Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Joy of a team set, chapter 9 (World Series edition)

Happy Game 1 of the World Series everyone. We have a real old-fashioned one on our hands. Two teams that have been around for ages and have been terrible for almost as long, are playing each other for a championship. The winner will party like it's 1948 or 1908. Wouldn't it be a hoot if they played music from that time at the victory parade? Bing Crosby and Peggy Lee for the Indians and Tin Pan Alley songs for the Cubs -- Take Me Out To The Ball Game, over and over.

Anyway, I thought far enough ahead to take a vacation around the World Series this year. It would have been a stroke of genius if the Dodgers had made it (perhaps the reason I'm especially bitter this time around). But it's still nice to be able to devote all my attention to the World Series instead of high school soccer playoffs.

With my extra time, I was flipping through some cards online (yes, you can "flip" online), making all kinds of cool card discoveries when I remembered something:

In the 1972 Topps set, there were just two teams to receive pink borders:

The Cubs and the Indians.

How truly visionary of the Psychedelic Tombstone set!

I couldn't let this go, of course. This was the perfect opportunity to present a World Series edition of Joy of a Team Set!

Here we will examine the two teams that had the courage to display pink borders and are now playing in the World Series, probably because of that very fact.

Let's start with the Cubs first. Here is the '72 team set:

The '72 set also gave four In Action cards to the Cubs and one Traded card. It kind of throws off the pink motif, but here they are:

And  now the rundown:

Favorite card runners-up: 5. Leo Durocher; 4. Milt Pappas; 3. Jose Cardenal Traded; 2. Cleo James

Favorite element on the back:

Read the cartoon. IN YOUR FACE, REDS. IN YOUR FACE!

Famous error cards: The Pizarro, Bonham, Beckert and James cards are noted for having team letters with yellow or green on the bottom of the "C" and the "S" in "Cubs". Mine all have yellow, which I believe is the more common version.

Team's claim to fame: The first Cubs team since 1952 not to feature Ernie Banks.

Players I've talked to: None.

Most interesting card:

Topps really wants you to believe that the Cubs wore vest uniforms. They did ......... in the 1940s.

Former or future Dodgers: Leo Durocher, Jim Hickman, Burt Hooton, Rick Monday, Paul Popovich, Phil Regan.

Favorite card in the set:

Of course.

Now, it's the Indians' turn. Here is the team set:

There were no In Action or Traded Indians cards in this set because, no surprise, the Indians sucked.

Favorite card runners-up: 5. Graig Nettles, 4. Ted Ford; 3. Ray Fosse; 2. Chris Chambliss

Favorite element on the back: It's a tie.

The write-up on the Jack Heidemann card is very Indians. Watch out for those pop-ups! The cartoon on the Milt Wilcox card is fascinating as I only knew Ray Lamb as the guy who last wore No. 42 for the Dodgers before it was retired. Although I can find no mention of Ray Lamb acting in movies. Too bad.

Famous error cards: The Indians' Jerry Moses is listed as "Gerry" on the front. It was not corrected.

Team's claim to fame: The first Indians team without Sam McDowell since 1960. The guy they got in exchange for him, Gaylord Perry, won 24 games for the Indians in 1972.

Players I've talked to: None. But only because I was too lazy not to assign myself to cover a Graig Nettles appearance.

Most interesting card:

For all you do, this Bud's for you.

Former or future Dodgers: The aforementioned Ray Lamb.

Favorite card in the set:

I know others would pick Chambliss or someone else, but I just love the houses and trees in the background of this photo. It reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in a little, and you can't beat the memories of a '70s card.

Which also explains why I'm reviewing the '72 Topps cards for these two 2016 World Series teams instead of something more appropriate -- like the 2016 Topps cards.

But you don't expect me to actually collect 2016 Topps do you?

Enjoy the World Series.

I know I will. For the first time since 1982, I will not be at work.


  1. Great post and these cards are far better than anything produced in 2016!!

  2. "Psychedelic Tombstone set" haha...that's perfect! I'm sure this is common knowledge and I'm just too lazy too look it up, but...why did the Cubs have floating heads on their team cards for so many years, instead of a team picture?

    Also, the pink borders on these cards reminds me of the 1959 Topps set. I just scanned up my Moe Drabowsky on my World Series post. Now that's a pink bordered card!

  3. Both "Jerry" Moses and "Gerry" Moses are correct. He went by both and I don't recall him ever expressing a preference. Technically, his first name is "Gerald", which would seem to make "Gerry" more correct, if there is such a thing. Topps used "Gerry" on all of his cards until 1975, when it suddenly changed to "Jerry". If he did have a preference for "Jerry", it does seem odd he didn't say anything until (effectively) the last year of his career. When he was briefly with the Mets in '75, I know they used both spellings. So it really isn't any more of an error card than a Dick Allen card giving his name as Richie Allen (and possibly less so).

  4. The floating head team set cards need to come back.