I can honestly tell you that I currently have more respect for anyone that has ever had children. The first week of being a new "parent" of a six pack of pups has tired me out more than anything in my life. And I really didn't think I would have that much to do until they were weaned. Boy, was I wrong. Between my twice daily movement between rooms of the mother and pups box to keep the father away from them and my building of a corral both inside the house and in the yard for a couple weeks from now, along with all the regular work that hasn't gone away, I have had no time to post anything. I did manage to steal a couple hours today to do my usual Friday Rating the Rookie Cups post, but I'm sure I will need them again later for some reason. Either way, I got this post done, so let's delve into the beginning of the disco era shall we.
Probably the most significant aspect of the 1975 Topps Rookie All Star Team is that this was the first time that a league MVP was included. The only other time it occurred as of this writing was in 2002. In 1975, however the main man was Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox. He was the first player to ever win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
Lynn also played a part in another interesting piece of trivia. 1975 was one of 5 times where teammates took 2 of the 3 outfield spots. Fred Lynn and Jim Rice of the Red Sox were the third of five sets of teammates to have this honor bestowed upon them. Tommy Davis and Frank Howard of the Dodgers were the first to do so in the 1961 Topps set. Others to do it were Bobby Bonds and Dave Marshall of the Giants in 1969, Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell of the Red Sox in 1988, and Greg Briley and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners in 1990.
As far as the set goes, 1976 Topps has always been a little special to me since that was the year I was born. I wasn't born until around the World Series, so 76 Topps was already on the shelves for months before I was born, but this set does share the year with me. That being said, I have never really been a big fan of the design. It is, along with 1979, probably one of my least favorite designs of the entire decade. If it wasn't for being my birth year set, I probably wouldn't even think twice about the set.
There are two key design elements to the photo reliant 1976 Topps set, the two-toned nameplates at the bottom of the card and the little generic ballplayer present in the bottom left corner of each card. The nameplates are pretty good when the color scheme matches the team like the Padres or Expos, but are far less likable when using green for the Giants and yellow for way too many teams. The generic player icon is actually pretty cool since there is a different one for each position. I especially like that there is a different icon for right handed pitchers and left handed pitchers. All in all though, generic is the key word. I just consider this set way too generic.
Let's take a look at the 1975 Topps Rookie All Star Team.
Gary Carter - C - Expos - Season Rank (T7 of 61) - Career Rank (7 of 61)
Mike Ivie - 1B - Padres - Season Rank (54 of 61) - Career Rank (37 of 61)
Jerry Remy - 2B - Angels - Season Rank (27 of 61) - Career Rank (28 of 61)
Dan Ford - OF - Twins - Season Rank (113 of 184) - Career Rank (90 of 184)
Fred Lynn - OF - Red Sox - Season Rank (3 of 184) - Career Rank (19 of 184)
Jim Rice - OF - Red Sox - Season Rank (11 of 184) - Career Rank (10 of 184)
John Montefusco - RHP - Giants - Season Rank (T6 of 50) - Career Rank (18 of 50)
Tom Underwood - LHP - Phillies - Season Rank (34 of 49) - Career Rank (20 of 49)
Strongest Team Members (career) - Jim Rice, Gary Carter, Fred Lynn
Weakest Team Members (rookie) - Mike Ivie, Tom Veryzer, Tom Underwood
Weakest Team Members (career) - Tom Veryzer, Mike Ivie, Dan Ford
Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 0 (most retired before the Rockies existed)
Best Card (IMHO) - Mike Ivie (The combo of the player stance and the background of that card is almost hypnotic.)
Worst Card (IMHO) - Fred Lynn (I like action photos, but in 1976 a lot of them were too blurry.)
NEXT WEEK'S PREVIEW
The 1996 team pictured on 1997 Topps cards.
Thanx for reading.