It still mystifies me as to why I didn't buy extra Blue Jay cards for my team set while I was putting together the '77 Topps set.
An easy task, yes, if you're thinking about it at the time. Apparently it never did dawn on me.
Here's a page for your viewing pleasure, in all its airbrushed goodness.
Top row: It's me, Dave
It's OK, there wasn't a great deal of confusion in the clubhouse when the name Dave was called out, because Dave Hilton never played a game in the Blue Jays system. He actually never played a game in the majors after 1975, and was one of 2 #1 overall picks by the Padres (Dave Roberts being the other....there's that Dave name again) to be sold to the Blue Jays after the '76 season. The other Dave's lasted 3 seasons in Toronto before moving on during the 1980 season (McKay as a free agent, Lemanczyk was traded to the Angels).
Middle row: ABC
How desperate were the Jays for players in that first year? Chuck Hartenstein hadn't pitched in the majors since 1970. Both he and Bill Singer would see their last major league action during the 1977 season. Alan Ashby had a solid career after he left the Blue Jays, moving on to Houston where he caught 3 no-hitters by 3 different pitchers (K. Forsch, Ryan, Scott).
Bottom row: Great scrabble scoring names
Jim Mason didn't do much during his time with the Jays in '77, but he was traded that season for Roy Howell, who would have some success with the Jays during the next few seasons. Jesse Jefferson was one of the few players from the '77 roster that made it as far as 1980 with the club. His results weren't that great, but he was a regular starter the first two years, and then a steady swing man in 79-80. Otto Velez enjoyed most of his major league success in Toronto, hitting 72 HRs over a 6 season period between 77-82.
How happy were the fans of Toronto to have a MLB team? Even though the Jays only won 54 games that year, they still were 4th in the AL in attendance, with just over 1.7 million fans turning out.
This page brings the total to 166 cards out of the box....what's sad is that there's about 200 on the desk to my right that have to be cataloged to go into the box.
Just like a never ending story....
thanks for reading, Robert