28 March 2011

why is this card awesome?

the card of which i ask that non-rhetorical question is this 1973 topps willie davis card.
the answers may include any of the following:
  1. it's a dodger!
  2. it's the 3-dog!
  3. it's horizontal!
  4. it features dodger stadium!
  5. it's from gcrl's new favorite set of the early 70's!
  6. there's a lurker (even if it is just tim mccarver)! 
  7. it's got a cool cartoon on the back!
all of those are good reasons as to why that card is truly awesome.  the answer i was going for, however, is that it is the first topps card (excluding the 1972 topps in action cards of claude osteen, maury wills, and yes, tom haller) to feature a photo of a dodger with in-game action.  i don't count those in action cards because they are not the players' primary card in the set. 

the first year topps featured in game photography, was 1971 as we all know.  all of the dodger cards that year featured posed images.  topps came pretty close in 1972, however, with willie davis' card which shows him kneeling with his eyes closed in the on deck circle of what may be a regular season game.  wes parker and steve garvey (along with the ostracized frank robinson and bobby valentine) get the in game treatment as well in the 1973 set, but willie's card is the first numerically, so i give the honor to him.

since i am writing about how awesome the 1973 willie davis card is, let me show some other beauts from the set that i have really taken a liking to over the past few weeks.  here's billy grabarkewitz, another fallen dodger sent to the angels in the andy messersmith deal.
i traded for this card on the topps' million card giveaway and received quite a few lame offers once i obtained it.  it's mine now suckas.

here's another angel, although not airbrushed like billy g - it's none other than lynn nolan ryan.
that's pretty much the pose the tsa asked me to strike the last time i flew.  i just closed my eyes and thought of ryan and it was ok.

here's ryan's former teammate, tom terrific
i used to think it was funny and antiquated that major leaguers used to play on fields that look like my high school's field until i went down to spring training a few years ago and saw that they still use fields like this.  and, it's pretty cool to be able to be that close to the action.

say hey! 
i don't think i own any 1960's willie mays cards.  those would all be giants anyway, so who cares.  still, willie in a mets uniform is a strange sight.

here's the hit king's 1973 topps card
the blurry empty seats in the background are somewhat hypnotic.  this is a pretty awkward photo of pete - he's all crossed up looking at who knows what.  sometimes using an in game photo doesn't make sense.
his teammate joe morgan, on the other hand, gives us a good ol' fashioned spring training posed shot.
with some decent sideburns.  decent as in not three dimensional like toby harrah's
i can almost feel those suckers.  straight out of victorian times, they are. 

there are also the cartoons that make the set worthwhile.   i am sure you all recognize jack hiatt's cartoon
it's been edited, but it's the header for stats on the back.

here's another interesting one, this one from jim holt's card
doesn't everybody play baseball in the off-season?  i remember seeing this when i was around 10 or so, and thinking 'well, duh!'  that's what growing up in california does to you - there is no off-season.  there are no seasons, period.  i played baseball year round, or at least from january through september.

i also appreciate the 1973 set for featuring farm animals on a card
at least i think those are goats.  maybe they're dogs.  it's tough to tell.  let's see what else young jim hunter was up to
a real tom sawyer he was.  here's his regular card from the set
along with the back
i wonder what kind of stuff he liked to build.  models? furniture? bombs?  just 'things'.  it is interesting that hunter was assigned to the minors in 1964, according to topps anyway, when he was injured.  i was always under the impression that he went straight to the big league roster after being signed.

here's mike kekich's card back.
topps seems to have confused astrology with astronomy.  let's see, in the early 70's i would bet that a guy's interest in astrology was basically asking a girl in a bar 'what's your sign?'

here's don money
with a magic hat.  better yet is the back the money card that i own
it's more mike strahler than don money.  looks like money enjoys bowling but i can't be sure.  it's very odd, i think, that the front of the card is decently centered and then the back looks like this.

there are some other goofed up cards in my set (and everyone else's) like this bill north card
north joined the a's but topps decided not to get rid of the 'chicago' text on his jersey.

here's another cartoon i enjoy
vada pinson goes dr. strangelove. or kong, to be more accurate. i guess he learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.
and jim willoughby once pitched to a baseball clown
was that jay johnstone?  or a minor league promotion?  i need more information.

i'll end this long and winding and rambling post with one of the best cards from the set - one you have all seen many times before, i am sure.  yes, it's mr. crowley about to take on thurman munson, the guy whose 1971 card was the first to feature an in game photo
and that is why this card is awesome.


night owl said...

I wonder if Charlie Finley made up that story on the back of Catfish Hunter's card? He supposedly was the one who nicknamed him "Catfish."

MrMopar said...

71 and 74 have some great shots as well. All great sets, along with 75-78. I love just about every 70s set, except maybe the 72 offering. Bunch o' big head shots!

capewood said...

In regards to the Willie Davis card. I agree that the catcher could be Tim McCarver. But here's something I didn't know until I looked it up on baseball-reference.com. In June of 1972, McCarver was traded to the Expos for John Bateman. He also wore #6 for the Phillies. If it's Bateman, it would be the only card he appears on as a Phillie.

Chris Stufflestreet said...

In my 1973 Topps Photography blog, I mentioned that the Wille Davis card featured either McCarver or John Bateman, as both wore #6 that year and Davis played against both. I also pinpointed the moment of the Crowley/Munson play.

Great cards! Hopefully, more of those 73s will show up in the mail for you soon. Like within a couple of days...