Sunday, October 15, 2017

Topps Bunt Cards That Never Were

I'm away on vacation, and got a strange text from my brother.  He told me to check out Topps Bunt today. What I saw was this:

I was totally blown away. I am shocked that anyone at Topps even knew this silly little blog existed. Much less create a digital insert set based on some of work that appeared here. 

They even utilized the same fonts I used for this blog on the backs of the cards:

Many of the cards Bunt created are similar to those in a final card Tribute Project which stemmed from an article I read in Sports Collector's Daily by Rich Klein. Here are a couple examples of Bunt's cards compared to cards I posted here:

To be quite honest, I always thought that if somebody from Topps ever stumbled across this blog, I would get a "cease and desist".  But this is way cooler. Thanks to the Bunt team!  You made an old collector very happy.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Even More For 1963 Fleer

In my previous post I pointed out some other types of cards that might have been included in the 1963 Fleer set had it not been cut short due to Topps' lawsuit. In my last post I added manager, rookie and team cards. But what set would be complete without leader cards?

Again I made one example from the American League and one from the National. Not a bad selection of players either. Five out of six are in the Hall of Fame now.  I tried to remain true to the Fleer design, but when I was done it looks reminiscent of Topps 1964 Leader cards.

Also missing from the initial 66 cards were World Series cards. Not necessarily essential, but usually a source of action shots in the 1960's when most cards were posed. Again, one card example featuring the National League team, and one for the American League.

 I decided to go with black and white photos out of necessity. While I could find a few color photos of the 1962 Series. Topps colorized their WS cards in the early 60's but revered to black and white in the later part of the decade.

One of my favorite subsets, the All Star cards, were notably missing from the 1963 Topps set. When Topps did  include All Stars, they weren't often the starting All Stars from the previous season. Often they were labeled "Sporting News All Star" but often that wasn't the case either.

In my examples, both players were Sporting News All Stars in 1963.  Luis Aparicio played starting shortstop in the 1962 All Star Games while a member of the White Sox. In 1963 he was the backup to Zoilo VersallesJohnny Edwards was the Sporting News All Star in 1963 but was a backup to Ed Bailey of the Giants in the 1963 All Star game. Edwards took over for Bailey as the Reds catcher in 1961 when Bailey was traded to the Giants. Edwards, a three time All Star and two time Gold Glove catcher was succeeded by Johnny Bench in 1968.

In the Original 66 cards was the rookie card of Maury Wills. On that card, instead of the usual player drawing, Fleer put "N.L. Most Valuable Player '62". They replicated that for their 1998 Mickey Mantle insert card. I made a Rookie of the Year card for Ken Hubbs using the same design.

While most sets of this era didn't have "Award" cards, it seem like a logical extension. So here is the other R.O.Y. from 1962, Tom Tresh and the 1962 Cy Young Award winner, Don Drysdale.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1963 Fleer Extended Set

In my last post, I wrote about the 1963 Fleer set. Specifically, how it was just 66 base cards and not a complete baseball card set as we know it. So today I am speculating about what some of the other non- base cards would look.

One of the first omissions from the set is the manager card. Johnny Pesky guided the Red Sox in 1963 and 1964. Hand picked by Tom Yawkey, Pesky was a fan favorite. But the Sox finished in 7th in 1963 and 8th in 1964.

Harry Craft was the first skipper of the expansion Colt .45s in 1962. He coached there until his eventual dismissal late in the 1964 season. The Colts weren't the first team he'd managed. He was the K.C. Athletics manager from 1957-59 and was part of the Cubs "College of Coaches" experiment in 1961. In his 7 years managing 3 different clubs, he never finished above 7th place.

Since there wasn't a player pose for manager, I had to create one. With the help of photoshop, I lifted the outline of Casey Stengel striking a classic pose.

You know what else is missing? Good old-fashioned team cards. They are missing from current sets as well. I guess they just don't take those type of pictures anymore. Too bad, I miss them.

I picked a team from each league. The Angels in just their 3rd year and the Pirates, who had been around since the late 1800s. I was surprised to learn that the Pirates logo from this era was this cartoonish buccaneer. Topps continued to use their older "classic" logo.

Last but not least are the rookie cards. Topps used the phrase "Rookie Stars" on their cards. Fleer sets of the 80s used the term "Prospect" which seem more appropriate given some of the "stars" that appeared on Topps rookie cards.

I used the eventual 1963 Rookies of the Year as the subjects of these cards. In all they are all very good but only one was an eventual Hall of Famer. Dave DeBusschere is in the Basketball  Hall of Fame.

Friday, March 31, 2017

1963 Fleer

The 1963 Fleer set was cut short at just 66 cards. Topps won a court battle allowing it to have a near monopoly on baseball cards until 1981. Fleer had to cease printing cards after just one series. 

The '63 Fleer set has had loads of Cards That Never Were posted by multiple sources on the interwebs. I made nine different cards myself, which I posted on this blog and on my other blog, Rating The Rookies.  

Here are my 1963 Fleer cards of Ernie Banks, Ken Hubbs, Fritz Ackley, Curt Flood, Joe Shipley, Al Moran, Lee Stange, Don Zimmer and even Kris Kringle. 

Fleer themselves have made versions of these cards, too. They included this Mickey Mantle MVP card as an insert in its 1998 Tradition set.

