Skip to main content

Before the strike there was the trade


I came upon a realization, which may have been long overdue, when I viewed this Ron Cey portion of a 1983 Topps Foldout sent to me by Mark Hoyle:

Perhaps my gradual separation from the hobby during the mid-1980s didn't have to do with starting college and moving away. Perhaps it was a subconscious response to the Dodgers trading Ron Cey to the Cubs after the 1982 season.

Although I put my best face on it -- Greg Brock and Mike Marshall are going to be stars! -- the loss of my all-time favorite player caused a great deal of pain. Cey, who had created long-awaited stability at the Dodgers' third base position, had been L.A.'s third baseman and No. 3-through-5 in the order for as long as I had been a baseball fan. I thought his contributions and playing a key part in the Dodgers' World Series title in 1981 would have kept him with the team forever.

Trading him away made me angry. Trading him for two players I had never heard of -- Vance Lovelace and Dan Cataline, who would achieve little in the major leagues -- made me embarrassed. This was a World Series MVP! All of those 228 home runs came with the Dodgers, bub!

So, while I told myself that I was getting too old for cards and didn't have time for them, it may have been something more. I collected in 1983, but not as enthusiastically. The Dodgers made the postseason in 1983, but I don't remember much about it, and recall only mild disappointment when they lost to the Phillies in the NLCS.

It just didn't matter. Ron Cey was a Cub. An airbrushed Cub. The world had stopped making sense.

In 1984 and 1985, I purchased the Topps set at the start of the year and barely looked through it -- trying to avoid Ron Cey Cubs cards, no doubt. In 1986 and 1987, I bought a smattering of packs. Cey cards just didn't matter anymore. No cards really mattered.

Campus activities surrounded me. Clubs, bars, girls, odd jobs. I was too busy. Or perhaps it was that Cey trade all along.

I will likely never lose my Dodger fandom. But I believe it was tested more than it ever had been with the trade.


The reverse side of the Cey photo contains Reggie Jackson, in full "I Must Kill The Queen" mode.

I never came across the 1983 Foldouts that year ( likely because of my diminished collecting brought on by the Ron Cey trade).

I'm sure I would have been puzzled by them. A series a pictures strung together with photos on both sides. That didn't really jibe with my concept of cards: photo on the front, stats on the back.

And folding the pictures so they were all connected? I like what Mark Hoyle did with them. He split them up and then divided the now oversized cards to those who collected specific teams.


This Foldout section is now a Pedro Guerrero card.



With a sneering Pete Rose on the back.



This Jerry Reuss "card" ...



Features the cover panel to one of the five Foldout "sets".

This was a test issue for Topps and the five separate sets featured Pitching Leaders, Home Run Leaders, Batting Leaders, Relief Aces and Stolen Base Leaders. Each Foldout contained 17 pictures.



This cover panel, also sent to me by Mark, kicks off the Home Run Leaders panel.


The reverse contains Darrell Evans. So now Mark is sending me Giants. Lovely.


Since this set is now on my radar, I automatically wonder what other Dodgers are featured. A quick scan indicates that there is only a Rick Monday Foldout to obtain.

This is a pretty odd set, I'm not sure why it was considered in the first place. But maybe it's just seeing Ron Cey as a Cub clouding my judgment.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, I returned to collecting full-time just as Cey's career ended. I would continue with my second stage of collecting until 1994.

I've always blamed my second departure from the hobby on two things, the strike and just too many sets being issued.

And now I'll blame my first departure on two things: college and the Dodgers bleeping trading Ron Cey.

Comments

Scott Crawford said…
Damned interesting placement of that Reggie.

There's a whole generation of kids from the New York metropolitan area who became disillusioned with baseball, sports, cards, etc., plenty of which ended up wearing black clothes and listening to The Cure and Skinny Puppy because of the timing of it all, because the Yankees let Reggie go. Huge event that messed with a bunch of kids of my age. It is because of a different guy, and I don't think you busted out the eyeliner and such, but I think you experienced basically the same thing with Cey.

