Saturday, February 8, 2014

1978 Topps Rookie Stars

The 1978 Topps set was again missing some of the top rookies. Since moving to a single issue in 1974 this has been an ongoing problem. A problem that wouldn't be resolved until Topps would add traded series in the eighties. Of the 8 players receiving Rookie of the Year consideration, only 3 would make it onto cardboard in 1978. 

The players that were left out included the NL Rookie of the Year, Bob Horner for whom a card was created in my last post.

In this card, I included the 4 others; Ozzie Smith, Don Robinson, Carney Lansford and Rich Gale.

Drafted in the 4th round of the 1977 draft by the San Diego Padres, Ozzie Smith spent the remainder of the 1977 season on the Walla Walla Padres. In 68 games he had 30 stolen bases and a batting average of .303. In 1978 he was the starting shortstop on opening day. By the end of the season he had amassed 40 stolen bases, was second in NL ROY voting and was well on his way to a Hall of Fame career.

Also receiving ROY votes in the NL was Pirates pitcher, Don Robinson. Robinson went 14-6 and had 135 strikeouts for the 2nd place Pirates. 

Carney Lansford was not in the opening day line up for the Angels in 1978. But with a .294 batting average and 20 stolen bases, the Angels made room for him at 3rd base and moved their All Star 3rd baseman Dave Chalk to shortstop. 

Rich Gale's debut season was in many ways his career season. He had personal bests in ERA, wins and win percentage, shut outs and complete games. He was a solid major league pitcher for 7 season but never matched his rookie season. 

The other players receiving ROY votes in 1978 included AL ROY Lou Whitaker, future Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and Alan Trammell. These players were included on actual rookie cards in 1978.


  1. That would have made for a sweet Wizard RC!

  2. Can you imagine if Ozzie was on the Molitor/Trammel card instead of one of the other two!
    What a card THAT would have been!!!