what he did best: HIT! Just a great, colorful in-game shot along with that always-present “all-star” banner!
#6 1979 George Brett
Same as with the Carew, this Brett card was a perfect compliment to the Carew in my eyes. I remember pulling this out of a pack for the first time back then and just stopping dead in my tracks. Beautiful card.
#7 1976 Lou Brock
Really, what needs to be said about THIS beauty!? Brock about to do what he did so well during his Hall of Fame career! Another steal coming right up for “The Franchise”!
#8 1971 Thurman Munson
It took me YEARS to finally get this card! I remember plunking $5 for this at a show way back when, and for a kid my age with limited cash, at a SHOW, I gulped a bit, but needed to finally own it. One of the all-time great action-cards, featuring a young Yankee captain. Classic!
#9 1976 Carl Yastrzemski
Just a majestic card of the Red Sox legend, presumedly watching one of his 400+ home runs leave the yard. The colors, the photo, only the second card besides the Munson to NOT be an all-star card.
#10 1977 Mark Fidrych
The only non-action card on this list. It is PURELY because of the time and place, and meaning in my life. I guess you can say my sentimental pick. 1977 was my first year of hard-core collecting, but 1976 was my first year following the game somewhat seriously. And to a seven-year old like me, “The Bird” was bigger than life. He was just awesome!
So when I pulled my first ’77 Fidrych from a cello pack (always remember) and saw that smile, that hair, and the AMAZING rookie trophy AND all-star banner, I was just freaking psyched beyond words!
I STILL get a smile on my face looking at this card!
1976 Al Oliver
1979 Larry Bowa
1971 Vada Pinson
1976 Fred Lynn
So what do I gather from all this?
Well, I love action photos on cards, I LOVE the 1976 set, and boy do I love the “all-star” designation on a player’s regular card (instead of a separate all-star sub-set.
I HATED when Topps went back to an all-star sub-set in 1982! Is it just me? Or do any of you out there prefer the 1975-1981 all-star ON the “regular” card?