Tuesday, October 4, 2022

1981 Topps Steve Yeager

The front: Yeager has his hands full balancing his glove, mask and throat protector. Well, he has only himself to blame for the throat protector - Yeager invented the device (with Dodgers trainer Bill Buhler) after getting hit in the throat by a piece of broken bat while in the on-deck circle in 1976.

The back: Yeager, a typical slow-footed catcher, stole home in the game against the Cardinals, when instructed by third base coach Tommy Lasorda to go if the pitcher (reliever Mike Wallace) didn't look at him. The element of surprise worked and Yeager was safe. He also homered in the game, won by the Dodgers 5-1.

The player: Yeager was one of baseball's premier defensive catchers. Though he never won a Gold Glove, he was renowned for his strong throwing arm and his game-calling abilities. He was not a great hitter (.228 lifetime average) though he did have a little power (102 HRs in his 15 year career). Yeager was at his best in the postseason: in 21 World Series games he hit .298 with 4 HR and 10 RBI, much better than his regular season numbers, and was co-MVP of the 1981 World Series.

The man: Yeager had a reputation as a macho tough guy like his famous cousin Chuck Yeager, but he was also a partier who enjoyed the LA nightlife. In 1976, he married rock singer Gloria Giaone, who had toured with the likes of Steely Dan and Three Dog Night. The wedding took place on the steps of City Hall, with LA Mayor Tom Bradley as Yeager's best man. After his playing career Yeager was a longtime minor league coach for the Dodgers, owns a Jersey Mike's franchise, and appeared in the Major League movies.

My collection: I have 32 of his cards, from 1973 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1978 Hostess #51.


  1. He also served as a technical advisor and had a small role in the "Major League" movies

  2. That's a good looking card. Now I want one :)