Monday, October 5, 2009

Topps forgets their own team color scheme

In 1967, Topps departed from the team color scheme they used in 1966 (and would repeat in 1968 and 1969). In 1967, the new scheme included green for the Twins and Giants, purple for the Pirates and White Sox, and orange for the Cubs and Red Sox. However, for some unexplained reason, three cards deviate from that color scheme:

Harmon Killebrew was Minnesota's own Sultan of Swat. According to his card, he spent 2 years with the old (pre-1961) Washington Senators before ever playing MINOR league ball. (Cynics would say "How could you tell the difference?"). After clouting 29 homers for Chattanooga in his 4th pro season, it still took him 2 years to reach the majors to stay. Although I didn't follow MLB until 1967, I was aware of the Twins and Harmon Killebrew in particular, because in the early '60s, my next-door neighbor's grandchildren (Lori & Todd) would visit from Minnesota every summer. Guess who their favorite player was?

Hmm... Here's the THIRD color used for a Twins card. Maybe there was some extra purple ink laying around, since it wouldn't be used for the third card below:

Orange was the color used for all Red Sox cards, while purple was used for the White Sox cards. Maybe Topps forgot which "Sox" were on this card, as there was no multi-player card for the Red Sox in 1967.

Another point to make on this card is, one typically thinks of power hitters when a card is labeled "Sockers". Here, Pete Ward and Don Buford are pictured, along with tales of how Ward hit 22 and 23 home runs 3 to 4 years ago. For Buford, the narration focuses on his batting average and stolen base stats. Not exactly in the same category as Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison!

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