Topps 1963 All-Star Rookie Cup Team: Part 3 – the Banquet

Ok I lied,

This was to be the final installment in our three part series covering the 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.  Well you know how movie companies break up the final film of blockbuster trilogies into two parts so they can bring in more coin, well that is happening here – minus the money.

Yes this was to be the final installment of my 1963 Topps Rookie All-Star (TRAS) series, but I had to much for one post so I am breaking the banquet into two parts. Okay enough prologue, onward…

The 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Banquet

I don’t know this for a fact but I am guessing that today’s players don’t even know if they make the Topps All-Star Rookie team.

Things were different in 1963, During the early years of the Topps Rookie All-Star team the winners were rewarded with a trip to New York City for a trophy presentation at the Waldorf Astoria!

November 9, 1963 article by Carl Lundquist in The Sporting News chronicled the event. Tommy Harper was among the nine Rookie All-Stars that attended the banquet and there are pictures to prove it. Of course the pictures are likely only out there on the interwebs because Harper’s teammate happened to be the NL Rookie of the Year and would go on to become quite infamous…

Tommy Harper and Pete Rose at the Topps Rookie All-Star Banquet (1963 OCT 24)

Check out Tommy & Pete and look in front of them, those are the Topps Rookie All-Star trophies. Before I got interested in the TRAS I didn’t realize that there was a real trophy involved. And hey the icon featured on the cards looks like the trophy. Except that I never realized that the trophy includes a top hat for some reason. There appears to be a larger version of the trophy behind Harper and Rose’s hands. I imagine that is either there as a Topps centerpiece or to honor Pete Rose as NL Rookie of the Year. The hat on that trophy looks like it would big enough for Pete to wear. I am guessing that the two were photographed together since they were Reds teammates at the time.

The rest of the All-Stars can be seen here.

1963 Topps Rookie All-Stars (1963 OCT 24)

Front Row (L->R): Billy Cowan (minor league player of the year), Jimmie Hall, Pete Rose,  Jesse Gonder, Tommy Harper. Back row (L->R): Rusty Staub, Gary Peters, Ray Culp, Vic Davalillo. Not pictured Al Weis.

1963 was the fifth time Topps held TRAS banquet. The event was held on Thursday October 24th 1963 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. There also happened to be another noteworthy baseball event that happened that day in NYC:

1964 Topps #21 Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra got hired as Manager of the New York Yankees. The Yankees made the official announcement at the Savoy Hilton on the South East corner of Central Park. Immediately following the press conference Yogi trekked across the park to the Waldorf and appeared at the Topps Rookie All-Star banquet as a surprise guest.

His remarks included:

“The greatest thrill of my life happened today when I was named manager of the great New York Yankees.”

It would take less than a year for that statement to turn from Bold to Sad as Yogi would be relieved as manager despite leading the Yankees to an AL pennant and pushing Bob Gibson and the Cardinals to 7 games in the World Series.

Other luminaries that attended the banquet were Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg and Frankie Frisch, Topps executives Sy Berger and Joel J. Shorin, and organized baseball representatives such as Frank Shaughnessy, Ed Short, Joe McKenney, and Dave Grote.

Baseball Ambassador Joe Garagiola served as emcee for the event.

In addition to the honoring the Rookie All-Stars, Topps also bestowed the Minor League Player of the Year award to Billy Cowan (Salt Lake City Bees / Cubs). Elston Howard was designated a “Most Value Fellow” by Topps who gave the Yankees catcher and 1963 AL MVP a giant trading card. The card contained the caption “Nice Guys Finish First.”

This is Tommy Harper’s first solo card, he appears on a 4-up in 1963 Topps falling at #158. Solid representation of the 1964 Topps Set, this appears to be a shot taken at Spring Training.  If I was going to complain I would mention that the nameplate at the bottom of the card cuts off Harper’s glove. Otherwise a decent shot, featuring Tommy Harper in the great sleeveless Reds Jersey of the era.

Flip

1964 Topps #330 Tommy Harper (b-side)

The back copy mentions Harper’s TRAS selection along with his minor league run scoring crowns. There is also a general trivia question: Who was the Twins HR King the previous season?  It is exactly who you think it is, Harmon Killebrew who had 45 Homers in 1963. In fact Killebrew has the top 6 Home Run hitting seasons for the Twins and is also tied for 7th: 42 in 1959 (Senators) with Roy Sievers (1957 also Sens) and current Twin Brian Dozier (2016)

1963 Topps Rookie All-Stars

As mentioned this is part 3 of our short series on the 1963 Topps Rookie All-Star team. To see the remainder of the series click the links below:

Part 1: The Cards (Rusty Staub)

Part 2: The Voting (Jesse Gonder w/ Phantom Trophy)

Sources Links

Phungo 1963 Topps Rookie Cup Index

The Sporting News 1963 Nov 9 (Carl Lundquist) and other issues.

