Thursday, September 26, 2019

Happy Birthday Mike Schmidt: 1977 Topps #140

On September 27th Mike Schmidt will celebrate his 70th birthday. To mark the occasion we are examining a card that was issued back when Schmidt was 27 just on the cusp of hitting his prime.

1977 Topps #140 Mike Schmidt

In 1976 the Phillies wore a Bicentennial/All-Star Game patch on their left shoulders. The 1977T card which displays the patch most prominently is Mike Schmidt's.

That is probably my favorite aspect of the card. I have two other photo observations:

1) I believe this is Shea Stadium which is the setting for several Phillies cards in the era.

2) Schmidt appears to be swinging a Rawlings bat. Adirondack/Rawlings bats from the middle 70s carried a ring on the bat handle in the team color - seen in red here.

However, during a Louisville Slugger tour I took a few years ago I found out something interesting:

Louisville Slugger Museum

Above we have four Louisvlle Slugger Bats. Schmidt's lumber is the 3rd one from the top, notice the Red ring. Schmidt had an exclusive contract with Rawlings, however at times he felt the need to change bats. To hide the switch, Schmidt disguised the Louisville Slugger bat by creating his own red ring using tape. More detail on this can be found at the PSA Card site.

The four bats top to Bottom are Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray (HR #501, last as an Oriole), Schmidt and George Brett (note the Pine Tar).

1977 Topps #140 Mike Schmidt (b-side)

This is the first card issued following Schmidt's Four Home Run game on April 17 1976 and the text leads of with that fun fact. The blurb closes mentioning that Schmidt had 11 Homers in April which is a record - not sure if this is for any month or specific to April. Regardless both records have been eclipsed since 1976. Sammy Sosa holds the MLB Record for HR in a month with 20 (June 1998), While the April Record of 14 is shared by Albert Pujols (2006) and A-Rod (2007).

Talkin Toons
Always good to see a cartoon on the back of the card. The subject of today's comic is Yankees Slugger Hank Bauer and his17 game Wolrd Series hitting streak( 1956 OCT 3 - 1958 OCT 4).  At the time this card was released Bauer had held the record for 18 years. Here we are almost 42 years later and he still holds the record. the 2018 World Series marked the 60th Anniversary of the record.

Bauer's 17 game hitting streak is also the record for consecutive postseason games as well. He shares the record with Derek Jeter (1998-1999) and Manny Ramirez (2003-2004).  The Astros George Springer has an active streak of 14 games

Bauer Toons
A couple of Hank Bauer own cards have comics that feature the record including 1960 and 1961.  My favorite is a manager card from 1969.

1969 Topps #124 Hank Bauer (b-side / baseball card datbase)

Rather than featuring a lengthy text bio the Manager cards from 1969 featured a full size cartoon that include a nice profile sketch.

Speaking of sketches and bringing this back to our original subject, I created my own version of the 1977T Schmidt card.

1977T Mike Schmidt (Phungo Original)

Drawing 1997 Topps doesn't present any unusual challenges. The Team names are italicized which is a minor hassle. I like the drop shadow on the pennant.

I elected to leave the team logo and number off the uni, which are largely covered in the original - unfortunately this leaves a lot of blue space on the drawing and elongates Schmidt's Torso.

1980 Phillies
I am including this post as part of our 1980 Phillies Series. I hope to return to Schmidt again next year as he is not only one of the  most significant members of that particular team but also the franchise history.

Sources and Links
Mike Schmidt HoF Index
1980 Phillies World Champs Index
Phungo Artwork Index
Baseball Almanac
PSA Card
baseball card database / Astros 

1 comment:

Fuji said...

That Phungo Original is awesome! Great job!

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a thousand words
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