Friday, November 29, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #10 Reggie Jackson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, November 29, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #10.
  • Player Name, position, team: Reggie Jackson, outfielder, New York Yankees
  • Major League Debut: June 9, 1967.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1976 stats (Orioles): 134 G, 498 AB, 84 R, 138 H, 27 2B, 2 3B, 27 HR, 91 RBI, .277 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the A's #1st, June 1966. Signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent 11/29/1976. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 21. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Reggie tied for 2nd in Homers in A.L. in 1976 and was 10th best in R.B.I's."
  • Commentary: So much has been written about the career of Reginald Martinez Jackson that I'm not going to do the usual career summary that normally appears here in the commentary. No. Two things will be discussed. First, his numbers from the 1977 season, and second, the controversy over this particular card and how Topps could have, if they so chose to do so, depicted him as an Oriole instead of a Yankee. Let's get the stats out of the way first. In his first season in the Bronx, Jackson would hit for a .286 average, launch 32 home runs, drive in 110 rbi's, steal 17 bases, and percentages of .375/.550/.925. In the 1977 World Series, five of Jackson's nine hits were home runs, including three in Game 6, sealing the World Series victory for the Yankees and earning him the nickname "Mr. October." Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the card itself (something I should be doing more of instead of these biographies). With free agency coming, and knowing that the team could not afford to pay him large sums of money, Jackson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. This has been considered Jackson's "Lost Season." Why? In a stretch from 1971 through 1978, Jackson would appear in the playoffs all but one year (1976). From 1971 through 1984, Jackson would be named an All-Star in every season except one (1976). In Topps' second attempt at a Traded set, Jackson was not among the 43 subjects. Had he been, his name would have been the biggest in the set, and probably (in my opinion) would have lent some credibility to the set. But thanks to the guys at the Baseball Card Blog, we now have a "What Could Have Been" 1976 Topps Traded Reggie Jackson card, appropriately numbered #500T.

    Finally, instead of immortalizing Jackson in an Orioles uniform for his stint with the team in 1976 (save for a team card), upon signing with the Yankees in November, Topps took time to airbrush a Yankees helmet and pinstripes over Jackson's Orioles uniform. This move would be akin to say, something like Jose Reyes' 2013 Topps card as a Blue Jay in Series 1 without having played for the team yet. In today's Hobby, the Jackson card would be nothing new. Topps has been doing this for years now. But this had to be a big deal back then, especially for O's fans and team collectors who now could only dream of having their own Jackson O's card. It wasn't until Keith Olbermann showed the world that indeed Topps had a card of Jackson at the ready as an Oriole...and he had the proof (card) too.

    So there's Reggie, smiling, wearing an Orioles' jersey, with the iconic orange bird atop the helmet. And the Yankees name up above. Sigh. But thanks to Cliff Corcoran over at Camden Chat, we know know what a true 1977 Topps Reggie Jackson Orioles card would have looked like had Topps actually proceeded to make one.

  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $4.00-$10.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 142.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1993 Topps #657. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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