Friday, February 1, 2013

Some 1961 Topps Goodness

The 1961 Topps isn't my favorite vintage set but there are some cool things about it. The regular Koufax card is just great. The MVP cards of Maris and Aaron are unique and the All Star cards have the classic 'breaking out of the Sporting News' look. 

Here is my Brooks Robinson All Star. A classic card.

And these Rookie Award cards, with the top hat logo are spectacular. This was the second year for them and it is one of the best Topps subsets ever.

Along with the Dodger special at the top I recently picked up the nice Bill Henry. He's a University of Houston alum as am I. He had the unique experience of having his 'baseball identity' hi-jacked. Some other Bill Henry was claiming to be the MLB vet. It all came unraveled when the real Bill's wife received condolence cards on the death of her husband. Even the phony Bill Henry's family had fallen for his ruse. I've linked to the original Rick Reilly story in my post of Henry's 1959 card.

Speaking of my 1959 Henry, not long after that post I received and email from someone with the Pasadena Tx. ISD system (or it may have been Chamber of Commerce or even Historical Society) who asked if I would donate the card to be used as part of a display honoring Henry as a member of that district's Hall of Fame. Pasadena Texas is just south of my home. Anyway I got busy and didn't respond right away and the idea got lost in a busy time. And so did the email because I hunted for it and never did find it again. I still feel guilty for not responding. It would have been neat to have one of my '59s in that display. Looks like they found one anyway

I like this '61 Henry a lot more than my '59 because the Reds uniform of the day, sleeveless pinstripes and red undershirt is really attractive. And the white over red cap is nice, too.

I don't know as much as I should about the history of Topps Most Valuable Player subsets. I'm pretty sure they were first issued in 1961 in a 16 card group. The only others I can remember were the 1975 MVP cards which featured the Topps cards of each years MVP, two to a card. I can't remember how many there were of those but I bet I could find out easy enough. 

Here are the 1961's in a list:
  • 471. Phil Rizzuto
  • 472. Yogi Berra
  • 473. Bobby Shantz
  • 474. Al Rosen
  • 475. Mickey Mantle 
  • 476. Jackie Jensen 
  • 477. Nellie Fox 
  • 478. Roger Maris
  • 479. Jim Konstanty
  • 480. Roy Campanella
  • 481. Hank Sauer
  • 482. Willie Mays 
  • 483. Don Newcombe
  • 484. Hank Aaron
  • 485. Ernie Banks
  • 486. Dick Groat

I have the Roger Maris, not in great shape, but it's a favorite of mine as it was issued in his record setting year.

 And finally, that card up top. I've been lacking it for quite awhile. I'm slowly but surely knocking Koufax cards off my wantlist. It's got a crease, and it's got a slightly blurry photo (but not as much as the scan makes it seem) but it was affordable. And that counts for a lot.

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