Monday, March 15, 2010

1981 Fleer #22 John Vukovich

What if you were tasked with the assignment of putting together the ultimate 1981 Phillies team set? Starting with the Topps and Topps Traded cards and adding in cards from Fleer and Donruss for players without a Topps card, what would this team set look like? Kevin at the Ultimate Baseball Card Set blog has answered those questions, and he's working his way through each team's 1981 baseball cards.

I like this concept a lot. I've been fascinated for years with the player selection practices of the three major card companies of the '80s. Pitcher Marty Bystrom was clutch for the Phillies during their 1980 World Series run, but he only merited a co-starring role on a Phillies Future Stars card with Jim Wright and Jay Loviglio. And how does John Vukovich end up in the 1981 Fleer set, but not in the Topps or Donruss sets?

Kevin correctly mentions in his Phillies post that Ryne Sandberg had no baseball cards in the 1981 sets, which is why I decided to make one of my own.

I'm definitely looking forward to following Kevin's progress as he builds his ultimate card set.


Kevin said...

Thanks for the advertising for my blog.

I already have the master checklist done for 1981, although I haven't posted it all yet, and what I found for player selection is that as the teams get worse for the year, you find more players that weren't in Topps sets. This probably has something to do with unsettled rosters and many more players getting a cup of coffee in the previous year in hopes of finding a gem and improving the team.

You can see this in the Phillies of this era. They were certainly one of the top 5 teams in on field success, so their starting lineup, pitchers, etc. stayed the same every year and there is only one player who isn't in the Topps set on his own card.

Of course Fleer and Donruss also had manager cards in 1981, which Topps didn't.

I am working on the master list for 1982, and it is turning out to be more of the same as 1981.

I think it will be interesting when I get to like 1989 and there are 6 base sets and 5 traded sets, along with the opening day sets, baseball best or whatever else was out there. Will we be able to complete the entire rosters for every team?

Jim said...

This is a cool project, and I'm looking forward to each year.

Spoiler Alert - The only players to spend significant time with the Phillies in 1989 and not have a Phillies baseball card that year are reserve outfielder Dwayne Murphy and reliever Randy O'Neal.

Kevin said...

Both former Tigers....I think Dwayne Murphy actually had a card as a Tiger in the Topps set that year, and if there is indeed no traded cards of him on the Phillies, I will probably place the card of him in a Tiger uniform in the Phillies checklist.