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Here's last Friday night's "pack." (Anyone else getting annoyed by the way I'm putting "pack" in quotes each time? It's bugging me, and I'm the one doing it!)
1976 Topps Ted Martinez OAK #356
One-time Dodger in Technicolor green and gold, with bad-ass facial hair and the cool '76 Topps second base icon.
1976 Topps Bill Greif SDP #184
Scrunched brows, sad eyes, droopy mustache. Gotta love that the facial expression on Bill Greif makes it seem like he's suffering from grief. Either that, or he's stoned.
And now, cool catcher cards in triplicate...
1976 Topps Dave Duncan BAL #49
There aren't that many coaches, as opposed to managers, who attain legendary status. But this man was to become a kind of miracle worker when it came to turning pitchers' careers around as Tony LaRussa's longtime pitching coach. Pretty sweet lookin' card, to boot.
1976 Topps Bill Freehan DET #540
Freehan is one of those guys I wish I'd seen play. From a statistical standpoint, he's vastly underrated. Probably the best the AL had to offer behind the plate for a good chunk of his career. Looks like he was someone you didn't want to run into at home plate, either.
1976 Topps Gary Carter MON #441
And the catching goodness escalates further with this sweet Rookie Cup card o' The Kid, Gary Carter.
1976 Topps Bill Melton CAL #309T
1976 Topps Ken Henderson ATL #464T
These Traded cards from '76, with their horrendous airbrush jobs and the cool newspaper headline design, are awesome. But the thing that struck me about this Henderson card is that it refers to him as a center fielder. One of the few beefs I have with Topps is its continued refusal to differentiate between the three outfield positions on its cards. I've never understood that. This isn't little league. Those guys out there aren't just leftovers. Willie Mays wasn't just an outfielder, he was a center fielder. Why can't Topps acknowledge this simple fact?
1976 Topps Rookie INF: Craig Reynolds/Lamar Johnson/Johnnie LeMaster/Jerry Manuel #596
No stars, but four guys who all had sizable big-league careers. And I like Jerry Manuel from his run as the Mets manager. He was a bit kooky, but I'll take him over the tightly-wound Terry Collins.
1976 Topps Mike Schmidt PHI #480
Michael Jack Schmidt brings the Cooperstown count from Night Owl's stash up to two (three if you count McCarver in the broadcaster's wing, which you shouldn't), plus two guys who have an argument for inclusion (Dick Allen and Keith Hernandez).
1976 Topps Tom Hausman MIL #452
In honor of the generous Night Owl, from this point forth I will end each of these posts by featuring what I think is the coolest cartoon from the back of the cards in each "pack." Greg has often professed his love for these virtually extinct fun information delivery systems. This one comes courtesy of the aggrieved Bill Greif:
I said you shouldn't count McCarver as a Hall of Famer because of his recognition with the Ford C. Frick Award. That's Cooperstown recognition, not induction. Which brings up the point that Vin Scully needs to actually be inducted, sooner rather than later. Which brings up the reason I like this cartoon. Growing up listening to Vin made me appreciate the importance of broadcasters to their teams' identity. So I like it when they are recognized, in any way, on baseball cards.