04 November 2008

a perfect score

here is another one of my favorite cards. 1988 score steve garvey. garvey retired after playing in only 27 games in 1987. he retired with 2599 hits and 272 home runs. how do i know this, besides the fact that i am a big fan? it’s on the back of the card. but if it weren’t for score, there would be no 1988 card that had popeye’s career totals. no topps, no donruss, no fleer.

this is one of my pet peeves with topps in particular. i understand that it probably has something to do with the mlbpa, but as a collector, i really was disappointed when a retired player would get no card in the following year’s set.

consider the cards that were never made, including the 1988 topps steve garvey. for dodger fans, there’s the 1970 don drysdale. big d is highly visible on the 1970 dodgers team card, but he has no card of his own to total up his career stats. how about a 1973 hoyt wilhelm? or a 1976 juan marichal. 1978 would have had al downing and boog powell. and in 1998 there should have been an eddie murray card. even in 2008, there was no barry bonds. in fact, before the retro sets, there were usually no cards that spanned a player’s entire career.

i do recognize that some players, like george brett who retired after the 1993 season, have had regular issue cards with their actual career totals – here’s the 1994 topps brett.
and i acknowledge upper deck for their efforts to recognize these players with their ‘final tribute’ cards. i know they did these cards for kirby puckett, robin yount, ozzie smith, kirk gibson, and brett – although they waited until 1995 to issue his. are there others?
anyway, back to the 1988 score garvey. i love the red and the darker feel it gives to the photo; the wrigley field brick and the padres away pinstripes. and, it’s a perfect pose for the final tribute – head down, arms extended, ball and bat in contact.



night owl said...

Another big final year miss by Topps was Hank Aaron with the 1977 set. How could you not produce a card of the home run king when he played in 1976!

gcrl said...

i was thinking about koufax, too. he appeared on some league leader cards, but i don't believe there was a regular issue in 1967.

Anonymous said...

In 1988 Steve Carlton was pulled from the Topps set, replaced by Shawn Hillegas (I think). There were two versions of the checklist, one with Carlton listed and the other with Hillegas' name.

I'd like to see what the Carlton card was SUPPOSED to look like.

Anonymous said...

And I thought I was the only one in the nation who was bothered by the fact that there was rarely an "end of career, complete career stats on the back" card for players.

You would think someone at Topps would at least do this for the better players. But Nooooooo.

At one point I decided to collect not rookie cards, but "last cards" of the all-time greats of my childhood. Once I got up to about fifty, I quit. It was neat to see their career stats on the back, minus one season of course. A few guys here and there had their career numbers, but darn few. (Pete Rose maybe?).

Steve Garvey was my favorite player too. I met him at the Little League World Series a few years back and I have his autograph on a baseball. He went with #6 along with his name.

-- Joe Garrison, Williamsport PA