Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1977 TCMA 1960 Pirates Baseball #5, Don Hoak

In 1957, Cincinnati fans--nothing if not enthusiastic--performed baseball's most successful stuffing of the All-Star ballot box, electing no less than seven hometown starters: Wally Post, Johnny Temple, Gus Bell, Ed Bailey, Roy McMillan, Frank Robinson, and...Don Hoak.

Baseball commissioner Ford Frick made 2 changes prior to the All-Star game itself. First, he dropped two Reds from NL's starters, benching Gus Bell and dropping Wally Post altogether. Fans also lost their ability to elect starters and wouldn't regain it until 1970. (Rumors say he also told some greasers to get off his lawn.)

Extra ballots aside, third baseman Hoak deserved the spot, as he led the AL that year with 39 doubles, hit 19 homers, and posted a .381 OPB from a key defensive position.

This 42-player set celebrates a classic World Series, as Pittsburgh's Pirates overcame New York's Yankees in 7 games. HOF glove man Bill Mazeroski hit the homer every 10 year-old dreams of, a bottom-of-the-ninth title-winner.

TCMA honored the 1960 Pirates with multiple times in a fairly short span. A second 42-card set followed in 1980, with a similar checklist, but more polished front design.

1980 version of the hero himself

Value: Hoak cost $2 on eBay, about right for 1970s oddballs. HOFers Clemente and Mazeroski run several dollars more.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any reprints in the market (and don't expect to).

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