It's been all hockey here at Shoebox Legends lately. I just checked and since the beginning of this year, 18 of my 21 posts have centered on hockey cards. After the past couple of months you might get the impression that hockey is all I collect.
The truth is that while the blog has focused for the most part on hockey lately, I've still been quietly accumulating some baseball cards. With Spring Training officially underway, it's time to start leveling things a bit and featuring some of them. I've retired (for now) the goalie card header that's topped the blog for a few months, in its place are some vintage Red Sox cards. So, to get things started here's my second favorite addition to my baseball card collection from this winter:
Like many collectors who focus on vintage baseball, I think one of the areas where the older sets really shine is the combo card. There's just something right about the way they were done in the '50's and '60's. They often make for some of the best looking cards in a set, and this card is no exception. Topps started off its 1967 set with a nod to the 1966 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles team. Card #1, simply labeled "Champs", features a trio of baseball greats:
I love the photo of manager Hank Bauer flanked by two Hall-of-Fame Robinsons. On one side, Frank, who hit 568 career home runs and was a 14-time All-Star. On the other, Brooks, 16-time Gold Glove winner and 18-time All-Star. Hank, while arguably not a "household name", is no slouch himself. Bauer was a member of 7 World Series Champion Yankees teams before he was dealt in 1959 (in a move that brought Roger Maris to New York). He'd win his eighth title as manager of the '66 Orioles. Oh yeah, and he's a WWII vet who was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
The back highlights the amazing seasons that both Robinsons enjoyed in 1966. Brooks hit 23 home runs himself in '66, not too shabby! It was a common number for him, as he had also belted 23 a few years earlier in 1962, and would tally 23 again in 1969.
I've had my eye on this card for quite some time, in fact I probably searched for over a year before I finally found one in a condition and at a price that I was satisfied with. I've got another combo card coming soon that tops this one though!
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