For my part, Mattingly, Rickey, Gooden and Strawberry drew me back to baseball (and Bernie Williams after them), but I ended up wearing the black clothing and listening to the music I did and still do anyway (and I always hated eyeliner even when I was being paid to wear it, really sensitive eyes).
I have never seen these before.
Unknown said…
That Reuss picture is awesome. This post reminds me of '82-'86, when my friends & I would trade cards and we'd have conversations and debates about how we thought certain players were definite HOFers. Guys like Cey & Garvey almost always came up in conversation.
Unknown said…
That mid-80's period in NY was pretty awesome. I used to fall asleep at night listening to the Mets games. Strawberry & Gooden had soooo much potential. I was sooooooooo happy Ricky became a Yankee 'cause he was already my favorite player and now he was going to be on my TV all the time with Winfield & Mattingly.
Mark Hoyle said…
The Monday is on the flip side of the Sorry about the Evans. Don't think I even looked at the back
Brett Alan said…
You know, I also stopped collecting in college, and that was when my Mets were exactly that awesome team. Not sure what that means for Night Owl's theory...probably nothing, because he's not me.
Fuji said…
Giants or not... that's a great action shot of Evans.
Once a Cub said…
Same thing for me with Ryne Sandberg's mid-season 1st retirement in the mid-90's. It also coincided with later high school years/girls/work etc. Made it through the strike, but the retirement stung.

Popular posts from this blog

G.O.A.T, the '80s: 30-21

  I often call this current period of the television sports calendar the black hole of sports programming. The time between the end of the Super Bowl and the beginning of televised Spring Training baseball games is an empty void when I'm looking for something to watch on traditional television. I don't watch the NBA and the NHL on TV holds my interest for maybe a period. College basketball I can't watch until the tournament. This didn't used to be as much of a problem back when I could turn instead to my favorite sitcoms in February. Do you remember when February was "sweeps month"? (Maybe it still is, I don't know). Networks would make sure that every top show aired original episodes that month, no reruns. So you'd always have something to view during the week even when the sports scene was boring. (I know, people have multiple streaming viewing options now. But I find myself going weeks sometimes before I see something I want to view on Netflix or Am

The return of COMC and a ridiculous collecting quest

  For the first time in exactly a year, I received a shipment of cards from COMC last week. I wouldn't say COMC is truly back back. I did pay extra for the express shipping so I wouldn't have to wait however long we're waiting for COMC shipments these days. But the cards arrived in short fashion and it was nice to see something in the mailbox from my preferred online card site for over a decade until last year. I had waited a year to order what was in my cart. I didn't want to be one of those people who paid and then waited nine months for shipment. I mean, what if I ordered them and COMC went under? Those were the kind of questions that were floating in my head last year.   That meant that I did lose a couple of items out of my cart, but no big deal. Nothing in there was anything highly sought-after and I merely replaced whatever I lost with a new version or something else I liked. Many of my collecting interests are not high on anyone's radar, especially 2020 fli

Say hey, you guys

  One of the most significant cards in my collecting history arrived at my door today. The 1956 Topps Willie Mays card ties my formative collecting days to my current collecting existence, confirms what I believe in in this hobby, and realizes dreams from long ago I never thought possible. It also sets a couple of personal records. It is the most I've ever spent on a single card. Yet it didn't hurt my wallet nor cause any regret. In terms of a cardboard acquisition it is about as perfect as it gets. No guilt. All power and beauty. It removes a considerable road block in my quest to complete the 1956 Topps set. It was one of the Big Three that I fretted over for years. "How would I ever obtain that card?" And now it's here. I don't have to remind you that baseball legends from the 1950s (and '60s and '70s) are departing at a rapid pace. That wasn't a top consideration in landing this card. But with Willie's age (he will be 90 in May) and the way