Wednesday, October 5, 2011

1981 Topps: The Empire Strikes Back

Prior to in-depth statistical reference books, the back of a baseball card was where you found the raw stats from the year before.

On top of his drinking problem, Eck pitched with a bad back the entire year of 1980. For the first time in his career (looking solely at the basic numbers) Eck had a bad season.

Not found on the baseball card was that his ERA + had dropped from averaging 129 throughout his career to 99.
And just 50% of his starts qualified as quality.

It was a down year for Eck but Topps made it look spectacular by capturing his Darth Vader helmet hairdo!

The 1980 Boston Red Sox featured four other future hall of famers: Carlton Fisk, Tony Perez, Jim Rice, & Carl Yastrzemski. I assume aside from Yaz, no one was thinking they were watching five future HOF's when watching this team play.

About The Card

1981 Topps was the first set I was truly serious about collecting. My dad even made room on his bookshelf so I can stack my cards.
I’ve written about this set here, here & here. By virtue of my age, it’s one of my favorite Topps set. I missed out winning this slab on eBay but I didn’t go full bore for it because I rather submit my own copy. 

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