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Goodbye, Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver Cincinnati Reds 2020 Topps

Tom Seaver, nicknamed “Tom Terrific” for his immense talent on the baseball diamond, passed away August 31, 2020, at the age of 75. He was ushered into the Hall of Fame in 1992 with only five out of 430 voters declining to check his name. He was a tremendous pitcher for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox, and is a member of the Mets and Reds team Halls of Fame.

Fun Cards: Topps Now TBTC for April 18

Highlights for the day include one-and-done Rufus Meadows, a grand slam from a very young Vada Pinson, a career milestone for Tom Seaver, and a uniform controversy for Rob Dibble.

Meadows

Pinson

Seaver

Dibble

Jack McKeon didn’t like that Dibble cut his uniform sleeve and complained to the umpires. The umps agreed, and Dibble changed into Stan Williams‘ #35 for the rest of the game, shutting out McKeon’s Padres for 2 1/3 innings. I couldn’t find a picture of Dibs wearing #35, but this photo does show how he altered his uniform.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Tom Seaver

Seaver

The trade of Tom Seaver to Cincinnati in 1977 caused riots in New York. Shea Stadium was nearly destroyed. Marshall Law was in effect in the Big Apple. The persons responsible for the trade were more despised than the Son of Sam.

After a handful of seasons with the Reds, Tom returned to the Mets in 1983, then moved on to the American League to finish out a terrific career.

The Moeller Show

Twice a year, a card show is hosted in the Moeller High School gymnasium. Moeller is the alma mater of two Baseball Hall of Famers, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr. I attended this show for the first time in November, 2008, and got my first Dave Parker autograph. I’m not sure why it took me a decade to go back, but last weekend my youngest son and I hit the show. No autographs this time around, just cards on the cheap, such as these Reds legends for a quarter each…

1985 Circle K baseball cards

Rose

Junior

Seaver no-hitter

Groh

Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Junior Griffey, Tom Seaver, and Heinie Groh, thank you very much.

I also got a quartet of Gypsies for a quarter each as well…

2018 GQ

If I had more wall space, I would love to add some Heroes of Yesterday artwork by Steve Douglas to my collection. But I’m not going to buy something and let it collect dust in my closet, when it could be enjoyed by someone else hanging on their wall. But Mr. Douglas was giving out business cards which featured artwork as well, and I took one featuring Chris Sabo

Heroes of Yesterday

If you have a mancave and want to add a little originality to the walls, check out Heroes of Yesterday for some pretty cool pieces.

Of course, I grabbed a handful of non-Reds cards also. From Gypsy Queen, I scored Zack Cozart and Chris Archer for ten cents each…

2018 GQ

And Magic Johnson for a quarter…

Magic

And the entire 1989 Pro Set Football Final Update series…21 cards…for a quarter…

1989 Pro Set

I really miss Pro Set. I miss the fun NFL. I hope the XFL lives up to the hype and restores my interest in football.

I’m not going to wait another ten years to go back to the Moeller Show, but I don’t think I’ll wait until the last day to go, either. A lot of dealers had already packed up and left, and I’m sure those who remained were picked through pretty thoroughly before I got there. It was still fun, though, and I was happy with the cards I added to my collection.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Tom Seaver

Seaver

Tom Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 as a New York Met. I get that. His greatest success came in New York, and the first team that everyone associates him with is the Mets. He won the Cy Young Award three times—as a Met—and won 198 games with the team. There was no question that the Mets would be featured on his cap on the plaque.

But he also played for the Reds, and it’s really difficult for me to not make a “Baseball Immortals” for Seaver without a Reds alternative…

Seaver Reds

And while I’m at it, I might as well make a White Sox card…

And a Red Sox card…

Seaver Red Sox

Fun Cards: 1980s Topps Glossy All-Star Tom Seaver

Tom Terrific first pitch

Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch last night prior to the All-Star Game, Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.

Who is the greatest right-handed pitcher of all-time?

Johnson Conlon

Four of the top ten righties played in the early 1900s; five debuted in the 1950s or 1960s; one came into the big leagues in the 1980s. While the yearly top pitcher award is named after Cy Young (#2, 291.98), it’s Walter Johnson that comes out on top (#1, 303.08).

Tom Terrific

The third name on the list is no surprise either. Tom Seaver (#3, 267.73) was simply dominant during the entire decade of the 1970s, and was the undisputed best pitcher in the game in his era. The surprising thing is how good his peers were: Nolan Ryan (#5, 243.88), Gaylord Perry (#6, 239.15), Phil Niekro (#10, 219.57), Bert Blyleven (#11, 213.38), Don Sutton (#15, 207.39), and Fergie Jenkins (#16, 206.93).

Maddux autograph

Greg Maddux (#4, 264.96) was one of the most consistently good pitchers in the 1990s. He won the first of four consecutive Cy Young Awards in 1992 with the Cubs before signing with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent.

Gibson

Pete Alexander (#7, 234.49), or Grover Cleveland Alexander (as I had always heard him called until recently), and Christy Mathewson (#9, 221.99) are the other two early twentieth century guys in the top ten. Bob Gibson (#8, 226.53) was an intimidating figure on the mound in the 1960s. In 1968 Gibson had a remarkable 1.12 ERA, a mind-boggling number for a guy who started 34 games and completed 28 of them.

Fun Cards Submission: 1978 Topps Tom Seaver (Cincinnati Greens edition)

Patrick saw my color change, and raised me a name change!

Seaver

Now pitching for the Cincinnati GreensTom Seaver!

Fun Cards Submission: 1978 Topps Tom Seaver (St. Patrick’s Day edition)

Green Seaver

It was 35 years ago today that the Reds first took the field in green uniforms to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. While the fans loved it, not all the players were excited. Dave Concepcion allegedly mocked the uniform, saying, “I’m not wearing that. I’m Venezuelan, not Irish.” Phil Hecken has a good write-up of the tradition over at Uni Watch.

TWJ reader contributor Patrick sent the above “fun card” of Tom Seaver, and of course it had to be posted today. I made a small tweak (below), and would have gone further to change the team name to “Greens” if I knew the font and had it installed on my computer.

Green Seaver

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Hope you didn’t get pinched too hard today!

1986 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Cards #28-33

In 1986 Topps teamed up with Quaker to issue a 33-card set full of superstars, including a nice handful of future Hall of Famers. Today we have the final six cards in the set…

1986 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars 19-27

Five out of the last six cards feature Hall of Fame players. Tom Seaver received the highest-ever percentage of votes when he was inducted in 1992 with 98.8%, and it was thought that Cal Ripken might challenge that mark when his name appeared on the ballot. Ripken ended up with 98.5% of the vote, which landed him third on the list behind Tom Terrific and Nolan Ryan. Jim Rice struggled the most to get into Cooperstown, finally garnering the 75% required in his fifteenth and final year on the BBWAA ballot.

The lone non-Hall of Famer here is Dan Quisenberry, one of the best closers in the majors in the first half of the 1980s and especially famous for his submarine style of delivering the ball to the plate. He finished in the top five in Cy Young voting five times, and top 10 in MVP voting four times. Quisenberry retired in 1990 and passed away in 1998 from a brain tumor. In addition to his baseball career, Quisenberry is known for his writing; a book of his poetry was published in 1998.

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