Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1967 Topps George Scott All Star

George "Boomer" Scott - March 23, 1944 – July 28, 2013

The baseball world is poorer for the loss of George Scott.  Scott was an 8 time Gold Glove at first base for the Red Sox and Brewers. He was also elected to the All Star Team 3 times including his rookie season of 1966.

I was in the process of putting together the 1967 Topps All Star cards that never were when I heard the news and felt compelled to post this card ahead of the others. 

Boomer also has a place in the hearts of cardboard aficionados. Especially those who appreciate the 'art' of air-brushing. In 1977 Topps took a couple of attempts at turning his Brewers uniform (as seen in his 1977 Topps card below left) into a Red Sox uniform. Once for his 1977 O Pee Chee card :

And again for his 1977 Hostess Card:

Monday, July 29, 2013

1964 Ron Santo

In 1964 Topps lost the rights to publish NFL cards and began making AFL football cards instead.

Philadelphia began making football cards for the NFL. Philadelphia's 1st attempt was fairly plain, only slightly better than Topps 1961 football card design.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

1963 Ron Santo

Here is a side by side comparison between the 1963 Topps football and baseball cards. In 1963 Topps produced football cards for the NFL while the AFL appeared on Fleer cards

Fleer also began making cards of current baseball players in 1963 only to be halted after only 66 cards. Ron Santo was one of the players to appear in that set. So we have the opportunity to view them side by side as well.

Friday, July 26, 2013

1962 Ron Santo

Here is the 1962 Topps Football version of Ron Santo. In 1962 Topps added a black and white action shot to their cards. They also went horizontal, sightly reminiscent of the 1960 Topps baseball cards.

The 1962 Fleer football cards, while still fairly plain, added a splash of color along with the name and logo. Overall, both Topps and Fleer football cards were much improved over the somewhat bland offerings of 1961.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

1961 Ron Santo

This is a theme I started then abandoned some time ago. I wanted to put Topps baseball cards onto Topps football cards for no good reason at all. I took the same photo Topps used on the  baseball set from that year and put it on  the football cards from the same year.

Ok, I admit the 1961 Topps football cards are boring. This was probably not the best example to start with but since I decided on using Ron Santo and this was his rookie year, it is what it is.

The 1961 Fleer football was a bit better. It at least it included the team logo for a bit of color.

Monday, July 22, 2013

1975 Topps Rookie Stars: Montefusco, Parrish, Eckersley, Bostock

In 1974 Topps went to a single series of cards. With that move, several of the top rookie of the year candidates did not appear on cards their rookie season. In 1975 there were 7 players receiving Rookie of the Year votes and Topps managed to get an impressive 5 of the 7 onto rookie cards despite the fact that these cards were distributed prior to the start of the season.

The only 2 players receiving R.O.Y. votes not on 1975 Topps Rookie cards were the N.L. R.O.Y. John Montefusco and Larry Parrish. For this 1975 Rookie Card That Never Was, I teamed Montefusco and Parrish up with 2 other 1975 rookies that did not appear in the 1975 set; Dennis Eckersley and Lyman Bostock.

The other 1975 players receiving ROY votes was AL Rookie of the Year Fred Lynn (who was also the 1975 MVP),  

Hall of Famers Gary Carter and Jim Rice,

And Rawley Eastwick and Manny Trillo.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1977 All Star Game Honorary Captains: Willie Mays & Joe DiMaggio

In 1977 the All Star Game was held in New York. and both Honorary Captains represented New York Teams. 

1977 Topps Willie Mays All Star

Although Mays could have represented the San Francisco Giants, he donned his Mets uniform for the occasion.  After all, he did begin and end his career in New York.

1977 Topps Joe Dimaggio All Star

Representing the American League was the Yankee Clipper himself, Joe Dimaggio.  

I am kind of sorry to see the end of the All Star break. I will definitely get back to making more of these cards. I'm not sure I will have the patience to wait until the next All Star break.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1976 All Star Game Honorary Captains: Robin Roberts & Bob Lemon

 To get myself in the mood for tonight's All Star Game here are 2 more Honorary Captains from the 1976 Midsummer Classic:

1976 Topps Robin Roberts All Star

Coinciding with the Bicentennial Celebration, the All Star Game was played in the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed, Philadelphia. Hometown hero, Robin Roberts was elected to the class of 1976 Hall of Fame and was made Honorary Captain of the N.L. Team.

