...at least I think it might be. There are 4 or 5 others that are close, but when I saw this particular card while browsing through my Topps book a few weeks ago I had to have it. A quick eBay search turned up a nice EX copy for a buck, and a few days later the package arrived at my door. If you think you have an idea which card it is you're most likely wrong. At least, I'd be impressed if you had it right. The card's subject never won 20 games, hit 30 home runs or 100 RBI. He wasn't known for his speed either, and was never an All-Star, although he did win a World Series. So, who's card did I chase down?
Wes Covington. The 1961 Topps set is almost never mentioned amongst the best of the decade, and rightfully so. The design is minimal and less than spectacular, there aren't any iconic rookie cards (no disrespect to Juan Marichal, Billy Williams or Ron Santo), and there are countless incredibly boring, tightly cropped headshot photos, many of which feature capless players.
There are a few times though when I think the clean, simple design combined with a great photo create a pretty nice card. This Covington card is the best example of that in my opinion. There are so many things to like about this card. The photo is very creative, with Wes standing on the dugout steps pulling some bats. The Braves patch on his shoulder is great, so are the striped stirrups and the fan in red plaid in the background. Yup, I'd put this card up against any from this set.
The seller that I bought this from had thousands of vintage singles and charged $3 to ship regardless of how many you purchased, so I did what any good collector did and browsed around. I grabbed 18 other singles for a total of $20 plus the $3 shipping.
Another example of where 1961 Topps actually does pretty well, the checklists. Can you think of a vintage baseball set with better looking checklists than this? I can't, but someone will probably comment and prove me wrong.
I grabbed this Bob Miller card because I recently featured his 1960 card. This card features a pre-game warm-up photo that is very similar to the one featured on that card, which I learned in my previous post is taken in Seals Stadium in San Francisco, California.
The final 1961 card I picked up was another of my favorite photos from the set, Gene Baker, also featured at Seals Stadium.
1967 Topps - #275 - Fred Whitfield - I really had no reason to buy this one other than the sick illusion I have that I will some day finish the 1967 Topps set. One card closer I guess...
1969 Topps - #466 - John Boccabella - A couple of days after I paid for this card Night Owl did a great post where it was featured. I picked up two other 1969 Topps to go with it.
1969 Topps - #287 - Jose Tartabull
1969 Topps - #232 - Dave Ricketts - This Dave Ricketts will go nicely with the '67 I got a while ago. I still like that card better but this one isn't too bad either.
1960 Topps - #153 - Bobby Thomson - I ended up with three 1960 Topps cards, which is probably my favorite set of the decade. I now have 35 cards from this set. 11 of them are Red Sox, so I'm making some pretty good progress in completing that team set.
1960 Topps - #249 - Earl Wilson
1960 Topps - #232 - Jim Busby
1975 Topps - #356 - Rico Petrocelli - Two 1975 Topps were in the package. Rico is nice but I like this one better:
1975 Topps - #533 - Rudy Meoli - I've wanted this card since I read about it in Josh Wilker's outstanding book, Cardboard Gods. If you love vintage baseball cards and you haven't read this, you have no excuse. Go buy it now. I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed. Josh does a better job at evoking that nostalgic feel provided by childhood baseball cards than anyone I've ever read. You can check out a video of Josh reading a segment of the book on this very card here.
1965 Topps - #91 - Chicago Cubs Team Card - The Cubs went 72-90 in 1965, finishing 25 games behind the Dodgers for the NL Pennant. Oh well, I still like this card.
1964 Topps - #2 - AL ERA Leaders
1964 Topps - #251 - Choo Choo Coleman - I'll buy a card for any of a variety of reasons. Sometimes a funny name is enough. Choo Choo's real name is Clarence.
1964 Topps - #134 - Don Zimmer - This is my one and only Don Zimmer card.
1963 Topps - #53 - Joe Moeller (RC) - Who can define the stadium in this one?
1969-70 Topps - #75 - Pit Martin - Finally, we have the one and only hockey card from the bunch. Sadly, Pit was killed in 2008 when the snow-mobile he was riding broke through ice and into a lake.
That wraps it up. This was a great eBay seller, and for the price of a blaster I was really satisfied with this haul...
Surprise #2 finally revealed - I am* finally* ready to reveal the second surprise I had up my sleeve for the Cardboard History Gallery. I didn't expect it to take as long as it did, but ...