The Quest for the 1960 Topps Set, Part XX
January 5th, 2011 by slangon

I’m not sure how other people run their blogs and collections, but I’ve sort of settled into a bit of a system. I have a pile on my desk of recently acquired cards that are awaiting to be scanned, if they’re post worthy, and logged into my master Excel sheet and filed away into the appropriate binder or box. Yes, I’m aware that keeping an Excel sheet of all your baseball cards is pretty nerdy, but I find it very helpful when it comes to updating wantlists and checking if I own certain cards when trying to work out trades with other people.

Anyway, usually that pile isn’t too out of control, but thanks to the holidays it has gotten to the point that I can’t quite remember where or when I got some cards. Such is the case with these 1960 Topps cards, but they put me a little closer to completing that set, so who really cares where I got them.

#16 Ernie Broglio

Being the type of person who always wanted to be a baseball player when I was a kid, I’m always impressed with anyone who even makes it the Major Leagues. When somebody can play in the Majors for a pretty good amount of time, like 8 seasons in Ernie’s case, I’m even more impressed. When that person can actually win more games than they lose in that time, such as Ernie’s 77-74 lifetime record, I’m even more impressed. When I read that the year that this card came out, he won 21 games and posted a 2.74 ERA and came in 3rd in Cy Young voting when they only gave out 1 Cy Young award, the impressiveness goes through the roof. Finally, I read that St. Louis traded Broglio to the Cubs for Lou Brock, and none of that matters. Sorry Ernie.

#127 Ronnie Hansen

I had actually written about Ron Hansen before on this blog, specifically about his 1963 card. I still think it’s worth mentioning that on July 30, 1968, he turned the only unassisted triple play in the Majors between 1927 and 1992. On September 20, 1992, Mickey Morandini of the Phillies turned one against the Pirates. Interestingly, in 1927, there were unassisted triple plays turned on back to back days. On May 30, Jimmy Cooney of the Cubs turned one, again, against the Pirates. The next day, Johnny Nuen of the Tigers turned one against the Indians. Even more interestingly, the triple play that Ronnie turned was also against the Indians.

#184 Gary Geiger

For a while I had been trying to find some kind of rhyme or reason behind the color combinations that Topps used on the 1960 set. So far I haven’t been able to make any sense out of it, but I do know that this green / black combination is one of the ones that I like the most. Combined with the weird 1950’s Red Sox logo, it makes for one cool looking card. 1960 was a bit of a tough luck season for old Gary Geiger. As of the end of July, he was hitting .302 with 9 dingers and looked to be on his way to a pretty nice season. Unfortunately, on July 28, he suffered a collapsed lung and missed the rest of the season.

#194 Bobby Gene Smith

Either Bobby Gene Smith has the most consistent swing in the history of baseball, or Topps got lazy with this here card. Bobby Gene also appeared in 8 games as an Original Met. Not to be confused with Bob “Riverboat” Smith, who tragically dies in a tractor accident.

#278 Stan Williams

Stan “Big Daddy” Williams came up with the Dodgers in 1958, where he was the #4 starter behind some dudes named Koufax, Drysdale and Podres. Oddly enough, he was the only starter with a winning record that year. Stan went 9-7 while Drysdale was 12-13 and Podres was 13-15. Hell even Koufax was 11-11. How many other people can say they had the best winning percentage on a staff with those 3?

#341 Carroll Hardy

I love dudes like Carroll Hardy. When you look at his stat line, he’s the kind of guy that you wouldn’t give a second thought. He played 8 seasons with 4 different teams, compiling a .225 lifetime average with 17 home runs and 113 runs batted in. When you dig a bit deeper, a few interesting things jump out. First off, even though he was signed by the Indians in 1955 and started playing in their farm system that year, he still found time to play in 10 games for the San Francisco 49er’s as a running back. He had 37 rushing yards and 338 receiving yards, including 4 touchdowns. He’s also the only person to ever pinch hit for Ted Williams. I don’t care if it was only 6 games before he retired, he could still say that he pinch hit for Ted Williams. Can any of you say that? No. As a matter of fact, nobody else on earth can say that except for Carroll Hardy. He hit into a double play, by the way. One final interesting thing about Carroll Hardy, and this might be intruding a little bit into Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius‘ Everybody’s Got a Record turf, but apparently he was the only player in the history of the game player to break a scoreless tie with a walkoff grand slam in the 12th inning. How’s that for an obscure record?

There we go. Six steps closer to completion.

Leave a Reply