Friday, July 16, 2010

Eleven '78s

I recently picked up a few singles for the 1978 Topps baseball set I'm putting together. Although I started buying sportscards in 1977, '78 was the first year I bought them in any kind of quantities. I would save my allowance, which wasn't much for a 9 year old, and pick up packs at the local drug store. With this recent purchase, I'm now 48 cards short of completing my set- with the Jack Morris RC and Lou Whitaker RC being the only significant ones I'm needing. If anyone is looking for a great dealer to purchase from, I've found Dean's Cards, who I purchased these from, to be a great resource!

1978 Topps #23 Bump Wills
The son of Dodger great Maury Wills, Bump was the Rangers first round pick in the 1975 amateur draft. After two sensational minor league seasons, Wills was the everyday second baseman for Texas in 1977, when he finished third in the A.L. Rookie of the Year voting and was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team. Wills followed up his impressive rookie season with a 52-stolen base effort in 1978. My only recollection of Bump was when he opened the 1982 season with a home run in his first at bat for his new team, the Chicago Cubs. The Cubbies were in Cincinnati that opening day and Wills' home run came as the major's first batsman for the '82 season.

1978 Topps #26 Rich Hebner

1978 Topps #46 Al Cowens
This man sure knew how to hold a grudge! While playing with the Royals in 1979, Cowens was hit in the face by Texas pitcher Ed Farmer, suffering a fractured jaw which caused him to miss 21 games that year. Teammate Frank White was also hit by Farmer in the same game, suffering a broken hand which caused White to miss 33 games. The following year, while a member of the Tigers, Cowens once again faced Ed Farmer. This time, Cowens grounded out to short and as Farmer watched the defensive play unfold, Cowens charged the mound rather than run to first base and attacked Farmer. Perhaps Michael Farber of the Montreal Gazette described it best when he said Cowens made contact with Farmer at the intersection of fist and nose. Nice! Poetic even.

1978 Topps #47 Jack Billingham

1978 Topps #122 Dennis Eckersley

Yet another player who wore those annoying wind breakers under his uniform from back in the day. I never could see why anyone would want to-it seems to me that it would be highly uncomfortable, but I've never tried it, so what do I know?

1978 Topps #123 Manny Trillo

1978 Topps #140 Rollie Fingers
So I'm trying to figure out just what the heck the green thing is in the collar area. Fingers looks like the type of guy who in the 70s wore those scarves that Don Knotts' Ralph Furley character wore on Three's Company. Perhaps it's one of those?

1978 Topps #159 Lou Piniella

1978 Topps #188 Al Bumbry
A speedy outifelder for the Orioles, Bumbry missed time in the minors due to serving our country over in Vietnam, and was later awarded the Bronze Star (given for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service). His son, Steve is currently an outfielder in the Orioles farm system. Thanks for serving our country, Mr. Bumbry!

1978 Topps #189 Tom Lasorda
1978 Topps #211 Earl Weaver

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