Monday, December 12, 2016

AL / NL Rookie Stars (#598, 624, 641, 658)

In the 2nd-half of the 1960s, Topps set aside a few Rookie Stars cards in the high-numbered 7th Series where players from different teams were shown on the same card. There were either "AL Rookies", "NL Rookies", or "Major-League Rookies" (if they couldn't find 2 players from the same league).

It has always been my contention (although not having definite information) that these were ad hoc cards, where the subjects were not firmed up until the season already began. Then Topps would see which productive rookies they overlooked in their already-formatted Series 1 to 6. (How else to explain Norm Gigon's inclusion in the 1967 set, while players like Gary Nolan and Don Wilson were nowhere to be found?)

By far, the jewel in this dozen is Rollie Fingers. Pitched in 944 games over 17 seasons, Cy Young and MVP winner, and Hall of Famer.

Bob Floyd?  Played parts of 7 seasons as a backup with the Orioles and Royals.  Even less for Larry Burchart - 29 games with the Indians in 1969, then he was done.

After Fingers, Tom Hall is the only other player here with a decent career.  10 seasons with the Twins/Reds/Mets/Royals.  Most of his 358 games were in relief.

Bill Burbach pitched for the Yankees in 1969 and parts of the next 2 seasons.  I sure hope he wasn't touted as "The Next Whitey Ford". Jim Miles pitched 13 games over parts of 2 seasons with the Senators.

In 1970, the Reds had to decide if Darrel Chaney or Dave Concepcion was going to be their shortstop.  They made the right choice. Chaney was a backup for 7 years in Cincinnati and 4 in Atlanta.

Duffy Dyer's extremely big head reminds me of those costumed marchers in the Mardi Gras parade.  (Or those fools providing between-inning entertainment at Milwaukee Brewers' games.)

Terry Harmon was the Phillies' utility infielder from 1969-77. Harmon is one of only 3 Phillies (with Mike Schmidt and Larry Christensen) to play at least 10 years and only for the Phillies.

Looks like this was almost a "Dodgers Rookies" card! Bobby Darwin was a minor-league pitcher for the Angels, Orioles, and Dodgers from 1962-69. He was converted to an outfielder in 1971 and played for the Twins, Brewers, and Red Sox from 1972-77.

John Miller played 6 games for the Yankees in September 1966, and 23 games for the Dodgers in 1969 (mostly as a pinch-hitter).

Tommy Dean played 12 games for the Dodgers in September 1967, then resurfaced in 1969 as the Padres' shortstop.  He played 2 more seasons as a backup with San Diego.

1 comment:

Jim from Downingtown said...

I question Topps' inclusion of a player whose position is "INF-OF" on any card with "Stars" in the title!