Three of today's 5 feature uniforms as part of the reason the cards are in the countdown. Here we go:
Card #10: #273 Eric Soderholm
Another card featuring the great uniforms the Sox had at that time. I probably went overboard putting two of these in my top 20, but for some reason, these uniforms really work for me. For those of you who didn't know, Soderholm was a first overall pick of the Twins in the '68 draft. Eric hit his first major league homer just 3 years later off of Diego Segui.
After doing a little more research, it's interesting that Soderholm had a card in the '77 set, since he missed the entire '76 season with a knee injury. Soderholm was AL comeback player of the year in '77 with 25 HRs and a .280 average.
Card #9: #514 Cliff Johnson
I've had some fun with Cliff Johnson on the blog in the past. This card sums up several of his different issues, Cliff looking at the catcher, and almost daring the umpire to call a strike. The rainbow Astros uniforms were great back then, and would be something I would welcome back on a regular basis.
Would you want to call a strike on this man?
Card #8: #550 Randy Jones
Combine the classic mustard and brown uniform, with one of the greatest hair styles on a ball player back then, and you have a great card. Jones had just come off a 22 win season the year before and earned the Cy Young award. Imagine a pitcher completing 25 games this year. Can't do it, can you? Randy did that in '76 and pitched 315.1 innings.
Those days are gone for sure.
Card #7: #600 Jim Palmer
When they coined the term "in the stretch position", I'm sure that Jim Palmer was the one they had in mind. I didn't do this on purpose, but Jim's '76 campaign almost mirrors Randy Jones. 22 wins with 315 innings pitched earned him the AL Cy Young award.
The reddish orange jerseys didn't hurt this card either. Where have all these great styles gone?
Card #6: #347 George Foster
Even better than the look on Cliff Johnson's face a few cards back is the menacing stare of George Foster on this beauty. '77 would be George's career season, hitting 52 HRs while knocking in 149. George also led the National League in runs scored with 124 and OPS with 1.013.
I'm guessing that this photo was taken in spring training, because I don't remember old Riverfront Stadium being natural grass.
Tomorrow, the final 5. Hope you're there...
Thanks for reading, Robert