Today's card is number 519 in the 1985 Topps set, Doug Rader. One thing I have always liked about Topps is the manager cards. For most of the time I have been collecting they have been the only major card company to consistently produce cards of managers. I like that. Gives the fan a chance to get a look at the man running the show.
I don't personally remember Rader managing the Rangers. The first manager I remember was his replacement, Bobby Valentine. That didn't stop me from really disliking the man. Not that he ever did anything to me personally or that I even knew anything about his managing style. His "crime" was much more than any of that.
Doug Rader was the manager when the Rangers traded away Jim Sundberg. It was a move I always disagreed with (although well after the fact). I remember hearing my Dad and Grandfather talking about Rader and about how he disliked Sunny and so got him traded. It was a wrong not righted until only a year or two before Sundberg retired when Texas reacquired him. I still remember getting my first Doug Rader card and looking at it for several minutes. Here at last was the "villain" I had heard about as a child almost every time the conversation turned to baseball and catchers. I remember thinking that he didn't look particularly nefarious. Strange that a man who didn't care for Sunny should look so normal I thought. There are times I miss Doug Rader being one of the baddest of the bad men I had heard about.