Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just how long can I carry a grudge?

You might find this one of the more interesting titles for a thank you post.  Tom over at The Angels, In Order posted a while back about some '86 Topps that he had promised someone...but he couldn't remember who.  I piped in that if somebody didn't claim the cards, I would gladly take them off of his hands. 

'86 Topps is my ugly duckling set, meaning that it's kind of neat in an ugly sort of way.  Ugly is probably even too harsh a word to describe the design, but to say that the '86 Topps set is one of their more notable designs would be overstating things.

OK...time to show off the cards...first, the basics

Love the DeJesus stache...

Now, some cards that were interesting, and also stirred up some memories.

First, Juan Samuel

It doesn't show very well in the scan, but this card was interesting because of the gum stain, front and back.  The stain extends from Samuel's left knee, all the way up to his forehead.  It is interesting because of the texture of the stain on the front, you can see the bubbles where the gum actually was stuck to the card, and the points in between where contact was minimal.  I may upgrade someday, I may not...this is not a set that's going to transcend time by any means.  I'm just going to have fun putting it together.

Next up, a couple of pitchers that will stand the test of time.

I love when cards make me look at statistics.  Did you know that Vida Blue wore five different uniform numbers while he was with the A's?  I also remember him pitching for the A's and Giants, but for the life of me can't remember him pitching in Kansas City in 82 & 83! 
Dennis Eckersley, yep I remember him with all the teams he played for.  Cleveland, Boston (twice), Cubs, Oakland and St. Louis.  I remember him being lights out against my Jays in the '89 ALCS, and then the Jays got their revenge in the '92 playoffs against him.  I remember him giving up the HR to Kirk Gibson in the '88 World Series.  But what I do really remember the most, is the absolute dominance for 3 years between 89-91.  Walked only 16 batters total over those 3 years.  1.74 combined ERA, including a 0.61 ERA in 1990.  If there was a period when a reliever was as automatic for such an extended period of time as Eckersley was, I would love to know.

Where's the guy who I hold the grudge against?   After all these years, this guy's name still brings a grumble when I say it.

10/16/85.  ALCS, game 7, Kansas City at Toronto.  6th inning, KC leading 2-1.  Jays have their ace, Dave Stieb on the mound.  Stieb is struggling a bit in the 6th, as he has walked 2 batters and hit another to load the bases with 1 out.  Up comes double play candidate Jim Sundberg, and Jays fans are thinking, "Stieb is gonna get out of this now".


Sundberg hits a triple off of the top of the right field fence, clearing the bases, and then scores on a single by Frank White to turn a 2-1 close game into a 6-1 lead that was insurmountable.

It was tough to say the least.  I was one of many fans who thought the Jays that year had a legitimate shot of winning it all.  They had won 99 games in the regular season, and had come home for games 6 & 7 with a 3-2 series lead.


Damn you Jim Sundberg.

Oh yea, by the way Tom, thank you very much for the cards...only 600 to go to complete the set!!

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Would Sundberg be the Jays "Bucky Fucking Dent"?

    1. Jeff, in 1985 he was...that's one of those memories that is just burned into my brain...

  2. '86 Topps was the first set I completed through blog trades. I've always had a love-hate relationship with the set. I've called it the "three-legged dog" of sets. You can't help but love it, despite all of its flaws.

  3. Sundberg? Burn that thing.

    Him and Bill Madlock.

    It's actually kind of nice that I can't think of anyone to really hate after 1987. Other than Kerry Fraser....

    1. LOL, don't get me started on Kerry Fraser...