Before I start let me note that the cards that the All-Star Rookie Cup cards that show up in a Topps set represent the squad for the previous season.
In short it means that the 1963 All-Star Rookie Cup Team is honored in 1964 Topps set.
Ok enough legalese.
The most noteworthy of the 1963 All-Star Rookie Cup card belongs to Pete Rose. I am not going to cover this card here, but if you want to read a terrific heartfelt column check out the posting Wax Pack Gods which can be found here.
1964 Topps #109 Rusty Staub
Instead we will venture down the rabbit hole that is the 1964 Topps Rusty Staub card. What is not to love here, a six-time all-star on a card that boldly screams COLTS at the top of the card. Rusty’s cap with the .45s logo completes the franchise original “Colt .45s” nickname. Rusty Staub was likely still a teenager when this photo was taken – He did not turn 20 until just prior to opening day in 1964. He has at least 286 of his 292 career Home Runs in front of him. Le Grand Orange would go on to become an original Expo and would later win an NL pennant with the New York Mets.
1963 was the fifth time that Topps presented the awards that started in 1959. Starting in 1961 the Rookie Cup Award winner cards were identical to base cards except that they possess an “icon” of the trophy. Notice that the trophy has an engraving – TOPPS 1963 ALL-STAR ROOKIE. There you have it, the 1964 card features the 1963 team.
1964 Topps #109 Rusty Staub (b-side)
Flipping the card over we see that in the last sentence Topps mentions Staub’s Rookie All-Star accomplishment. In addition to his MLB debut season numbers we also get Rusty’s impressive 1962 professional debut 23 HR, 93 RBI, and .293 BA over 140 games.
One of the things that we once again are not getting with 2018 Topps cards is a Trivia Question or cartoon. But in 1964 Topps had them – in fact Topps even went to the trouble to hide the answers from us. Fortunately this card was much loved by a previous owner, who has gone to the trouble of scratching off the answer and we now know that the last AL player to have a four homer game was the Indians Rocky Colavito in 1959. Well, that was true in 1964 anyway.
Rocky’s big game occurred on June 10, 1959 at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium where the Indians defeated the Orioles in an 11-8 slugfest. On the card a funny cartoon shows a pitcher getting shelled – this is symbolic of either Starter Jerry Walker or relievers Arnie Portocarrero or Ernie Johnson.
The artist hyphenated COLA-VITO, making Rocky Colavito sound like some sort of fancy new energy drink. Rocky is now 84 years old and as of his 2008 SABR Bio lives in Bernville, Pennsylvania — not far from Phungo Headquarters.
It has been 54 years since the Rusty Staub card was produced and the trivia answer is no longer current. If this cartoon quiz was produced today the answer would be Josh Hamilton. Other junior circuit members that have accomplished the fete since Colavito are Carlos Delgado and Mike Cameron. The most recent National Leaguer to hit four is JD Martinez, who tagged the LA Dodgers pitching for the quadruple during a Diamondbacks 13-0 victory this past September.
85 Pete Ward 3B
109 Rusty Staub 1B
125 Pete Rose 2B
130 Gary Peters LHP
168 Al Weis SS
330 Tommy Harper OF
457 Jesse Gonder C
Sources and Links