Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Don Robinson

Today’s Card of the Day comes from the 1983 Topps set. The card features Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Don Robinson, who was with the team during the 1978-87 seasons. He was born 66 years ago today.

Robinson is becoming a regular here on June 8th. He was here two years ago on his 1981 Topps card. He was here one year ago on his 65th birthday, featured on a 1982 Topps card. Instead of searching through his cards until something caught my eye, I just kept the natural progression going. Three years in a row, three sets in a row from Topps. That brings us to card #44 from that 1983 Topps set.

Here’s the front of the card:

Robinson is pictured here on what looks like a high school field, so it was clearly a photo from Spring Training, most likely during the spring of 1982. The photo quality isn’t great, but you have to love those uniforms. Topps included a second photo here, matching an action shot (in most cases) with a portrait-style photo. You get two looks at those great pillbox caps.

Topps had different color combos for each team in this set. Pirates got a gold and blue, which makes you wonder why they didn’t do gold and black? It seems like they were one off on many of the teams, like the San Diego Padres had their usual brown, which came with green. The Chicago Cubs came with their usual blue, mixed with purple.

I rarely talk about other cards in specific sets, so here we go. This 1983 Topps set has popular rookie cards for Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn and Ryne Sandberg. Those cards have been popular for as long as I could remember, and they still run the set today. The Cal Ripken Jr. card is also popular due to it being from early in his career, but it doesn’t reach the prices of his rookie card.

Here’s the back of the card:

Topps went with just big league stats here for Robinson. They had two different sections for fun facts, which leads to something interesting here. The bottom section is specifically for 1982 highlights, yet the section just below his stats talks about two things from the 1982 season. You would think they would avoid 1982 in that part because of the dedicated section. Anyway, the first highlight in the bottom section is specifically interesting for this article. It mentions his birthday, after I talked about how he always shows up here on his birthday.

I just noticed the odd look of Topps going with partial innings during the 1982 season for the first time in his stats, even though it’s a “0” after the period. His first four seasons all had partial innings. His actual innings pitched total through 1982 was 814.2, not 814. That led to another interesting discovery. Topps didn’t just get rid of the outs, they rounded them off. He had 160.2 innings in 1979. They went up to 161 innings. He had 160.1 in 1980. They rounded down to 160.

If you are interested in purchasing this card, it’s one that you shouldn’t pay more than $2 delivered to get, with plenty of seller options right around that number. What’s really interesting is that Robinson is a prolific signer. You can get an autographed copy in the $4-$18 range, with 22 examples to choose from. Normally you just say go for the lowest price, but you have ink color choices, as well as placement choices, so you might find something you like a little better for a few bucks more. You shouldn’t pay too much because of how often he signed, but I would pay $10 instead of $7 if the ten was a nicer autograph. None of them are authenticated, so do some comparison shopping first.