Thursday, August 17, 2017

Steppin' on Joe's toes

I kicked around the idea of collecting the 1976 SSPC set for a long time. As with other sets I had the Orioles and a few other assorted cards. About six months ago I found one on eBay at a reasonable price and picked it up.

If you follow Joe Shlabotnik's The Shlabotnik Report (and you should) you know that he has had an ongoing series of posts featuring this wonderful oddball set. That's one reason that until now I haven't bothered to do anything with my cards other than shuffle through them. Posting them feels a little like putting up pictures of someone else's kids. However.... that I've finished the 1970 Topps chase I decided to binder this one and do at least this one post based on it. BTW...if you are not familiar with the story behind this privately produced set you should check out this brief but thorough introduction to it.

I'm posting some random SSPCs here today. I had about 20 scanned but several lost their border in the scanning process and I hate posting those. Two terrific ballplayers from the Orioles segment of the set kick off the scans, Don Baylor and Paul Blair. The cards are grouped together by team with a few exceptions. The last 50 or cards are made up of managers, coaches, the checklists, stray players from teams grouped elsewhere, things like that.

George Brett had had a fine rookie season in 1974 but he exploded in 1975 and this card, released with this set following that season would have been one of the most coveted had these actually been in circulation.

Pete Rose. I was hoping that the Brooks Robinson card would have scanned better but whatcha gonna do?

Brian Downing. As I recall he had a really wierd batting stance...or maybe I'm confusing him with someone else.

Dusty Baker looking very young.

My set came with both the error 'Noland' Ryan and the corrected version. These 'combo' cards are the fronts of the seven checklist cards. There are a couple of other 'errors' which are players whose pictures were mixed up.

Joe Ferguson with his epic 'stache.

Woody Fryman has hijacked the groundskeeper's cart.

The back of Duke Snider's card lists him as 'Hitting Instructor' and mentions his additional role as a broadcaster in Montreal.

Luis Tiant looking a bit perplexed.

The backs look like this.

That's a quick look at a dozen of the 630 cards in this quirky masterpiece. I'm about to put it in pages and I can't wait to see how it looks.

This brief SSPC interlude is over...I now return the 'rights' to blogging these babies to Joe.


  1. I landed this set in a trade a year or two ago and proudly blogged about it (and then did another post on how many tobacco chewers were in the set). So, Joe doesn't have the rights to SSPC. Lots of love to go around!

    1. You are sadly mistaken, Mr. Owl, and will be hearing from my lawyers in short order. :-)

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, I appreciate it... But I have to admit I've been slow to keep up with obligations on my end. This should guilt me into doing another one soon.

    It's fantastic that you got both versions of the Ryan/Hunter card. I haven't chased down my first copy of the card.

  3. Great set. I have mine displayed in 9 pocket pages and they look fantastic. I have a strong suspicion that you won't be disappointed either.

  4. I've never seen that Brian Downing card and it made me chuckle a little. I only knew of him at the end of his career when he was an "old man." The full-out hippie look is amusing.

  5. Your memory is good, Brian Downing did use a "strange" batting stance, he used the Open Stance where, batting righty, his left foot was pointed toward the pitcher thus turning his entire body so it was facing the pitcher. I also remember him as a catcher converted to left field/DH and found it a little odd he batted leadoff, especially with the Angels. Don't really recall him with the White Sox as we saw very little of them back in the day here in an NL city, Pittsburgh.