Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Card #12 Dodgers 1967 Rookie Stars Campanis/ Singer

 The madness of this overlong political campaign season got me thinking it was time to get back to moy card blog honoring the 1967 Topps baseball set.  This also happens to be the time where post season Major league baseball reaches its crescendo. Unfortunatly, fewer and fewer people are interested in America's first national past time. It's pretty clear now that the NFL has trumped the MLB in terms of grabbing ahold of the national consciousness and will likely retain it as long as either sport, or this country exists. I say all this because the pivotal seventh game of the NLCS pitting the Cardinals against the Giants in San Francisco drew an audience of only 8 million viewers. The thought of such an important NFL football game drawing that small a crowd is unthinkable.

If the MLB continues to lose interest in the minds of the masses, the size of the league will begin to shrink because fewer teams will be able to  stay afloat. Fewer fans means fewer dollars to cover still growing player salaries.Such problems didn't exist in the pre free agency era of MLB, but like most labor deals, the short term benefits fail to take into account the long term effects it will have on the sport and the business. Eventually, the golden goose is just going to get cooked.

NOW ABOUT THE CARD. This is the lowest numbered Rookie Stars card of this 1967 set. As a kid, I was fasctinated by them mainly because I never saw anything like them in the 1980's Topps sets. Two reasons for this, 1. The sets in the 80's had nearly 800 cards so featuring players on their own card was not difficult. 2. Maintaining who should be featured on these rookie stars cards must have been a royal pain in the butt. Bobby Murcer, Hal McRae and Lou Pinella were all featured on more than one "Rookie Stars" cards. A collector may think they had the Pinella rookie card in the 1969 set because it says rookie on it, but his 1968 and his 1964 cards ALSO say "Rookie Stars" on them. You'd think Topps would fix that problem or just abandon this format. Well they did the former and infact incresed the amount of players featured on them. SEE BELOW. I don't know about anyone else, but these 4 player cards are lousy and think about how some of the rookies who didn't make it feel when their rookie card shoots up in price because a future hall of famer is featured on it. I guess that serves as good trivia but I'd be put off by it.

This 1967 Topps card is a good example of thi. Jimmy Campanis' career never really took off. The most games the catcher/pinch hitter ever played in a season during his six year career was only 41 and his career batting average was a meager .167.  However, Bill Singer became a star pitcher. Twice Singer won more than 20 games and was elected to the All Star team in each of those years (1969 with the Dodgers and 1973 with the Angels). He went on to a 14 year MLB career and winning 118 games over the course of that time. Today, Bill Singer's cards aren't considered collector worthy but I imagine this rookie card was a hot item for young Dodger fans in 1969 and Angel fans in 1973. I am sure, in most cases, the kids who sought and eventually got this card asked themselves "Who is Jimmy Campanis?"

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