This set is chock full of facial expressions. Random fact – Chock full o’Nuts is a brand of coffee. The story goes: a guy owned nut store in the 1920’s and those morphed into a chain of coffee stores that morphed into coffee sold in grocery stores. At some point Jackie Robinson worked for the company with the oddball name.
I haven’t counted, but I’d bet this set has more nutty, oddball expressions than most others.
Carbo played for the Reds previously and still had connections and friendships from his stint with Cincinnati. Then he had to compete with them and lose in the 1975 World Series. Sometime that’s how life works out – right place, wrong team. It’s the journey that matters.
Doug Rader in the first card the looks like he had that second cup of coffee. This card shows him in the new Astros uniform (introduced in 1975 to commemorate the Astrodome’s 10th anniversary). It also has a clear view of a circular black 40 patch. That’s a tribute to Doug’s former teammate Don Wilson, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1975. On the right, aside from his toned down Topps-approved expression, you can see Doug in the 1974 uniform.
And then there’s Al Cowens…
By the way, if you’re looking for SSPC cards from this set, I have many on COMC here and many more that I can mail out. If you want any and write a blog, contact me to work something out.
Interviews happen all the time in life and so do speeches. Microphones help with both. When microphones are around, something important is happening. I need to pay attention.
I have no idea how many cards of players with microphones exist. But they’re not common – I can’t recall even one in the 1975 Topps set. But this sets got two.
Is this thing on?
There’s Felix Millan. They didn’t have wireless microphones back then. Maybe he’s in the middle of an interview. Is he talking to Keith Olbermann? He looks a bit concerned on the 75 card.
Willie Mays shows up twice in both sets (though in Topps it’s the MVP reprint subset). In this SSPC checklist card, he’s being interviewed by Herb Score, who was a radio play-by-play announcer at the time. This is a good read about Herb, who may have been one of the best pitchers had it not been for an unlucky accident. Stats never tell you the full story about a person.
If you’re looking for SSPC cards from this set, I’ve got many on COMC here (including a couple of Mays cards).
Sometimes what makes photos good is that they’re candid. Maybe the intent was for a posed shot, but what turned out is a candid moment before the player was ready.
The 1976 SPC set has some of those and they end up showing guys that look more approachable. I can relate to those guys.
Unlike Topps which had the luxury of selecting from many photographs, SSPCs likely had a limited selection since they had to get in and out with their photography as fast as they could. And that turned out to be a pretty good thing for us.
Steve Hargan has that split second of surprise. That’s what my face looks like when I forgot to take the trash out (and the truck’s passing by). A good complementary card to Topps Hargan.
Denny is lost in thought. A few more seconds and he’d be looking at us, or maybe they’d make him look at the sky. This pensive state is much more interesting. It’s the look I have wondering about upgrading my Topps Doyle card full of print streaks.
Here are two different sides to Willie Stargell. There’s no way I could get away with looking as cool swinging a bat as Topps Stargell. But SSPC Stargell seems more like an everyday guy.
And some players look just the same in Topps as SSPC, like Bill Hands. Looks like he’s been ready for 10 minutes and now just annoyed. Will you just take the picture? We’ve all been there… relatable.
By the way, I’ve finally got some extra SSPC cards available on COMC (look here for SSPC or here for over 800 other cards).
When I think of baseball players from the 70’s, I picture them as seen in their photos from the 1975 Topps set.
And that’s the way it was… until I caught a glimpse of some SSPC cards that were unique in all sorts of ways. I got the whole set and my world view of how baseball players should’ve looked in ’75 changed.
The Charlie Williams that I saw at my local mini-mart had with straight hair but he’d already transformed into some serious curls that year. It took until 1978 Topps Charlie Williams to ditch the perm.
This dusk shot of Williams captures the sun setting at the ballpark so well that it transcends being just a card. It makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a warm summer night
Carl had a lot of portrait cards looking as if deep in thought, but this may be him at his most intense.
Unlike many 1975 Topps “Staring into the sky” portraits, this one evokes something deep within Carl. If it were on a 1975 Topps card, it would easily make my Top 20.
When think of the 70’s, I think of facial hair. And there’s a bunch of it in the 1975 Topps Set.
But there are players like Darrell Porter who are clean shaven in the Topps set but have a lot more hair on their SSPC card – like Darrell’s horseshoe mustache. If Topps Porter ran into SSPC Porter in a bar, I don’t think he’d want to start any trouble with himself.
Like Porter and Munson, Jim Colburn was clean shaven on his 1975 card but sporting a twirly mustache on the SSPC.
Finding the SSPC set was like unearthing photographs of people you’ve known all your life and discovering their wild and crazy side.
Strike a Pose.
Porter migrated to handle bars and Thurman migrated to a beard.
I haven’t seen a pose like this one on a card, so until I know different, this is a unique one of a kind.
Catfish Hunter’s SSPC card pictures him in a pose that matches his nickname.
If you bought a Topps card in 1975, his card showed him as an Athletic but he was really a Yankee by then. If you own the SSPC card, that covers both teams he played on (though technically he started as a Kansas City Athletic).
Bake McBride is another player with an SSPC card that’s more nickname appropriate.
Some of the photographs in the 1975 Topps and the 1976 SSPC sets are so different it’s hard to tell it’s the same person. And others, like this one of Rudy May are more subtle.
I was used to the sullen Topps Rudy May that I’ve grown accustomed to for decades. When I picked up the SSPC recently, there’s familiar Rudy with the same glasses (a little crooked), a Yankees cap (not airbrushed), and sort of a grin. Plus he’s got a gold chain.
And there’s more. More of his Yankees uniform. More of the background with a stadium full of fans.
That’s what I like about this SSPC set. It’s a different perspective on familiar faces from the Topps set. And that’s pretty cool.
This might be one of Nolan’s weirdest cards. It’s like he’s practicing pitching. I like the focus and intensity it captures. I also like the stadium and fans in the background.