|1974 Topps #283, #69, #515 and #198|
The 1974 Topps set always seemed slightly mysterious to me, and I still think it looks much older than it actually is. I always thought the color combinations Topps used to represent some of the teams was odd as there are a lot of blacks, blues, reds and pinks for teams having nothing to do with those colors. I also loved the "young" looking cards of several Phillies who would become my heroes in the early '80s.
|1974 Topps #255 (Back)|
My very brief thoughts on the set: It's actually one of my favorites. My Dad and I collected every single one of the cards from the 1974, 1975 and 1976 Topps sets together. (Except for the cards Santa brought, of course.)
Notable competition: Johnny Pro Enterprises released a 12-card set of Phillies cards, designed to be punched out of their cardboard backgrounds and stood up.
Record and finish: The Phillies finished with a record of 80-82, in third place in the East, eight games behind the Pirates. It's easy to see the parallels between the Phillies teams of the early '70s and the mid '00s. Both groups were planting the seeds of success that would manifest in just a few short years.
Key players: Something clicked for third baseman Mike Schmidt, as he hit .282 with 116 RBIs and led the league with 36 home runs. Center fielder Del Unser (.264, 11 home runs, 61 RBIs) and first baseman Willie Montanez (.304, 7 home runs, 79 RBIs) also provided steady offense. New second baseman Dave Cash and his .300 batting average must have rubbed off on shortstop Larry Bowa, as Bowa raised his average up to .275. The pitching staff was led by Steve Carlton (16-13, 3.22 ERA, 240 strikeouts) and Jim Lonborg (17-13, 3.21 ERA).
Key events: In the offseason, General Manager Paul Owens acquired Cash from the Pirates for Ken Brett. Cash provided the leadership and positive attitude that Owens thought had been lacking the last few years.
Cards needed for a complete team set: There are 28 Phillies cards in the base 1974 Topps set and 3 more Phillies cards in the Traded set for a total of 31 cards. When I started this project, I decided I'd include the Traded series cards in the tally of total Phillies cards as these are extensions of the regular set and critical for any team set collector. If you're keeping score at home, that's 152 Topps Phillies cards from the '70s and 620 Topps Phillies cards overall.
- Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#131 Bob Boone (c), #515 Willie Montanez (1b), #198 Dave Cash (2b), #255 Larry Bowa (ss), #283 Mike Schmidt (3b), #360 Greg Luzinski (lf), #69 Del Unser (cf), #619 Mike Anderson (rf)
- Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 5 cards
|1974 Topps #95, #342, #47 and 1974 Topps Traded #544T|
- Base cards of other players who played with the Phillies in 1974 - 9 cards
#149 Mac Scarce, #174 Bill Robinson, #214 Billy Grabarkewitz, #443 Tom Hutton, #492 Mike Rogodzinski, #587 Larry Christenson, #632 George Culver, #642 Terry Harmon, #534T Eddie Watt
- Phillies appearing on multi-player "Rookie" cards - 2 cards
#599 Ron Diorio with Dave Freisleben (Padres), Frank Riccelli (Giants) and Greg Shanahan (Dodgers), #608 Mike Wallace with Bob Apodaca (Mets), Dick Baney (Reds) and John D'Acquisto (Giants)
- Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1974 - 4 cards
- Base cards of players who never played with the Phillies - 1 card, #139T Aurelio Monteagudo
- Manager and coaches card - 1 card, #119
Featuring the same guys as the 1973 manager and coaches card - Manager Danny Ozark with coaches Ray Rippelmeyer, Bobby Wine, Carroll Beringer and Billy DeMars
- Team card - 1 card, #383
Who’s out: Reserve outfielder Jay Johnstone was omitted from the set completely, having played in just 23 games in 1973 with the Oakland A's. Tony Taylor returned to the team after a three year stint in Detroit, but he doesn't appear in the set. Relievers Jesus Hernaiz (27 games, 1 save) and Frank Linzy (22 games) were also omitted.
Phillies on other teams: Given the release of this set in all one series, there are quite a few 1974 Phillies appearing on other teams in the 1974 Topps set - #431 Gene Garber (Royals), #506 Ed Farmer (Tigers), #534 Eddie Watt (Orioles), #544 Ron Schueler (Braves) and #625 Ollie Brown (Angels). Reliever Pete Richert appears in the base set (#348) with the Dodgers and in the Traded series (#348T) with the Cardinals. Richert was traded to the Cardinals in December 1973 and purchased by the Phils in June 1974.
What’s he doing here: In December 1973, Monteagudo was shipped to the Phillies as the player to be named later in the Denny Doyle for Grabarkewitz swap. He never played a game for the Phillies, or any of their minor league affiliates, yet Topps featured him in its Traded series.
Cards that never were candidates: Johnstone, Taylor, Hernaiz and Linzy.
Favorite Phillies card: I've always liked Bowa's card as it looks as if he's being shot out of a cannon from home plate. The Carlton card has long been a favorite too, given Lefy's intense glare and the blurry Veterans Stadium outfield wall in the background.
|1974 Topps #492, 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #20,|
2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #109, 2007 Multi-Ad Reading Phillies #14
Recycled: The 2007 Reading Phillies team set pays tribute to the original with its design. Over at the Dick Allen Hall of Fame, I love the series of Familiar Faces/Strange Places series also utilizing the 1974 Topps design. And the 2010 Chachi cards used the design for each of the 74 cards in the set.
Blogs/Websites: As evidence of the set's popularity among collectors, there are two excellent blogs out there chronicling the set - 1974 Topps - Pennant Fever and the 1974 Topps Set blog.
Did You Know?: Among the 13 of you who voted, the Mike Schmidt rookie card will now be known as the best 1973 Topps Phillies card. Schmidt's card received nine votes, Luzinski's three and Carlton's one. The 1973 Topps Willie Montanez card didn't receive any votes.