Thursday, July 21, 2016

TBT - Baltimore Orioles Edition

On the Friday before the All Star break, the Orioles celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1966 World Series championship. The team sported the same unis as their 1966 counterparts. Their opponents, the L.A. Angels didn't play along and just wore their everyday 2016 away uniforms.

The differences in the 1966 and 2016 uniforms are not dramatic. The main differences being the Orioles script on the '66 uni is slightly different and not underscored and the 2016 caps have a white field behind the cartoon bird. I chose to compare a picture of 2016 shortstop Jonathan Schoop turning a double-play with 1966 second baseman Davey Johnson doing the same. While looking for a Topps card that showed the Orioles home uniforms of this era, I came up short. Perhaps I should say Topps came up short. Although the Orioles uniforms changed in 1966 most cards from 1966-1970 showed home uniforms from 1965 or older or showed the away uniform. 
Rather than use a card from the early seventies to compare the uniforms, I made two Card That Never Were for this post. Davey Johnson was an obvious choice. Topps had included him on a "Rookie Stars" card in the 1965 set, the year in which he made his MLB debut. In 1966 Johnson had earned a starting role as second baseman for the World Series Champs and even a Rookie of the Year nomination. But he didn't earn his own Topps card. Instead he was put on a second, late series "Rookie Stars" card in 1966. So here is a second year card of Davey Johnson that would never have appeared in a 1966 Topps set. It is an action shot of him actually wearing a current uniform.


  1. I like a good Topps-bashing as much as anyone, but faulting them for the absence of his own card in the 1966 set while offering up evidence of "2nd baseman for World Series champs" and getting "rookie of the year" consideration is a bit unfair. Those 2 achievements occurred well past Topps' 1966 press date.

  2. The issue with Topps in the late '60s wasn't giving Davey Johnson 2 rookie stars cards. The lack of a solo second year card was just a convenient substitution to show the 1966 uniforms. Any "Topps bashing" in that era was directed at the lack of photos of players in their proper uniforms. The Orioles cards of that era are a perfect example. Baltimore had new unis in 1966 but even late series cards did not show them. In 1967 only 4 of 35 cards had the new logo. In 1969 there were still several Orioles cards featuring the 1965 uniforms.

    Keith Olberman had an interesting article in Sports Collectors Digest on this same subject:

  3. Great post. Davey Johnson as a starter needed his own card.