Saturday, February 2, 2019

1968 Alt-Topps Requests

Sorry for the late posting. Believe it or not, January has been a very busy month for me. The weather in Chicago didn't help. And I get the feeling February won't be any better...

Let's start the requests with the All-Stars for Bill.  He wanted to see one of his favorites. The Killer. The man who may (or may not) have been the inspiration for the MLB logo created in 1969. 
The other was for the 1967 Triple Crown winner, Yaz. Although he saw significant drops in all three categories, he still was the AL batting leader in 1968. He also led the league in walks and on-base percentage.
Now for what I call "The Buzz Challenge".  Buzz must've been quite the pitcher in his youth considering the curve-balls he likes to throw.  Even a gimme like Mickey Mantle, Buzz wanted him with a first baseman's mitt. Now I had already made a card of the Mick at first base here.  I have seen a handful of action shots at 1st but very few posed. Since this set is supposed to be circa 1968 an action shot would have been unusual to say the least.
Many of Buzz's other challenges were the usual odd player-team combos. Here is Jim Bunning who was known for pitching in Detroit and Philly. In 1968 and the beginning of 1969 he was a Pirate. He also spent part of 1969 as a Dodger. I made a card of him on LA a few years back.

You can also see his west coast favorites come out. Here is a long-time Dodgers catcher on his new team. Johnny Roseboro went to the Twins in a deal that brought 1965 MVP Zoilo Versalles to LA.

Another short-time Dodger was Rocky Colavito. Known mostly for playing in Detroit and Cleveland, Rocky did short stints for the A's, White Sox and Yankees.

He was looking for a card depicting 1964 MVP Ken Boyer in a Dodgers uniform. Boyer actually began the 1968 campaign playing 3rd base for the White Sox. This was actually a tougher photo to find. This is the only color shot I found of him in a Sox uniform. I have absolutely no idea where he got that lightning-bolt windbreaker.

Ken Harrelson is perhaps best known for playing in Boston.  Topps, however, could never seem to make a card of him in a Red Sox uniform. It was always an airbrushed A's or Senators uni. Hawk also played in Cleveland where Topps caught up to his uniforms again.

Lastly, was utility infielder, John Kennedy. After playing for the Yankees in 1967, Kennedy spent the entire 1968 season in the minors before being picked up by the expansion Pilots for the 1969 season.


  1. Outstanding cards!

    Very nicely done!! :)

  2. Great looking cards. The All-Star cards are especially nice, but I like them all. Really like the photo of Mantle. As your link reminds us, he was the complete player. If not for injuries, no telling what numbers he would have achieved.

  3. JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE !!!!! WHAT CAN I SAY.... You met the "BUZZ CHALLENGE", and then some!! So what if "SUPER BOWL #53" was a dull flop (at least as far as the Rams offense) This just super brightens my otherwise crestfallen rainy "S.C." day (yep, there is a "fog upon L.A." and a lot more today). This gratitude is especially so considering that many of my entries (72%) were at the last minute. You had no way of knowing but I also took a nasty spill on a local sidewalk on 1/30/19 whilst going full tilt - (I hit a "seam" and wound up having to get x-rays on the left flipper at the local Hosp.) Don't worry fans - no team is going to miss this nearly 68 year old "prospect". How you have made the last few days survivable !! Who knows, maybe some day a decent shots of Boyer and even Hank Aguirre,as Dodgers, will show up...On the mend "Buzz" (Bryant)

  4. Hey!! Who's on first??!!?? Well, even little ol' Lou Costello could figure out that it's none other than THE MICK himself. What a perfect shot to document that Mr. Mantle held down the first sack for the YANKS in 67 & 68. Heck one can even see that he was a Rawlings man for sure based on the big red tag showing on the back of that big "claw"(no Mizuno in those days - for sure).....Just had to drop back in to this part of the blog to toss a few more "hosannas" in your direction for the fabulous job you did with these 68 "alts". Younger visitors to this blog - please notice: THIS IS THE WAY BASEBALL CARDS USED TO BE DONE - THIS IS THE WAY THEY SHOULD STILL BE DONE!!! No distant "action shots" where the player could be just about anyone (and more often than not is buried in the background of the shirtsleeve crowd). No crazy borders shot through with a multitude of metallic imprints. Yes, the focus should be on the player - just the way this man does it. No BHNH shots or blatant "airbrush jobs" (although the good old days had plenty of that admittedly). Thanks again filling gaps in the Topps record. Trust that many other old fans appreciate these entries as much as I do. Your friend "Buzz" (Bryant)