Sunday, March 6, 2022

Topps All-Star Misses: 1961 NL Outfield

 The 1961 Topps "Sporting News" All Star cards were pretty close to accurate as far as reflecting what the cards purported to represent.  Topps had Aaron, Mays and Frank Robinson.  Three solid choices and future first-ballot Hall of Famers, all. Two of the three were actually The Sporting News All Star selections for 1961 (Mays and Robinson).  Topps was also two for three when it came to starters in the the 1960 All Star Games.  Mays and Aaron started both games in 1960. That being said these two Pirates could have been in that set just as easily.  Bob Skinner started in left field in both 1960 ASGs.  Roberto Clemente was selected to The Sporting News All Star team in 1961.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Topps All-Star Misses: 1962 AL Infield

 In 1962 The Topps "Sporting News All-Star" cards for the AL infield most closely resembled the second ASG of 1961.  Topps had three of the four starters from game 2; Norm Cash at first, Luis Aparicio at short, and Brooks Robinson at third.  The only player in the 1962 Topps AS set that was an actual "Sporting News All-Star" in 1962 was Brooks.  Cash and Robinson were also 1961 Sporting News All Star sections.

So who could've been on these cards? At first base there could have been a card for Norm Siebern.  He was the actual Sporting News All Star selection in 1962.  Although he never was an All Star starter he was a four-time All Star from 1962-1964.  He al so received AL MVP votes three years running from 1961-1963

At second base there could have been cards for Johnny Temple who and Bobby Richardson. Temple started both All Star games in 1961.  Richardson was the Sporting News All Star selection in both 1961 and 1962.

At shortstop you can see a changing of the guard in New York. The outgoing shortstop, Tony Kubek could have been included because he was the starting shortstop in the first ASG of 1961.  He was also the Sporting News All Star selection in 1961.  The 1962 Rookie of the Year, Tom Tresh, was the Sporting New All Star selection in 1962.  This would be another case where a player could have had a rookie card and an All Star card in the same Topps set.  His rookie card appeared in the Series 1.  By Series 6 (where the All Stars appeared in 1962) Topps could have made a second card for the eventual ROY.

Who probably didn't merit inclusion in the 1962 Topps All-Star set, but was in it anyway?

Chuck Schilling

In 1961 Schilling Tied for 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. His teammate Don Schwall won the title. Although Schwall won the AL ROY and another 1961 Red Sox rookie, Carl Yastrzemski would enter the Hall of Fame, Schilling was given the Thomas A. Yawkey award for Most Valuable Red Sox in 1961. A wrist injury in 1962 would shorten his promising career. After being traded to the Twins in 1966, Schilling retire rather that take a demotion to the minors.  Ironically, the last ling from the back of his 1962 All Star card read: "Chuck is assured of a long major league career."

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Topps All-Star Misses: 1968 NL Battery

 The National League All Star battery according to Topps in 1968 was Ken Holtzman (LHP), Bob Gibson (RHP) and Tim McCarvey (catcher).  The actual Sporting News All Star selections for 1968 were Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal (both starting pitchers, both right-handed. I don't get this either). At catcher TSN had the rookie, Johnny Bench.

Juan Marichal, being one of the Sporting News All Star selections for 1968, plus being the starter in the 1967 All Star Game certainly deserved a card in the 1968 All Star subset.

Chris Short (who much like Maury Wills, was ignored by Topps from 1959-1966 for unknown reasons) was the first left handed pitcher to make an appearance in the 1967 ASG. TSN made no All Star selection for LHP in the NL. The only lefties to leave the bullpen in the 1968 ASG were Short and Mike Cuellar.  Since Short was the first to appear (9th and 10th inning, Cuellar pitched the 11th and 12th), he gets an All Star Card That Never Was.  At least in my alternative reality... 

The starting catcher in the 1967 ASG was Joe Torre. Topps had McCarver who was a reserve in 1967. McCarver outperformed Torre going 2 for 2. Torre went 0 for 2.

Here is another cool possibility.  Johnny Bench's first Topps card was a Reds Rookie Stars card in 1968, shared with pitcher, Ron Tompkins.  He was also the actual Sporting News All Star Selection in 1968. Wouldn't it have been great if his first solo card was an All Star card from the same season?
Who probably didn't merit inclusion in the 1968 Topps All-Star set, but was in it anyway?

