Friday, August 20, 2010
Maybe it's an Ohio thing but I never got into any sports team coming out of the Buckeye State except for the pre Post Modell Cleveland Browns. That isn't to say i hate teams from Cleveland or Cincinnati. I found myself rooting for the Indians in '95, '97 and '07 after the Yankees were out of the post season. It didn't do them much good but then again, that city always seemed to need something more than just talented players to win.
Of course this lengthy intro has absolutely nothing to do with the card picture excepting for the fact that that I never heard of the player pictured and this card made no impact on me as a kid.
Duke Sims is a great name for a baseball catcher and judging from his blurb on the back and his stats, he was quite the fielder but failed to make an impact as a hitter in the Majors. Thanks to the trusty Baseball-Reference website (where I get all of my stats from), he never hit for average in the majors but did end up hitting for power for Cleveland in '69 and '70.
Sims also looked to have had a Dunkin Donut sponsored Major League career enjoying many cups of coffee with the Dodgers, Tigers, Yankees and finally with the Rangers.
The card was pretty standard for the '67 set. The picture was taken at the Indians spring training facility on as clear as day as anyone has any right to live through.
The name and position, printed in black on the front is slightly obscured by the trees in the photo. Topps will fix this issue with later cards.
You will also see that all of the teams will be themed with the same color lettering. The Mets had a striking purple while the Indians here have powder blue lettering. It isn't the best looking card in the set but perhaps the designers at Topps back in the 60's didn't think much about Ohio either. They were based in the Big Apple.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The team was of course loaded with young talent which was no where near ready to mature. Cleon Jones, Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Tug McGraw and Tom Seaver all made appearances on the hapless '67 Mets team but they would make more than just appearances in the coming years.
Before the '67 season was over, Hamilton ended up with the California Angels where he was used primarily as a starter. Between the Angels and Mets, Jack Hamilton finished the season with a solid 11 and 6 record and a 3.35 ERA. He ultimately finished his career in '69 with the Chicago White Sox.
The '67 Topps Mets cards were always striking to me. The purple block lettering strikingly stood out on the card. This was the first single player card in the set so we can see for the first time the player's signature while being noticable was not overpowering the image on the front and the player's name, and position helped to balance out the top border with the bottom.
You will see the open and airy Shea Stadium making its first appearance on the '67 Topps set. Looking at that yellowish field and scoreboard in the background, you can almost hear the deafening jets flying overhead!
As a kid, I loved the way these Mets cards looked. I never liked the Mets but my 9 year old eyes liked their Yankee pinstripes , Brooklyn Dodger blue and New York Giant orange all meshing into the then new New York Met uniform. I used to love the way these cards looked.
I wish the present day Mets would just pick a uniform and stay with it! How will they ever find their identity? Perhaps that was always their problem and always will be. Citi Field, made to honor both Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds is a home run hitters nightmare for the Mets. They will never keep a big named slugger with dollar signs in his eyes after the way Jason Bay debuted in Citi Field.
Bauer had a lot to smile about, he was the first manager in Major League history to have a perfect 1.000 winning percentage in the World Series. (Terry Francona and Ozzie Guillen have joined him with that percentage) As for Brooks Robinson, he is likely still the greatest all around 3rd baseman in the history of the game. Few players excelled as well and as long as he did in that position.
I always liked the group cards Topps put out and the '67 set is filled with them. I feel that these cards and the simple design of the standard issue helped make this set one of they most popular of the decade.
The yellow block letters stand out on the near the bottom border but unfortunately the names near the top border are almost completely lost in the background. Topps seemed to take this into consideration with the type of pictures they choose in the set, mostly spring training shots with a bright blue sky in the background. If this card has a criticism, it is the lost lettering near the top.
A running game I like to lay with cards generally is trying to guess where the pictures are taken. I will hazard to guess that this picture comes from Yankee Stadium. Topps was once based in New York (perhaps still is) and you will see many of their cards were taken either in Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium in this set. Throughout the years, you will recognize the stands and be able to determine just how many were taken in The Stadium. I am a Yankee fan so I will apologize now for the amount of references you will read about them and The Stadium.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Through the images on the vintage cards I later collected I was able to see the stadiums in the background and dream of being in the old stands of Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds and Old Yankee Stadium (before the renovation).
I was able to see the quiet modest sports heroes who just went out on the field and played their hearts out, not for the money, but because of pride and for the love of the game. Because I never had the money to collect the big named stars, I focused on the minor stars and worked to collect as may cards of theirs as possible. My collection lacks the Mays', Mantles' and the Dukes but what it lacks in their cards, it is made up in the Gil Hodges' Ted Kluszewski's' and Bobby Thomson cards.
I quit collecting current cards in 1993. I stopped short of getting any Jeter or Arod rookies (I did buy a few '93 Upper Deck SP's but got a Russ Davis instead of Jeter....remember Russ Davis??) I spent a lot of years ignoring the hobby but that all changed because of Ebay in 2003. Literally all of the cards i dreamnt of owning were only a point, click, bid and paypal purchase away. That site has done more for the fledgling sports card hobby than perhaps even the grading revolution (and unlike the grading revolution, Ebay is saving the hobby instead of crippling it).
This intro is longer than it needs to be but, well, I am the boss and now for the point of all of this writing. I spent the better part of a month a few years ago scanning the fronts and backs of every 1967 Topps baseball card in my now completed set (the doubles helped financing the search for the missing cards, wish my father hadn't sold off those near mint condition high number cards back in '88. I can still see the cards Adcock, Ricketts and Estrada, disappearing behind the table. My father has always regretted selling those cards almost as much as his mother throwing out his collection of early 1950's cards when he was a boy. Who here cannot share this same story. Alas.....
You will see every card front and back as well as a little commentary about each card and who is featured on it underneath. I promise the commentary will not be so long winded as this introduction. Well, I won't be so long winded if I really do not feel a memorable twinge when I see a specific card. Anyways, enjoy.
BTW,I couldn't care less if any of you use these images of the '67 Topps cards. I went through the trouble to scan them so that I and others could enjoy them. So please, enjoy!