Friday, October 16, 2009

#1 - '74 Highlights, Hank Aaron

And we're off!

Card fact: For the third straight year, Hank Aaron appeared on the first card of the Topps set. Aaron would do it again in the 1976 set, and is the only player to appear on the first card four straight years for Topps.

What I thought about this card then: As a 9-year-old, I had a vague idea of who Hank Aaron was. He was only the biggest sports star of the time. And I knew he held the all-time home run mark. But that was about it. I never had this card as a kid and neither did any of my brothers. But I do remember seeing it somewhere. One of my friends must have had it.

What I think about this card now: Well, the first thing I notice is the All-Star star on a subset card. That is very odd to someone who only knew the stars to appear on cards that were framed in yellow and red. Also, Aaron was traded to the Brewers the November before the cards were issued, so Hank's not wearing the correct uni.

Other stuff: I love the "highlights" font. Diamonds for the apostrophe and dots on the "I"s! Can you dig it? And purple on an orange background? Out of sight!

Back facts: Since this is the first back shown on the blog, I'll point out the Christmas colors that dominate the '75 backs. All of the Highlight cards feature the newspaper-like design. Some of the headlines stick to traditional newspaper rules. Others, like this one, don't. In real newspaper land, if you ended the top line of a headline with an adjective, you'd get a nastygram the next day.

Also, there is a big-time flub in the copy. According to the write-up, Babe Ruth set the career home run mark in 1945 -- or, 10 years after he retired. It should have read, "39 years."

Other blog stuff: I've settled on a few things that I will showcase in this blog. There may be some other features, but, like I said, I'm doing this on the fly, so I don't know what those features are yet. This is what I do know I will be featuring:

a) Define the design, 1975 style: You know how I like to find a name for card designs. 1975 is fantastic for this, since there are more than a dozen different color combinations. I'm going to come up with a name for each of the color combinations. I welcome any suggestions, and I plan on refining the names as the blog goes along. Also, you may have noticed the banner color changed with the color of the featured card. Yeah, I plan to continue to do that.

b) 1975 originals: The main reason why I love this set is it's the first one I collected. And I still have the cards I collected as a kid. So, when I get to one of those cards I pulled as a kid, I will show the upgraded card and the beat-up card. And we can all make fun of it together.

c) The "Dude looks like a lady" count: I know that's an '80s reference, but it works for this feature. There are a bunch of long-haired dudes in this set. And, as kids, we thought they were borderline women. So, anytime I come across one of those DLLALs, I will add it to the counter. And we'll see what we have at the end!

That's all I've got for now. Hope you enjoy!


Brian said...

You can't go wrong leading off with Aaron. Seeing as how I have maybe 5 of these cards, I'm looking forward to seeing them all on your blog.

Jim said...

This was one of the first '75 cards I picked up back in the day and therefore one of the first cards I ended up upgrading down the line.

I love that you're tracking the color combos of the cards. It will be interesting to see which combo is actually the most prevalent throughout the set. (My money's on the purple-pink combo.)

HandyAndy said...

I agree with Jim, I think purple/pink will be the winner.

MattR said...

Perhaps the star was put on this card since it pictures Aaron in a Braves uniform. His #660 card has him as a Brewer (American League).

gcrl said...

the all star 'star' on the highlights card is curious because it shows that topps was inconsistent in 1975. bobby murcer changed leagues and they still put his all star 'star' on his card. i guess they didn't put it on hank's brewers card since they had another card showing him as a brave. still, it's strange.

RationalMindClub said...

Hey guys. This is also the first set I ever collected. I have a pack collected complete set in extraordinary condition and about 500 doubles. I don't know how to rate them but the vast vast majority including major cards are like new. Email me if you need any commons etc. I'm putting the complete set up for sale soon. I'm not strapped for cash, all is well, just simplifying my life at this fine age of 49. I love this blog. This set is special to me in exactly the same way. It's so unique compared to any other year and while my brothers had earlier years laying around and grandpa gifted me a few with earlier year packs, this was the first one I ever bought on my own dime. 12 years old. Rock on. Tim,