Friday, July 16, 2021

350 is a magic number - splitting 8s

a few weeks ago i noted that i was pondering the idea of adding a number type mini-collection to my collection. of the options i considered - 190, 272, 350, or none at all. thanks to all who weighed in with their thoughts! as i mentioned in the post, i had already decided what i wanted to do, and that was to go with 350. so, here is what i am up against:

topps flagship #350 type collection

1957 topps eddie miksis       
1958 topps ken boyer           
1959 topps ernie banks  
1960 topps mickey mantle      
1961 topps ernie banks
1962 topps frank robinson  
1963 topps bob purkey         
1964 topps willie mccovey  
1965 topps mickey mantle  
1966 topps mel stottlemyre
1967 topps joe torre             
1968 topps hoyt wilhelm     
1969 topps richie allen         
1970 topps roberto clemente            
1971 topps billy williams      
1972 topps frank howard    
1973 topps tom seaver        
1974 topps bob gibson         
1975 topps bobby murcer   
1976 topps lefty grove         
1977 topps larry dierker       
1978 topps steve garvey      
1979 topps garry templeton              
1980 topps  george hendrick               
1981 topps j.r. richard          
1982 topps thad bosley        
1983 topps robin yount        
1984 topps george foster    
1985 topps wade boggs       
1986 topps jack clark            
1987 topps keith hernandez               
1988 topps will clark             
1989 topps andy van slyke  
1990 topps bret saberhagen              
1991 topps glenn davis        
1992 topps gregg olson        
1993 topps joe carter           
1994 topps jim abbott          
1995 topps barry larkin        
1996 topps jay payton          
1997 topps kenny lofton      
1998 topps chuck carr          
1999 topps larry walker       
2000 topps jose cruz jr.        
2001 topps bruce bochy      
2002 topps oakland athletics             
2003 topps post season highlight     
2004 topps mark prior|kerry wood 
2005 topps albert pujols|larry walker            
2006 topps joe nathan                         
2007 topps chase utley        
2008 topps mark teixeira     
2009 topps dustin pedroia  
2010 topps prince fielder|ryan braun            
2011 topps francisco liriano
2012 topps evan longoria    
2013 topps albert pujols      
2014 topps carlos gonzalez 
2015 topps yasiel puig          
2016 topps kris bryant          
2017 topps david ortiz          
2018 topps clayton kershaw
2019 topps nick markakis    
2020 topps pete alonso   
2021 topps d.j. lemahieu

thanks to my duplicates, ebay, and sportlots, i am already just about there with these cards. i think i'll post cards from the same year of each decade, and since steve garvey's 1978 card is the first card i knew of at number 350, we will start with the 8s.

1958 topps #350
ken boyer kicks us off. he had a fairly pedestrian season in 1957 prior to this card being issued, but was more productive in 1958. he'd go on to win the nl mvp in 1964, and he had some other seasons which were worthy of mvp consideration. i don't think topps had embraced the hero number concept fully in 1958. sure, mickey mantle got card 150, but the big gun - ted williams - was still at card number 1. 

1968 topps #350
hoyt wilhelm, as the card back states, was a full-time reliever when this card was issued. his last start, in fact, came in 1963 although i would say he was really only a starting pitcher during one season and that was 1959 when he led the league in era. he also led the league in era in his rookie year of 1952. his sparkling era for the white sox in 1967 might have led the team, but he didn't pitch enough innings to qualify for the league title. instead, teammate joe horlen claimed the title with a 2.06 era. wilhelm didn't win any major awards during his career, but he is in the hall of fame.

1978 topps #350 
steve garvey was the 1974 national league mvp and helped the dodgers win the pennant in 1977. he was hugely popular when this card was issued, and would continue to start at first base for the nl in the all-star game for three more seasons before being supplanted. he was second in the 1978 mvp voting to dave parker.

1988 topps #350
will clark followed up his 1986 rookie campaign with a solid season in 1987. he was fifth in the mvp voting that year, and finished 5th again in 1988. in 1989, he would lead the giants to the pennant and finish second in the mvp vote.

1998 topps #350
chuck carr is one of the more confounding members of the 350 type collection. topps adhered to hero numbers in series 1 - mike piazza was card 100 and randy johnson was card 150 - and started strong in series 2 with roger clemens at card 300. carr, however, seems to have been assigned 350 randomly. in fact, this card is a 'final tribute' as he didn't play in the big leagues after 1997.

2008 topps #350
mark teixiera didn't quite make it a year in atlanta as he was acquired on july 31, 2007 and was traded away to the angels on july 29, 2008. he did, however, play in 157 games for the braves across those two seasons, and he put up solid numbers. splitting the 2007 season across leagues probably prevented him from getting any mvp votes that year, although he did garner some in 2008 even though he was only with the angels for a couple of months.

2018 topps #350
clayton kershaw had won an mvp and three cy young awards when this card was issued. he finished second in the 2017 cy young voting, done in by max scherzer. kershaw had more wins and a better era than scherzer, but scherzer pitched 25 more innings and struck out 66 more batters. i'm ok with that result, although i still disagree with jake arrieta getting the 2016 cy young over zack greinke. at any rate, kershaw helped the dodgers reach the world series in 2017 - their first trip since 1988 - and they were a kenley jansen mistake in game 2 away from winning the title (although other factors played in...).

i was going to track a few things in an effort to find any consistency with number 350, but you can already tell that there is none. oh well, i will still track these categories:

number of reigning mvps: 0

number of reigning cy young winners: 0

number of reigning world series champions: 0

number of reigning pennant winners: 2 (steve garvey, clayton kershaw)

number of reigning league leaders: 1 (clayton kershaw - wins, era)

number of repeat players: 0

number of dodgers: 2 (steve garvey, clayton kershaw)

frequency of teams: dodgers (2), cardinals, white sox, giants, astros, braves

i think this will be fun - stay tuned!


  1. Banks, Mantle, and Clemente. Good luck.

  2. Man, 11 pre-1975 Hall of Famers. You didn't make it easy on yourself. But it would be quite the thing to pull off!

    1. i found a 1970 clemente in my duplicates, so that one was easy!

  3. Aside for the two Mantles, you shouldn't have too much trouble completing this collection. That is unless Ernie's cards have shot up in price since the last time I looked for any?

    1. you are correct, jon. the ernies weren't too bad. i'm not looking for high grade versions for this collection.

  4. Another great way to collect cards. That red, white, and blue all-star shield is awesome on the Garvey. I was thinking about ranking my favorite Topps All-Star cards. If I end up doing it, I'm thinking 1978 will make the list.

    1. i would like to see that list, and i hope 1978 makes it!

  5. It does sound like a solid project...I look forward to reading the rest of the posts!