1978 Topps #655 Lyman Bostock
Bostock became one of the majors first high priced free-agents when he signed with the Angels in November of 1977. His first three seasons were spent in Minnesota, where he hit a total of .318 with 78 doubles, 26 triples, and 18 homers, appearantly on his way to becoming a star. After a slow start to the 1978 season, Bostock caught fire for his new team and by late September he had posted some respectable numbers. Sadly, his season-nay, his life- was cut short on September 23. Following a road game against the Chicago White Sox, Bostock found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Having visited a friends house, Bostock and his uncle gave the woman and her sister a ride to their cousins house. Little did they know, the sisters estranged husband was in his car-waiting outside of his sister-in-laws house. Witnessing Bostock and his wife sitting next to one another in the back seat, the man (Leonard Smith) assumed the two were having an affair- and proceded to follow them until they came to a stop light. At that time, Smith pulled up next to the car, pulled out a shotgun and fired the trigger-aiming it at his wife. Unfortunately, Bostock was sitting to the right of the estranged wife, and took the bullet in his temple.
1978 Topps #670 Jim Rice
I guess much has been made about the controversy surrounding Rice's election to the Hall of Fame, and I can understand the arguments made against his induction, but still-I was glad to see him elected. One of the A.L.'s most dominating players from '75 to '86, Rice followed up his great 1977 season (in which the first-time All Star led the league in slugging and homers) with an MVP during his monstrous 1978 season. Although Rice won his only MVP that season, he did finish in the top 5 six times in his career.
1978 Topps #721 Billy Martin
Controversial. That's one of many adjectives that can be used to describe the late manager. Who doesn't remember the soap opera in New York between he and George Steinbrenner back in the day? Martin served as Yankee manager 5 different times-I guess you could have called it a love-hate relationship? I had the pleasure(?) of meeting Billy during his tenure in Oakland-yes, when he notoriously overworked his pitching staff- in 1981. I only wish I still had the baseball he had signed.
1978 Topps #703 Jack Morris (RC)
Money. That's the word I would use to describe this four-time world champion. Say what you want to about his 3.90 career ERA, Morris turned it up a notch in the World Serie. His 10 inning shutout against John Smoltz and the Braves in game 7 to clinch the 1991 World Series was one for the ages, and made this Atlanta fan stand up and applaud him.
Also on this card: Mickey Mahler. The former Braves pitcher has a name that is almost as poetic as Mickey Mantle. Almost.
Another great rookie from this set- Sweet Lou won the AL ROY in '78 and went on to star in the Motor City for the next nineteen years. Surprisingly, Lou failed to receive 5 percent of the Hall of Fame votes in his first year of eligibility. Thus, he is ineligible for induction until 2015. I really think those with a vote need to look closer at what Whitaker did offensively and defensively, and then compare him to other HOF second basemen because he compares quite nicely!