Wednesday, January 8, 2020

1980 World Champions: Larry Bowa 1971T #233

We have turned over into a new year (and decade) so we can officially celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Phillies.

1971 Topps #233 Larry Bowa (b-side)

This is not Larry Bowa's rookie card, he shared 1970T #539 with fellow middle infielder Denny Doyle.

However this is Bowa's first solo card and it is a fine card. To start with we have one of the most iconic designs in the Topps canon, 1971. Secondly the photo captures Bowa in a defensive posture, which was his most dominant skill during a long career. Finally this card is part of one of Team Phungo's favorite collections: All-Star Rookie Cards.

The cup was awarded to Larry Bowa for his 1970 campaign that saw him finish 3rd in the Rookie Of the Year voting (Carl Morton, Bernie Carbo).

I would also like to give a shout out to Paterson New Jersey's Johnny Briggs who appears in the background of this shot. Briggs spent the second half of the 1960s on the Phillies roster but was only teammates with Larry Bowa for one year as he was traded early in 1971 season.

1971 Topps #233 Larry Bowa (b-side)

Lots of fodder on the back of Larry Bowa's 1971T card. TOPPS goes all selfie and mentions the award they have given to Bowa. The most noteworthy portion of the text is Topps use of the term '"On-Base" average' which I imagine is one of the earliest on card uses of the term.

Unfortunately Topps use of the word "fine" to describe Bowa's OBA is questionable. At .277 he ranked 53rd among the 56 NL players who qualified. The League Average was .329, Bowa's 21 walks ranked 110th.

The final sentence in the bio refers to Paul Bowa, his baseball-ref page can be found here

Not sure where the front image was taken, could be spring training or possibly Shea stadium, but this back photo sure looks like the Vet - Even in b&w.

1970 RoY voting
As mentioned above Bowa finished 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting:

Carl Morton or Bernie Carbo deserved to be 1-2 by both 1970 standards and modern analytics. To be honest I am surprised the BBWAA went with Morton (18-11, 3.60 ERA 154K) over Carbo (.310, 21 HR).

Among the 5 players receiving votes he was clearly the least deserving. However, other than Cedeno he is probably the player to have the most career success. He is also the only player among the lot to win a World Series.

Phungo Originals

This is one of the cards that made the cut for the Phungo Sketch Challenge

Phungo Original 1971T Larry Bowa

I swapped out the Rookie Cup for a World Series Trophy and went with a simplified background. I think Larry looks more like John Vukovich - oh well, my art career is a Work In Progress - perhaps I can say I have a "fine On-Base Average"

Larry Bowa Index
1972 Topps #520 (2008 NLCS)
1975 Topps #420 (1976 All-Star Team +40)
1975 Topps #420 (Larry Bowa Bobblehead night 2015)
1976 ASG Program (1976 ASG +40)
1981 Fleer #645 (1980 Phillies Reunion/Card Show w/ Pete Rose & Mike Schmidt)
1981 Fleer #645 (1980 Phillies +30)
1984 Topps #704 (1983 NL Champs w/ Joe Morgan & Cedeno)

Peanut Gallery (Other columns on this card)
Topps Baseball 1971 (Night Owl Cards)

Sources and Links
1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies
1971 Topps All-Star Rookies
Phungo Artwork
1971 Topps Blog (Night Owl Cards)
SABR Bio Larry Bowa Rich D'Ambrosio 
SABR Bio Johnny Briggs (John Saccoman) 


Jim from Downingtown said...

Picking Morton over Carbo was most likely due to Morton winning 18 games for the wretched Expos, while Carbo was not a fulltime player (as shown by his only 365 at-bats).

Jim from Downingtown said...

Bowa won the Topps rookie SS award 1 year Don Money did the same.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions