Tag Archives: 1983 topps

1975 Topps Set Card 317/660 – #208 – 1970 Most Valuable Players

1975 Topps Set Card 317/660 – #208 – 1970 Most Valuable Players

Progress: 317/660

Player Name:  Boog Powell, Johnny Bench

Card Number:  208

Team:  Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds

Image Style: reprint baseball cards

How they got there:

Boog Powell hit .297 during the 1970 baseball season.  He connected for 156 hits that year including 28 doubles and 35 home runs.  Boog drove in 114 runs for the Orioles during the year while also scoring 82 times.

Johnny Bench hit .293 for the Reds in 1970.  He collected 177 hits in 158 games including 35 doubles and a league-leading 45 home runs.  Bench also paced the NL in RBI with 148 while scoring 98 runs.  He also won the Gold Glove in the NL for catchers.

208

Did You Know…

Johnny Bench is the all-time home run hitter in Cincinnati Reds team history.  Bench connected for 389 career home runs during his Hall of Fame career, all coming as a member of the Reds.

Bench photo

Did You Know…

No member of the Twins earned more Gold Glove Awards than pitcher Jim Kaat, who won 11 of them while a member of the Twins franchise.

jim kaat gold glove

Let The Battle Rage On: 1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans. Who Will Win???

Let The Battle Rage On:  1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans.  Who Will Win???

As a kid collecting baseball cards, I used the 1983 Topps Super Veterans subset as a tool to learn about the ‘older’ players in the game.  The set was large and it featured images from the beginning of each player’s career and then images that were current (1982-83).

When I got back into collecting in 2008, this same subset was the first one I went after.  I had built it 20+ years prior, but I wanted to re-live my youth by doing it again.  So, I did.  And it re-kindled my enjoyment for vintage baseball cards and the players that helped shape the history of the game.

Upon completion of that subset, and learning that Topps had begun recycling older designs in their modern releases, I kept my fingers crossed that ‘Super Veterans’ would eventually be re-done.

And when 2014 Topps, Series 1 hit the shelves, a 15-card subset of ‘Super Veterans’ was included.  I was ecstatic.  And I quickly made this a target for my collection.  And after a few days of shopping around, I scored the complete 15-card set and began showing it off on this blog as I did with the 1983 set back in 2009.

So, here they are.  First the 1983 version:

SUP VET 83 A SUP VET 83 B SUP VET 83 C SUP VET 83 D SUP VET 83 E

And now, the 2014 set:

SUP VET 2014 A SUP VET 2014 B SUP VET 2014 C SUP VET 2014 D SUP VET 2014 E

And now for my review and comparison.

  • The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to size – 35 to 15
  • The edge goes to ’14 as it relates to % of future Hall of Fame inclusions:  14/35 players versus a likely 7/15 ( I did not count Peter Rose, though I want to)
  • There is a tie in regards to how the images of yore are shown – Sepia tones in both ’83 and ’14
  • The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to ‘Star Power’

Overall, I of course like both sets. I wish that the 2014 version included more players on the checklist or at least was continued into the Series 2 release.  I don’t find that the 2014 version has the same star power that the set from ’83 offers even though it features Jeter, Rivera, and Cabrera – I just don’t think that Topps truly dug in deep enough to really get behind this set.  It feels like it was put together as a way to add Pettitte and Rivera cards into yet another subset.  If they had truly shown us the longest tenured players in the majors, we would have had a more apples-to-apples comparison.  The set is called ‘Super Veterans’ for a reason; it is not called ‘Best Older Players In The Game’.  At the very least, and to be more consistent with the original subset, this one should have included Jason Giambi, Ichiro, Paul Konerko, Raul Ibanez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Bartolo Colon.  If Topps had taken this step, it would definitely be more true to what ‘Super Veterans’ offered in 1983.

Still, no complaints from my side.  I’m thrilled to have both sets in my collection.  I’m just thirsty for more!

1980 HEADLINE: Johnny Bench Becomes All-Time Home Run Leader For Catchers!!

1980 HEADLINE: Johnny Bench Becomes All-Time Home Run Leader For Catchers!!

On this day in 1980, Johnny Bench became the all-time leader in home runs hit by a catcher.

