Foster began his Topps career in 1971 as a “Rookie Star” with Mike Davison, whose final big league game was in October of 1970. After being traded to the Reds for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert, Foster became an integral part of the Big Red Machine, primarily manning left field but also spending some time in right and center. His 1977 MVP season was one of the best of the decade, hitting 52 home runs (when 50 actually meant something) and driving in 149, compiling an 8.4 WAR in the process. Foster was traded before the 1982 season to the New York Mets for Greg Harris, Jim Kern and Alex Trevino, but he was a shadow of his former self in the Big Apple. In August 1986, Foster was released by the Mets and signed eight days later with the Chicago White Sox. He played only fifteen games in the south side, and Topps failed to produce any cards of the once great slugger in a White Sox uniform.
There have been a handful of custom cards made by bloggers to represent Foster as he might have appeared in the 1986 Topps Traded set. I made a pathetic attempt in 2008. Steve at White Sox Cards did a much better job using an actual photograph in 2009, though the only photo he could find was tiny. Dick Allen Hall of Fame went above and beyond with his Photoshop skills last year.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a couple more photos of Foster wearing the White Sox uniform, so I decided to do a new 1986 Topps Traded as well as a 1987 Topps Final Tribute.
Now had I thought of it earlier, I would have also included Foster’s appearance in Topps’ 1990 Senior Baseball set in the tile. Oh well, at least I thought to link to it before hitting the “publish” button.
(BTW, to give credit where credit is due, that 1987 Topps font comes courtesy of The Phillies Room.)