Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rooster and the Gang - 1978 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox

I've got a few trade packages backed up here that I need to post, so today I'll continue with a few more cards from 1967ers' recent package. So far I've shown some 1971 and 1972 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox are the 1978 O-Pee-Chee Sox that were in the package:

First up is The Rooster, Rick Burleson. Going through these cards made me remember just how good a team the Red Sox had in '78. I wasn't born yet, but growing up a Red Sox fan I've heard plenty of stories about the painful one-game playoff where the Yankees topped the Red Sox for the AL East title. To this day if you're at Fenway for a Sox/Yankees game you're bound to hear at least one "Bucky F***ing Dent" uttered...

Fred Lynn appeared in 150 games in 1978, the most he ever played in a single season over the course of his career. He hit .298 with 22 HR and 82 RBI. Not bad numbers but nothing compared to the .333/39/122 line (all career highs) he'd put up the following year when he'd finish fourth in AL MVP voting.

After two fantastic seasons out of the bullpen in 1976 (for the Twins) and 1977 (for the Red Sox), Campbell's numbers began to decline in 1978.

Denny's got a card in the 1978 set, but he never played in another MLB game after 1977.

1978 was Luis' final season with the Red Sox. He was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees after the season. This shot of Tiant about to sign some autographs is one of my favorite photos in the lot.

Here's a look at the lighter, easier-to-read backs. I chose to show Tiant's because he'd been around quite a while by the time this set came out so there are plenty of stats. Here's a darker '78 Topps back for comparison:

This card was very much appreciated! I've been casually collecting Yaz for a while now, just because he's one of the all-time great Red Sox players, and because his cards can be had relatively cheap given how good he was. Before this package arrived though I didn't have any O-Pee-Chee Yastrzemskis!

1978 was without question the best season of Jim Rice's Hall of Fame career. He led the AL in games played (163 thanks to the 1 game playoff), at bats, hits, triples, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases! Pretty easy to see why he was elected the American League MVP...

Fisk appeared in a career high 157 games in '78 and finished 9th in AL MVP voting.

I'm pretty sure this lot puts me just one or two cards shy of a '78 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox team set. Thanks 1967ers!


1967ers said...

OK - now I need to figure out who else was in that set.... :)

The interesting thing that I never realized before is that OPC changed the game events. The OPC Tiant gets a walk. The Topps Tiant strikes out.

I'd always figured that OPC tended to have a higher scoring game because the set was tilted towards stars and most of the stars had positive events. Now I'm not so sure....

1967ers said...

Looked it up in my set - the missing cards are:
12 George Scott
187 Butch Hobson
233 Don Aase "now with angels"

Aase doesn't really count, but he's in the Red Sox uniform.

I'll keep an eye out.

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