The Topps Archive

Baseball Card Database

Getty Images

Baseball-reference

Heritage Originals: 1969 Topps All-Stars

The annual release of Topps Heritage is always a good time to take a look back at the original set. If time permits I would like to create a series dedicated to the different aspects of 1969 Topps/2018 Heritage. I hope others will also contribute to the series. I know that @SplitSeason1981 has been building the original set and is sure to have some thoughts.

Today we are tackling the All-Star Subset.

1969 Topps #426 Curt Flood (ASG)

Topps has chosen many ways to honor All-Stars, One of my favorites is via a dedicated subset. This is how the first All-Star set appeared in 1958 and periodically throughout the 1960s.

The Sporting News

The cards were often cross promoted with a magazine, in 1969 it was the Sporting News. The TSN masthead was present on All-Star Cards in 1959, 1961 (love these), 1962, 1968 and 1970.

Sport Magazine got the billing on the original All-Star Subset of 1958 followed by 1960,

After 1970 the All-Star subset disappears for a few years, returning unsponsored in 1974.

The All-Star subset remains present in contemporary Topps issues typically appearing in Update/Series 3.

The Baseball

1969 Topps #540 Curt Flood

Often Topps ties designs in consecutive years by keeping an aspect of the previous release. Some folks may think this is redundant or lazy – for me it gives a sense of continuity from one year to the next. The 1968 -> 1969 retained flair is the circle. I think of it as “The Baseball”, it was best executed on the 1964 Jumbos which had the player name in the center with position and team above and below the stitching respectively. The circle on 1969T ain’t no baseball, but it does conjure the image for me.

The circle is also the element of 1969 Topps that carries through from the base cards to the All-Star cards. For the subset the team name has been moved from the bottom of the card to within the circle.

The Wire Photo

There are 2 photos on each All-Star Card. I give a nice try to Topps on these, to punch up the cards they added a black and white action shot. However for the most part I can’t really tell who the player is in the photo. I mean take a look at the Curt Flood Action shot – he looks like a headless outfielder, which he clearly was not.

The Puzzle

1969 Topps #426 Curt Flood (b-side/ASG)

For the second consecutive year Topps used the All-Star subber to do something fun – create a puzzle. Above we have the back of Curt Flood’s #426 card. I have already oriented the card so we can tell this is a top right hand corner to the puzzle, beyond that it is pretty tough to tell what we are seeing. Fortunately we have an image of the completed puzzle which involves half of the 20 All-Star cards.

1969 Topps All-Star Puzzle Pete Rose (image swiped from 1969 Topps Blog)

The other 10 All-Star card backs create a picture of Carl Yastrzemski – for a look at the puzzle check out the 1969 Topps Blog.

Topps chose the two League Batting Champs as the puzzle subjects in 1969 (Rose .335, Yaz .301). As of this writing we don’t know the subjects for 2018 Heritage but if Topps follows the 1969 originals, the honorees will be Jose Altuve (.346) and Charlie Blackmon (.331)

Curt Flood

I picked Curt Flood to represent the 1969 All-Star cards because we hear so much about what he meant to baseball and free agency that we forget how great a baseball player he was. I believe 1969 is the only year that Flood made the All-Star subset. Flood’s two 1969 Topps cards are also his last two issued with the Cardinals. After that his playing career was pretty much over, He had a handful of ABs with the Senators but a year off clearly hurt the All-Star Center Fielder. Progress often has victims – Curt Flood took the punch for free agency.

1969 Topps / 2018 Heritage Series

If anyone is interested I would love to see a group project dedicated to comparing and contrasting 1969 Topps with this years Heritage release. If you are interested, leave a note in the comments with a topic you would like to cover. Some of the items I came up off the top of my head were:

  • Base Cards
  • Deckle Edge
  • Bazooka
  • Posters
  • Rookie Cups
  • Manager Cards
  • League Leaders
  • World Series
  • Checkers

Sources and Links

The 1969 Topps Baseball Card Blog

2018 Heritage / 1969 Topps Index @ Phungo

Baseball-Ref

Topps Baseball Card Database

 

 

Topps 1963 All-Star Rookie Cup Team: Part 2 – the Voting

Today in the second installment in our three part series dedicated to the 1962 Topps Rookie Cup All-Star team we are going to take a look at the voting process. For more on the team check out Part 1.

