Monday, October 14, 2013

1963 Topps NL Stolen Base Leaders: Wills, Davis, Javier, Pinson, Taylor

This is a card that I'm sure Topps wished they could have made. In 1962 Maury Wills (who was famously not under contract with Topps) broke Ty Cobbs long-standing stolen base record and ushered in a new era of base running.

Stolen bases were more common in the dead ball era. But when Babe Ruth changed the way games were played stolen bases lost their popularity. In 1955 the Al and the NL leaders both had a paltry 25 SB each. In 1950 Dom DiMaggio led the AL with only 15 stolen bases.

 But you don't even need to go back that far. In the same season that Wills set the modern record for stolen bases at 104, the average stolen base total for an American League team was 56.

Rounding out the top 5 are Tommy Davis with 32, Julian Javier and Vada Pinson with 26, and Tony Taylor with 20.


  1. Hello, I love your cards! I have created so many modern leaders cards in my mind based on the 1963 format! I thought that you may want to correct the 1963 NL SB leaders card (oops!) It was Tommy Davis' brother, Willie Davis, that was second in SBs that year with 32. Tommy had 18. (I am a statistics nut as well as a card collector.) I would love to see the corrected version. I actually print them and place them in my binders with the vintage cards. I enjoy them just as much or more as I do the originals.

  2. Thanks, nice catch. It was Willie Davis. Not my first and probably not my last "error card". I might just have to make a whole series of error card corrections soon.

    On a side note, Willie and Tommy were not brothers but that is an often repeated mistake.

  3. Yours is a better catch as I have always assumed that they were brothers. Once again, thanks for the cards. I especially like the Maury Wills cards as I have thought it to be a gaping whole in my collection that I do not have any Topps Wills cards in those early years to round out the Dodger teams. Is there a way to be notified of new posts to your blog?