Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spotlight on Cards:'73 & '75 Topps Mike Siani

Previously in Spotlight on Cards, I dissected 2 different sets of Topps basketball cards. Today, I am concentrating on 2 individual Topps football cards of Mike Siani, former wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders.
Siani was a 1st round draft pick of the Raiders in 1972, but spent most of his career as the 3rd receiver, behind Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff and Cliff Branch (a 4 time Pro Bowler). Of course, it was the gritty underdog Siani, who became my favorite.
I was excited when I got my first card of Siani, a 1973 Topps card. The '73 Topps were the first sports cards I ever collected and I really like the look still to this day.
My complaints arose 2 years later, when Topps used the exact same photo for Siani's 1975 card. It was hard to be excited about this 'new' card. How lazy could Topps be? How could they care so little about the card or the collector?
Back in those days, Topps was the only card company producing football cards. Also back then, football cards were one of the main ways to get info on any player. ESPN wasn't around, nor was the internet. Basically, there were a handful of football magazines, which usually focused more on bigger name players and there was the yearly Topps set.
This was major disappointing to me as a young collector and fan of Siani. Topps cards were the only yearly tangible updates on most players and for them to simply reuse a 2 year old picture of Siani was simply inexcusable.
Later, when Siani joined the Baltimore Colts, I was hoping Topps would redeem themselves by producing a Colts card of him. Alas, it did not happen. (If I ever find a picture of Siani with the Colts, Steve over at White Sox Cards will be getting another request for Cards That Never Were).
The argument could be made that Baltimore wasn't good enough to have too many WR's on cards. Another reason could be that although Siani was generally the third WR on the Colts, a few running backs had more catches. These might be plausible reasons, but looking at other teams' card rosters leaves me doubtful.
No reason is good enough anyway. Topps owed me a Mike Siani card and one with the Colts would have been a great olive branch. Instead, here I am 24 years later griping about the double vision seen below.
1973 & 1975 Topps Mike Siani cards.

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