Friday, March 4, 2011


It's been a crazy, hectic week. Every March I can't believe that it can get any busier, and somehow it does. People need to tone it down during the third month of the year. Everyone, please take a cue from spring breakers. Use March to go on vacation. You'll be better off for it instead of the 9,000 things that you do that turns every second of the month into one commitment after another.

When it gets like this, I spend the precious, fleating free moments I have thinking of the abundant time I possessed when I was a kid. I remember when the evening schedule consisted of shuffling through your baseball cards, and then, to make things really crazy, stacking your baseball cards.

The players on those cards back then were always baseball players. That's how I viewed them. They were never kids, never played another sport, never went to college, never existed before the moment they put on a uniform and played for that particular team. In fact they were never rookies. They were always veterans because they were never anything else.

Reggie Jackson was always there, a powerful slugger with a mouth to match. He was never a rookie. Lou Brock was always there. A Cub? Brock was never a Cub.

And Tom Seaver. Always there. He was the top pitcher in all of baseball. It was just common knowledge. Who's the greatest pitcher today? Oh, that's Seaver, of course. It's always been that way. That was as concrete of a fact as April following March.

Seaver dominated the '70s so much that I can't believe I haven't dedicated a "Best of the '70s" post to him yet. It's about time I found out which '70s Topps card of Tom Terrific is the most terrific.

I'll be showing all of his '70s cards and then I'll be asking you to vote for the best. After all, I must have my polls.

So here are the Seaver cards.

Full disclosure: I do not own the 1970, 72, 73 and 77 Seavers. (I traded away the 1970 Seaver, but I will be targeting the '72 and '77 Seavers very soon).

1970: The year after the Miracle Mets. This pose is almost identical to the one on the 1969 Topps Seaver card, except he has more hair here.

1971: Seaver looks to be in the middle of a conversation here. The pitching pose is not very convincing. And that warm-up jacket under the uniform is so '70s.

1972: Tom is so serious here. Not much of a difference from '71 except that he's not in a stadium and there's that guy kneeling in the middle of nowhere for apparently no reason.

1973: Seaver's got a half-grin now. But a really boring photo for one of the biggest stars of that time.

1974: Now that's more like it. Seaver kind of blends in with the crowd in the background, which was a problem for some early '70s action shots. But it's an action shot, and those weren't easy to come by in the '70s.

1975: I'm a little biased toward this card because it's the first Seaver card I ever saw, and it was instantly one of the coolest cards in my existence. Besides, you must love that sideways signature.

1976: A backward move by Topps. One of the least exciting Seaver cards as far as I'm concerned.

1977: Seaver's final Mets card. As kids, we never knew what was coming. Oh, there were rumors, but we never thought the Mets would get rid of Seaver.

I'm not really one to examine signatures, but I always though the "T" in Seaver's signature looked like a pelican beak.

1978: There it is. Seaver as a Red. Doesn't look as strange as it did then. I'm sure this card was much anticipated at the time.

1979: Seaver was involved in more action shots once he left the Mets. This one is pretty good, although I hate being reminded of those artificial turf stadiums that were so frequent in the '70s. I believe this is in Pittsburgh.

All right, I've barely got the strength to put a poll up on the right side. But it's there.

I'll take the remaining few words I have in me to ask you to vote. Which Seaver do you like the best? I see it as a two-way, maybe three-way race.

That'll do it. Believe it or not, this night owl is hitting the sack early tonight.


  1. Gotta love the 1974 card with the horizontal action shot. The 1975 was the first one I owned. I think I'll go with the '74.

  2. i LOVE the '77 Seaver. always have, always will

  3. I have to go with the 1977 one - it was taken in a stadium, and you can tell that it's definitely Seaver.

    - Paul

  4. You should show the '72 Seaver In Action card. He appears to be laughing on the mound so hard he's about to fall over. Either that, or somebody just walked up with his bat in a manner that shows seaver how big his Schwartz was.

  5. Poor guy! A great pitcher, an author of a great pitching book, but Topps did him a disservice - my vote goes for none of the above because none of those cards are appealing to me.

  6. I voted for the 74'. Love that card. My 2nd place vote would have been for the 75' & my bronze medallist would be the 77'.

  7. I gotta vote for the ' action shots like that...

    Got your cards yesterday! Thanks for adding to my Tigers collection...I hope you enjoyed the Hooten auto and that you didn't have one already...I'll keep an eye out for any unusual Dodgers stuff I got as I go through my collection

  8. '74 in a walk, for sentimental reasons I'll take '79 as #2 ('79 OPC was my first BB set. Don't think I had the Seaver, though.)

  9. The '74 is just really well done. It gets my vote.

  10. Tight race, I'll go with '74 just edging out '77. The '77 was a favorite at the time, but a horizontal action in '74 was really da bomb, or whatever the heck kids are saying these days.

    I agree that '72 In Action should be in the poll. It'd probably still be #3 for me, but it would be nice for it to be represented.