03 September 2014

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1995 were nonexistent

and so it came to pass that the last of the 1978 topps dodgers to be an active player in major league baseball, charlie hough, whose 25-season career ended with a need for a hip replacement in 1994, did not receive a card from topps in 1995.  1995 was the first topps flagship set without a member of the team of my youth since 1962.  that's crazy business, but that's what happens when you put manny mota's and charlie hough's careers together.

anyway, here's the 1995 topps charlie hough card that should have been
it turned out ok.  the '95 design is tough to play with.  plus, the photo selection could have been better - hough's throwing a fastball in that photo, not a knuckler.

here's the back, with all the career stats befitting a final tribute
i did my best with the diamond vision inset.  the only thing not represented at all on the back is the topps watermark under the stats.  here's the back of dave weathers' 1995 topps card that i used as a base for the hough
i lifted it from comc as i was too lazy to go dig for one in the basement.

while topps ignored hough, upper deck gave him a spot on the checklist.  no 'final tribute' shield, but still.  here's his 1995 upper deck card
with a knuckler grip photo!  and the back
hough went out with four straight losing seasons, but finished with an even 216-216 record.

upper deck came through again with a card for hough in their 1995 collector's choice set - front
and back
nice to see the full career stats, plus a photo of hough with a batting helmet on!

now that the 1978 topps dodgers as players are finished, we will be left with just 1978 topps dodgers as managers (except, perhaps, for the random flashback or some other type of subset card).  in 1994, there were again three 1978 topps dodgers managing in the majors, and they, once again, were not recognized by topps in the following year's set.  so, i made a 1995 topps card that should have been for tom lasorda
and, just like with the 1994 cards that should have been, i didn't care much for it.  i decided instead to use the mid-year all-star card from 1995 topps traded (hello hideo nomo!)
and do something along those lines for the managers.

lasorda again shares space with dusty baker, who was in his second year of managing the rival giants
1995 was lasorda's final full season as the dodgers' manager.  he guided them to a 78-66 record in the shortened season (remember, the start of the season was delayed by the lingering players' strike) and won another national league west division title in the process.  it was the dodgers' first trip to the postseason since 1988 when they won it all, but this time they were swept in the nlds by the reds, three games to none.  as for baker's giants, they finished in last (fourth) place in the newly realigned nl west, 11 games behind lasorda's club.

as for the other member of the club, johnny oates was fired by the orioles and so moved on to manage the rangers in 1995.  i put him on a card with the guy who replaced him in baltimore, former dodger phil regan
in his first year in texas, oates led the rangers to a 74-70 record, finishing four games behind the mariners and angels, who sat tied atop the american league west at the end of the 144 game schedule.  so, technically, after the one-game playoff, the rangers were 4.5 games back, but still, oates helped the club that was 10 games under .500 when the strike began in 1994 turn things around.  as for the orioles, they finished behind the red sox and yankees in the al east, and were 3 games behind the rangers in the wild card standings.

i've got more managerial cards that should have been to make for 1996 so stay tuned...

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