Friday, November 14, 2014

Topps 1960 Managers Subset.... NL Edition

I thought that since I had posted the '58 All Star subset I'd go ahead and post another of my completed projects of a similar size. I've been sorely tempted over the last few months to jump into the 1960 Topps set full time. I've mentioned before that it's the first set I clearly remember collecting with a purpose as a kid.

I'd seen a friend's 58's and I had received some '59s but the 1960 set was the one I bought by the pack. Truth be told it was my folks that bought them, with much begging from me. I remember the hanging cello packs they had at Korvettes stores around my part of New Jersey. Sometimes my Dad would bring home a pack he had bought with his newspaper for the commute home. So this set has a lot of nostalgic value to me. Not to mention that I love the look of it and I think the backs are among the best Topps has produced.

I don't feel up to tackling another vintage set (and blog) right now. But maybe sometime in 2015 I'll get the urge and jump in. Meanwhile I've put together the managers 16 card subset. I love everything about these. These guys just look like 1960 era baseball managers, don't they? Bill Rigney leans on a wooden(!) railing. Did Seals Stadium have a wooden railing in front of the dugout? Maybe that's a spring training shot. Either way, it's pretty neat.

Solly Hemus was in his second year as manager in St. Louis and he looks pretty comfy in the job. In 1959 he began as player/manager but in June he hung up his glove. Interesting that he is listed as being 'released' by the Cards that month. I guess technically he was. Walt Alston and Chuck Dressen had almost 40 years on big league managing between them. Alston won four titles with the Dodgers.

Fred Hutchinson managed three teams but was best known as skipper of the Reds. He died tragically of cancer soon after the 1964 season. Here are a couple of interesting facts from his baseball Reference bio:
The Hutch Award has been awarded since 1965 to a player who exemplifies the courage and desire of Fred Hutchinson. The first recipient was Mickey Mantle. Bill Hutchinson, who diagnosed his brother's condition, later founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in 1975; it has become one of the world's leading research institution in the field of oncology.
On December 24, 1999, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer named Hutchinson Seattle's athlete of the 20th Century, ahead of Ken Griffey, Jr.
Charlie Grimm hit .290 in a 20 year career as a player and he won three pennants in his first go-round as the Cubs' manager. He managed the Braves for five season in the fifties, was out of the dugout for four years and returned to Chicago in 1960. He lasted 17 games and was out of the job months before this card was issued.

Eddie Sawyer managed the Phils for nearly a decade including the Whiz Kids club of 1950 but in 1960 he was gone even faster than Grimm was from Chicago. He managed ONE game before quitting with a famous good bye quote: “I am 49 years old and want to live to be 50.” Two games later the Gene Mauch era began in Philly.

All-in-all it's a pretty cool subset I think. The pennant would reappear as the dominant feature of the classic 1965 Topps set. And the fact that these are so different from the 'base' cards in the 1960 set makes them stand out. As I recall all these National League managers cards came dirt cheap. Only the Stengel out of the complete set of 16 cost enough to even give the price a second thought.

I'll post the American League managers in a day or so.


  1. You know the set is good when even the managers cards are simply terrific!

  2. Great post! I've always loved the '60 Topps managers subset, although I only have maybe half of them. Looking forward to seeing the AL side.