Friday, April 13, 2018

1969 Topps: Looking closer . . .

Some more random observations:

1969 has some great card backs for the managers. But poor Jim Lemon, his card discusses his firing! Apparently his replacement, Ted Williams, also has a card in the set. I notice that for most of these sets, some cards have brighter backs then others. Is that the way they aged? A printing variation? (I'm not considering them separate cards personally.)
 I was aware that Topps reused photos from previous years pretty liberally at this time. You can see that here, with the 1964 World's Fair patch, the photo was five years old when the card came out.
 Detroit's Heroes go Wild. That's some hat on Dick McAuliffe. And maybe the most armpit hair ever on a card?
 For a couple of players Topps introduced a second card after they changed teams. Donn Clendenon was taken in the expansion draft by the Expos, so his first card had him as an Expo. That card had a blank spot (printing error) on the last "N" in his name. The Expos then traded him to the Astros, so Topps issued another card of him with the Astros. For some reason they tried to correct the printing error by handwriting in the rest of the "N", but it came out looking backwards.
There is a very interesting story behind the transactions. Clendennon, who went to Morehouse College (where Martin Luther King Jr. was his mentor), was let go in the expansion draft, selected by Montreal. The Expos later traded him to the Astros for Rusty Staub. The Astros manager, Harry Walker, was considered one of the most racist men in baseball, and Clendenon announced that he was retiring rather than play for the Astros. MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn allowed Clendenon to return to the Expos in exchange for them sending further compensation to Houston. So it is the Astros card, not the Expos card, that is a "zero-year" card. Clendenon played in Montreal for only a few weeks before being traded to the Mets, where he became a key player in the team's surprise World Series run.

1 comment:

  1. Kinda sad that Jim's only year of managing an MLB team is immortalized by that piece of cardboard.