04 February 2011

the 1978 topps jeff leonard card that should have been

jeff leonard was the player to be named lated in the deal that brought joe ferguson back to the dodgers in july of 1978.  he spent the entire 1978 season in the minors, despite a promising debut in 1977, but those few games as a member of the 1977 dodgers earns leonard a 1978 topps burger king dodger/update card that should have been:
that's pretty bad ass, if you ask me.  here's the back
leonard was blocked in the outfield by dusty baker and reggie smith, and even rick monday to some extent.  though leonard did play some center during his career, he was much more a corner outfielder.  still, couldn't he have replaced monday in center instead of bill north, derrel thomas or rudy law?

in houston, leonard went on to finish 2nd (to dodger rick sutcliffe) in the 1979 nl rookie of the year voting and really hit his stride in san francisco in 1983.  that was also the year after reggie smith left the dodger outfield, opening a spot that was filled by mike marshall instead of leonard.  it's hard to argue with al campanis and the finishes the dodgers had in the '80's, so i'll stop there.  besides, i don't know if i would have liked to have seen 'one flap down' in chavez ravine.

leonard was also featured, sullenly of course, in the dodgers' 1978 yearbook.  here's the b&w card to keep pace with wash, landestoy and sut.
why the long face?  it's too bad the dodgers' 1977 yearbook featured such strangely resolutioned images, because leonard is actually smiling in that publication
i guess that's not quite as bad ass.

here's to you, jeff leonard, and your 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update card that should have been!


night owl said...

You've got to love the groovy/disco-y '70s lettering in that '77 yearbook. It might be my favorite part of that yearbook.

Matt Runyon said...

Penitentiary Face!