1976 Topps Bob Lemon All Star

Bob Lemon was also voted into the Hall of Fame in 1976 and he Captained the A.L. All Stars. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

1975 All Star Game Honorary Captains: Musial & Mantle

With the All Star break upon us I thought I would make a few cards to honor the occasion.

1975 Topps Stan Musial All-Star

The practice of selecting an Honorary Captain of the All Star Team began in 1975. It continued until 2003. In 2007 once again Honorary Captains were named but the practice was abandoned the following year.

1975 Topps Mickey Mantle All-Star

In 1975 the Honorary Captions were Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial. The game was played in County Stadium in Milwaukee. Milwaukee was home to the American League Brewers and the former home to the National League Braves. In theory they could have chosen some hometown favorites to honor but instead went with 2 living legends.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 15

Here we go. The 15th set of 25 including the Blackhawks putting the finishing touches on their Stanley Cup season. They dominated the strike shortened season but gave us a scare when they got behind in the Detroit series 3-1. They came from behind again against the Bruins to win the Finals. In honor of the Blackhawks, here is their celebration song, "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis.  The Hawks use of this song has to be the biggest boost to a one hit wonder like The Fratellis since Nancy Faust began playing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam when the White Sox knocked opposing pitchers out of the game in the '70s.

Friday, July 12, 2013

1974 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 15th Series

The cards in this series were kind of a strange mix. the first group were from the 1966 Topps All Star Cards That Never Were set. Next was a football card then 2 hockey cards of Coach Q from his playing days and of course a card of the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks. There was even another card of Rush, this time with the Stanley Cup. The rest were League Leader cards that were missing from the 1962 Topps set, another All Star MVP horizontal card, an error card corrected and what was supposed to be my final Mantle card.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1963 Topps Eli Grba - Error Card Corrected

Eli Grba was the "Original Angel". He was the first player drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 1960 Expansion Draft.  Unfortunately his problems with alcohol would cost him his career. He was back in the minors from 1963 until the end of his playing days in 1967. The original version of this card contained the photo of a very recognizable Ryne Duren and his trademark glasses.

If you are a regular follower of this blog you might remember the photo. I had previously used it when creating this 1961 card of Ryne Duren who was traded to the Angels at the beginning of 1961 but appeared as a Yankee in the 1961 set.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1995 Topps Mickey Mantle

This was supposed to be the last of my Mickey Mantle series. And because it was the last, I had another picture in mind to use. This is actually the 3rd or 4th version of this card I made. I just was not happy with the way the others turned out. I'm still not thrilled with this one, (the font is not quite right, it was impossible to match the "gold" foil, the Topps logo is nearly invisible, the borders are messed up, etc.) but sometimes good enough is good enough.

Like I said this was supposed to be #25 in a 25 card series. This is the way it all started out:


Topps has been pretty good about filling in the blanks as far as Mantle goes. They have created cards for 1951, 1954, and 1955 that weren't included in their original sets. They have included Mantle as a special #7 card in all sets since 2006. Also in 2006 Topps created cards for Mantle going back to 1996. There even was a special 1970 Topps Mantle that was a WalMart exclusive. That leaves a 25 year gap from 1971-1995. I'm sure that it will eventually be filled by Topps because of Mickey Mantle's marketability, but in the mean time I will have to make my own.


That was the first blog I posted on this site. In the mean time Topps made a 1975 Mini for the 2011 Lineage set and a 1987 Mini for the 2012 set. Now in 2013 their contract with the Mantle estate has run out. Although there is no #7 card in the set, there are also no Mickey Mantle cards. Not in the regular series, not in the Heritage set, not in the Archives set, nothing, nada zilch. Since there is no shortage of cool Mickey Mantle photos on the internet, it looks like I'll be making a few more.

Monday, July 8, 2013

1962 Topps AL Leading Firemen: Arroyo, Wilhelm,Fornieles, Moore

1961 was a big year for Luis Arroyo. He was selected to his 2nd All Star Squad but for the 2nd time he would see no action. He earned a relief win in Game 3 of the World Series. He led the Major League in Saves with 29. his next best season would total only 7 saves.

Hoyt Wilhelm also was selected to the 1961 All Star team. He got the loss for the AL in Game 1 and never left the bull pen in Game 2.

Mike Fornieles was the AL's Leading Fireman in 1960 with 14 saves and 10 relief wins. In 1961 he had 15 saves and 9 relief wins. 

