Thursday, September 20, 2018

1981 Topps Gene Tenace

The front: Shea Stadium again. Tenace played in three day games at Shea in 1980. We can see the batter in the on-deck circle. On May 3, Barry Evans, a white man with a mustache, batted behind Tenace. On May 4, Jerry Mumphrey, who is black, batted behind him, so we can rule out that game. The last one is the most interesting. On August 26 the Padres needed 18 innings to beat the Mets, one of the longest games of the year. In the 10th inning, Craig Stimac, the catcher who started the game, was lifted for pinch hitter Broderick Perkins, after which Tenace came in as a defensive replacement, batting 8th. In the 12th inning, the pitcher whose spot behind Tenace was Rollie Fingers, though Dave Cash pinch hit for him. Could that be Fingers on deck? In the 15th inning pitcher Mike Armstrong hit after Tenace (no pinch-hitter). Armstrong had a mustache too (that was the style in 1980) but his hair is too light to be the on-deck batter, I think. Tenace batted once more in the 17th, in that inning Barry Evans pinch-hit for Armstrong. So that’s probably Barry Evans in the background, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was Rollie Fingers?

The back: Twelve seasons in the major leagues make it a little tight, but there’s enough blank space on either side that Topps could probably have fit in a blurb.

The player: Tenace was a key member of the A’s dynasty of the 1970s, winning the World Series MVP in 1972. With Oakland he split time between catcher and first base. One of many A’s to depart by free agency, Tenace signed with San Diego as their full-time catcher. After the 1980 season the Padres traded him to St. Louis, where he served as a platoon catcher for two more seasons, winning his fourth World Series ring in 1982. He ended his career with the Pirates in 1983.

The man: Tenace was a long time major and minor league hitting coach, retiring after the 2009 season.

My collection: I have 25 of his cards, from 1970 to 1984. I would be interested in trading for 1971 Topps #338, 1972 Topps #189, 1973 Topps #524, 1976 Topps #165, and 1977 Topps #303.

Rich Schultz on baseball cards

New Jersey-based photographer Rich Schultz in an award-winning photojournalist who has photographed all of the major sports. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Topps no longer has a photo staff, all their cards are from images made by photographers from Getty Images, for whom I shoot for. Each game I shoot, 20 images go out live to their news desk and are distributed to editorial clients all over the world. Within a few days of each game, we send additional images out to their archives. Most baseball cards are from these stock images, such as batting and pitching moments and not very memorable. It's rare that a key play is used.

I collected baseball cards as a kid and have them in the basement somewhere.

The first image of mine that appeared on a card was Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler.

Sorry I don't have any interesting stories but I normally don't know what cards are mine until months after.

Thanks! Taking a guess that this might be the cards, seems similar to other photos of his.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

1981 Topps Enrique Romo

The front: A day game at Shea Stadium. He pitched in five day games at Shea in 1980.

The back: That October 1 game was the last of the five games Romo appeared in in Queens that year.
The player: Tanner was a reliever for the Mariners in 1977 and 1978, and the Pirates from 1979 to 1982, failing to report to Spring Training to instead join a Mexican League team. 1979 was his best season, going 10-5 with a 2.99 ERA.

The man: Romo was known as a mercurial, emotional ballplayer. He once pulled a knife in the Pirates clubhouse. He continued to pitch in Mexico long after his American career ended, including exhibition games in his 60s. He also owned a cattle ranch and worked in a lathe workshop.

My collection: I have 11 of his cards, from 1978 to 1983. I would be interested in trading for 1981 O-Pee-Chee #28.