The Quest for the 1960 Topps Set, Part IV
April 10th, 2010 by slangon

Well, I can tell already that this is going to be a very rough season to endure. I guess on the bright side Reyes is back and Johan is pitching tomorrow. The Mets went 1-3 since the last time he pitched, which is 1 win more than I expected, so I guess that’s good, right? Anyway, onto the cards.

Ah, the magic of Sportlots. Thanks to them, and $8.39, I am 15 cards closer to completing the 1960 Topps set. Let’s look at some of that booty, shall we?

I’m not sure how Topps structured the way that they paid their photographers, but if they just paid them a one time fee for a particular photograph, they sure got their moneys worth with this picture of 4 time All-Star and Cy Young winner Mike Cuellar. Not only did they use it twice on this card, I’m pretty sure thats the same picture on his 1959 rookie card. Actually, I don’t think thats the same exact picture twice on this card. I believe Mikes head is tilted just a bit differently, but it makes me wonder why the Topps Art Department would choose to have two almost exact pictures right next to each other. You didn’t have any other pictures of him? Not one? Really?

Although I generally enjoy multiple player cards, I find the ones from the 1960 set especially pleasing. They have a cool little 50’s/60’s Jetsons Future looking design and I also enjoy the titles of the cards. I always like using old-timey words and I feel like “backstop” fits that bill. Also, what the hell is up with Johnny Roseboro’s mitt? I know that baseball gear has evolved over the years, but that thing looks really weird to me. By the way, have you ever heard of the Johnny Roseboro Incident? Me neither until just now, but I always thought it would be cool to have an incident named after me.

Team logos were so much better back in the day. I kind of want to grow an old-timey baseball mustache just like Mr. Red, but I don’t know where to get mustache wax. Did you know Vada Pinson was 2 for 7 against Vida Blue with 1 double and an RBI? (By the by, that “VG” in the lower right is on the penny sleeve, not the card.)

I’m always glad to get manager cards from this set because they pull double duty. Aside from obviously filling spots in my 1960 collection, they help complete my manager and team card collection. Also, they look really cool. I especially like the ones where they’re posing in a dugout or on the field as opposed to the headshot on a colored background. Looking at Hall of Famer Al Lopez, it amazes me how no frills the dugouts were back then. Not that they have hot tubs and Laz-E-Boys in there now, but look at that White Sox dugout. Pine board bench and a couple of clothes pegs. That’s it. Maybe there’s a spittoon in there somewheres. And look at that Bill Rigney card. Is he managing from a log cabin? Speaking of that card, I noticed something weird on the back side.

Last time I checked, this card was issued sometime during the year of 1960. Furthermore, last time I checked, the Giants moved from New York to San Francisco after the conclusion of the 1957 season. Was Topps trying to get ahead of the game by starting to design their 1960 back in 1956? What the heck, Topps?

Here’s 1951 National League Pennant Playoff Hero Bobby Thomson at the end of his run in the Majors. After 14 years of playing with 3 different teams in the National League, Bobby made the move to the American League for the final year of his career, playing 40 games with the Sox and a mere 3 with Baltimore. Random Side Note: A project that I worked on at my job was for this sock company, redesigning their brand identity and what not. They had a very familiar logo.

Lastly, we have these two World Series cards, which are really awesome looking. Apparently, Charley Neal had himself a pretty good Postseason. He batted .370 during the Series with 2 dingers, 2 doubles, 6 ribeyes and a stolen base. Too bad he couldn’t have saved some of that for when he joined the ’62 Mets a few years later.

By the way, just to point out how arbitrary the concept of grading is, except for a few cards in this lot, the seller listed all of these as Good. Most of the other cards I’ve gotten through Sportlots were also listed as Good. Most of the other cards I got had creases and rounded corners and whatever other defects you could think of. This batch did not. They had barely rounded corners and maybe a tiny ding here and there. I’d say they were comparable to a lot of cards that I’ve gotten that were listed as Very Good, and thus sold for a more. I guess one mans Good is another mans Very Good.

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