Saturday, April 18, 2015

C.A.: 1970 Topps Jose Laboy

(Welcome to National Columnist Day. I've written a newspaper column or two, but I haven't done so in a long time. I've got a blog for spouting off now. This is Cardboard Appreciation and the 223rd in a series):

I am slowly building up inventory for my countdown of the 100 greatest cards of the 1970s. I continue to have work to do and cards to find, so I hope nobody is waiting in the theater with ticket stub in hand for the curtain to raise. It's going to be awhile.

But I made great headway with this card. This is the last of my "Goodbye to March" purchases.

The 1970 Topps set doesn't get much credit for photography, probably because of all the airbrushing. But you can't get much better than an Expo choosing his weapon out of an assortment thrown into a red shopping cart as a jacketed Montreal somebody observes in the dugout behind a chain link fence.

And, oh yes, I can't forget the monstrous rookie trophy. And the blue sky. And the fact his name is "Jose Laboy". Heck, let's go ahead and declare this card No. 1 right now.

Also, I improved upon this card by accidentally getting peanut butter on the scanner, plopping the card face-down on top of the peanut butter and then scanning. You can see the stain remnants down by the "L" in "Laboy". It's Jose "Peanut Butter" Laboy!

Actually, Laboy's nickname was "Coco", and you can find out more about him on my other blog.

It took Coco Laboy 10 long years to make the major leagues and receive his first solo card. But he made it a doozy.

That's why I'm ready to declare this card as the all-time best card in the 100 greatest cards of the 19 ...

 ... oh, right.

I landed this card, too.

I've still got a lot of work to do.


  1. I'm slowly coming around on the 1970 set - I used to use the words "boring" and "ugly" when describing the gray border, but the cards that have a good photo really shine through in this design. The more colorful uniforms really pop on the 1970 set as well - So Expos and Phillies in particular are great.

  2. I just learned about Coco Laboy recently, Trying to figure out how he lost Rookie of the Year to Ted Sizemore. Probably that West Coast Bias. Stinkin Dodgers getting all the love.

  3. I have 77% of this set, mostly need HOFers and High#s. I like the block letter team names at the top, yeah, the gray is dull, but it has a certain charm when they're in the binder. The script name in the lower left reminds me of the 1978 set which I really love. The blue and yellow backs are very sharp, and the photos have that old school crew-cut-and-horned-rim-glasses vibe. I think if I had to rate it within the 70s sets it would come in 7th.

  4. There are 9 bat rack photos in the 1970 set. Some actually look like bat racks, while others seem to be (as you noticed) shopping carts.

  5. I put little printout pictures of example cards in my binder spines for my vintage sets. Laboy is the card I picked out for 1970, from six or eight entries. Second place went to Lee Maye and the backstop netting.

  6. It blows my mind how often I see a card for the first time. How the existence of that Laboy card has escaped my knowledge for 3+ decades is beyond me. And I consider myself a vintage collector (and half semi-Expos collector.)

  7. Love the Ed Stroud and Jay Johnstone cards too. A lot of under the radar cards in this set!