Friday, January 11, 2013

1961 Topps A.L. RBI Leaders

Another new idea I wanted to explore was the Leader Card. In 1961 Topps started making multi-player league leader cards. But certain leaders weren't given their own cards until later.  Topps wouldn't include RBI leaders until 1964. They wouldn't include leaders in saves or stolen bases until 1973. Leader cards have always been a favorite of mine. They usually include some of the lesser semi-stars at the top of their game. They are also a cheap way to pick up cards of hall of famers.

The top 4 RBI leaders in 1960 all received MVP votes, with Maris winning his first of 2 consecutive MVP awards.  Maris, Lemon and Minoso were all selected to represent the American League in the All Star games.  In 1961 Maris would have his record breaking season.  He would also top his 1960 league leading 112 RBIs by hitting 29 more to lead the league with 141. The other 3 players, all in their 30s would be on the decline. Minoso would hit 23 fewer RBIs, Wirtz would drive in 42 fewer and Lemon would have 48 less RBIs in 1961.