eBay Stuff: The 1971 Version, Part A
August 26th, 2009 by slangon

I ended up scoring a gaggle of ’71 Topps Mets off of eBay. I’m going to break these into 2 posts, though, since I didn’t have the time or inclination to scan them all at once.

I’m not sure what the consensus is on the 1971 Topps set, but for me, it’s one of those sets that I’ve always liked for personal reasons. When I was a young’un, I made my living delivering the Jersey Journal in good old Bayonne, NJ. I think I made maybe $20 a week, but when you’re 10 or 11, $20 is not a bad haul. Up the block from the place where I picked up my newspapers was the local comic book / baseball card shop. I think it was called Earth One, or Earth Two or something to that effect.

Anyway, that’s where the lion’s share of my weekly $20 would end up, sometimes on comics, sometimes on cards. Aside from selling packs, they also had boxes of beat up older cards that they guy was selling for 25¢ a pop or something in that neighborhood. I just remember always wanting some of these cards, but fighting with myself about buying one card when I could get a whole pack for the same price. Of course, if I could go back in time, I’d smack my 10 year old self upside the head for choosing packs of 1984 Topps over whatever bent up gems I could’ve pulled out of these boxes. Fortunately, I didn’t always make the wrong decision.

I can’t recall if it was necessarily my first “vintage” card, but one of the first cards I bought from that box was a 1971 Senators Rookies of Norm McRae and Denny Riddleberger. I’m sure everyone knows those guys. (Note: This is not a scan of the actual card I own. I was too lazy to dig it out and scan it so I just pulled this off the interwebs. My copy is much more, umm… beat up shitty loved.)

71TOPPSsenators

I think back then, I was convinced that cards of teams that no longer existed were worth millions, and rookies from a team that no longer existed must be priceless. Of course I was wrong, but it is a cool card. So being that it was one of the first real vintage cards I ever owned, the 1971 Topps sets has always had a place in my heart.

So, without further babbling, here is part one of the ’71 Topps Mets cards I scored.

71TOPPSchanceI sometimes wonder why baseball card executives choose certain players to include in a set. Dean Chance pitched a total of 2 inning for the Mets, giving up 3 runs for an ERA of 13.5. And that’s not what he did that particular season. That’s his lifetime record with the Mets. Wasn’t there any more deserving guys? I like his signature, though.
71TOPPSgarrettWhen my son gets old enough for me to teach him to play baseball, I’m going to use this card to show him how not to field a ground ball. He’s backhanding it. He didn’t get in front of the ball. And watch out for them bats.
71TOPPSkranepoolI know retired numbers are usually reserved for Superstars, but I firmly believe the Mets should retire Steady Eddies number.
71TOPPSboswellI really like the action shots from the ’71 set. They look like pictures I would take at a game, if I had sort of good seats. Here’s Ken Boswell in the middle of a double play, perhaps.
71TOPPSaspromonteI also love the “airbrushing” they used back then. As a graphic designer, I use Photoshop all the time to fix up or alter photos, and I’m usually pretty anal about the results. Not the guy who apparently used a Sharpie marker to black out the Braves logo on Bob’s helmet. Tidbit about Bob: It’s his fault the Mets dealt Nolan Ryan. Apparently he was such a poor offensive third baseman that the Mets felt they had to make a trade for Jim Fregosi, thus sending Ryan to the Angels.
71TOPPSmarshallI can’t tell if Dave is actually on a professional baseball diamond or at a public park.
71TOPPSshamskyAnother great 1971 action shot. This one of Art Shamsky about to take a really awkward looking hack at a ridiculously high fastball. Somehow, after looking at this photo, I can’t say I’m surprised that Art batter .185 in 1971.
71TOPPSageeThis one is truly an awesome action shot. It’s chock full of confusion. Looks like Tommie stole second and the catchers throw went awry, thus the confused short stop and second baseman. And let’s not forget the confused umpire, who looks to be in the midst of calling him out while the the middle infielders are scrambling for the ball behind him. Just beautiful.
71TOPPSsingletonA classic baseball card pose. Take a look at my bat. No, look closer. Closer still. Can you see it now? I guess this is the batters equivalent to a pitcher holding the ball right in the face of the camera.

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