Wednesday, November 29, 2023

i can get accustomed to this

if you follow "when topps had balls", then you've seen gio's cards celebrating his 1970s all-decade team. i sat up and took notice back when he announced the first baseman on the national league squad
gio's post included a nice writeup about steve garvey, and he shares my opinion of the garv's hall of fame worthiness. so, when gio emailed saying that his complete set of the nl all-decade team was available, i sent my money posthaste.

i was surprised to see a different version of garvey's card
but enjoyed it nonetheless.  here's the back:
i appreciate the fact that the backs are written with a 1980 sensibility.

here's the full squad:
with the bonus card being a pete rose "player of the decade" card
i really liked the all-star banner on the 1980 cards back when i was opening packs. they are my favorite banners (over the 1979 and 1981 cards) but i still prefer the red, white, and blue all-star shields from 1978.  one more thought on the 1980 design - seeing it without the facsimile signature, the 1980 design is even more obviously a tweak of the 1974 look. at least in my opinion.

gio also released his series 14 set for purchase, and i decided to pick it up for my collection. this was a standard set that included a variety of his themes - not quite missing in action, career capper, dedicated rookie, fantasy cards, etc.

i'll show the bonus card first, it's a diamond/miscut dedicated rookie card of willie randolph!
jerry reuss also shows up as a dedicated rookie in the 1970 design
while carlton fisk is featured on a fantasy card from 1971
also using the 1971 design is this japanese special card of sigeo nagashima
i have to admit, even with everything i read during the height of nomomania, i was not familiar with nagashima until i received the card and read gio's post.

the next two cards were a big reason why i decided to purchase the set. first up is a "missing in action" card. literally
dick allen did not have an in action card in the 1972 topps set, and he wasn't shown as a dodger on his base card anyway. this card pairs beautifully with the custom that gavin sent me a while back.

and then there is this "gimme a do-over" 1973 topps frank robinson card
of course, robinson's actual 1973 topps card is fantastic, and really just needs the dodger script across his chest reinstated and his team affiliation changed from the angels, but this one is great, too.

speaking of the angels, here's a dedicated rookie of frank tanana
who was definitely a fan favorite of mine until he was dealt to the red sox, even though the halos got freddie lynn in return. speaking of the red sox, here's a missing in action 1975 topps dick mcauliffe card
complete with the slanted oakland coliseum background!

gio created another "gimme a do-over" with this 1975 topps billy williams card
that keeps him as a cub as opposed to an airbrushed athletic as he was presented by topps.

this next one is a special request "career capper" card for tony c
who finished his career with the red sox in 1975. he managed to hit a couple of home runs in his return to boston, but we are left to wonder what if? when it comes to his career.

similar to the williams card above, gio created a "gimme a do-over" card for my one-time favorite non-dodger don baylor
he was an airbrushed angel in the original topps set and so didn't have a card recognizing his one year stint in oakland. i like this custom very much.

here's another 1977 card, although this one is a "not really missing in action" card of willie wilson
wilson played in a handful of games in 1976 and 1977 but didn't get any cardboard love from topps until 1979. gio has also created a fantastic 1978 card of wilson, but i don't think it's been available in any sets yet.

also missing from the 1978 topps set were a couple of angels - willie mays aikens
and mike cuellar
no joke - aikens is 22 or 23 at the oldest in that photo. i thought at first it was from an alumni event or something but it is from the late 70's when he was the talk of my neighborhood. i still don't understand how he failed to receive any rookie of the year consideration in 1979. the aikens card is a "missing in action" and the cuellar is a "career capper". cuellar appeared in only two games for the angels in 1977, bringing an end to his career.

apologies to bruce robinson, but this 1979 topps a's prospects card
looks a lot better with rickey henderson on it. gio has also made a dedicated rookie card for dwayne murphy and a 1979 solo card for rickey. i would have loved this card as a kid.

finally, gio created a "dedicated rookie" card for another player who appeared on a 1979 prospects card - the dodgers' own pedro guerrero
when the card arrived, i emailed gio saying that i was pretty sure cesar cedeno made his way on to the card instead of guerrero, and gio confirmed it. he noted that the image was mislabeled as guerrero and he went with it as an intended error card. there aren't too many cards showing cedeno as a dodger, so i'll take it. as an aside, i've noticed some photos mislabeled back when i was doing a lot of customs including bobby castillo identified as davey lopes. must be the mustache.

here's the original guerrero card that gio created for his blog
i wouldn't mind getting one of those in hard copy form someday.

the dodger heavy checklist, along with the two 1978 cards, made this set a no-brainer for me. gio also fulfilled my request for an extra garvey from the first set and extra cuellar and aikens cards from the second. the garvey dupe goes to the pc and the two 1978 angels go in my 1978 "master set".

thanks gio!


  1. The miscut was a really nice touch. I'd probably purchase some cards from him if I could just buy certain singles, but I've been told that he only sells them as sets.

  2. I wonder why he swapped out the Garvey image. As much as I like action shots... I liked the original photo he used.

    It would have been cool to see Tony Armas replace Wirth on that A's prospects card. It doesn't really makes sense... because he had a rookie card in the 77T set... and wasn't really a prospect. But that outfield of Rickey, Dwayne, and Tony is the one I grew up watching at the Coliseum.

    And that Nagashima card is super cool. Fantastic looking card.