I’ve read Ball Four at least 20 times, and I don’t just consider it my favorite baseball book, but my favorite book ever. When I heard that Topps was putting Seattle Pilots’ autos in Heritage, I was truly excited. I thought this was a great idea. A tribute to a team that existed only a single season, but was immortalized in one of the most influential baseball books ever written, seems like a no-brainer. Hell, they didn’t even need to make them autographs! Just an insert set would have made a terrific collectible.
Instead, they chose people who not only played in the majors for the Pilots but some of who never played in the big leagues. This doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. I guess I should just be glad that they at least included Jim Bouton. Of course, they also made them SSP which means I’m out of the market anyway. I’d love a card of Bouton in a Pilots uniform, but it isn’t going to happen. (FYI - I’d love one of him in a Braves uniform too from his comeback attempt in the late 70s.)
Here’s the absurdity of these SSPs: there are Buy it Now listings on eBay for Mike Rollyson, a guy who never pitched an inning of pro ball let along an inning with the Pilots, for over $150.00. Ray Peters, who pitched all of TWO INNINGS in the majors, for the Brewers, not the Pilots, has SOLD for $200 and $275 on eBay. I really don’t understand so much about this hobby anymore.
It seems like it has become all but inevitable that Topps is going to disappoint.