Monday, October 26, 2009

#11 - Bill Melton

Card fact: We have orange-yellow color schemes on back-to-back posts. But that's not rare. There will be several times in this look at the '75 Topps set when we'll find back-to-back cards with the same color scheme. There are no back-to-back-to-backers, though, except for in the subsets.

What I thought about this card then: Long before I began to admire the left-handed pitcher more than any other player, or the right fielder with an epic arm, or an artful base stealer, I was like everyone else: I loved the home run hitter. I remember looking at Melton's stats and noticing he was a slugger. That immediately made his card valuable to me. I never saw Beltin' Melton play until he was with the Angels, when his career was dying. But his stats on the back of this card made an impact.

What I think about this card now: Two things: 1) those are some kind of Steve Garvey arms he has there; 2) Those numbers that they wore on the jersey sleeves back then look quite strange. I'm told they were there so players could be identified easily on TV.

Other stuff: Melton was the White Sox's all-time home run leader until Harold Baines came along. Now it's Frank Thomas' record.

Back facts: I love totally random cartoon trivia questions. "How many night games did the Cleveland Indians win in 1952?" I don't know. "How many fallen leaves are in my front yard right now?" What a bizarrely strange question! I need CONTEXT, Topps. Did the Indians play only 34 night games, making 33 wins a significant number? Explain, please.

Minis: This is the first card in the set that comes with a matching mini! Yay! Let's have a look, shall we?

For those card collectors who have been staring at shiny stuff their whole lives, '75 minis measure about 20 percent smaller than the average '75 card. Each mini card is 2 1/4-by-3 1/8 inches, rather than the traditional 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 card.

At one point the minis were thought to be rarer than the regular '75 cards because they weren't issued everywhere in the country. But I don't believe that's the thinking now. They're easy enough to find. Also, I've heard for a long time that the minis were issued primarily in Michigan and on the West Coast. Well, then, explain to me how I was buying mini cards in 1975 from a corner grocery store in upstate New York?

As I've mentioned before, I have bought no mini cards since they came out in '75. A couple of generous bloggers have sent minis my way, which I appreciate more than just about anything you could send me. Those mini cards are the truest, most direct connection to my youth that exists. Thank you.

Other blog stuff: When I started this blog, I didn't make any guarantees about how often I would post. So far, it's turned out that I have posted once a day. I'd like to keep that pace, even though it may affect how much I post on Night Owl Cards. We'll see ...


Brian said...

I don't think I've ever seen a '75 next to it's matching mini..thanks! That Melton color scheme has me thinking Candy Corn.

White Sox Cards said...

A pair of Beltin' Bill Meltons. Cool! He currently does pre and post game recaps when the games are on Comcast Sports Net in Chicago.

Word verification: dornini

A new name for Donruss after Panini took over?

GOGOSOX60 said...

To this day has Topps ever explained the thinking of printing the mini set?? Did they believe that collectors might like their cards smaller???

Why didn't they just drop a mini in a regular pack and have a second set you could put together.

I wonder if we will ever know the actual production run. And how about a mini 1975 when they feature "Cards Your Mother Threw away???"

HandyAndy said...

Hey Night Owl, if that's a scan of your '75 Mini I've got a spare one that's in nicer condition (probably EX to EX-MT) that I'd be happy to mail you. Email me your address if you're interested.