Saturday, June 12, 2021

4 Cards Away

 Recently I mentioned how I was a couple dozen cards away from completing my 1982 Topps set build. A comment from Fuji alerted me to an incoming PWE. Fuji's one of the best in the blogging business: great posts, terrific reader engagement, and I think he easily takes home the award for most comments left within out little corner of the blogosphere. 

A few days later a twelve card PWE arrived. 

I believe the Righetti and Ryan cards are from spring training. 

In Action cards. 
I never really understood the purpose of the "In Action" subset. I guess it was Topps way of putting more star power into the set rather than cards of backup catchers and the fifth guy out of the bullpen. 

I think these are pretty glorious.  I love Carter's Les Expos catching helmet and Rose's five o'clock shadow is quote stellar in its own right. 

Future Stars and Stolen Base Leaders.
Best career on each Future Stars card: Steve Henderson, Bryn Smith and Steve Sax.  Also, I miss the stolen base. We attempted 104 steals at the sophomore level in 22 games this past season. For what it's worth, my players had the green light to steal if their twelve foot lead time to second base was quicker than the pitcher's time to home plus the catcher's pop-to-pop time. We worked on the finer points like looking for pick-off tells, tendencies and timing. We taught them to take advantage of those who haven't learned a slide step yet and also those who would only throw one look at the runner before going home. We were thrown out quite a bit early on, but my guys got better at picking their moments during the course of the season. We were successful at a 79% clip over the course of our abbreviated season. Hopefully they learned a few things that can help them out as a varsity player next spring.

Will we ever see guys like Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson again?

After my recent card show and Fuji's generosity I'm only one 4-card Sportlots PWE away from putting this set to bed. Those cards should be here early this coming week. 

Fuji, thanks for taking the time to go through my want list and sending these wonderful 1982s my way. It's very much appreciated!


  1. So close! Fuji is the best.

  2. Nice! Really like the Nolan Ryan.

    Bring back the stolen base!

  3. These are great cards and Mark is a great blogging friend. I can only hope that we start to see more players on base (first) and then more action on the base paths. Good luck completing the set!

  4. My JV team in 2018 got off to a blisteringly hot start on the basepaths and made 100+ SB a team goal for the season. Provided that we were not routing anyone (we won via blowout several times and I have no interest in running up the score on people), they had the green light to run and pulled it out at the very end of the year by finishing 101 for 108 in SBA over 16 games. Definitely a fun season making last year's lost season (when these guys were to be seniors on my first V team) all the more disappointing.

    1. 101 over 16 games? Wow! Our varsity coach preaches small ball (bunting, hit & runs, and stolen bases) and I love it. We'll cross the 100 steal plateau next year for sure, but I can only hope we have the same success rate as your team did! Thanks for sharing! (FWIW, I have no interest in running up the score either)

  5. Glad to help. The sad thing is... over the years I've gotten rid of a bunch of set fillers, so I'm always excited to see bloggers building sets that I actually have cards of.

    As for Rickey and Raines... I love that card. Not sure if we'll see triple digit stolen bases anytime soon... but if we did, I'd probably collect that guy.

    1. I think many of us would also chase cards of the next 100+ SB threat.
      I heard the experimental widening of the bases at AAA has delivered a very small uptick in the success rate of stolen base attempts. One of the lower levels of the minor leagues as implemented a "no more than two pick off attempts per batter" rule which has inflated the stolen base numbers across the league. MLB has ideas... I'll be watching closely to see what sticks!

  6. Congrats on being on the cusp of completing the set!