Friday, August 30, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : National League Battery

1967 Topps Sandy Koufax All-Star

Sandy Koufax went out at the top of his game. In 1966 he had a career high 27 wins, and a career low 1.73 ERA. For the 3rd time in 4 years, he won the "Pitching Triple Crown" leading the league in Wins, ERA and Strike Outs. He also led the league in shut outs, complete games, and innings pitched earning the starting spot in the 1966 All Star game as well as his 3rd Cy Young award. He was narrowly beaten out by Roberto Clemente for the N.L. MVP.  Topps didn't include a Koufax card in their 1967 set but he did appear on the League Leader cards. If Topps had included All Star cards in the 1967 set he would have appeared there as well.

1967 Topps Joe Torre All-Star

Joe Torre was hitless in his 5th All Star appearance in 1966.  Torre only netted 2 hits with an overall batting average of .095 in 9 All Star games from 1963-1973.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : American League Infield

1967 Topps George Scott All-Star

I posted this card earlier this month when George Scott passed away. I had been working on this set and had just finished this card when I heard the news. It was an unfortunate way to give a preview of what I was working on. 
Boomer was the only rookie in the starting line up in the 1966 All Star game. Yet despite this and his 27 homers and 90 RBIs, he was a distant 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. This might be because he also led the league in both strikeouts and hitting into double plays.

1967 Topps Bobby Knoop All-Star

In 1966 3-time Gold Glove winner, Bobby Knoop made his only All Star appearance. He went 0 for 2 with a strikeout.

1967 Topps Dick McAuliffe All-Star

1966 was Dick McAuliffe's 2nd consecutive All Star start. He was also hitless.

1967 Topps Brooks Robinson All-Star

Brooks Robinson ended up being the All Star game MVP in 1966. It was the first time an MVP was chosen from the losing team. Robinson scored the sole run for the A.L.  He tripled then scored on a wild pitch.

Monday, August 26, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : National League Infield

1967 Topps Willie McCovey All-Star

Willie McCovey  batted cleanup in the 1966 All Star game. The N.L. beat the A.L. 2-1 in 10 innings. Each team had only 6 hits. "Stretch" went 0 for 3 but drew an intentional walk in the 6th and was forced out at 2nd on grounder of Ron Santo's bat.

1967 Topps Jim Lefebvre All-Star

In his only All Star appearance, the 1965 Rookie of the Year, Jim Lefebvre started at 2nd base. He played the first 5 innings, and hit 2 pop ups to left field.

1967 Topps Chico Cardenas All-Star

Coming off his Gold Glove season in 1965, Leo Cardenas made a statement with his bat in 1966. He hit career highs in Homers (20) and RBIs (81) in 1966. Cardenas was a 5 time All Star but 1966 was his only start. He went 0 for 2 but turned a 3-6-3 double play with Willie McCovey.

1967 Topps Ron Santo All-Star

Ron Santo was a lifetime .333 hitter in 9 All Star games. In 1966 he was 1 for 4 but he made his one hit count. He drove in Willie Mays to put the N.L. on the board in the 4th inning.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : American League Outfield

1967 Topps Frank Robinson All-Star

In 1966 Frank Robinson won the triple crown and was the AL MVP. Unfortunately in the 1966 All Star game he went 0 for 4 including a strikeout. 

1967 Topps Al Kaline All-Star

Al Kaline went 1 for 4 in the first 8 innings. In the 9th inning he was replace by the AL Rookie of the Year, Tommie Agee.

1967 Topps Tony Oliva All-Star

In 1964 Tony Oliva was the Rookie of the Year.  In 1966 he was selected for his 3rd All Star game and he won the Gold Glove. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : National League Outfield

1967 Topps Hank Aaron All-Star

In 1966 Hank Aaron and the rest of the Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta. Aaron saw a drop in his batting average but led the league in homers and RBIs. In the All Star game he was 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

1967 Topps Willie Mays All-Star

Willie Mays' numbers went down in 1966 following his MVP season in 1965. But 1966 was hardly an "off year" for the Say Hey Kid. He was #3 in MVP voting and won his 10th consecutive Gold Glove. In the 1966 All Star game Mays scored the tying run for the NL in the 4th inning.

1967 Topps Bob Clemente All-Star

I'm not sure why Topps insisted on calling Roberto Clemente "Bob". He was Roberto on his rookie card in 1955 and again in 1956. Suddenly in 1957 he became Bob. He was called Roberto on cards made by Post, Fleer and even Milton Bradley in the 60's. Topps would finally call him Roberto again on his 1970 card but referred to him as Bob on the Batting Leaders card from that same year. In the 1966 All Star game Clemente had a single and a double in 4 at bats.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 Topps Mickey Mantle

For the first time since 2005 there is no Mickey Mantle card in the Topps sets. Topps has inexplicably been including Mantle in every set alongside current players and has even gone back in time and made cards of him for the years 1996-2005. I went ahead and finished the job Topps started by making the cards from all the other sets that Mantle also didn't appear in. Link.

"Just when I thought I was out...They pull me back in." A memorable quote from an otherwise forgettable "The Godfather Part III".

There really was no good reason to include Mantle in any of these sets beyond his obvious marketability. This leads me to believe that if and when Topps obtains the right to produce cards in his likeness, the trend will resume. In the mean time here is my version of the 2013 Topps card. I also modified a few of my existing cards that might have made it into the 2013 Archives Day Glow set.

