04 March 2013

some 1982 topps cards that should have been

well, it's been awhile since i tackled the subject of the 1978 topps dodgers.  i need to get a move on as we are only in 1982 along the evolutionary chain of topps releases featuring the likes of garvey, cey, hough and rhoden.

before we move on to 1983, however, there were some omissions in the 1982 set that i need to address.  i've already posted the jerry grote final tribute card that should have been (card 794 in the set) along with a 1982 topps highlight card of the infield (card 793), plus postseason cards celebrating the nlds (797), nlcs (800), and world series (801-808) that topps failed to make.

here are a few more, like the bill russell in action card (795)
complete with a back
russell was the only member of the infield to not get an 'in action' card.  i was bummed.  reggie smith got one, so there were four dodgers in the subset, plus don sutton.  no room for russell, i guess, although he had plenty of stuff to fill out the back.

here's tom lasorda (796)
for the first time since becoming the manager, tommy was left out of the flagship set.  topps got rid of the team card with the little manager photo, but instead of having manager cards like they did in 1978, they went without any skippers.  that's too bad.

it's also too bad that topps didn't give johnny oates his final tribute card in 1982.  here's what it might have looked like - it's card 798 in my set
 since oates played his last game in 1981, i did a back with his complete career stats
oates did indeed go on to manage in the yankees' system in 1982.  he also did indeed get a real final tribute from one of the three major card manufacturers that year.  fleer did the honors, and they actually gave us his full professional career stats on the back
here's the front of the fleer card.
that photo should look familiar.

the third member of the 1978 topps dodgers to make his last appearance in 1981 was doug rau (jerry grote was the other besides rau and oates).  he was completely ignored by all card manufacturers in 1982, so here's my take on his final tribute (card 799).
i used the photo from his 1981 topps traded card, but reversed it.  luckily, the angels' logo works backwards and forwards (cue aztec camera).  here are dougie's career stats
doug almost pulled a hoyt wilhelm at the plate there.  he also pitched a complete game in his big league debut.

topps also left out a few of the 1978 topps dodgers from the 1982 traded set.  not sure why.

tommy john was traded by the yankees to the angels at the end of august
he made 7 starts for the halos down the stretch, winning 4 and losing 2.  he had a couple of big wins against the second place royals in september, which helped the angels reach the postseason for the second time in their franchise history.

manny mota
mota didn't play in 1981, but the dodgers' first base coach did become activated by the team for the pennant drive in september of 1982.  in what would be his only plate appearance of the season and the final one of his career, mota faced off against jim kaat on september 1, 1982.  the dodgers trailed by a run, and there was one out with steve garvey on second.  ron cey had led off the bottom of the 13th inning with a single, but was caught stealing before garvey doubled.  mota was called upon to pinch hit for mike scioscia, and he grounded out to second.  but, he moved the runner over dangit!  a productive out!  the dodgers didn't score (dave sax lined out for the final out) and the loss put them 1.5 games back.  they would rally to get to as much as 3.5 games ahead of the second place braves, but ultimately finished the season a single game back of atlanta, thanks in part to joe morgan's home run off of terry forster in game 162.

don sutton was dealt to the brewers by the astros on august 30, 1982.  that transaction failed to register with topps, however, so this traded card exists only in my imagination.
until now, anyway.  i recall being disappointed when i opened my traded set late in 1982 and not seeing the gray perm between rick sutcliffe and frank tanana.  sutton made 7 starts for the brewers, and like john, helped the team to the postseason for the second time in franchise history.  sutton went one better, however, and led the team to their first pennant at the expense of john's angels.

so, those were the cards that should have been in 1982.  next time, we'll see the cards that really were in 1983.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I never knew that Mota went from first base coach to being "activated" onto the Dodgers' roster in '82. I doubt that sort of thing would ever happen today.