The Vengeance of the 25¢ Bin
May 2nd, 2011 by slangon

I don’t know what was more shocking, hearing the news that after 10 years they finally tracked down and killed Osama Bin Laden or that the Mets were somehow able to avoid the sweep at the hand of Cliff Lee and the Phillies. Here’s some more quarter cards. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of 1970’s cardboard wonderment. (By the by, I had this post planned and had made the above graphic before I heard about Bin Laden, so “The Most Evil Bin on Earth!” thing, although oddly apropos, was not intentional.)

We’ll start out with a gaggle of 1978 Topps.

1978 Topps #704 Rookie 2nd Basemen

One of the wonderful things about a quarter bin is that you can pick up cards that you might not normally think to get. Like normally, I wouldn’t think to buy a beat to crap 1978 Rookie 2nd Baseman card, even if it were of Sweet Lou Whitaker. But for a quarter, why not? By the way ever wondered how many players in the history of the game have had the nickname “Sweet Lou”? According to Baseball Reference, three.

1978 Topps #411 A.L. Championships

Another thing about the quarter bin is that it forces me to add another postseason highlight card to my collection, thereby actually shelling out money for a Yankees card. Yech.

1978 Topps #100 George Brett

There are certain cards that, although they might not be some Hall of Famers rookie, or some kind of super mojo autographed quintuple relic refractored parallel that was dipped in sterling silver and s/n’d to 1 out of 1, that I think are kind of iconic. When I picture baseball cards in my head, they’re some of the first ones that pop up. This George Brett card with his giant piece of chaw is one of them. Oddly enough, it’s nowhere to be seen on the Topps 60 Greatest Cards of All-Time. As a matter of fact, I had started putting together a want list of exactly those types of cards, and not surprisingly, not too many appear on that Topps Top 60 list.  I also love the All-Star logo that looks like an interstate road sign.

1978 Topps #540 Steve Carlton

I knew all about the green variations from the 1962 set, but I had no idea that they were also in the ’78 set. Seriously, in person this card looks 10 times greener than how it scanned. Too bad this was a terrible year for Lefty. 16 wins, 2.84 ERA and only 161 punch outs. Pathetic.

1978 Topps #45 Mark Fidrych

This is actually the first Fidrych card in my collection. I know it’s not the more iconic ’77 rookie, but I’ll take it. Any Bird is a good Bird.

1978 Topps #670 Jim Rice

This is another one of those cards that I really consider iconic. It’s also one of those cards that I’ve wanted for a long time, but somehow whenever I’m buying cards, be it on eBay or Sportlots or whatever, I always forget to look for it. Well, no more of that. It’s also a weird card for me because Jim looks so happy on it, but when I think of Jim Rice I do not think of a smiley guy.

1978 Topps #370 Rusty Staub

I could not turn down Rusty for a quarter, especially when he’s looking as stylish as he is with that satin batting jacket with the sleeves rolled up. The tight pants I could’ve done without, but hey, it was 1978.

1978 Topps #20 Pete Rose

Sometimes I really don’t understand the Topps Art Department. You didn’t have any pictures of Pete Rose without someones bat covering half the frame? Really?

1978 Topps #510 Willie Stargell

I’ve always kind of hated those late 70’s/early 80’s Pirates painter caps, but I must admit, I’m very amused by the fact that Pops is wearing his under his batting helmet.

1978 Topps #211 Earl Weaver

I’ve been doing some pretty good damage to my manager/team card collection as of late, so I was especially happy to snag this Earl Weaver. I think out of all the manager cards, the ’78 variety are up there among my favorites. There’s something really cool about showing the skipper in question as he appeared at the time along with a picture of him as a player. As cool as this card is though, it will never compare to this card.

That was it for the 78’s. You know, I never really gave the 1978 Topps set too much thought. I guess I never really gave any of the sets after about 1973 too much thought. I’ve been taking a bit of a liking to the ’78 set in particular lately. It’s almost as if the design and the photography and all the other elements of the set don’t really jump out at you, but when you look at how many awesome cards are there, you realize it’s a pretty good set.

Cards from 1978 were not all that I got, though.

1980 Topps #265 Robin Yount

I also got a 1980 Robin Yount card that someone apparently saw fit to dip into a glass of water. At least I hop that was water.

1979 Topps Nolan Ryan/J.R. Richard League Leaders

Anytime you can get a vintage Nolan Ryan card for 2 bits is a good day, even if that card displays most every malady that a trading card can have. It’s also cool to have a J.R. Richard card. He was in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.

I was also able to hit a few team card needs.

1977 Topps #647 Montreal Expos TC

Somewhere in that sea of red, white and blue Canadian-ness is Hall of Famers GAry Carter, Andre Dawson and Tony Perez.

1977 Topps #309 Boston Red Sox TC

Remember a while back when I had written about the Cubs team cards and their weird floating heads? Well, this card throws a wrench into the works. Maybe in the case of the ’77 Red Sox floating heads, they had to try and separate Don Zimmer and Bill Lee as far as they could.

1980 Topps #393 Ozzie Smith

I got a pretty awesome second year card of pre-back flipping Ozzie Smith. At least I think this was pre-back flipping. I wasn’t particularly paying attention to the Padres when I was in kindergarten.

1979 Topps #24 Paul Molitor

Sticking with the second year theme, I also grabbed a miscut Paul Molitor. This one is so miscut that you can start to see the writing that was on the card next to it on the sheet. Actually, I don’t really know if that was a card, since I can’t think of anything from the ’79 set that had writing like that that would be that close to the edge. But if it isn’t a card, what is it?

1979 Topps #415 Lou Brock All-Time Record Holders

If you recall, I got a couple more of these ’79 All-Time Record Holder cards last time I dug through the quarter bin. One of them happened to be the hit record holders. In the post, I pointed out that neither player still held that particular record. This stolen bases card is also not correct any more, either. Coincidentally, both records are also held by the same dude.

Back we go to 1977.

1977 Topps #420 Rusty Staub

I’d have to go back and double check, but I think this Quarter Bin rampage has put me really close to having all of Rusty Staub’s Topps cards. I kind of like this 1977 strategy of not putting out separate All-Star cards, but rather just calling out a players All-Star status on his regular card. Ahhh, who am I kidding. I love All-Star cards.

1977 Topps #523 Rollie Fingers

This card almost won honors for being my favorite card of the bunch. I love the airbrush job. It doesn’t look at all real, but something about it just looks awesome. Also, this might be the best photographic representation of Rollie Fingers’ mustache that I can remember seeing on a piece of cardboard.

Although, Rollie came really close to being my favorite, he didn’t quite beat out this guy.

1974 Topps #575 Steve Garvey

This is another one of those cards that I consider to be iconic and have wanted for a really long time. There’s just something indescribably dark and creepy about this photograph that I love. I think it mostly has to do with all the weird, distorted faces in the crowd that start to look a little like skulls. There’s also something weird going on with the exposure that makes the image look dark and sunny all at the same time. It’s just a very strange, beautiful image.

So there you have it. Another $5 in the coffers of the local card shop and another 20 awesome cards in my collection.

One Response to “The Vengeance of the 25¢ Bin”

  1. What a great group of cards! Some real classics in there, 78 Brett especially.

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