20 July 2013

1977 San Diego Padres Schedule Cards - Winfield Achievement Accomplished!

    In 1977, the San Diego Padres issued a "set" of 89 92 unnumbered cards featuring players and both on-field and off-field team personnel. All of the cards measured 2.25" x 3.375" and featured sepia tone photos with brown text on the front.  Neither Beckett nor the Standard Catalog make any reference to how these were distributed but, by their nature as schedule cards, I suspect they were handed out at Jack Murphy Stadium or just available at the ticket office for free.  The card lists below are based on the cards I have in-hand and contradict the Standard Catalog in some places.  Contrary to the variations alluded to by the SCBC, I have found no evidence of any individual player photos existing with multiple backs.

    The set can be broken down into three distinct groups.  There was a set of 41 which featured the team's "1977 Special Events" promotion schedule on the back, which the Standard Catalog calls "Type 1".  Along the bottom of the card back was printed "One In A Series of 40 Player Photos" even though there were 41 cards of this design.  For some reason, John McNamara's name is not centered on the front of his card.  Both McNamara and Sawyer exist with their names centered and off-center.  This group is listed here:

Bill Almon
Joe Amalfitano (Coach)
Buzzie Bavasi (President and Co-Owner)
Vic Bernal
Mike Champion
[Mike] Champion & [Bill] Almon
Roger Craig (Pitching Coach)
John D'Acquisto
Bob Davis
Rollie Fingers
Dave Freisleben
Tom Griffin
George Hendrick
Enzo Hernandez
Mike Ivie
Randy Jones
Randy Jones (Holding Cy Young Award)
[Randy] Jones & [Bowie] Kuhn
John McNamara (Manager, looking right, name centered)
John McNamara (Manager, looking right, name off-center)
Luis Melendez
Butch Metzger
Bob Owchinko
Doug Rader
Marv Rettenmund
Gene Richards (shown from waist up)
Dave Roberts
Rick Sawyer (name centered)
Rick Sawyer (name off-center)
Bob Shirley
Bob Skinner (Coach, and manager for a single game in 1977)
Dan Spillner
Brent Strom
Gary Sutherland
Gene Tenace
Dave Tomlin
Jerry Turner (stadium in background)
Bobby Valentine
Dave Wehrmeister
Whitey Wietelmann (Coach)
Don Williams (Coach)
Dave Winfield (2 bats on shoulder)
Dave Winfield (swinging bat pose)

    There was another group of 40 card, also featuring the promotion schedule, which the Standard Catalog calls "Type 2".  This group also has the promotion schedule on the back, but it lacks the "One In A Series of 40 Player Photos" line on the back.  This group can also be broken down into two groups of its own, as there are 11 cards that feature a thinner font used for the player names on the front, and 29 that use the same bolder font of the rest of the set.  This "set" of 40 cards seems to be somewhat more scarce than the rest of the cards, and usually sells for a bit more.  Below is the checklist of this group of cards:

Thin Player Names

Steve Arlin
Bob Barton
Ollie Brown
Dave Campbell
Clarence Gaston
Johnny Grubb
Fred Kendall
Clay Kirby
Bob Miller
Fred Norman (closeup, long hair)
Ed Spezio

Bold Player Names
Bill Almon
Matty Alou
Steve Arlin
Glenn Beckert
Dave Campbell
Nate Colbert
[Nate] Colbert & Friend
Jerry Coleman (Announcer)
Willie Davis
Tuba Man Jim Eakle
Rollie Fingers
Clarence Gaston
George Hendrick
[Enzo] Hernandez & [Nate] Colbert
Mike Ivie
Fred Kendall
Clay Kirby
Dave Marshall
Willie McCovey (with mustache)
John McNamara (Manager, smiling)
Fred Norman (kneeling, short hair)
Gene Richards (shown from thighs up)
Ballard Smith (General Manager)
Derrell Thomas (portrait)
Derrell Thomas (kneeling)
Bobby Tolan (batting pose)
Bobby Tolan (kneeling)
Jerry Turner (in front of wall)
Dave Winfield (in batting stance)

    Finally, there were 8 9 blank-backed cards, which the Standard Catalog calls "Type 3".  Beckett speculates these cards may not have been issued in the same year as the schedule-back cards, but lists no reasoning for that.  Those cards are listed here:

Nate Colbert
Dave Freisleben (Washington jersey)
Mike Ivie
[Randy] Jones & [Bowie] Kuhn
Mike Kilkenny
Ray Kroc (owner)
Willie McCovey
John McNamara (Manager, looking left)
Dave Winfield (leaning on bat)

    Contrary to the set's listing in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the Randy Jones/Bowie Kuhn card does not have a blank back, it has the "One In A Series of 40" back.  Several players are featured on multiple cards in the set, most notably Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers (2), Willie McCovey (2) and Dave Winfield (4); and Padre legends Randy Jones (3) and Nate Colbert (4).

    It took me several years from the time I acquired the Type 1 & 3 Winfield cards to even find an image of the Type 2 card.  Finally a few years later I started seeing the Type 2 two set being sold, but it usually ended at well over $30 each time.  Luckily, I managed to catch someone selling the Type 2 set on eBay last week, with a starting bid of $12.99, and no one else bid on it, so I finally cleared the last 1977 card from my Dave Winfield want list.


  1. Another saved eBay search. These are awesome!

    1. Definitely glad to have that saved search option! However, I have gone back and done searches on completed results and found items that sold, but never showed up in my searches. I've learned to backup the saved search notifications with more manual searches of my own.

      1977 was a big year for Padres oddballs and stadium giveaways. There was this set, the Family Fun Centers set of 5"x7" paper photos (which are listed on the back of the schedule cards), the MSA Burger Chef disc set (which is also odd, since Burger Chef was a direct competitor to Ray Kroc's McDonalds chain) and a series of lithograph/prints of Randy Jones, Dave Winfield and at least one other player (that I haven't located) sponsored by Home Federal Bank. And whenever I can get them scanned properly, there was also their yearly team photo, sponsored by the Union-Tribune. They may not have been winning a ton of games, but 1977 would have been a good time to be a Padres fan.

  2. Congratulations on another cool find. I think I actually had one of the versions of this set back when I was in high school 30+ years ago.

    I just noticed something odd - why's Willie McCovey in the set? By 1977, he was back in San Francisco (where he belonged). He didn't even finish out the 1976 season with the Padres - they sold him to the A's at the end of August.

    1. There are a handful of former Padres in the set. I think Bob Skinner was mainly in the set because he was the last manager of the old minor league San Diego Padres before SD got a major league expansion team. And there's a Tuba Man in the set. If this set were made again today, I'm sure there would be card of some Cowbell Guy and the Swinging Friar.

  3. What did you used as your saved search? I don't have the tougher series.

  4. FYI, the Jones/Kuhn card I have does have a blank back.

    1. Fascinating! That makes it the only card in the series with two versions.

  5. Also, Rick Sawyer and Jonn McNamara (looking left) have 2 variations. The Sawyer card has his name centered and a version with his name offset to the right. The McNamara card has the same name variations, but the centered variation has a slightly improved phot. Top to bottom catering is better on the centered variation. So….there’s actually 92 cards total on the master set.

    1. Confirmed on eBay, both cards are present in both versions. Thanks, I didn't know about those!

    2. Also realized I'd never finished uploading all of my scans to TCDB, so that is now done, as well.