Friday, March 8, 2019

Even More 1979 Alt-Topps

World Series, All-Stars and Leaders

Oddly, Topps did not have post season cards in the real 1979 set. Fortunately, I make the rules for the Alt-Topps version. After winning games 1 & 2, the Dodgers lost 4 straight to the Yankees.
For the 1979 All-Stars I changed up the base cards just a little.  Here is Sweet Lou giving Pudge a closer look at his spikes. I'm sure they laughed it off and had a few drinks together after the game, right?
Vida Blue crossed the bay in 1978 and Earned his 3rd All-Star start. He was the first pitcher to start in both leagues. Since then he's been joined by Clemens, Randy Johnson, Halliday and Scherzer.
In 1978 Ron LeFlore led the leagues in runs and stolen bases. In 1980 he would lead the NL in stolen bases with 97 for the Expos. Rounding out the top 3 are Julio Cruz and Bump Wills. Cruz had a career high 59 and would later play 2B for the 1983 "Winning Ugly" Sox. Bump was, of course, the son of stolen base artist Maury.
J.R. Richard won his first strikeout title in 1978. He repeated that feat in 1979. By 1980 he was out of the game. Tragic story. The other two are future Hall of Famers, Niekro and Seaver. 

As usual, if you want to help me fill out this set, leave your suggestions in the comment section.  I'll create a few more cards for this set and post them later this month.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

More 1979 Alt-Topps

Team Cards, Rookies and Traded

For the team cards, I mirrored the 1979 set format of incorporating the managers into the team cards. I chose the Mets and he White Sox because of their use of player/managers.  

Don Kessinger began the 1979 season as the White Sox player/manager. Torre was named player/manager of the Mets in May of 1977. But he felt he couldn't play and perform his managerial duties and retired from playing 18 days later.

The 1979 Awards had ties in for NL MVP and for AL Rookies of the Year. John Castino was the Twins third baseman. I added Dave Edwards to his Rookie Stars card.

Tying Castino for ROY honors was Alfredo Griffin. In the 1979 Topps set he is depicted on an Indians Prospects card. This despite being dealt to the Blue Jays in early December 1978. Here I paired him with two-sport star, Danny Ainge.

On the senior circuit the sole Rookie of the Year was Dodgers pitcher Rick Sutcliffe. He shares his Rookie Stars card with future All-Star Pedro Guerrero.

There were a couple big-name transactions in the 1978-1979 off season. First the Red Sox sent the Spaceman, Bill Lee to the Expos. He had a well publicized rift with manager Don Zimmer. In exchange they got utility infielder Stan Papi who could barely hit his own weight, and I believe a case of pine tar. Papi was dealt the following year as "the player to be named later".

Another big-name transaction was the free agent signing of Pete Rose. The Phillies signed him to a four year $3.2 contract making him the highest player in the game, at that time.

Friday, March 1, 2019

1979 Alt-Topps

After a month of playing catch up, both at home and with past projects for this blog, I am ready to dive into another set of Alt-Topps.

Of all the Topps prototypes I've seen, this particular card is probably the most complete demo card. I have seen this in a few different places. It is currently on eBay with a Buy-It-Now price of $2,250.  It is the predecessor of the 1979 set and has many of that set's elements. There was really no reason to clean up this card the way I had for previous cards.

As usual, I have fashioned Alt-Topps base cards using the MVPs and Cy Young Award winners. In the N.L. In 1979 Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell shared MVP honors.
 On Larry Hisle's mock-up card, the designer put periods after each letter of the position designator. I'm pretty sure outfield is not two separate words. But for consistency, I placed a period after each letter/number on my cards.
In the American League, Don Baylor was MVP.  The periods look odd for 1.B. as a position designator, but it works well for D.H.  Although there has never been an MVP who's primary position was DH, Baylor has the most games at DH with 69 in the 1979 season. For that reason I labeled him Designated Hitter.
,The National League Cy Young award winner was Cubs closer, Bruce Sutter. Until Mike Marshall won the Award in 1974, no reliever had won. Sutter was the 3rd. Sparky Lyle won the AL Cy Young in 1977. In all, there have been 9 relievers who won the Cy Young award. The most recent was Eric Gagne in 2003.
In the AL, Orioles lefty Mike Flanagan won with a career high of 23 wins. The Orioles pitching staff was impressive in this era. During Steve Stone's Cy Young season, 1980, Flanagan called Jim Palmer "Cy Old". He called Stone "Cy Present" and he was "Cy Young". When Storm Davis joined the Orioles in 1982 he called him "Cy-Clone" as his pitching motion mimicked Jim Palmer's.