Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Remake of the 1974 Topps Fergie Jenkins

Texas Rangers CTNW Favorites #1

Let's face it, sometimes Topps just makes terrible looking cards. The 1974 Fergie Jenkins was one of them:

I mean, just look at it.  Poor Fergie obviously just took off his Cubs hat and never had a chance to comb out the hat-head (just barely a step above bed-head). He deserved better. Topps should have given him the full traded card experience. First a nice card for the Cubs like I posted above. Then a decent looking card of him on his new team, like I have below:

Granted, the real Topps Traded card most likely would have either been a terrible airbrush job or perhaps the hatless bed-head picture they used on his regular 1974 card. In 1976 when he was traded to the Red Sox, Topps did give him the full treatment with both a regular and an airbrushed traded card.

Fergie pitched in 197 games for the Rangers in 1975-75 and 1978-81. He had an overall record of 93-72. He is 4th on the all-time list in wins for the Rangers and his 25 win season in 1974 remains a Texas Rangers record.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nolan Ryan 1989 Odd-Ball Assortment

Texas Rangers CTNW Favorites #2

By 1989 the major card companies all had traded or update sets, so finding a 1989 card showing the newly acquired future Hall of Famer in a Rangers jersey was not a difficult feat. In addition there were a number of odd-ball sets sold or given away by toy stores, bread companies, department stores, you name it. So for this post I decided to create a bunch of 1989 odd-ball Cards That Never Were for Nolan Ryan:

Above are 1989 Cards That Never Were from Bazooka, Cap'n Crunch, JJ Nissen (a bread company that was based in Maine) and Woolworth (a defunct department store). As you can see 3 of the 4 were produced by Topps but only 2 of the 4 were officially licensed. Therefore the logos had to be airbrushed out.

Ryan was traded to the Rangers at the ripe old age of 42. He still pitched 5 seasons and threw his 6th No-Hitter in 1990 and his 7th in 1991 both for the Rangers. His record was 51-39 in 129 games.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1980 Topps Gaylord Perry

Texas Rangers CTNW Favorites #3

Gaylord Perry had 2 tours of duty with the Texas Rangers. He spent part of the 1975 season and all of 1976 and 1977 as the result of a trade from Cleveland. In 1980 he was once again dealt to the Rangers after his final All-Star season in San Diego. Overall Perry played on 8 different teams over his 22 seasons. He played 112 games for the Rangers over parts of 4 seasons. He was 48-43 with a 3.26 ERA for Texas.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

1977 Hostess Bert Blyleven

Texas Rangers CTNW Favorites #4

Bert Blyleven was traded from the Twins to the Rangers in June of 1976 along with shortstop Danny Thompson for 4 players and $250,000. He pitched 54 games over the remainder of the 1976 season and the 1977 season. His 23-23 record doesn't tell the whole story of his time in Texas. He had a 2.74 ERA and threw 11 shutouts and 29 of his 54 starts resulted in complete games. He averaged just over 8 innings per start and in 1977 had the leagues best pitching ratio. After the 1977 season he was sent to the Pirates as part of a 4 team 11 player trade.

While I would have liked to create a 1976 Topps Traded card of Blyleven for this post, I had to settle for a 1977 Hostess Card That Never Was. I was beaten to the punch by The Baseball Card Blog who created this gem as part of their "1976 Topps Traded: The Missing Cards: series.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

1991 Topps Rich Gossage

Texas Rangers CTNW Favorites #5

It has been months since I've made my Top 5 "Fan Favorites". For this one I've chosen to do the Texas Rangers. Additionally I've narrowed it down to the Hall of Fame pitchers who have worn the Rangers' colors.  Here they are in the order of games pitched for the Rangers. I'm sure you can guess most of them, but you may be surprised by which Hall of Famer pitched the most games in Texas.

In 1989, Goose Gossage was released by the Cubs during spring training, was waived by the Giants mid-season.  He was picked up by the Yankees where he finished out the season. After the season, the Yankees dropped him as well. Gossage spent the 1990 season in Japan pitching for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. Topps didn't make a 1990 card for him, "career-capper" or otherwise.