At home, and in front of a relatively small crowd of just over 21,000 fans, Bench’s Reds team was taking on the Montreal Expos. Batting in the 6th spot in the lineup, Bench launched his historic home run in the bottom of the 5th inning off Expos’ hurler David Palmer. A solo-shot, Bench’s home run helped the Reds win the ballgame 11-7.

Johnny Bench connected for 389 home runs during his career. Currently he sits in second place on the all-time list for catchers, behind Mike Piazza.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Bench!!!

Johnny Bench 2014 Topps Archives – FAIL

Johnny Bench 2014 Topps Archives

Jeez, talk about cropping a shot closely, huh?!?!

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I am all for the heroes of prior baseball generations being included in modern sets – hell, that is one of the main reasons that I enjoy collecting today’s products.

But, I have to assume that by now Topps has hundreds of images of Johnny Bench at its disposal.  Choosing this one was simply a bad choice.

I’m happy to have another card of Mr. Bench in my collection.  But, I would certainly pick another one over this one if I could…

Johnny Bench 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen – Base

Johnny Bench 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen – Base

One of the things that I like most about the Gypsy Queen brand of baseball cards is that Topps usually does a better job of using new images – for both older and modern players.

Now, this is not foolproof, as there has certainly been some repetition of image use.  But, I don’t find it anywhere near as much as with other Topps issues.

So, when I see a player’s name on the checklist like Johnny Bench, I get excited about the possible new image we will discover of the Hall of Famer.

I bought this card ‘on the blind’ as I had yet to see one on Ebay.  I paid just $0.18 for it – and I am very happy with that decision.

Have a look:

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Very, very nice.

2014 Topps Series 1 “Topps All Rookie Cup Team” – Johnny Bench

2014 Topps Series 1 “Topps All Rookie Cup Team” – Johnny Bench

Topps’ All-Rookie Team means a lot of different things to a lot of different collectors.  But, one thing is for certain – If your card is tagged with the All-Rookie Team logo, you did something during your first season in the big leagues to make yourself stand out from the rest.

And for that reason alone, I can totally support a set of cards that picks ‘The Best Of The Best’ from these teams.

In 2014, Topps issued a subset in their Series 1 release that took one player at each position, naming them to the ‘Topps All Rookie Cup Team’.

Representing the catcher is Johnny Bench:

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While he debuted in 1967, Johnny Bench truly burst on to the scene in 1968.  At just 20-years old, Bench anchored the Reds defense by playing in 154 games.  His skill was immediate – he won the Gold Glove award during his first full-time season.  He as also an All-Star with his .275 batting average, 40 doubles, 15 home runs, and 82 RBI.

Bench won the 1968 NL Rookie Of The Year Award as he captured 10.5 of the 20.0 votes cast.

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps – 1972 mini

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps  – 1972 mini

WHAT AN IMAGE!!!

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Topps hit it out of the park on this one.  Not only is the image used on this card of Johnny Bench from the 1972 mini subset that was part of the 2013 Topps flagship brand a perfect blast back to Bench’s MVP days, but the way that it shows off his vintage catcher’s gear is outstanding.

Just look at what he is wearing – and compare it to today’s catching gear.

Between the chest protector, the mask, the helmet, and the glove, baseball equipment has come a very long way.  And while I will always choose old-school over modern, I am happy to see that our players today are better protected and cared for – very few of today’s catchers would wear what Bench was wearing in the early 1970’s.

1989 Headline: Johnny Bench & Carl Yastrzemski Voted Into National Baseball Hall Of Fame

1989 Headline: Johnny Bench & Carl Yastrzemski Voted Into National Baseball Hall Of Fame

On this day in 1989 both Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski were voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ironically, both players spend their entire big league careers playing for just one team.

Johnny Bench was a Rookie of the Year winner, multiple time All-Star, multiple time Gold Glove winner, 2-time MVP, and 2-time World Series Champion, Bench did it all during his remarkable 17-season major league career.

Carl Yastrzemski put up some unreal stats – The stats : 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI, 1,816 runs scored, 168 stolen bases, and a career batting average of .285.  In Yaz’s 23-year career, he finished in the Top 20 for the MVP award 12 times, while earning the award in 1967 with his .326/44/121 performance.

Congratulations Gentlemen!!!