First off, thanks to an OldBaseball.com trading friend for this 1961 Post Cereal #40 of Norm Cash, longtime Detroit first-sacker. His solid bat helped the Tigers win the 1968 World Series, just one of 15 seasons Norm spent in their uniform.
|1961 Post Cereal #40, Norm Cash|
As noted on the card, Norm changed hands twice in one off-season, moving from Chicago to Cleveland to Detroit following 1959. Picturing him in a Cleveland uniform reminded me of another high-ceiling hitter they traded away that year, Rocky Colavito.
|1960 Topps #400, Rocky Colavito|
Rocky's departure was significant enough to cast a Colavito curse, but Cleveland's potential power lineup didn't end there. This fellow also started in an Indians uniform, before being traded away in mid-1958.
|1958 Topps #47, Roger Maris|
The Mantle and Maris home-run race sold so many newspapers and magazines in 1961 that I think Mickey and Roger deserve credit for making baseball cards a mass-market item, acceptable for purchase by kids and adults alike. Post cereals featured the teammates on both store shelves and as a 1962 LIFE magazine insert.
Would this power trio have spurred repeated pennant runs the way Maris-Mantle-Howard made New York such a force in 1961? Context and coaching makes a big difference to team performance, but this Cash-Colavito-Maris lineup sounds pretty good to me...