In 1991 he was signed by the Rangers where he pitched in 44 games, mostly middle relief. His days as a closer were behind him by then. Gossage was also missing from the Topps set in 1991, not even a Topps Traded card.  They did make a 1992 card of him in a Rangers uniform. That would be Topps' last regular issue card of the Goose. This despite him playing 1992 and 1993 in Oakland and 1994 in Seattle. Seems like an awful lot of cards missing for a Hall of Fame pitcher, especially in the junk-wax era.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

1968 Topps Rookie Stars: Bobby Cox, Alan Foster

Here is another card created for "Rating the Rookies". The reason I chose to use these players was to kill 2 birds with one stone. First, Bobby Cox played only 2 seasons at the Major League level before going on to his Hall of Fame managing career. He didn't have a card his rookie season, 1968. But his 1969 Topps card featured the "Topps 1968 All-Star Rookie" trophy.

So one reason was to give Bobby Cox a card for his 1968 season, but the more important reason was this magazine cover:

This cover featured Sports Illustrated's picks for the rookie class of 1968. Of these 5, Topps agreed with SI on 3. Johnny Bench, Mike Torrez and Cisco Carlos all had "Rookie Stars" cards in the 1968 Topps set. But  Don Pepper (who never had any cards) and Alan Foster were left out.

A while back, I created this card that included Don Pepper at the request of a Tigers' fan who wanted some cards commemorating their 1968 season. (He specifically wanted a Jim Rooker card among others.) Click here.

Now thanks to a randomly selected card from "Rating the Rookies", all 5 players now have 1968 Topps Rookie Stars cards to go along with the 1968 SI cover.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cards That Never Were - 29th Series Checklist

I'm a few posts overdue with this checklist. On the bright side this is an all-new design. And by "all-new" I mean it is my design but as usual, I borrowed heavily from Topps designs. This one in particular could have fit into the 1976 set seamlessly. I wanted a retro look and I wanted a photo similar to the 1967-1969 checklists. This is what I ended up with. Groovy, huh?

On the list itself, I kinda struggled with whether or not to include "Cards That Never Were" from my other blog, Rating the Rookies.  In the end, they were included. Afters all, I made them and they are Cards That Never Were.  For the photo inset, I used a '70s era Minnie Minoso photo. His tribute card was included in this series. 

And as usual you can click here to see all the cards in this series in one place with out all those boring words to slow you down.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cards from "Rating The Rookies"

Bill Davis appeared on 5 different "Rookie Stars" cards from 1965-1969.  Now he finally has his own cards (well, sort of).  Gus Gil was a member of the one-year-wonders, the Seattle Pilots, then became a member of the inaugural Milwaukee Brewers team.  Prior to that he appeared on a Rookie Stars card with Bill Davis. To see more got to my other blog, Rating The Rookies.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

1977, 1978 AND 1979 Topps Doug Buffone

With the passing of Doug Buffone this past week, I've taken on the task of filling in the many holes in his football card collection. These are from his final 3 years on the Bears. I have created cards from 1967, 1968, 1968, 1972 and 1973 for my previous 3 posts.

 I can almost understand the lack of a 1977 card for Buffone. He played only 2 games in 1976 when he was sidelined with a ruptured achilles tendon. Now he would be 33 years old, heading into his 12th season,  and coming off of a serious injury. But Buffone did play in 13 of the 14 games as the Bears made it to the post-season for the first time in his career.

In 1978, like '77 Buffone missed only a single game but started the other 15 games. Jack Pardee who led the Bears to the playoffs in 1977 was now with the Redskins. The Bears under new head coach, Neil Armstrong, went 7-9 but Buffone, solid as ever, had 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery.

In his final season, the 35 year old veteran played in all 16 games but started only 2. At the end of his career he was the longest tenured player in Bears history with 14 season. And he was the last active Bear to have played under the legendary George Halas. His final game in a Bears uniform was the Wild Card game after the 1979 season.  The Bears lost to the Eagles 27-17.

Friday, April 24, 2015

1972 and 1973 Topps Doug Buffone

For those of you who have not heard, Doug Buffone passed away earlier this week. When I went to look at his cards, I could not believe the holes in his collection. Not only did Topps (or Philadelphia) wait until his 4th season to grant him a card, but Topps skipped right over his 1972 and 1973 years. This was a starting linebacker in his prime. He was also in the midst of a 142 game streak in the starting line up. And he was the defensive team captain. Granted, the Bears were terrible during this era, but their defense was always solid. It was their offense (or lack thereof) that gave the fans fits.

So here are the 1972 and 1973 Topps cards conspicuously missing from the prime of Buffone's career. In my previous 2 post you can see his Cards That Never Were from 1967-1969. My next post will have the Cards That Never Were from his final 3 years.

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