Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Game Dated Cards: 1978 Topps #52 Jim Lonborg

There are so many trading cards that most are never considered deeply. 

One thing that is good about an active social media collecting community is it gives us an opportunity to examine random cards based on the whims of others. This happened to me over the weekend. The V Family(@CollectibleVs) posted a TTM of the 1978 Topps Jim Lonborg card.

1978 Topps #52 Jim Lonborg

1978 Topps has a couple of action cards but not many and I thought "Hey is that Candlestick". It was a Saturday Night and I quickly got a lot of confirmations including one from Night Owl Cards - who did do some research on this fine card and covered the card here. Turns out it is one of several 1978T cards featuring the -Stick. 

Greg had come to the conclusion that the photo was taken during a game played on July 21 1977 which was a Night Game and qualified the card for the NOC Night Games collection. 

I perused the comments on the NOC post and Lo and Behold apparently I had followed up Greg's initial research and basically confirmed his findings adding some Phillies specific background.  

I had obviously forgotten any of this but it does make me happy to find out that I have been looking into game dated cards for eight years now. 

1977 July 21
Not sure how much I looked into the game in 2016, but turns out the game had a crazy twist that involved Lonborg. Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Bruce Keidan described the outing with this bit of Hyperbole: 

What was Keidan referring to? See if you can spot what happened here:

It's blurry so here is the baseball-reference link

Turns out that Lonborg left the game after 5 innings with the Phillies DOWN 6-0. Manager Danny Ozark sent Tommy Hutton up to pinch hit for Lonborg, who likely went to the shower expecting to take an L. 

But that's not what happened. Look at the line score, the Phillies put up 8 runs in the top of the 6th, they sent 13 batters to the plate. The fatal blow was a bases loaded triple off the bat of pinch hitter Jerry Martin. The Triple was a misjudged line drive towards converted infielder Derrel Thomas who was in his first year as a Center Fielder. 

Here is the detailed account of the scoring from the following days Inquirer:

According to Keidan the Phillies turn at-bat, which included 2 pitching changes, lasted 25 minutes. 


The win referenced in the text on the reverse put the Phillies into the postseason for the first time in over a quarter century. Jim Lonborg pitched a complete game versus in Montreal that day holding the Expos to four hits. A two-out double by Future Hall of Famer Andre Dawson in the sixth inning was the only thing that stood between Lonborg and a shutout.

Lonborg quickly got that run back on his own when he singled home Garry Maddox in the following inning - picking up one of his 43 career RBI. The Phillies big blow came on a 3-Run Homer by Greg Luzinski. 

Lonborg would go on to start two postseason games for the Phillies losing both. He retired in 1979 just missing the 1980 world championship squad.  

This concludes our deep dive into 1978 Topps #52 Jim Lonborg - 2 game dated card columns for the price of 1, and thanks to Night Owl Cards for discovering this card Eight Years ago. 

References and Links
Philadelphia Inquirer (Bruce Keidan)


John Bateman said...

Great update - Great Research by everyone. Just a great post with a deep dive.

Which brings me to Bruce Keiden a name I hade not heard of in a long time. But it was from his Pittsburgh days not his Philadelphia days. He was pretty big Pittsburgh media personality in the 1990s, I believe. He passed away on November 30, 2010 at age 67.

deal said...

I looked into Bruce Keiden briefly and he sounds like quite a character. Perhaps we will hear from him again, In this new phase of Phungo I am hoping to include more news stories contemporary to the era of the featured cards.

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