Friday, March 16, 2012

INSIDE THE ALBUM: 1974

THE FIRST PAGE: 1974 WAS ALL ABOUT HANK.
This 728-card set includes the 44-card Trades Set for the first time, depicting players who were dealt in the off-season and during the early part of the '74 season. The Trades Set isn't particularly memorable, unless you're into goofy mug shots and hideous airbrushing, which I am. The set was conceived because Topps eliminated issuing cards in series. This really came back to bite Topps in the ass because the Padres were considering a move to Washington, producing several "Washington Nat' Lea.'' and "San Diego Padres'' variations. Also released were 24 unnumbered team checklist cards with facsimile signatures on the front. I've written about how these are some of the most memorable cards of my youth. The set's signature rookie is the Dave Winfield (No. 456). It also has the first solo card of Mike Schmidt (No. 283). The first six cards are a tribute to Hank Aaron, who was poised to become baseball's all-time home run king, and the subset is my favorite of all time. The '74 set design is kind of a blah, but because it was issued when I was 12, right when I was really into the game, its allure is irresistible. 


THUMBING THROUGH THE SET

ROBINSON DOES HIS BEST TO EMBODY TRADED GOOFINESS.

BILLBOARD'S No. 1 SONG

  • The Way We Were, Barbra Streisand.

SONG I MOST IDENTIFY WITH THIS SET

  • Rock Your Baby, George McCrae.

LET'S SEE, YOU HAVE 2 HOFers, A TEAM CHECKLIST, A TRADED
 CARD AND A WASHINGTON "NAT'L LEAG.'' I LIKE THIS PAGE.

NEWS FLASH

  • Patricia Hearst, 19-year-old daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army on Feb. 5.

LOTS OF STAR POWER HERE: SEAVER, CEPEDA, MORGAN AND JENKINS.

NEWS FLASH

  • The House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment on July 30, charging President Richard Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee; Nixon resigns on Aug. 8.

INTERESTING PRACTICE SWING BY GERONIMO;
YOGI CARDS ALWAYS MAKE ME SMILE.

NEWS FLASH

  • New President Gerald Ford grants "free and absolute pardon'' to ex-President Nixon on Sept. 8.

CUBS TEAM CARDS WERE ALWAYS INTERESTING.

NEWS FLASH

  • OPEC ends the oil embargo on March 18 that began in 1973.

THE STARS ARE DIMMED BY JUTZE'S EYE BLACK;
THAT'S AN ABSOLUTE KILLER SHOT OF MARICHAL. 

ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • The Sting wins Best Picture at the Oscars.

EIGHT OF THE NINE ALL-STAR CARD BACKS COMPLETE
A BOBBY BONDS PUZZLE. KINDA COOL, HUH?

ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack wins Record of the Year.

IT WAS GETTING OLD WATCHING THE A'S WIN IT ALL.

ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • Innervisions by Stevie Wonder wins Album of the Year.

WINFIELD ON HIS ROOKIE CARD:
 "I LOOK LIKE A FLY IN A JAR OF MUSTARD.''

ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • The Godfather Part II opens on Dec. 20 and becomes the greatest movie, sequel and prequel ever, according to me.

MADLOCK, DOWNING, WHITE AND TANANA
WERE JUST STARTING REALLY GOOD CAREERS.

SPORTS FLASH

  • The Oakland A's win their third consecutive World Series, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games on Oct. 17.

TRADED? GONZALEZ'S CARD SHOULD SCREAM "WANTED.''

SPORTS FLASH

  • The Miami Dolphins win their second consecutive Super Bowl, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII on Jan. 13.

THE BACK OF THE ALL-STAR CATCHERS CARD.

THIS GUY COULD PLAY A LITTLE.

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