Gary Carter and Doug Gwosdz began their professional baseball lives on roughly equal footing.

Heck, you might even make the case that the man they called “Eyechart” had a slightly better pedigree than the Kid. (For the record, they also called Gwosdz, “Goosh,” which is how you pronounce his last name.)

See …

The Expos selected Carter out of high school in the third round of the 1972 MLB Draft, just three years after they winked into existence.

And then, six years later, the Pads — another 1969 expansion team — took Gwosdz in the second round of the 1978 draft.

And, even though Carter made it to the Big Leagues for good in 1975 at the age of 21, Gwosdz wasn’t that far behind.

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But, while Gwosdz made his MLB debut at 21, it didn’t take too long for the powers that be to figure out he would become no Carter, who finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1975 and nabbed his first All-Star berth that same summer.

By comparison, Gwosdz managed just 16, 7, 39, and 7 appearances in his first four — and only — seasons in the Majors. Those last seven games came in 1984, the same year his second (and last) round of baseball cards hit the hobby.

In 1982, Gwosdz appeared between Mike Armstrong and Fred Kuhaulua on Topps’ San Diego Padres Future Stars card, before whiffing in 1983.

But on the heels of that 39-game run in 1983, he landed cards in both the Donruss and Topps sets in 1984, as well as Topps’ Tiffany and Nestle parallels.

And it was on those 1984 Topps issues that the worlds of Gwosdz and Carter collided one last time in a Major League sense.

By the summer of 1984, Topps had a long history of producing stellar catcher cards, showing dudes in their tools of ignorance, crouching, running, waiting for pop-ups, scrapping through dust-ups, and generally making you want to be there at the ballpark to see it all.

The 1984 set had some nice backstop cards, too, like a closeup of Milt May on the job, Alan Knicely getting ready to uncork a throw, and Bob Brenly waiting for a relay.

But there were also lots of batting shots, including one of Alan Ashby bunting. All fine stuff, but a waste of a catcher card if you ask me.

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One catcher’s card that wasn’t wasted? Gary Carter’s, where the future Hall of Famer is sprinting for a foul ball, sans face mask and with a plume of diamond dust crowding into the bottom of the shot.

You say you want another solid catcher’s card from the 1984 Topps card? Well, look no further than Doug Gwosdz at number 753 (up there ^). Eyechart stands there in the San Diego sunshine holding his mask in one hand, glove jammed into his left hip. His helmet is turned around backwards, and eye black underlines a steely stare that says he’s looking to cut down some runner, somewhere.

By the time this card hit collectors’ wax packs, we had just about seen the last of Gwosdz in the Majors, but for one, shining cardboard moment, he was the toast of the set.

Best of all, it’s a moment you can recapture just about any time you want.

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