30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Defense Wins Championships

During the 70's, no MLB team had more wins than the Cincinnati Reds.  They made the playoffs six times, participated in the World Series four times, and won it twice.

1975 Topps #260

One of those seasons was 1975.

Anyone familiar with the Big Red Machine knows that Sparky's lineup was stacked with guys like Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, and Ken Griffey.  The starting rotation might have lacked notable names, but it did manage to have six starters with 10 or more wins.

1975 Topps #17

Part of their success on the mound has to do with having several guys around them who were defensive gems.  Manning the corners... Rose and Perez both finished within the Top 10 in regards to fielding percentage.  While up the middle... Bench, Morgan, Dave Concepcion, and César Gerónimo won Gold Glove Awards for the Reds that season.

Talk about defense winning championships.  Wait.  That's a football quote.

Well... I just so happen to have another pair of 1975 Topps cards for you that feature two gentlemen known for their defensive play on the gridiron:

1975 Topps #60

1975 Topps #525

Much like the Cincinnati Reds, the 1975 Los Angeles Rams were pretty solid in regards to defense.  They had five defensive players make it to the Pro Bowl that season.  Jack Youngblood and Merlin Olsen were two of them.

If you're wondering why I would try to compare apples to oranges with this post... it's because I love me a good old-fashioned Blog Bat-Around.  They're always fun and encourage interaction among fellow bloggers.  Plus they provides me with one less blog post idea to come up with.

Two weeks ago, Ryan over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko kicked off a "Living" Blog Bat-Around.  The premise is simple, a PWE with two 1975 Topps football cards (see above) is passed around the blogosphere.   When you receive it, write a post incorporating the two cards, sign the Card Savers, then place the cards in a new PWE, and ship it off to the next participant.

Worried about postage?  Ryan has you covered.  He included a bunch of Forever stamps.  All you need to do is provide a new PWE and:

1Sign up on his blog.
2Wait until the cards are shipped to you.
3Write a post.

4Sign the Card Savers.
5.  Toss them into a new PWE and ship them out to the next blogger.

When everyone has had the opportunity to write their post, the last blogger will ship the cards and the signed Card Savers back to Ryan.  At that point, he'll summarize the BBA and has even tossed around the idea of auctioning off the cards and donating the proceeds to a charity.

So... who's interested?  I know Jon (A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts) and Adam (Infield Fly Rule) have both signed upLet me know who wants to be next and I'll ship them out this week.

The rest of you should head over to Ryan's blog and sign up by clicking here and leaving a comment on his post.

Well that's it for today.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

2019 Topps Chrome Refractor #46
2019 Topps Chrome Refractor #66

My original idea was to somehow compare Merlin Olsen and Jack Youngblood to Matt Chapman and Matt Olsen... but I trouble making the pieces fit.  However... I didn't want to waste these two scans from the year they both won Gold Glove Awards.


  1. Both the As cards have them breaking the frame design on the card. Chapman's is cooler though because he looks a little off balance.

  2. That's an interesting idea. Nice to see the creativity of bloggers. Wish card companies could follow suit.

  3. That '75 Reds team was unreal. The more I think about it, I'm actually impressed that the Red Sox pushed them to seven games in the WS - though if I'd been alive at the time I would have been mad as hell that Boston lost.

    I only know one thing about Youngblood, and nothing good about Olsen, so I'll pass on the BBA. But it's a neat idea!

  4. Was not a fan of the Reds in the 70's (or 80's or any year). Back then, it was was Braves or you didn't exist, lol.

  5. I actually have an interesting idea to write about with those cards. If you are still looking for someone to send them to, I'll volunteer.

  6. Those Reds teams were fierce. As one of the oldest teams, too, I just don't like that they are a small market team and largely irrelevant.

  7. I read about this in Ryan's blog and it does sounds like a fun idea. When I went to Navy Basic Training at Great Lakes, Ill. in 1976, our sister company incorporated "The Big Red Machine," complete with Reds logo on their company flag.

  8. Just wanted to say I LOVE that beat up Bench at the top of the post, that is a card with real CHARACTER!

  9. Intwresting idea for a bba! There were two actors on that defensive line with merlin olsen and fred dryer.

  10. jongudmund - 2019 is my 2nd favorite topps flagship design of the last decade. i'm glad they had part of the photo break the frame.

    jeremya1um - there's a lot of creative talent among collectors in general. it'd be cool if the card companies chose to utilize some of it

    chris - the red sox team was pretty darn impressive too. but yeah... that reds team is one of the all-time greats.

    johnnys trading spot - outside of george foster, johnny bench, and maybe eric davis... i didn't pay much attention to the reds either until the 1990 world series when they beat the a's

    hiflew - awesome! head over to ryan's blog (see link above) and sign up in his comment section

    cardboardhogs - glad to see you signed up!

    peter k steinberg - for a small market team, they sure have a lot of history

    comatoad - hope you'll decide to join us. if you do, just comment on his blog post that you're interested and he'll add you to the list

    matt - yeah. hope you'll join us. looks like he has several bloggers lined up. the more the merrier

    shoeboxlegends - it totally has character. gotta appreciate the well-loved vintage floating around out there

    gcrl - had to supplement their income somehow ;D

  11. Thanks for the shout out and the reminder to go send him my address!