Friday, November 20, 2009

Awesome night card, pt. 60

I posted this card basically to keep the vintage train going. With this card, I am up to six straight posts of nothing but vintage material.

I would like to continue that trend for a long, long time. But I can see it coming to an end very soon. I've been blessed with several very fine card packages in the last few days, and after feeling very caught up, I am now desperately behind again. Trade posts are on the horizon, and several of them will feature very snazzy, decidedly un-vintage cards.

So, let's wallow in the wonderfulness of this vintage card for as long as we can.

This is one of the cards from the World Series subset in the 1974 Topps set. I have always believed that a card company's main base set for the year should include a card apiece for each World Series game. Topps was faithful to this practice through the 1960s and into the mid-1970s. Then, for some inexplicable reason, it scaled back to only a card or two for the Series. In the 1979 set, they didn't recognize the World Series at all! Now, the Yankees beat the Dodgers the previous year, so my heart wasn't broken then, but every Series needs to be acknowledged.

In 1980, Topps pulled the same thing. No recognition of "We Are Family." Unacceptable. Topps went back to acknowledging the Series in 1981, so Phillies collectors were able to enjoy a card or two of their team's 1980 championship. But then, the following year, Topps completely ignored the Dodgers' 1981 championship. I was miffed. OK, I was significantly outraged.

It took Upper Deck -- a company who employed Dodger haters, ironically -- to bring back the World Series in card sets when it issued several cards of the 1988 champs in its debut 1989 set. Since then, it's been very sporadic. Topps has recognized the Series in its Updates & Highlights set, which is better than nothing (EDIT: And the last two years they've inserted Series cards in the base set).

Anyway, the night card here is of Game 4 of the 1974 World Series, a 6-1 victory by the New York Mets to tie the Series with the Oakland A's at two wins apiece. Rusty Staub is pictured, which is appropriate since he hit a three-run homer, went 4-for-4 and drove in 5 runs. I believe the photo might depict Staub's home run off Ken Holtzman in the first inning. Baseball-reference.com says the home run went to left-center and that appears to be where Staub is looking.

I often wonder which team I would root for in a World Series that took place before I became a baseball fan. This one is difficult because the Dodgers have histories with both the Mets and the A's. I'm not much of a fan of either team. If I went back in time, I know I would have rooted for the A's in the 1972 World Series, because they played the Reds, division rivals of the Dodgers.

The Mets beat the Reds in the 1973 NLCS, which would have made me appreciate the Mets that year. Would the A's cocky crankiness worn on me by the time the 1973 World Series rolled around? I'm thinking it's possible. Given that my grandfather was a Mets fan and he was around in '73, I probably would have rooted for the Mets that year.

Of course, the Mets took a 3-2 Series lead, only to lose in seven games to the A's. But at least Topps got several night cards out of the Series, back when it was recognizing the World Series in its main set.

3 comments:

  1. Actually Topps now includes its World Series card in the first series of the next years set. The updates and highlights set comes out in mid-October. In their 1987 Factory set, Fleer included a special set of the 1986 world series. I think they did it for the next year also. Prior to this Fleer,might have had a super star special card that acknowledge the world seies.


    I think the reason stop putting out World Series cards in the late 1970s was because the next year cards had earlier release dates. They were completing the checklist of players earlier and they did not have the production capability to insert World Series cards prior to their finalized checklist deadline.

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  2. Well, I hope the last two years of Series cards in the base set is a trend and not a random 2 years. Edit made.

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  3. I think WS in the series 1 base is a trend, unfortunately.

    I'd rather wait until mid-Nov and have world series cards in the update set, fresh off of the world series. Topps apparently believes update cards should be in the hands of collectors in time for the playoffs.

    By the time Series 1 comes out, the WS is a faded memory because it's been an offseason/hot stove/Mexican Winter League ago in baseball time.

    It's a good thing this particular year that I have to wait for WS cards considering who won. ;)

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