1991 Baseball Checklist Card – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for December 31, 2017


Perhaps it is appropriate that we end the year with the checklist. Opening a pack of baseball cards and getting the checklist was always an awful feeling.

As I wrote back in 2009, it was borderline taunting. It almost was saying “Hey, I bet you wish you had a baseball card other than this one. In fact here is a LIST of all the cards you would rather have than this one.

What sort of OCD kid would sit down and start checking them off with any sense of regularity. I remember when I first got my first checklist card sometimes in 1979, I started checking them off thinking it was my job.

Then I thought “F— this! I have baseball to watch, Star Wars to play and clouds to stare at!” (I probably didn’t say F— this.)

So here is a 1991 version of it. At least they have organized it into teams and not some insane pile of random players, not in alphabetical order. But still, this card is a massive let down.

Evan as a Red Sox fan, seeing my team listed on here does nothing for me. Why? Because the only Red Sox player listed on the front of the card is Larry Andersen, the compensation for trading away future Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell.

So as we wrap up this year, it has been fun sharing all of these cards with you. But keep in mind that I am so bananas that I wrote about a card a day for all 365 days of the year… and even I didn’t check the Checklist card.

Food for thought.

Toronto Blue Jays Team Picture 1980 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for December 26, 2017



I guess Boxing Day is celebrated more often in Canada than in the United States, so I suppose it seemed appropriate to have a Canadian team on here.

I love the Toronto Blue Jays uniform design. I think it is as distinct as the Birds on a Bat uniform for the Cardinals, the English D of the Tigers and yes, the pinstripes of the Yankees.

There is little doubt what team you are looking at when you see that uni. And also remember, I started collecting cards in 1978 and following the game in 1979. So, in my baseball fandom, they were ALWAYS part of baseball.

This card represents in someway a moment of transition for the franchise. They were an expansion team in 1977. They were awful out of the gate. Manager Roy Hartsfield saw his club lose 107 times in their maiden voyage of 1977. In 1978, they dropped 100 games. Hartsfield’s final season was in 1979. The team on this card was the 1979 team. They lost 109 games that year.

They were pretty awful. That was the team that Danny Ainge played for before being a part of the Celtics. But two faces were on that team and in this picture that are worth remembering. Alfredo Griffin won the Rookie of the Year with Minnesota’s John Castino. And pitcher Dave Steib had his rookie year.

Both Griffin and Steib would be on the 1992 World Champion Toronto Blue Jays.

As the team made the transition from the 1970’s to the 1980’s, they developed players and a spectacular clip and aggressively signed players out of the Dominican Republic.

It didn’t happen right away. They lost 95 games in 1980 and didn’t have a winning record until 1983. But by then, the team that would win their first Division Title in 1985 was starting to take place.

The seeds were planted in that 1979 squad.

There is an odd thing about this card, taken at old Exhibition Stadium which had a unique seagull issue. Hartsfield was fired between the 1979 season, when this picture was taken, and the 1980 season, when the card was issued. Bobby Mattick replaced him as manager.

Topps would put a picture of the manager in the corner. Except where is he? Where the heck is the Bobby Mattick picture? Are you telling me they REALLY couldn’t find a single picture of Bobby Mattick to put in there? That is crazy.

Here, let me help you.


There. Glad to be of help.

Have a great Boxing Day.

Cleveland Indians Team Picture 1980 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for December 13, 2017


The 1979 Indians (pictured here in the 1980 Topps card) was a classic schedule filler team. They were not a bad team. They finished with a winning record despite a negative run differential. But they never were really contenders.

They got off to a 43-52 start that prompted the firing of manager Jeff Torborg. Dave Garcia took over and they went 38-28 under his leadership, finishing the year at 81-80. Their 27-23 record in one run games helped.

The Indians were a strange streaky team that year. A 10 game losing streak in late June probably sunk Torborg. They were never within 10 games of first place again the whole year. A 10 game winning streak in late July padded Garcia’s resume. They reached 5 games above .500.

The 1979 Indians were one of two Tribe squads to be above .500 for the season. Friend of the Sully Baseball podcast Sid Monge was one of the stars of the team, winning 12 and saving 19 over 131 innings, all in relief. The two Ricks, Wise and Waits, were a nice 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.

The lineup had 3 sluggers with more than 20 homers including Bobby Bonds in his lone season in Cleveland. Andre Thornton was still a reliable slugger and Toby Harrah provided power at third. Mike Hargrove was a .325 hitter. He had a .933 OPS despite only hitting 10 homers. Cliff Johnson, acquired mid season from the Yankees, gave them 18 homers in a part time role.

The Indians hovered around relevancy for the next few years. They finished 79-81 in 1980 and 52-51 in the strike shortened 1981 but could never quite contend.

The team picture shows “The Mistake By The Lake” Cleveland Stadium in the background while the team itself abandoned the funky “caveman font” and tomahawk C hats and burgundy tops for dull white uniforms, block font and a generic C hat.

It is too bad. This team had too many interesting characters to have such a dull and unmemorable look.