Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Color Bro's

First, I just want to say a little something.

Just a little aside.

Incidental, really.

A minor thing.

Here it is ...




Come on sports fans. It's so obvious.

Here is what I've had to suffer through from others during this postseason:

"Oh, gee, it looks like the Giants aren't going to win. Oh, gee, they're two games down to the Reds. The Reds look so good. Wait? What happened? The Giants won? How did they do that? Oh, those scrappy lovable Giants! What raspscallions! How unexpected they are! But the Cardinals are tough. They're defending champs. Look, see now they're ahead of the Giants three games-to-one. OK, this is it for the Giants. There's no way. Just no way. Nobody has ever done it. Wait? What? They did it again? How can this be? How? Oh, chuckle, chuckle, I don't care, they're such a do-or-die group of chums. Just so easy to root for, ho, ho. Jolly good show, chaps."

Here is what I've been saying:


Unfortunately, I am convinced that the Giants will win the World Series. I was convinced before the playoffs started. I KNOW the Giants are going to win.

As I said before, it's not simply because I don't want them to win. Like it's a conspiracy against me, one insignificant fan 3,000 miles away. It's because the Giants have that sign of the charmed team -- the one that gets on an inexplicable run and coasts through the postseason because the other teams inexplicably melt.

This didn't happen back when the Yankees and Reds were piling up titles. Any sort of upstart team that won four postseason games in a row and thought they were so eloquently scrappy would be promptly beat down by a DYNASTY. As it should be.

You didn't have Colorado Rockies running around scoring fake runs and all of a sudden finding themselves in the World Series.

But that's a major digression.

What I wanted to do was direct your attention to something else I said back in that post in which I predicted a Giants Series title.

It was concerning the potential World Series matchup that turned out to be THE World Series matchup, the Tigers and Giants.

Here is what I said:

What's bad about it: During the years when Topps would have two teams share the same color scheme on its cards, the Giants and Tigers got paired up a lot, and I'd confuse the two teams' cards. I'm afraid this would happen again watching the Series.

Now, I am glad that I am not under oath with this blog or people are placing bets on the pseudo-facts that I throw out here, or I'd be in trouble.

And as much as I notice how people like to point out my errors in the comments for whatever personal insecurity reason that they may have, I am very glad that no professional fact checker is combing through all my posts, or I might be a wee bit embarrassed.

Because, just citing this one particular example, there are times when I say things that are simply flat-out wrong. The fact is that the Giants and Tigers did NOT get paired up a lot in Topps' color patterns.

Here is how often the Giants and Tigers shared the exact same colors, at least during the 1970s and 1980s:


Well that's about as wrong as you can get, right?

How did I get so far off?

I decided to examine Topps' various color patterns for the '70s and '80s. Yeah, I know. Only I would do this. You can go do something else if you want. I'll just keep right on talking.

For most of the years in the '70s and '80s (and I would assume the '60s, too -- I just wasn't collecting then), Topps paired up two teams and assigned them basically the same colors for whatever design it was using for that year. Each year, a team from the American League and a team from the National League would get the same colors.

I wanted to call these two random teams "color buddies." But I thought I'd update it a little bit. Everyone is calling each other "Bro" these days. So let's call them "Color Bro's."

For example, in 1972, these two teams were "Color Bro's":

The Tigers were not paired up with the Giants, representing everything that is sickening and evil, but with their exact opposite, the fantastically awesome Dodgers. Both teams featured gold frames with yellow borders.

In 1974, the Tigers were paired up with the Braves. The color borders aren't exactly the same -- the Tigers feature a darker blue. But it's close enough.

I have always thought the orange color used here was quite distinctive and this combo is one of my favorites in the 1974 set.

In 1976, Topps did something a little different that has fascinated me for a long time. They used the same colors with two teams, but they swapped the colors so that one was on the top for one team and one was on the bottom for the other. They also changed the border.

I thought this looked particularly cool.

In 1977, the Tigers and Padres were "Color Bro's" for the second straight year. And I think this is where my confusion with the Tigers getting paired up with the Giants comes in.

For the longest time, I have associated the Padres with the Giants. They are practically interchangeable in my eyes. Both California teams. Both teams with "San" in their city name. Both really awful in the '70s and desperately chasing the Dodgers. Both hated by me.

So that's the confusion. I hear Giants, I think Padres; and vice versa. What's the difference? It's some team I hate. All you need to know, right?

But I guess I need to pay attention a little more if this blog is going to be considered a "blog of record" by some people -- why, I do not know.

Moving on to 1978. And once again the Tigers are matched with the Gia ... er, Padres.

Third year in a row! No wonder when these two teams met in the 1984 World Series it seemed like a perfect match. It had been played out on cardboard repeatedly years before!

But in 1979, the Tigers found another "Color Bro." It was the Expos.

I would secretly root for a Tigers-Expos World Series thanks to Topps. Because in 1980 it was the same deal:

Topps was practically begging MLB: Give us the Tigers against the Expos!!!!

It happened again in 1983.

After that, things got pretty sporadic. Topps began to focus on using actual team colors with its cards and the random pairings were a thing of the past.

The Tigers and Giants did get matched up -- sort of -- in the 1985 set.

Lots of orange anyway. But Topps was pretty focused on proper team color attribution in 1985. For most teams anyway.

There was one pairing with the Expos in 1988 for old-time's sake. Kind of a tribute to the 1976 set:

Same colors. Somewhat. Just used in different ways.

So after all that, I've determined the error of my ways.

The Tigers' true "Color Bro's" are not the Giants. They are the Padres and the Expos.

That's too bad, because there are certain things that I think of when two teams are paired up -- and with the Tigers and Giants it was "Topps used the same colors on their cards!!!"

I guess I'll have to go back to my old stand-by, Darrell Evans. He's the guy I think of automatically on those occasions -- oh, every 14 years or so -- when I think of the Tigers and the Giants together.

It's certainly not the 1908 World Series that I've been hearing so much about lately.

Anyway, if you've made it through all of this, thanks.

And if you're wondering when I'm going to show which teams the Giants were matched up with, you can keep wondering.

They're the Giants. I hate them.

Thanks to them, the World Series will be another angst-ridden affair.

Although I don't know why I'm bothering.

They're going to win anyway.


I wonder what it's like to cough up a kidney.


  1. bro - i get it. this is some kinda 'reverse jinx' thing, right?

    if a Dodger fan says those rapscallions are gonna win, by the light of the Dodger Blue, we jinx 'em?

    dang, even if it's a 100% certified super reverse jinx, i can't bring my self to say they're gonna win.

  2. I always thought that 88 Topps card of Evans was pretty awesome - he looks like he's about to go crush a homer...

  3. Damn man cheap shot on the Rockies, but you entertain me so I'll let it go. Or I could say something like, it's been 25 years for you guys right?

    At least we have our mutual hatred for the Giants in common. I have never liked the Tigers, but I will be seriously rooting for them this week.

  4. Darrell Evans was a good choice. Others to consider: Dave Bergman, Larry Herndon, and Harvey Kuenn.

  5. I have a slightly different take on why someone would point out any errors in your blogs. The relationship between blogger and reader is interesting. Your writing style allows us into all facets of your life.

    Your blog invites us in and makes us feel as though you are friends with each of us. So, when responding it's easy for us to reply in the same tone. It's easy for those of us responding to forget that you don't know us at all, even though we are getting to know more about you each day.

    Since my collecting group consists of just me and my son, it's great to hear another perspective.

    Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us.

  6. Thanks for the different perspective. Obviously I never thought of it in those terms.

    I'll try to take error critiques in the spirit with which they're given.