Saturday, June 29, 2019

1965 Alt-Topps Requests

Got quite a few good requests this month. I'll start with the one with the best back story. The request was from "KoolKards".  "Bob" questioned how I would stay true to the 1965 Topps team color schemes for teams like the Cards and the A's that featured black borders. The short answer is, I wouldn't. The black looks great in the original design. Here it just doesn't fit. And Finally "Buzz" steered me towards a backstory.

"KK" wanted the Hawk, and I had the perfect picture.  Gotta love the way he personalized his mitt.  I went with the actual team colors, yellow and green rather than what Topps used in 1965, black and red. The A's colors were black and red until 1964 and a handful of the players (including Harrelson) were still sporting the old colors on their 1965 Topps cards.

"Buzz" left a comment about the Hawk riding the A's mascot "Charlie-O" the Mule.  I dug in and found this great story and photo of him nearly getting bucked off the Mule.  Oddly the story also featured the same photo I had used for my card.

"HH99" wanted a first of many "career cappers" for Minnie Minoso. He initially played his "last game" in 1964. He played again in 1977 and again in 1980. I decided to go horizontal for this one. I could imagine a handful of horizontal cards sprinkled throughout this fictional set.

"Unknown" and "Old Cards" both wanted more All Stars. "OC" specifically wanted Pete Rose and Killebrew. Now Rose wouldn't be an All Star until the 1965 season.  I created a base card for him instead because he probably wouldn't have appeared on an All Star card until 1966.

But I did make one for Killer. I also included the Mick on the AL team. 

In the senior circuit, I made cards for Williams and Clemente. While I fell short of "Unknown's" request for all of the All Stars, Its a start.

After thinking about it for a bit, I decided "what the hell"?  Who really cares if my fake cards aren't 100% historically accurate?  I sure don't.  In fact right under the title of this blog it says "What cards would look like if I had my way". So here is an historically-inaccurate 1965 Pete Rose All Star.

So eight cards in and not even close to being done.  Of course "Buzz" had his usual challenges. These are all guys who spent most of their careers playing for other teams. But in 1965 found themselves on oddball teams.

Dick Stuart, an All Star for Pittsburgh and MVP candidate for Boston, spent one season in Philadelphia. The White Sox Gold Glove outfielder, Landis was traded to the A's in 1965 where he also spent only one season.

Lee Thomas was dealt from the Dodgers Angels to the BoSox mid 1964 and after the 1965 season he went to the Braves.  Long time Braves pitcher Warren Spahn pitched just 20 games in New York before joining the Giants in 1965. 

And Finally there was "Sweet" Lou Johnson who was called up by the Dodgers in 1965 after Tommy Davis broke his ankle. 

"Defgav" wanted one of my favorite players, Dick Allen.  Although that was his preferred moniker, he was still generally referred to as Richie in 1965. Similarly, Roberto Clemente (earlier in this lengthy post) was still called Bob on his Topps cards. I decided to keep both names, Richie and Bob, on the Alt Topps cards.

Last but not least, "Rumple" wanted Bob Miller and Greg Goossen.  Miller played 17 seasons in the bigs for 10 different teams. In 1964 he led the league with 74 appearances for the Dodgers.  Goossen was a bonus baby in the Dodgers farm system until 1965. The Mets picked him off waivers and the Dodgers won the World Series. Before the Mets World Series season in 1969 he was dealt to the Pilots, missing out on a ring for the second time.


  1. Thought that Goossen would trip you up a bit. I should know better by now. Great looking cards! Thanks for doing what you do!

  2. The All-Star cards are excellent! Thanks for adding the Rose All-Star card. I forgot the All-Stars on the All-Star cards are the previous year starters. The Killebrew card, may I say, is "killer". Appreciate you fulfilling our requests. Just a great job on all of them.

  3. Thanks for the A's cards. I, too, thought yellow would be the perfect substitute for black on the team name. It makes me wonder why Topps didn't use yellow as one of their colors on the '65 set (or the '64 set for that matter). They went back to it in '66 and dropped black as a color.

  4. You are the man keep up the great work any chance we can see more modern all star cards say after 2000? ;-)

  5. Great work! Much thanks for the awesome card of The Hawk!

  6. Awesome series and outstanding work!!

    World Series? :)

  7. Great card of Minnie. The Dick Allen would look so cool with the Stars over the i's like their logo.

  8. So sorry I've been held hostage for the better part of a week - finally getting a chance to give you another round of superlatives for not only sending us back to 1965, but for going the extra mile in some cases!!! Did I say that 1965 was the last innocent year? Well, the first 1/2 sure was - and that's just where you took us with these. I'm truly amazed at some of these pics. Can anybody imagine Topps using that Hawk photo? (THE FABULOUS HAWK!!) It's just too cool to be true!! So it took 1/2 a century (+), the Alt Universe is worth it!!! Now I just have to rave on about some of the others. #1 Dick Stuart, as usual a big smile from the big guy. Well, if I was 6'4" and could routinely turn baseballs into satellites, I'd be all smiles too! So what if uh...he was a bit "indifferent" with the leather. After all, why to people lay down those greenbacks and click the turnstiles? KA-BOOM!! we know the answer, because Ralph Kiner supplied it long ago. So big Stu wasn't the first in this regard, but I still think of him as a template setter for sequels like Gorman Thomas, "Kong", Rob Deer, Richie Sexton and of course penultimately - Adam (.159 !) Dunn. I'll have to relay more about this true Hollywood Star later (that is if you ever do a 66, or a 67 set).
    But, "drat" my honey do's are claiming me now "Buzz" (Bryant)

  9. Absolutely love your treatment of the limited Topps prototype information, and selecting 1965 as the approximate year of issue. That Bob Miller card in particular looks like it could have come out of a pack!

  10. I am seriously tardy to the point of delinquency in extending my appreciation for your other efforts beyond just "BIG Stu". all of them came out real good which is really gratifying considering the brief amount of time that each spent with their new teams, in that pivotal year--1965. Not too much can be added about these guys, but I will try. First, Warren Spahn, for my money still the greatest lefty of all time. My fellow L.A. residents will probably accuse me of blasphemy or apostasy for saying the previous, but if not for WW#2 Spahn would have undoubtedly had 400 victories (just look what the man did in 1963 @ the age of 42). Sure, Sandy was the greatest for 5 years but Spahn was terrific for (almost) 20. I got a real kick out of the "Sweet Lou" Johnson card. While an "action card" would have been atypical for 1965 - "what the hey" in the "Alt Universe" anything is possible! Anyway, if anybody was all action in'65 it was Lou - he was a real "lift" in a season that my 13 year old brain thought was lost. Next Jim Landis, in gold & green threads, but back in his old Comiskey stomping grounds as a visitor. Too bad that this was sort of the beginning of the decline as he would be shipped off to Cleve. for 66. 1967 was the year of "psychedelia" and poor Jim must have thought he was on some sort of "bad trip" as he went from Houston to Detroit to Boston in almost record time (that last stop was for only 1 week!). Then just like that it was over. Finally to show that I am paying attention all the way, I do need to gently correct you on Lee Thomas. He was never a Dodger, but rather an Angel from May 61 to June 64. Still a very good card where he seems to be signaling "so what if you traded me - I'm doin' pretty good now". Too bad that couldn't last for him in that from 66 to 68 he bounced all over the place. Then, like Big Stu, he took off for the land of the Rising Sun - did OK but couldn't make a comeback in StL. But he certainly had what it took to administrate and build a franchise as he carved out an excellent career as a G.M. Really appreciate all that you did, and must 2nd Ray Romeo on the Miller card. "Buzz" (Bryant).