1971 O-Pee-Chee and Topps RC
Some of these vintage issues, especially when it comes to O-Pee-Chee, can get pretty costly. Add to that the fact that the latter card is Maddox's RC (even though he was never a star), and you might expect to pay at least a few bucks for this pair. Me? I threw down $1.15 for both. Allllllllll riiiiiight.
The Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers in 1972, as most of you probably known, but the most significant event for the team was Maddox's classic photo that appeared on this card and the Topps version, which I already had. What are you lookin' at, bro?!
1973 O-Pee-Chee and Topps
Sometimes I like the OPC sets that make it easy to tell that set apart from the Topps versions. There's always the backs, but I really didn't feel like having to do two scans for all of my OPCs, so just trust me that the one on the left has English and French on the back, ok?
1974 O-Pee-Chee and Topps
'74 was probably Elliott's career season, and he somehow managed to place eighth in MVP voting, with former teammate Jeff Burroughs getting the nod. Interestingly enough, Burroughs had the lowest WAR (3.6) of anybody in the top nine, while fellow Ranger Fergie Jenkins led all comers (7.8) but placed fifth despite his 25 wins.
1975 Topps and Topps Mini
The Bombers bought Maddox from Texas before the '74 season, and these '75 cards were his first appearance with the team. I'm glad a nice number of my older Michigan PC guys played in the 70s as they were able to appear in these iconic sets.
1976 O-Pee-Chee and Topps
1976 was Maddox's third and final season in the Bronx, but of course the '77 cards would include this season's stats. He appeared in only 73 games over the final two seasons of that stay.
Early in 1977 the Yanks sent Elliott to the Orioles for CF stalwart Paul Blair. Due to timing or something, Topps still pictured him as a member of the Yankees, but considering he played only 49 games that year, it probably doesn't matter. Oddly enough, he was never depicted as a Baltimore player as the following year's cards showed him with the...
...Mets, his fifth and final team. (He signed with the Phillies in '81 but retired instead) With that team he played more games than with any other in his career, a total of 335 over three seasons.
Thankfully, OPC and Topps could be distinguished on card fronts in '79, with the former's logo replacing the latter's in the bottom-left. Elliott also experienced a two-year hiatus from OPC in 1977-78.
1980 was actually a decent year for Maddox as he put up his second best career totals for games played (130) and hits (101) and reached a new high in home runs with four.
It doesn't come as much of a surprise to me that it took all the way until rookie Donruss' offering the year he retired to get Maddox a non-posed, game action shot. Topps actually joined in the fun that year as well, and it TOOK THEM LONG ENOUGH.