The photo used in the 2013 Topps Mantle is available for purchase @ They also have a number of other great looking vintage photos. Please check out this site.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 16

My sixteenth series video gives me an excuse to use a song, Sixteen Blue, by my favorite band, The Replacements. After breaking up on stage in Chicago 22 years ago, they are finally reuniting for a few shows. I'll be catching them at Riot Fest here in Chicago. They will also be headlining Riot Fest in Denver and Toronto.

Monday, August 19, 2013

1975 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 16th Series

I delayed posting this checklist so that I could complete the run of Santo cards. The last 8 Santo football cards from the '70s will actually be on the 17th series checklist. This series started out at the All Star break with some All Star Game Honorary Captains from the past. Then another Rookie of the Year card. This one from John Montefusco with a few guests. Next I began turning football cards into baseball cards using one of my favorite players, Ron Santo. Unfortunately the untimely deaths of George Scott and Art Donovan caused me to twice take time out to honor their influence on me.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

1975 Ron Santo

Although Ron Santo didn't play in 1975 he still had a 1975 baseball card. In his final card, Ron Santo appearred non-airbrushed in a White Sox uniform for the one and only time. The 1975 Topps football cards had a yellow football helmet with the player's position in it. To adapt the design for baseball I converted it into a circle. I considered making it into a baseball but the white ball against the white border just looked wrong.

Friday, August 16, 2013

1974 Ron Santo

Horizontal cards in the 1974 football set were extremely rare. There were only about 7 or 8 in the entire set. The 1974 baseball set had a few more but were still not common. Ron Santo was featured on one of the horizontal cards in that set.


He also had a vertical card in the 1974 Traded set. That card was the same photo used on the 1973 card airbrushed to look like a Whit Sox card. Topps football of course did not have a traded set. I took a few liberties with this one.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

1973 Ron Santo

In 1973 both Topps football and baseball cards had very simple designs. I happen to like both of these sets. I'm not sure if it is because of the simplicity of design or in spite of it. Both sets also had the occasional horizontal action shot which is also a favorite of mine. Unfortunately the Santo card for 1973 was a plain head and shoulders shot. The same head and shoulders shot that would be used on the 1974 traded card. Topps simply airbrushed the hat red and Voila! He's now on the White Sox.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1972 Ron Santo

In 1972 Topps Football went horizontal for certain teams while others were vertical. It seems that Topps just chose the teams with the shorter names for the horizontal format while those with longer names had the more traditional vertical format. 

The other thing that Topps did in 1972 was have a "Pro
Action" sub-set. Similarly, Topps Baseball had an "In Action" subset. Ron Santo had a 1972 In Action card so I needed to make a Pro Action card of Santo, too.

Monday, August 12, 2013

1971 Ron Santo

This was one of the toughest cards to convert from football to baseball. First the team font was really tough to duplicate. Another problem was the cartoonish football player in the lower left corner. I replaced it with the cartoon player from the 1964 Topps Baseball checklist. The final problem was the signature Topps included on the 1971 Baseball card. The football cards had no such signature. I considered zooming in to avoid the autograph but it destroyed the look of the card and using a different photo of Santo would defeat the purpose in my mind. So I've resigned myself to leave it in, but wouldn't you know it, the autograph is partially obscured by the cartoon ball player. So this is what we are left with.

Friday, August 9, 2013

1970 Ron Santo

I have always liked the design of the 1970 Topps Football cards. The only problem with making it into a baseball card was the football that contained the player's position. I managed to make it into mitt without changing the look too much.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

1969 Ron Santo

The 1969 Topps football cards were certainly colorful. The players' photos were set against a brightly colored background. The cards also included a large team logo. This would be the last time Topps would use team logos on their football cards until 1982. Although Topps was licensed by the players union to produce images of the players, they weren't licensed with the NFL therefore could not use any logos which were the property of the league.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

1968 Ron Santo

In 1968 Topps was finally the only game in town for football cards. Topps manufactured cards of both the AFL and NFL teams. Philadelphia Gum was now out of the picture after 4 years of the same basic design.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

1967 Ron Santo

Continuing this theme until the bitter end. Here is the 1967 Topps football version of Ron Santo. 

In 1967 Philadelphia added a yellow border and moved the NFL logo into the field. Again if they had great photography to make up for the lacking card design, but they had neither. I used a more recent logo for this one as the older logo was last used by Topps in 1965.

Monday, August 5, 2013

1960 Topps Art Donovan

Art "Fatso" Donovan - June 5, 1925-August 4 ,2013

Once again sad news has caused me to interrupt my Ron Santo football card theme and make a card of a legendary player who has passed away.  Although Donovan had cards from 1956-59 and in 1961 for some reason he was omitted from the 1960 set. 

 Art Donovan was a Hall of Fame tackle both offensive and defensive.  More importantly he was a larger than life personality.  He was a favorite on late night television.  He would tell stories of old school football that would have the likes of Letterman and even Johnny Carson in stitches.  He will be missed.

Here is just a sample of some of his entertaining interviews you can find on You Tube:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

1966 Ron Santo

In 1966 Topps again "shared" its football card design with its hockey set from the same year. It also "borrowed" quite a bit from the 1955 Bowman design. Never-the-less it made for a nice looking card.

Again a bland design for Philadelphia football cards in 1966. Were they even trying? I could understand the lackluster design, if they were blowing us away with awesome photography. But Philadelphia football cards were mostly head and shoulder pictures. Once again I substituted the Cubs logo for NFL logo.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1965 Ron Santo

In 1965 Topps adopted the "Tall-Boy" style for their football cards. This was nearly identical to the 1964-65 Topps hockey cards. The only real difference was that the team name was on the hockey card while the team city was on the football cards.

For their part Philadelphia added the NFL logo to their cards. I took the liberty of changing the league logo to a team logo.