Ray Moore once again made the list of top relief pitchers in the AL. This time on the "New" Minnesota Twins. (In 1960 he made the list for the "Old" Washington Senators.) In the franchise's 1st season in the Twin Cities, Moore earned 14 saves for the 7th place Twins.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

1962 Topps NL Leading Firemen: Miller, Face, Brosnan, Henry

The Leading Firemen card would not make an appearance in a Topps set until 1973.  Topps continued to make Leading Firemen cards until 1983 with the exception of the 1980 set. For some reason Topps made all the usual Leaders cards but not a Leading Firemen card (I'll have to fix that later). In 1984 was the first appearance of a straight Saves Leader card. In 1985 the League Leader Cards disappeared altogether from Topps sets for several years.

In 1961 The Sporting News issued only their second "Fireman of the Year" award. The NL recipient was Stu Miller of the San Francisco Giants. The Save was still an unofficial stat and would remain so until 1969. Stu compiled a modest 17 save but also amassed 14 wins all in relief. He also earned a relief win in the 1961 All Star Game in San Francisco.

Roy Face of the Pirates also had 17 saves in 1961, however he only had 6 relief wins. Brosnan and Henry of the Reds both had 16 saves, Brosnan with 10 relief wins and Henry with 2.

Friday, July 5, 2013

1962 Topps AL Stolen Base Leaders: Aparicio, Howser, Wood

Luis Aparicio led the AL in stolen bases again in 1961. He led the Al every year from his rookie season in 1956 until 1964. Dick Howser and Jake Wood were both rookies in 1961. 

While Aparicio's Hall of Fame career was in full stride in 1961. Both Howser and Wood arguably had the best season of their playing careers as rookies. They had career highs in most offensive categories including stolen bases. 

Dick Howser is more often remembered as the manager of the World Champion 1985 Kansas City Royals. His number 10 was retired by the Royals in 1987. 

Jake Wood was the first African American player to come up through the Tigers farm system to make it to the Majors. The Tigers were the second to last team to break the color barrier. The first non-white on the Tigers was Ozzie Virgil. Ozzie was a Dominican and had played played a few seasons on the Giants before coming to Detroit. The first non-Hispanic Black player on the Tigers was Larry Doby in 1959 a full 12 years after his debut in 1947. 

Follow this link and this link for more on Jake Wood and the reluctant integration of the Detroit Tigers

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1962 Topps NL Stolen Base Leaders: Wills, Pinson, F.Robinson, Aaron

Topps would not include leader cards for stolen bases until the 1973 set. I still have to believe that the delay has to do with the fact that Maury Wills was not under contract with Topps. It would have been nice if Topps could have secured rights to use Wills' image in time for the 1962 style 2011 Heritage set. Topps managed to obtain rights to use his image in the 2013 Heritage set as well as last years Archives set. Since he set a record for stolen bases and was the NL MVP in 1962, their timing seems to be a bit off.

To illustrate Topps' lapse of judgement here is the back of their 2011 Heritage Then and Now card:

But here is the front:

I'm a White Sox fan and  Luis Aparicio is one of my favorite players but this is what that card should have looked like:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1962 Topps AL RBI Leaders: Gentile, Maris, Colavito, Cash

Even if this card had been made by Topps in 1962, it would not have looked this way. In 1962 Roger Maris "Officially" had 142 RBIs and was considered the RBI Champ. It wasn't until 2004 that some "statistical  discrepancies" were discovered and in 2010 it became "official" that both Gentile and Maris had 141 RBIs and were AL RBI Co-Champions.

In stark contrast to the NL RBI Leaders card, this card doesn't contain a single Hall of Famer. It does, however, captures 4 great players at the top of their game. All 4 had career seasons in 1961. Most notable is Maris and his brilliant 1961 season when he broke the single season homerun record and won his second consecutive MVP award.

Monday, July 1, 2013

1962 Topps NL RBI Leaders: Cepeda, F.Robinson, Mays, Aaron

 This is one of those cards that if I didn't make it myself, I would have sworn was a real card. I mean how could Topps not include RBI Leaders in their set? This would have been a sought after card for many years. All 4 players are Hall of Famers. At the time this card would have been produced Mays, Cepeda and Robinson had all been elected Rookies of the Year and Aaron, Robinson and Mays had all been recent NL MVPs. Topps must have realized their missed opportunities because by 1964 RBI Leaders would become a staple of every set.

When I looked at the 2011 Heritage set, I saw that Topps was true to their original 1962 set and did not include an RBI Leader card. When I looked into who should have been on this card, I was struck by the similarities. I felt compelled to create a 2011 Heritage Card That Never Was:

Once again 3 of the 4 were recent NL MVP winners and 2 were Rookies of the Year. Are these 4 also destined to be enshrined in Cooperstown?