The First Card I Would Like to Own That I Actually Ended Up Owning
October 28th, 2009 by slangon

One of the reoccurring features on this blog so far is me writing about cards that I would love to someday own. Usually, however, they’re more like pipe dreams. They’re usually cards that are either so rare or so expensive that unless I end up winning the lottery or some rich uncle I didn’t know I had dies and leaves me his vast fortune I will never have a shot at owning. This card however is neither exceedingly rare or exceeding expensive, but I’ve wanted to own this card since I was probably 11 years old or so.

1975 Topps #623 Phil Garner/Keith Hernandez/Bob Sheldon/Tom Veryzer RC



As I’ve mentioned many times, Mex is my favorite athlete of all time. It would make sense that any self-respecting card nerd would want to own the rookie card of his or her favorite athlete of all time. Back in the day, I figured a rookie of somebody as awesome as Keith Hernandez must cost at least $100, maybe $200. Once I got back into collecting and realized how dumb that was, I kept meaning to pick it up, but just never did for one reason or another. But I finally did it, all for the low, low price of $0.99 plus S/H.

Outside of it being Keith’s rookie, there are several other things I like about this card. It took me while to warm up to it, but I really love the ’75 Topps design. It’s just so ugly, you have to love it. I guess ugly may not be the right word. Maybe gaudy is more accurate. But I’m not sure any single card design ever fit the era it was released more perfectly than 1975 Topps. The mid 70’s were a gaudy time. You needed a gaudy baseball card to go with it.

I’ve also really grown to love these “multiple rookies on one card” cards. They’re especially interesting when one of the players goes on to have a lot of success, like Hernandez did, and the other guys are dudes like Bob Sheldon. I don’t mean to pick on poor Bob. I just find it interesting that when you consider when this card came out, theoretically all four of these guys had the same potential. They were all rookie infielders getting their first taste of Major League action. The sky was the limit. Then you fast forward to the end of their careers and what’s left but a bunch of numbers? Numbers that people like me use to decide who is better. (God, this is really starting to make me feel bad about myself.) So let’s see the numbers:

2088 games over 17 seasons. 1124 Runs 2182 Hits 162 HR 1071 RBI .296 BA
1860 games over 16 Seasons 780 Runs 1594 Hits 109 HR 738 RBI .260 BA
94 games over 3 seasons. 30 Runs 67 Hits 0 HR 17 RBI .256 BA
996 games over 12 seasons. 250 Runs 687 Hits 14 HR 231 RBI .241 BA

I guess I’m sort of justified in picking on Bob. Phil had a pretty respectable career. Of course he went on to have a bit more success as a Manager. Veryzer looks as if he had a pretty non-descript run, but was able to stay in the Majors for 12 years. I guess that’s something. Let’s just leave Bob alone. I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with all of this, except to say I guess there’s not too many people out there who get all fired up to get that elusive Tom Veryzer rookie card.

My only complaint about this card is the conspicuous lack of a mustache. Although that one Phil is sporting is pretty sweet.

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