Thursday, February 6, 2014

C.A.: 1982 Topps Denny Lewallyn

(Welcome to the Winter Olympics. They're a pretty big deal around here what being within a couple hours drive of Lake Placid. I'll be watching. Interested sometimes. Bored other times. Confused even more times. And still waiting for baseball. It's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 198th in a series):

I've started another project. Yup, I know. I've got a whole bunch of other projects going on and I've already whined about how I can't focus enough to pay attention to them all. But I've made a half-hearted effort to return to some of those projects, so there is hope for this one.

Besides, I think it's cool right now. And that's all that matters.

I've always been interested in players who enjoyed just a brief time in the major leagues, especially when it comes to baseball cards, right? And I've always enjoyed focusing on players who have received just a handful of cards, right? Well, the best thing of all is figuring which players have received just one card.

This is my project.

I've begun going through each set and determining the players in each set that received one -- and only one -- card. I call them the "One and Done Players."

By one card. I mean one card. The player can't have appeared on a previous 3- or 4-player rookie card. The player can't have appeared on another set issued at the same time (for example Fleer or Score). The only exception I'll make is minor league cards. They can have all the minor league cards in the world. I won't count it against them.

I'm starting with Topps, because that's what I know best, but I'll probably do this for other brands, too. As for the years, I'm not starting with 1951 or 1952 and working my way forward. I'm starting with the sets that I know the best, which would be cards from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. After that, I may jump around -- sometimes concentrating on a set in the 1960s and sometimes vaulting all the way to 2011.

I do know already that it will be more difficult to find a player with only one card the closer I get to the present. In fact, it may be impossible to find such an animal in the last 20 years or more.

For example, I've already gone through 1980 Topps. In that set, I found seven players that were featured in 1980 Topps and nowhere else.

But then I checked 1981 Topps.

1981 Topps has just one player issued in that set and no other set. There are eight other players whose only Topps card appeared in '81 Topps, but because of the arrival of Donruss and Fleer, most of them also appeared in those sets, too. So they didn't have just one issued card, they had at least two or three.

And that brings me to Denny Lewallyn, whose card you saw at the top.

He is the only player in 1982 Topps set with a card in that set and a card nowhere else. (There are 10 other players in the set whose only Topps card is in 1982 but appear in other sets).

Most of these "One and Done" players are interesting because when they pop up in a set it's someone completely foreign. Tony Brizzolara? Who the heck is he?

But Lewallyn I had heard of before.

He was a Dodgers prospect for a lot of years before he appeared in the 1982 set. Here, look at the back:

I'm sure I was annoyed that he pitched in seven games for the Dodgers in 1979 and didn't get a card, but he pitched for seven games for the Indians in 1981 and did get a card.

But the reason I was familiar with Lewallyn was because of my habit of ordering away for Dodger yearbooks at the time.

Lewallyn was one of those Dodger prospects in the back of the yearbooks. Here is his write-up from the 1977 Dodger yearbook.

I'll bet that picture makes him want to run and hide.

But when I pulled the Lewallyn card from '82 Topps, I chuckled and said, "finally Lewallyn, you have a card."

Just so you know I'm serious about this project, I'll show you the "One and Doners" for 1980, 1981 and 1982 Topps. But I'll save their actual cards for one of my future posts in the series.

Here they are:

1980 Topps:

#59 - Eddy Putman, Tigers
#72 - Fred Howard, White Sox
#156 - Tony Brizzolara, Braves
#221 - Joe Cannon, Blue Jays
#233 - LaRue Washington, Rangers
#291 - Randy Scarberry, White Sox
#347 - Harry Chappas, White Sox

1981 Topps:

#491 - Gordy Pladson, Astros

1982 Topps:

#356 - Denny Lewallyn, Indians

Lot of White Sox so far.

This is one of those projects where I could easily miss somebody. Or easily miss that someone has more than one card. So if you spot one of those people, let me know. I plan to put up a list somewhere on the blog so people can check out the "One and Doners" for as long as this blog lasts.

Let's just hope I can stay with this thing.


  1. OH yeah - the late 70's and early 80's we had REALLY good scouts.


  2. Harry Chappas wasn't he like 5'2"

    1. He was listed as 5-3. Probably one of the more famous One-and-Done guys. I'll be getting into specifics about them in future posts.

  3. Great idea for a series. Lewallyn just came around about 30 years too early. Fast forward 30 years and he is Andy LaRoche. Except I am sure you have seen way more Andy LaRoche cards than you care to admit. Choo Freeman (and several others) has more Rockie cards than Rockies games played.

    BTW, I would think that Herb Washington would probably be the most famous "One and Done" guy there ever was.

  4. Brian Allard has a card in the 1980 set. One of the 3 rookies cards

    1. I have a feeling this is going to trip me up a lot because one of the main sources I use doesn't list the old 3-player, 4-player rookie cards as one of that player's cards.



  5. I'm going to be that you'll have a nice run of one and done in the 1990's before Bowman Chrome was released because the base Bowman set is loaded with minor leaguers (and Bowman's Best isn't that large a set).

  6. Its sad to say but I remember Kip Young's rookie card from 79. It was one of those 3 player rookie cards. I did not remember the 1980 individual card that he received. I guess by that time I realized he would not be with the tigers that long.

