Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Second Decade of Topps Baseball, 1960 - 1969

The 2011 World Series hits game 6 soon and the Texas Rangers get two chances to close out their first title. As we await its first pitch, here's a profile of the 60s, Topps' second decade of baseball sets.

1960 Topps #5, Wally Moon

Do collectors ever get tired of Wally Moon's unibrow? No, we do not.

1961 Topps #5, Johnny Romano

I love this black hat + warmup jacket look.

1962 Topps #5, Sandy Koufax

The definition of going out on top, Koufax won three Cy Youngs and an MVP in his final four seasons.

1963 Topps #5, ERA Leaders

Topps plucked Sandy's head right off 1962 #5 for this leader card. (The three Bobs and Don also came from earlier sets.)

1964 Topps #5, Strikeout Leaders

That's 3 straight Koufax cards, thanks to his record-setting strikeout totals. Koufax broke Bob Feller's modern mark with 382 whiffs in 1965; that stood until Nolan Ryan send down 383 batters in 1973.

1965 Topps #5, RBI Leaders

Collectors must've taken to these leaders cards, as Topps kept them going for decades. It's the cheapest way to get Mantle cards from his career.

1966 Topps #5, Jim Fregosi

Topps showed hatless Angels for more than a year across 1966, Fregosi included. (I assume it was because of their name and logo change from L.A. to California.)

1967 Topps #5, Whitey Ford

Yogi's final active card came in 1965, Whitey in 1967, Mantle in 1969. It took a decade (and the dawn of free agency) for the Yankees to put a championship roster back together.

1968 Topps #5, Home Run Leaders

That's an early-60s picture of Ron Santo, possibly even his rookie year. Topps never forgets!

1969 Topps #5, Home Run Leaders

Willie Horton swung a big stick for the expansion-era Mariners, so was one of my favorites. He now has a statue outside Tiger Stadium and rocks a world-class mustache.

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