Saturday, October 30, 2021

Topps All-Star Misses: 1969 NL Battery

The 1969 Topps NL All Star battery consisted of RHP Bob Gibson, LHP Jerry Koosman and catcher Johnny Bench.  The actual 1968 All Star Game had Drysdale as the NL Starter and Jerry Grote behind the plate.  The first lefty relief pitcher was Steve Carlton. Carlton was also The Sporting News choice for All Star left-handed pitcher in 1969. Both Drysdale and Carlton could have been in this set. 

Tom Seaver was the Sporting News selection for All Star right-handed pitcher in 1969 and his battery-mate Jerry Grote was the 1968 ASG starting catcher.  So these Mets merit inclusion, too.

Who probably didn't merit inclusion in the 1969 Topps All-Star set, but was in it anyway?

Although Gibson never left the bullpen in the '68 ASG, I cannot fault Topps for giving him an All Star card based on his 1968 Cy Young & MVP season. I also (kind of) can't fault Topps for Koosman.  He only face one batter in the 1968 ASG but it was the final batter.  He struck out Yaz and got the save as the NL won 1-0 in the Astrodome. Despite Grote starting the 1968 ASG, Bench was the Sporting News choice for 1969 All Star catcher. Bench was also the 1968 Rookie of the Year and the runner up was Koosman. So despite having 4 other cards that could have been included in the 1969 All Star sub-set, I have to give Topps a pass.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice looking cards. If only the players, coaches and managers had known in mid-1968 what Bench was going to do, he would have started the All-Star game,not Grote.