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One-card wonders, update 11

This group put out a one-hit wonder 40 years ago and I had never heard it before this year.
That is shocking to me because 40 years ago would place me smack in the middle of high school and I knew every last song that was on the radio 40 years ago. Seven-Year Ache, Gemini Dream, Hey Nineteen, I knew them all.
But not "So Lonely," a power-pop, do-wop throwback from a duo called "Get Wet," which barely cracked the Top 40, reaching No. 39 in April, 1981.
I heard it for the first time this year, listening to retro radio from 40 years back, and then weirdly, the video popped up on my recommendations and I thought, "there's no way this would happen with a baseball card. I knew ALL the baseball cards in 1981."

Um ... maybe not.

Welcome to another edition of One-Card Wonders. We're in 1981 ... again.

I covered 1981 in this series earlier but I looked only at Topps. So this time I wanted to see how the other two sets released that year did with producing a card of a guy who never appeared in another major set before or again.

It's easy to create One-Card Wonders when you're the only card company in town, as I've established over and over, looking for one-card wonders in sets from the '60s and '70s. But the one-card wonders get scarce in the '80s (and even scarcer after that) because there was just so much competition.

This is the only One-Card Wonder in the '81 Topps set. Gordy's a blog favorite because of that fact, I've posted about this card at least a couple of times.

But what about Donruss and Fleer? Could they top Topps' single OCW?

Well, you've already seen one of the One-Card Wonders from Fleer, so I'll keep going with that first Fleer set since 1963.

There are three One-Card Wonders in 1981 Fleer. That's pretty darn good with two other sets out there.
Gary Weiss isn't a One-Card Wonder in my collection as I have a couple of minor  league issues of him, and of course an appearance in the 1990 Target set. But none of those count in this exercise.

The stunner for me is the interestingly named Sheldon Burnside, a card I never saw in 1981 and a player I never heard of that year either. He had already appeared in a few games for the Tigers in 1978 and 1979 and in seven games for the Reds in 1980, but it wasn't enough to get my attention. Maybe that 6.00 ERA posted in big black numbers in the upper right corner of his '81 Fleer card had something to do with it.

Burnside is noted as the player the Reds received when they traded Champ Summers to the Tigers. I remember that trade, so it's probable that I read Sheldon Burnside's name but it never registered.

Fleer tries to get a few more guys onto the One-Card Wonder list with a couple of Mariners prospects in Rodney Craig and Reggie Walton, but both showed up in multi-player prospect cards in Topps sets and Craig also appears on his own card in the '81 Donruss set.

So, speaking of Donruss, let's see how they did in One-Card Wonders in 1981.




They don't have any.

Donruss did a remarkable job in its card-set debut of publishing nothing but players who also appeared in another set.

The closest it came to a One-Card Wonder are with the following:

The Bob Pate card I've posted before and how I confused it in 1981 with the Donruss Tim Raines rookie card as they're posed in identical ways, both with the Expos. The Steve Macko is a notable card as it's Macko's only solo card and it was issued after Macko had been diagnosed with testicular cancer late in the 1980 season. Macko never played another game and died in November 1981.

All three of the above players, however, appeared on Topps three-player rookie cards in the 1980, 1981 or 1982 sets, disqualifying all of them.

OK, as a reward for following me through the journey back to 1981, here are some (not all) one-hit wonders from that year:

Double Dutch Bus - Frankie Smith

Stars on 45 - Stars on 45 (No. 1 exactly 40 years ago this week!)

Breaking Away - Balance

Unlike "So Lonely," I remember hearing all of these on the radio multiple times, and since MTV debuted that year as well, I'm sure I saw a few of these videos.

In fact, I owned the 45 for "Breaking Away" (It's probably still around somewhere) and my brother not only bought the Stars on 45 ... um, 45 ... but he had the long play thing they put out.

I even had the sheet music for "Believe It Or Not" (but not the voice mail message). I watched Greatest American Hero regularly. I just went looking for it to display here but maybe I tossed it.

OK, here is the revised One-Card Wonder list with 1981 Fleer added at the end:

1965 Topps

#169 - Dave Vineyard, Orioles
#494 - Jay Ritchie, Red Sox
#529 - Jerry Fosnow, Twins
#543 - Ed Connolly, Red Sox 

1967 Topps

#344 - Ossie Chavarria, A's
#388 - Arnold Earley, Cubs
#489 - Doug Clemens, Phillies
#497 - Ron Campbell, Cubs

1969 Topps:

#317 -- Bruce Look, Twins
#361 -- Gary Holman, Senators
#378 -- Jose Herrera, Expos
#437 -- Luis Alcaraz, Royals
#632 -- Jon Warden, Royals

1974 Topps:

#8 - George Theodore, Mets
#33 - Don Newhauser, Red Sox
#37 - Dave Sells, Angels
#77 - Rich Troedson, Padres
#421 - Dan Fife, Twins
#457 - Chuck Goggin, Braves
#573 - Mike Adams, Twins 

1975 Topps

#288 - Bruce Ellingsen, Indians
#407 - Herb Washington, A's
#508 - Bob Hansen, Brewers
#524 - John Doherty, Angels
#587 - Chris Ward, Cubs
#651 - John Morlan, Pirates 

1977 Topps

#118 - Rick Jones, Mariners
#132 - Chip Lang, Expos
#137 - Jeff Terpko, Rangers
#616 - Tommy Sandt, A's
#641 - Dan Larson, Astros 