The Topps All-Star Rookie team has been selected a number of different ways over the years. Originally they were selected via a vote by “the Youth of America” . I am not positive but I believe currently Topps has MLB Managers vote on the squad.

In 1962 that responsibility of picking the team was the belonged to a fairly complete roster of the players coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. Thanks to the Sporting News we have a record of that vote.

1964 Topps #457 Jesse Gonder

1964 Topps #457 Jesse Gonder

We will get to Jesse Gonder in a minute, for now I will just mention that he did not lead the voting, nor did NL Rookie of the Year Pete Rose.

According to an article published in The Sporting News (1963 Sep 21) There were 563 players, coaches, and managers involved in the voting. During the 1963 season there were 20 MLB teams, this means that an average of more than 28 people voted for each team.

On September 15th 1962 Topps Sports Director Sy Berger announced the All-Star Rookie Team and the overall vote winner was…..

White Sox Pitcher Gary Peters who received 522 of those 563 votes or 93%.

A solid selection, Peters was Rose’s AL ROY counterpart. The rest of the voting went as follows:

1964 All-Star rCup Voting

I broke the Rookie All-Stars into two groups, Position Players and Pitchers just to make the the MLB Stat columns a little clearer. Both tables are sorted by the Number of votes received in the All-Star Rookie tally.

The hitters break down into two groups the first 5 that all received at least 2/3 of the vote. The final 3 players were more contested and all finished at 50% or less.  Both pitchers won their positions easily. It appears the “eye test” worked in 1963, The five hitters chosen had WAR numbers of +2.0 or better while the final 3 were all +1.0 or below. One cannot question the selection of Gary Peters and his +7.0 WAR.

Jesse Gonder

We chose Jesse Gonder as cover card for a couple of reasons. To start off Catcher was the most contested position of the voting:

Jesse Gonder Catchers

Nice to see Twitter favorite @JohnnyBateman7 on the board. As we can see Freehan won the WAR however in 1963 that was obviously not known. Gonder won the vote, likely due to his .304 batting average. Of course voting for him meant ignoring the fact that he had less than half of the plate appearances of either Freehan or Bateman.

The second reason we decided to focus on Jesse Gonder is his card. Take a look, notice anything odd for a rookie cup card? Yep, no Rookie Cup. Not sure why it happened but the Trophy icon was missed on Jesse Gonder’s 1964 Topps card. Of the Ten cards in the All-Star Rookie subset it is the highest numbered, one of two on the series 6 checklist which runs from from 430-506. Perhaps by the time Topps got to their penultimate series the quality control had slipped a tad.

Pete Rose

I would like to close by discussing Pete Rose who won second base but did not garner as many votes as either Gary Peters or Vic Davalillo.

Pete Rose 2nd Base

This may be due to the fact that Pete Rose likely had competition from HBP specialist Ron Hunt. TSN did not publish the Topps voting results for all the positions, it is notable that the only player to garner Rookie of the Year votes yet not receive an All-Star Rookie Cup was Hunt.

I am a little stunned how much better Rose did in the ROY vote considering how similar his and Hunt’s numbers were in 1963. Apparently Hustle counts.

Once again I will mention if you want to read a fine article on the 1963 Topps Pete Rose card check with Wax Pack Gods.

Sources and Links

The Sporting News (1963 various issues)

Baseball-ref

Baseball Card Database

Cardboard Connection

Phungo 1963 Topps Rookie Cup Index

Wax Pack Gods

TRENDY: South Korea Winter Olympics

The Olympics being held in PyeongChang is a good opportunity to discuss some WBC/South Korea cards.

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2009 A&G National Price #NP39 Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo is probably the most prominent Korean MLB player. The 34 year old outfielder has put together a pretty nice career including a couple of playoff appearances and 168 Home Runs. Choo will be entering his 14th season, four of which have been with the Texas Rangers, in a few weeks,

Topps noted the 2009 World Baseball Classic by giving the Allen & Ginter’s common (or decoy) insert an International flare. Each of the 75 subjects in the set is presented on a card that represents the players home country. In the above Shin-Soo Choo card you can see the a small flag atop the interior frame along with a flag background for the player image. The player name banner also references the home country.

