The Quest for the 1960 Topps Set, Part XI
September 8th, 2010 by slangon

No, I haven’t forgot about the 1960 Topps set, or even baseball cards in general. Here’s some cards that I was able to grab pretty reasonably off of SportLots recently, including some Hall of Famers and other minor stars as well as some semi-high and high numbered cards.

#85 Frank Lary

I’ve talked in the past many times about how one of my favorite things about this hobby is researching players that I’ve never really heard of and discovering interesting things about their playing careers or lives. In the case of Frank Lary, who I admittedly never really heard of, I discovered that he was actually really awesome. He won 20+ games twice, in 1956 and again in 1961. He was also supposedly a “Yankee Killer”, which makes me like him quite a bit more. His lifetime record against the Yanks was 28-13. In 1957 alone he went 7-0 against them, and keep in mind we’re talking about the 1957 Yankees. Apparently he was so good against them that Casey Stengel once pushed back Whitey Ford’s starting day to avoid pitching against Frank. When asked about it, Casey said “If Lary is going to beat us anyway, why should I waste my best pitcher?” I guess that explains the smirk in the small picture.

#87 John Romonosky

Anyone up for some Name That Stadium? Well, I’m going to go ahead and guess that it’s an American League stadium. Often with these 1960 cards, I have trouble telling if the uniform is white or off-white and therefore if it’s a home or away uniform. I looked up the Senators on Dressed to the Nines and it turns out that that’s actually an away uniform from 1958, which was Romonosky’s first year with Washington. Strange that the photo would be from from 2 years prior to the release of the set, but hey, whatever. Anyway, that rules out Griffith Stadium. The most distinguishing feature to me are those squares in the back of the seats that I believe are windows. As best as I can tell, that would put John in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.

#88 Johnny Roseboro

I don’t know if you can really count Johnny Roseboro as a “minor star”, but he does have an incident named after him. The Johnny Roseboro Incident. Here’s a rather disturbing picture of it. By the way, that black blob and number 12 is on the penny sleeve, not the card, although the paper loss on the top left corner and above Johnny’s head are on the card, not the penny sleeve.

#490 Frank Robinson

I always find it sort of interesting how there’s a certain hierarchy to the Hall of Fame. I mean guys like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams and Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax and Walter Johnson are almost like the A-listers, whereas guys like Luke Appling and Harry Heilmann and Dizzy Dean are kind of the B-stars. That makes sense to me, I guess. I mean those A-list guys certainly seemed to have made much more of an impact on the game than their B-list brethren. What I do not understand is why a dude like Frank Robinson doesn’t quite seem to have made it into that A-list status. I might be wrong about that, but I never really get the impression that people think of him in the same way they do those other guys, which I think is a bit off-base. In a 21 year playing career he hit .294 with 586 homers and 1812 RBI. He was a 12 time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, MVP twice (the only dude to do it in both leagues) and 2 time World Series Champ. Maybe some of those other guys I mentioned have more impressive numbers, but not all that more impressive.

#500 Johnny Temple

Initially I thought this Name That Stadium was going to be kind of hard since there’s not a whole lot of the stadium in the picture and whats there is pretty out of focus. But that’s pretty obviously a pinstriped jersey Johnny’s got on, which would indicate a home uniform. That blurry overhang seems to match the overhang of Cleveland Stadium pretty well. Turns out this was a pretty easy one.

#505 Ted Kluszewski

I was pretty excited to be able to cross Big Klu off of my wantlist. He might not be a Hall of Famer or anything, but I always thought he was pretty awesome. Although it’s not quite as glorious as his 1957 card, I was glad to see they worked his Incredible Hulk-like biceps into the card, even if it is just the small black and white photo.

#554 WIllie McCovey All-Star

I was pretty happy, and honestly slightly surprised, that I was able to grab this card for $3.00. You can see that it’s pretty off-centered from top to bottom and if you look closely, there’s a clear pin hole right above the “A” in “All-Star”. All in all though, it does not even come close to being anywhere near bad condition when compared to some of the other cards I’ve got from this set. When you take the off-centering and the hole and compare it to the fact that it’s an All-Star card, it’s a Hall of Famer from his rookie year and it’s a high numbered card, I’d say $3.00 is pretty much a steal.

One Response to “The Quest for the 1960 Topps Set, Part XI”

  1. Maybe it was because Robinson was rather itinerant late in his career and didn’t have good numbers while managing in Cleveland. Other than that, got nothin’. He’s an A lister for sure.

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