1978 Topps:

#224 - Jerry Tabb, A's
#303 - Sam Hinds, Brewers
#311 - Jose Baez, Mariners
#386 - Bob Gorinski, Twins
#502 - Pat Rockett, Braves
#516 - Gary Beare, Brewers
#521 - Steve Staggs, Blue Jays
#591 - George Zeber, Yankees
#667 - Jeff Byrd, Blue Jays
#719 - Randy Elliott, Giants 

1979 Topps:

#172 - Mike Bruhert, Mets
#222 - Bob Beall, Braves
#292 - Don Reynolds, Padres
#336 - Bobby Thompson, Rangers
#363 - Craig Skok, Braves
#371 - Jeff Holly, Twins
#427 - Andy Replogle, Brewers
#658 - Taylor Duncan, A's
#676 - Johnny Sutton, Twins

1980 Topps:

#59 - Eddy Putman, Tigers
#72 - Fred Howard, White Sox
#156 - Tony Brizzolara, Braves
#221 - Joe Cannon, Blue Jays
#233 - LaRue Washington, Rangers
#291 - Randy Scarberry, White Sox
#347 - Harry Chappas, White Sox

1981 Topps:

 #491 - Gordy Pladson, Astros

1982 Topps:

#356 - Denny Lewallyn, Indians

1984 Topps:

#116 - George Bjorkman, Astros
#159 - Darryl Cias, A's
#163 - Lorenzo Gray, White Sox
#337 - Kevin Hagen, Cardinals
#382 - Chris Nyman, White Sox
#474 - Greg Bargar, Expos

1986 Topps:

#451 - Mark Brown, Twins
#502 - Glen Cook, Rangers
#567 - Jeff Barkley, Indians

1994 Topps:

#491 - John Hope, Pirates

1986 Donruss:

#32 - Johnny Abrego, Cubs
#42 - Rick Surhoff, Rangers
#461 - Dave Leeper, Royals
#510 - Steve Engel, Cubs
#595 - Carlos Ponce, Brewers
1981 Fleer
#49 - Jeff Twitty, Royals
#130 - Gary Weiss, Dodgers
#220 - Sheldon Burnside, Reds
Weiss is the very first Dodger OCW I've found (he won't be the last). I plan to stay in the 1980s the next time I do one of these and I really want to look at some '90s sets ... when I get my courage up.
I also probably need to do this series more than once a year to show any real progress. But as you can tell, I spend too much time listening to music. Although my music choices are rarely one-hit wonders these days. More like no-hit wonders. 

And that's a whole other baseball category.


steelehere said…
I love the George Constanza reference. 1956 Topps would seem like a fun OCW set to review.
sg488 said…
I enjoy when you do these lists it gives a chance to pull out my Beckett Alphabetical Checklist Book,the most recent book that I know of only goes up to 2001,I wish that Beckett would make an updated Alpha book.
Brett Alan said…
Wow, *I* didn't know "Just So Lonely", and knowing chart minutia from that era is totally my thing. (For example, I'm the dweeb going "well, techinically*, Stars On 45 wasn't a one-hit wonder, because their Stevie Wonder medley hit the top 30".) It's not a bad record, although I wouldn't really call it power pop.

I wonder how many of these One-Card Wonders there are today. I suppose if you exclude Bowman, there's a fair number...a lot of the relief pitchers and backups get a rookie card and nothing more.
night owl said…
Here's where Billboard says, "the Beatles medley was done by 'Stars On 45' and the Stevie Wonder medley was done by 'Stars On.'" ... Sure, it's the same band, but when Billboard lists it like that, it's easy to miss.
I've heard of zero of these players and zero of these artists/songs. Nevertheless, I greatly enjoyed this post. Well done, sir.
Jason T. Carter said…
And now I have "Believe It Or Not" stuck in my head. Thanks a billion.

I'm still waiting for Funko to release a Greatest American Hero Funko Pop! figure. There are some pretty good-looking custom ones on the market, but the price can really get up there. I would rather have the real thing for about $10.

JT, The Writer's Journey
Fuji said…
Great series. Always impressed with the level of research you put into posts like these.

As for the songs, I recognized all of them... except two (Sausalito Summernight and Breaking Away). The Greatest American Hero theme song is an all-time classic. I couldn't tell you who wrote or sang it... but I can sing 90% (maybe more) of the lyrics.
bryan was here said…
Isn't Keith Smith an OCW from the '81 Donruss? I don't recall seeing him on any other cards.

I was just listening to the American Top 40 from this week in '81! There was a ton of great songs out that summer, and I finally first heard So Lonely by Get wet last year during another rebroadcast of AT40. (I didn't start listening to AT40 until January of '82.) The lead singer's name was Sherry Beachfront.

Sausalito Summernight is still a banger forty years on. I actually picked up their album with that song awhile back.
night owl said…
Keith Smith is in the '81 Fleer set, too.
Unknown said…
great post as usual. PS ... for the future, one card wonder post of 2009, this may not count [maybe he's a no card wonder by the guidelines?,] because it's not a major release in the sense of Topps Flagship, 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars -Impressions [auto] Jeffrey Larish. I had this on my trade list and got multiple inquiries, and did not understand why. it turns out, it's a guy that appeared in 101 games for Detroit over 3 years [including a couple for the A's] and never had an MLB card except this one. And the card is an unadvertised SP. He's in multiple USA sets and Just Minors sets, but no other MLB / major release.