2009 A&G National Pride #NP39 Shin-Soo Choo (b-side)

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The backside features both the player team and home country. The write-up mentions South Korea’s 10-2 WBC victory over Venezuela in which Shin-Soo Choo hit a first inning home run. The blast came against former Phillies pitcher Carlos Silva who did not make it out of the 2nd inning.


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2005 Topps #UH199 HR Derby Hee-Seop Choi

2005 was also a WBC year and as part of the events promotion MLB gave the Home Run Derby an international flair. You can see the Korean flag patch on the upper left of Hee-Sop Choi’s uniform.

The 2005 All-Star game was held in Detroit with 8 players representing seven different countries and the US territory of Puerto Rico. At the time of the event Choi had the lowest career Home Run total among the participants with 38. The South Korean First Baseman was eliminated in the first round when he hit 5 Homers, 7 were needed to advance. The final was won by the Phillies Bobby Abreu (Venezuela) over Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) by an 11-5 round score. Abreu had 41 Home Runs on the night boosted by an impressive 24 spot in the opening frame.

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2005 Topps #UH199 HR Derby Hee-Seop Choi (b-side)

The back side of the card discusses Hee-Seop Choi’s Home Run Derby first round. Much debated 2018 HOF Nominee Andruw Jones (Netherlands) is mentioned alongside Choi.

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Phungo WBC Binder South Korea Page

One of the MANY minor collections in the Phungo collection is the WBC binder which includes players paged by home country. There are several card sets that contain feature players representing their native countries. This is the Korea page which currently houses 7 cards with slots 1 & 2 open. Hee-Seop Choi earns center square for a combination of his stature and the fact that he is facing my preferred direction for a center square on a Right Hand Page.

2018 Winter Games

For more info on an interesting baseball connected Olympian check my column on Topps 2014 Olympic cards which features Skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender. The original Posting from four years ago can be found here.

Katie’s father was an MLB outfielder and we briefly discussed him in 2014 as well. That column including his RC along with a discussion of his 1969T card in the Uhleander family can be found here.

Sources and Links

Phungo Game Dated Card Index

Phungo WBC Index

Cardboard Junkie

TeamSets4U

MLB

NBC Olympics

LA Times

Baseball-Ref

Topps 1963 All-Star Rookie Cup Team: Part 1 – the Cards

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.

Flip

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.

Subset Checklist

73  Jimmy Hall OF
85  Pete Ward 3B
109  Rusty Staub 1B
125  Pete Rose 2B
130  Gary Peters LHP
168  Al Weis SS
330  Tommy Harper OF
412 Ray Culp RHP
435  Vic Davalillo OF
457  Jesse Gonder C
I realize this is pretty vanilla but  I have been deep diving All-Star Rookie teams a bit lately and found some interesting and want to open with a posting that gives some background on the original card. I anticipate this being the first of three postings on the 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team.
Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team
For more background on the origins of the Topps All-Star team I have written a posting at my personal blog Phungo.  The article can be found here.

Sources and Links

Phungo 1963 Topps Rookie Cup Index

Phungo Game Dated Cards Index

SABR Bio Rocky ColavitoJoseph Wancho

Wax Pack Gods

Baseball Card Database

Baseball-Ref

Baseball Almanac

BRJ 46-2: Andres Galarraga Blast – Topps vs Upper Deck

The latest issue of the Baseball Research Journal has an interesting (and….complex) article concerning on a May 31 1997 Grand Slam hit by Andres Galarraga during an 8-4 Rockies victory over the Florida Marlins .

Left: 1998 UD Tape Measure Titans #2 Andres Galarraga

Right: 2015 Topps Update Tape Measure Blasts #TMB2 Andres Galarraga

The Home Run was initially estimated to be 529 feet by the Florida Marlins. However, later Greg Rybarczyk of ESPN’s Home Run Tracker posted an updated estimated distance of “only” 468 feet.

In the BRJ article a panel of authors (Jose L Lopez PhD, Oscar A Lopez PhD, Elizabeth Raven, and Adrian Lopez) set out to determine which of these estimates was correct. They put together a thorough analysis which of course included significant math and physics, and less expectedly factors such as weather, wind and humidity. The Lopez Lopez Raven Lopez team concluded Galarraga’s Home Run travelled approximately 524 feet. The article is a SIGNIFICANTLY more involved – Go Read It!!

