Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Topps Diamond Giveaway Haul: 1980

From 2011, we travel all the way back in time to the year 1980. The Empire Strikes Back taught us that the best way to survive the cruel Hoth winter was to experience a tauntaun from the inside, the United States wasted their best chance to claim their first medal in team handball, and Mark David Chapman took issue with the song, "Give Peace a Chance."

#563 Will McEnaney
It was with this card that I decided to try to acquire as many Fantastic Facial Hair cards as possible. 1979 was Will's final season in the big leagues. He spent this final year in St. Louis after stints in Montreal and Pittsburgh, which came after a couple of World Series victories with the Cincinnati Reds. What makes this such a great card is that this is the hairiest McEnaney ever appeared on a baseball card. He gave it a trial run with the Expos in '77 with a Momma's Little Helper on the upper lip, but never got more than a little shaggy during his time with the Big Red Machine. Evidence suggests that he went full beard with the Pirates in '78, but he lacks a 1979 Topps card to show it off. Not many guys have pitched the final outs in two World Series clinchers, and I'd bet none of them ever had such an affluent beard.

#531 Eric Rasmussen
This one I had to trade for. I had the bad luck of redeeming several 1978 Topps cards, a set which I have already completed. Capitalizing on human nature, however, I was often able to turn some so-so '78s into gnarly '79s and wicked cool '80s. I just don't get people. I could reliably depend on being able to trade one card for a newer one, regardless of their aesthetic value, and often within minutes of the trade proposal.
Rasmussen's 'stache not only elects its own congressperson, it had also previously been on the shortlist of light blue properties for the 1980 Topps-themed Monopoly game, right there aside Oriental Avenue.

#586 Mitchell Page
Mitchell's card was obtained without trading. A natural, if you will. Granted, Mitchell doesn't look as much like a panhandler as he does on his 1978 rookie card. Sadly, Mitchell passed away this past March.

#605 Terry Forster
Another natural, this one has been in my virtual collection only since Topps Update Series came out. I've already done posts on this guy, so let's just watch his appearance on David Letterman. Check it out when Dave pimps Forster's 1972 Topps card. You don't see Leno doing stuff like that.

#166 Glenn Abbott

I don't think anyone ever offered me a trade for this card, nor did I attempt to trade it for someone woolier. I guess that's because I like the guy's last name. There was a kid in my class from kindergarten all the way up through 8th grade whose last name was Abbott. The boys in that class were a tight-knit group, several of whom earned nicknames. The kid with the last name of Lanza was "Paisan," Callahan was sometimes called "Potato Famine," and two really tall guys were both called "Clyde," and their two desks, right next to each other, was referred to as "Clydestown," makeshift signage and all. And Abbott... he just became known as "Dumb Abbott." He was definitely part of our group, never got excluded from anything, and was even the only kid in our class to play ice hockey. But still, that was kind of a shitty thing to call a kid, just because he got shitty grades.

1 comment:

dayf said...

Has the stupid Diamond Givaway page even been UP in the past week?

Dumb Topps.