Monday, January 14, 2019

Even More 1968 Alt-Topps

World Series, All Star and Leaders Cards

As I finish out the 1968 sub-sets, I think Topps missed the boat by not making this into a real set. The stars design adapts well to multiple sub-sets. For the World Series cards I swapped the oval out for a Shield (borrowed from 1978 Topps All-Stars).
For the All-Stars, I went horizontal. Same as the real 1968 set but I borrowed the B/W action background from the 1969 Topps All-Stars.
I used a couple of my favorite outfielders from that ERA. Sweet-swinging Billy Williams and Hondo.
Unlike the real 1968 Topps, this set used a variation of the much-used vertical format for the leaders cards.
I couldn't have 1968 leader cards without Yaz, who won the triple-crown in 1967.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

More 1968 Alt-Topps *UPDATED*

Managers, Team Cards and Rookies

Nothing ground breaking here. I simply used the base card format for the managers.
I had to use this photo because I never noticed that the White Sox coaches had caps that were different than their players. This is similar to the A's look in the '60s and 70s. I scoured 2 of my favorite sites looking for other examples of coach-specific White Sox caps. I had no luck at either Chris Creamer's or Paul Lukas's  If either of these blogs can help me out with more information, hit me up.    ****See update below for more information***
For the team cards I used the Topps 1965 and 1966 method of including where the team finished the previous year.
For whatever reason, Topps did not include team cards of the Astros, Cubs, Giants, Indians, Red Sox or Yankees in the real 1968 set.  In this alt-set we got the Giants and Red Sox covered.
As usual I included the Rookies of the Year in my sampling of rookie cards.
For the Reds, Bench and McRae. And for the Yankees Bahnsen and Bobby Cox.
UPDATE Jan 10, 2019

That was fast. 

I knew that posing this question to Paul Lukas would yield results. I just didn't realize how quickly he would have the answer. He sent me a link to Todd Radom's blog where he had a great and humorous history of this short-lived ballcap.

Here is a link to Todd Radom's Blog. There is plenty of good reading there. I can really lose a full day just going through it. (Just a friendly warning)

Here is a screenshot of his explanation:

There is also a terrific graphic that accompanies this story.  I won't include that here. I feel I have already taken too many liberties posting his explanation. I do recommend following the above link to see it for yourself.

That is Tiger Stadium depicted in the photo used for this card.  I would have to deduce that this was the final appearance of this ill-fated cap.

Thanks again to Paul Lukas of  Uni-Watch!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

1968 Alt-Topps

Here's another in a series of rejected Topps designs ** (Now found in "The Brooklyn Collection". An exclusive "582 Montgomery Club" issue from Topps).**  As I stated in my previous post.  This mock-up features the photo of  Bubba Phillips and inexplicably bears the name of Angels pitcher Jim Weaver.
I'm not sure why they used the airbrushed photo from Phillips' 1964 card.A greater mystery is why the designer used Jim Weaver's name. He pitched just 53 innings at the major league level over 1967 and 1968.  Was it an inside joke? Was he related to someone at Topps? Why him? 
Well here is my cleaned up version of this card. I put the actual Jim Weaver in place of Bubba.

 I had to "borrow" the photo from his 1968 Topps Rookie Stars card.

Because Topps used Weaver as their subject, I am using this design for my Alt- Topps 1968 set. My usual method is to make base cards of that year's MVPs and Cy Young awards winners.  Since 1968 was the "Year of the Pitcher", Gibson and McLain won both MVP and Cy Young Awards. 

To round it out I added 2 more pitchers who had great 1968s.  Tiant led the A.L. with a 1.60 ERA.  Seaver was coming off his Rookie of the Year season in 1967. He had 16 win seasons in 1967 and 1968. Both of these pitchers were on the 1968 All Star teams.  Tiant was the A.L. starter and Seaver struck out 5 of the 8 batters he faced including Hall of Famers Mantle and Yaz.

If you haven't picked up on it already, there was something fishy about the National League pitchers.  Both Gibson and Seaver are posing as southpaws.  These two tried to pull a fast one on Topps and their poses even made it as far as the proof sheet. 

Here is a closer look at the Gibson and Seaver Proofs:

In 1968 the real Topps caught the pranks by these well-known pitchers before releasing the 1968 set.  The folks at Alt-Topps were more easily fooled.