Monday, October 19, 2009

Part Two in a 1978 Topps Saga-or A Trade With Wicked Ortega!

Hopefully some of you read yesterdays post because today’s is a continuation of that story… I had to be at a roller derby bout and I just plain ran out of time. If you haven’t read that post-do so now and return to this one…
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened up the envelope. Wicked has hooked me up with some nice cards in the past, but most of the time I knew they were coming. These cards were a complete surprise and I had no idea he even had these in his collection. If you’ve guessed by now what they were, I will tell you. These two cards are the Holy Grail of the ’78 set. Two cards that I never imagined owning again. They were the ultimate in 1978 rookie cards. Two Hall of Famers, the cards in mint condition, with no dinged corners, gum stains or creases.
In my hands were card #36 of Orioles rookie slugger Eddie Murrayand card #707, a four player rookie card featuring Tigers shortstop Allen Trammel and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor!!! Again, this was a total and complete surprise so you can only try and imagine the complete elation of your long-winded Troll who was actually rendered speachless. With these two cards safely secured in the binder I was down to needing just 4 more cards to finish this set that I started working on over 30 years ago. From carrying packs home in my pocket on my bicycle, to discovering proper storage methods, this has been a very long quest for me. The blog-o-sphere has helped immensely! I still need to upgrade a few more cards. I used the checklists as checklists and I often carried certain cards for good luck. Like card #580 that went in my back pocket before my first non-tee-ball Little League game. I was the leadoff hitter and second baseman on my team. We were the AJ Ahrens Paint Company Yankees and we went on to be city champions. I was 3-5 with a triple in that game. My first at-bat I got on with a bunt base hit and I am certain that I was guided in that at-bat by the man in my pocket, Rod Carew. As of 1978 Rod had spent his entire career with the Minnesota Twins and he owned a .335 career batting average and 6, yes SIX batting titles at this point. He has won the crown in 1977 with a .388 average. I really can’t believe I still have this card after all these years. I also can’t believe that I remember that game… I don’t think that I will ever get rid of these old cards, but I would like to upgrade them for the sake of the set. I do want to take a moment to thank Dan, Greg, Frank, Louie and anyone else who has helped me along the way. I want to send a huge THANK YOU! to Wicked Ortega for getting me so much closer. That package gave me the two biggest cards in the set and brought me to within 4 cards of completion, but it wasn’t the last package I got from Senor Ortega. I mentioned the package of around 50 Negro League players, Roberto Clementes and Rays cards which I still need to post, but he sent another one after that. This package, although it didn’t have quite the same level of star power did include three cards of superstars of their eras. Three All Stars, three more cards that I desperately needed for this set. He sent another package including 6-time All Star Hurler Vida Blue (wearing a shirt that is undeniably his own), Nine time All Star and main cog of the Big Red Machine, Dave Concepcion and another 4 person rookie card, this time featuring Allen Tramell’s double play mate for many years, Lou Whitaker who was a 5-time All Star himself. This post has said thank you many times, but those thanks are well deserved. Alfredo went above and beyond the call of blogger duty to hook me up with these cards. He didn’t owe me anything in trade, he just knew that I needed them and sent them over and I appreciate it SO MUCH! So, with those 3 cards in tow, I need just 1 more card to finish this set completely. One more card to have each and every card numbered 1 up to 726. Who is this thorn in my side coming between me and the fulfillment of a 30 year long quest? Of course, it is a member of the Boston Red Sox, it is card #295 of 1973 All Star pitcher “Spaceman” Bill Lee. Slap this card up on a Wanted poster or slap in it an envelope and send it my way. My card shop doesn’t have it and none of the shops in my general area have it either. It is the only thing standing between me and the completion of a set that I began to collect as a five-year-old. One last thank you to my friend Alredo “Wicked” Ortega and a promise from me that this will be the second to last post on this blog regarding ’78 Topps cards. If and when someone sends me the Spaceman card, I will post it there, otherwise all posts will be relegated to my new blog- Thanks for reading! I love this hobby! I love the blog-o-sphere! I will end with this picture from Empty Bowls. This is Bradentucky Bombers skater Prosehack's daughter Harriet and he smile shows how happy this package made me. Troll out.


  1. for the love, man..... did they win???

  2. Captain, it was an intersquad bout, so they WON! I will have a recap later tonight...

  3. Dude it was an honor my firend! I'm glad that you found those cards a happy home!

  4. I would so love to find that Lee for shops in my area have it either. I'll keep looking until I find it or you do!