Burger King originally planned a 22-player set, but added Lou Piniella as #23 after their initial run. Why tack on Lou late in the game? Lovers of Steinbrenner drama should read The Curious Case of the 23rd Card in a Series of 22.
|1977 Burger King #17, Reggie Jackson|
Other than Lou's special case, new acquisition Reggie Jackson stands out as the key card for set collectors and got a "real" stadium photo instead of Topps' airbrushing over his 1976 Baltimore uniform. (See them both at 1980 Topps Baseball's look at Burger King cards.)
Today's card back taught me something new, that Fergie Jenkins was Canadian. The 284-game-winning HOFer hails from Chatham in southern Ontario and it's kind of a shame he didn't spend time with nearby franchises Toronto (northeast) or Detroit (west). Hometown appeal sells tickets!
With Figueroa in the books, I've profiled all nine vintage Burger King sets and recently "refreshed" the other eight entries with better scans. (No more french fry stains.) Ed has the distinction of appearing twice, once on today's angled stadium shot and in portrait for 1978.
- 1977 Burger King Yankees #5, Ed Figueroa (this profile)
- 1978 Burger King Astros #5, Joe Niekro
- 1978 Burger King Rangers #5, Jon Matlack
- 1978 Burger King Tigers #5, Dave Rozema
- 1978 Burger King Yankees #5, Ed Figueroa
- 1979 Burger King Phillies #5, Larry Christensen
- 1979 Burger King Yankees #5, Jay Johnstone
- 1980 Burger King Pitch-Hit-Run #5, Jerry Koosman
- 1980 Burger King Phillies #5, Manny Trillo
Value: Ed cost $2 at a show in 2006 and probably hasn't changed in value since. #23 Lou Piniella's considered a short-print and runs several times other singles.
Fakes / reprints: Don't know of any reprints, but many collectors confuse early Burger King cards with their Topps equivalents, given the lack of a company name or logo. 1977 Topps (and O-Pee-Chee's) normal #5s are the MLB Victory Leaders, Jim Palmer and Randy Jones.