Sunday, March 5, 2017
#52 Dennis Higgins - Chicago White Sox Pitcher.
Dennis Higgins is featured on his first solo card in this set. Higgins hit the ground running in the Majors. His '66 stats are very impressive for a reliever. He pitched in 42 games, starting in one, saving 5 and with a 2.52 ERA. He went on to see alot of work for the Senator in '68 and '69 and with the Indians in '70. His career ended with St Louis in '72. Relievers didn't get much respect until the mid 70s with pitching counts making their role more prominent. That's when they started getting national attention. Only the World Series teams seemed to have relievers that national audiences really noticed. Fans saw pitchers like Larry Sherry, Ron Perranoski, Moe Drabowsky, Joe Page, Bob Kuzava be called on to save a team's season in the clutch and respond in heroic fashion. The Higgins' of the league on teams that never made it to a 90 win season didn't get much recognition unfortunately.
The White Sox cards in the '67 set must have been a little confusing for fans at the time. The White Sox were one of those teams that changed their uniforms, often and I mean, often. This did not really begin to kick in until 1967. Higgins is featured in the '66 uniform which is still like the Go GO White Sox uniforms of the 50's. '67 featured a navy blue tinge to the road and home jerseys in place of the black and white uniforms of the era Higgins is featured in here. This blog post has gone on long enough without me going into the 5 or 6 other changes in their uniforms up until 1991 so I will leave it at that.
This card never made much of an impact on me. The grass looks a little yellowish and it is a standard spring training photo from probably 1966.
Higgins had cards in the '66, '67, '68. '69, '71 and '72 sets.
Random thought. Did Topps hire photographers to take photos, pay the teams for photos or paid for photos already taken by freelancers? Topps during this era broke from their tradition of taking photos during a season at local ball parks. Spring Training photos were not as common in the late 50s as they would become by the 60s. I feel it was a change in company policy to hire their own photographers and fly them to Florida or Arizona and work for a handful of weeks and be done with the whole project instead of keeping photographers busy all year taking photos at Shea or Yankee Stadium. They surely did both but spring training photos became characteristic of Topps cards until the early 90s when the demand for more action photos in the sets was elevated by Score and Upper Deck.