Tag Archives: 1984 Topps

Manly, Magical Mustaches – Rick Langford

24 May

1984 Topps – Rick Langford

Green and yellow and green and yellow and green and yellow and mustache.

That’s Rick Langford, everybody.  He of the 28 (twenty-eight!) complete games and 290 innings pitched in 1980, along with a whopping 102 strikeouts.

But that mustache – well, it just doesn’t really want to be defined.  I’d call it a Chevron XL, based on this delightful and educational information resource from the American Mustache Institute.

Badass Beards – Jeff Burroughs

21 May

1984 Topps – Jeff Burroughs

Late in his career, after joining the Oakland Athletics, Jeff Burroughs sported a beard.  It was a thick, full beard, which, thanks to Jon Dyer’s blog (very educational), we know was called the “Short Boxed” version.  It was a classic beard perfectly fit for sporting life, including the baseball field.

If Jeff Burroughs’ beard could talk, it would tell you how great it was, and that it simply didn’t respect you, with your clean-shaven-ness.  You could never lead the league in RBI in 1974.  You could never hit 41 home runs in 1977.  You could never make it to the postseason in your final season, with the 1985 Toronto Blue Jays.  It would also tell you that Jeff Burroughs was Bryce Harper in Washington 40 years before Bryce Harper – cool story at the DC Baseball History website.

Baseball.  Beard.  Burroughs.  Three words that start with B.

Manly, Magical Mustaches – AL Active Save Leaders

19 Apr

1984 Topps - AL Active Career Save Leaders

If you wanted to be one of the active career saves leaders in the American League in 1984, you had to have a mustache.  Let’s go through the top three at that time:

In third place with 136 saves, Dan Quisenberry made up for his basic, everyman mustache with an incredible submarine delivery.

In second place with 206 saves, Rich Gossage complemented a legendary ‘stache with a legendary nickname, “Goose.

And, leading the way with 301 saves, Rollie Fingers redefined the baseball mustache during an era when there was a lot of competition – a great deal of mustachery, one might say.

Badass Beards – Toby Harrah

13 Mar

1984 Topps - Toby Harrah

Who is Toby Harrah, you might ask?  Well, I wondered the same thing.  I knew there had to be more than just the high stirrups with prominent stripes, the flip-down sunglasses with the eye black, and the thick, dirty beard.

So, I went to this neat website (that I found on the Interwebs) called Wikipedia and searched his name.  Turns out, Toby Harrah was involved in three pretty unusual feats:

  1. On June 25, 1976, he played both games of a doubleheader without taking a single fielding chance – as the shortstop.
  2. On August 27, 1977, he and teammate Bump Wills hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs – the only time this has ever happened in Major League Baseball history.
  3. On August 6, 1986, he hit a grand slam for Texas, in a game when two Baltimore players also hit grand slams, setting a new record for the most slams in one game.  Despite the two slams, Baltimore still found a way to lose.  Some things never change.

As I’m sure you can predict, I credit the beard.

WTF – 1984 Topps, Neil Allen

26 Jan

1984 Topps - Neil Allen

It didn’t take much planning by the photographer to produce this photo, but it took some serious forward thinking and quick decision making.  Here’s how it went:

(Neil Allen approaches photographer on St. Louis Cardinals photo day early in 1983.)

Photographer: “Neil, take a knee”

(Neil Allen takes a classic one knee pose, leaning his left elbow on his left knee.)

Neil Allen: “How’s that?”

Photographer: “Well, that’s how it should look, but we’re going to push the envelope a little bit for the good folks at Topps.”

Neil Allen: “Sure, sounds far out, what should I do?”

Photographer: “Take your elbows off your knee and sit more upright.”

(Neil Allen does as instructed, arms at his sides like he’s taking a knee at attention.)

Neil Allen: “How’s this?  Look good?”

Photographer: “Actually, that looks a little bit uptight and tense… let’s go for a cool, casual look.  Put your hands in your jacket pockets.”

Neil Allen: “You mean this awesome, shiny, red satin jacket that I’m wearing with the inexplicably blue pants that the Cardinals have adopted?”

Photographer: “Yeah.  And you know what else?  Don’t look at me.  Look to my left, like you’re distracted.”

(Neil Allen puts his hands in his satin jacket pockets and stares into the distance.)

Neil Allen: “Are we ready?  I have to pee, let’s get this thing done.”

Photographer: “Yeah.  This is cool, collected, casual, and cutting edge.  Exactly what Topps is all about for 1984, and the future.

Neil Allen: “Fuck yeah.”

(Photographer takes picture.  Neil Allen immortalized on 1984 Topps cardboard.)

Badass Beards – Greg Luzinski

18 Jan

1984 Topps - Greg Luzinski

At first glance, Greg Luzinski looks like a Dave Kingman type of player.  He is big, rocked the old-school batting helmet, played in the “Artificial Turf and Overrated Power Stats” era, was questionable at best in the field, and struck out a lot.

However, a bit of a closer look at his nerd stats (see: Morrow, Brandon) shows that Luzinski actually holds up reasonably well as a valuable player, not just a long ball hitting goon.

The key difference here is that Dave Kingman did not have a beard, and Greg Luzinski’s beard was absolutely incredible – completely fitting for a man nicknamed “Bull.”  It’s the kind of beard that separates men from boys and good from evil.

He was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice – once with the Phillies, and once with the White Sox.  Both belong in a museum somewhere.  Actually, maybe they already are.

Badass Beards – Bruce Sutter

25 Oct

1984 Topps - Bruce Sutter

I don’t think I could have been a successful closer in the 1970’s and 80’s.  My facial hair just isn’t up to par.  Today’s case in point: Bruce Sutter.

Sutter, who changed the game by perfecting the splitter, was also the first ever pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame who never started even one game.  Also, he wore number 42, which made it a bit awkward when the Cardinals retired his number.  Something about some kid named Robinson wearing it with a bit more meaning.

But really, is all that stuff important?  Let’s get our priorities straight.  I mean, look at that 1984 Topps card.  That beard had flow!  How many beards could flow in the breeze better than most men’s hair?  Bruce Sutter, we salute you.

Manly, Magical Mustaches – 1984 Topps, Bob Brenly

3 Oct

1984 Topps - Bob Brenly

There is absolutely no way I would get into a collision at the plate with that dude.  Well, at least there’s no way I’m going to get into a collision at the plate with that dude’s mustache.  That thing could knock me to the ground without even trying.

SIDE NOTE: Did you know that Bob Brenly played 48 games for the 1989 AL East Champion Toronto Blue Jays?  Me neither.

Fantastic Fashions – Randy Moffitt

17 Sep

1984 Topps - Randy Moffitt

Today in poor fashion choices that ended up immortalized on baseball cards, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Randy Moffitt shows us his uniform which is overtop of a plastic undershirt which is overtop of a turtleneck.

Obviously a classic look, Randy, but can’t see how it was comfortable.

Names I Can’t Believe Aren’t Famous – Johnny Wockenfuss

27 Feb

1984 Topps - Johnny Wockenfuss

Not to be confused with those giant twins who claimed they invented Facebook, Johnny Wockenfuss had a pretty decent twelve-year career as a backup catcher, first baseman and outfielder – all three positions are listed on his 1984 Topps card.  Talk about versatility, kids!

Wockenfuss also made MLive.com’s list of Sparky Anderson’s top 10 quotes with this beauty: “Problem with Wockenfuss getting on base is that it takes three doubles to score him.”

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