21 August 2012

vic davalillo (among others) was missed in 1981 topps

he wasn't alone, either.  even though both davalillo and manny mota were active in 1980, mota was absent from a topps set for the first time since 1963.  that was also the first year davalillo was featured in a set, although he missed out from 1975 through 1977 while he was playing in mexico, and was last included in a topps set in 1979.  you saw (i hope) the 1980 card i created for davalillo to fill the void that year, and now i present the 1981 topps vic davalillo card that should have been.
the photo i used was taken from one of the dodgers' photo albums from the late 1970's.  here's the back, with his complete career stats - a true final tribute.
whoever set that type must have been drunk.

davalillo actually had a final tribute card in 1981, thanks to fleer which included cards for both davalillo (front)
and mota
in their 1981 set.  mota also got some love in the 1981 donruss issue.
but alas, there was not topps card for the (at that time) man with the most career pinch hits.  you'll note that donruss lists him as a coach, so i made two versions of the 1981 topps manny mota card that should have been - coach
and player
mota did nothing but pinch hit once he was reinstated late in the 1980 season.  he would retire again after the season, but, as the back of his 1981 donruss card predicted,
mota was called into duty by the dodgers once again, although it wouldn't be until 1982.

last but not least, jerry grote also came out of retirement to play in 1981, and should have been included in the 1981 topps traded set (in my opinion).  i mean, if doug rau gets a card despite not playing in a game after june of 1981, then grote deserved to be in there.  although not at the expense of the only doug rau as an angel card - that would not have been good.
here is the 1981 topps traded jerry grote card that should have been.
that's grote's image from his 1979 topps card.  i reversed it and added the 'kc' to his cap.  like mota, grote first entered the topps set in 1964. and, like davalillo, he was not part of the 1977 or 1980 sets thanks to a couple of bouts with retirement.  he missed the entire 1979 and 1980 seasons before agreeing to terms with the royals for the 1981 campaign.  they wound up releasing him in august, but he signed on with the dodgers (who had released joe ferguson earlier in the year) to help back up steve yeager and mike scioscia.  as a result, grote won his second world series ring as the dodgers beat the yankees in the fall classic, even though his second turn as a dodger amounted to just 2 at bats in 2 regular season games.

so, now we are caught up with how things were and how they should have been for the 1978 topps dodgers in 1981.  we'll move on to 1982 soon.

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