June 20, 2016

Common Genius: 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Eric Gregg #97

**In this series I try to show the brilliance of common cards that often get overlooked.**

The umpire baseball card peaked in 1955 Bowman and since then they have been included in baseball card sets sporadically. In that set, there were 31 umpire cards featured in the high series and because of their scarcity, they are some of the most valuable cards in the set. 

That was pretty much it for the regular inclusion of umpire cards and yet every once in awhile we would get a random ump card.  One of those appearances would be from 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites featuring Eric Gregg. I love his facial expression as he seems about to get in an argument about call at first base as you can see Fred McGriff maybe giving him a death stare. Plus, way to go Topps on get the "UMP" notation centered on the baseball!


Gregg became one of the most famous umpires of his day, sometimes not for the greatest reasons. He is most famous for his questionable strike zone during the 1997 NL Championship series which featured the Marlins beating the Braves.

He did ump some notable games in baseball history though, including the 1989 World Series that was delayed due to earthquakes and the first night game at Wrigley Field. Surprisingly, Gregg was just the third black umpire in baseball history at the time he started in 1975. 

3 comments:

Eric C. Loy said...

"Surprisingly, Gregg was just the third black manager in baseball history at the time he started in 1975. "

Umpire?

gcrl said...

this card is great, but it is a poor representation of the 1978 topps design. try harder, topps.

Matt Flaten said...

Thanks for the catch Eric. I corrected it.