Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Four Topps, #103

The third installment of Four Topps brings us card No. 103.  Clearly this isn't an exotic number, so we normally shouldn't expect to find any Hall of Famers or superstars.  The foursome of cards we're about to check out doesn't stray from expectations, I'm afraid.  But, hey, there can be no 'complete set' without #103, right?

Let's see what we've got...

1987: Rick Aguilera

For the first time in three tries, a Mets card finds its way into the Four Topps experiment.  Aguilera is featured here in a classic spring training-style pose, wearing the traditional blue practice top that Mets players sported in Port St. Lucie in those days.  Hey, Stat Man:  Aguilera went 10-7 for the World Champion Mets in 1986, duplicating the exact win-loss record he posted the season prior.

1988: Curt Young

This southpaw from Saginaw, Mich. currently serves as the pitching coach for the A's.  Oh, hey, and is that a wax stain on the right-hand border of the card?  Cool.  Hey, Stat Man:  Went 13-7 with six complete games for Oakland in 1987.

1989: Tim Birtsas

Man, there's a lot of red on this card.  My eyes are drawn to the stirrups and cleats.  Ya know, it's nice to remember how baseball players used to wear cleats, as opposed to the glorified basketball sneakers with spikes that they wear nowadays.  Speaking of basketball, the blurb on the reverse side of this card reads: "Tim graduated from Michigan State University where he was basketball teammate of Lakers' Magic Johnson."  Way cool!  Hey, Stat Man:  Logged 36 innings for the '88 Reds, posting a 1-3 record with a 4.20 ERA.

I'm a '90 Topps guy, I've stated that numerous times.  But, I've never insisted it was a perfect product.  Case in point: using pea green for the team name and name plate on all Phillies cards.  And you thought Phillies cards couldn't get any uglier, right?  Yeesh.  Hey, Stat Man:  Lone appearance in 1989 was a April 24 start at Houston, where he allowed two runs and issued five walks over just three innings.  (The stinkin' Phils actually won, too.)

And the Winner Is:  Take a guess where I'm going with this one.  If you said the '87 Rick Aguilera, give yourself a cookie.


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