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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Twins Card Spotlight: Rich Reese's 1971 Topps #349


Rich:  A SIDE BURN SUPERSTAR


For us little baseball card fiends, acquiring the Rich Reese 1971 card in a pack that summer was a clear occasion for going orgasmic. Going that  crazy over a guy who was a 1-2 season flash-in-the-pan* is a clear indication of the state of the baseball card industry in the early '70s.  All I remember are the knock-down, drag-out trade negotiations for this Twins favorite between neighborhood boys, to wit: "You can have 2 of my Charlie Manuals and 1 Leo Cardenas  for your Reese...deal...??"

*Sorry for that last comment, old-timers...Rich, a heckuva man, but he never did fulfill the early promise that made future all-star Craig Nettles expendable as a Twins prospect. 
               
Topps had finally been challenged as the industry leader in 1967 by Marvin Miller and the MLB Players Association for increased royalties (see Classic Twins post with legendary Oliva / Killebrew cards). Action shots - AND current stock photos - were finally being updated after the players' mass refusal to have their photographs taken anew. That, plus the black border format, made the '71 set such a hit with card collectors.




Otherwise, Reese had mass popularity with Twins fans, not in small part for ending Oriole pitcher Dave McNally's 1969 winning streak on Aug. 3, 1969 ("Baseball In Minnesota," story link; BBRef game box).
Reese with kids, "The Big A" in Anaheim, CA
Circa 1969 Coutesy of Padre Steve
For all you cardboard stalkers who value such commodities, the entire '71 set is up for auction today on Ebay for a mere $2,000 starting bid. Walking around money for the wealthy gent!

As our Hall of Fame broadcaster Herb used to say it"

1 comment:

bolstablog said...

The first thing I thought of when I saw a post on Rich Reese was his grand slam that ended Dave McNally's 15-0 win streak. So it was great to see that mentioned so prominently. Bravo!