22 July 2014

now that's buckner

i was flipping through a binder a couple of weeks ago when i noticed this 2002 topps gold label card
that is, of course, a bill buckner uniform relic card from the mlb awards ceremony insert set.  it's a cubbie card all the way, with the logo, relic, photo, and 1980 topps card in the background all coming from billy buck's time with the cubs.  still, i haven't parted with it because, of all the dodger players that didn't quite make it to the 1977 or 1978 teams, buckner is the one i was the most disappointed with.

i recall seeing the footage of hank aaron's 715th home run with buckner climbing the fence in left - what a great effort, i thought.  that guy is awesome!  then, when he led the league with a .324 average in 1980 (the reason he is featured on the card above), i was really disappointed that he wasn't still a dodger.  it was pointed out to me that there was really nowhere for buckner to play on those dodger teams, unless i was willing to not have steve garvey at first or dusty baker in left, and it was due to the trade of buckner that the dodgers acquired rick monday, so i accepted the fact that buckner was not a dodger.

still, i was happy to see that topps brought him back to the blue in this year's set, giving us dodger fans a certified sticker auto in the trajectory insert set
they used the same photo (rotated) that upper deck used in the 2004 legends timeless teams set, which offered an on-card auto of the former dodger
which was the first card of buckner as a dodger i had seen since, well, 2003 in upper deck's sp authentic chirography dodger stars set.  but before that, you have to go all the way to 1977 i am pretty sure.

i actually did pick up a buckner card from his days as a dodger recently.  it was also a nefarious 9 want, and it completes a team set for me.  it is his high numbered 1971 o-pee-chee card
on which he shares space with future dodger enzo hernandez and the braves' marty perez who is really wearing an angels' uniform.  here's the yellow back
buckner has been featured in a few topps releases over the past couple of years, but last year's tier one release was the only one that had him in dodger blue as far as i could tell.  this year marks the first time they've put him in a dodger uniform on a non-auto card since '77 with the release of allen & ginter.  that base card is on the nefarious 9, and i am looking forward to adding it to my buckner as a dodger collection.

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