Friday, April 22, 2011

1979 TCMA Toledo Mud Hens Baseball #5, Kevin Stanfield

TCMA published more than 40 minor league team sets in 1979 and covered a surprisingly wide range of the country, from Hawaii's Islanders to Buffalo's Bisons. Checklists include 20 - 30 players each and picture many 1980s MLB stars, since most were only a step away from the bigs. My favorite card so far is of future intimidator Dave Stewart, who appears on Albuquerque Dukes #5.

Toledo's uniform used an unusual combo of dark colors and military striping that year; it reminds me of a band leader. Or maybe, given the big glasses and several days of beard, a 1970s narcotics investigator going undercover as a band leader.

The Mud Hens remain one of the best-known minor league teams, thanks to their distinctive name, long local history (playing since 1902, with one break following WWII), and 50+ years as a AAA affiliate for MLB teams.

Toledo opened a new downtown stadium in 2002; if you're in the area, they're running an interesting series of fan promotions this home stand (April 22 - 25, 2011).
  • Spring Cleaning Giveaway: first 1000 fans receive a giveaway from seasons past. What will you get?
  • Royal Wedding Rehearsal: first 1000 fans in the ballpark will receive a Prince or Princess crown!
  • Player autographs and kids run the bases

I'm a big fan of the last one, as getting onto a manicured pro field also feels like a special treat, especially for kids. Even the Kingdome's artificial carpet felt like heaven the two times I got to walk around on it in 1979.

Value: Like many of my TCMA cards, this cost $2 at

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.

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