Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1971 Topps #30 Phil Niekro

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, August 8, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1971 Topps #30.
  • Player Name, position, team: Phil Niekro, pitcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: April 15, 1964.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1970 stats (Braves): 34 G, 230 IP, 12-18, .400 PCT, 222 H, 124 R, 109 ER, 168 SO, 68 BB, 4.27 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Braves as a Free Agent 07/19/1958. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Niekro's eighth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only, not including any record breakers, all-star, or other combo cards). The 1971 Topps set was infamously known for easy to chip black borders, and was so much an iconic set in the 70's, that a certain rival card company dared use it as a design for one of their own "Vintage" brands. What is not often mentioned about the 1971 Topps set is the fact that it is also the first one to use actual player photos on the back of the cards, not just a comic drawing. Albeit the picture on the back was black and white, but it was a big deal back then. However, the use of a pretty large picture (as well as a bio square that was almost equal in height), limited the statistics to just the prior years and career statistics. Niekro is one of a handful of players who can claim to have played for both the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (others include fellow HOF's Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews). At this stage of his career, he was an All-Star, a Cy Young candidate, and an MVP candidate (all in 1969, thanks in part to a 23-13 record and 193 K's). His knuckleball was the talk of hitters in the NL, only because many of them couldn't hit the pitch. The bio on the back of his card not only mentions his 1969 season, but also that he led the NL in ERA with 1.87. Niekro would go onto a stellar HOF career, complete with 300 wins, 3,342 K's, and a now-mind boggling 245 complete games in 24 seasons. He was inducted to Baseball's HOF on his fifth year on the ballot in 1997.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $2.50-$6.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 27 cards.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1989 Topps #759. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.


JayBee Anama

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