Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cey, it's about time!

Lest you think I am shirking my duties as a rabid Ron Cey admirer and '70s Dodger fan in general, let me assure you. I  haven't done a "Best of the '70s" post on Cey yet only because his major league career didn't span the whole decade.

Cey's first solo card was not until 1974 and his career lasted well into the late '80s, although I barely recognize those forlorn years with the Cubs and A's.

But this is my favorite player of all-time, and if I'm not going to break the rules for my favorite player then I'm just no fun at all. Thanks to steelehere for the push that I needed.

So what I'm going to do is show all of Cey's cards from 1974 through 1983 -- his Dodger cards -- and let people vote on which one they think is the best. I'm only including cards that you could find in packs at your neighborhood store. Cereal boxes and Hostess cake wrappers don't count. Neither does SSPC.

If a card from the '80s is selected as the best card, then maybe I'll have to start a "Best of the '80s" segment, which is just as well. Consider it insurance for when I inevitably run out of ideas.

So, here are Cey's cards from his Dodger Days. I'm sure I've commented on just about every one on the blog at some point before. Also, please note the overriding theme of Cey's cards: he is Bat Man.

1974 Topps: I'll be a little surprised if this doesn't win everything. That is a hell of a card debut right there. Schmidt, who?

1975 Topps: Good gosh, when will Night Owl ever stop showing this card????? Sorry. This is the sentimental favorite for me. And it's the only one of these cards you can find in mini form.

1976 Topps: Cey looks like he just ripped off one of those railings behind him and is now going to bludgeon the offender with it. He may have knocked off his helmet in the process.

1977 Topps: Cey returns to action on the field. There are Mets in the background, which means it's at least extra bases.

1978 Topps: I was a little disappointed when this card came out in '78. Fortunately, the All-Star shield perked me back up again.

1979 Topps: This appears to be Cey in check-swing mode. It must have been captured on television as you can see the NBC camera there. I lived for the "Game of the Week."

1980 Topps: This quickly became one of my favorites. Perhaps Cey's first spring training photo. I'm not sure.

1981 Topps: Now we're just getting repetitive. This was a disappointment for me in '81.

1981 Donruss: Cey in Wrigley. Some ominous foreshadowing here.

1981 Fleer: Cey appears to be stepping out of the box to look for a sign. I don't know why you'd need signs to hit against the Padres in 1980. Just swing. Good things will happen.

1982 Topps: Cey in the on-deck circle. And if you're keeping track, that is 11 straight cards in which he has a bat in his hands.

1982 Topps, In Action: Twelve straight. Nice photo.

1982 Donruss: What's that? A glove???? Fearless Donruss takes us to the edge. Ron Cey As A Fielder.

1982 Fleer: Craziness! More fielding?????

1983 Topps: OK, everyone is piling on now. Yes, Ron Cey can field. Can we get back to the bats now?

1983 Donruss: Thank you.

1983 Fleer: Last one. Not a bad photo for Cey's final Dodger card.

I've set up a poll in the usual spot on the sidebar. Please vote for the greatest card of the greatest player of all-time.

At least that's what I thought when I was 12.


  1. "Also, please note the overriding them of Cey's cards: he is Bat Man." Kind of ironic that the Penguin is known by one of his fans as Bat Man. (...wonders if this was an intentional play on characters...)

  2. The '74 card was the same one (not that exact one, but you know what I mean) Cher ripped in half during the film "Mask." That scene still hurts me physically whenever I watch it.

  3. Night Owl, thanks for the call out. I've always been a fan of his 1976 Topps card.

  4. I had to go with the '82 In Action card, but not 'cause I'm biased towards that. Here's my top 5 -

    '82 In Action - best overall photo. Love the action in it.

    '77 Topps - This is great, just 'cause it looks like he swung SO hard that he's now falling down as he begins to run.

    '83 Topps - good fielding shot, for a guy who I think should've had more gold gloves.

    '79 Topps - I can just feel the hit coming. He looks like he's focusing on where the ball is coming in and he's about to smack a liner over the first or 2nd baseman.

    '74 Topps - Another great hitting shot BUT it looks like he might've popped up the ball. I'd prefer the hero of the card to be getting on base.

  5. This was tough... after scrolling up and down several times... it came down to the 1977 & 1983 Topps cards.

    1983 Topps has been my favorite set since my childhood, because of the amazing design (and the fact that it contains Tony Gwynn's rookie card).

    But in the end, I'm going with the 1977 Topps card. I'm not sure if it's the photo or the design... but this card is awesome.

  6. I can't get over the instability of the '83 Topps card. My first thought was "How can the people in the background not be paying attention?"

    On '83 Fleer, you know that look is because they just told them he was traded to the Cubs.
    He asks, "Who was I traded for?"
    He gets the answer and says "Who the hell is Vance Lovelace?"