Thursday, August 13, 2020

1981 Topps Mets Future Stars

Juan Berenguer
The player: Berenguer was a talented but erratic pitcher for several teams before landing with the Tigers in 1983. Famed pitching coach taught Berenguer the split-fingered fastball and he used it with considerable success as a starter for the Tigers and a reliever for the Giants, Twins and Braves. Overall, in 490 games (95 starts) over a 15-year career, he went 67-62 with 32 saves and a 3.90 ERA.

The man: Berenguer was known as "Pancho Villa" during his playing days due to his resemblance to the Mexican revolutionary. He still uses that nickname in his current job selling cars at Lincoln of Bloomington, near Minneapolis.

My collection: I have 56 of his cards, from 1979 to 1992. I would be interested in trading for 1985 Wendy's/Coca-Cola Tigers #3.

Hubie Brooks
The player: For the first 20 years of the Mets' existence, third base was a black hole. No one the Mets put there could sustain success. Hubie Brooks became the team's regular third baseman in 1981 and held on to the role for four years, a franchise record at the time. The solid but unspectacular Brooks was traded to Montreal for Gary Carter, where he switched first to shortstop and then to right field, hitting for some average and power. He ended his 15-year career with the Dodgers, Mets (again), Angels and Royals. Overall in 1,645 games he hit .269 with 149 HR and 824 RBI.

The man: Brooks has been involved in some Mets alumni programs recently but has otherwise kept a low profile since his playing days.

My collection: I have 98 of his cards, from 1981 to 1994. I would be interested in trading for 1986 Sportflics #187.

Mookie Wilson
The player: Speedy center fielder Mookie Wilson was a Mets fan favorite in the 1980s. The team's center fielder from 1980 to 1989 (often platooning with Lenny Dykstra and others), Wilson hit over .270 with at least 15 stolen bases in every season from 1981 to 1988. In the middle of the 1989 season he was traded to Toronto, for whom he played in 1991. He is best known as the man who hit a little ground ball to Bill Buckner . . . 

The man: Wilson and Brooks were great friends on the Mets. "We did everything together when we were teammates," he said recently when the two reconnected at a Mets alumni event. Wilson was a Mets coach for many years but now appears to be retired.

My collection: I have 65 of his cards, from 1981 to 1992. I would be interested in trading for 1990 Sportflics #128.

5 comments:

  1. Theatre about as solid a single-team, multi-player rookie card as I've seen.

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  2. 56 Juan Berenguer cards? My goodness.

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  3. Three solid rookies on one card. Doesn't happen very often.

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  4. When I was a kid, I had this card... and treasured it. Still have a copy in my set, but not sure I kept the one from my original collection.

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