Monday, June 21, 2021

The Skinny on 1971 Topps and Larry Bowa

In my post yesterday I mentioned how sparse my posting has been this year so far. I am hoping to change that. So let's do another post.

My plan for the card show that I went to on Saturday was to get as many cards as possible for my 197 Topps set. The first two stops I made were for this sole purpose. I picked up 5 cards for the set. Yesterday I showed 4 that I got from one dealer. I picked up the Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, Willie Stargell and Brooks Robinson, along with another $2 card for $30. The sticker price, if you add the other $2 card, was $36, so the dealer gave me a nice discount.

The other 1971 Topps card that I got from a different dealer at the show was just a quarter. It was this Larry Bowa rookie cup card.

I tend to think of Larry Bowa a a manager first, but as the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup indicates, Larry had a nice rookie year in 1970. He played well enough at shortstop to win two gold gloves and play in 5 all-star games.

There is a lot to love about this card, starting with the Rookie Cup. I'm a fan and especially like the big version found on these 1971 cards. You also get a look at a young and skinny Bowa. Look at how small his thigh is. The back lists him at just 155 pounds. A quick search shows just 8 current MLB players weighing in at less than 155 pounds. We also get a to see Bowa sporting a batting glove under his fielding glove, which isn't unheard of, but I feel like it's a pretty rare sight on cardboard.

How many players do you think weigh in under Bowa as listed on the back of their 1971 Topps card. If anyone gets the number correct I'll send you a well loved 1971 Topps card of a Hall of Famer.


  1. When I think of Bowa... I think of Phillies shortstop first. As for your question... I'll guess 25. I figure the average player today is taller and more muscular than the average guy back in 1971.

  2. Hmmm...infielders were generally not power guys in those days, so I'm thinking there were some lightweights there. I'll guess 42.

  3. I don't need any '71s so no guesses. I remember Bowa as a player, liked him a lot in those late '70s Phillies days. There were probably a lot of infielders his weight or less back then. Weight-training hadn't reached baseball yet.

  4. Bowa was a pretty big star in the '70s. There was a run where he was in the All-Star Game almost every year. I certainly think of him as a player first. Of course he was also packaged with a prospect to get Ivan deJesus from the Cubs...unfortunately for the Phillies that prospect was Ryne Sandberg.

    I'll say 32 players weighed less than Bowa.

    1. The Sandberg trade is always where my head goes first when I hear of Larry Bowa, which is probably a little unfair to Bowa because he had himself a pretty solid career for sure.
      A 40 year old Rookie "Cup" card for a quarter? That's a fantastic deal!

    2. Actually a 50 year old Rookie Cup card.

  5. 155 was pretty small even 50 years ago. I'll guess 9 players. Thanks!

  6. Finished my '71 set a couple years ago. I think of Bowa as another one of my PC guys who is just a fan favorite type and good but not HOF level player.