Then again for its 40th anniversary in 2003 it included several very nice looking cards. Like these of Luis Aparicio, Lou Brock and Duke Snider::

Although the 2003 set included several players from 1963 it was annoyingly flawed. First, they changed the design slightly by shrinking the player sketch and coloring it white. Second was the inevitable Fleer Tradition logo on the top. But the biggest flaws were the players either in the wrong era uniforms, like Red Schoendienst and Willie Stargell,

 Or simply in black and white like Eddie Mathews and Frank Malzone:


Ok, all that was a long-winded prelude to tease my next few posts. I am not going to try to complete the 1963 set. That would be insane (although possibly fun).  

 We've seen plenty of base/player cards that never were based on the 1963 Fleer set. But if it had expanded beyond the first 66 base cards into an entire set, what would the other elements of a complete set look like?

Friday, March 17, 2017

1974 Topps John McNamara

After winning only 60 games in 1973 the Padres fired Manager Don Zimmer. Meanwhile the Padres franchise was in flux. They had been tentatively sold to Joseph Danzansky who planned to move the team to Washington. Danzansky had also made an unsuccessful bid for the Senators in an attempt to keep them from moving to Texas. The city of San Diego threatened legal action for breaking the lease at San Diego Stadium (later known as Jack Murphy then Qualcomm)

Ultimately the club was sold to Ray Kroc and stayed in San Diego. John McNamara took over as manager. With all the off season commotion, the Padres remained the same on the field. Finishing in last place with only 60 wins again.  Because the fate of the Padres was still in flux when the 1974 set went to print, Topps made a few runs designating the team as Washington. But they never made an manager/coaches card. So here is both the 1974 Padres and the 1974 Washington "Nat'l Lea." Manager Cards That Never Were because why not?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

1974 Topps Bill Virdon

After winning the World Series, A's manager Dick Williams had enough of Charlie Finley's interference and quit. Meanwhile in New York Ralph Houk also quit after the 1973 season. He was tiring of the Bronx Fans' constant booing a Yankees team that was no longer a perennial contender. Yankees' new owner, George Steinbrenner jumped at the chance to hire Williams. 

But Finley had the last laugh. Williams was still under contract for another year and Finley would not let him go.  This left both the Yankees and the A's manager situation in limbo when Topps went to print the 1974 set.

The Yankees eventually opted for Bill Virdon. Virdon had managed the Pirates to the division championship in 1972. But in September of 1973 with the Pirates 3 games back and 2 games under .500, Danny Murtaugh replaced Virdon at the helm. The 1974 Yankees finished in 2nd place with 89 wins. Bill Virdon was named The Sporting News Manager of the Year.

It's too bad Topps never got to make this card. It would have been nice to see a card that included a coaching staff of Whitey Ford, Dick Howser and Elston Howard.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

1974 Topps Ralph Houk Redux

In 1974 there were only 24 Major League teams. But in the Topps set for 1974 there were only 21 manager cards.

Twenty of them looked like this:

And one of them looked like this:

Okay, other than the fact that Ralph Houk is wearing Yankee pinstripes and a poorly airbrushed Tigers cap, what else is wrong? 

Yup. All the coaches are missing. If you look at the other 20 manger cards, Topps included the coaches. Most teams had four, a few more had three. The Indians could only muster two, but the Tigers? Bubkis. Zilch. Nada.

So here I am to right this wrong and give due to the coaches in Detroit. While I'm at it, I'll put Mr. Houk in his proper uniform.

That's better. Now he has a proper coaching staff; pitching coach Cot Deal, Joe Schultz who was the Pilots manager in their only season, Dick Tracewski who coached in Detroit for 24 years , and Jim Hegan who's son Mike Hegan played for Joe Schultz in Seattle.  Unfortunately, the aging tigers finished last in the AL East.

And what about the other 3 missing manager cards? The missing Oakland A's card is what got this started. Warren over at Mets Fantazy Cards made this card. It's one of his many creations that never made the blog. I just thought it was too good not to post. Sorry Warren.

After winning 2 straight World Series titles in Oakland, Dick Williams had enough of Charlie Finley's antics and quit. He was quickly hired by the Yankees but Finley called foul. Williams still had a year under contract with the A's so he would not be eligible to manage any other team. 

** Spoiler Alert** 
This probably explains why the Yankees are also without a manager card in the 1974 Topps set.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


I have been taking an extended break from fake card making, but felt the need to make this post. There is yet another person on eBay selling my cards. Not just mine but cards from Dick Allen Hall of Fame, When Topps had Balls, Mets Fantasy Cards, Bob Lemke's Blog, and Johngy's Beat

I know there are plenty more that I recognize that were not designed by this person. And yet he his selling them along with "reprints" of actual cards.

I have never claimed ownership of the cards I made for this blog. I also have never tried to sell them. I did this for my own amusement. The fact that there are a handful of like-minded people who follow the blog and also enjoy these silly cards is awesome.

I just want anybody who has seen one of my cards and wants one for their own personal collection, please go ahead and print one for yourself. I have seen the finished product this guy is selling and it is awful. I can and have made better prints on my cheapo HP printer. If you want slightly better quality paper, go to the dollar store, buy a sheet of posterboard and cut it into 8.5x11 sheets. 


And it should go without saying, don't sell them either. The designs of these cards are based on those owned by the major card companies. The photos were found either on the internet or in old books and magazines. My only claim is that I took the time to cobble them together into a card I wanted to see. 

This latest scammer has over 100 cards from this blog alone for sale. (I stopped counting at 125). He has literally hundreds others for sale too. None of them are his. His name on eBay is mr.0ddball420 .  Leave him a note telling him what you think of him, but don't buy anything from him. 


Ok, thank you for allowing me to rant. Your reward? 

This card I made a few years back but decided it was too stupid to publish. My, how my standards have diminished. Anyway, a week or so late but here is a Valentines Card for you. With Bobby and a handful of lesser known baseball Valentines.