Friday, May 12, 2017

Joy of a team set, chapter 11

I want to commend Steve of Collating Cards for surrendering his Braves fandom to follow the Mariners.

As a card blogger and trader of relatively limited means, I know there is no end to the demand for Braves cards. Yet finding someone to take your Mariners cards may be an even more difficult task than keeping Braves cards in stock.

This is a wise move, and just to show how serious he is, Steve recently sent me a bunch of Braves cards from the 1973 Topps set that I have just started collecting (he also added the rogue '75-themed Dave Justice that I believe came from an early '90s Baseball Cards magazine).

When I looked through the cards he sent, I realized that it was practically the entire team set. The only cards that were missing were the two Hank Aarons.

Well -- ha! -- I picked up the Aaron base card at a card show last September. And for purposes of this blog post, the other Aaron -- part of the All-Time Leaders subset -- doesn't qualify for inclusion in the Joy of a Team Set blog series!

So it's time for Joy of a Team Set, featuring the 1973 Topps Atlanta Braves!

Favorite card runners-up: 5. Hank Aaron; 4. Jim Breazeale; 3. Paul Casanova; 2. Ron Reed

Favorite element on the back:

The 1973 cartoons are among the best that Topps has ever done. The Braves' group isn't exceptional but who doesn't love a cartoon of a guy with a pillow tied to his butt?

Famous error cards: The Eddie Mathews card, which also features the Braves' coaches, comes in two versions. Coach Lew Burdette is featured, and I quote, "with right ear" or "without right ear." I appear to have the version in which Burdette's right ear has been lopped off.

Team's claim to fame: Hank Aaron fever was at near peak during the 1973 season as he finished the year one home run short of Babe Ruth's career home run record. The '73 Braves are also remembered as the first team to feature three 40-home run hitters: Aaron, Darrell Evans and Davey Johnson.

Players I've talked to: Phil Niekro.

Most interesting card:

I have two.

 What possessed Breazeale to wear pink Catwoman frames?

This card fooled too many kids into thinking the Braves played the Yankees in Yankee Stadium in 1972. Johnson was traded from the Orioles to the Braves on Nov. 30, 1972.

Since '73 Topps was the last vintage set to be issued in multiple series, Topps had time to airbrush Johnson into a Braves uniform. Not a bad job, but I still know that's the Yankees' Felipe Alou.

Former or future Dodgers: Dusty Baker as well as Davey Johnson as a manager.

Favorite card in the set:

This is one of three '73 Braves that I already owned before I received this package. For you newbies, the sliding player is Cleon Jones. Is he safe or out? Who knows?

Also, Steve sent me two other '73 cards that he probably once thought were Braves cards.

But we all know they're Dodgers cards.

Thanks for the cards, Steve. Get ready for some Mariners return fire.

And thanks for joining me in Joy of a Team Set.


  1. You couldn't have picked a finer team!

  2. Mariners collectors seem to be as rare as collecting either Florida team

  3. That really is a nice airbrush job on the D Johnson...they even gave him bright blue stirrups! Nice attention to detail.

  4. I bet Tony thinks of that last card as a Brewers card. Glad to have been able to help in the start of a new set.

    1. Indeed I do think of that as a Brewers card. Oddly enough, that's the last card I need to finish my Brewers 1973 Topps team set.

  5. A Mariners hoarder?? Where can I send the monster box?