  7. The list is updated with updates from the comments.

  8. I will go through my spreadsheet which will be pretty good for this. Off the top of my head from interviews:
    Jeff DeWillis is in the 1988 Score set, and that is his only professional card of any kind.
    Noe Munoz, who played in the majors for the Dodgers, has only one professional card, but it is a minor league card.
    Also, one of my first interviews was the guy you never heard of, Tony Brizzolara.

  9. ok, pulling from my spreadsheet. This does not differentiate people on those multi-player cards. These are all players where I only have one card of the guy. There may be other players where I have more than one card, but only one major league and the rest minor league, so this is not necessarily all-inclusive.

    79 Topps:
    Beall, Bob
    Beswick, Jim
    Bruno, Tom
    Cotes, Eugenio
    Gaudet, Jim
    Holly, Jeff
    McGilberry, Randy
    Norrid, Tim
    Pisker, Don
    Replogle, Andy
    Robertson, Bob
    Skok, Craig
    Slater, Bob
    Speed, Horace
    Sutton, Johnny
    Thompson, Bobby
    Umbarger, Jim
    Wiltbank, Ben
    Wirth, Alan
    Bruhert, Mike
    Duncan, Taylor
    Fry, Jerry
    Pirtle, Jerry
    Reynolds, Don
    Stanfield, Kevin

    80 Topps
    Baldwin, Reggie
    Boitano, Danny
    Brizzolara, Tony
    Cannon, Joe
    Howard, Fred
    Jones, Darryl
    Mueller, Willie
    Putman, Eddy
    Scarbery, Randy
    Torres, Rusty
    Bacsik, Mike
    Beamon, Charlie
    Boyland, Dorian
    Bryant, Derek
    Chappas, Harry
    Chris, Mike
    DeFreites, Art
    Edge, Butch
    Greene, Al
    Greer, Brian
    Lois, Alberto
    Mahlberg, Greg
    Miller, Randy
    Murray, Larry
    Nastu, Phil
    O'Brien, Dan
    Paschall, Bill
    Patterson, Dave [LA]
    Riccelli, Frank
    Saferight, Harry
    Tolan, Bob
    Vasquez, Rafael
    Washington, LaRue
    Wilborn, Ted
    Wilhelm, Jim

    81 Fleer
    Allen, Kim
    Burnside, Sheldon
    Gonzalez, Orlando
    Twitty, Jeff
    Vukovich, John
    Weiss, Gary

    81 Topps
    Dorsey, Jim
    MacWhorter, Keith
    Pladson, Gordy
    Anderson, Rick [SEA]
    Bourjos, Chris
    Dempsey, Pat
    Ireland, Tim
    Olmsted, Al
    Rowland, Mike
    Stablein, George
    Steffen, Dave
    Stimac, Craig
    Weaver, Roger

    82 Fleer
    Edelen, Joe
    Manuel, Jerry
    Moreno, Angel
    Parsons, Casey

    82 Topps
    Kuhaulua, Fred
    Lewallyn, Denny
    Schmidt, Dave [BOS]
    Schneider, Jeff
    Budaska, Mark
    Smith, Billy [HOU]
    Tufts, Bob
    Wells, Boomer

    83 Donruss
    Bogener, Terry
    Johnson, Anthony
    Johnson, Roy
    Senteney, Steve

    83 Fleer
    Smith, Ken
    Hammond, Steve

    83 Topps
    Boris, Paul

    83 Topps Traded
    Baker, Steve

    84 Donruss
    Barnes, Richard
    Behenna, Rick
    Fuentes, Mike
    Heimueller, Gorman
    Jones, Jeff [CIN]
    Smith, Chris [SF]

    84 Topps
    Bargar, Greg
    Bjorkman, George
    Cias, Darryl
    Gray, Lorenzo
    Hagen, Kevin
    Morogiello, Dan
    Nyman, Chris

    85 Donruss
    Brewer, Tony
    Citarella, Ralph
    Loman, Doug
    Stephans, Russ

    85 Fleer Update
    Connally, Fritz
    Fallon, Bob
    Musselman, Ron

    85 Topps
    Akins, Sid
    Alfaro, Flavio
    Cato, Keefe
    Cornell, Jeff
    Hoover, John

    86 Donruss
    Abrego, Johnny
    Engel, Steve
    Ponce, Carlos
    Surhoff, Rick
    Leeper, Dave
    Runnells, Tom

    86 Fleer
    Ward, Colin

    86 Topps
    Barkley, Jeff
    Brown, Mark
    Cook, Glen

    87 Topps
    Bryden, T.R.

    88 Fleer
    Lindsey, Bill
    Tabor, Greg

    88 Score
    DeWillis, Jeff

    88 Topps
    Ciardi, Mark
    Keedy, Pat

    89 Bowman
    DuVall, Brad

    89 Donruss
    Jordan, Scott

    89 Fleer
    Pounders, Brad

    89 UD
    Chance, Tony
    Firova, Dan

    90 Bowman
    Roseboro, Jaime

    90 Fleer Update
    Manon, Ramon

    91 Classic (red border)
    Opperman, Dan

    91 Score
    Wells, Terry
    Young, Ray

    91 UD
    Brutcher, Len
    Elvira, Narciso

    92 Donruss Rookies
    Menendez, Tony

    92 Topps Debut
    Kiser, Garland

    1. Thanks, Bo. This will help narrow things down along with other items people provided/that I'm using.