Topps vs UD

The length of the blast makes the Home Run one of the longest in MLB history and I have found the event was captured on cardboard at least twice.

UD Tape Measure Titans

The first time was in the 30 card 1998 Upper Deck Tape Measure Titans insert set which included sluggers McGwire, Bonds, Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Sosa, Junior, Manny, Thome, Piazza, A-Rod, Chipper and others.

Upper Deck went with a retro feel for this subset. I like the Tape Measure graphic at the bottom of the screen. UD went with the 529 foot calculation provided by the Marlins and we can see the gauge dropped at the proper point.

Now on to my dislikes, Andres Galarraga hit this Home Run as a member of the Colorado Rockies, during the following off-season he went to Atlanta via free agency. Unfortunately that leaves us with a player in a uni that does not represent the accomplishment. UD Also elected, on a hitting related card, to use a fielding pose.  However for me the most egregious violation is that the “Upper Deck” logo absolutely dwarfs Galarraga’s name.

Topps Tape Measure Blasts

Tape Measure Blasts was a 15 card insert set in 2015 Topps update. Notables in this set include Reggie, Clemente, Ted Williams, Josh Gibson, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Giancarlo, and a Ryan Howard card that should really be in my collection.

The Topps card has the benefit of being produced 17 years after the UD original. By 2015 Galarraga was a retired player. At this point Topps could put the Big Cat in whatever threads they wanted and fortunately he is with the Rockies here. Topps gets bonus points for getting the Marlins stadium of the era, Pro Player, on the card.

Of course the big difference in the cards is that Topps went with ESPN’s figure for the distance.

Flip

The Retro theme carries through to the back of the Upper Deck card (Top) and they did a nice job. This is as solid as some Heritage designs.

The text on the Topps card gives us some good copy on the Home Run including name dropping Hall of Very Good pitcher Kevin Brown.

Phungo Verdict

Despite the Topps card using the discredited distance I prefer their card. Too many things annoy me with the Tape Measure Titans – and I didn’t even mention that I really don’t like that name.

Sources & Links

SABR Baseball Research Journal Fall 2017

Bob Lemke – Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards

Game Dated Cards Index

Baseball-Ref

eBay

MLB

Topps absurd first World Series Card: 1960 Topps #385

Topps put together their first World Series subset in 1960. The set commemorated the 1959 series which featured the Chicago White Sox versus versus the team that also happens to be this years NL rep, the LA Dodgers.

1960 Topps #385

The World Series may be dubbed the Fall Classic, however I would never consider the first Topps card created to honor the Series a Classic.

Yes any first is significant, and the introduction of World Series cards to Topps is obviously important.

Unfortunately the execution of this first card in the subset is poor.

I have no problem with the picture of Charlie Neal (2-4, SB) on the card. Action shots are rare in the era, so Topps gets points here, although this appears to be a color painting based off of a black and white photo.

My issues is based on the image and the large caption, who do you think won Game 1 of the 1959 World Series?

Okay the score is given in the bottom left – in the smallest font on the card. Regardless, if the Dodgers get clobbered why would you feature their second baseman stealing a base as the picture to represent that game?

Ridiculousness – If Twitter had existed in 1960 World Series cards would have been banished for decades, or at least until the next managerial faux pas.

The White Sox won the contest 11-0, consequently Topps had a number of heroes to choose from for the card front. Ted Kluszewski had a pair of home runs and 5 RBI. Jim Landis had 3 hits, 3 Runs and an RBI. And what about the pitcher – future Hall of Famer Early Wynn tossed seven shutout innings, scattering six singles.

Moving on from my rant, despite this rather odd start I am glad that Topps introduced World Series cards in 1960 and look forward to a the cards that will note this years series in 2018 Topps.

B side

Topps did get the b-side of these cards right by featuring a box score with basic line score. The capsule summary at the top is concise and summarizes the key points of all the players missed on the front of the card.

The 1960 Topps World Series subset consists of seven cards one for each game plus a summary/Dodgers Celebration card which features a composite box on the back. In addition to this card Charlie Neal is also featured on the second card of the subset.

Neal had 2 home runs in that game including a 3 run shot in the 7th which gave the Dodgers their first lead of the series. White Sox Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio appears on the Game 5 card, although the picture on the card is from Game 4.

Sources and Links
Horizontal Heroes
Sports Collectors Digest – John McMurray
baseball-ref
Trading Card DB

Game Dated Card Index