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.

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