July 23, 2008

1948-1979 Countdown: #40. 1979 Topps

Sometimes, good things come in ugly packages. This is not one of those times. This set features what has to be one of the most awful card designs ever, with a pretty terrible checklist to match. Needless to say, it was one of the first “older” sets I tried to complete. Besides a select few highlights, this set is garbage. Not worth taking out of the box, let alone putting in pages (and yes, my set is in pages).

Few rookies, bad photos, and a lackluster amount of subset cards make for a painful year of Topps baseball.

Best of the Set
No, it isn’t Ozzie Smith (#116), though unless you are Pedro Guerrero or Pedro Guerrero’s mother, Smith's is the only meaningful rookie card in the set. The best card of the set belongs to Ozzie’s Padres teammate Mark Lee (#138). If I have to explain why this is the best card from a set littered with bad photos… well, let’s just say that the closest Mark ever got to an All-Star Game was wearing that patch on his jersey.


Spike Glidden said...

Nothing says, "Stay classy, San Diego," like Mr. Lee's fade-to-beige shades.

One piece of trivia lingers in my head. Apparently, Mark Lee retired in the middle of a game. Near the end of a (minor league) game, he struck a guy out. He decided it might not happen again, so summoned the manager to the hill, handed him the ball and said, "I retire."

Spike Glidden said...

...and I found a nice article that profiles Mr. Lee's last day. Thanks, Minorleaguebaseball.com!


fielderschoice said...

Aww, come on. I have a soft spot in my heart for '79 Topps. That's the year I was born, and one of the happiest Christmas mornings of my life was the year that I found a complete set of '79 Topps under the tree. The design isn't that much worse than the other late 70s Topps designs, is it? Now I have to go find the binder that holds my '79 set in my attic so that I can reminisce...