- Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1986 Topps #388.
- Player Name, position, team: Dickie Noles, pitcher, Texas Rangers.
- Major League Debut: July 5, 1979.
- Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Rangers): 28 G, 110.1 IP, 4-8, 67 R, 62 ER, 59 SO, 13 BB, 13 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1 SV, 5.06 ERA.
- Any special information about player: Drafted by the Phillies #4th, June 1975. Traded by the Cubs to the Rangers 07/01/1984. Bats: both. Throws: right.
- Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his eighth Topps card.
- Blurb on the back: n/a.
- Commentary: In 1991, readers of Topps Magazine named the 1986 Topps set as the best of the decade. I'm pretty sure that if readers of other magazines were involved in the voting process, this would not have been the choice. But alas, the loyal followers of Topps' Magazine voted this as the main set? Why? Was it because of the unique font used for the team name? Was it because of the tough-to-keep-mint black borders that appeared on most of the cards? Was it because the traded set included hot rookie cards of guys named Bonds, Bonilla, Canseco, Clark, and Jackson? Personally, I voted for the 1987 set, but I digress. The first time I heard the name Dickie Noles (his given name is really Dickie Ray Noles), it was from his 1988 Topps card. It wasn't the man's name that stood out for me, it was the words floating on the card itself that said that Noles was "NOW WITH TIGERS." When I was just learning the game of baseball and sorted my cards by teams (I was 12, I didn't know better), I didn't know what to do with this card. Should he be added to the Cubs team set or the Tigers? Frank Lucchesi's MGR card included Noles on the team checklist, so I put it there. But the card also said he was playing for the Tigers, and the back of his card had his stats for the four games he pitched for Detroit. Whenever I could get my hands on the Tribune, back then the sports page included full statistics for all 26 teams. Sure enough in June, there was Dickie Noles' name...with the Orioles. What??! Remember, there was no Internet back then, and at 12 years old, I didn't really have access to that kind of information. So I had no idea that Noles signed with the Orioles after the 1987 season and spent most of the year with the O's AAA-team in Rochester. With the Red Wings, Noles went 10-5 with an ERA of 3.12, 59 strikeouts, 1 save (he did start 15 games), and a WHIP of 1.192. In June, the Orioles called Noles up to Baltimore to take a spot in the rotation. In two starts, he went 0-2, lasted a combined 3.1 innings of work, and allowed 9 earned runs to score for an ERA of 24.30. Needless to say, he was sent back to Rochester to finish the year. In 1989, Noles signed a minor league contract with the Yankees and spent the year with the Columbus Clippers. In 1990, he signed another minor league deal with the Phillies, and other than a May 8 appearance, spent the year with Scranton/Wilkes Barre Red Barons. It would be his final season in baseball as a pro. Today, Noles is a born-again Christian and works within the Phillies organization.
- Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
- How many cards of this player do I own?: 11.
P.S. One note that I never knew about Noles after the 1987 season. Yes, he played with the O's in 1988, but apparently, after the Cubs traded Noles to Detroit, he was returned to Chicago as the player-to-be-named-later. Thus, Noles was traded for himself. jba