Skip to main content

C.A.: 1974 Topps Bill Greif, 'Washington Nat'l Lea.' variation

(I just kicked off a week of vacation with a card show. I don't know how I managed such a magnificent opener, it certainly wasn't by design. But I'm really happy about it. So let's pause for a little Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 285th in a series):


My 1974 Topps set has been complete for quite some time.

I've considered it complete even without any of the famous "Washington, National League" variations created for some of the San Diego Padres cards.

As you no doubt recall, or like me have read, the Padres were rumored to be moving to Washington in 1973. Topps panicked and created variations for 15 of the Padres cards that replaced the "San Diego" and "Padres" wording on the flags with "Washington" and "Nat'l Lea.," creating a phantom team because the Padres never moved there. A Washington MLB team would not become a reality until 30 years later.

I had read about the Washington variation cards early in my collecting days, probably when I was just getting into collecting other cards besides what was on drug store shelves. They were interesting to me, but I didn't consider them necessary.

That feeling remained as variations became a significant part of the collecting hobby. From the 1979 Bump Wills, through the 1980s error frenzy, the 1990s chaos and then the artificial-scarcity era that continues to plague us.

Still, I resisted those 1974 Washington cards.

I don't know why. I think it's that I consider "variation collecting" a modern, post-1970s phenomenon. It just doesn't seem like the thing to do with cards from the '70s or earlier.

However ...

I was at a card show this afternoon, going through a quarter box (the discount box theme will run throughout tomorrow's card show post). This particular box was quite promising because this dealer's inventory is almost exclusively vintage.

I started accumulating a few cards from 1967 and 1970 Topps when I found myself staring at a '74 Washington Nat'l League variation. It was Dave Roberts. (No, not that Dave Roberts. Or that Dave Roberts. Or even that Dave Roberts. This Dave Roberts).

I immediately put it in my stack. Hell, I can be convinced to buy almost anything for a quarter.

Once I moved the Roberts variation into the pile, I saw another '74 variation, this time Bill Greif.

I liked that one more. So I put that one in my stack, too.

Upon totaling up the cards for the dealer and paying, I discovered that the Roberts card was no longer in my stack (the discounts were flying fast-and-furious and it was difficult to keep track).

It didn't bother me too much. I kind of like having a "type card" for this variation and ending with that.

Most likely, though, I won't end with just that one Washington variation. Especially if I come across another one for a quarter.

And that wasn't the only card that I was surprised to see for just a quarter or 50 cents or a dime.

More to come.

Comments

lol! You ..... I just scanned a couple of these 74 Wash. variations I picked up yesterday.
John Bateman said…
When I was collecting Those cards back in 1974, as a 9 year old, I gave those cards (Wash NL) to my father and he put them in a box in the closet. I knew they might be rare so day. It is good to see after 45 years, you can sell the for a quarter ( up from the 1 or 2 cents they cost).
I just paid $4.00 a piece yesterday for two of them (1 was the greif).
Charlie Sands said…
I sold a John Grubb for $8.00. I believe it was his rookie card though :)
Your mention of four players named Dave Roberts made me wonder what name is held by the most MLB players. I probably could Google it to find out, but I decided to spend some time on B-R instead. I didn't get an answer, but I was surprised to learn that the four Dave Robertses unofficially tie the four John Smiths (including 19th century pitcher Phenomenal Smith.) But to be fair, there were four other players who were born John Smith but who played under a different first name -- including Dwight Smith Jr. and Sr.
Fuji said…
The 1979 Bump Wills was one of my first experiences with card variations. Well.. that card along with all of the 1981 Fleer errors.

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.


I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…