Locke appeared in five different Topps sets during his career. I picked up the ones I didn't have from eBay last week.
This is his 'rookie' card, the 1960. Pretty standard card with a portrait and a b/w 'action' pose. I'm 99% sure this is a picture taken in Municipal Stadium. Those windows over Locke's right shoulder look a lot like the ones in this one of Rocky Colavito.
The back is where this one shines (well it does to me, I love the 1960 cream/orange/black early series cardbacks. Locke had pitched for the Indians in 1959 after nearly five minor league seasons. The pix were likely taken that season.
I'm not a fan of the green cardboard but you get full stats and two cartoons.
A nice play on his last name in the cartoon caption. Locke didn't make it out of Spring Training as a Cub. He had issues with the the weird 'College of Coaches' idea and he was dealt to the Cardinals in April. He was with them for three weeks before being traded to the Phils. He spent most of the season in the minors.
The '65 set rightfully holds a place dear to the hearts of many vintage collectors. It's about damn perfect.
He'd returned to the Angels' organization about a year after they had traded him to the Reds and in 1968 he pitched in 29 games, easily his most since 1961. Topps crammed a lot onto the backs of these '68s.
And I picked up another version of the '68, a buyback issued in 2015.
So that's my Bobby Locke 'rainbow'. I know that's not the right term for whatever you call a complete run of a guy's cards but whatever. Bobby turned 83 earlier this month. Here's to many more years of health and happiness with his family.
I found a few other Bobby Locke items including a couple of cool minor league oddballs. Those will hold for another day. Here is a montage of his Topps cardback cartoons:
Let's wrap this up with a handful of off-the-wall facts I found on his SABR bio page.:...
You can read the rest here.
- He debuted in the big leagues with a starting assignment against the Boston Red Sox on June 18 , and in his second at-bat he hit his only major-league home run, a three-run shot off Frank Sullivan over Fenway Park’s Green Monster wall in left field.
- Locke was born on March 3, 1934, in the little town of Rowes Run in the rough mining country of Southwestern Pennsylvania about 40 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. He was one of ten kids in the family.
- [In high school] he played fullback and defensive back in football and made several all-star teams. He excelled in baseball as a pitcher, throwing two no-hitters and averaging 13 strikeouts a game. His 1952 team went undefeated, and he pitched a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts to win the state championship. Locke played in the Sandlot Classic at the Polo Grounds in New York City as a member of the 1952 USA Baseball All-Star team.
- Locke accepted a football scholarship to Arizona State University but returned home to focus on baseball early in his first gridiron season.