Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Too late to turn back now

It's 8:46 in the morning and I can't sleep. I know many of you are at work right now, and somehow that makes me feel better. But I still can't sleep, what with all the heartbreak, responsibility and last night's sugar fit still coursing through my system.

I proceeded to log onto the Serious Email Account  -- I don't know why -- and realized there were bill people upset at me for inadvertently ignoring them. After explaining that I really wanted to be their friend, I am now definitely not sleeping anytime soon.

So, I figured another 1972 Topps post might calm me down a little and eventually send me back into nighty nite time. It's better than warm milk! Especially since the thought of drinking warm milk makes me gag.

I recently received a handful of '72 cards off the want list from Kevin of Orioles Card O' The Day, Robert of $30 a Week Habit, and Andy of the Baseball-Reference.com blog. I really enjoy the '72 set, but I've been ignoring it like it's 1990 Fleer lately. There are just so many cards I need and all those high numbers. When I plunged into completing the '71 set, I already had the Nolan Ryan card and a few high numbers in my possession. With '72, I'm missing just about every big-name player and virtually every high number.

It's daunting.

By ignoring it, I can focus on more achievable card goals, not that I've completed anything in months. So I buzz around my Allen & Ginter, and the 1977 Topps set, and my Lineage minis and I convince myself I'm getting things done. Card collecting is a lot like life. Act like you're busy and and you'll even fool yourself into thinking that you're actually doing something.

But then these '72 cards started coming in the mail, one package after another, and I'm forced to confront that there is no way I can not collect the set.

Here are a few reasons why:

I didn't want to believe that this player ever existed because I had never heard of him until this card arrived. But then I turned the card over and saw that he played in 106 games for the Cubs in 1971 -- you can sort of see his Cubs uniform peaking up through the photo. So, then I appeased myself by thinking that they only signed him because his name is the combination of two of the biggest speedsters in baseball at the time -- Lou Brock and Willie Davis.

And, then, by turning over cards, there's always the opportunity to be endlessly amused:

Six. Exclamation Point.

Hey guys! Guys! There are SIX umpires in a World Series game. SIX! Can you believe it???? Guys! Six Umpires!! I bet players are bumping into them all over the place! That's crazy!!!!

Sorry, it's the no sleep talking.

True story: The Braves let a 13-year-old play for them in the early '60s. Nobody paid attention because of that whole Mantle-Maris thing,

I recently redeemed Mr. Mingori's 1974 Topps card on the Diamond Giveaway site. Since I had it already, I packaged it with a card of Pete LaCock that I already had (yes, I just wrote "package" and "LaCock" in the same sentence. Settle yourselves) and offered it up as trade.

I ended up with this in return:

Hee-hee. I traded a Pete LaCock and a guy whose last name sounds like a small rodent that you turn into a coat for a Greg Gross. Ten-year-old Me is so proud.




Yet, 2011 Topps is too good for managers. This is why I like vintage better, Topps.

When the photographers had ballplayers look to the skies during the 1970s, what were their specific instructions to them?

"Stan, I want you to pretend that there is rat ... no ... a mouse ... no ... a mingori! ... underneath your cap. But, tragically, you're paralyzed! You can't get your cap off your head! So all you can do is stare, stare very intently in hopes that you might see the mingori and it will become so freaked out that it will jump out of your cap!

"Can you do that for me, Stan?


I think it went something like that.

This is the card that I received through the Topps Diamond Giveaway site that was as scuffed as an 8-year-old's shoe and had black stuff on either side of Ike's head, and then I caught hell for pointing it out.

This card is much better.

See, I can be positive, too.

Jimmy Rosario has a name that conjures up images of loud-mouth bullies who beat up kids for change, or a scrappy little kid who gets picked last in gym class.

Given that he's squaring up for a bunt, I'm guessing the latter. But there I go stereotyping again.

Thank goodness Mr. Schaal is wearing a baseball glove and a cap. Or else "In Action" takes an ugly turn.

There is no way that Topps did not purposely avoid showing the hand of Rich Hand.

How many cards have you seen that show a pitcher posing in your average pitching stance, but wearing a batting helmet?

At least Topps had the sense to not put the position designation on the front of the card in '72. I'm thinking this card was the reason for that.

Two folks sent me an Al Fitzmorris card. One of the Fitzmorriseseseses is taller than the other one. I guess that means one of them is off to the dupes bin! Can't have atypical Fitzsimmons ... er, morrises in the binder!

Other than the fact that Bill is posing with his trophy in Yankee Stadium, I have nothing but nice things to say about this card.

I guess that means this post is done.

I fully intend to keep collecting the '72 set until it is finished. I'm sure it will take me years, with all the other little projects I have. But I just can't quit a set that looks like '72 does.

If you're a veteran reader of these '72 posts, you know I try to work a song from the year into the post. I plan to do that until I'm finished with the set, until the only song left is "Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)."

The appropriate song this time is an obvious one:

Nighty nite.


  1. I love the '72 set. About four years ago I bought a large wholesale lot off Ebay and lo and behold it contained 400 or so '72 Topps. I've been compelled to complete it ever since.
    Those high numbers are insanely difficult. I have 108 cards from the 6th series to get and I'll be done. I have several doubles, do you have a list of what you need?

  2. Since hanging around these blogs for the last 2 years, one of the things I learned was that Ike Brown played in the Negro Leagues. (I would have thought a guy who made the majors so late in the 20th century would be too young for the Negro Leagues.)

  3. Great post, you had me laughing several times.

    I just finished off my Giants team set of 72's a couple weeks back, those high numbers are tough.

  4. Brandon ~

    My '72 wants are on the want list page. Click on the tab at the top left under the header.