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If at first you don't succeed, 72, 72 again

A month or two ago, I documented how well the Nebulous 9 worked by recounting how four different people had sent me this Maury Wills In Action card in a very short span of time.

Obviously, I needed just one Maury Wills In Action card, so three of the senders didn't meet their objective.

None took that more to heart than one of the senders, Keith, a.k.a., EggRocket.

I received a package from him recently with the accompanying note:

Ah, so you really wanted to send me some cards that I needed, huh?

All right, I'm game, let's see what you've got.

I opened the wrapped stack and nearly 30 cards off my 1972 Topps want list came out.

This is so much better than a single Maury Wills card.

Let's look at these card-by-card from lowest number to highest:

#297 - Claude Osteen

I recently revamped my '72 want list because I discovered I needed several more cards than I had listed there. I'm not sure what happened the first time I wrote the list -- drunken research, probably. Anyway, some Dodgers cards were notably absent from the list.

#298 - Claude Osteen, In Action

A little known fact that Claude Osteen pitched with just one leg. Shame of the internet for not informing you of this.

#308 - Steve Renko, In Action

OK, I confess, I had this card already. Here it is:

Well-loved cards that are from pre-1950 or from my collection are cool. They tell a story. But otherwise, they're kind of creepy. I don't want to know that the gross kid who smelled and farted his way through school kept this card in his back pocket, because I knew kids like that in 1972.

#382 - Joe Gibbon
#407 - Chuck Taylor

These are lumped together because I know I owned both cards at one point. I probably traded them when I didn't have any thought of completing the 1972 set. In other words, when I was a clueless owl.

#408 - Jim Northrup

Northrup stopped to swing a bat after hopping off his tractor. So fantastic.

#460 - Al Downing

Every '72 Downing card I have come across is drastically miscut left-to-right, most so off-center that you can see the "xxxxxxxx" cut marks down the left-hand side. This one has just a hint of that in the upper left (I cropped it out). But it's very welcome in my binder.

#498 - Brooks Robinson, Boyhood Photos of the Stars

This completes the Boyhood Photos subset for me. And at 16 cards that's no joke. 1972 Topps is the king of the vintage subsets.

#547 - Indians team card

This package was filled with team cards. Here is the first.

#582 - Expos team card

Here is the second. Team records are listed on the back and the Expos, entering just their third year at the time, featured Rusty Staub as the leader of all 11 batting categories.

#650 - Sal Bando

The player walking at left appears to be wearing No. 28, which would be outfielder Steve Hovley. I think the man in the white cap is manager Dick Williams, unless A's coaches also wore white caps in the '70s.

#651 - Reds team card

The Big Red Machine is easily identifiable. I'm not going to name the guys in the picture, you can probably pick them out yourselves.

#662 - Stan Bahnsen

When you scan these cards, you focus on the strangest things -- like what is that red garment in the dugout and why is it there?

#663 - Fran Healy

I never knew Healy played for the Giants. He's always been a Royal or a Yankee to me.

#672 - Archie Reynolds

I don't know how Reynolds is able to put his hands over his head when the world is tilting behind him. That's talent.

#682 - Mike McCormick

This card is interesting in that McCormick returned to the Giants after being released by the Royals in June of 1971. But he never played again in the majors, which means this photo is from 1970 (the last time he played for the Giants) or earlier.

#688 - Cardinals team card

This card has a few issues but not enough to prevent me from crossing it off the list.

#698 - Jerry Koosman In Action
#700 - Bobby Murcer In Action

Both of these feature puzzle pieces on the back.

I don't believe I've completed either puzzle yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know.

#707 - Tim Foli

I am astonished at the pristine condition of some off-center cards. This looks like I pulled it out of a pack today. Honestly nothing wrong with this card.

#713 - Gene Michael

The always on-point Cardboard Junkie mentioned recently that there is no appreciable difference in terms of price or scarcity between 1972 high numbers in the high 600s and the 700s, but there's just something intoxicating about No. 700 '72s that must be what it feels like to be 13, female and at a One Direction concert.

#727 - Jose LaBoy

Flasher at 9 o'clock.

#737 - Len Randle

I'll say one thing about 1972 Topps airbrushing -- they at least perfected it enough that there were few ugly blotches at the center of the cap, like we saw in previous years. This could be a Panini card from 2012.

#749 - Walter Alston

Walter Alston is pointing to the heavens, acknowledging his late grandmother, after a particularly astute pitcher-outfielder double-switch in 1971.

#771 - Giants team card


#764 - Dusty Baker

Wew! This card is a bit of a toughie. I expected it to be one of the final cards I needed. Of course, there's still Rose, Aaron, Seaver and Carew to go.

#781 - Jim McAndrew

Final card. This is a long way down from his card from the previous year.

Well, Keith, you've succeeded. Nobody has sent me any of these cards recently.

And with my modifying of the '72 want list and these crossed off of it, I know for a fact I need 51 cards to complete the set.

I think I have my goal for 2016 already.


Unknown said…
1972 is a great set, I have way more than 51 cards to go to complete it, but it's going to get knocked off my day. Love those pin striped unis that Dusty Baker is wearing Braves need to bring those back to life, kind of like Ted Turner after oh say the 6th inning.
AdamE said…
I always kind of liked 72s. But I don't have many so haven't ever noticed something. The team names are horribly written. Not all of them but many. White Sox bad, Rangers really bad, Mets wow that's bad. Who knew that AVIIETS spelled Mets
Anonymous said…
Between you and Shoebox Legends, I spent my first waking hours of this Saturday looking at many, many 1972 Topps cards. There are far worse ways to wake up in the morning.

I was pretty sure that the entire A's coaching staff had white caps back in the day, and a quick look at some team cards from the 1970's backs me up on this. Just to go off on a tangent, I always liked how the team dressed in alternating jersey colors for those team shots.
Mark Hoyle said…
Great batch of 72's. Let the countdown begin
EggRocket said…
Haha, I had forgotten about the tractor in Nortrup's card. I didn't really study the fronts of these cards as I was just pulling numbers. Once upon a time my wife would've liked this card. To get her interested in collecting I got her collecting cards with weird stuff in the background. (Laboy and Bahnsen might've worked for her as well, but a TRACTOR? That's truly classic.) Now all she cares about in the baseball world is the Cubbies. (She's got her roots.)
Twitch said…
With the fondness Panini has for peppering their sets with dubious "legends" (Topps is also experiencing a dramatic uptick the past couple years), if ol' Lenny Randle hasn't had his day in the sun yet, it'll almost certainly be coming soon.
defgav said…
You got some quality giggles out of me with the Walter Alston line!