Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1979 Topps #291 Tom Griffin

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, March 20, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1979 Topps #291.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tom Griffin, pitcher, California Angels.
  • Major League Debut: April 10, 1969.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1978 stats (Angels): 24 G, 56 IP, 3-4, 39 R, 25 ER, 35 SO, 31 BB, 4.02 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Astros #1st, January 1966. Signed with the Angels as a Free Agent 01/27/1978. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Griffin's tenth Topps card (this total includes his shared rookie card in the 1969 Topps set). The design for 1979 includes the Topps logo for the very first time (with the classic long curve on the "t"). Looking at my 2001 Topps Through the Years set, even before I acquired my 1979 Topps set, it seemed that from 1977-1980, the designs were all simple at best. And by simple I mean "blah." I think that if I rifled through a bunch of cards from this era without thinking, they'd all look staggeringly similar. Yes, I know each design is unique, but the designs looked plain. I mean, think about it...1976 used wild colors (and the famous player drawing by position) and 1981 at least had a dominating colored frame (and team cap) that sets them apart and makes them easily recognizable. The four years in between...not so much. Yes, they all have different designs, but I guess maybe because the choices for the 2001 TTY set for 1977-1980 were Carlton, Seaver, Palmer, and Ryan respectively...four HOF pitchers...I don't know...maybe that was it. Anyway, Griffin, at this point in his career, was now a journeyman pitcher. And in this classic pitchers pose, one must ask if the ball is still hidden in his glove. The picture is large, and could have been better suited for an action shot. But this is 1979, and Topps was still getting the hang of using action photos in their cards. In fact, looking back at all of Griffin's pictures, there was only one that used an action photo (1973). All others are posed. The blurb on the back just mentions that the Padres granted Griffin free agency on 10/28/1977 and that he signed with the Angels a few months later (01/27/1978), There is a "Baseball Dates" section on the back, asking what happened on 05/30/1904? The answer: Cubs' Frank Chance was Hit by Pitches 5 times in a doubleheader. Ouch.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1970 Topps #280. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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