A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Thursday, February 21, 2013

1973 Topps

One of my goals for this year was to piece together a vintage Padres team set.  The sets I decided to focus on were 1969, since that was the Padres first year in the majors, and 1971 and 1973, since those were my favorite vintage designs.

As you can see by the "Cards I Collect" tracker on the sidebar, as of now I have 5 from the '69 set, 24 from '71, and 18 from '73.  I'm nowhere near completing the 69 set, which is okay, because I've made major ground with the other two, considering that at the beginning of the year, I had only nine cards from both sets combined.

My method of acquisition has mainly been eBay.  Buying a card at a time seems to be pricey, but I've been able to come across a few "pick 10" lots, where they list a couple hundred cards and you just choose the ones you need.  They usually don't include star players or anything, which is fine, since the Padres didn't get any star players until... well, after 1973.  The best part is, these are usually pretty cheap.

In one such lot, I found nine Padres that I needed, but found that I'd have to order a non-Padre to complete my order.  After scanning the checklist on baseballcardpedia.com, I decided on this card...

Any self respecting Padre fan knows that the Alomar brothers (Roberto and Sandy Jr.) got their start in San Diego, but I had never seen any cards of Sandy Sr.  I thought this one was pretty cool.  Seriously, how can you not love 1973 Topps?

Besides the stellar design on the front, we're treated with a high quality back.  I've heard some say that they're not fans of the stats that go vertical instead of horizontal, but I like 'em.

So much stuff to learn here!
A) Sandy is short for "Santos".
B) Sandy enjoys playing Dominoes.
C) Sandy had played in 627 consecutive games.
D) Sandy only weighed 150 pounds and was 5'9".  I've been 5'9" since I was sixteen, but haven't been 150 lbs since... before that.
E) Sandy played for Austin in 1963, batting .292 with five homers.

Despite feeling body conscious from looking at Sandy Sr.'s lanky frame, I was intrigued to see that Austin once had a minor league team.  The closest minor league team to Austin is the Round Rock Express, the AAA affiliate for the Texas Rangers (and before that, the Houston Astros), located about a half an hour away from downtown.

Seeing as how I lived in Austin when I first moved to Texas (now live about an hour and a half north), I did some research and found that the name of the Austin team was the Senators.  They were a Braves farm team from 1956 to 1964.  A more complete history of baseball in Austin can be found here, but it was cool to see that a city that I love had some baseball history that eventually linked it's way to San Diego in the form of the Alomar family.

Anyways, what the heck?  This post went from focusing on vintage Padre cards to Sandy Alomar to extinct baseball teams from the capital of Texas?  Where else are you going with this, man?

Well, I'll end with this:  I'm only in need of five Friar cards to complete the wonderful '73 set, but I'm not finding them in any of the lots anymore.  Sooooo, if you've got extras lying around, let's work out a trade...

#182 Mike Caldwell
#294 Steve Arlin
#542 Pat Corrales
#583 Bill Greif
#655 Clay Kirby

Happy Thursday to you all!


  1. While I find the vertical stats aesthetically pleasing, my problem with them is it doesn't leave room for as many stat categories.

    Granted in this iphone/baseball-referance.com age, the Topps base card isn't the reference tool it used to be. But I still like it to have SB and Slugging, though I can do with out the OPS non-sense they include today.

  2. I hope to attend my local card show this Sunday. I know a couple of the regular vendors have '70s commons, so I'll be on the lookout!

  3. Backstop, have you bought much through sportlots.com? I've found their funky, often times hobbled site to yield great cards for much better prices than Ebay, depending on what you're looking for. I'm betting you can find a lot more for your vintage Friar sets there at better prices than on Ebay. Check it and let me know what you think.

    That's a fantastic Alomar card, as he's readying for the pitch. Nice one.