Bride of the 6 for 5 Bin
March 26th, 2010 by slangon

I almost can’t even believe that it’s less than 2 weeks until opening day. It’s been a long, dreary winter that seems much longer to me since I sort of checked out around August of last year as far as following baseball. I’m getting very excited for the coming season, if for nothing else than I can be mad at the Mets for the way that they play rather than all the drama that has been pissing me off all off-season. But I digress. I have 6 cards to talk about.

Seems like last time I was at the old card shop, they must’ve just recently stocked the vintage bin with a bunch of mid-60’s cards. Today will be an all ’65 post. The last few months I’ve been amassing quite a few vintage cards, but for some reason the 1965 variety have been few and far between. I always thought that was a shame because it really is a cool looking set, so I was pretty happy at being able to pick up a few of them even if they are all just commons.

1965 Topps #425 Wayne Causey

1965 Topps #311 Orlando Pena

1965 Topps #117 Wes Stock

Although the Athletics elephant logo is not as prominent these days as it once was, I always thought it was a bit of a strange logo for a baseball team. I mean, out of all the members of the animal kingdom, I wouldn’t imagine that the elephant is what you would want associated with your baseball team. A football team perhaps, but not baseball. Then I found out the story behind the A’s White Elephant. Back in the days when John McGraw and the New York Giants basically owned the National League, Mugsy said that Connie Mack and the Athletics had a white elephant on their hands, obviously meaning it as a slight. Connie Mack decided to embrace the insult and adopted the White Elephant as his team logo. Connie Mack has never really been known for his sense of humor, so it makes it just that much funnier to me. Another thing I dig about these ’65 A’s cards is the black border. Unlike some other years designs (I’m looking at you 1975), Topps assigned the same color to all the cards from each team. I would imagine if you had the entire 1965 A’s team set, those black borders would look pretty sweet all lined up on a binder page.

1965 Topps #206 Willie Horton

One of the things I really love about the backs of baseball cards is the little write ups. For some reason I get some weird satisfaction when I see write ups that say things like “After burning up the AA circuit in 1961, Johnny is a clear bet to dominate the Majors in 1962”. So after seeing that the back of Willie’s card said “Willie’s natural hitting ability guarantees future stardom” I gleefully headed to Baseball Reference to see what his career numbers were like. To my surprise he actually had a pretty damn good career. He played 18 years, all but 3 with the Tigers. He ended his run with a career .273 BA, 325 homers and 1163 runs batted in. He was a 4 time All-Star and it 1968 came in 4th in MVP voting. That same year, he had a pretty nice World Series, batting .304 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. He also had one of the more interesting superstitions I’ve heard of. Apparently he used one batting helmet his entire 18 year career. When he moved around from team to team towards the end, he would take it with him and just have it repainted with the new team colors and logo.

1965 Topps #68 Del Crandall

Among the myriad of things that I love about old baseball cards is getting an old baseball card of a dude towards the end of his career. Del Crandall for instance only had one more year in him after this 1965 card, having played since 1949. Now I am lucky enough to own a handful of cards from the late 40’s and early 50’s, but they’re few and far between. When I get a card of a dude who played back then, even if the card in question is not from that period, I feel a weird sense of connection with that era in baseball history. It’s also really awesome to see the stat lines from just about the players entire career all on one card. It’s interesting to think that before the advent of the internet, when pretty much every scrap of useless information is at your fingertips, if you wanted to know what Del Crandall batted in 1966, but you only had his 1965 card, you were screwed.

1965 Topps #96 Sonny Siebert

I swear whenever I see cards from this time period of Cleveland Indians players, I end up going around thinking that they play for the Reds. Who designed the Indians uniforms during this time?  LeVerne Rose? Seriously. White vest? Check. Red sleeves? Check. The only difference is the Reds have a white cap with a big red “C”, whereas the Indians have a black cap with the same big red “C”. Are they the bizarro Reds?

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