Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1976 Caruso Spokane Indians Baseball #5, Ron Jacobs

The first time I bought today's #5, it seemed like one of those minor league type cards that turns out to be unnumbered and gets filed in the trade box. Ron looks like a nice 1970s guy, but my type collection does adhere to one standard. It needs the number.

Card front (blank back)

Sometime later, I (accidentally) bought a second, lighter-inked Jacobs card.

Oh, there it is. Subtle.

Ron Jacobs might have the #5, but probably confused young collectors by never appearing for Spokane. My hunch is that Milwaukee thought about sending Ron to AAA after the 1976 collegiate draft and ultimately farmed him to single-A Newark and AA Berkshire for the summer. He reached AAA by 1979 with Vancouver without quite making the final step to the bigs (career stats).

Caruso created numbered team sets for most of the Pacific Coast League in 1975 and I assume they covered the league again in 1976, but this is the first set I've seen in person. The bunting around Ron's picture is a nod to America's bicentennial, much like Hostess went red, white, and blue.

1976 Hostess #5, Bob Watson

Caruso's Spokane set covered 21 players, many who reached the majors and several well-known to 70s-80s Topps card collectors (in bold).
  1. Bobby Sheldon
  2. Jimmy Rosario
  3. Sam Ceci
  4. Tom Widmar
  5. Ron Jacobs
  6. Bob Ellis
  7. Juan Lopez
  8. Kevin Kobel
  9. Bob Strampe
  10. Moose Haas
  11. Perry Danforth
  12. Art Kusnyer
  13. Frank Howard, Manager
  14. Gary Beare
  15. Kurt Bevacqua
  16. Tommie Reynolds
  17. Bob Hansen
  18. Steve Bowling
  19. Len Sakata
  20. Toby Bianco
  21. Rick Austin

That's the same Kurt Bevacqua Topps immortalized for his off-field skills.

1976 Topps #564, Bubble Gum Blowing Champ

And lest you think Bevacqua shies away from his 1975 celebrity moment, check out Cardboard Gods' Books, Bubbles, and Bevacqua.

Value: This #5 cost $2 at MinorLeagueSingles.com, typical for non-star type cards. Team sets remain affordable at $15-30, given Spokane's lack of big names. (Manager Frank Howard's arguably the best-known player.)

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

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