Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #130 Al Oliver

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, December 25, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #130.
  • Player Name, position, team: Al Oliver, first baseman, MontrĂ©al Expos.
  • Major League Debut: September 23, 1968.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1976 stats (Pirates): 121 G, 443 AB, 62 R, 143 H, 22 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 61 RBI, .323 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by the Pirates as a Free Agent 06/13/1964. Signed with the Cubs as a Free Agent 01/29/2010. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Al had pinch-Double in 1975 All-Star Game helping N.L. to victory."
  • Commentary: The 1977 Topps set was one that could be easily sorted by team thanks to the large font used for the team name.  I'm trying to remember which blogger was it that was trying to collect cards of players with folding chairs, but the picture used for Al Oliver's card is certainly unique in that regard.  Al was a previous subject on the RotC, with his 1984 Topps card selected a couple of years ago.  Before he would go on to choose #0 on all of his jersey's, Oliver was #16 for a Pirates team that was very dominant throughout the seventies (five division titles, including a World Series Championship in 1971).  He also was the last player to hit a home run at Forbes Field, and the first to score a run at Three Rivers Stadium a few weeks later.  By 1977, Al was a three-time All-Star and perennial MVP candidate.  That year, he was very productive at the plate, hitting an exceptional .308 average with 19 home runs, 82 rbi's, thirteen stolen bases, 40 walks which helped his OBP go up to an astounding .353 (and an OPS of .834).  Primarily the Buc's left fielder, Oliver had a .981 fielding percentage with only 6 errors in 317 chances.  This would also be Oliver's last season with Pittsburgh as he was involved in a 4-team trade (Pirates, Rangers, Braves, and Mets) that involved 11 players (including the likes of Bert Blyleven and Tom Grieve).  When the smoked cleared, Oliver was now a member of the Texas Rangers, where he did not disappoint with his bat (a .324 average to go with 14 home runs and 89 rbi's).  His career would continue on with the Expos, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers, and Blue Jays before calling it quits for good after the 1985 season.  Although he did not get the necessary number of votes to stay on the HOF ballot (4.3% in 1991), many believe that he should be considered by the Veterans Committee for HOF induction one day.  
  • Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 33 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1979 Topps #376. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1979 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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