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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best of '83 Topps - Mariners

When I suspended voting, it was pretty clear you guys wanted to see the best card from each team to celebrate my '83 Topps complete set. I chose the Mariners to start off for no particular reason. Looking through all the cards in the binder I found my self seeing the cards not with my jaded snarky blogger persona, but with the eyes of the 10 year old kid who originally collected the cards in the first place. I quit looking for the stuff that catches my eye now, like crazy faces or ridiculous things in the background or '80s hair and focused on what I thought was cool about these cards in 1983. Basically, I'm trying to explain why Rick Sweet and his amazing fro got passed over. Hopefully the sentimentality will make enough people put down their torches and pitchforks that I make it another day.

1983 Topps Best Card:

Seattle Mariners

Gaylord Perry


So why Gaylord? Well the man had 300 wins for one thing. You can see right on the back of the card. I knew that was a pretty big deal back in the day and was duly impressed. Ok, so he cheated his way to most of those wins. Big deal. You don't win games with Vaseline, you win games by knowing how to pitch with Vaseline. Gaylord knew how to pitch, so what if a few balls were a little slippery. I've also always liked the portrait/action combo on this card. Perry is in the middle of a nice delivery on this card, although I think the picture might have looked a little better if it was scootched just a tad to the right. The portrait is perfect. Big smile, looking to his right, trident logo on the cap, distinguished graying sideburns. Perry looks like a hall of famer there. Plus: for the 10 year old audience... Gaylord. *snicker*

Sweet Jesus, lookit all those stats. Perry had won more games than the entire Mariners franchise at that point. No, I didn't look it up. It's a total guess. Go ahead and yell at me stat heads, I won't mind.

Honorable Mentions:
Rick Sweet
Bryan Clark
Floyd Bannister

7 comments:

CK said...

Good choice. I think Mike Moore deserves honorable mention, though. That's his rookie, and there was a time when it was worth $2.50-$3, when he was hot with the A's in the late '80s. I remember this RC was heating up then.

Collective Troll said...

Was Dick Pole not on the '83 Mariners squad? If not, I am okay with Gaylord... I've been way into old cards and old uniforms of late. 1983 is by far my favorite set of the 80's. Keep em coming!

Andy said...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/

Through 1982, the Mariners won a total of 366 games.

But that includes 1982 itself, when they won a franchise (then-) best 76 games. That means when he joined the team before the 1982 season, they had won 290 games and he himself had won 297.

Good call!

Ken said...

Gaylord rules.

He is also one of those players that is very inexpensive to collect going all the way back to his 1963 rookie (I think that is the year).

Him and Niekro.

Plus they looked like Wizards when I was a kid. 60 year olds in a game full of 25 year old.

Bay Rat North West said...

Ya gotta admit this was a heck of a set. Gaylord, Benchie, Yaz, Carew, and many other HOF'S near the end of their career with Ripken, Gwynn, Boggs, Rhino just starting. Then you get Molitor, Yount, Ryan etc. in their primes. Probably the best mix in a decade.

thewritersjourney said...

Gaylord. Heheh.

Andy said...

I wrote this post up over here

http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/2931