To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Topps baseball cards, MLB.com recently posted an article anointing “one iconic card from each team.” The list featured a plethora of legends and heroes, franchise icons immortalized on cardboard that any team loyalist can picture just by closing their eyes. And for our Milwaukee Brewers, the honored card was…
If that name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t feel bad. Bevacqua appeared in just 116 games for the Crew and by the time his 1976 card made it into the hands of collectors, he’d make just seven more plate appearances for the team before being demoted to AAA.
Ok, so it’s not just a card Kurt Bevacqua card they’re honoring, it’s THE Kurt Bevacqua card, the classic 1976 Topps card commemorating his win in the Bazooka Bubble Gum Blowing contest (not to be confused with the Bevacqua card where he’s sitting on Smokey Bear’s lap). It’s a cool card for sure and, on its own, an iconic one, but it’s hardly an iconic BREWERS card. Bevacqua is probably more often remembered as a member of the Thatherton Fuels softball team than as a Brewer.
So, for the true Brewers faithful (with apologies to the few Bevacquaheads that might be out there), we present five TRULY iconic Brewers cards:
1. 1975 Topps Robin Yount #223
Still probably the most sought-after single Brewers card ever issued, Rockin’ Robin’s rookie card is a near perfect example of an iconic baseball card. It depicts the greatest Brewer of all-time with classic ’70s color and flair.
2. 1979 Topps Paul Molitor #2
Molly’s 1978 rookie card is a treasure to be sure, but he shares that card with three other players (including Alan Trammell, another Hall of Famer), so we’ll settle for his gorgeous second-year card as a franchise icon. Stare at that picture of Molitor, grinning in the afternoon sun, and you can practically smell the peanuts and spilled beer.
3. 1983 Donruss Gorman Thomas #510
This card is just … everything. Gorman Thomas, looking grizzled and mean during the Brewers run to the World Series, about to take it all out on some hapless AL pitcher. The sweaty undershirt, the unkempt hair, the beat-up batting helmet … if you had to define the swagger and brute force of the greatest team in Brewers history in a single image, it would be this one.
4. 2010 Topps Prince Fielder #1
Perhaps the most iconic home run celebration in team history certainly makes for an iconic baseball card. Prince was among the game’s most feared sluggers when this card came out, his 2009 season even earning him the honor of getting the #1 card in the 2010 Topps set. Making the card even cooler is the cameo by current Brewers manager Craig Counsell in the lower right corner.
5. 2012 Topps Nyjer Morgan #66
No Brewers team in a generation played with the attitude and energy of the 2011 division champions. And there was no bigger sparkplug or shit-starter than Nyjer “Tony Plush” Morgan, shown here about to celebrate a walk-off win with a couple of franchise legends and MVP contenders. It’s a card that won’t cost more than a dime, but is worth so much more to a Brewers fan.