Bill Travers – 1981 Fleer (x2)
December 12, 2010
Just How Hard Was It To Create A Card Set, Anyway??
I know it could be tough before computerized databases. I know there are a lot of players and photos around. I know that when you make a mistake you are loath to admit it, but at least sometimes you try to correct things. But two cards in a set for the same dude, and it’s not an Upper Deck 391,567 card series?
When I was opening my packs of 1981 Fleer that I got from my favorite dealer in the Twin Cities, I noted in my head “Hey, Bill Travers” because in my first foray of serious collecting, he was about the only Brewer worth keeping. Then, his arm fell off thanks to Alex Grammas just keeping him in there. That Brewers team actually HAD a decent bullpen, so there was no reason for Travers to log so many innings.
He hung in there, though and had a great 1979 and a decent 1980. Then he signed a free agent contract with the Angels and his arm woes returned, so his career was cut short. He later became a professional candle pin bowler. Now, that’s esoteric information!
So I knew Travers and was glad to get a card in my packs. Then I opened another on another day and I said, “Hey, Bill Travers”. And then I collated, and noticed something…
Being ‘out of the game’ I didn’t know about all of the flippin’ errors running amok on many sets. I soon learned, but I never suspected this. TWO cards for the same dude in the same card set, without it being issued in series or anything.
But having two photos is interesting. Travers looks like he just got a haircut in the second photo, taken at Fenway, obviously. The first photo looks like he needed a haircut, hippie. In the first photo, his right hand is bandaged. He did miss some time early in the season and is wearing long sleeves. So his hippie phase was early in the season when he was on the DL, and Buck Rogers was just an interim for George Bamberger (who let his players live and let live, thus hippie hair was OK).
Later, Rogers replaced Bamberger on a full-time basis, and Buck was a bit more…anal. So I guess Travers was told to lose the hair.
At any rate…my box of Fleers were shipped out late, when the error on the short-haired card was noticed and corrected.
You see, that card was SUPPOSED to be Jerry Augustine.
I guess all 27-year old Brewers lefties look alike.
Early pressings had that photo of Travers with “Jerry Augustine” emblazoned on them. Errors like that happen all of the time, and it takes guts for a card company to admit that mistake and correct it. (To this day, I’m surprised that Dave Collins doesn’t have curly hair and glasses, since the first card I saw was Collins’ 1977 card where it was actually a photo of Bobby Jones and not Collins.)
But here’s the question.
I am sure you had Augustine’s stats. You couldn’t find a photo of Jerry Augustine? He’d only been a slop-balling lefty in the league since 1975.
My nickel says it’s worse to have two cards of the same dude in the set than to mis-identify one. Two cards in the set means, “we really don’t know what we’re doing here, people.”
Wait, this is 1981 Fleer…
(Editor’s Note: I only scan cards I have doubles of, but I only have one of the short-haired Travers. My 1981 Fleers are somewhere in the closet here in the office, but I need to write on their boxes with Sharpies instead of weenie ballpoints. So I snagged a photo of the card from the ‘net. I do have that card, honest!)