Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cardboard appreciation: 1979 Topps Dennis Leonard

(I have this dream every once in awhile that it is snowing in July. I don't know what that means. But I do know that it is May 10th and it is 36 degrees right now. How about some baseball cards to keep my mind off what could be a frozen summer? Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 113th in a series):

Dennis Leonard will always be a hero in my baseball world. He was the winning pitcher in the first baseball game I ever saw in person. He beat the evil Yankees in enemy territory, and I treasured all of his cards from that point forward.

This card of Leonard also appeared in the first baseball price guide I ever saw.

It was the representative card of the most modern, up-to-date set of the moment, the 1979 Topps set. According to the '79 Sport Americana Baseball Card Price Guide, you couldn't get any more recent than a 1979 Topps card.

I was always intrigued by what cards price guides chose to represent a respective year. I would silently judge whether it was a proper choice or not. Then, as you can see by the markings, I would go about determining whether I had each card in the set, and mark up the price guide as if it was my personal checklist.

I never did complete the 1979 set. Among the sets of my youth, it is among the most overlooked. I've completed 1974, 75 and 76. I've completed 78 and 80 and 81. I'm targeting 1977 next. I suppose once I get that finished, I'll consider 1979, but I don't ever see myself getting into it that much.

I don't know what it is, but even in '79 I wasn't too fired up by the set. I look at my '79 binder now and see all the empty pockets -- there are a ton of them -- and I think, "did I care that little to have this many cards missing?"

But this little tangent about the '79 set is just my way of getting around to saying that I won't be starting a separate "blog" on the '79 Baseball Card Price Guide. You are all right -- I'm better off featuring a page or two at my leisure on this blog -- like I did just now.

I like that idea better, too.

Meanwhile, in case you think I will forever write about 1979 and nothing else, here is something to assure you.

A name has been determined for the 1963 Topps set.

It will be now known as "The James Bond" set.

Thanks for your votes.

As a token of my appreciation, and for not bringing up that this post is rambling and disconnected, here is the star of the James Bond movie that came out in 1963, "From Russia With Love":

Daniela Bianchi (a.k.a Tatiana Romanova).

And since there was a Bond movie out in 1979, too:

Lois Childs (a.k.a. Dr. Holly Goodhead in "Moonraker").

You expected Sean Connery and Roger Moore?


  1. Every heterosexual male knows the most important part of any Bond movie is the Bond girls. Followed by the gadgets and the car. Then somewhere along the way comes the bad guy, some kind of plot, etc. Then, at the bottom of the list, comes the guy playing Bond.

    And I'll give someone full 1979 book value for a complete 1979 Topps set. Cash.

    I've never been that impressed with the Topps sets of this era. They all feel basically the same.

  2. I'll match Ryan's offer + a whole dollar. Right now, at 4:32 AM it is 76 degrees with a high of 88 coming today.

  3. Who the heck always came up with the names of those bond girls? Cracks me up!

  4. It hit 92°F (heat index got to at least 94°) yesterday and broke 90 again today before the severe storms this afternoon. I was told the local radio station said it was down to 66 immediately after the bad weather finally broke, but yeah, I'd almost take 36 right about now. I'm not even down south!