Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1962 Topp Maury Wills All Star MVP

Going Horizontal

Most collectors are aware of the story of the missing Maury Wills Topps cards, Topps was told he would never make it, so didn't sign him to a contract. He ended up winning the MVP in 1962 but wouldn't appear on a Topps card until 1967. 

The reason I created this particular Maury Wills card is not to right some wrong in the 1962 set but as a way to create horizontal, action versions of Topps cards in sets that didn't have them previously. I decided to use the All Star Game MVPs for this purpose.

In 1959 the MLB experimented with 2 All Star Games each season. 1962 was the last season they would play 2 games. It was also the first time they would name a Most Valuable Player. At that time, the MVP was given the Arch Ward Memorial Award. Arch Ward was a sports writer and editor for the Chicago Tribune. In 1933 Ward created the first All Star game as part of the Century of Progress Exposition at the Worlds Fair in Chicago.

For the first All Star game in 1962,Wills was selected as a back-up shortstop. He pinch ran for 41 year old Stan Musial, stole second and scored the NLs 1st run on a single by Dick Groat in 6th. He remained in the game at short, then singled & scored the 3rd run 8th. NL won 3-1.

Wills was also featured on one of the earliest "Cards That Never Were" in 1975. Topps created a 1962 version of Wills to appear on their MVP sub-set.

Topps re-used that image in 1982 in its K-mart set, and in its1987 "Turn Back the Clock" sub-set.

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