Friday, September 12, 2008

1978 Topps

My love for this set in unconditional. It's not that great of a design. But this is the first year that I collected cards as a 9 year old kid while spending the summer at my grandparents in Arkansas, and like all first loves, it never leaves you. I have the same love for Paul Simon's Slip Slidin' Away too, as it was the first 45 I ever owned as a kid.


No, in 1978, I was much more concerned with rigging the cards in order so that I could clobber my brother in the "Play Ball" game on the back. I didn't know Pete Rose from Reggie Jackson, but I knew Tito Fuentes was money. No matter how many times I shuffled my deck, he always somehow ended up as the fourth card. Amazing thing that was......

I swear, I can look at these cards, and immediately I think back on that summer of playing little league for the first time, riding bikes up to the gas station to get our slushies in those little miniature helmets that they serve ice cream in now (I got the whole set that summer too!), and just enjoying the hell out of being nine years old. 

Enough about that though. It wouldn't be too many years later that we'd look back on this set as the beginning of one of the greatest eras in Tiger baseball. FOUR, count 'em, FOUR, of the greatest Tigers of all time would make their debut in this set. The heart of the Tigers order and their ace, probably should be in the HOF starting pitcher. I wonder if any set ever has had that many rookie cards of guys who would mean so much to their respective teams.

So without any further fanfare, the 1978 Topps Detroit Tigers:
21 Steve Kemp
45 Mark Fidrych
68 Steve Focault
94 Chuck Scrivener
124 Dave Rozema
151 Milt Wilcox
176 Milt May
232 Mickey Stanley
258 John Hiller
286 Ben Oglivie
342 Aurelio Rodriguez
370 Rusty Staub
385 Tito Fuentes
404 Detroit Tigers Team Card
456 Vern Ruhle
480 Ron LeFlore
515 Tim Corcoran
536 Roric Harrison
559 Phil Mankowski
607 Fernando Arroyo
633 Tom Veryzer
660 Jason Thompson
701 Rookie Pitchers Bruce Taylor
703 Rookie Pitchers Jack Morris
704 Rookie Second Baseman Lou Whitaker
707 Rookie Shortstops Alan Trammell
708 Rookie Catchers Lance Parrish
723 John Wockenfuss

703, 704, 707, & 708. 

Really, that says it all.

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