Night Owl) are starting to grow on me. There's just no other design that's quite like it in baseball card history. The odd, bright colors. The plain capitalized player names, no position listed for possibly the only time in a Topps base set. The trippy, drop-shadowed, art deco team names. Originally, I only had a handful of the Orioles and no other teams, so the blue borders didn't give me a good sense of the full spectrum of the set. I obtained a scant few from non-Baltimore teams, and finally broke through at the Philly Card Show back in March. Gorging on 10-cent commons, I reached the triple-digits for total 1972 Topps, making it undeniable that I was effectively going to shoot for set completion, whether I liked it or not. So when I spotted a cube of 240 of these bad boys at the hobby shop for $50, I couldn't let it go. Now my fledgling '72 Topps set is 352 deep, still a long way from 787 but a promising 45% start. Of course that 352 is front-loaded in the first few series, meaning that the short-printed high numbers still have a lot of damage to inflict upon my wallet and my sanity. However, I did accumulate some doubles in the blind purchase of the cube, so now I've got some trade bait to offer if you can help me build this set. I'll get up a want list soon, and then the game will begin.
This high-number of Doyle Alexander, I do have. It's a good representative of the set at its best and worst. Because it was in the fifth of the sixth series, it was printed late enough for Doyle to be tagged as an Oriole; the Birds had acquired him from the Dodgers in the Frank Robinson trade of December 1971. But because of the late change, Topps opts to go with the extreme up-the-nostril closeup, giving the airbrush artists as little work as possible. Just a dab of orange over the bill, and a blob of black to cover the bit of the crown that's not obscured by the underside. At the very least, this angle gives me the opportunity to fully appreciate Alexander's precisely groomed sideburns and impeccable facial structure. Incidentally, Doyle was the fourth Oriole to ever wear #13, worth mentioning on Friday the 13th. To my credit, I've showed enough restraint to limit my Doyle Alexander Friday the 13th posts to two so far.