A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Winner of the First Contest at the Quarry and Some Thoughts about the Prize

Congratulations to Ryan G. from This Card is Cool for winning the very first contest at Cards from the Quarry.  I hope everyone had fun and got to think a little bit with this contest.  I had a lot of fun with it and I knew the answer.  The prize for winning is a complete set of 1982 K Mart cards.  No, it's not as monetarily great as some contest winnings, but this one means a lot to me.  This is the first set of cards I ever got in my life.  A couple of months ago I was helping my grandparents clean out some junk and I found two of these sets.  I knew right then that I didn't need both and I wanted to share some of the love.  Let's take a look at the set that is thought of as the beginning of the overproduction era of cards.

Here are the first and last (Alpha and Omega) cards from the set.  The Rose was the winning clue for Ryan and is one of two Pete Rose cards in this set.  This Mickey Mantle card came out when having a Mickey Mantle card was a HUGE deal.  When was the last time you thought having a Mantle was a huge deal?   Topps, if you are reading this, stop killing the joy of owning a card of these great players.

The two most recent MVPs included in the set, which celebrated every MVP from 1961-1981, were Mike Schmidt and Rollie Fingers.  Fingers was the first AL (and second ever) reliever to win an MVP.  Jim Konstanty of the Phillies won it in the National League in 1950.  How many of you knew that little tidbit?

This set used the Topps base card of each player from the year they won with these two exceptions.  Neither of those players had a (solo) card in the set pictured for very different reasons.  Fred Lynn is the easy one to figure out, he was a rookie when he won MVP.  Lynn does have a 1975 card, but it is one of the multi-player rookies that defined the 1970s.  Maury Wills did not have a 1962 (nor 1963 and 1964) Topps card because he was exclusively signed by Fleer which was, at the time, in serious direct competition with Topps.  Although, this 1962 was created for the 1975 Topps set that featured MVPs.  Perhaps these two cards will be part of the 2011 Lost Cards from Series 2.

The only shared MVP award was by these two stars in 1979.  Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell tied in voting and were proclaimed co-MVP of the National League that year.  It was the first (and only) time that this has occurred.  Oddly enough the American League Rookie of the Year award was also shared in 1979 between John Castino and Alfredo Griffin. 

I just had to show a "Bob" Clemente card.  I wasn't born yet in the 1960s, so did Topps really think that it was wrong to list him as Roberto because of the Spanish name or did he actually go by Bob for a while?  I remember in I think the 1994 set Topps referred to Roberto Kelly as Bobby Kelly and I had never seen or heard reference to Bobby anywhere else.

 There are a lot (over 50%) of Hall of Famers in this set, but some of the more interesting cards are the "one year wonders."  Well, Boyer was actually fairly consistent, but you get the idea.  Burroughs and especially Versalles were complete one year wonders.  Which MVP from the last several years would you consider to be a future one year wonder?  I think the best recent example would Terry Pendleton in 1991, although Dustin Pedroia in 2007 may qualify eventually as well.

I hope you all have enjoyed this little trip back in time as much as I have.  Ryan, I will get these cards shipped out to you ASAP and I hope you appreciate this nearly forgotten set as much as I do.


Ryan G said...

I totally forgot this set was based on MVP winners. I think I picked this set up (or maybe it was one of the more-recent-for-the-time Fleer box sets) on clearance at a drug store, or at K-Mart itself. That would have had to have been 1989 or 1990. I think this set was my first exposure to the older card designs.

Terry may not have been a numbers guy for several years, but he was certainly the Braves team leader while he was at third. He could go over and calm down a pitcher without wasting a mound visit, and as a coach I'm sure he's been a big help to the young talent. I think similar things can be said about many of the other one-off winners lately, like Jeff Kent (how often does a second baseman get recognized) and Miguel Tejada. In fact, most if not all of the MVP winners of the past two decades at least had more than one great year, but just got overshadowed by, say Bonds or Pujols.

And thanks again for the fun contest! No rush, as I said in my email.

hiflew said...

Oh yes I agree with your assessment of Terry Pendleton and I always thought he was a good player. He isn't a Versalles type wonder (no one really is). I only cited him because he isn't close to being a Hall of Famer (like Bonds, steroids notwithstanding, or Pujols). Tejada is another perhaps better example. Oh and you are mistaken Kent never won the MVP award...he stole it from Todd Helton.

Potch said...

Nice prize. I picked one of these cards up at a recent flea market and was thinking I should try to chase it. I love neat odd sets like this.

I should pay more attention to these contests! :)