Saturday, November 2, 2013

Four Topps: Traded Edition, #51T

Let me tell you, I've fallen way behind in my blogging schedule.  I have stacks of great cards--many sent my way recently by fellow bloggers--sitting around waiting to be scanned and bragged on.  And I just can't find the time to get to 'em.  A first-world problem of tragic proportions, naturally.

But, I'll get caught up very soon.  After all, most New Jersey public schools will be observing a five-day weekend next week, thanks to teacher conferences and the Veteran's Day holiday.  Thus, your's truly will finally have time at last.

In the meantime, I wanted to jump back onto the Four Topps wagon, since it's been a while for that, too.  I decided to do a little something different this time around, and in honor of the recently released 2013 Topps Update (I told you I was behind!), I asked to delve into the world of Topps Traded--the distant, older cousin of the Update series--to produce a number for today's subject.

[Ed. Note: For those curious, I do plan to cover the Traded sets in their entirety also, but not til I'm finished the regular sets...whenever that might be!  Thus today is sort of a preview.]

The neatest thing about the Traded sets from the '80s and early '90s was their simplicity.  A no-BS 132-card set of just player cards (none of this HR Derby or ML Debut nonsense) featuring guys who swapped teams or were recently called up, sequenced alphabetically in their checklist.

The latter note especially makes the Four Topps feature fun, because there is no rhyme or reason to which player will populate a given number.  For instance, you aren't guaranteed a star player just because the card number ends in a zero or a five, as would be the case in the regular 792-card base set.  Likewise, a superstar or stud rookie could be waiting for you with a dopey number like, oh, 62 or 111.  It's all a crapshoot!

To really push the limits, Random gave us card no. 51T.  Let's see how we did...


Not sure why Danny Jackson didn't make the regular set in '87.  The prior year he started 32 games for the Royals, posting an 11-12 mark.  So it's not like he fell out of the sky in 1987.  Jackson would join the Reds  in 1988 and finish runner-up to Orel Hershiser in Cy Young voting after posting an impressive 23 wins.  Hey, Stat Man: Danny pitched in the postseason for five different teams!


Ricky Horton appeared in the '88 regular set (card no. 34) as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He joined the White Sox along with Lance Johnson via trade with the Cards in February of '88 (Jose DeLeon went to St. Louis in the exchange).  Hey, Stat Man: Posted an 8-3 mark with a 3.82 ERA for the Cardinals in 1987.


Unless I'm mistaken, this is Holman's first Topps card.  The former first round draft choice of the Expos pitched in 18 games for Montreal in 1988, going 4-8 mostly as a starter.  He became a piece in the trade package that netted the Expos Mark Langston in May of '89.  You may have heard of one of the other parts of that deal: a guy named Randy Johnson.  Hey, Stat Man: Went 8-10 in 23 games for Seattle following the trade.


Originally a draft pick of the Mets, Klink had a cup of coffee in the majors with the Twins in 1987 before joining the A's organization and pitching 40 games in relief for Oakland in 1990.  Hey, Stat Man: Did not register a decision in the '90 season, but crafted 10 wins for the Athletics the next season.

And the Winner Is:  A pretty easy choice, at least in my eyes.  The '87 Danny Jackson gets the nod thanks to a classic pose and the powder blue jersey top.


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