Ken Holtzman

Ken Holtzman had a 9-0 record and 2.53 ERA in 1967.  Due to military service he only pitched 12 games.  Billed as "the next Sandy Koufax" the young Jewish lefty had a great 1967 season despite not pitching enough inning to qualify for any league leader categories.  He would not play in an ASG until 1972 after he was traded to Oakland.  He didn't get named to The Sporting News All Star roster until 1973.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Topps All-Star Misses: 1969 AL Outfield

In 1969 the Topps AL All-Star outfield included Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Oliva and Willie Horton.  Of those three, Yaz and Horton were starters in the 1968 All Star Game. None of them were named to the 1969 Sporting News All Star team.  Joining Yaz and Horton as a starter in the 1968 outfield was Hondo. Frank Howard was also a 1969 Sporting News All Star selection. This makes his omission even more glaring.
Joining the "Capitol Punisher" on the 1969 Sporting News Roster was Paul Blair.  Blair had a career year in 1969.  He had personal bests in Hits, HRs, RBIs and slugging.  He also earned his 2nd of 8 Gold Gloves and was 11th in MVP voting.
Rounding out The Sporting News All Star Selections for the AL outfield was Reggie Jackson. Despite making his MLB debut in 1967, Jackson didn't have a Topps card until 1969.  How cool would it have been if he also had an All Star card that year? He certainly deserved it, as he was also a starter in the 1969 MLB All Star Game.

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

Tony Oliva

The newly minted Hall of Famer, Tony Oliva was on the All Star team every year from 1964-1971, but he wasn't a starter in 1968 or 1969.  He wasn't selected to The Sporting News in 1968 or 1969 either. A great player with a great list of accomplishments, but he just doesn't belong here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Topps All-Star Misses: 1970 NL Infield

The 1969 starting NL All Star infield was faithfully represented in Topps 1970 All Star subset. Around the horn they had McCovey at 1st, Felix Millan at 2nd, Santo at 3rd and Kessinger at short. Honestly, not bad for Topps.  

But arguments could be made for the actual 1970 Sporting News All Star; McCovey and Kessinger were also 1970 TSN All Stars at their respective positions.  However, at second TSN picked Glenn Beckert and at third they had Tony Perez. 

So here are the 1970 All Star Cards That Never Were of Beckert and Perez:


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Another Pack - Another Contest: Part 4

 This time I'm doing it a bit differently.  Due to the crazy amount of spam comments lately, I've had to moderate my comments and only allow non spam through.  Additionally, I am making this a Twitter-Only contest.  If you click on the image below of my contest tweet, it will take you right to the tweet.

Once on Twitter, simply "Like" and "Retweet". You are entered. I will draw 1 random winner of the entire pack and 5 winners of the Frank Thomas insert seen below:

I'm sorry I couldn't run a parallel contest on this blog, but there is a genuine problem with spam here.

Again, I thank the regular followers of this blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

SOLD OUT!! - Series 4 Packs On Sale Now - ALL FOOTBALL


 Here is the fourth pack of physical cards from this blog.  This time they are ALL football cards!! As usual, I am selling these through this site for $10.99 per pack plus $4.50 shipping. Please use the link:

Due to several requests, I added a drop down menu for multiple orders (up to three).

And as is typical for me, it took longer than expected.  But at least it is in time for the NFL Playoffs. This batch of cards span from 1957 to 1977.  Right in the middle of what I consider the golden age of football cards  If you don't want all 13 cards, you can buy them individually on eBay. My seller's name there is ctnwblog_8.

So, what's in each pack?

The usual 12 Cards That Never Were plus a special insert.

This time the insert card is a 1970 Topps Glossy style Frank Thomas. This card features the White Sox Hall of Famer from his college days.  He was the tight end and teammate of Bo Jackson at Auburn University before he ultimately chose baseball over football.

All cards are professionally printed.

Front and Back.

The backs are formatted in a style consistent with their year.

The front of the cards are high gloss UV coated.

The backs are not.

The backs a full color matte finish.

These are similar in look and feel to the Topps Archives cards. 

Except that mine are made from 18 Pt. card stock.  That makes them thicker, therefore closer in feel to the original cards of that era.

The have all been previously featured on this blog.

The overwhelming majority are from the players' rookie years.

By far the best deal is to buy a pack of all 13 cards from the link on this page.

Due to eBay's cost structure and wanting to mail a quality product complete with penny sleeve and a top loader, individual cards a more expensive. $3.99 plus $0.99 shipping on eBay with discounts of up to 25% on multiple orders.  Additionally shipping can be combined.

Thanks for all the support over the years. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Topps All-Star Misses: 1958 NL Battery

After a long holiday break, I have a few more All Star Cards That Never Were to share.  In 1958, Topps created the first All Star series of cards to appear as part of the regular set. In that set, Topps had Bob Friend as the "Sport Magazine '58 All Star Selection".  Warren Spahn was the left handed "selection".

As it turns out, Spahn was the starting pitcher for the NL in the 1958 ASG and Friend was the first righty to come on in relief.  Solid, picks by Topps, specially seeing how this was a late enough series in the 1958 set and they most likely used the power of hindsight.  

But just for the sake of argument, and to be consistent with my own agenda, here is a couple cards that never were based on the 1957 ASG.  In 1957 Curt Simmons was the starter and Lew Burdette was the first righty to come on in relief.

Here is where Topps takes a turn that only Topps could.  For their "58 All Star Selection" they chose Ed Bailey, who was the starter in the 1957 game.  Del Crandall was the starter in the 1958 ASG.  Crandall was also the Sporting News All Star selection for 1958.