1972 Topps #423 Oscar Gamble
It doesn't get much better than Oscar Gamble.
As Night Owl said in his last '71 Topps post, Gamble might well be the most talked-about player in the blogosphere.
But that's a good thing. How can you ever get sick of talking about him?
Surprisingly, my Oscar Gamble collection is less than a year old. Before I decided to start collecting him this summer, he was just kind of "that guy with the Afro". I didn't know how much of a cult figure he was in the baseball community, or that he was actually a decent ballplayer.
I came across his legendary 1976 Topps Traded card in a nickel box at the flea market this past summer. (Yes, a nickel box.)
I'd seen the card before, but I'd never actually held a copy in my hands. In that moment, I realized that this was a guy I couldn't ignore anymore.
I had to start collecting Oscar Gamble.
At the National this past summer, my dad and I came across a table that had a dime box. Only one box, but it was gigantic. There had to have been over a thousand cards in there.
After looking through a few stacks of cards from the box, I noticed that there were quite a few 1970's cards inside, not something you see out of your everyday dime box. I just knew that there were going to be a few legendary cards inside this one.
And I was right. Although it was mostly '70s and '80s singles, the box had a few newer cards. About halfway into the first row of cards, I found a Nomar Garciaparra parallel numbered to just 40 copies from one of the Upper Deck Fortyman sets. Since I figured it could be decent tradebait, I bought it. Little did I know that the card was worth 25 bucks. (I dealt it for a bunch of Hall-of-Fame goodies for my collection that very same day.)
But the single greatest find from that box was the '72 Topps Oscar Gamble card at the top of the post. I think my dad was actually the one that originally found it, as we each took a half of the box to look through.
Other than '75 Topps, my personal favorite design from the 1970's is '72 Topps. It's just so...'70s. It's the "Magical Mystery Set".
I'm not sure that any ballplayer represented the swingin' times of the '70s like Oscar Gamble.
I call this one the "Sly Stone" card, because my dad often says Gamble looks a lot like Sly Stone in his '72 Topps photo. (Although this was just before Gamble grew his legendary Afro.)
These days, Oscar Gamble is among my favorite players to collect. I've accumulated a decent number of his cards so far, but I'm still missing a few key pieces.
Hopefully, Oscar Gamble is hiding in a few more dime boxes out there, just waiting to be discovered.