Saturday, July 5, 2014

Birds of a feather



Wrapping up the package sent to me by Chris up Canada way (Happy belated Canada Day, btw) with the vintage Orioles he included. Well loved 1971 playoff subset card leads off. Classic Palmer shot showing him working in Game Three against the Twins. I was a freshman at the University of Houston that fall. It was my only year as a commuter and I watched this game in a lounge area in the University Center.

1978 Lee May. '78 was the last of the Big Bopper's 11 straight 20+ homer seasons.

I've never understood this 1980 Rick Dempsey card. He's dropping down a bunt. How is that possible? Earl Weaver hated bunting! This must have been a day when there was an interim manager in the dugout while Earl was serving a suspension for verbally abusing an ump.


Actually Dempsey is also seen bunting on his 1982 Topps card. He actually was about third or fourth on the club in sacrifices.

1974 Merv Rettenmund. Spring training shot of one of the most under-appreciated Orioles of the era. He was a platoon/semi-regular/regular outfielder for the Orioles during the late 60s and early 70s when being an Orioles fan was fun. He had a couple of really good seasons in 1970 and 1971 hitting .318 and .322 with 29 homers. I hated seeing him being traded off to the Reds for Ross Grimsley.


Doug DeCinces 1978 Topps card. Great mustache isn't it? I really love this card. DeCinces is the guy who had the unenviable task of replacing Brooks Robinson as the Orioles third baseman. No pressure in that role. But he hung in there and had some quaility years in Baltimore. He hit even better his first year with the Angels. He actually got nine at bats with the Cardinals in 1987 as his career was ending. I'd have lost a bet on that.


Another '71, this one from the League Leaders subset. I have this in the Orioles year-by-year collection but now I have one for my Mike Cuellar binder pages.


1968 Larry Haney. Haney played with the Birds from 1966 through 1968 as a reserve catcher. Then he was selected by the Seattle Pilots in the expansion draft.

Most of you are probably aware of how Topps flip-flopped this picture for the 1969 Haney card, making him a left-handed catcher. If you haven't seen it scroll down.


Now here is what's interesting... check out the guy behind Haney in the '68 card:

Now, same guy in the background of the '69:

Looks muddy when blown up but did Topps got to the trouble of 'fixing' the background guy's uniform to make the reverse image shenanigans less obvious? (As if it could possibly be made less obvious?)

And finally the 1970 Chico Salmon. 1970 isn't Topps most exciting design but this card is the one I think of when I hear Salmon's name. He was a 'do-it-all; guy for the Indians and Orioles for nearly a decade. In 1967 he played every position on the field except pitcher and catcher. He came close to that several other times.


Thanks, Chris, for one of the best card gift packages I've ever received.