Sunday, August 27, 2017

Turk Farrell (#190)

Ok, after last week's make-over for Larry Sherry, now it's "Richard" Farrell's turn.

We last saw Turk Farrell here, but come on now, what kind of a card is that? Topps did a pedestrian job with many of the 1968 photos. They also gave Farrell ANOTHER capless photo in the 1969 set. It seems they have no excuse, since he was with the Phillies several years earlier (and it was not beyond Topps to use old photos).

Farrell returned to the Phillies in May 1967, so by the time I got his card that year he was already with the Phillies. (At the time, I assumed he was swapped for Bo Belinsky, since Bo was with the Phils in '66 and Astros in '67, but they were separate deals.)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dissecting the 1967 Set

The 1967 Topps set had 609 cards. This included 19 team cards (no Astros), 20 managers, 43 rookie stars cards, 12 league leaders cards, 5 World Series cards, 7 checklists, and 13 multi-player cards. This leaves 490 cards of individual players. Today's post will look at the position breakdown of those 490 cards.

208 cards for "PITCHER" or "P"
47 cards for 'CATCHER" or "C"
21 cards for "1B"
23 cards for "2B"
22 cards for "SS" or "SHORTSTOP"
18 cards for "3B"
12 cards for "INFIELD" or "INF"
99 cards for "OUTFIELD" or "OF"

That's a total of 450 cards. The remaining 40 cards featured players at more than 1 position (which is the REAL purpose of this blog post). Below is a sample of each position:

The most common combination of positions is 1st base and outfield. Five players are featured with a position of 1B-OF (Felipe Alou, Joe Pepitone, Wes Parker, Tito Francona, and Lee Thomas).
Four players have the reverse combo (Bob Tolan, Ron Fairly, Jim Beauchamp, and Tommie Reynolds).

There are also five cards with a position of 3B-OF (Richie Allen, Jim Ray Hart, Mike Shannon, Bob Bailey, and Derrell Griffith.)
Cap Peterson is the only player with the reverse OF-3B combination.

The rest of these combinations feature fewer players:

Jack Hiatt and Gene Oliver are the only C-1B players.
John Boccabella is the only 1B-C.

Even more rare is the catcher/3rd base combo.  These two are the only players with these positions.

You would think that middle-infield types would be more common, but these are the only 2 cards with a 2B-SS or SS-2B position.

Phil Gagliano is the only player with a 2B-3B designation.  The opposite is a little more common (Jim Lefebvre, Tommy Helms, Don Buford, Rich Rollins).

Wayne Causey is the only SS-3B in the set, but there are 3 of the opposite combo (Jim Davenport, Dick Schofield, Ron Campbell).

The 1967 set has 12 players with a position of "INFIELD" or "INF", and none is more puzzling than Luis Aparicio. Looie played only at shortstop, and was an All-Star to boot! Why would Topps have him labelled as a (utility) infielder?
Same for Deron Johnson - there are 4 cards showing players as "INF-OF", and the other three (Woodie Held, Jim Stewart, Jim Barbieri) ARE utility types, but Johnson was a front-line player.  He was a regular at 1B, 3B, and LF in 3 consecutive seasons, so I guess Topps couldn't fit 1B-3B-OF on the card.

I put these two together because surprisingly, there are no cards with their opposite combination (3B-1B, OF-2B). Killer has this one all to himself, while Pete Rose, Cookie Rojas, and Chico Salmon all show 2B-OF.

Here is the most unusual combination of all. Mel Queen came up as an outfielder, and was transitioning to pitching in 1966. All his cards after 1967 show him as a pitcher.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Larry Sherry (#571)

I have already posted about Larry Sherry on my 1968 blog (so I won’t repeat myself here), but the cap-less photos in that set (especially the Astros and the Athletics) are hideous, so I felt I owed it to Larry and his fans to come up with something better.

Although he was a long-time reliever for the Dodgers, I don’t have any of his Dodgers’ cards, but here is a nice high-numbered card from 1967 showing him with the Tigers.

Sherry worked out of the Dodgers’ bullpen from 1958-63 (including having his brother Norm as a battery-mate from 1959-62), then played for the Tigers from 1964 to June 1967. He finished the ’67 season with the Astros, then played for the Angels in 1968.

(I will be re-posting some other players that had their "awesome" 1968 cap-less cards already posted, notably Turk Farrell and John Buzhardt.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Johnson & Johnson (& Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson)

Here's a break from the normal routine. I went through my 1966 to 1970 cards, and found over a dozen cases where three or more players have the same last name (and many more with just two). I've already done the brothers thing, so they won't be included in this series.

I started off with Jackson and May, now meet the Johnsons:

Not a relative in the bunch!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wes Parker (#218)

Wes Parker played for 9 seasons (1964-72) and all for the Dodgers. He was the regular 1st baseman every season from 1965-72, making over 495 plate appearances every year (705 in 1970!) and won the Gold Glove award in his last 6 seasons.

I wonder why he retired after 9 seasons, at age 32? It seems he was still going strong. Maybe Night Owl knows the answer.

Parker was signed by the Dodgers and played only 1 season (1963) in the minors (split between A and AA). He debuted with the Dodgers in April 1964 and played in 124 games as a rookie, although only starting 47 games (28 at 1st base, 19 in the outfield).

In 1965, Wes began his 8-year stint as the Dodgers’ regular 1st baseman, with incumbent Ron Fairly moving to right field. Parker started the majority of the games there over that span (including every game in 1970). He also occasionally started in the outfield, with Fairly or others filling in at first base.

Parker won the Gold Glove award in his final 6 seasons, but curiously was never an All-Star. The fact that he was a corner infielder whose season-high homerun output was 13 probably affected his All-Star chances. He was named to the All-time Gold Glove team in 2007.

After retiring following the 1973 season, he broadcast Cincinnati Reds’ games for a year, then played in Japan in 1974.

Returning from Japan after 1 season, he began an acting career, appearing on (of course) The Brady Bunch and other TV shows. He returned to broadcasting from 1978-83.