Blaster Schmaster: The Mid-Late 70’s
March 11th, 2011 by slangon

To recap, I recently grabbed a bunch o’ cardboard from Sportlots and managed to spend about what I would if I had bought a modern blaster box. I already covered some random freebies that the seller threw in as well as cards from the Oughts and the 80’s. Now were starting to get into the good stuff.

First up is a card that I actually wrote about recently and now I finally own my own copy.

Those of you who are familiar with things I look for in cards will know that this particular card tickles my fancy on many different levels. 1) It’s a team card. 2) It’s a manager card. 3) It’s got floating heads. 4) It’s got Dave Kingman on it. I know that Kong has sort of a douchey reputation amongst fans but I liked him as a kid. It was all or nothing with him. 5) It’s got Bill Buckner on it. I’m a Mets fan. Of course I love Bill Buckner.

Speaking of Billy Buck…

Here’s a nice picture of him with a giant caterpillar on his lip. And possibly 2 baby caterpillars on his brow.

Next up is another fine Cubs card.

Topps did the whole father/son thing in 1976, and followed that up with these Big League Brothers cards. This particular one is sort of awesome in a way too much brats and beer sort of way. Apparently though, the Reuschel boys’ family resemblance fooled Topps, beacuse that’s actually Rick on the left and Paul on the right.

For the 1973 and 1974 sets, Topps released a sub-set of checklists broken down by teams. This is the ’74 version, which can be differentiated from the ’73 version by it’s red border and green field up top. The ’73 version has blue borders with a red field. Other than that, they’re the same, with a white space filled with facsimile autographs of the players. Interestingly, and I don’t know if this is true of all the checklists or just this Big Red Machine one, but all the players signatures are not on the front. The back lists about 2 dozen players, whereas the front only features 12 signatures. Also of note is that George Foster is one of the players whose autograph is not shown.

Next up, is 4 Hall of Famers for the price of 2 cards. I kind of really like this idea of issuing one card which shows both the N.L. and A.L. All-Stars by position. I know at various points, Topps did that with the League Leader cards, but I’m not sure I remember seeing it with the All-Star cards in any other set.

Johnny Bench looks psychotic in this picture.

I’d have to double check on this, but I think this might be my first card of Reggie Jackson in an A’s uniform.

The last stop for today is one of my favorites – the 1973 set.

For the longest time, I thought Billy Williams full name was William Williams, which I thought was pretty funny. Turns out that his first name really is Billy, not William. I was a little disappointed when I found that out. Once I heard that his nick name was Sweet Swinging Billy from Whistler, though, all was right with the world.

One of the pitfalls of collecting a particular set, or team, or player is that sometimes you’re forced to buy cards that you don’t really like and otherwise wouldn’t give a second glance. I didn’t like these Boyhood Photos of the Stars in 1972-73, and I especially didn’t like them when Topps tried to revive them last year. Actually, I’ll make one exception for Jim Fregosi’s Boyhood Photos of the Stars. You Weird Al fans out there know what I’m talking about.

Joe Pepitone has one of those awesome baseball names that, although it’s not particularly colorful or funny, just makes me think of summertime. For some reason I also get that with Rico Petrocelli and Rico Carty. I can just hear the announcer in my head. “Now batting (batting… batting…) Rico (Rico… Rico…) Petrocelli (celli… celli)”

I think we’re probably about halfway through the stack. Next time, I’ll cover the late 60’s and early 70’s cards.

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