Sunday, November 2, 2014

#33 Athletics Rookie Star Card, Sal Bando/ Randy Schwartz

I already stated my views on Rookie Star cards. It's a shame great player's rookie cards get a little buried  on half and sometimes one quarter of a card. Recently found out that the '78 Topps Burger King rookies of Jack Morris, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell are far more desirable for collectors to find because they have their own card. They aren't rookie stars, they are Tiger players as part of the team set.

This card itself didn't grab my attention like other rookie star cards in the set. Athletics were a team I didn't appreciate in the late 80's. They were always beating the Yankees senseless. They even swept the season series on them in 1990. The photos used are just head and shoulder shots and I can't even tell you what the A's called home in KC. The players depicted show a quiet cool confidence in their expressions.

#33 features Sal Bando. This is the first prominent player to appear on the rookie stars card in the set. Bando was a 4 time all star and near MVP winner 3 times. His power numbers speak for themselves. 10 years straight of double digit home runs, 10 of 11 straight seasons of at least 20 doubles, an average .250 hitter but dependable. He didn't miss many games until injuries began to catch up to him in Milwaukee at the age of 35.

Bando also played on three World Series winning Athletic teams. He got 6 hits in 12 at bats against the Red Sox in a losing ALCS effort for the A.s. He ended his career after the Brewers were beaten by the Yankees in the '81 ALCS, by that time Bando was a 5 year veteran in Milwaukee after spending 11 seasons with the A's. He was also one of the few remaining players from the Kansas City era Athletics left when he retired. Campaneris and Reggie Jackson retired later.

Randy Schwartz when compared to Bando, is just along for the ride on Bando's rookie card. Schwartz appeared in only 16 games in the majors and never returned to the circuit after the 1966 season. He had 3 hits in 17 career at bats and 2 RBIs. Schwartz's minor league career was also brief. Schwartz was a 230 lbs, 6'3" rookie. He was bigger than Bando who was 6' and a shade under 200 lbs. Topps was a card maker, not a prophet. They never knew where these guys were going in their lives. Or if injuries would short change their potential as professional athletes. Looking at just the minor league stats on the card, you'd think Schwartz would be the player with staying power,

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