|1972 Topps #112, #751, #690 and #520|
|1972 Topps #520 (Back)|
My very brief thoughts on the set: I love it. As difficult a set as it was to put together, it was a fun set to collect. Every time I asked a dealer if he had any '72 commons, inevitably the dealer would smile. This is just one of the baseball card sets I could easily flip through on a grumpy day and not help but cheer up. Completely off the top of my head, my favorite Topps sets would have to be - 1956, 1975, 1972, 1981, 1976. (The order of this listing is subject to change without notice.)
Notable competition: Not a darn thing really. There were the usual oddballs, a Kellogg's set with no Phillies in it and 10-card locally issued Phillies Ticketron set.
Record and finish: 1971 was a bleak year, but 1972 was even worse. The Phillies went 59-97, finishing 37 1/2 games behind the Pirates, securely in last place. Things could only go up from here.
Key players: A discussion of the team's key players in 1972 starts and ends with Steve Carlton. Carlton put together perhaps one of the greatest seasons any pitcher has ever thrown, going 27-10 and winning almost half of his team's 59 total wins. He finished 30 of his 41 starts, had a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts. Following the season, he was the unanimous pick for the Cy Young Award. Young Greg Luzinski won the team's offensive triple crown, hitting .281 with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs.
Key events: Following the 1971 season, Rick Wise and Carlton both wanted pay increases neither team's owner's were willing to grant. A straight-up one-for-one deal was struck, shipping Wise to the Cardinals and Carlton to the Phillies on February 25, 1972. Carlton would go on to help lead the Phillies to their World Championship in 1980 and he was enshrined in Cooperstown in 1994 as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time.
Manager Frank Lucchesi was fired in July and general manager Paul Owens stepped in for the rest of the season. In September, the Phillies recalled two of their top prospects - Mike Schmidt and Bob Boone.
|1972 Topps #768, #635, #69 and #377|
1972 Phillies in 1972 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set: There are 30 Phillies cards in a master team set. We're up to 90 Topps Phillies cards from the '70s, and 558 total Topps Phillies cards from 1951 through 1972.
- Cards of the eight starting position players - 7 cards
#167 Deron Johnson (1b), #768 Denny Doyle (2b), #520 Larry Bowa (ss), #635 Don Money (3b), #112 Greg Luzinski (lf), #690 Willie Montanez (cf), #69 Roger Freed (rf)
- Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 4 cards
#751 Steve Carlton TR, #252 Ken Reynolds, #599 Billy Champion, #357 Woodie Fryman
|1972 Topps #252, #599, #357 and #665|
- Base cards of other players who played with the Phillies in 1972 - 11 cards
#139 Tim McCarver, #283 Darrell Brandon, #324 Mike Ryan, #377 Terry Harmon, #423 Oscar Gamble, #453 Barry Lersch, #482 Joe Hoerner, #528 Ron Stone, #587 Bill Wilson, #665 Chris Short, #726 Dick Selma
- 1972 Rookie Stars cards - 2 cards
#14 Pete Koegel, Mike Anderson and Wayne Twitchell, #741 Tom Hutton with John Milner (Mets) and Rick Miller (Red Sox)
- Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1972 - 1 card, #43 Rick Wise
- In Action cards - 2 cards, #44 Rick Wise and #168 Deron Johnson
- Boyhood Photo cards - 1 card, #345 Rick Wise
- Manager card - 1 card, #188 Frank Lucchesi
- Team card - 1 card, #397
|1972 Topps #397|
Phillies on other teams: Regular catcher John Bateman (#5) is featured with the Expos. Relievers Jim Nash (#401) and Gary Neibauer (#149) are both featured with the Braves. Carlton appears as a Cardinal (#420) before making his appearance as a Phillie in the final series. Bobby Wine appears with the Expos (#657). Wine was released by Montreal in July and joined the Phillies coaching staff.
What’s he doing here: I can't really argue with any of the players selected. Rick Wise ended up with a regular card and an In Action card in the first series, as well as a Boyhood Photo card in the third series. One interesting tidbit (at least to me) - Jim Fregosi, who was traded from the Angels to the Mets in December 1971, appears as an airbrushed Met on his Boyhood Photo card (#346) but as an Angel on his series one base card (#115). I guess the Topps airbrush artist didn't have enough time to replace Wise's Phillies hat with a Cardinals hat for his Boyhood Photo card.
Cards that never were candidates: Robinson, Lis and Scarce are candidates. I'd also add a card for interim manager Owens, who had to wait for the 1984 Topps set for his "rookie" card. Hutton and Twitchell both appeared on multi-player Rookie Stars cards, but they should have their own cards. And I'd add a Rookie Stars card featuring Schmidt and Boone.
Favorite Phillies card: Based on historic significance - Carlton's Traded card or the team card featuring The Vet scoreboard in the background for the first time on cardboard. Based on pure aesthetics - Luzinski's first solo card.
Recycled: Given the popularity of the Topps Heritage set, why not have an all '70s themed Heritage release as well? The thought of waiting ten more years to see this design back in packs of cards is a little depressing.
Blogs/Websites: It's been inactive for over a year, but there's a lot of good stuff archived over at the 1972 Topps Set blog. I also miss the frequent postings from Dinged Corners on the glory of the '72 set.
Did You Know?: This set marks Topps first foray into the world of Traded cards, as there's a 7-card Traded subset featured in the sixth and final series. Topps would try the format again in 1974 and 1976 before making the set a permanent fixture in 1981. (Barring a few years in the mid-'90s.)