Monday, August 26, 2013

King Vida

Good news kiddies! I've actually packaged up some cards for people! And they're sitting on a desk behind me right this very minute!

This means, of course, that I've found enough money for packaging supplies but not enough to actually ship them. I'm hopeful Friday will change that. We shall see.

But onto the other good news: we officially have our third inductee into the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! (yeah, I know. Too loud for a Monday).

As expected, 1971 Vida Blue waltzed peaceably into the Hall with zero challenge from the ghostly '74 Dave Kingman card. The vote totals in the finale:

1. 1971 Topps Vida Blue: 42 votes
2. 1974 Topps Dave Kingman: 15 votes
(57 total votes)

Well done, Vida.

I will add Blue's card to the Hall just as soon as I have a free moment. Thanks everyone for playing and voting. We'll do another round of Hall voting once I go through the proper amount of Cardboard Appreciations.

But this doesn't mean that this is the end to polls on the sidebar. Nope. We're going to keep going with Vida and polls and determine The Best Vida Blue Card of the '70s!!!

Blue was a big part of the '70s. From his outrageous rookie season to the crazy non-trade to the Yankees, Vida was all fun during that decade. A lot better than the coked-out Vida of the 1980s.

So I'd like to record his best card of the '70s here for posterity.

Blue actually didn't have a card of his own in 1970. He shared a rookie card with Gene Tenace:

This card doesn't qualify for the tournament. Just wanted you to have a look.

Here are the cards for which you will be placing a vote:

1971: But of course. This is the Cy Young year in which he won 24 games with a 1.82 ERA. Topps, anticipating such greatness I don't know how, produced a classic card to recognize the feat. It will be difficult to beat this card, given its recent entrance into the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame.

1972: This is a pretty staid card considering it's the first one after Blue's epic rookie season. But, as always, looking at Oakland A's 1970s uniforms is a hoot, and we'll see a lot of them in this post.

By the way, I wanted to show Blue's In Action card from this year (it's not eligible either, though):

It looks like he has been alerted to a leaking seagull.

1973: Probably the card that will give '71 the biggest challenge. This is another one of those weirdly great '73 Topps cards. Blue's a bit too distant for someone who is the focus of the card, but it gives you a tremendous batter's-eye view.

I don't know who choked up on the bat like that for the Twins. Did Oliva do that? Cesar Tovar, perhaps? Sorry, I wasn't watching baseball until the late '70s.

1974: I get the impression that Blue was an expressive guy in his youth. That is one of the biggest smiles you'll see on a piece of cardboard. The shadow is pretty cool, too.

1975: Another terrific card. It is one of the most majestic in the entire 1975 set. It is also possibly the most colorful card of all-time. One day I am going to do a post on that and you will all be blinded by its brilliance and I'll suddenly lose all my readers because no one can see anymore. .... OK, maybe that's not such a good idea.

As I've said before, I have loved this card ever since I saw it while walking through the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Emotionally, it is my favorite Blue card.

1976: Another card that struck a chord with us kid collectors in 1976. Today, all people can see is miles and miles of yellow. But back then Vida just looked like a god on this card. This was King Vida and we were the subjects in his kingdom.

1977: This card was and is quite deflating after the previous year. Look, even Vida is disappointed. The bright spot is his signature has never been more grand.

1978: Strange card. Blue almost lost 20 games in 1977 and Bowie Kuhn scrapped yet another deal involving Blue, this time to the Reds. Vida doesn't look happy, and apparently has written his name on his undershirt as some sort of protest. Don't even ask me about the sweat stains ... or ... um ... drool on his jersey.

1979: Tragically, the A's eventually did find a way to get rid of Blue and it had to be to the Giants. He had one decent year with San Francisco, as you can see by the All-Star banner, but that was about it. Then, depressed with his lot on a terrible black-and-orange excuse for a team, he turned to self-medication. Should've never left those A's.

This card also looked too much like the 1977 Blue card to me back in '79, albeit with a different team.

Anyway, those are your choices. The poll is back for one more go 'round (along with the bright sidebar).

Please honor Blue's selection to the Hall with your choice of the best '70s Blue.

Thanks so much.


  1. Man, that is an impressive lineup of cards. From '70 to '75 (well, the "In Action" card in '72 is way better than the base) is very solid. I WANT to go with '74 because the guy is so freakin happy, but will probably go with the '73, I'm a sucker for that set.

  2. I don't mind the distant shot of Blue in the 1973 card. That's my choice. I really want to figure out who that batter is with the Felix Millan stance. I'm guessing that you've already figured out which ballpark is shown and you've ruled out a spring training game.

  3. Blue's 70's run is pretty impressive. In a minor upset, I cast my vote for the '73 - I am a sucker for the batter's eye view.

  4. I don't like the '73. But I'll bet it wins. I voted for the '71 and consider it one of the very best cards of the decade. The '75 was tempting though.

  5. New you B Blue lineup. Very nice cards.

  6. Since the "In Action" is not eligible, I will abstain from voting. Sorry - I think that is the best of the bunch.

  7. I don't know if this was your intention, or if anybody knows what I'm talking about, but when I saw your subject line, my brain filled in what it though should follow...

    King Vida-man, have breakfast with the king!

    1. It wasn't intentional, but of course I know what you're talking about!

      King Vitamin was my brother's favorite cereal when we were kids.

  8. Interesting shoulder patch there on the '77

  9. Contributed to the 'confusion' voting in the '73 card.

  10. How can you not go with the tremendous action shot the '73 card offers? The torque and the balance of his motion is a lesson for any aspiring flame-thrower.