Between 1970 and 1980, Johnstone played for several teams: California, Chicago, Oakland, Philly, New York, San Diego, and Los Angeles. It's hard to imagine a guy with that resume feeling "anchored" to one area, but my young mind only cared about one team in 1978: the Dodgers, NL pennant-winners over Philadelphia for the second straight year.
LA's World Series opponent, the Yankees, included one Jay Johnstone, a man who played only 59 games for the Bombers over parts of two seasons, but did enough to snag a World Series ring that year, over the Dodgers. Jay appeared twice as a defensive replacement without batting, so figured only slightly in the result, but I remembered: JAY JOHNSTONE WAS A YANKEE.
But if Jay was a Yankee, wasn't he also a Dodger? The crazy part is that Jay won another title in 1981, as a Dodger, over the Yankees. He even hit a crucial pinch-hit homer off Ron Davis in game 4, a win that squared the series at 2-2! So why am I stuck on him as a "hated" Yankee? Those six year-old feelings are hard to shake. These days, I have to remember that rivalries are more about nostalgia than records of what really happened on the field.
According to scattered Internet sources, the KVB12953 prefix (at bottom middle of the card's back) covers Mitock's 1980 postcard set and these known players.
- KVB12953-2: Jerry Reuss
- KVB12953-3: Dave Goltz
- KVB12953-4: Rudy Law
- KVB12953-5: Jay Johnstone
- KVB12953-6: Rick Sutcliffe
- KVB12953-7: Don Stanhouse
Let me know if you have others and we'll update the checklist.
Value: Jay cost $1 at a recent card show. (I've seen autographed versions online for $5.)
Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any Mitock postcards I'd call a "reprint," though the company might've printed more of each player as long as they stayed with the team.