Friday, October 21, 2011
Looking at '81 through others' eyes, pt. 2
If you are of a certain age, then you have probably played this game:
Pick a random year when you were young. Determine your age during that year. Now calculate how old your parents were during that year. Were they older than you are now? Were they younger? Are you FREAKED OUT yet?
I recently did this for 1981. I was a teenager smack in the middle of high school. My father was a hair older than I am now. My mother was a couple years younger. So, whatever they were going through in 1981 is probably pretty similar to what I'm going through now. Except that they were busy trying to ignore cable television while I'm busy trying to ignore the latest generation of the iphone (I think I'm about 4 generations behind).
In '81, they were caught up in whatever real life issues that were going on that year. But I was just beginning to absorb that stuff. I first heard about the shooting of President Reagan on a radio in the back of the school bus taking me home. News of the baseball strike came as I sorted newspapers before heading out into the morning darkness on my route.
But mostly what I cared about during that year -- still -- was baseball cards. There were three sets for the first time, meaning I had more cards committed to memory than ever before.
That's why I continue to love this '81 Topps Traded set I received from Max. It's still ALL NEW to me!
So while the '81 Traded set for so many people is about Fernando Valenzuela's first solo Topps card ...
... we go a little deeper here at Night Owl Cards.
A little known fact is that a shocking number of players -- particularly Mariners -- were airbrushed in Yankee Stadium. Actually, it's almost as if Topps invited them into a portrait studio, dropped the Yankee Stadium backdrop behind them and proceeded to spray on their new uniform.
Some appear to be actual photos -- I don't think Greg Luzinski had a chance to go to Yankee Stadium when he was with the Phillies -- unless Topps found an old photo of him at the 1977 All-Star Game.
But I don't want to rag on the photos too much in this set. There are some players who are treated kindly here:
Action pictures cure all. Isn't that last card great? Except the Yankee part, I mean.
That is a tiny bat.
THAT is a tiny bat.
Remember that post when I tried to determine who had the highest hair on a baseball card? I don't think this is the winner, but he did put a scare into Silvio.
You know when you look at person but have never heard them talk before and you just know from the look of that person what they're going to sound like? Yeah.
OK, one more card and I'll save the rest for one last post:
Ted: I want you to show that I don't have a small head.
Ted: A small head. All of my baseball cards, my head looks small.
Topps: Oh, I don't think it ...
Ted: It does! Don't pretend it doesn't. I'm starting to think it's on purpose.
Topps: Oh, no, Ted, we would never ...
Ted: Just make my head look bigger this time.
Topps: I don't know if we ...
Topps: But ...
Ted: Bigger! Got it?
Topps: Sure thing, Ted.