Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What it is, Dock

I have to admit, my mind is elsewhere with kicking off two golden oldie set blogs this week. I'm trying to come up with ideas for this blog -- but I keep coming back to 1971 and 1985.

It'll be like this for a little bit. I hope you'll bear with me for a few days. It'll pass, and I'll be back to bashing on 2012 Topps, or featuring a bunch of trades, or something equally as annoying.

But for now, I'm sabotaging one of my other blogs by asking you to vote for the Best of the '70s card for:

Yes, Dock Ellis.

I'm sure everyone has seen this video 420 times by now. But if I'm going to devote a "Best of" post to Ellis, then I must at least acknowledge the video. It's weirdly trip-notic.

Ellis is truly a baseball product of the '70s. Not only because of his exploits -- the admitted no-hitter on LSD, the curlers in his hair, the attempt to hit every member of the Big Red Machine in a game in 1974 -- but also because of his baseball cards.

Virtually all of the baseball cards issued of Ellis -- during his career anyway -- lie within the confines of the '70s.  He has one card in the 1969 Topps set and one in the 1980 Topps set. Everything else is '70s.

Therefore, he is a perfect candidate for a Best of the '70s post. And besides, it's been awhile since I've run a poll.

I had to grab most of the images from other areas because I just don't have time to scan everything. If you care, I do not have cards of Ellis from 1970, 1973 and 1977. All others are in my collection somewhere.

So here are your selections:

1970: Youngster Ellis. The year of his "enhanced" no-hitter.

1971: Kind of a sensation at this point. The Pirates won the pennant in 1970, and Ellis won 13 games as a consistent starter for Pittsburgh.

1972: That's a large jacket. Ellis had two cards in the '72 set. I thought about letting people vote on both of his '72 cards. But I didn't. Here is why:

This is his "In Action" card from 1972.

1973: And here is his 1973 card. Essentially the same thing. Therefore the In Action card is DQed.

1974: Dock looks really irked.

1975: The only '70s Topps card in which Ellis is smiling. This is also a personal favorite as I mentioned upon news of Ellis' passing.

1976: Ellis in full fu manchu. The background is making me dizzy.

1977: Those Yankees and their aversion for facial hair. Ellis looks like he's returned to being 18 years old.

1978: A capless Ellis. Dock had begun to bounce around by this point. Topps probably didn't know where he was going to end up, so it went with no cap.

1979: Surprise! Ellis is still with the Rangers. Although shortly after this card came out, Ellis went to the Mets and then the Pirates. On his 1980 card, he's featured with the Mets, but he had moved on to the Pirates and actually out of baseball by the time that card arrived.

OK, those of your choices. Pretty tame stuff for a guy like Ellis. But I know which one is my favorite.

Poll is on the sidebar.

And stay tuned for a Dock Ellis entry on my '71 blog. It'll be up late tonight. Most of you early birds will see it tomorrow morning.


  1. Had not seen the video before. Thanks for sharing! Got you package today! Thanks for the trade!

  2. I voted for 76! Classic card in my eyes. Great post.

  3. I had to go with the 76 card, the fu manchu and Candlestick Park make it the best.

  4. I went for the 1974... b/c I like how the uniform and the card design go together like ebony & ivory.

    Plus... Dock looks like Ice Cube in that photo.

  5. I went with 74 also because I haven't seen too many cards where the baseball field looks so deserted with a 2001-style monolith in the background. Combined with the scowl it is so bad it is great.

  6. Can we vote for this if we don't live in Iowa?

  7. Thank you so much for this post—and I just love the animated short!

    Also, I recently finished reading the Donald Hall bio. on Ellis.

    Indeed: I, too, lately made some Dock-related posts on my blog—if you ever want to visit.

    Keep up the good work!