Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cardboard appreciation: 1976 Topps Lou Brock

(No time today, and saying what I appreciate right now would probably get me in trouble. So, on with Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 64th in a series. Yeah, like I care):

Do you ever get the feeling that card companies know they made a mistake with a particular card and actually try to correct it the following year?

I'm not talking specifically about sets they put out or design choices. I'm talking about an individual player's card.

In 1974, Lou Brock set the single-season stolen base record with 118. He was the fastest man alive at the time. A speeding bullet.

For the card set that followed Brock's feat -- the 1975 set -- Topps produced three cards of Brock. Here they are:

Do any of them say "speed" or even "motion" to you? I know action photography was quite limited in the mid 1970s, but I have to believe that even Topps realized its mistake after it saw these cards.

I'm saying that's why it produced the 1976 card of Brock taking a lead off of what I believe is second base. I want to say that's shortstop Frank Taveras of the Pirates, but baseball-reference tells me Taveras didn't wear a jersey number with a "2" in it.

That card features a much more appropriate photo of the man who was the Stolen Base King at the time. It was -- and still is -- one of my top five favorite cards in the 1976 set. I really thought it was awesome as a 10-year-old. Even though no one said awesome back then.

Thanks for getting it right, Topps. I appreciate that.


  1. craig reynolds wore 12, but that doesn't look like craig reynolds.

  2. I am fairly certain that the shortstop in question is Jackie Hernandez, who wore #2 in his time with the Pirates.

    The thing is, Hernandez last played for the Pirates in 1973, making this photo at least three years old when this Brock card was issued.

  3. One of my favorite 1976 topps cards. When I finish with the 76 set on my blog I need to do some sort of "favorite card" tournament.

  4. I'm kinda curious what would get you in trouble...

  5. WW ~

    I believe it'd come under the general headline of "making terroristic threats."

  6. I agree ... the Brock card is one of the best from 1976. Not my #1 favorite from that year (Johnny Bench's 1976 card is, hands down, the best card of the set, and one of the best of the decade) but Brock's card is definitely classic.