The Seattle Pilots team card, #713 in the set of 720, arrived yesterday and I slipped it into the last nine pocket page of my 1970 Topps binder. that was the last open slot and ends another fun vintage card chase. I had a few setbacks along the way including having a large group of OPCs included in my starter lot and an eBay dispute over my first copy of the Pilots card that I am still involved in.
But those are minor details. I'm happy to put this baby to bed. I currently have no plans to blog it card-by-card, I have way too many irons in the fire as it is. But that may change somewhere down the line.
In the meantime I have a couple of posts in the works regarding the set. I thought I'd post the first and last binder pages today. Each has some interesting cards. Here is the page containing numbers 1 thru 9:
The most expensive card on that page is #1, the Mets team card witch (painfully for me) proclaims them as "World Champions". And so they were. I've long since gotten over it but at the time it was pretty traumatic. I can still remember watching Cleon Jones catching the final out as I sat in my best friends livingroom. I got up and left without saying anything and walked home. I came to discover that there is a 'Mets tax' on their 1970 cards. I've gotten used to paying a premium for Yankees players but doing so for the 1970 Topps Mets kind of sucked.
My fave on the page is #2, Diego Segui aka 'The Ancient Mariner'. He earned that nickname when he made his second go-round in a Seattle uniform as the Opening Day pitcher for the Seattle Mariners in 1977. He was 39 at the time. The '69 Pilots uniforms are among my all time favorites and I'll write a post showing them off before long.
The Grant Jackson card is a close second. Jackson was coming off his only All Star season and in 1970 he joined the Orioles. He was a handy bullpen piece for the O's until he was dealt to the Yanks in 1976. I have an Orioles game program and a couple of team postcards signed by him.
Now we will skip to the last binder page, cards #712 thru #720:
Most expensive card...easily the Nolan Ryan. It was the costliest card of all 720 by far. I set a budget and every card that fell within my limit had some flaws. I decided that I'd ignore the off-centeredness of this one in favor of the nice corners. This is Ryan's third Topps card, his second solo card. But the premium comes from it being a high number.
I found that there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the pricing of the 1970 high numbers. I picked up some excellent copies of common players in the high number series for about $1.75 while others commanded $7 to $10 consistently. It made the chase just that much more fun.
My favorite on this page is the Pilots team card. It was costly in it's own right and I was lucky to find this one for under $20 shipped. It's kind of interesting the Topps never switched to calling the club the Milwaukee Brewers even though the sale and city switch had gone through before the late series cards were done. This is the only Pilots team card ever released obviously.
And this one is the second copy I purchased. The first was part of a buy I made of four high numbers, three of which arrived. The fate of the fourth card, the Pilots card, is a mystery. I'll let eBay and PayPal do their thing and whatever happens happens. If I lose my case it won't be the first time I threw $25 down the drain by dealing with a questionable seller.
Looking at the back of the card it's fun to note that these records could be labels as 'Pilots Team All Time Records'. I love the fact that ex-Orioles Big Gene Brabender will always be the Pilots leader in seven pitching categories. That's him towering over everyone else in the top row of the team card picture.
As I mentioned I'll have some other 1970 Topps posts coming. I intend to look at the Pilots' uniforms and the great managers cards in the set.
I had doubts as to whether chasing this set would be enjoyable. Turns out it surely was.