Tuesday, January 29, 2019
A Rose, With Any Other Team, Makes More Sense - The 1984 Topps Traded Set
I'm a traditionalist- when I think of Rose, I think Reds. But that makes this card all the more interesting - Rose was determined to catch and pass Ty Cobb, and he would wear any uniform to get it. The Expos in 1984 had Dawson, Raines, Gary Carter, and Tim Wallach. The didn't have the best options at first base, however, with 25 year old Terry Francona and 32 year old Dan Driessen. Rose was 43, but fresh off a NLCS / World Series appearance where he hit .344 over all 9 post season games.
Rose was just 10 hits shy of 4,000 - and it only took until the Expos home opener for Rose to reach the milestone. Love the 1984 Topps backs, by the way, with the big team logo in the corner.
Rose is not in the Hall of Fame, but these 7 guys are. Gossage would be a key acquisition for the Padres, shoring up the bullpen and providing the necessary leadership and fire to help San Diego make their first World Series appearance. Yogi was replacing Billy Martin with the Yankees - Tony Perez was returning to the Reds after a tour with Rose in Philadelphia.
This set was loaded with rookies- here are just a handful of the pitchers. No Roger Clemens in the set, but there was Mark Langston, Mark Gubizca, and Ron Darling.... But the real star was Gooden.
I mean.... come on! 300 strikeouts in 191 innings. 6 shutouts. How did he lose 4? Gooden was a revelation. The Mets were set in their rotation for their World Series run in '86.
There were some good rookie hitters as well - Topps missed the boat on Kirby Puckett, but they had the real Gary Pettis!
No Kirby, but there were a trio of Twins. Smithson would still be around to help the Twins in 1987. Butcher, part of the same trade that brought Smithson over from Texas, was probably the Twins best starter in 1984. Teufel was on the '86 Mets squad, traded to New York for Billy Beane!
There were plenty of star players in the set, right on the fringes of Hall of Fame consideration, but undisputed stars of the game.
And Mustaches. Lots of Mustaches.
Sorry, I'm nine years old.
Let's book-end this set with another Montreal Expos player. Breining was a solid bullpen arm for the Giants . . . and for 6 games in Montreal. No wonder they couldn't find a photo of him with the team...