Mistaken Mario Brothers

63 Landrum

A kid who “cracked the wax” on a pack of Topps in 1963 may have found the Cubs Don Landrum. Undoubtedly some astute kid from Chicago’s north side uttered, “whaaaat da faaauck.”   This reaction is understandable since the photo on the card is Ron Santo.

57 Snider, 58 Boiling, 59 Lumenti, 60 Martin, 66 Ellsworth, 75 Haney, 75 Busby, 77 Collins

57 Snyder



60 Martin

66 ellsworth

75 Busby

75 Haney

77 Collins

Vintage card collectors are undoubtedly aware the Topps periodically erred and put the wrong player’s photo on a card. Examples include: ’57 Jerry Snider is Ed FitzGerald, ’58 Milt Boiling is Lou Berberet, ’59 Ralph Lumenti is Camilo Pascual, ‘60 J.C. Martin is Gary Peters, ’66 Dick Ellsworth is Glen Hubbs, ’75 Larry Haney is Dave Duncan, ’75 Steve Busby is Fran Healy and ’77 Dave Collins is Tommy Smith.

69 Rodriguez

The most famous mistaken identity card is the ’69 Aurelio Rodriguez. The photo is that of the Angels bat boy, Leonard Garcia.

Korince Wrong

Real Korince

The main reason for the mix ups had to be similarity in appearance of teammates. The one exception is James Brown, an African-American, being mistaken for the white, Canadian George Korince on a ’67 Rookie Stars card. Kornice is correctly depicted on a different Rookie Stars card in a later series in the set.

79 Cox

80 Cox

The one photo mix up that definitely can be explained by similarity occurred in ’79 with Dave Rader being mistaken for Larry Cox. Both players were catchers of similar build with quintessential ‘70s era “porn stashes.” Additionally, both could have been the inspiration for the Mario Brothers of video game fame. Incidentally, Cox managed to have two stints with both the Cubs and Mariners.


I’m sure my list of photo errors is not complete. Please let us know of others, particularly in more recent sets.

Author: Tim Jenkins

Sports memorablilia collector with Seattle teams emphasis. HOF autographs, baseball cards and much more. Teacher for over 30 years. Attended games at 35 different MLB parks.

12 thoughts on “Mistaken Mario Brothers”

  1. Mark:

    Jerry Snyder signed the Topps Heritage cards with this inscription or something to this effect. “This is not me” — it’s the greatest card in history

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Chitren’s 1991 Fleer Ultra is one of these. I brought it to him to get signed since I wanted to ask who was on the front. He told me “Joe Torrick” but I’ve been unable to figure out who that is. Was kind of mean of me to bring him a rookie card that Fleer had screwed up. Thankfully there was the correct photo on the back and he signed there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That uncorrected error isn’t listed in Beckett. I was almost thinking it might be Mike Bordick (based on the name you had) because I didn’t see anything like “Joe Torrick” on baseball-reference in the A’s minor league system around 1991. Better eyes than mine can tell if it’s a young Bordick.

      My own as of yet uncorrected error that isn’t listed in Beckett is on the back of 2001 Topps Traded Willie Bloomquist. I’m assuming it is Bloomquist on the card, and the text is about Bloomquist, but the stats on the back are for Jared Abruzzo. It was sheer dumb luck that I saw that, as they are two cards apart and I must have been flipping through the binder when I noticed the stat lines for Abruzzo and Bloomquist were identical.


  3. It would be interesting to take one or more of these situations and dig deep to get some backstory or explanation. (The Rodriguez photo, for example, was not taken by Topps.) Doug McWilliams, Topps photographer profiled on this blog, has talked about the process he went through to ensure this was a rare occurrence. There is at least one player whose only card was a mistake, and McWilliams later created his own replacement card for the player.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read that post. The photographers were very scrupulous about identification. Do you know a starting point for discovering the layout, editing and quality control at Topps during the 50s-70s? There were lots of statistical errors, color issues etc.


      1. You’d probably need to go through all the old hobby magazines for articles. The Trader Speaks, Baseball Hobby News, etc. Topps doesn’t have any institutional memory (I have asked many questions, and this is the answer I get). I was kind of hoping that this Research Committee would acquire this knowledge and figure out a way to archive it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. In 1988, Fleer had Bob Brower pictured on a Jerry Browne card.


    And then there is the 1987 Donruss Opening Day mix up with Johnny Ray and Barry Bonds.


    If it’s not the most expensive card from the 1980s, it’s pretty close to it.

    The 1990 Donruss Bonus MVP of John Smoltz has Glavine pictured:

    Liked by 1 person

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