Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trade with Johnny

As promised, I am finally getting caught up with the recent trades I've received - and generous ones, to say the least. What the cards lack in monetary value, they more than make up for in sentimental value - not to mention, quantity! I have 4 bricks of cards that need to be addressed.

Today I give you the cards I got from Johnny in Kentucky. As far as I know, he doesn't have a card blog of his own, but did stumble across mine at some point in time and needed to unload not only some Brewers cards, but some cards from my '87 Topps set wantlist. In fact, he graciously imparted upon me 189 of his '87 Topps doubles, singlehandedly putting me quite near completion on that set.

The Brewers cards he sent, though, take the cake. I now have all the '86 Topps team, as well as the rest of the '82 Fleer team sets. He sent some '85 Topps too, and I'll share with you the highlights of his generousity.

Robin Yount - '82 Fleer (#155), '85 Topps (#340) and '86 Topps (#780)

It's a well-known fact that Yount is my favorite Milwaukee player ever, and though I have these cards already they will always be worth sharing with others who may not look at them nearly as often as I do. The '82 Fleer is great, what the long flowing locks, and powder blue clothing. Look at his arms, though. Seriously, take a look! Though he'd never gain weight over his career (as we like to say in Wisconsin, "Prince oneself up") he never was as muscular as when he was a young player, here shown in already his 8th season in the bigs. I like the card design, too. Very simple, giving all the credit of the card (deserving or not) to the photo of the player. Honestly, the photos in this set aren't very good, but the simplicity I think is why I like them.

I love the '85 Topps set - but it can kiss my butt, only because they are more or less the first year (going back) where collecting a set starts to get expensive. Up until that set (including the preceeding '86) it's very easy to finance your own hand-collated set, or buy up loose lots on th'bay (to steal a phrase from a fellow blogger, you know, in the parlence of our times). After I finish the 5 or 6 sets I'm currently building, I will devote all of my time (and card funds) to said project. They will be mine - oh yes, they will be mine.

1982 Fleer Jamie Easterly (#139), Rickey Keeton (#146), and Jim Slaton (#153)

I think I've paid the '82 Fleer set its dues, so I'll focus on something even more important - how ugly the ballplayers used to be. And in particular, the change from players of that era to the players of today. This is especially evident when it comes to pitchers, which is why I chose these three cards to talk about. Look at them. Lean and trim, certainly. Huge bodies of muscle, perhaps. But handsome? I'm not sure that's a word that I'd use to describe these three men.

I guess it's the age we're in now, pop culture being what it is, and a baseball player becoming more than a player, becoming a pop icon or (unfortunately, in the case of current Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy and my wife) a sex symbol. Back then, it wasn't like that. They let their hair down (all of it), grew copious amounts of facial hair, and didn't care that nobody in human history has, does, or ever will look good in a Mizuno warmup jacket. Maybe I'm just jealous because I haven't had any hair to speak of in a few years now, but wouldn't that get hot in the late August day games, all that hair? Geez. And the poly uniforms that don't breath. Nice marmot, Jim.

1986 Topps Rick Waits (#614), '85 Topps Tom Tellman (#112), '86 Topps Pete Ladd (#163)

Here we have another three men who have more hair than they know what to do with. Especially Pete Ladd, whose story is a dandy. Here shown without his beard, the beard is most likely where he derived much of the power that, in 1982, led him to a second-place finish in the ALCS MVP voting. In '83 he saved 25 games for the Crew as he replaced the injured Rollie Fingers. In '84 he didn't fare as well, building up a 5.24 ERA, and in '85 he split time between Milwaukee and AAA. 1986 found him as a member of the Seattle Mariners, and that's it. A relatively short career, for the big guy. Still, a very powerful pitcher in his day.

The same goes for Tom Tellmann, who had an even shorter career. After pitching two years hin San Diego between '79-'80, he played in Milwaukee from '83-84 and performed as a great middle releiver, posting ERAs of 2.80 and 2.78. For some reason he was sent to Oakland the following hear, appeared in only 11 games. He posted a 5.06 ERA that summer in 11 appearances, maybe he was sent down from there and decided to part ways with baseball. Don't know, sorry. Limited info on him available on the interwebs.

Charlie Moore, 1982 Fleer (#150), 1986 Topps Brewers Leaders (#426)

Before Robin Yount was known as the workhorse of the organization, it was Mr. Charlie Moore. From 1973 to 1986 he played in 1,283 games for the Brewers, serving as catcher as well as a utility OF player and sometime DH - that's right, we used to be in the American League. Stupid sallies and their DH. The key to his longevity as a major league ballplayer? The hair.

Charlie Moore's best stat, by far, was his performance on October 1st, 1980, when he became only the second player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. Not only did he hit for the cycle, but he did so while batting ninth in the lineup. It would be another 8 years until a Brewers player hit for the cycle again, and that would be a one Robin Yount.

1985 Topps Don Sutton (#10), 1982 Fleer Marshall Edwards (#140)

I don't think too many people see Don Sutton as a pitcher for the Brewers, but he did play in Milwaukee for just over 2 seasons, acquired from the Astros late in the '82 campaign as we were preparing for a post season run, and through the '83 and '84 seasons. In fact, Sutton's pitching in the final game of the '82 season (8 IP, 2 ER) sealed a victory over the Orioles and a division title for Milwaukee.

This card is great because it ties into my last post, "On Baseball and History", in which I mentioned the inaugural Hall of Fame class member Walter Johnson. In 1984, Don sutton became only the second player to pass Johnson's mark of consecutive 100-strikeout seasons, at 19.

And finally, I give you Marshall Edwards who, bearing a striking resemblance to current Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, puts in his bid for admittance to the Subhelmet Hat Alliance.

Thanks again to Johnny from Kentucky for these awesome, classic Brewers cards. They now occupy a cozy place in my Brewers collection, many of them needed to complete a couple team sets. Thanks again!


gcrl said...

charlie moore = klingon

night owl said...

I don't blame today's pop culture. I blame Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck is responsible for a ton of hairy-guy baseball cards.

Motherscratcher said...

First of all, just a fantastic post. Love it.

Second, Charlie Moore has to have the alltime worst hair ever on a baseball card. Goog God Man! Would you ever take off your hat if you're that guy. I can't get over it.

Third, Marshall Edwards for the Subhelmet Hat Alliance, done and done.

Well player my man.

Motherscratcher said...

Jeez, Motherscratcher...learn how to spel.