A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, July 12, 2013

Washington Willie

Sometimes, how people price certain baseball cards confuses me.  I'm not just talking about people those people on craigslist who think that their 80s junk wax is worth a bundle of cash, or those rookie prospect autographs of unproven players who people go crazy over.

In this case, I'm talking about another set that I try to snatch up whenever I see a good deal.  Cards from the 1974 Topps Padres Washington "Nat'l Lea." team set.  

I already have one of these in my possession via a great trade with GCRL, a card of Johnny Grubb.  While it's a great card, there are a few from this set that I figured I'd never see in one of my binders.  One is Dave Winfield's rookie card, though I do have a beat up copy of the San Diego version.  Another one that I thought would be out of my reach is the Willie McCovey card.

Well, guess what?

BOOM!  Though the picture seems to highlight the hairline creases and corner wear, this is a great looking card in my book.  A grinning future hall of famer with a horribly airbrushed hat and some sweet, non-airbrushed sideburns.  There aren't a lot of Padres cards that I would consider "iconic", but this is one that might fall into that category.

A good look at the back of the card.  Lots of seasons with the Giants before that, dating back to '59.  Interesting seeing the facsimile signature at the top.  Are those "quotes" around the name "Willie"?  The second letter in McCovey seems to look pretty fancy as well.  Of course, the eye is drawn to the cartoon on the bottom right.  "Willie likes to read comic books"!  Apparently in extreme heat, causing him to projectile sweat to an extreme degree.  Or maybe he's laughing so hard he's crying?  Either way, I have to wonder what kind of comic book he is reading.  I figured that most comic books would be of the superhero variety, but maybe he liked to find some that tickled his funny bone.

Regardless of Willie's reading material, and the condition of the card, for five bucks with free shipping, this was an easy decision for me.

Don't know how a card like this fell into my price range, but I'm not complaining one bit.

EDIT: Thanks to the comments section, I now know that the Winfield rookie card wasn't issued with the "Washington" error.  Thanks guys!


  1. Good news to share, I am pretty sure Winfield doesn't have a Washington version so I think you have knocked off the most expensive card from the team set.

  2. Nice pickup! I've always wanted that one. As Adam said, I'm pretty sure Winfield doesn't have a Washington variation, the McCovey is by far the priciest card from the "Washington" team set.

  3. I find those Cragslist ads quite amusing. They always "don't have time to go through it", so they can't tell you what cards there are. The pictures almost always show 1990 Topps or something like that.

  4. The 1974 Topps blog is good for figuring out who has a "Nat'l Lea." card.. http://1974topps-pennantfever.blogspot.com/search/label/washington%20nl

    In the late 80s or early 90s, a baseball card magazine put out an insert with 3 "cards that never were" and one of them was a '74 Winfield Nat'l Lea. So.. it might not be possible to find a real one.. but you can find a FAKE if you really want it. ;)

  5. Congratulations. I've wanted one of these cards for years. $5 was a steal!