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