February 9, 2012

Set Completion: 1982 Topps Cardinals

Today's mail brought the last card I needed to complete my 1982 Topps Cardinals set: #108T Lonnie Smith.

"Skates" had been traded to the Cardinals from the Philadelphia Phillies on November 20, 1981, as part of a three-player deal with the Clevand Indians. He spent three full seasons in St. Louis (1982-85) and by the end of his 17-year career, he had played in five World Series for four different teams (the Phillies, Cards, Kansas City Royals, and Atlanta Braves). In his first season for the Cards, he finished fourth in the National League with a .307 BA and second in the league with 68 stolen bases. Though he enjoyed good seasons in St. Louis, drug and alcohol problems plagued him and with rookie Vince Coleman and fellow outfielder Andy Van Slyke vying for playing time, Lonnie was dealt to the Royals in May 1985. Of course he came back and played against his old team for the World champion Royals that fall.

I've been searching months for this particular card and finally found an auction for it on eBay a few weeks ago (along with another Cardinal, #79T Steve Mura, though I already had him). $4.99 for both cards, but the shipping was free.

Steve Mura (along with fellow pitcher Al Olmstead) was part of the multi-player deal with the San Diego Padres that brought Ozzie Smith to St. Louis on December 10, 1981. He had a 12-11 record with a 4.05 ERA as a starter for the World champions before being selected as a free agent compensation pick by the Chicago White Sox in January 1983.

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