A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Washington "Nat'l Lea." Team Set

Well, cross another project off my list!  I have *completed the 1974 Topps Washington "Nat'l Lea." team set!

Cue the confetti!

Brass band!

Visit from the mayor!

Alright, a little much, but I'm happy to have it finished.  Here's how it looks in my Team Set binder:

Nate Colbert and Randy Jones are the "big names" on the first page.  Colbert is the Padres home run leader with 163.  Once Giancarlo Stanton hits his next ten homers as a Marlin, the Padres will have the lowest total home runs for a franchise leader.  Randy Jones is still a fixture at Petco Park and an all around great guy.  I love the Fred Kendall card, and the team card has more yellow than you'll ever see on a card.

The Willie McCovey is a great card, which I'll talk more about later.  I keep forgetting that Clarence "Cito" Gaston was taken by the Padres in the inaugural draft in 1968.  Good looking card here.  For some reason, I think that Rich Troedson looks a lot like actor Mark Ruffalo.

As far as uniforms go, we have:
11 cards featuring the mustard yellow jerseys
1 card with a cream colored jersey
1 card with a photo shopped jersey
1 card with a Cubs jersey

10 cards with the "mission bell" style hat
1 card with the "mission bell" style batting helmet
1 card with the original brown hat w/yellow letters
1 card with a photo shopped hat
1 card with a Cubs batting helmet

If there's one thing that a serious collector may have noticed, it's that, of the "15 cards" in the '74 Washington "Nat'l Lea." team set, I only have 14.  So why the celebration?

Well, the 15th card is this one:

A "multi-player" card.  As a "team collector", I usually will bite for anything that has as "SD" on the hat.  However, with vintage cards, I've decided that I will still call it a complete set even if I don't include them.  Is this a cop out?  Maybe.  But it's one of the weird rules that I've decided to create for myself.  Besides, if I didn't have that rule…

I would probably never finish the 1973 Topps team set.  You know, the one with the famous John Hilton rookie card.  Besides, both of those cards have Dodgers on them!  Ugh.  And Phillies.  And Freisleben's card has a Giant on it.  

No, instead I've adopted the rule that vintage cards have to be at least half Padre, or else it's inclusion into the team set is not mandatory.  Trust me, if anyone wants to gift the Freisleben or Hilton cards to me, I'd love to add them, but for the time being, I'm going to consider those sets done.

Sorry for the mini-lesson on my weird collecting rules.  Back to the team set.

This is my favorite card.  It's the one that I spent the most money on from the set: a whopping $5.  Willie McCovey is probably one of my favorite Padres from the '70s, even though I wouldn't be born for a decade after this card was made.  I remember as a kid I thought it was really cool that there was someone in the Hall of Fame who used to play for the Padres, even if he was better known for his San Francisco days.

Here's the back.  Yeah, lots of Giants stats on here.  Also a fun little cartoon.  Would be interested to know what kind of comic books McCovey was into.  He appears to be laughing in the cartoon, though I guess I mostly associate comic books with superheroes, not the funnies.

Anyways, there you have it!  All of Padre-only cards from the '74 Washington "Nat'l Lea." set.  Anybody else working on this set as well?  Special shout out to all the collectors who helped me out with this one, especially Jim at GCRL, who sent me the John Grubb, and was the first card I ever had from the set.  Jim's awesome.


  1. Congratulations on completing the set! I finished mine off 2 years ago (or thereabouts) and it was a fun one to work on.

    ...and I'm right with you on that John Hilton card... it's the last card I need to complete my 1973 set, but I have my doubts whether I'll find an affordable copy...

  2. Congrats! Finishing this set is one of my dreams.

  3. Finished it a few years back. Congrats

  4. Congratulations! Wanna sell it? ;-)