One of my goals for the blog this year to is to post all my Mike Schmidt cards, one year for each post. I got through 1980 last year. Since I have Schmidt cards for almost every year from 1981 to the present I'd better get cracking. With the advent of Fleer and Donruss into the baseball card mix in 1981, there are more cards to show for each year. Up through 1980, there was 2-3 cards per year.
1981 was shaping up to be another good year for Schmidt and the Phillies and then the strike happened. The Phillies were 34-21 and in 1st place in the NL East when the strike started. They finished the second half with a record of 25-27 with the Expos winning the 2nd half of the season. The Lords of Baseball decreed that there be a playoff between the winners of the two halves. The Phillies lost this playoff series to the Expos 3-2.
Schmidt finished the season with 31 home runs, 91 rbis and a batting average of .316. Projected over a full season this would have been at least as good of a season for him as 1980. He also won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards and was named the National League MVP. Here are his cards for 1981.
Fleer #645. Fleer will call cards like this featuring multiple players "Superstar Specials" in later years.
Topps #2. 1980 Home Run Leaders. Schmidt had 48. Jackson and Oglivie each had 41.
Topps #3. 1980 RBI leaders. Schmidt had 121 and Cooper (currently the Astro's manager) had 122.
Topps #206. Schmidt set a new record for 3rd basemen with his 48 HR, breaking Eddie Matthews record set with the Milwaukee Braves in 1953. Schmidt's 48th of the season came in the next to last game of the season in the 11th inning of the game winning the game that won the Phillies the 1980 NL East Pennant.
Topps #540. 1980 was Mike's 5th (of 12) All-Star Games
Topps Coke #9. These cards were available in the Philadelphia area and were mostly identical to the 1981 Topps cards (the Schmidt card has the All-Star game banner removed). There was also a card featuring Phillies manager Dallas Green which wasn't in the regular Topps set.
Topps Stickers #254. A recent addition to my collection thanks for Max. The All-Star stickers had a gold foil background.