Father’s Day is nearing and it got me thinking of baseball dads & sons who are on cardboard.
1954 Topps #29 Jim Hegan
As I mentioned last week, in preparation for the SABR 47 Jim Bouton panel, I recently reread “Ball Four”. One of the entries that reminded me of a Baseball card occurred on March 28th. The subject of the passage is Pilots outfielder Mike Hegan, who is a recurring character throughout the book.
The paragraph is interesting for several reasons. The connections between golf and baseball are pretty strong. Just last week Tim Jenkins mentioned that Hawk Harrelson retired from baseball to pursue a professional golf career. There are also several stories of mothers helping sons learn the game, and they are often noteworthy. But, to me, the most interesting portion relates to Mike Hegan’s father Jim. I knew Mike’s father played baseball because in 1976 at the heart of the collecting days of my youth Topps dropped a Father and Son subset.
1976 Topps #69 Father & Son Jim & Mike Hegan (b-side)
I want to start with the B-Side of this card because this continues the discussion of Mike Hegan’s parents. The text regarding Jim Hegan that is credited to Mike does mention his father being a great influence, however the younger Hegan is also careful to note that this is not just in baseball but in life as well. When Mike actually does mention getting tips on the game of baseball it is only in the context of other players including Hall of Famer Bob Lemon. Perhaps I am reading too much into this but this version of Mike Hegan does correlate with the observations of Ball Four. Jim Hegan was a Ballplayer but didn’t stress baseball at home. If there was an baseball influence there it came from elsewhere – quite likely Mikes mother Clare.
1976 Topps #69 Father & Son Jim & Mike Hegan
A real nice design for these cards, the vintage card of the father balanced with a contemporary photo of the current player is a perfect balance for the subset theme.
1976 is the third consecutive year that Topps included a subset that featured insets of earlier cards on a current card. In 1974 Topps the Hank Aaron Subset which leads off flagship includes several cards with four-up panels of Topps cards from the new Home Run King’s career. The following year 1975 Topps featured the 24 card MVP subset which will always be one of my favorites.
The 1976 Father&Son subset consist of 5 Cards that run from #66-#70. Two of the cards belong to families that would feature a third generation of MLB players and both of these cards have Phillies ties. First is Ray and Bob Boone (#67) who of course are related to Bret and Aaron Boone. The other is #66 Gus and Buddy Bell, and we know that David spent a few forgettable years with the Phillies. The other two cards feature the Sr./Jr. combos of Roy Smalleys and Joe Colemans.
1985 topps #132 Father & Son Yogi and Dale Berra
Topps returned to the Father-Sons in 1985 with a 13 card subset. The Boones, Bells and Smalleys all made the cut for the second round. Other notables include SABR 47 Panel Subject Yogi Berra with son Dale, Tito and Terry Francona, and SABR 45 (Chicago) guest panelist Steve Trout with his father Dizzy.
One of the guests scheduled for the Yogi Berra Panel is journalist Lindsay Berra who is the granddaughter of Yogi and Niece of Dale Berra. Her father Larry played minor league baseball in the Mets organization.
Sources and Links
Jim Hegan SABR Bio Rick Balazs
Mike Hegan SABR Bio Joseph Wancho
7 thoughts on “Father’s Day 1976 Topps #69 Jim & Mike Hegan”
Mike Hegan would have been the Pilots All-Star representative but was injured, so Don Mincher replaced him. Mike hit the first home run in Pilots history in his first at bat off the Angels Jim McGlothlin in Anaheim. Tommy Harper led off with a double, so Mike had the first 2 RBI. Interestingly, he only plays two innings due to crashing into the outfield wall in the bottom of the 2nd, hurting his shoulder. He was on the cover of “Boys Life” magazine in March or April of 1970. Lots of shots of 1969 spring training. The Pilots geek in me can’t resist these bits of trivia. A well done and timely post. With all the current father-and-son connections, Topps needs to reintroduce these cards.
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I will note that Bret Boone’s son Jake was drafted in the 38th round yesterday. He’s likely to go to Princeton instead unless the Nationals throw money at him.
I have always been fascinated by baseball families ever since getting those “Brothers” cards in the 1977 set to go along with the Father-Son cards in 1976 and 1985. In 2016 Topps Archives, Topps resurrected the 1985 Father-Son design, but oddly enough they highlighted past collectives: the Alomars, Bret & Bob Boone, the Franconas, the Griffeys, and Eduardo & Tony Perez. Only one current player was included — Dee Gordon with dad Tom (Flash) Gordon.
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Topps also used the Father-Son theme in 2002, with relic versions of the cards:
Most have an active player in the family (Bonds, Boone, Alomar, and Cruz) though of course they needed to include Berra because why not. I’m not sure why they didn’t use Griffey – I think Upper Deck had him locked into an exclusive deal for autographs, but it looks like he had relic cards with Donruss/Playoff and Fleer as well as Upper Deck that year. Maybe Topps just didn’t have a contract with him. There’s also a 2002 Topps Chrome card of similar theme with Mookie and Preston Wilson.
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I had not heard about the 4th generation of Boone’s previously – be cool to see that work out. There are a lot of Phillies connections in that 2016 Archives Insert: Boones, Terry Francona, Tony Peres (1983), and Flash Gordon.
I hadn’t realize Mike Hegan didn’t get to play in that AllStar game. Its a shame since it was is best season and he never got another chance. On the plus side Mincher did give the short-lived franchise 2 ASG Reps.
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Nice job with having a proper Father’s Day post.
I was also just wondering on Twitter yesterday whether anyone had done a post on baseball cards of baseball cards (I’d been reminded of the 1982 KMart set) and this one fits right in next to Night Owl’s Turn Back the Clock post ( http://nightowlcards.blogspot.com/2014/01/turn-back-clock-topps.html ).
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Since this is the 40th anniversary of the 1077 TBTC insert Set this year is also the anniversary of each of the accomplishments noted in the set. I would like to take a look at each anniversary as they occur – several are season long accomplishments so the aniv doesn’t really happen till the end of the season.
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