Jul 20, 2012

The Phillies Cards of the 1970s: They have been Binderized

Sometimes one reaches a milestone in the collection that is definable and jubbily all at the same time. I have completed my 1970s Phillies binder. I now have all Topps cards (and the SSPC team set) from the 1970s, completing all major issues from 1970-1979.

The last cards to track down were, of course, from the high number series of 1972 Topps. I don't know how people are trying to collect that set, just getting the 6 or so that I needed for the Phillies team set at a reasonable rate was challenge enough.

What were the cards of significance that filled in those last pages of the binder and closed that wantlist forever (or until Kellogg's and O-Pee-Chee cards are added)?
1972 Topps Rookie Stars Tom Hutton (and two non-Phillies): This marks Tom Hutton's 3rd appearance on a rookie stars card, having previously appeared in 1967 Topps and 1969 Topps as a Dodger.  By 1972, he still qualified as a rookie since he had not yet reached the rookie eligibility benchmark (having only made 58 plate appearances in two previous seasons).

The 1972 season would be his first full season in the majors, in which he played 1st base and outfield with .260 AVG, 4 HR, and 38 RBIs and a good batting eye with 56 BB vs. 24 K. He would stay as  a Phillie until 1977.

Have you noticed that this title of this card is sort of non-descript? Rookie Stars AL-NL is as generic as it can get.  This is strange because all the other 1972 Topps Rookie Star cards are set up by team with either two or three players per card.  Check out Carlton Fisk's rookie card for the most famous example.  It might as well say "rookie stars who fit into a category (position), but we didn't put positions on any pf the other rookie stars so we couldn't put that in the title."
1972 Topps Willie Montanez: Willie Montanez is here featured in a rookie cup card back when it was the striking giant trophy on the front.  He finished 2nd in the ROY voting in 1971, leading the league in sacrifice flies with 13.  Ok, that's probably not the reason why he finished 2nd in the voting, though he was one of only two rookies to receive votes in the NL (besides the winner Earl Williams). 

Montanez hit .255/.327/.471 with an impressive 30 HR and 99 RBI, finishing 2nd on the team in OPS and overall power production (behind Deron Johnson).  He never was able to replicate that production as a Phillie and was traded to the Giants for Garry Maddox.

And with the completion of the 1972 Topps set, so ends the quest to fill in the 1970s binder.  It's only time before more space is made for other reasons to accommodate variations and other sets besides Topps.  The work of a collector is never done, and conversely, neither is the enjoyment.


Spiegel83 said...

Someday my 70s Dodgers binder will be complete. Congrats!

Jim from Downingtown said...


Topps did that with their 7th-series rookie cards from about 1964-72. If they didn't have 2 left-over players from the same team, they issued an "NL Rookies", "AL Rookies", or a "Major-League Rookies" card. (see the 1967-69 sets).

Now, if this were the 1973 or 1974 set, they probably would have named this card "Rookie 1st Basemen".

Jim said...

Congrats and onto the next quest!

Steve F. said...

Congrats (a month late)! If you add no other OPC cards, at least get the 1977 Richie Hebner, where he is pictured as a Phillie.

I am a 1970 Lucchesi and Gamble rookie away from completing my own 1970s Topps Phillies collection. Although I have a stand-in reprint for the Schmidt rookie, since I didn't want to cannibalize it from my 1973 set and also didn't want to lay out $100 or so for it when I still have about a dozen to go in my 1960s collection and about 75 to go for the 1950s.

I also have a naerly-complete run of Phillies 3-D cards (Kellogg's and recent Topps--but no Sportflics). They look good together in a thin binder (about 6 or 7 pages, I believe) just with each other; I wouldn't mix them in with the 1970s Topps cards.