Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Put me in: coach

Just something quick tonight. I've spent too much time looking for cards for people, scanning that mammoth package I got yesterday, and repeatedly gagging over the Dodgers' latest relief addition.

In looking over some cards earlier, I came across my stack of 1982 Donruss. It's no secret that I don't think much of '82 Donruss. In the life of this blog, I think I've mentioned specific cards from the set only with the Phil Garner reverse negative, the old Carl Yastrzemski photo and my disinterest in Diamond Kings.

Other than that it has been reference after reference to the child-like design on the front and the repetitive backs.

The set, given the time that it came out, should have a place of honor in one of my binders, as virtually ever set from 1982 and prior does. But it doesn't. It's banished to a box with a lot of other '80s and '90s sets.

But there is one bit of quirkiness inside that set that I do enjoy.

It's the random, out-of-the-blue coach cards in the set.

No doubt when I pulled one of these coach cards a small, "what in the world?" smile crossed my face.

A coach? On a card?

The only time I ever saw coaches on cards was in the 1974 Topps set, the first set I ever knew. They were part of the manager cards, usually four tiny, black-and-white floating heads bobbing below the full-color manager.

But a coach all to himself? Bizarre. (Keep in mind, I never saw an '76 SSPC card until decades later).

I don't know how many coach cards there are in '82 Donruss. I have maybe 300 cards from the set. I just know I have four. Here are the other three:

Obviously, all four of those coaches enjoyed long and notable playing careers and that's probably why Donruss chose them.

But I've often wondered why they chose them. Did Donruss come up short and decide to add some select coaches? Or was it a planned tribute to these long-time players? Are there any other coaches in '82 Donruss? Why doesn't night owl get off his butt and do some research?

(It's interesting to note that the four coaches played a collective 68 years and played for 20 different teams).

Anyway, it's about the only redeeming thing I can think of for 1982 Donruss.

Sure there are rookies. Kent Hrbek and what not. As you know, I'm not really into rookies.

Give me a guy who played 18 years.


  1. These are my favorite part of '82 Donruss. I love the Felipe Alou one. Harvey Haddix's coach card is a personal favorite as well.

  2. You just made my day on a future post I'm working on !!

    That's all I'm saying for now.

  3. Why are three of the 4 holding a bat. Alou - he might be hitting fungo or something. But the other two are posed like they are still active players.


  4. Take us back 22 and a half years and tell us how you felt in Dec 1990 when Kirk Gibson left LA as a free agent for KCK and the Blue Crew nabbed former Giant Brett Butler in the free agent market! Just hope he's clean shaven in all of his Dodger appearances.

  5. Harvey Haddix, Cal Ripken Sr., and Yogi Berra are in the set also.

    So at least one didn't have a long ML career.

  6. @mr haverkamp,

    In 1990, I had regressed into being a casual fan, barely aware that Kirk Gibson had left or who Brett Butler had played for prior. Also, Giants weren't as despicable then. Didn't even think about them.

  7. Yes! THE redeeming quality of '82 Donruss. I've always thought whoever did the picking had a Dodgers fetish cuz of Podres and Tommy Davis. But it could just be me...

  8. The Giants weren't as despicable then? Bite your tongue.

    The Will Clark/Kevin Mitchell years were awful. Heck in 1989, the Earth was so disgusted the Giants made the World Series it tried to open its mouth and swallow them whole. (Hope it's not too soon for that joke)

  9. @hiflew ~

    It was more my mindset then. I fully acknowledge now, the annoying qualities of Will Clark and Matt Williams.

  10. It's been so long since I looked at my 82 Donruss that I forgot about the coaches. I'll have to dig those suckers out of whichever box they're in... I'm sure I have a greater appreciation for them now than I did when I was a teenager.

    I was happy when I heard that the Dodgers got Brian Wilson... and that's because I don't like the Dodgers and I don't like Brian Wilson. If one of my teams were to pick up Brian Wilson, I'd much rather they got the former Beach Boy.

    "...Because I am lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did..."