i have a hard time passing up an opportunity to get a 1978 topps card signed by a former player. i'll get to that in a minute, right after i show these 1978 topps update/burger king dodger cards that should have been of former dodger prospect ron washington, who is currently the manager of the texas rangers. he was kind enough to sign each one
the dodgers didn't get many in-game action shots on cards in the 1970's.
on to the actual 1978 topps cards that have been signed and returned in the past few weeks. here's jackie brown.
brown's playing career came to an end with the 1977 season, but he stayed with the game as a coach with the rangers, and later the white sox and devil rays. he was part of the trade package that texas sent to the indians for hall of famer gaylord perry and was later traded to the expos for a young andre thornton.
i saw that garcia had signed a card for tom at angels, in order earlier this spring, so i took a chance. the 93-year old former manager came through for me, which is fantastic. i don't recall garcia as the angels' manager - he was replaced by jim fregosi during the 1978 season - but i do recall him managing the indians in the early 1980's.
nolan pitched for garcia at the tail end of the 1977 season, but was 0-3 in his few starts as an angel. he had previously enjoyed some great success with the reds, going 15-5 with a 1.99 era in 1972 and starting the first game of the world series that year. he lost almost two seasons to injury (most of 1973 and all of 1974), but returned to help the big red machine win the world series in 1975 and 1976. in the latter series, nolan started and won the decisive game 4 over the yankees. i appreciate that.
like nolan, lockwood debuted as a major leaguer when he was 18 years old. he was a third baseman for the kansas city a's in 1965 when he first showed up in the big leagues, but after a .121 batting average in 42 games, he was sent back to the minors and eventually converted to a pitcher. after a few seasons with the pilots/brewers, the angels converted him to a reliever in 1974, and the mets then used him exclusively out of the bullpen after they acquired him during the 1975 season. in his five years with the mets, lockwood saved 65 games (including 20 in 1977) and had a 2.80 era.
campbell had previously signed his league leader card for me, so i felt safe in sending another copy of his base card. the former twin led the league in saves in 1977, his first season with the bosox. he later pitched effectively against the dodgers in the 1985 nlcs, although the dodgers won two of the three games in which campbell appeared.
unlike skip lockwood, whose given name is claude edward, schultz's middle name really is budd. he wasa acquired by the cardinals in a trade with the cubs prior to the 1977 season, so the bad airbrushing here really was easily avoidable. schultz pitched in a career high 62 games in 1978, earning 6 saves which was also a personal best.
i don't recall joe zdeb, although i am curious as to how announcers might have butchered his last name. baseball-reference notes that the 'd' is silent. i wouldn't have guessed that. zdeb hit .297 in 105 games as a rookie in 1977, but was 0 for 9 in the alcs against the yankees that year. with al cowens, amos otis, and the arrival of willie wilson, zdeb played in only 60 games in 1978 and then just 15 in 1979.
i've always liked this card of moskau's - you can feel the wind blowing in it. i grew up in a windy climate and could relate to moskau playing baseball in that sort of environment. i overthought my connections to baseball cards. anyway, moskau's first season in the majors was 1977, so he missed out on the big red machine glory years but arrived in time for the dodgers to dominate the nl west (for a couple of years, anyway). moskau also included a business card with his return - he is working with former pitcher mike lacoss and his "ibaseball channel" project. you can check it out here.
this last one was actually a purchase. it's bill russell's 1978 topps card
in all the times that russell has signed cards for me, i only sent him a copy of his 1978 topps card once. that one is with my (thankfully complete) signed dodger team set, but i wanted another one for my partially signed set. russell isn't signing through the mail anymore, so i put down a few bucks for this copy.